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Messages - LouMelini

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I basically do what John Nettles suggests; keep receipts and split the difference at the end. Most problems I hear about are differences in spending, (camping vs. motels or cheap motels vs. expensive motels); where to go to eat (eating in camp vs. going out or less expensive vs. more expensive restaurant). Hopefully these are worked out. When I am with my wife, HikeBikeCook has the correct advice.

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Rocky Mountain / Re: SLC to ZION bike trip
« on: April 01, 2021, 11:15:01 pm »
Amanda: I've toured fairly extensively in Utah. I did a similar route in September with a friend of mine. We started that tour in Nephi, at the south end of Utah County. The one difference of our route compared to your route, was that we continued south on 89 after Long Valley Junction and entered Zion from the east. After leaving Zion we traveled on to St. George where we picked up the Salt Lake Express bus back to Salt Lake City. Overall the road conditions we took were good, we felt safe, so overall the ride is doable. It appears from the map that you plan on riding the Jordan River Trail then ride west of Utah Lake. I have not ridden west of Utah Lake since the 80's so I can't comment on that. The write up of the trip should be printed in the Spring edition of Cycling Utah if you are familiar with that cycling publication. I think the Spring edition is coming out to the bike shops either this weekend or the following weekend. When do you plan on doing your tour?


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General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica Trail starting May 15
« on: March 21, 2021, 09:46:30 pm »
 Julie and I did the TransAm in 2018. Coming from the east, you will have plenty of campgrounds and hostels to stay at once you get to Wyoming if that is what you are seeking. I consider campgrounds (commercial or Forest Service) and hostels as very safe, hospitable, and inviting if safety is a concern. Fortunately Julie and I enjoy and can afford the "luxury" of camping in campgrounds (we try to avoid motels). (see jamawani's comments about $$). I don't have a lot of advice about stealth camping as we rarely stealth camp so follow the advice of toadmeister and John Nelson. I've done quite a bit of road touring in the west. I don't consider any of the TransAm as remote. I live in Utah but I am originally from New Jersey where there is a different mindset about the "West". I moved to the "West" because of my 1975 cross country bike tour. No regrets, best decision I made. I've enjoyed every bike tour I've done in the west and I bet you will as well. 

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General Discussion / Re: Warmshowers now charging.....everyone!
« on: February 05, 2021, 11:00:32 am »
Continued issues with WarmShowers. Very disappointing news for a service that can be valuable to traveling cyclists. I will continue to host as I have, be a guest when I need to and follow the developments.

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General Discussion / Re: Advice for Newbies about the Weather.
« on: December 21, 2020, 06:27:44 pm »
Thanks for the thoughtful words and it applies to me; a newbie planning a summer cross-country ride. Four panniers will be used, so I should have plenty of space for extreme weather gear.

Do you think my Big Agnes Copper Spur Bikepacking tent will hold up in pounding rain, or should I take a tarp as well? If a tarp is recommended, how does one use it?

Hoverbird:  Julie and I have been in some nasty weather while tucked inside our Big Agnes Copper Spur. We bike tour with a 3-person tent and it has worked for us. Make sure that you get the fly taut. No sagging. Hobbesontour especially and the rest of the responders gave good advice

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General Discussion / Re: Average Weight Loss/Gain on Cross Country Tour
« on: December 17, 2020, 01:51:08 pm »
My wife Julie lost over 40 pounds during our 6-month Appalachian Trail walk (176 days) in 2016 and 22 pounds on our TransAmerica ride (71 days) in 2018, all gained back. She ate well on the trips. I went out of my way to eat and not lose weight on the AT. On the TransAmerica ride I also kept my weight stable without trying to overeat. I was 65 for the AT and 67 for the TA, Julie was 55 and 57. Congratulations to HikeBikeCook on your AT thru-hike.

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General Discussion / Re: Kickstands - Love them or leave them?
« on: December 17, 2020, 01:41:17 pm »
I have a 2-legged kickstand (mounted to a kick stand plate).  the one positive use for the kickstand that has not been mentioned is to have a built in work stand to clean and make adjustments to my bike. The crankarms spin freely without jamming on the kickstand.
On the negative side, the bike will fall over on soft ground and in windy conditions so the kickstand is useless in those conditions.

