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Messages - aggie

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Rocky Mountain / Re: Fry Canyon Lodge
« on: January 19, 2011, 09:29:44 am »
I forgot to mention that there is a hotel in Bullfrog with an ok restaurant.

Routes / Re: Getting Across The Desert
« on: January 17, 2011, 10:31:35 am »
Getting through Death Valley in the summer is doable but it is bound to be very hot during the day (110 F) and as a general rule isn't advised.  You will need the ability to carry lots of water. 

If you insist in going through Death Valley (it got that name for a reason) I recommend the following route.  From Yosemite NP take the 120 east to the 395 south (you may want to take a look at Mono Lake before heading south).  There will be plenty of stops until to get to just south of Lone Pine and the turn off to Death Valley (136/190).  You can then follow 190 past Furnace Creek  and Badwater (these names should give you a hint of what to expect).  Then take state line road to Pahrump and follow 160 into Las Vegas.  You could then work your way over to Lake Mead  Then take 167 (in the park) past Valley of Fire State Park then connect to 169 which will take you to Interstate 15.  You can then take that north to St. George, Utah.

This isn't a route that has a lot of services.  You can expect it to be very hot and sunny (lots of sunscreen).  It is not a good idea to do it in the summer, especially if you aren't familiar with desert traveling.  You can ride at night with lights to make a little more bearable or ride very early in the day until it gets too hot to ride. 

I've ridden this area and I wouldn't do it in the summer.

Routes / Re: Getting Across The Desert
« on: January 16, 2011, 05:52:00 pm »
What part of Nevada are you planning to cross?  If it is the Western Express Route you can do a search to see what has been said already.  You can do a search by the Route or road number (Hwy 50).

Rocky Mountain / Re: Fry Canyon Lodge
« on: January 16, 2011, 05:43:48 pm »
You may want to take a look at the Hite Marina in the Glen Canyon NRA.  It is listed as having potable water.  You could stop there to get some water.  If open it also has a restaurant/snack bar.  You can check to see if it is open by calling the park headquarters at 928-608-6200.  

You could also stop at Natural Bridges National Monument and get water at the visitors center.  It is right off the 95 before you get to Fry Canyon.  If you get water and decide to go to Monument Valley I recommend you take route 261.  It has a spectacular view of the Valley of the Gods.  It also cuts off some mileage going to Mexican Hat.  There is set of switchbacks that are dirt/gravel going down the mesa but it is a short section and you can walk if it you need to. 

Depending on when you are going you could also take 276 through Bullfrog (part of the NRA and there is an admission fee) and then take the ferry across the lake and hook back up with the 95.  There is a good sized store at Bullfrog as well as camping.  The ferry is closed until sometime in the spring for maintenance so check to see if it has reopened before going that way.  

General Discussion / Re: Brooks saddle: keeping it dry
« on: January 11, 2011, 02:27:09 pm »
The only time I cover my Brooks saddle is if I'm not riding and the bike is sitting in the rain or when I pack and ship the bike.  Since I have fenders I don't worry about it if I ride in the rain. 

Gear Talk / Re: Bike w/panniers Or BOB IBEX Trailer
« on: January 09, 2011, 07:35:33 pm »
I have to disagree with the statement about Bob's being dangerous if they aren't properly loaded.  I use a Bob and don't do anything to to "correctly load" it.  I've never had a problem going downhill even though I've been traveling in excess of 45 mph.  It is interesting to note that Bob's have a sticker that advises the speed not to exceed 25 mph.  I suppose it similar to a rental trailer company that has stickers on their trailers stating they shouldn't exceed 50 mph. 

Most of the people I see on a tour have panniers and I believe the use of a trailer is a personal preference.  I do find that when there is a head wind I can go faster than someone with panniers with less effort.  Also the Bob bag is waterproof and more than once I've rinsed it off in the shower to get the crud off.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier: Dire Need of Help/Tips/Aide
« on: January 08, 2011, 10:54:11 pm »
Because of the weather late March is a good time to do the southern tier.  It shouldn't be either too hot or too cold (although you never can tell with the weather).  Plus you'll get into the humid southeast before the heat and humidity get unbearable.

