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Old 07-15-03, 01:02 PM   #1
Inoplanetyanin
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I start a cross country trip this week.

The original route was to go north from Los Angeles to Canadian border and cross Canada to Montreal area and then ride down south to New York city.
Now, after a 100 mile ride, I realized that there is enough wilderness and remotenes even riding through most of the States...

So, I am considering a new route, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming... and then I am not sure, perhaps Montana and a little Canada, or through central part, Nebraska, Kansas, etc...

What would be your favorite route to ride from West to the East of the United States, and why?

All responses will be greatly welcomed.

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Old 07-15-03, 02:03 PM   #2
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The whole continent is nice, so just pick a road and wander, drift and meander! And if you just happen to ramble it to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada I will buy you a beer or two.

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Old 07-15-03, 02:14 PM   #3
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Yeah, after your just comment that the whole continent is beautiful, I feel odd asking about the route .

But North Dakota... would never end... Seriously, I spent 4 days driving the car across thos grey fileds...

Thank you, I'll remember to look at the map to see where that Winnipeg, Monitoba exactly is.
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Old 07-15-03, 08:55 PM   #4
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Here is what I would suggest and it is mainly from reading journals etc. as I've never even been to much of this area myself.Head up to Oregon/Washington like your planning and perhaps even up to B.C. checking out a few islands along the way.Then cut across to the Rockies either through Idaho or even better across B.C.Then head south along the Rockies checking out Banff then Mont./Wyo. before heading east across the plains to S.D. and the Badlands then generally following the U.S. /Canada border either cutting to northern Mn. then into Ca. or across Mn. then through upper Ws. /Mich.Either way ending up around Buffalo N.Y. then heading across to the Adirondacks then through Vt./N.H. to the coast.But Gordon is right in leaving yourself plenty of flexibility .I am trying to locate a journal covering some of these areas where the objective was to visit every national park in the country and he tended to wander all over but it gave good descriptions of all the highlights in particularly national parks/forest/rec areas etc.I really want to find it now as I never finished reading it but can't seem to but will post a link if I do.P.S. Here is the link I'm refering to http://wneo.org/gasp/

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Old 07-16-03, 04:55 PM   #5
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RWTD, thank you. I decided to start in the north direction and then decide, after I see how it goes. This would be my first long trip, anyway.
If I will manage to get to Montana, I will definitely go through Ontario, above the Great Lakes and maybe to Ottawa and Montreal.
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Old 07-16-03, 06:57 PM   #6
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I agree, any route would be nice, but I really think you should go with your option B, and RWTD's advice. You will get the best scenery and the least amount of boring eternal fields if you head up the pacific coast either to Washington or BC, and then head pretty much east along the northern area of the U.S. and southern area of Canada. I would LOVE to ride through Montana, Wyoming, and see more of Canada. Heading up the pacific coast will let you ride through rainforest, past snowcapped peaks, desert, and cities all within a week.

Any way you do it, you're definitely going to have a good time.
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Old 07-29-03, 11:18 AM   #7
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I am about to head out of Colorado to the Black Hills and then east into Minnesota, and then to the north shore of Lake Superior into Ontario. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 07-30-03, 03:21 AM   #8
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well, the west coast tour is great... and i tend to agree with RWTD and others about Idaho/Montana then maybe heading up into Canada as Nebraska/Dakotas are pretty barren (although i honestly have never been to this part of Canada to the north) and then minnosota-great lakes - NY,VT,NH,Maine...

on a move from Portland OR to Massachusetts 3 years ago i spent 2 weeks mostly visiting national parks along Idaho-Mt (Galceir)-Wyoming (yellowstone/teton)-s dakota (badlands)--- and then road-tripped the dakota to adirondack leg and then spent some time in NY...

it does seem like the Nebraska/Dakota stretch would be LONG on the bike.
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Old 07-30-03, 03:22 AM   #9
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have fun! this Friday i leave for my 9-day TransAlp MTB tour from Germany to Italy!
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Old 07-30-03, 07:55 PM   #10
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Thank you. You have fun riding in Europe too!

I find California extremely beautiful... Just passed the Mojave desert in the past few days... Pretty hot here, 110 +, it's really close to Death Valley.

