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Old 12-03-17, 04:23 AM   #1
Fredandsveta
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Coming to the US

Hi the community!

We are Fred & Sveta from France and traveling since August 2015 with a tandem, but we already introduce ourselves on the proper place!

In march 2018 we will land in Los Angeles, and we will leave the US at the end of May from Salt Lake City.
Between those two flights we have almost 3 months to ride and discover a bit your country, and we are very excited by this coming adventure!!
After that from SLC we will land to Cartagena and ride all the South America through the Andes, Altiplano, Carretera Austral, etc..
After landed at LA airport we will try to find a place where to stay for 2 nights (WarmShower certainly), the time to do some shopping and to visit a little, then we thought about a safe "extraction" from the huge city by taking a Bus (Boltbus from LA to Barstow).

We would be happy to receive support, advices and recommendations about road to take, place to see etc...
We made a Google collaborative map with some spot we found interesting to see, but as newbie on the forum we are not allowed to share a link for now.

Thanks a lot!!
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Old 12-03-17, 07:50 AM   #2
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Do not go to Barstow. There's really nothing there, its just a stopping point on the way to LAs Vegas. IT WAS a railroad town, but those days have all but ended.

If you want to go around by bicycle I'd suggest going north from Los Angeles toward Santa Barbara - San Luis Obispo, maybe all the way up to San Francisco. You can go east from there to Yosemite - Sacramento - Lake Tahoe, then eastward into Nevada towards SLC. You can also go south from Los Angeles towards San Diego, too.

Transport: I don't know of any bus lines that take tandem bicycles. Try using the AMTRAK train service if you want to get between destiniations - In California it runs from San Diego to San Francisco ( or all the way up to Seattle Washington), and it runs from San Francisco area out towards the east.
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Old 12-03-17, 08:00 AM   #3
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I've taken BoltBus with my bike between Seattle and Portland, and cyclists loaded their own bikes in the large baggage areas at the base of the bus. No box was required. If BoltBus service in L.A. is similar, I don't see any reason why folks wouldn't be able to take a tandem.

I agree that getting off in Barstow is not a good idea.

But I see a bigger problem with the timing of this trip. March is too early for touring in most of the western U.S.
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Old 12-03-17, 09:25 AM   #4
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... Try using the AMTRAK train service if you want to get between destiniations - In California it runs from San Diego to San Francisco ( or all the way up to Seattle Washington), and it runs from San Francisco area out towards the east.
Amtrak does not take tandems in boxes, I do not know about other Amtrak bike options, but that would be something to verify first.
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Old 12-03-17, 10:28 AM   #5
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Thank you for your answers, it's much appreciated for the foreigners we are! and we hope you survive from our funny English!!

We already though about all those "problems" and it's a good thing to come back together on that.

About the season, March April and May are the only month we could, because we want enjoy as much as possible the 3 allowed month in US, and in South America we want to match with the Austral spring and summer.
Because of that period we limit our movement to the south-west corner, after study the average weather of this area we expect to find not too much humidity, but we know it might be cold.

After landing at LA we want reach Twentynine Palms at the North of Joshua Tree NP for meet acquaintances there.
We know that Boltbus is easy with bicycle, so it's the easiest transport solution we found to leave LA without spending 2 days riding in the city.
Yes Barstow don't look like an exciting place , but it's the place where stop the bus, and from there we though to ride to Twentynine Palms.

We are a bit "roots people" and autonomous, not really attracted by the coast and high touristic places.
On the coast we are afraid to find more rain and humidity also.
Between Las Vegas and SLC we are thinking to ride through Grand Canyon if it's open, Zion, Monument Valley, Canyonlands, etc...
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Old 12-03-17, 11:34 AM   #6
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Welcome to the community Sveta and Fred

As to posting links. Just make a few more small posts to get over the newbie limit (5 I think) and then you are in! It's something many do and acceptable I think if you are planning to visit the forum anyway.
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Old 12-03-17, 01:40 PM   #7
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@Happy Feet

Thank you for welcoming!!
I think it's 10 posts necessary to be able to share a link, but it will come soon!!
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Old 12-03-17, 01:59 PM   #8
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Use the Adventure cycle [touring] assn resources , they make & sell strip maps of their researched routes https://www.adventurecycling.org/
there is online viewing of those, via that website..

and each state's department of transportation publishes maps ...