Routes / Re: Austin to San Diego in April
« on: January 03, 2011, 10:18:34 pm »
April is a good month to do the Southern Tier.  If you get the ACA maps you will see lots of places to camp.  It might be a little cool in the mountains of New Mexico and Arizona but the desert temps shouldn't be too hot.  With the current rains the desert may still be in bloom when you pass through. 

General Discussion / Re: Bike boxes
« on: January 03, 2011, 03:31:51 pm »
I'm not sure I'd want to use an Amtrak box to ship a bike on a plane.  I've used the Amtrak boxes when I travel by train but knowing how they pack a plane I'd be afraid they would load the box in such a way that the wheels could be tweaked (bent).  If I were traveling by plane I'd want a regular box like you can get at any bike shop.  San Diego has a pretty good trolley system that should have stops that are reasonably close to a bike shop.  You should be able to have them box it up.  If it isn't rush hour you should be able to take it on the trolley back to your starting point.  You may have to take a cab to the airport as I don't think they have a line that goes to the airport yet.

Fortunately the Melville Ferry on not on the Southern Tier (ST) Route (at least according to my map).  According to the news reports it will close December 31, 2010.  An another alternate route, the 190 bridge over the river at Krotz Springs, is not that bad.  I've ridden it and it is better than the bridge over the Amistad Reservoir near Del Rio, Tx.  I didn't like staying on 190 over the basin but the old 190 route is a good alternative.  It has little traffic and the road is pretty good.   

The 190 is very busy but at least it has a wide shoulder.  The regular ST route is a much better ride.

General Discussion / Re: Biking Zion, Bryce, GC
« on: December 24, 2010, 11:56:11 am »
It is fairly easy to bike from Zion to Bryce.  Grand Canyon (North Rim) is a at least a 2 to 3 day bike ride away from Zion.  If you want the south rim it is another day or two.  It may be easier to rent a car to go to the Grand Canyon.  ACA maps (Grand Canyon connector) will take you down to the Grand Canyon.

Routes / Re: Alternate Route Through Texas?
« on: December 16, 2010, 02:08:59 pm »
The Southern Tier route doesn't go into Mexico (Juarez).  It does goes through El Paso but it isn't any more dangerous on this part of the route than it is anywhere else. 

General Discussion / Re: Bikes on Trains
« on: December 04, 2010, 01:06:02 pm »
Amtrak sells bike boxes that are big enough for most touring bikes.  All you have to do is remove the pedals and turn/remove the handlebars.  The only place you can get a box or put a boxed bike on a train is at a station that offers baggage service.  I've traveled several times on a train and it is way less hassle than by air.  You can go to the Amtrak website to get a copy of their schedule(s) to see what stations have baggage service.  There have been several posts in this forum so you could do a search on "Amtrak" to see what others have said before.

General Discussion / Re: The Zion NP - Bryce Canyon Route Tell me More!
« on: December 02, 2010, 11:05:30 am »
I rode a big loop through the National Parks (Zion, Bryce, Capital Reef, Glenn Canyon, Natural Bridges, Monument Valley) in Southern Utah in October.  For the most part the weather was good.  However it got very cold in Bryce overnight.  It got down to 32 degrees F so it made for some very cold early morning riding.  The weather then warmed up to the mid 60's.  All the parks are fairly close so it is possible to stay in the park campgrounds each night.  September may be slightly better for weather.  The only thing I didn't like about Utah were the roads.  They use a lot of chipseal.  Other than Texas they seem to use it more than just about anywhere else I've ridden. 

Zion is nice but you have to rely on the kindness of the rangers (or other folks) to get you through the tunnel.  The only road I didn't like was from Mexican Hat to Kayenta.  The road is narrow with lots of RV traffic.  There is also a trail of beer bottles and cans from Mexican Hat to Kayenta.  On hwy 261 just before you go through the switchbacks down (dirt road at this point) there is a awesome view of the Valley of the Gods.  (The switchbacks are steep and narrow and this is the only part that isn't paved. Maybe about 1 mile)

General Discussion / Re: TRANSPORTING A BIKE ON A BUS
« on: November 28, 2010, 06:29:59 pm »
You should take a look at the train.  You can catch the Canadian Via Railway.  They charge $20 to ship a bike.  That will take you from Ottawa to Montreal.  You can then catch Amtrak from Montreal to NYC.  It's way better than a bus.

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