I see some cyclists and already have a GOOD real life story about a boy whose life depends on Wal Mart bike...
It will follow soon with plenty of pictures.
Here is a sample if anyone is interested.

I ride 60+ miles a day and it will be better if roads would be a little flatter . Currently in Bishop, California, heading to Yosemite tomorrow. People say there is a nasty climb right outside of town, some 15 miles with elevation change of around 3000 feet?... We will see what a monster that is.

Near highway 395 in California, just a little north of Inyokern.



Took a day off for a break and to do some repairs on the bike, which weren't necessary . Need to be careful diagnosing the noise next time. (Rebuilt the rear axle fearing the clunking sound, while it turned out that pedal cage bolt got a little loose.)

Best Regards to Everybody!
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Old 07-30-03, 09:20 PM   #11
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Good to hear that you hit the road after having your bike destroyed like that. Will you be posting a travelogue in the Touring section?
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Old 07-30-03, 10:42 PM   #12
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If you get within 100 miles of Spokane WA - let me know - I wouldn't mind riding a day or two with you. Hope the trip goes well!
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Old 08-09-03, 12:21 PM   #13
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Hi all.

Quote:
Originally posted by Gordon P
Good to hear that you hit the road after having your bike destroyed like that. Will you be posting a travelogue in the Touring section?
I'd like to, but there is not much time available to be on the internet. I will rather do it nicely on a separate page and when it's ready, I will post a link.

Quote:
Originally posted by sscyco
If you get within 100 miles of Spokane WA - let me know - I wouldn't mind riding a day or two with you. Hope the trip goes well!
That would be really nice, and I am actually planing to visit a friend in Spokane, the problem is, I can't predict when i get there and at what shape , so it's hard to arrange the ride in advance. I will spend few days there and maybe we could all get together and have a dinner sometime. Anyway, if something available comes up, I will let you know. Ok?

I am currently in Winnemucca, Nevada.
Rode a 100 mile dirt road, from Gerlach... no flats, but going down the hill fast, I hit the big boulder and broke a spoke and bent the rim, going to bike shop right now to get it trued, since the guy is willing to do it at no charge.
Bike shop people are so friendly everywhere besides LA...
Best regards...
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Old 08-09-03, 02:34 PM   #14
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Mr. Ino........my hats off to you! Nice photo! Riding in the 100+ heat must be torturous. I don't think I can do that. Where did you cross the San Gabriels when you started? Glad to see you're making nice progress. I hope you got your rim straightened out. I will check back to this thread almost daily to see how you're doing......so try to post as frequently as possible, but I know it's difficult to do that when you're on the road. Are you camping each night? I'll check back again.....
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Old 08-09-03, 03:00 PM   #15
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Hi George. Thank you for attention and nice words.
I am still in the library...
The mountains... I went straight up just little west of Pasadena, by Angeles Forest highway. It was much more difficult than I ever expected and learned few things. The gearing I have (53/42 front and 12/28 rear ) is far from suitable for any kind of climbing. So, remembering the thread where we discussed the need of triple chain ring on the front, I would be ALL FOR the triple, if bike is heavy and any kinds of hills ahead.
The 60 miles across the mountains, to Palmdale took me 2 days, where 80% of time was walking/pushing the bike.
Mountains are gorgeous, though.
The heat started in Mojave, right north of Mojave City... if not Joshua tree, I could probably pass out... The shade it provided helped a lot, where I just laid almost unconsciously resting. Good views around though...

You are right about it being tough, I was recently wondering if adventure should be like this when I pedal till the end, spending sometimes 10+ hours in the saddle and not always having the right food... Maybe I should ease up a little, but anyone can do it...



Angeles Forest Highway, going north across San Gabriel Mountains, North of Los Angeles.

