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Messages - CMajernik

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General Discussion / Re: Google Maps Bicycling
« on: March 12, 2010, 01:48:13 pm »
We have been discussing our map data with representatives from Google. At this time our data is not in their system.

Routes / Re: Great Divide New Mexico Secitons (5+6) - MTB required?
« on: March 10, 2010, 06:24:19 pm »
Yes, a mountain bike is really recommended. The combination of fatter tires
and (at least) a front shock will make certain stretches of the route much
more comfortable to ride-like in the Gila National Forest, where some of
the roads are quite rocky. They're steep, too, so the fatter tires, running
a little soft, also make riding uphill easier. Other sections in New Mexico
are clay-surfaced-rideable by just about any bike when dry and unrideable
gumbo by just about any bike (even the fattest of fat-tire mountain bikes)
when wet.

As to whether or not a mountain bike is absolutely necessary? Probably not.
But do try to put the fattest knobbies possible on your Surly.

Routes / Re: Great Divide in mid May?
« on: March 05, 2010, 06:27:40 pm »
Leaving in mid-May from the south to go north is still very early on the Great Divide. It is very possible that many of the roads over the passes, especially in CO, will still be closed. These roads aren't plowed; passage on them occurs when the snow melts. I suggest that before you ride a over a pass, where you can still make a detour, that you contact the Forest Service Ranger District where the road is located so you can find out the status of the road. The local ranger district will have the best information. On the maps, in the text under About Map A and About Map B, we list the National Forest phone numbers. But each forest has several districts so you will have to find out the specific district and call them. If you go to the following website you can find the contact info for the specific districts where the route goes through.

Routes / Re: Sierra Cascade Route, starting to sweat the release date
« on: March 05, 2010, 11:08:02 am »
Call the Sales Department (800-721-8719) in mid-April. The maps should be in the office around then. I can't give you an exact date because the printing process is always approximate.

What type of bike will you be riding? For the Great Divide Route it's best to have a bike with front suspension and wide tires. Here is something from our online info about the Great Divide Route:

The Great Divide Route is extremely hard on equipment. The weight of your gear exponentially multiplies the stress of riding steep, fast, rough downhills. Wheels, tires, and drivetrains (chains, cassettes, bottom brackets, chainrings) take a lot of abuse and might need replacing along the course of the entire route. Suspension equipment on the bicycle helps to mitigate the abusive nature of the terrain. That said, nylon pivots of some full-suspension bikes wear out extremely fast and are not recommended. Suspension seatposts, good handlebar grips, and front-suspension forks help smooth out the many miles of washboarded and chuckholed roads. Weighting a suspension fork with panniers works well, evens the weighting of the bike, and adds little extra stress to the fork. Trailers also work well and lighten the rear triangle of the bike.

General Discussion / Re: Tramsamerica bike shop, East start
« on: February 05, 2010, 10:28:44 am »
There are several bike shops listed in Williamsburg, VA on the map. Contact one of them. I'm sure they have helped other cyclists to begin their journey.

General Discussion / Re: TRANSAMERICA should start on the Atlantic!
« on: February 05, 2010, 10:25:15 am »
I contacted Lys Burden, the principal designer of the TransAm Trail back in the mid-1970s. Here's what she has to say:
The TransAm Trail was launched as a bicentennial project and focused on history as much as geography and suitable backroads for bicycling. The original west coast teminus was Reedsport, Oregon, but the trail was extended to the north to end at Astoria, to include, celebrate and honor the end point of Lewis and Clark's expedition. We looked for an equally historically significant and "off-the-beaten-path" place for the east coast terminus, and the historic triangle of Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown seemed like the perfect place. We also had to factor in the total length of the trail, as we were trying to keep it in the vicinity of 4,000 miles. We reasoned that if it became too long, cyclists would not be able to complete it during a "summer vacation" time period.
Also as the route approached the east coast there were not too many viable options to find a good, continuous route of backroads all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. We had to make regional decisions as far west as the Cumberland Plateau in Kentucky. We decided to cross the Appalachians at a narrow spot and take the trail parallel to the trend of the mountains to the north through Charlottesville (to include Thomas Jefferson's home at Monticello) and make an expedited crossing of the piedmont. To make a bee-line for the Atlantic, the trail would have to head straight east from Blacksburg, Virginia, through an endless expanse of piedmont hills, with not too many noteworthy or historic places... to end somewhere near Virginia Beach.

Routes / Re: Off road tour ideas for Idaho
« on: December 03, 2009, 04:41:16 pm »
IF you search ACA's online Cyclists Yellow Pages and click on United States, then Idaho and choose Type of Resource: Publications there are several guidebooks listed that have mountain bike rides:

Bikecentennial / Re: Wish I was there
« on: November 30, 2009, 01:01:05 pm »
The original 1976 route did not go through Lexington, KY - it has always gone through Berea. I looked at the trip offerings from 76 in the archives here at the ACA office and the trip I think GAmado is referring to was from St. Genevieve, MO to Berea, KY. Carbondale and Lexington were the 2 closest largest cities to those towns.

There are some maps here in Missoula but I don't know of anything online that shows the original 76 route. Amazingly, for its length, we have changed less than 150 miles of the route. There are short sections in VA, KY, IL. MO and KS that have been re-routed. The 2 biggest adjustments have been in CO and OR. In CO the route between Walden and Kremmling was changed, and in OR there is a new route between Eugene and Florence (which was always the shortcut to get to the coast) though the route officially began/begins in Astoria.

Routes / Re: Tulsa, OK to Seattle, WA summer of 2010
« on: November 09, 2009, 03:50:26 pm »
You might want to also consider using a portion of ACA's new Sierra Cascades Route which will be available next April, 2010. You can see where it's located here:

Routes / Re: Florida (again), Orlando to the Keys and back
« on: November 03, 2009, 11:57:39 am »
You can combine the Atlantic Coast section 7 and the Florida Connector map for a loop. See

Routes / Re: Our great lakes tour
« on: October 19, 2009, 11:05:06 am »
If you go to ACA's online Cyclists' Yellow Pages and click on the Great Lakes link you'll see several maps and guides about circling the lakes.

Routes / Re: Cross Country Bike Ride
« on: October 15, 2009, 04:21:47 pm »
You can get in touch with the bike coordinators for the states in which you will be
traveling through. The bike coordinators have a wealth of information that
they can distribute for no charge. Most every state publishes a bicycle map
of their state that they will send out for free....and while the maps aren't
as detailed as ACA's, they generally offer suggested roads for cycling
through their state. Some states, such as Colorado and Wisconsin, have
outstanding information, while other states are much simpler. But every
little piece of information can help. Here is a link to the contact information
for all of the bicycle coordinators:

Routes / Re: From Detroit, Michigan to Citronelle, Alabama
« on: October 12, 2009, 03:48:35 pm »
I'd recommend looking on the websites or talking to the bicycle/pedestrian coordinator for each of the states you are passing through on your trip. Often state websites will have mapped routes or at least suitability maps for shoulder widths and traffic counts for you to download. You can reach each state from the following contact page:

Routes / Re: portland to SF realistic time frame and advice needed
« on: October 12, 2009, 03:46:00 pm »
The OR and CA state parks often have hiker/biker sites so that's the cheapest way to go though I'm not sure what the sites cost. Any commercial campground will be much more expensive, especially since the coast is a tourist destination. In June tourist traffic increases with children being out of school so families are beginning to travel in that month.

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