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Messages - HobbesOnTour

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106
My ride is now taking shape... I've booked my flights and have 89 days to to LA from Boston via Nashville..... taking in some places along the way that were significant to Johnny Cash....
I'll be wanting a SIM card for three months with a decent data allowance to keep my blog going and be able to get in contact with warm showers hosts, google maps etc.....
Any recommendations for a SIM deal for Johnny Foreigner visiting the USA please?...

Hi John, wondering if you have any feedback on your choice(s). I'll be in a similar situation to you shortly.

Many thanks

107
Routes / Re: Southern Tier, Heading West, Novemberish...
« on: August 12, 2019, 05:54:20 am »
Thanks all.

It looks like I'll be following the Southern Tier from about New Orleans as far as Del Rio, Tx. Then I'll cross the border and head approximately south and west to hit the coast after the Devil's Backbone.

 Any and all suggestions welcome  ;D

108
General Discussion / Re: Tire pressure
« on: August 01, 2019, 03:31:07 am »
I'm far from an expert on tyre pressures but I do recall reading of a loaded tourer being advised not to fill his tyres to maximum as this added extra stress to the rim,increasing the chance of splitting the rim.

Sorry, I can't supply a link - I think it was on CGOAB. The idea is worth considering, any way.

Personally, I choose comfort over speed and tend to believe that the middle of the road approach works well to most aspects of cycle touring - except for road positioning  ;D



109
GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: ACA gpx on Wahoo?
« on: July 28, 2019, 01:50:46 pm »
That's clearer.

If you have the RWGPS app on your phone, can you open it and see the route?
If you have the appropriate sub on RWGPS can you navigate the route on the app?
If you have the appropriate sub on RWGPS can you download the gpx file? If so, you could try renaming the file, importing it into the app, syncing the unit and then using the unit. (of course, if you have the original gpx file that would be better)

After that, I don't know what else to do.

Without meaning to be insulting, are you sure you have loaded the route correctly on the unit?
Maybe try loading a totally different route, starting it then reloading the one you want.

Have you ever had this problem before?


110
GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: ACA gpx on Wahoo?
« on: July 28, 2019, 05:40:03 am »
How have you put the gpx on the Elemnt? By cable? Through the app? Have you tried loading the route in Komoot or RideWithGPS first and syncing the unit? Loading a gpx file directly to the app or unit will not give turn by turn directions, only a breadcrumb trail. That's why you'd use something like Komoot or RWGPS.

Where are you in relation to the route?

Finally, have you checked that the underlying maps are actually loaded on the unit? You'll see that in the app.

111
General Discussion / Re: Dealing with boredom on long bicycle trip
« on: July 06, 2019, 04:55:42 am »
Maybe that's the problem...we are in 'training' mode and waking up, having breakfast and then biking 20-25 miles and then back in the house by 9:30 AM, before it gets too hot and really not taking breaks, along the way......It seems to me  my body doesn't like stop and go and stop and go and stop and go.....I might need an attitude adjustment

I think this is significant.

I always cringe a little when people talk of training for a bike tour, because it normally means following a training regime that is all about mileage.
I prefer to think in terms of practising. Doing the things I will be doing on tour, only some of which is cycling.
 
To me cycle touring is not about the distances - it's about what happens in between.
In my experience the part of the body that needs to be most prepared is not the butt or the leg muscles (although it obviously helps if they're road ready), but the brain.

I think on some level you're recognising this. Yes, you probably do need an attitude adjustment simply because for the few weeks of your tour, your normal life, and it constraints are very different. That deserves a different attitude to make the most of it.

Instead of getting up early and clocking up 25 miles, take breakfast with you and cycle somewhere specifically to have a nice picnic breakfast. Or in the evening. Or overnight to an inn or a friend. It might mean less "cycle" training, but more "tour" practising.

I refer to it as my "touring head". When my "touring head" is on, everything is different. The differences is particularly noticeable in the decisions made with my "Touring head" on as opposed to off.

As to your original question, I've never been bored when away on the bike. There is always something to do, even if that is nothing except taking a moment to appreciate where I am. Some people find that very hard to do.

Travelling with a Significant Other can be great when you are both on the same wavelength. I've had wonderful days cycling with someone - sometimes long, hard days, other very short where the afternoon was spent having a few drinks and playing cards.

Time on the bike varies. I stop every hour, hour and a half. That might be 5 minutes, it might be an hour or longer. It all depends on what I want to do at that time. I reckon my average "riding time" in a day is probably 5-6 hours, but I'm en route for maybe 8-10 hours. That works for me. The trick is to find what works for you.

Good luck!

 








112
General Discussion / Re: First tour in Europe- bike suggestions
« on: July 03, 2019, 03:21:41 am »
You must be getting sick of me by now :D


How much of my money could I get back?  How quickly could I sell it?   If I knew I could sell the bike easily-- and for a decent percentage of what I paid-- I'd feel more comfortable spending more. 

