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Messages - aggie

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Rocky Mountain / Re: Vehicle parking near Missoula
« on: January 11, 2024, 06:05:39 pm »
There is an airport with long term parking.

General Discussion / Re: LA Union station to Santa Monica
« on: November 24, 2023, 01:10:07 pm »
The best way is to take LA Metro.  You will have to transfer once but is better and easier than trying to ride to Santa Monica.

Routes / Re: Southern Route in sections
« on: September 09, 2023, 11:12:37 am »
I did it in sections several years ago.  I chose the stop/start locations based on where Amtrak had baggage service so I could easily ship my bike.  Some of the start/stop locations required a little detour off the route but usually not much.  It was a good way to fit in the ride while I was still working and plan it during times when the weather was closer to ideal.   

Cycling Events / Nevada Portion of Wesern Express
« on: August 04, 2023, 11:08:13 am »
There is a fully supported ride on the Nevada portion of the Western Express.  The organizer had done the ride for the last 31 years but he is retiring and this may be the last year he does this ride (it is called OATBRAN).  He also did 2 rides around Lake Tahoe but he is retiring so he sold the rights to those rides to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society so they will be doing those rides in the future.  If you ever wanted a fully supported ride to see the wide open vistas of Nevada on Hwy 50 this year may be your last chance.

The ACA maps have a little bit of information on hotels along the route.  I did the Southern Tier as self supported and stayed in hotels along the way.  I would use the ACA maps and google maps to see what options were available as I was riding the route.  I would usually make a reservation a day or two in advance.  Nice to have a sag vehicle so if a problem arises it can pick you to stay in the next town and then bring you back to where you got picked.

The day I couldn’t make the needed miles was just before Langtry, TX.  Strong headwinds and awful chipseal made for shorter mileage day.  With a sag vehicle you should do great.

FYI  Unable to find the book.  The web store isn't taking orders and I'm not able to find any store/website that has it.

General Discussion / Re: Cell phone data
« on: March 23, 2023, 11:14:34 pm »
I have 8GB and when I use google maps frequently it eats up my allotment.  I have to be careful about how often I look at google maps.  If you are careful you may be able to get by but I would want a little more just to be safe.  You might be able to get a little more for a couple of billing periods then revert back to 2.  I definitely use the offline ACA maps. 

General Discussion / Re: Return to beginning of ride info
« on: January 13, 2023, 10:44:20 am »
It might be easier to ride to Bangor, ME and rent a car one way.  There a a couple of rental places closer but they may not offer one way rentals.

Gear Talk / Re: Two-wheeled trailer and rumble strips?
« on: November 25, 2022, 11:20:33 am »
I've toured with a two wheeled trailer and rumble strips, while a nuisance, weren't all that bad.  Drivers tended to give me more room and yes I had to ride a little further into the road.  Of course, I attached a bright pool noodle to the top of the trailer that stuck out from the trailer.  Seemed to work nicely and I don't remember any angry drivers on that trip.   I also had a couple of flashing rear light to make extra sure they saw me. 

General Discussion / Re: Highway 20 on East-West axis across North Florida.
« on: November 17, 2022, 09:53:02 am »
I rode Hwy 98 a few years back going west to east.  I picked it up in Pensacola and rode it to Perry on my way to St. Augustine.  I really enjoyed the ride.  The only section I disliked was between Navarre and Destin.  It didn’t have much of a shoulder in the towns and they were doing construction so parts had no shoulder.  Really heavy traffic.  Other than in the cities the was usually a wide shoulder and very little traffic.  I did take hwy 319 through Sopchoppy.  Almost no traffic.  There is a nice bike trail from Wakulla to the St. Marks historic railroad state trail that will take you into Tallahassee.  Would definitely ride it again.

General Discussion / No moderators?
« on: August 19, 2022, 10:05:08 am »
Are there no moderators for the regional forums?   There is a reported post in the California forum about a Chinese mining company.  Clearly not appropriate yet it hasn’t been removed.  This is a duplicate post that was removed from other forums. 

General Discussion / Re: Big bikes on Amtrak?
« on: August 14, 2022, 11:13:50 am »
On a recent trip on Amtrak I had to remove the front wheel so it would fit in the bike box.  When I removed the wheel it lowered the stem so I just had to turn the handlebars.  I wrapped my pedals and zip tied them to the frame.  Same with the front wheel.  There were no issues shipping it and because Amtrak charges a bike fee for each train it was actually cheaper to by the box and pay the baggage fee than using the roll-on service.  Bike has 2.25 inch tires.  On the trip out i no problem using the roll-on service. 

Routes / Re: Western Express versus TransAmerica
« on: August 11, 2022, 01:45:53 pm »
Sounds like you will be doing the WE in late July/early August.  This will be the hottest time of the year.  There are literally no services between the small towns.  Once you leave Milford you will need to carry all the water you will need until you reach the next town which can be over 100 miles.  Water stops become more available once you reach Austin,NV.  This route is doable but just expect it to be very hot and dry. 

As John mentions the prevailing winds tend to be out of the West but I have ridden it in late September when the winds were out of the east.  The scenery will be very different from the rest of the TA.  Once you reach Nevada you can expect to climb 2-4 passes each day.  Nothing particularly steep.

In addition to everything mentioned above - be wary of loose gravel.  I was coming down Mt Graham in AZ, wasn’t loaded with gear, had to be doing at least 30 mph just before a hairpin curve.  As I was breaking I hit a patch of gravel.  Not sure of the exact chain of events but front tire went flat - bike and I did a complete flip.  Broke my collarbone and a couple of ribs and my helmet was cracked in 5 places.  Needless to say I am very cautious before entering any hairpin curves.  I slow down well before the curve.

General Discussion / Re: Recent Amtrak experience
« on: June 13, 2022, 11:40:06 am »
Jamawani, thanks for your thoughts. 

An update on my return trip.  Surprisingly it went rather well.  The only “problem” was the sleeper car from Whitefish to Portland.  If you wanted to take a shower forget about it.  There was no hot water and almost no water pressure.  One would think for the extra money you pay for a room they would ensure the car provided all the services they advertise.  The route from Spokane to Portland doesn’t have a dining car so all they had was a very meager microwaveable “rubberized “ breakfast food.  Again not worth the extra expense.  Everything was shipped boxed and shipped from Whitefish.  The staff member was very friendly and helpful.  Everything including my bike arrived in Fullerton no problem.  The staff at Fullerton weren’t happy about my boxed bike.  It appears they were too lazy to use their motorized cart to pick up the baggage and used a regular luggage cart.  It worked but they weren’t to happy.  Again why does the Amtrak website state this station has bike boxes but actively discourage anyone from buying or using one. 

The equipment on Amtrak’s long distance routes is antiquated and increasingly run down.  They appear to neglect theses routes in favor of the east coast routes more visible to politicians and the public.  It’s too bad no one from Amtrak or our politicians will ever see these posts.

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