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Messages - John Nelson

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Routes / Re: St. AUgustine to San Diego, soon
« on: May 27, 2020, 12:45:39 pm »
I have a few problems with that.  Doing all that stuff when at home where water is easy to have available and AC is nearby is one thing.  Doing it on tour is another.  Doing it on tour on a route that has any services extremely widely spaced is still another.    I recall some very long stretches on the ST with no chance to resupply water, no chance to pop in to air conditioning, and even no shade.  On a mid-Feb thru mid-Mar trip I needed to carry a lot of water at times.  If it were to be 110F I can't imagine how much water I'd have gone through or how unpleasant it would have been.
Well, I didn't say it was easy, but you can carry ten gallons with you if you try. You certainly don't need to do that every day. One nice thing about the ACA maps is that they warn you when stretches are coming up with sparse services.

These days, I live in Tallahassee where it is summer 9 months of the year so I have put up with a hot summer day or two.  I remember a few days in the SW like a few where we were in the Needles where the heat was relentless or one near the aptly named Caliente where I was rationing my water in triple digit heat after finding no water available where I thought it was.
I admit that tolerating the heat in the dry West is different than tolerating the heat in the humid East. Because evaporation actually works in the West, heat is more easily mitigated there. In the humid East, water may not be all you need. In Phoenix, I have gone for a hard 10-mile run at noon on a 122-degree day with no ill effects, but I stop frequently for water.

John, I have a lot of respect for your opinions in general.  In this case I do wonder about whether this particular one is based on any first hand experience with this route or one with similarly long hot empty stretches in summer.  If so my hat is off to your toughness with regard to your ability to survive and thrive in the heat on tour in remote country.
I have not ridden the ST, but I have ridden across the Mojave Desert on Bicycle Route 66 in temperatures well above 100. The Mojave has similar long stretches without services, including a stretch of almost two days with no water. It takes four days to get across it. And I have ridden a 107 mile day in 99 degrees in eastern Montana with only one refill point available.

The thing is for me the ST doesn't really offer all that much compared to the other possible options.  Doing it in summer you'd be suffering with hauling huge amounts of water between widely spaced resupply point, past monotonous scenery, through brutal heat.  In exchange you'd get the shortest XC route with the least climbing and an interesting sampling of people and cuisines.  So IMO, much better to just do a more northern route unless you must do choose it for the shorter duration or really want the reduction in the amount of mountains.  In that case I'd do it in cooler weather. Brutal heat is something that sometimes you can't avoid in the US in Summer for a coast to coast trip, but when there is a better options I really don't see subjecting myself to the worst one.  Then again the ST may be someone else's dream trip for reason's that I just fail to see.  Someone else may love the solitude of days and days of empty brown sagebrush.
No argument from me on that, but the OP said he wanted to do St. Augustine to San Diego, and he wanted to do it soon. I have no visibility into his motives.

General Discussion / Re: Flats while touring
« on: May 27, 2020, 01:35:36 am »
That's a very interesting story Patco. Shows you that bizarre things happen.

I have toured with and without a spare tire. I currently feel better with. There are a number of tire failures that there is no recovery from, e.g., a broken bead. Only a spare will get you moving again. And, as you say, the nearest place to buy a new tire (that fits your bike) might be a long, long ways away. In your story, it was 65 miles, but I've been in many places where it would have been a lot farther than that.

Routes / Re: St. AUgustine to San Diego, soon
« on: May 27, 2020, 01:30:20 am »
On the other hand, the southern states currently seem to have the least restrictions, and be the most advanced in opening up. So maybe the Southern Tier would have fewer obstacles and more choices for food and accommodations.

I am of the belief that, with proper precautions, heat is no obstacle. I'm sure not everybody agrees with me, but my perspective comes from living and exercising in Phoenix for 20 years. The residents of Phoenix do not crawl into a hole in the summer. They continue to run and bike and play outdoor sports, even in the middle of the day. The trick is water. Just make sure you drink gallons of water, and know your body. Know how to recognize the signs of heat stress and heat stroke.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier Parking
« on: May 25, 2020, 12:26:18 am »
We are planning to the Marias pass route, as Glacier is closed right now
I’d wait until it opens. Going To The Sun Road is that spectacular.

