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Messages - LouMelini

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General Discussion / Re: Statistics on cross country tourers
« on: September 18, 2018, 09:32:01 am »
My wife Julie and I thru-hiked the Appalachian trail (AT) in 2016. We were 2 of approximately 900+ hikers that thru-hiked the trail that year,(a 20-25% completion rate of those that start). The number reported on this forum I believe is way off the mark. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) uses a volunteer registration and reporting method to obtain statistics; 1. the number that have hiked the trail even over several years 2. the number of thru-hikers having hiked the trail within one year of starting which is approximately the number of "2000-milers". The ATC currently states in the FAQ'S that 15,000 people have ever hiked the AT in their estimate. The numbers are further broken down by age, sex etc. For example, I hiked the trail at age 65 knowing that 3% of the thru-hikers are over 60. Given that the AT is part of the National Park system, I do not know if the statistics help with funding. In 2018 Julie and I biked the entire TransAmerica (TA) bike route. In Virginia it is requested on the TA maps to sign a register in Virginia that would help gather numbers to help with funding in that state. A voluntary reporting system would be interesting for the Adventure Cycling Association to initiate.

General Discussion / Re: What state is your favorite to ride in?
« on: June 13, 2017, 10:55:09 pm »
We have traveled in Washington, Wisconsin, Utah (where we are from), Idaho, & parts of western Montana.  Wisconsin has the most bike friendly population with rural roads sparsely driven by cars. Washington is good, with Utah, Idaho and Montana good choices depending on the road one travels on.

General Discussion / Re: Bike touring safety... USA...
« on: April 28, 2017, 10:59:09 pm »
Chris: You live in Wisconsin the most bike friendly touring state, at least in my opinion. My wife is originally from Manitowoc, Wisconsin. We have traveled over 2000 miles in Wisconsin during 2 tours. Do a tour there before your cross country trip to gain confidence. Your 1-10 scale would be at an 8 in our experience that would also include trips in Washington, Utah, Idaho, Montana and the Canadian Rockies. We sleep well at night. In Wisconsin I would rate touring a 10. I use Adventure Cycling Association maps as the "backbone" of most of our trips. Though there are no guarantees, you may find them helpful to put you on safer routes. You will also run into other cyclists using these routes which will provide a bit of comfort knowing others are on the same route. That's my 2 cents. Congrats on your Appalachian trail thru-hike. Julie and I completed a thru hike of the AT in 2016.

Louis and Julie Melini

Gear Talk / Re: Touring without fenders - big mistake?
« on: September 04, 2015, 08:14:31 pm »
Sorry, I am a bit late with this reply but I had to bring up that fenders help with stuff on the road besides rain. Coming over a Montana summit my wife and I smelled something horrible. As we crested, the 3rd trailer with cows entered the road spewing a lot of excrement. Fortunately they turned off the road after about 1/2 mile, but it was a nasty riding 1/2 mile. With cars coming in the oncoming lane, there was little to do but try to (impossibly) avoid the mess. I spent quite a bit of time cleaning the underside of the fenders, and little else.

General Discussion / Re: What's an 'average' day?
« on: August 10, 2015, 10:50:13 pm »
You have been given a lot of very good advice. The only advice I can add is that your mileage may be determined by where you are spending the night, wild camping, motels, campgrounds, warmshowers, etc may influence your mileage.

General Discussion / Re: What can towns offer cyclists?
« on: August 10, 2015, 10:28:12 pm »
Becky: Thank you for asking this question. You have received some great advice. My wife and I have approximately 9,000 miles of bike travel together over the past 10 years. We are now 64 and 57 and still prefer to camp. We seek out campgrounds (state parks, KOA, Good Sam, etc) with our primary need being a shower. A grassy spot with shade, a picnic table and if the weather is inclement, some type of shelter that may be used by the campground community are nice amenities. We are willing to pay a reasonable rate with $15-$35 being the range we have experienced. We have been turned away I believe on 2 occasions, which is really a problem if one has been riding for 6 hours or more and there isn't a convenient alternative. So it would be nice if the campgrounds (public or private) in Pittsburg, Kansas had a small area of grass, preferably with a picnic table to accommodate traveling cyclists that will come in late afternoon/early evening because of our method of travel. We could call ahead but sometimes we just don't know how far we will be traveling that day due to weather, wind and perhaps fatigue. Knowing that we are always welcome and would be accommodated would be the one wish we  had. Thank you-   Louis and Julie Melini

General Discussion / Re: New York to San Francisco Ride
« on: April 06, 2015, 09:56:10 pm »
To save money, you may want to join vs. motels.

I just finished the IHSMBR:  Many thanks to whoever was responsible for cutting the trail above the road washout. Great route; I have a lot of road touring experience so the IHSMBR was harder than I expected but I hope to do it again some day.

Louis Melini

Gear Talk / Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« on: January 20, 2014, 09:40:59 pm »
PDLamb gave great advice. My wife and I exclusively use 3-person tents (REI or Big Agnes) for bike touring. For the extra pound (or less over a 2-person tent) we have much more moving about space and headroom. However I am just under 5'6" and my wife is a bit shorter so I use the length of the tent for storing gear. At 6'2" you will need the length to be comfortable. I would look at the  head room and length of the tent and not worry so much about weight. I doubt if you will find this in a one-person tent. Perhaps you will.

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