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Messages - dfege

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Routes / Re: Route through or around Los Angeles.
« on: May 06, 2013, 05:33:50 pm »
I have bicycled from Santa Barbara to San Diego about 20 times (every Memorial Day weekend).  It is definitely an urban bike ride, but very doable.  There is a 24-mile bike path along the beach (it is on the ACA map) in the LA area. It's a fun ride with the Pacific Ocean always just a few yards away.  It's a slow ride, with joggers, Sunday cyclists, skateboarders, etc. on the path.  The path takes you as far as Redondo Beach.  (BTW, if are camping, there is no campground between Leo Carillo State Park and a commercial campground in Newport Beach.  However, on this stretch, I always stay at the Redondo Pier Inn in Redondo Beach.  It's clean and about the cheapest lodging I can find in the area.  Be sure to reserver ahead).  I find the most harrowing part of this ride to be the Pacific Coast Highway from Redondo Beach to Long Beach.  Lots of traffic, stop signs, etc.  However, if you schedule it early on a Sunday morning, the traffic is very light.  (The ACA map used to bypass part of this by taking you up and over Pales Verdes, but I think the new map puts you on the PCH).  Good luck.  Let me know if you have any questions.

General Discussion / Re: Which cycling maps for U.S. and Canada?
« on: January 08, 2013, 05:41:00 pm »
Of course the ACA maps are great if you are staying on the routes.  Always my first choice.  I don't know much about Oregon, Washington, and California's bicycle maps, so I can't speak to them.  However, I have relied on Delorme's State Gazateers for many of my tours.  They are exactly the right scale for bicycling, showing even the smallest back roads. You won't need the entire state Gazeteer, so I literally cut out the specific pages that I think I will need for the bike trip, fold them and put them in a zip-tight plastic bag. The Gazateers can be purchased through

Routes / Re: Need help with getting ready for bike tour
« on: December 13, 2012, 03:32:25 pm »
What is your route?

Gear Talk / Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« on: October 02, 2012, 05:25:34 pm »
For the first time in 2011 I took a tablet with me on a three week tour of British Columbia.  I have done two to seven week tours before.  I found the access to the net completely changed the trip for me, and not for the better.  It made me realize that the reason I toured is to NOT be connected to the rest of the world. It took a long time to write a log and upload pictures.  I was on a daily search for wifi.  Access to maps and upcoming lodging possibilities were helpfuw, but nothing that couldn't have been provided by hard copy maps and talking to locals.  I would suggest that you consdier not taking any tablet or IPad.  If you need to check in with friends, find a library every third or fourth day and send a quick messsage so your loved ones know you're safe.

I don't have anything to say about the heat.  However, I once rode from Jackson Hole to SLC.  There was one stretch that was abosolutely gorgeous and I have never seen anyone write about it.  It is the road from Big (?) Bear Lake to Logan, Utah.  The highway hugs the river and the valley practically all the way to Logan.  The scenery was awesome!!  Also, be forewarned,  the raspberry shakes that everyone seems to rave about at Big Bear Lake simply weren't that good.  Have a good trip.

General Discussion / Re: Cash for cycling trips
« on: May 08, 2012, 05:02:21 pm »
I have found that the big banks in the United States partner with  banks in other countries to use ATM's without a fee. In Canada for example, Bank of America partners with Scotia.  You also want to check with your credit card company and your bank to see how exchange rates are caculated and, for credit cards, to see if there are additional fees.  In Canada, my U.S. Visa credit card charged a 3% fee for every transaction.  (I didn't know this until I returned home and saw the extra charge on my bill for every transaction).  Had I known that, I probably would have relied a lot more on getting cash from Scotia ATM's, rather than using my credit card so frequently.

In addition, some countries require the use of the pin number for credit cards, something that is not required in the U.S.

Routes / Re: southern tier route
« on: February 22, 2012, 08:25:22 pm »

I have not done the southern tier, but I live in San Diego.  I also have followed several journals on Crazy Guy.  Here are some alternatives.  First it is a long ride to Ocotillo. I can't remember any rider who has gone that distance on the first day. I certainly couldn't do, especially carrying my own gear.  There is a campground at Alpine (already at about 3500 feet); there seems to be a motel in Pine Valley, and also a hotel/spa in Jacumba.  If you have the Ad. Cycling maps, they should be able to give you more definitive info.

Routes / Re: Riding South through Camp update please.
« on: February 21, 2012, 04:50:09 pm »
I live in San Diego and as a rule, you can almost always bicycle through Camp Pendleton.  You need an id; a driver's license is enough.  Every once in a while, they will close Camp Pendleton to bicyclists for various reasons.  In that case you have to take the shoulder of I-5 for about seven miles. I have done it once, and hope I never have to do it again.  Lots of traffic zooming by as 70 mph; however, it is possible and you can do it safely if you take precautions.

General Discussion / Re: Southern tier start time
« on: October 26, 2011, 12:03:16 am »
You could also start in mid September.  Things tend to be getting cooler in the CA desert (although that didn't happen this year) and you would arrive before the snows in the AZ and NM mountains. 

Routes / Re: Best food on ACA Pacific Coast?
« on: September 23, 2011, 08:11:46 pm »
Otis Cafe in Otis, Oregon.  It's right on the ACA route.  Cute little dinner, good desserts. 

Also dont miss the bakery in Tomales,CA about a half day past Bodega Bay.  Fabulous food.

Of course, the Tilamooke Cheese factory.  Get the ice cream.  It's worth standing in line for.

Routes / Re: Sourhern Tier Route-Travelling from UK- Help
« on: September 23, 2011, 08:05:54 pm »
Hit the send button too soon.  I live in San Diego, let me know if you need a place to stay.  Send me message.  You could stay with us for a day or two to adjust to the time change.  Send me a "Message" if you are intersted.

Routes / Re: Sourhern Tier Route-Travelling from UK- Help
« on: September 23, 2011, 08:03:12 pm »
I think that British Airlines has just started a non-stop flight from Heathrow to San Diego. I don't know the cost, but it sure would be convenient if you are traveling from London.

General Discussion / Re: Rain gear on self contained long distance touring?
« on: September 23, 2011, 07:59:03 pm »
I think it partly depends on the route and the time of year.  If you are crossing the Rockies and Cascades almost any time, I would take rain gear (rain jacket, some time of glove liners, and pants).  It's not the rain that is the problem, but trying to stay warm in the rain when the temperatures are in the 50's or you are going down a long grade.  If you were doing the Southern Tier, I think that rain gear to keep you warm is probably not needed as much.  I just spend three weeks cycling in British Columbia this summer, and it rainged about 17 days out of 21.  I was grateful to have rain gear along.  Also, for the first time, I brought along poly-pro pants to put on when I got to the campground. Really helped me stay warm after changing out of wet clothes, and alos helps a couple of very cold nights in the tent when I was in Bannf.  Could not have stayed warm without the extra gear.

Routes / Looking for recommendation for bicycle store in Mobile
« on: May 04, 2011, 11:30:35 pm »
I will be starting the Underground Railroad adventure in a few weeks.  I am looking for recommendations for a bicycle store that I can ship my bicyce to and have it re-assembled. The ACA map has four bike stores listed: Pathworks Bicycles, Cadence 120 Bicycle Works, Bicycles of Mobile, and Spoke N Trail.  Has anyone used any of these bike stores to assemble their bike.  Any thoughts/recommendations?  Thanks

General Discussion / Re: Working on a bike tour.
« on: April 06, 2011, 11:17:10 pm »
Try Cycle America (  They advertise of bike tour staff on their website.

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