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Messages - John Nelson

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Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Missoula to the Pacific
« on: March 31, 2013, 10:31:09 am »
Once you get to Missoula, you can ask the pros. But the L&C is quite a bit shorter than the TA.

General Discussion / Re: Training: Schedule Critique Needed
« on: March 31, 2013, 10:23:59 am »
I'm 5'10''. It says I should be between 58-60''. Is that once inch a problem?  8)
Probably not. You won't know until you take it out for a long test ride.

Gear Talk / Re: No Stove
« on: March 30, 2013, 10:36:19 pm »
I did the TA and NT without a stove. I didn't miss it but I did enjoy occasional meals provided by a fellow cyclotourist with a stove. I do not believe a stove is necessary to eat either economically or healthily.

General Discussion / Re: Training: Schedule Critique Needed
« on: March 29, 2013, 10:04:24 pm »
Get out of the gym ASAP. Get on the road now. Riding indoors is not the same.

How many miles of training you need depends on how many miles a day you plan to average on tour and whether you have enough time to ramp up after the tour starts.

Gear Talk / Re: Schwalbe tires
« on: March 29, 2013, 08:40:58 pm »
If the tires are otherwise identical, then wire bead and folding will work equally well. Wire bead is usually a bit less expensive and folding easier to store and carry. But be aware that in some models (e.g., Mondials), the wire bead is a completely different tire than the folding tire of the same name.

General Discussion / Re: Getting hungry too fast while riding
« on: March 29, 2013, 08:17:20 pm »
I eat at least every hour. I have no problem carrying enough food to do that. Maybe four pieces of fruit, a package of cookies, a few candy bars, a sandwich, etc. I don't find it an issue.

General Discussion / Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« on: March 29, 2013, 07:38:37 pm »
based on previous advice, I wonder if I should steer clear of the TransAm...Is East to West worse than West to East?
Steer clear of the TransAm? Whatever for?

Early starting dates favor beginning in the East.

Routes / Re: Transamerica Cost
« on: March 29, 2013, 07:22:58 pm »
Anywhere from $1000 to $10000, depending on your tastes. It is possible to do the whole route without spending a dime to sleep if you try.

General Discussion / Re: Packing for flights
« on: March 28, 2013, 07:57:57 pm »
Use a sturdy one.
I would say that 90% of all bike boxes are flimsy
I wasn't talking about the bike box--I was talking about the gear box.

General Discussion / Re: Packing for flights
« on: March 28, 2013, 01:47:48 pm »
My favorite is the cardboard box. It comes in any size you want, is usually free and is easy to dispose of. Use a sturdy one.

Gear Talk / Re: Tail Bone Pain
« on: March 25, 2013, 05:53:32 pm »
A bike fit is a great idea, but to some extent, it just takes time. Most people say it takes a few hundred miles to break in a Brooks, but it took me a few thousand. Furthermore,  riding outdoors will likely be better for this than on the trainer.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling US = Crazy?
« on: March 25, 2013, 12:43:35 pm »
Cycling in the U.S. is fun, safe, easy, beautiful and enjoyable -- but not everywhere,  and apparently not where you are. Get out on the lonely, serene back roads.

Although a long, epic trip is appealing, start with something small. If you need to lose weight and get into shape, then start on that tomorrow. Walk 90 minutes a day, every day without exception. Anybody can do it. If you lose some weight and get into shape, maybe the diamond frame will become practical again. But even if it doesn't, the visibility problems of recumbents are greatly overblown--it's possible to safely tour on a recumbent. Also, start riding now on whatever bike you currently have for as long as you can comfortably ride. It's more important to get some riding under your belt than to wait for the perfect bike.

Having said that, you don't have to be in great shape to tour. But I would at least get into good enough shape that you can do 20 miles at a time. You can start your tour anytime after that. Start with an overnighter. Then take a tour of several days.

You can tour on as little as $10 a day, plus equipment and transportation costs. If you start and finish from home, transportation costs can be zero. $10 a day, however, is pretty spartan, so try to put together enough for $20 a day if you don't think you can be that spartan. Set a goal. Save x dollars out of each paycheck into a touring fund.

I agree with you that there is more adventure on a self-supported tour. But maybe your wife can support you on your first few short tours, while you are building up strength and equipment.

Almost any equipment will work. Trike or recumbent bike or upright bike with trailer or panniers. Get whatever you like.

Buy food one day at a time. No need to carry more than one day's food except under very unusual circumstances.

Finally, a goal isn't really a goal without a date. Without a date, it will always be "someday." Pick a date in the future for a tour, and then make intermediate milestones of what it will take to get there.

General Discussion / Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
« on: March 21, 2013, 09:40:53 pm »
You could do the Northern Tier, and thus avoid some of the heat. Officially the route is 4288, but there are a number of mapped shortcuts available. You can skip Alberta and save 87 miles. There's a 125-mile mapped shortcut in Minnesota. Taking the ferry across Lake Michigan saves 215 miles. And a number of people end in Portland Maine (not mapped by the ACA), which saves quite a few miles over going to Bar Harbor. I think you can get the NT mileage down to about 3700 miles, which will get you there in 55 days with an average of 68 miles a day.

The NT misses Yellowstone and Grand Teton, but it picks up the spectacular Glacier National Park and the pretty-cool Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Okay, it sounds like you have some phobias I can't help you with. But everybody has a fear of the unknown. And everybody has butterflies in their stomach when setting out on a trip like this. You just take it one day at a time. That's not just a slogan. In fact, it's natural. Once you get on the road, you seldom think about how far you've come or how far you have to go. Your only goal is where you will get to today and tomorrow. Assuming you're using ACA maps, the ACA has done most of the hard planning for you. Just follow their route and stay in the places they have scouted out for you.

What you hope to do is not that far out there. An almost uncountable number of people have done it before you, many even younger than yourselves, and most without their parents' complete approval.

Oh, and that part about winning back your girlfriend--give up on that. You'll find somebody else.

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