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Messages - John Nelson

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Routes / Re: Maps (other than ACA)
« on: March 06, 2020, 09:52:15 am »
Most states have such maps, either on paper or online or both. But of course that requires you to do your own homework, which can be quite time-consuming. One of the advantages of the ACA maps is that they have done the homework for you, as long as your criteria are close to the ACA criteria, and where you want to go is where the ACA route goes.

Google is usually very effective in finding state bicycling maps, which usually include shoulder width and AADT information. Just google "Nebraska bicycle map".

You might find this link useful.

You might also find this useful from the Federal Highway Administration.

General Discussion / Re: Security - locking your bike
« on: March 06, 2020, 08:12:24 am »
I believe that the risk is much lower outside larger cities, but I don’t have any data to support that belief. I only carry a small, lightweight lock, but I take the bike inside when possible, and try to keep it in view if I can (which is not always possible).

There’s always risk.

General Discussion / Re: seeking coast to coast cycling companions
« on: March 01, 2020, 04:32:33 pm »
Yorktown Virginia is the eastern end of the TransAmerica Trail, the best cross-country route that exists.

There are many reasons I recommend east-to-west. Since you said that you're going to start in the spring, the weather will be much better starting in the East. The West will be too cold and wet in the spring. And no, the winds won't be blowing from the west, except in certain spots (e.g., Wyoming). Summer winds in the Midwest are most commonly from the southeast. If you plan to start each day early, then you want the sun behind you rather than in the drivers' eyes. But if you don't plan to start riding until 10 am, then that won't make much difference.

Routes / Re: TransAm: dep late March – route advise needed
« on: March 01, 2020, 12:08:22 pm »
microsonno, it would have been better to start a new thread for this new discussion. Maybe the administrator of this forum will separate them.

Since you didn't mention a route, and since you posted in a TransAm thread, I'll tentatively assume that you're planning to do the TransAm.

I'm 60 years old and I'm planning to cycle 100/110 miles per day (3150 miles in 30/32 days). It can be a too ambitious target in your opinion?

As a physical goal, it's not too ambitious. But it is too ambitious if you want to have any fun.

Some datas to understand: road bicycle steel frame: 12 kgs. Baggage: 8 kgs maximum. No tent and sleeping bag, only motels and B&B

Well, your plan for long days makes this part of the plan more feasible. The longer days will help you reach motels that may be far apart. Assuming you're talking about year 2020 and not 2021, your problem will be Yellowstone. You may have a hard time booking a place to stay there. Do it today. And it will be expensive. If you can't get a reservation in Grand Teton or Yellowstone, with a long day riding, you can get all the way through in the same day (although you'll miss most of a very spectacular place). You'll probably also have to do an 125-mile day between Rawlins and Lander in Wyoming. And you'll have to get creative in eastern and central Oregon.

It's all doable. I wouldn't do it this way, but it's doable. There are many journals over at crazyguyonabike of people who have done the TransAm without a tent. They will be a lot of help with logistics.

General Discussion / Re: seeking coast to coast cycling companions
« on: February 29, 2020, 10:59:47 pm »
Nick, I have a few suggestions:

(1) Provide more information. The most significant piece of information missing is where you plan to sleep. But what you plan to do for food is also important.

(2) Unless you have a significant reason for going west to east, go the other way.

(3) Prearranged companions are both a blessing and a curse. The curse is probably worse than the blessing. On the other hand, if you show up in Yorktown in the first half of May and head west on the TransAm, you'll almost certainly pick up some companions within the first week. Especially if you camp. Especially if you're flexible.

Routes / Re: Routes from Glenwood Springs to Grand Junction CO
« on: February 22, 2020, 10:28:35 am »
In 1986, the Ride The Rockies bicycle tour rode from Grand Junction to Glenwood Springs, pretty much right down Interstate 70.

Youth Bicyle Travel / Re: VO2Max is decreasing
« on: February 20, 2020, 10:05:38 am »
It sounds like your VO2Max declined over just a few months. That sounds fishy, but it is well known that your VO2Max will decline as you age, primarily because your maximum heart rate keeps going down.

General Discussion / Re: Success rate finding a tent camping spot
« on: February 19, 2020, 05:20:27 pm »
For churches and fire stations listed on the ACA maps, my experience is excellent. They almost always let me sleep inside.