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General Discussion / Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« on: December 14, 2020, 02:09:00 pm »
I have heard that complaint. the pedals work well for Julie and I. I have a size 8 (Euro 41) shoe size. I don't know if a smaller shoe size works better. I have not used other pedal systems as I like the ease of entry and exit of the frogs.  I'm not sure if that is an adequate answer.

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General Discussion / Re: Warmshowers now charging.....everyone!
« on: December 14, 2020, 01:07:47 pm »
From 2012 to 2015, I was on the Board of Directors of Warmshowers.
 Regarding the sexual predator comment- during my time, anyone that was suspected of any criminal behavior had their profile eliminated on the website. There was an active "Trust and Safety" committee that primarily looked at any negative feedback reported by a guest or host, in addition to any other complaints that would potentially involve the trust and safety of Warmshowers. The comment "it's not our job" is, to say the least, is inexplicable, should not have happened. One post to this forum stated that the person had positive feedback but that person would have had their profile taken down simply due to potential risk.  I assume this incident occurred after my time as I am not familiar with the situation. I do not have any knowledge of how problems such as the report of a sexual predator is handled since I left the board. Given the mission of Warmshowers, it is, in my opinion, imperative that trust and safety of hosts and guests be maintained. I could go on regarding the other comments, perhaps another time.


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General Discussion / Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« on: December 14, 2020, 12:25:08 pm »
Like John Nettles; Both Julie and I use Speedplay frog pedals; easy entry and exit; Julie would not be clipped in if frogs did not exist. I have Sidi mountain bike shoes.

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General Discussion / Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« on: December 08, 2020, 09:39:38 am »
It has been interesting to read the posts.
1. My first tour in 1975 changed my life with each subsequent tour refining who I am.
2. The simplicity of bike travel, the interactions with who you travel with and the kindness of strangers that you meet. 
3. The relaxation of camping. Having a cup of camp coffee on a chilly morning


To hikerjer: I will soon be 70. Slowing down for me, as you wish to do, has come with age, but only enough to keep it fun.

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General Discussion / Re: It's the time of the season.
« on: November 09, 2020, 07:11:36 am »
After reading my reply to you, I realized I could have done better to make my point. Without digging myself into a deeper hole I should won't belabor any further response. My eyes also deceived me as I thought I saw a link to a video, not just youtube. Thank you for your response. I should have done better. Your response is appreciated.

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General Discussion / Re: It's the time of the season.
« on: November 02, 2020, 08:29:11 pm »
Westinghouse:  My wife and I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2016; we did the TransAmerica bike route in 2018 (my second cross country ride) Going light weight is admirable. I always try but I am not always successful. On the AT I watched people hike over Mt. Rogers in shorts and T-shirts in a snowstorm on May 5th because they sent their cold weather clothing home in Damascus, Va (we were warm and dry in our rain jackets and pants on what unexpectedly turned out to be an 10-hour 20-mile walk that day). Many smelled badly from wearing the same t-shirt for many days. I watched guys eat Top Ramen after soaking in a zip lock back and cold water for 5 or ten minutes to save the weight of a stove. I also saw people with light weight packs sagging down to their butts,  irritating the skin of their shoulders, then claim their pack was less than 20 pounds. Despite what I just said, I will watch the video you posted. Thanks for sending.

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General Discussion / Re: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« on: October 22, 2020, 10:29:21 am »
I’ve hit squirrels, prairie dogs, snakes and dogs, but what scares me are deer. I look for them diligently.

I had a friend and neighbor killed by a deer last May. I understand you concern. Moose are in the same category of concern.

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General Discussion / Re: A Bicycle Chain
« on: September 30, 2020, 10:45:36 am »
Figaro, your method probably works. I could go longer on a chain, even fully loaded. We did the TransAm in 2018, swapping chains in Newton, KS. Probably not needed but peace of mind. Two replacement chains does seem a bit excessive.

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