Shade under the Joshua Tree, in Mojave desert on Highway 14 North. Several Mountain Ranges and valleys from Death Valley.
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Old 08-09-03, 04:01 PM   #16
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Mr. Ino.... Thanks for your quick reply. The photos look familiar. I've ridden my road bike several times to Mt. Wilson. I'm sorry to hear about your gearing on your bike. Yes, you definitely need a triple in your situation. I would not attempt to cross the Rockies with your current gearing. I would keep heading north to avoid major climbs. Can you do something? Will you be heading north towards Utah? Keep plenty of fluids on hand...... the heat's really on this weekend. Just got done with the Montrose ride, cooling down with some beer in my patio. Keep hammering on..... here's to your journey...
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Old 08-10-03, 05:15 AM   #17
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If you want to reduce the mileage, go from San Diego to Charleston, SC. It's "only" 2200 miles -- the shortest distance across the U.S. There's a good book, called "Over The Hills" by newspaperman David Lamb. He rode across the U.S. training as he went -- no preparation. He was also 55 years old, and smoked and drank alkyhol all the way. He said in the book that the eastern Appalachians are worse than the Rockies. The Rockies are gradual, but the Appalachians are "straight up!" It took him two months.
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Old 08-12-03, 04:33 AM   #18
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Dude sitting here in late winter the desert looks great
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Old 08-14-03, 01:02 PM   #19
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George, looks like you ARE resting after some riding, not like people on rest stops on highways , they stop to get out of cars to excercize , I usually go right pass those tables, to make them stay with open mouthes for few seconds...
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Old 08-14-03, 02:35 PM   #20
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Hello my fellow bike forum friends.
Oh yeah, did I mention that every time I talk to someone related to cycling, I always give them the address to this community?
Anyway, It's my 21st day of touring. I am currently in Ontario, Oregon. Well, let's see what happened last few days, for example. After leaving Winnemucca, Nevada, that days I had two flats, both in rear and in front tire, the thorns from the plants caused the punctures. In the evening, after about 60 miles, I got to a town called Mc Dermit, which is right on the border of Nevada and Oregon. There I had a really nice lunch, with boiled eggs and fruits. In the evening, I stopped by the "Say When" casino and for an hour and a half talked to two old men, Jim and Mike. They were the local farmers that are retired. For some reason the trip impressed them so much that they wanted to help me somehow. They really enjoyed looking at me drinking their old whiskey shots, which they bought me. After Mike found out that part of the diet is a peanut butter, he went straight to the restaurant and and bought me a fried chicken dinner. I promised to send them a post card when I get somewhat far from there and hurried to get out of that place before they spend more money on me... Very embarrassing, but they are sincere and very fun people to talk to. :-)
In the morning, after taking a picture near Oregon entrance sign, I continued north on Highway 95. In Nevada and that part of Oregon, the distances between towns are streched greatly compared to more populated States, so the next place where it should be possible to get water, was Burns Junction 55 miles away. As it turned out later, it was a closed restaurant, and not working gas station. From there, highway 78 goes 91 mile to town called Burns, that's north/west, or 95 continues north/east 111 miles to Caldwell, Idaho. SO! nothing very close.
