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Messages - Nyimbo

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Routes / Re: Route ideas for touring in my 5 northern missing states
« on: January 18, 2022, 03:53:09 pm »
In the past couple years, I have thought from time to time that the idea of a route encompassing these 5 remaining states on my list would be a good idea, but this is the first time I have done so in front of the computer and maps - looking to see if it is possible or wise etc. Thanks for the ideas.  I just spent the last couple hours trying to the 2 suggested routes above.

Here are my first takes after 2 hours mapping. 
Starting my trip from my son's house in Washington is a better idea if I board the Amtrak there.  I quickly realized don't have enough time to do another cross country at this time.  But Amtrak from Washington to ND looks good.  John why did you suggest Minot - Just curious?  It looks like bikes are allowed to board at both in Minot and Williston.

Second thought I'd probably be happy to take the Ferry and ride to Sleeping Bear Dunes and end the ride there. I can and leave the extra sight seeing in Salt St. Marie to another trip.  My wife and I are planning to vacation in the Upper Peninsula the summer after she retires anyway.

I do enjoy the bike paths and rail trails.  I thoroughly enjoyed the Kathy trail, the GAP and the C&O, as well as one I am forgetting the name of out of Cincinnati.

Last, is Mount Rushmore worth a detour to see on bicycle?

Routes / Re: Route ideas for touring in my 5 northern missing states
« on: January 18, 2022, 12:56:22 pm »
For my purposes I am talking about having visited even briefly.  For example years ago I was driving across Arkansas from Jonesboro to Fayetteville. When I reached Fort Smith I detoured West into Ok and over to hwy 59, I turned north and had lunch in Stilwell then continued north back into Arkansas to Fayetteville.  That was probably only 2 hours, but I do count it.

Routes / Route ideas for touring in my 5 northern missing states
« on: January 18, 2022, 03:22:37 am »
I haven't chimed in for quite awhile but still here following the discussions. I'm thinking about tour ideas for next summers riding season.  There are 5 remaining states in the USA that I have never been to.  North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan.  I am thinking perhaps I might  incorporate these last 5 states into a tour. 

I have ridden through a couple states making up my own route with no problems but even so I would prefer to stay on established routes where I can take advantage of the ACA maps and more often encounter other riders to visit with.  Any ideas of a nice route.

I can see having two places to start depending on how much time I decide to take.  I have a son who lives in Kennewick, WA  I could start there. It wouldn't take much arm twisting to get my wife to go visit the grandkids and deliver me and my bicycle to a starting point pretty close to the Lewis and Clark route.  I could then ride east following the route to the Dakotas.  The shorter option if I can't budget as much time would be if I could take Amtrak's Empire Builder and depart at an appropriate station closer to North Dakota.  From there what do you think might be the a great route to enjoy Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan without too much backtracking.

General Discussion / Re: Hillbilly dogs
« on: August 23, 2021, 08:57:07 pm »
I rode W-E on the TransAm from Oregon to Colorado and then in Eastern Colorado I veered off north to continue across on the the EasternExpress route.  I did not do so to avoid dogs or to avoid riding the more difficult E mountains sections. I did so because I wanted to experience the Katy trail and I wanted to pass through St Louis and Cincinnati to visit some family along the way.  I had mixed feelings about the EasternExpress. I thoroughly enjoyed both the Katy trail and the GAP and C&O. I think experiencing those two well known trails made it worth the trade off of missing the Eastern half of the TA.  I also quite enjoyed my ride across Ohio.  From St Louis to Cincinnati was the the least favorite section of the whole ride. (Well that and about 40 mile of wind swept Southern Wyoming.)
BTW Staehpj1 my worst ever dog experience was also the California Central Valley.

1) What is the best mobile network as I would like to buy a US SIM for Iphone.  Any suggestions on network or SIM only deals with lots of data?

I agree with Pat, Verizon still has best coverage across the country but AT&T isn’t much behind and T-mobile which is the 3rd network, has made huge progress in its filling in missing areas of coverage in the past 2 years. I feel it covers about equal with AT&T now.  3 years ago I bought a Cricket sim card with unlimited data for approx $30 per month. Cricket uses the ATT network, and gives you a slower top speed but I found it very fine throughout the tour.  I didn’t stream a lot of video but I did stream a lot of audio - music, pods and baseball games and it was great. I had a few audio books downloaded to the phone to use in undercovered areas to keep me entertained.

Gear Talk / Re: Finding a Touring Bike 2021
« on: May 12, 2021, 02:26:35 pm »
I am in search of a bike for a few planned road tours.  After receiving notice of the Trek 520 not being available last year, I chose to hold off to wait for a bike to become available this year.  Now I am told that one a 520 will not be available until late 2022 or later...