General Discussion / Re: "Least amount of car traffic"
« on: May 21, 2020, 12:25:33 am »
Again, context.

There is no AADT for the TranAmerica Trail.

General Discussion / Re: "Least amount of car traffic"
« on: May 20, 2020, 09:18:03 pm »
I never thought my comment would be so controversial. Pete and Pat get it.

First, let me say that I absolutely love low traffic roads. I seek them out fanatically. I love them and do most of my riding on them.

But my comment was made in the context of a coast to coast ride. And that makes all the difference. To get to the best places to ride, you have to be willing to spend some time on less than perfect roads. You cannot piece together a great coast to coast ride exclusively on low traffic roads. If your ONLY criteria is traffic, you’ll never get to the fantastic places to ride that John mentions.

There’s no standard way to measure “least amount of traffic.” Furthermore, anytime you have two criteria, each will suffer because of the other. “Best route” or “Least amount of car traffic”. Pick one. You can’t have both. But if you pick “least amount of car traffic,” I guarantee that you’ll hate that route. So don’t pick that.

The TransAm route is the best.

Routes / Re: California route from Long Beach to Eureka? with info?
« on: May 18, 2020, 11:08:13 am »
Fantastic ride! At least after you get past  the first two days and are north of Santa Barbara. You might want to consider getting a ride to Santa Barbara and start there.

But then you get to explore the Hearst Castle, Big Sur, Golden Gate Bridge and the Avenue of the Giants. What a trip!!

It will take you 16 days, plus or minus an hour.

General Discussion / Re: Stopping vs Rolling Thru Stop Signs ??
« on: May 17, 2020, 09:34:41 pm »
In Colorado, the “Idaho Safety Stop” is law in Breckinridge, Dillon, Summit County, Aspen and Thornton. There is considerable research (from a number of organizations — mostly cycling advocacy groups) that show this improves safety, but not everybody buys it (clearly). A number of other states have passed similar laws.

General Discussion / Re: Flats while touring
« on: May 08, 2020, 10:27:56 pm »
Flats per tour? 0 to 3
How many tubes? 2
How many spare tires? 0 to 1
Patch or replace or both? Both
Beef up the flat protection? No

Carbon forks usually don't have mount points for a rack, and it is not recommended to use any kind of clamp on carbon.

There are some front racks that don't require fork mounting points. I'm not sure how well they work. You might check them out. Look into the Tubus Smarti, although I'm not sure they still make it.

Because you have a carbon fork, the use of a front rack is discouraged. Not entirely impossible, but not necessarily a good idea.

So that suggests you go with rear panniers only. The chainstay length on your bike is shorter than on most touring bikes. That means that you may have trouble with heel strike. If you shift the weight to the rear to eliminate the heel strike, you may then unweight the front wheel and thus have trouble with steering and handling. So you will need to make every effort to keep your gear weight down and as far forward as you can without creating heel strike. All of this suggests that if you decide on panniers, you will need to try it out thoroughly in a variety of conditions, especially steep uphills and steep curvy downhills.

Or consider a trailer instead of panniers. Or see if you can find a safe solution for front panniers on a carbon fork without stressing the fork.

Do you plan to camp? Do you plan to cook? Are you considering the plains (warmer) or the high country (colder)? I'm trying to get an idea of how much gear you will need.

The bike looks good. It seems to have mount points for a rear rack. Not sure about a front rack. The gearing is fairly low, not as low as most touring bikes, but it should be okay for a young, strong rider.

Routes / Re: 1,000 Mile tour recommendations
« on: May 01, 2020, 10:50:29 pm »
You’re in the right place. Low traffic secondary roads is what the ACA is all about. But I would avoid routes with a theme that constrains the choice of roads. So scratch off Route 66. Scratch off high population areas too, so that eliminates the Atlantic Coast and the southern half of the Pacific Coast. Also avoid very sparsely populated areas, because they have few roads and few services. So scratch off the Northern Tier.

My recommendation would be the middle third of the TransAm or the northern half of the Pacific Coast.

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