Time is your enemy.
If you want to sell your bike, it will really only be practical where they speak English. That means the UK, NL, possibly Belgium and less likely France. Possibly Germany.
If you want to use a local second hand site expect problems without an address. Possible, but more complicated - again language is an issue. Lack of local phone will also be an issue.

Best bet is to bring to a bike shop - and get a nominal price. Sorry.
Of course, if you have local contacts/family who can sell on your behalf, that's different.

Or, if your plans allow it, a decent amount of time in your final destination to give you time to sell the bike. But that's most likely a big city - expensive.

In other words, the more you spend, the less likely you are to get your money back.

It strikes me that there are a lot of variables at play here, and no one has priority.
You want a bike.
You want new.
You want to tour.
You want to sell it back.
You want as much back as possible.

The single most important thing about a bike for a tour is that it is comfortable. If you don't believe me, ask anyone who has tried to tour on an uncomfortable bike!  :) At the end of a 6-8 week tour what value would you put on being pain free?

If you're in anyway handy, you could pick up a cheap 90's rigid MTB for anything up to €50. Stick on a rack, change tyres, check chain etc. and you're good to go. Have a good look at the wheels. They'll be important. Realistically, you'll have a bike that will get you around for €100 odd. Lots of bike shops in case of repairs that you can't do yourself. You'll pay far more for the bike if you buy through a bike shop. Bring your own saddle!

That's the cheapest way. The more adventurous!  :D

Good luck!





113
General Discussion / Re: First tour in Europe- bike suggestions
« on: July 02, 2019, 05:11:22 pm »
Hi again!  :)

First things first - do you plan on bringing this bike back with you?
If you are, then I'd strongly suggest you check out the ability to claim sales tax back (VAT in UK, BTW in NL or Belgium). That can be up to 23% so can significantly boost your budget. Of course, you may get hit with import duties?

If you are planning on bringing it home you'll need to pack it - it's easier to get the experience at home - just pay your LBS to do it for you and show you how to do it. Also, lots of Youtube videos.

$1000 is not that much for a decent, new bike, racks etc that will not let you down and is ready to go. Factor in the cost of bringing the new bike back home too.
You can put together a great touring bike for $1000 - if you have time. I know - I did. But you don't have the time.

I thought the deal offered by the shop in France was a good one, assuming you get a suitable bike and that they'll pick up the tab for any mechanicals along the way.

Jan's bikes are great too. Have you had contact? Thought about asking about a buy and return? Buy a bike with an option of returning it at the end of the trip? Maybe get half back? If you love the bike bring it home, if not sell it back. (I have no idea if he does that!)


As for what bike? Ask 100 people get 102 answers! :D The most important thing is that it's comfortable. This is no expedition style touring. Good surfaces, hills, no real mountains. I've toured all over Europe on a no-brand hybrid with dodgy front suspension.

The second thing for you is good wheels. If you want to get a wheel rebuilt or even retensioned properly that will take time. If you buy in a chain store you will need to get that done. Probably in a different shop.

Decathlon is probably your best Chainstore option since they have good after sales service and stores all over Europe.

Good luck!

 






 



114
Routes / Re: Charleston S.C. To Nashville TN.
« on: July 02, 2019, 04:40:00 pm »

Speaking of steep, here's a route from outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSM) to Nashville, with a couple of options on how to get over the state line from Robbinsville: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30047819

Leiper's Fork at the western end is a half a mile from the Natchez Trace Parkway, which is a good cycling road that'll lead you into western Nashville.  You could also take the road from Cherokee, NC into Gatlinburg, TN (except on a weekend or holiday -- stay away then!), come over the ridge and down to Townsend, down the road to the Foothills Parkway, and pick up the Nashville route on U.S. 129 to TN 72.

Let me know what you're interested in and I may be able to help with more specific recommendations.

I really appreciate the time and effort, Pat. I'll probably be taking the Natchez Trace south after Nashville.

I'm leaning towards following the Walter Ezell Route simply because it'll mean the least back-tracking and I can avoid Atlanta. I'm not a fan of cycling through, or indeed, around big cities. Having looked at the Silver Comet route though, I think I would have enjoyed that. Decisions decisions!

This is what my planner is suggesting for the route into Nashville after the Walter Ezell Route, starting from McKinney Mountain..ish.
Any comments gratefully received  :)
https://cycle.travel/map/journey/112516

You might be interested in either the Savanah River Route or the Walter Ezell route for riding from the Charleston area northwest across South Carolina if you are aiming for Nashville.

Thanks Dan. I remember coming across the Walter Ezell Route a couple of years ago when this was more of a notion. It appears to be the route that suits me best as I really want to visit Charleston and don't fancy doubling back to Savannah.


115
Routes / Re: Charleston S.C. To Nashville TN.
« on: June 29, 2019, 08:14:25 am »
Thanks, Pat.

I really appreciate your replies.

I'll have a look at some of your suggestions over the weekend in more detail.