What happened then is, what many people fear so much. I broke down, in the REAL MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. I was riding on the pretty narrow shoulder of about 12 inches wide with snow bumps on the left and gravel/sand on the right. When I was shifting and looked down to a derailleur to see what gear I was in, the front wheel went to the right, into the gravel and suddenly stopped, I was going about 15 miles per hour and this caused me to fly in front of the bike about 10 feet, landing on my arms first and then on both legs. I think years in gymnastics helped not to loose much control. So, I was fine, wondered what people thought in the passing car... Then I found out that the front wheel is bent, brake pads wouldn't let it spin and the it was more than an inch wobble. Luckily, in Winnemucca, two days ago I bought my first spoke wrench, so with good spirit, I put the bike up side down and attempted for the first time to true the wheel. Unfortunately, spokes on the front wheel never been touched, from probably the beginning, the early 80s when the bike was built, so they were so rusted that nipple didn't want to turn, and some of then rounded. Well, I took the brake pads off and continued to ride slowly with wobbling wheel, thinking about where would be the next bike shop to get some spokes, and since I was attempting to go to Burns, which is 130+ miles, there is not a big chance that there is shop there, so basically, nothing good.
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Old 08-14-03, 02:38 PM   #21
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In about 40 minutes, a pickup truck that I thought passed me about 15 minutes ago, was going oncoming way, and an old man yelled from the window that I can get killed here and he wants to save my life, he said that he will pull to the turn out 100 feet away and wanted me to go there. So I turned around and came to the man. He had a little trouble hearing, but no trouble speaking, so he told me that he is heading to Canada, to visit his girlfriend (man is 75 years old) and that he can take me anywhere I want, since he didn't have any certain route preference. Well, I never really expected to take rides, but since the bike was a little out of order, I decided to go with him. While loading a bike in the pick up bed, I noticed some heavy rocks in cardboard boxes, I wondered what were they for, assumed that either he didn't get to removing them from last time, or he carries them as additional weight for some reason. I got all the valuables bag, camera and maps and got into the truck. We turned around and headed north. When the truck accelerated to 70 mph I had a VERY strange feeling, the road was going unbelievably fast, so unusual after 3 week crawling. I had a bad feeling of cheating and how nice it would be to ride there. The road was mostly flat, I knew it would be easy to pedal. The landscape outside the window was still the same, yellow dusty dunes, occasional dry plants, and gray mountains on the horizon. James, which is the name of this man, started an interesting monologue about politics, war, modern life and how it was different when he was young. He was upset that people now days live too fast, don't' notice or care about nature and are being brainwashed to be part of the big wheel. He sounded very intelligent and I actually was curious to hear his views. I never found out what was his profession, but rocks in the bed were URANIUM ORE, which he discovered on his property, in large quantities, now he was dealing with companies that could be interested in mining the ore. He was talking something about Chevron, making business with him and something about getting official approval documents. He also named a number of 40 million pounds of (uranium ore or uranium itself that were under the ground there). He definitely knew the basics about the isotope and was talking about using the it for producing electricity.
As some elderly people experience loneliness, I think James also enjoyed being in company with me, we stopped at a gas station and he bought me a hamburger and drink. He thought that there wouldn't be any bike shops around Caldwell, where I decided I wanted to go, and really thought I should have ridden with him all the way to Spokane, Washington. Of course, I couldn't cheat so much, especially because the landscape was becoming so beautiful, with green trees and grass appearing more and more. Then we came into the valley, about 8 miles downhill, on which I would like to roll down so much. Around Caldwell, were several little towns, Homedale, Marsing, where there were fruit ranches with grapes, apples, peaches... numerous fields of corn and other crops. I already decided to pedal back this way, to use a chance to eat some free fruits from the gardens .
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Old 08-14-03, 02:48 PM   #22
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Picture of James

