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Messages - aggie

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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.

General Discussion / Re: Recent Amtrak experience
« on: June 10, 2022, 10:35:16 am »
I have to agree on the excuses all businesses are giving for their p-poor customer service.  Convenient excuse to ignore customers - just take their money.

Unfortunately for this trip I injured my knee so I am forced to go home early.  I will be checking my bike in Whitefish all the way home.  We will see what happens when the boxed bike arrives in LA Union Station for transfer to the Surfliner.

General Discussion / Recent Amtrak experience
« on: June 08, 2022, 07:35:07 pm »
I made reservations for a trip from Fullerton, CA to Whitefish, MT about six months ago unaware of changes Amtrak has made to taking a bicycle on this route.

I was informed there wasn’t carry on service from Portland on train 28 so bike needed to be boxed.  I was not aware boxed bicycles are no longer available on the Pacific Surfliner.  I was told to carry it on and box it in Los Angeles (couldn’t even box it myself as the train doesn’t take them). The train from Fullerton was a little late so when I arrived in LA I was told there wasn’t time to box it and get it on the train so I carried it on again.  I was told I could box it in Portland - wrong.  Again told I couldn’t box it.  They made an exception and let me carry it on if I signed a damage waiver (no damage).  I was also told they don’t check baggage to Whitefish.  Yet when I got there they had baggage service.  At every station I was told something that didn’t happen at the next station.  Changes made because of Covid has negatively affected their service.

Don’t get me wrong I love traveling by train and have taken many trips.  Although I am not sure I will use them again.  Maybe less of a hassle flying.

Gear Talk / Re: Trek Domane AL5 Suitable for Touring
« on: May 02, 2022, 11:25:00 am »
Old Man Mountain has a rack that attaches to a thru axle.  If the Domane has thru axles you should be able to get racks for the front and rear.  Old Man Mountain sells the thru axles you can order at the time you order the racks.  They claim you can put up to 70 lbs on the thru axle mounted rack.

I was out riding within 6 weeks after my replacement.  Did physical therapy to get range of motion back and keep from losing too much muscle.  Did a 3week tour 4 months after. 

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