For other churches that I have just approached when I got there, my experience is mixed. In many cases, there won't be anybody there; I call the number on the sign out front; if nobody answers, I leave a message; the call usually isn't returned, or isn't returned soon enough to do me any good. If you happen to find somebody at the church (e.g., the pastor, the cleaning lady, etc.), your chances of success are much better. More often than not, they let me stay. Anybody but the pastor usually has to check with the pastor first. I did spend an hour at one church, they called the pastor and the pastor came to the church just to tell me no; that was odd. In many other cases, the pastor has said yes. I usually end up sleeping on a couch in the bible-study room or day-care area, or on the gym floor.

I have just camped without permission when I couldn't find anybody to talk to. It has almost always worked out fine. I've slept on the porch of a NFS office, and they invited me in for coffee when they arrived in the morning. I've pitched my tent behind a police station and they didn't bother me, even after they noticed me there in the morning. I slept in the park across the street from a police station, and they brought me food and firewood when they saw me over there. I've slept in many city parks and left a note on the bathroom door asking them not to lock it for that night, which they have always honored.

There's always a few uncomfortable moments when you do something like this, because you don't know how they're going to react.

Gear Talk / Re: Gear in two panniers?
« on: February 18, 2020, 08:33:52 pm »
I could get my gear into two panniers. I don’t want to ... for many reasons.

South / Re: Is Flooding an Issue
« on: February 18, 2020, 10:45:17 am »
You asked about points over a thousand miles apart. That's a lot of territory. Flooding is typically a fairly localized thing, affecting specific roads. When planning your route, look up the specific roads that you plan to use to see if there are any closures. Most of the flooding, if any, will be near major rivers--the Mississippi, Arkansas and Missouri.

My guess is that you won't have any problems. But things can change between now and April.

General Discussion / Re: First timer questions
« on: February 15, 2020, 01:06:23 am »
Wow, the answers you’ve gotten so far are fantastic. I agree with everything said, especially about following an ACA route and starting with a few shorter trips.

Short answers:

Safety: not an issue.
Bears: only in certain places, and easily mitigated.
Cats: not an issue.

General Discussion / Re: Drinking water
« on: February 11, 2020, 11:57:36 am »
I wouldn't carry a filter all the way across the country just to get drinking water in one place. Just carry some extra water there if necessary.

General Discussion / Re: Trailer or just panniers?
« on: February 03, 2020, 06:02:07 pm »
If you believe in the wisdom of crowds, I think you'll find that more people use panniers than a trailer for riding on paved roads. It's also usually easier to fly with panniers than fly with a trailer. Some people use a trailer because their bike isn't suitable for panniers. Off-road riders sometimes prefer trailers. Pannier systems are lighter, cheaper, simpler. Trailers can be used with more bikes and have a lower center of gravity.

There are dozens of articles on this subject around the web and easy to find with Google. The ACA has written several articles themselves. Here's one:

Routes / Re: from italy for coast to coast
« on: January 23, 2020, 10:05:29 am »
I don't know why you chose the route you did--perhaps you have important reasons--but if you have route flexibility, I might suggest you simply follow the ACA TransAm route instead. It will greatly, greatly simplify your planning and improve your chances of having a great trip.

Routes / Re: Missouri touring in May?
« on: January 17, 2020, 04:35:24 pm »
I've done both the TA and BR66 through Missouri. Both routes have about 350 miles in Missouri. Yes, riding through St. Louis on BR66 is an urban challenge, but you do get to see the Arch and eat a Concrete at Ted Drewes. Both routes are hilly, probably about equally so. But you wouldn't come to Missouri unless you liked hills, and the hills are not something you can't handle. You'll get some great pictures of roads that look remarkably like roller coasters.

Yes, my tent almost got blown away by a tornado in Ash Grove in early June. The tornado was 15 miles away in Springfield. So for maybe a hour or two I couldn't leave my tent because my weight was the only thing keeping it there. And yes, my tent nearly floated away as several inches of water rose around it during a torrential rainstorm in Joplin.

There are lots and lots of interesting old motels and bridges along the BR66 route. Missouri is a beautiful state if you like lush growth. The Ozark National Scenic Waterways is at the heart of all that growth.

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