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Messages - aggie

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Hwy 33 is a pretty good road since most of it doesn't have a lot of traffic.  However it does have quite a bit near PCH as it is a limited access hwy that doesn't permit bicycles.  You might want to look at using hwy 150 to connect to 33.  Near PCH it is Rincon Road.  I haven't ridden it but it will save you from going further south on PCH to connect to 33.   Once you get on Lockwood Valley Road there is even less road traffic.  When you get to I5 there is a frontage road that you can take (going south) until you get to hwy 138 that will take you Palmdale. 

Routes / Re: Cycling around Lake Tahoe
« on: May 29, 2010, 10:28:30 am »
It is approximately 70 miles by road around Lake Tahoe.  It can easily be done in one day and there are plenty of places to stop for refreshments.  I like to travel in a clockwise direction.  This prevents having to make a left across some busy highways (especially hwy 50).  The weather at that time of year should be pretty good.  The mornings will be cool, low 40's, but the afternoon should see temps in the 60's or 70's. 

Gear Talk / Re: Sunscreen
« on: May 22, 2010, 09:17:11 pm »
I can't use anything other than a zinc/titanium oxide cream.  Anything else including Water Babies and I get hives.  I found a brand in CVS pharmacies that works well.  Offhand I can't remember the name but it has a blue lizard on the front and says it is for sensitive skin.  I didn't find that it was overly difficult to wash off. 

I've tried just about everything that says it is for sensitive skin but they don't work for me.  I was fine when they had PABA but the new formulations just don't work for me.  The last time I used one that was for sensitive skin I had hives so bad I ended up at the doctors office. 

I'm not familiar with the Woods Line state trail so I can't comment on it.  I'm familiar with the 395 from Reno to Southern California.  When I drive up to Tahoe I like to take the 395.

Between Reno and Carson City you may want to check out the following website to see where bicycles are prohibited  South of Carson the road is pretty good and it generally (but not always) has a wide shoulder (although the state has installed rumble strips).  There are several campgrounds along the way and in other areas you could probrobly camp out of site of the road and no one will bother you.  The scenery is pretty good until you get close to Ridgecrest when it really becomes what is called high desert.  You will also find at least 2 good sized climbs.

There is one 30 mile stretch I don't recommend because of high traffic and no shoulder.  That is between Kramer Junction (Hwy 58) and Victorville.  

I would take the San Gabriel River Trail up to Foothill Blvd.  Then head west on surface streets until you get to Hwy 2.  The river trail is pretty good but I'm not familiar with the surface streets needed to get you to the 2.

Your other option is to take the Santa Ana River trail (with detours) until you get to San Bernardino and then take the 330 up Big Bear.

In the west riding on the interstate is generally permissible outside of urban areas.  Usually as you approach an urban area there will be a sign directing cyclists to leave the interstate.  Here are a couple of web sites for New Mexico and Arizona where you can find some info on the state's roads.

I know Nevada has a site but not sure what of the address and I'd bet that Utah has one as well.  On a personal note I wasn't too impressed with the roads in Utah.  They use a lot of chip seal and it makes for a very rough ride.

It is possible to do 70 miles/day but there will be days when that will be a stretch depending on you average speed due to climbing.  If you leave San Diego on the Southern Tier, it is a pretty much uphill for the first 50 miles with some 8% grades.  Also August is one of the hottest months.  After you leave the mountains outside of San Diego it will be very hot during the day until you get to Colorado.  If you start riding at 6 am (0600) and ride until 1 pm (1300) with short stops you should be able to do 70 miles.  Make sure to carry lots of water, refill every chance you get, and wear a good sun screen (don't forget your nose and ears).  I suggest you obtain the ACA maps (if you haven't already) as they will give you the particulars on the route.

If you want to save a couple of days follow Hwy 89 in Utah north, don't turn off at Mt Carmel Junction, until you join with the Western Express.  It is a pretty good road with several places to stop.  It will save you from making a loop.  You will miss Zion National Park but it will save you some time.

For bike info check out the forum on gear talk.  Lots of info on various bikes.

I've ridden in AZ in July and it is hot but doable if you are willing to tolerate the heat.  I suggest starting to ride at first light or a little earlier if you have a light and then stop for the day around 1 pm (1300).  When you get near the Navajo Nation I highly recommend you do not ride at night (if that is your intention).  I would recommend at least 3 water bottles and a Camelback.  This should allow you to carry enough water to reach a fresh water supply.  I recommend stopping at each location to refill any empty water bottles as there are some areas where the water stops may be 70 miles apart. 

As was mentioned earlier do a search for information that has been previously posted about riding in Arizona (Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, etc).

Routes / Re: Seeking advice, Yosemite to SF
« on: April 18, 2010, 10:21:18 pm »
Some locals may have a better route.  I find there aren't many roads that go east-west from Yosemite to SF and the coast. 

This route might work for you.  It does have some climbing but a lot of it is on low traffic rural roads.  From Yosemite take 140 through Mariposa.  After Mariposa take a right on J16 (Hornitos rd).  Follow this through Hornitos and Merced Falls until you get to Snelling.  Then take 59 until J17 (Turlock Rd.)  Take J17 to Patterson and the I5.  Go under I5 and take a right on Del Puerto Canyon Rd. (130).   This becomes San Antonio Valley Rd and will take you into San Jose.  At this point there are some bike maps that should get you to SF.  A local may be able to give you the best route up to SF.

Gear Talk / Re: What's your favorite 100 mile unweighted bike?
« on: April 18, 2010, 02:28:39 pm »
I've used my Trek 5200 for 100+ non-loaded riding and been very happy.  I'm significantly faster than on my touring bike.

I have couplers on my bike and love them.  I only check them about once a week but once they are tightened the first time I've never had to re-tighten them.  The only down side is riding in the rain.  If you plan to ride in the rain you either need fenders or you have to take them apart to drain the water from the downtube.  I rode in the rain once without fenders and found about 4 ounces of water in the downtube.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring Shoes, Cleat Selection and Toe Clip Survey
« on: April 08, 2010, 11:05:16 am »
I don't notice much of a difference in comfort between my sandals and mtn bike shoe.  It really depends on weather.  When I was biking through TX and LA last July the sandals were far more comfortable due to the heat and humidity.  

Gear Talk / Re: Touring Shoes, Cleat Selection and Toe Clip Survey
« on: April 06, 2010, 02:02:58 pm »
I use specialized mountain bike shoes with spd cleats.  I also use the keen sandals with spd cleats.  If I wear shoes that are too tight I get hot foot.  These shoes allow my feet enough room while remaining snug enough to ride comfortably. 

Routes / Re: San Diego to East Coast Route advice
« on: April 06, 2010, 01:56:55 pm »
While parts of the Southern Tier are desert it isn't unrideable.  I rode through AZ in July and while it was hot I took precautions to avoid any problems.  If you are used to heat then it shouldn't be unbearable. 

Routes / Re: San Diego to East Coast Route advice
« on: April 05, 2010, 02:01:34 pm »
The Grand Canyon connector to the Western Express would be a good route.  You'll have an opportunity to see several spectacular national parks along this route.  If I had the time I'd take the following route: Southern tier to Grand Canyon connector to Western Express to Trans Am to Great Rivers to Southern Tier to Atlantic Coast.  This will give plenty of variety both of scenery and life styles (cultures). 

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