I recently (4 months back) purchased a Trek 520. My local bike shop said it would be 9 months back order so I went to the web page and clicked on my size and then put in my zip code and the told the search to show only stores with bike in stock. It showed me about 6 stores within 3 hours with stock.I just now did a test and input size 54 then added a zip code for Los Angles and the site gave me two stores with a 54cm 520 in stock in Southern CA.  So check it out for your size frame and your part of the country -if a 520 is what you want.  I also found my local REI had touring bikes in stock.

You mentioned the keyboard/trackpad on the iPad, I wondered if you have tried an Apple Pencil with RWGPS?  I don't know if it works - I'm just wondering/

Classifieds / Re: FS Trek 520 54 CM Red - New Condition
« on: April 07, 2021, 08:27:23 pm »
I may have ridden this bike??? I test rode a 520 54cm at the Sacramento Trek store in (I forget date for sure) Oct or Nov) this past year.  It was a nice bike and almost bought it, but then I test rode a 520 Grando at a Trek store in the Bay Area and bought it instead. 

If it is new this is a good price as it was selling for $1675 in Nov and the price went up in 2021 to $1775.00.

Good Luck with your sale.

General Discussion / Re: To all who 'do' Easter - Happy Easter.
« on: April 05, 2021, 04:54:56 pm »

Gear Talk / Re: Kickstand love it or leave it?
« on: April 05, 2021, 04:50:49 pm »
    I would not argue that everyone should use one, but for me it is important.  Usually the first comment I read when this is discussed is, "There is usually something to lean the bike on and if not it is safe to lie the bike on its side."
But the most important reason for me to use a kickstand is in taking pictures with my bike in the photo.  I take lots of pictures so I will stop and take several of a scene with different angles and so on and I like to finish with one or two shots of the scene with my bike in it.  In these stops where I am stopping along the road I am riding on, there is usually not a place to lean the bike. Often there is a fence but it is likely 10-20 feet across the weeds or brush to the fence.  Taking a picture with my bike laying on its side on the ground is not a pleasing picture for me.  Looking for a branch to prop it up is a pain, so on my touring bike I use a kickstand. 
--Even for the rest of the day I find it convenient to use.

Others on the forum will perhaps give you more specific and accurate advice.  But I'll just start by saying that starting in Southern CA in August may not be wise unless you are very experienced and know how to travel well in heat and desert and even then probably not in August.  Starting in Santa Monica only delays the heat for a day or maybe two before you hit the desert. 

Without knowing any of your details I'll say this.  If you are arriving in LA for other purposes and therefore it is your default starting place, then perhaps you should take the train north to a cooler starting place.  San Francisco would be better by a small amount.  At least once you reach the desert in Carson City it is high desert and the elevation reduces the temp and is a bit cooler than in the southern NV and Arizona.  Further north is better you could depart the train in Eugene and start directly on the TransAmerica route.  If you require the ocean for a coast to coast it would be a 2 day ride to get to the ocean and back again to Eugene or a bus ride if one is available. 

Congrats, glad it worked out.

General Discussion / Re: how steep is the grade of the Golden Gate Bridge
« on: February 23, 2021, 03:33:13 am »
I've ridden across a few times, and should mention that the the problem is not only the the bicycles but even more so just the number of tourist including families with kids, walking across the bridge.  It is a ride you have to be careful and slow on the bike.  There is a mild grade but not significant.  I was not riding a loaded touring bike but was just riding in the city for a day ride and enjoyed a jaunt over to Sausalito and Mill Valley since I lived there for a couple years many years ago.  By the way, all of the pedestrian and bicycle traffic is on the E side of the bridge (most all the tourist company bicycles are traveling north across the bridge from SF to Sausalito and they come back to the city on the ferry). 

Both times I went across I made the return ride back to the city on the W (the ocean side) of the bridge, because the west side was only open during the late afternoon and it was also only open for bicycles -no pedestrians allowed on that side.  If I'm not mistaken it was open in the afternoons to help with bicycle commuters.    Like Hikerjer I have not been down for a couple years.  But since you reminded me, I think I should take a day in the City again as soon as Covid allows.

Cheers Nyimbo

So did you find a 520 available for a more timely purchase?  Just curious if it worked out for you.  Nyimbo

are you happy with the bike?
have you been able to try climbs under load?
As a Kansas guy very curious about the climb gearing . . . I hear it is quite good.


No, I haven't spent much time on it.  I rode it several times for day rides in December as we had a very mild weather (maybe 100 miles in total) but just rode it around local instead of riding my regular road bike. January turned raining and cold so have not ridden since then. 
I purchased the 520 Grando and it does not have the same gear ratio as the red 520 with the triple.  I liked that model for some reason not worth mentioning here but, the mechanic at the trek shop said he will set me up with a new cassette that will get me to where I want to be.  (currently the 520 Grando has a lowest gear inches of 21.4). The basic 520 with the triple has 20 gear inches "I think". 
So it depends on your age and fitness etc, if you will be happy with 21 or 20 or if you are a retired old guy like me you will love that extra low gear when traveling loaded in the mountains.

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