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Old 08-14-03, 02:59 PM   #23
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Mr. Ino.......nice, interesting update...... Are you heading up to Wash. State?
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Old 08-15-03, 09:24 AM   #24
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__________ George, yes sir, I am heading towards Spokane

Continues_________

At around 3 pm James stopped at a gas station near Caldwell, where I
unloaded a bike, wrote down his address, promising to send a post card,
thanked him for all he has done, shook the hand with a good bye and pedaled
into the town.
There was supposed to be a bike shop, as a young man answered me, and I went
further looking for it. After some more wandering around 100 year old
buildings, I finally found the place but it was closed on Monday, so I will
have to come back tomorrow.
The rest of the day I spent in the library, and rode to Wal Mart, several
miles further going towards another little town Nampa. The neighborhood of
this towns makes a pretty big place, so the Wal Mart (super center) parking
lot, was full of cars. Great, this store had food section, so I could buy
nice stuff for good prices. I ate some fruit salads, bought an extra tube
with patches and talked to a nice guy in bike section of the store who was
riding Nishiki, he suggested that 95 north is prettier than going on 26 back
to Oregon and is also closer to go to Spokane that way. Since I had so many
flats recently, I bought this tube and at the register, cashier lady asked,
if my tire was flat right now? I said - no, but few minutes later, when I
took a glance at the rear wheel, it sure was sitting on the rim. 15
minutes , the tube was fixed and I went down riding further to Nampa.
Evening was cool, and riding was very easy. The sun already set and big moon
was in the sky... Gorgeous. I stopped to eat some sandwich with peanut
butter a little later and enjoyed the evening, sitting on the bench, in a
place I never been before, somewhere in Idaho...
Next day, after running around the bike shop, the master finally showed up
near 11 o'clock. The bike shop was his hobby, while he was really a fire
fighter, so he didn't have a fixed schedule when he is in the shop and would
come there anytime he wanted to. I'll make this part short. The guy was
really thinking that buying a new wheel is the only good choice, even though
the wheel he had was black and 35$ is still a better option that rebuilding
the old one with new spokes. Well, I started to do it; luckily he had the
right spokes. Since I couldn't work on his property because of insurance, I
set up my "shop" outside, on the other side, near the railroad, on the
grass, not bothering anyone. 4 hours, 10 new spokes, pretty straight wheel,
I finished. The job - 5 dollars, 10 spokes at 50c each. :-) Plus real
experience, now I can do the same on the road.
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Old 08-15-03, 09:26 AM   #25
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I went to the library again, again to Wal Mart, ate some chips with dip and
soft drink, bought some sort of cookies for the road and rode to Nampa,
about 7 miles where was another bike shop. This guys were young, emotional
and very friendly. The shop also had my "old tire" Michelin World tour,
in the right size for only 8 bucks which I bought right away with few more
good patches.
Finally I am on the road again. Evening, will be dark in little more than an
hour. Road is going between the corn fields, which are not ripe yet, I
stopped to take a picture of an onion field, it's amazing how much onion was
on it, and tasted the green part - it was GOOD, not too bitter When it
was almost dark I was passing through the apple and then peach garden.
Apples were green, but already pretty good, so I ate two. The peaches were
really green and hard like potato. I decided to put a tent somewhere in the
peach garden, as obviously there wouldn't be many people to disturb me to
the sunrise. Then suddenly there it was! THE STRANGE TREE, that was faster
than the rest, and got BIG, soft, juicy and sweet peaches hanging and laying
under it. I couldn't believe it was possible and ate maybe 7 of them, of
course washing them with water from the bottle. All this was reminding me of
Edem garden . The night was great, with occasional sound of falling
fruits and the sound of some happy night birds. By the way, there was lots
of water flowing between trees, so sometimes I would step into two inches
deep mud.
In the morning, while pushing the bike back to the road, I saw the obvious
sign of later problems. The whole tires had thorn stuck in it.
Later on this day, while passing through plantations of grapes, I took some
to eat later, which were almost sweet, but will be ready somewhere in
September probably. In 30 miles, I was thinking, how nice it is, that the
bike is working properly; the rear wheel is perfectly straight with a new
tire and absolutely doesn't wobble. To be sure, I looked down to the wheel,
and in that same second, a loud metal popping sound - BUM - the spoke broke,
which momentarily made the wheel wobble Not too bad though. Well, time
for repairs again. The spoke that broke was also rusty and old. Since I had
the freewheel remover, spoke wrench, few more extra spokes, and now so
valuable experience, it didn't appear as a big problem to me.
Today, which is a next day, I fixed the wheel in about 50 minutes, getting
it back to straight shape and at the same time swapping the tires, putting
the Michelin on the back and Wal Mart tire on the front, where I can watch
it .
Oh yeah, yesterday, the front tire was loosing air in 30 minutes to the rim,
so I stopped few times to pump it up with a hand pump. And then one time,
after I pumped it high, hoping to make it to Ontario (12 miles) I put too
much air in it, at the compressor pump near a tire shop, so that in 200
yards, the tube blew up loudly, and caused the IRC, almost worn to the cords
in 800 miles tire, to get off the rim. I threw it away, also because it had
a little piece of metal cord hanging where it would touch the tube, and it
looked like the tube blew up right in that spot.

So, now I am fixed up again, the bike rolls smooth and quite, luckily the
drive train doesn't cause any troubles.

Bottomline: In 800+ miles and 21 day of riding, I had about 13 flats; front
wheel axle got loose and needed to be tightened within first 50 miles. Front
fork developed a play and needed to be tightened after 750 miles. Broke 2
spokes, bent both rims twice. Everything else is holding up satisfactory:
frame, racks, saddle and handlebar, don't cause any troubles. Actually,
saddle had to be adjusted after about 400 miles, and handlebar got loose at
around 700 . Bottom bracket developed clunking sound with every
revolution, which bugged me for couple of days and went away after
tightening it at nice bike shop near Carson City.

I am leaving now; I can watch the loaded bike right through the glass doors,
it is waiting. The journey continues.
I am very thankful to some people on forum who help to keep the enthusiasm
at high level with their positive comments.
Hearing good luck wishes for the trip so often, I wish good luck to everyone
in return. Hope everyone will stay of trouble.

All the best.

Last edited by Inoplanetyanin; 08-15-03 at 09:58 AM.
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