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Messages - John Nelson

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General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 14, 2013, 09:12:41 pm »
Another popular thing to wonder about is how those couples who have been traveling for the last 10 years finance it. It's a mystery.

Routes / Re: Northern Route oil and gas activity
« on: March 14, 2013, 01:40:58 pm »
Yes, Dickinson did seem a bit congested. But I just passed through there. I had no trouble camping in Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Hebron. There were only 47 miles of interstate--the rest on sleepy little backroads.

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers
« on: March 13, 2013, 10:20:26 pm »
When is the 20% Members sale?
They don't have a schedule. The used to do a "20% off any one item" sale four times a year like clockwork, once in each season. Lately they've been mixing it up a bit, so you don't really know what to expect. From 3/6 to 3/18, they have a deal where if you spend $100, you get a $20 bonus card. They did the same thing in December. These promotions may be the substitute for the 20% off one item sale they used to have. They've also been having a lot of targeted sales, which are good only for one particular category of merchandise (e.g., winter clothing, or REI-branded merchandise). Unfortunately, the last time they had their once-predictable "20% off one item" sale was October of 2012 (before that, April 2012 and May 2012).

Gear Talk / Re: Touring bikes...
« on: March 13, 2013, 12:56:33 pm »
I would order it in advance.
It's never too early to order. When I ordered my touring bike, it took 6 months to come in. But I ordered in June when the current year models were already sold out. If you order now, the current year models will likely still be available. The longer you wait, however, the greater the risk that the wait might be very long or you may have to settle for your second choice. Touring bikes are made in limited numbers because of limited demand.

General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 12, 2013, 10:52:22 pm »
Surely if you've worked somewhere for 24 years, they'd give you a summer off if you asked. You've earned it.

But your idea of starting with shorter trips is good. You'd want to do that anyway. But keep dreaming. You may not need to postpone your dream for six years. I take my long tours by taking time off without pay from my job.

General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 12, 2013, 09:49:39 pm »
And teachers with summers off.
Yes indeed, there are a lot of teachers out there in the summer. And a lot of people I meet ask me if I'm a teacher.

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers
« on: March 12, 2013, 09:42:47 pm »
Ortlieb's hold up well and are very waterproof if closed properly. They are one of the top brands. No pannier is critter-proof, but these are pretty good. I wouldn't leave any pannier sitting overnight outside on the ground in critter country, especially if it contained food. I usually keep my food in odor bags inside my panniers and have never had a problem. Of course I hang the pannier in bear country.

International / Re: Help! I want to go to Europe.
« on: March 12, 2013, 06:09:09 pm »
Check with other airlines.

General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 12, 2013, 06:07:01 pm »
There are lots of possibilities. One is to do one segment a year using whatever vacation you get. Or make a deal with your employer to carry over your vacation until you have enough to do it all at once. Or, if you can save up enough money to pay the bills, ask for time off without pay.

You mentioned finances. There's no substitute for saving up. It might take some time to save what you need, but it's worth it. It's possible to tour on limited funds, anywhere from $10 to $50 a day.

Family is typically the main responsibility you might have. Maybe you have kids or are taking care of an aging parent or your spouse can't live without you. One thing you can do with kids and spouses is to take them along, either on bikes if they are old enough, or in a support vehicle.

I see three main categories of people riding across the country: (1) young people between school and employment, (2) empty nesters who don't have kid responsibilities any more, some retired, some not, and (3) unemployed people between jobs.

One thing you can do now is to start a touring fund and put as much money into it each month as you can afford.

Keep dreaming. Set a goal and set a date to achieve it.

General Discussion / Re: Firearms
« on: March 12, 2013, 09:49:37 am »
I will paraphrase Carla from another thread:

I suggest you get in touch with the bicycle coordinators for the states you will travel through. Many have online resources as well as printed materials. Nearly every state publishes a bicycle map of some sort that they will send out for free and the coordinators often have more information they can distribute for no charge as well. And while the maps aren't as detailed as ours, they generally offer suggested roads for cycling through their state. Here is a link to the contact information for all of the bicycle coordinators:

Gear Talk / Re: Chain selection
« on: March 11, 2013, 12:06:49 am »
Bordering on straying from topic, but John, what was your lube for that chain life?  You're doing a little better than I am with white lightening (~2500mi).
I use ProLink, but I'm sure it's not much different than many other brands (except of course it is very different from wax-based lubes such as white lightning).

Classifieds / Re: Complete TransAm Map Set
« on: March 08, 2013, 03:05:47 pm »
The value of a map set depends very much on what version they are, so it would help potential buyers decide if you could post the publication year of each of the 12 maps in the set.

Routes / Re: Great Parks
« on: March 08, 2013, 11:23:26 am »
There are legal ways to take guns into Canada, and to carry guns in Canada, but it involves a lot of paperwork.

Gear Talk / Re: Aevon Trailer now available in US
« on: March 08, 2013, 09:55:29 am »
If you own that website, you might want to consider getting rid of the audio track that autoplays for visitors. Very annoying!
I immediately kill any web site that starts making unsolicited noise.

I rode the Northern Tier last year beginning June 1st in Anacordes, WA.  The first 17 days were rode in rain.
I rode the Northern Tier last year beginning June 12th in Anacordes, WA. Only one rainy day in the first two weeks. I did hear, however, that the people who left a week before me got non-stop rain.

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