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Messages - stevey

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Routes / Southern Tier Interstate-highway segments: your experience?
« on: September 21, 2021, 12:45:58 pm »
Hi All,
After a mighty fine Western Express + TransAm self-supported tour this summer, this old tandem team is thinking of the Southern Tier for next year, W-E, probably in the fall.
In the first 3 maps, there are quite a few segments on Interstate highways.
Anyone who's done the ST recently:
What was your experience on these Interstate sections?
Was it annoying or dangerous-feeling enough to be a big negative factor in the route?
Or no big deal?
Did you find any alternative routes to any of those segments?

Leaving for S. Tier next week. I'm sticking with the original route for the reasons DRH mentioned. I did it 3 years ago and didn't think it was too bad. Especially compared to some other roads AC has put me on over the years
You liked Southern Tier so much you're doing it again? We're looking forward to doing it next year.

When we went through here eastbound in late June, one of the subcontractors had a pickup-truck shuttle for cyclists during the times it was open to traffic but not bikes. He was driving back and forth, picking up cyclists both ways, and was a font of knowledge about the project. At the roadblock about 8 miles West, approaching the construction from Montrose, a contractor and highway-patrol officer let us know there was a shuttle and they called ahead. We got there at 11:30 for the 12:30-1:30 crossing time. So if you plan ahead, not a major delay.

Any updates on this? I just got the whole set of Southern Tier maps and had entered the Map 1 route into RWGPS manually last night, something I like to do because I learn a lot looking at the map turn-by-turn. I did notice quite a bit of Interstate riding on the map, and am not eager to do more than that. I do like the idea of dropping into Yuma for personal reasons, but the Old-80 route on the map--and as member DRH describes here--sounds more attractive than a lot of Interstate.
And has anyone here tried the new route?

General Discussion / Re: Transportina a tandemom
« on: February 16, 2021, 06:08:14 pm »
Would like to ride train back, but it won't transport the tandem.
The ACA should lobby Amtrak to let tandems on. Our national transportation system should be enabling all types of green transportation.
Luggage cars almost always have room, as we found when loading ours onto the California Zephyr 2 years ago in Emeryville, Calif., where they did so happily. Then the Denver crew got mad when they unloaded it and now the Zephyr won't take tandems even though we can see there's plenty of room.
I take it your tandem isn't coupled? For a coupled tandem, you can buy two bike boxes from Amtrak for about $10-15 each, then pay for two boxes.

But riding from the Golden Gate Bridge to the ferry terminal is so nice.
And then the ferry ride simply can't be beat.
Not to mention the Carquinez Scenic Drive - which is bike/ped only in the middle section.
You can do 2 of those 3 things by starting the Western Express with this new option.
Start your trip at the Ferry Building, ride the Embarcadero->Fish Wharf->Crissy Field/Fort Point->GGB->Marin->Richmond Bridge->Carquinez Scenic->Martinez->160 Bridge->Brannan Island, etc.
(I do agree on the Ferry's being lovely--we very often take our tandem on the Vallejo ferry to start 3-day loops in wine country and other areas up there--but the point here is that a purist can now do Western Express all overland.)

   Hi all,
   The protected bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael bridge opened last month, just north of San Francisco. My wife and I tried it this last weekend on the tandem, and it's great!
   That means:
   -You can start an overland tour like the Western Express without riding a ferry or taking an out-of-the-way route.
   -You can do the fun 3-bridge-loop day we did (SF--Golden Gate Bridge--Richmond Bridge--Bay Bridge--Treasure Island), 50-60 miles if you use the nooks and crannies of the Bay Trail.
   Until now, the first leg on a tour eastward from San Francisco was hard to do purely overland. You either took a giant detour north or south, or took the Vallejo ferry, as the Western Express route has you doing (a lovely ferry ride, btw!).
   Now, you can start by crossing the Golden Gate Bridge northward, then Sausalito, Marin bike trail, bike lane along 101, Larkspur, ride around San Quentin prison, cross the Richmond Bridge.
   Then either: Head over the Carquinez bridge to Vallejo and pick up the Western Express route; or head from Richmond east over the hills to Antioch and across the Route 160 bridge to Brannan Island State Park, which has a bike-hike campground--that would be about 70 miles from the south end of GG bridge. From there, it's a lovely ride in the Delta atop dikes on the waterways to Sacramento to rejoin Western Express, or cut eastward across the valley and rejoin the Express in the Sierra foothills.
   Please use the Richmond Bridge bike lane early and often, as some pro-auto forces are lobbying to get it closed earlier than its scheduled 4-year test and turned into a third car lane!

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