Then, I'll probably come back with more questions!  ;D

116
Routes / Re: Charleston S.C. To Nashville TN.
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:22:56 am »
Hi Pat,
Thanks for a great reply! I'm not sure on whether to approach Nashville from a southerly or northerly perspective. Most of what I have found is favouring a route in the Atlanta direction, but for some reason (I don't know why!) I'm personally more disposed to a northerly approach - but what the heck do I know?  :D

Have you cycled this route yourself (Atlanta/Chatanooga).

Pat, I'm relatively free in my route choices. It's a blank canvas. I'll be passing this way once so if you think there's a route that shows off that part of the world at its best, I'll be all ears.

Anyone else got any assistance maybe from Charleston to Atlanta?

Thanking you all.

117
General Discussion / Re: Bike rental for European tour
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:06:07 am »
Bordeaux is well south of what you've mentioned for a route, but there is great potential from there to head south to the Spanish border, along the Pyrenees into Switzerland, along the Danube, up North, back to the Dutch coast and then down the coast to Bordeaux!

That seems a very reasonable price so long as the bike is a good one. At 100, buying the panniers makes more sense.

Check out the Velodyssey route from Northern France to the south, mainly along the coast.

118
Routes / Charleston S.C. To Nashville TN.
« on: June 24, 2019, 07:07:41 am »
Hi all,
Wondering if anybody has some local knowledge they'd care to share for this route?

I'll be travelling it most likely October on a loaded MTB. My preference is for quiet roads, no problem with with a bit of gentle off-road, daily distances 50-60 miles. I'll be camping as much as possible too.

Any routes, tips or must-see places would be appreciated.

For a bit of background, I'll be biking up from Florida, then after Nashville heading south again to New Orleans, then westwards until I drop into Mexico. I'll be using ACA maps for the Atlantic Coast/Southern Tier legs, it's the bit linking Charleston to Nashville that is blank.

It'll be my first time on a bike Stateside so all help gratefully accepted.

119
General Discussion / Re: Bike rental for European tour
« on: June 24, 2019, 01:39:01 am »
Hey Hobbes, thanks again for the great suggestions!   Some of these are thoughts I've had, which you summarized / organized in a way that's really helpful.  The idea of doing a short "shakedown" loop to see how bike feels is a good one I hadn't considered. 

The guy you mentioned in Amsterdam-- curious if it's this fellow: http://www.janhoedje-haarlem.nl/?page_id=27247. Saw one of his posts in a CraigsList type site, and it looks like he has a pretty great selection.  (And a chance to get a Rohloff- equipped bike for < $2k?  Awesome!). Of course this is Holland-- there may be a dozen businesses just like his.

Hmmm..... there's more in the quote than in the original text? Weird!

Yes, that's the guy. No nonsense, by appointment only but good bikes at great prices. (I ride an old MTB myself, but an old girlfriend got a bike there & I've recommended him to several people).
Yes, lots of Rohloff's. One thing with buying second hand is that most manufacturers of frames & Rohloff only give a guarantee to the original owner. Once you buy it, you're on your own if there are problems. And there's no tax back on the purchase when you export it.

No idea how much gear you plan on toting, but if you're sticking to the main bicycle routes then an expedition standard bike is overkill. Good surfaces and lots of bike shops if something goes wrong, plus lots of bike friendly public transport.

But then, there's always the next tour!  ;D

120
General Discussion / Re: Bike rental for European tour
« on: June 23, 2019, 04:59:04 am »
For a "proper" touring bike (whatever that is!  :D) I'd google specialist touring/expedition/adventure cycling shops and contact them directly. I know that some rent out bikes.

You'd also need to consider what gear you have, will bring with you and need locally. I'm thinking racks, panniers etc. Saddles and pedals too, perhaps.

Another option is to arrive on spec and buy a bike locally. If you're reasonably bike savvy you should be able to avoid a lemon and pick up something decent for a very reasonable price.
For instance I know of a guy here in NL who makes a tidy living selling barely used expedition bikes.

Similarly, Decathlon is a large, European chain store that sell & equip bikes. Buying a bike there would be relatively cheap with the comfort of being able to roll into another store somewhere else if there were any mechanical issues.

Sell (difficult) at the end or donate to a cycling charity when you're done. Mind you, I had a warmshowers guest once who flew into NL, bought a cheap second hand bike in a local bike shop, rode around the country and brought it back to the shop and got half her money back!

Finally, this could be a good opportunity to pick up a brand spanking new Touring/Expedition bike to your own specs that you pick up over here, tour on in Europe and ship home. I believe there's the possibility of getting a VAT (sales tax) refund back. Thorn (UK), Santos, Koga (NL) would be some of the big touring bike manufacturers.

But.... probably the most important factor in a touring bike is that it is comfortable! That's difficult to organise in advance so whatever option you go for I'd plan on doing a shortish circular route from where you pick up the bike to test it out and be able to have any adjustments or component changes made before heading off proper.

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