Oregon has one recommending roads, state wide, and another one just covering the Pacific Coast..





....
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Old 12-03-17, 03:45 PM   #9
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Axolotl has it correct that it's early in the year. So attempting to go anything but due north along the California coast or south east thru southern Arizona and then north, would be a problem.

The roads thru the passes in the Sierras are often not open till May or later, dependent on the seasons snow fall. Ditto anything thru the Rockies.

Thus east from LA to maybe over towards central AZ, then wander up to the south rim of the Grand Canyon and then east and north thru central Arizona thru Utah, maybe as far east as Moab, then up to SLC.

Big issue is some places are high enough in altitude that snow is a possibility into mid April and it'll be cold as well. Pretty much the 5,000 ft. altitude line is where to watch for the rain vs. snow that time of year.

You kind of have to be flexible if you want to head thru the Sierra's and east across the deserts of Nevada and central Utah and in any event, the area of northern Arizona dn SW Utah are very scenic and worth the visit.
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Old 12-03-17, 07:33 PM   #10
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I'd not recommend going from Barstow to Twentynine Palms on a bicycle; that's got to be one of the loneliest and desolate roads in the Southwestern USA. If there is a Boltbus route that goes from Los Angeles toward Phoenix AZ you could take that instead and get off in Palm Springs/Desert Hot Springs and go to Twentynine Palms from there.
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Old 12-03-17, 07:40 PM   #11
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I don't agree that March - May would be the wrong time of year for a roundabout LA-SLC trip. Actually, it's probably the best time of year if you'll be spending most of your time in lower elevations. SteveB's comment about the 5,000 foot mark is certainly off - I lived most my life at 5,000 ft in the southwest, and in mid-April, that's perfect 70 degree weather, not anywhere near the rain/snow line that time of year.

Unless you're planning to cross the mountains right away, you'll likely have good weather. Depends greatly on your route, but March is perfect in much of Southern California, Arizona, and Southern Utah.

Most likely the coldest part of your trip would be around the Grand Canyon/Flagstaff areas, and if hit that area in late April, you can expect highs near 60 F and lows about 35 F - not really too bad for bike touring.

Last edited by DCycle; 12-03-17 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 12-03-17, 08:12 PM   #12
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un chose trés important, je suis un canadien et chaque fois que je vais aux etats, il faut avoir un tres bonne et solide assurance de maladie et d'accident. Vous savez qu"aux etats, si tu as un accident, tu pourrais se trouver en debt de les centaines de milles de dollars americaine tres vite, donc naise pas et etre sur et certain que vous avez un assurance fiable pour les truc medicaux. J'imagine que sera facile de trouver le bon info chez vous, mais je suis tres serieux comment c'est important.
Ils sont foux ces romains......

bonne chance avec vos plans et de penser d'un route. J'ai jamais voyagé dans ce secteur, seulement la cote ouest et ici dans le nord est pret de Montreal.
Si vous avez d'autres questions, n'hesitez de demander.
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Old 12-03-17, 08:34 PM   #13
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Do not go to Barstow. t.
You do not box your bike on amtrak from LA to San Diego.

there is a light rail
https://media.metro.net/documents/90...fc15a4b3b3.pdf
it conects to the San Diego light rail.
I will land at lax in a few days, at midnight. I will stay in the airport arrival area until after 5am. I will take the flyaway bus to Union Station, and the, (orange line?), light rail, too the San Diego light rail, then change to the trolley. Could the San Diego Bolt bus get you close to where you want to go, or the trolley to El Cajon be good enough?

Lake Morena county park California, southern San Diego county.
Approx. Elevation: 3,041 feet (927 meters)
I have seen it freeze there at the end of march, mid 20s F, -5 c, my gear was for 35 Fahrenheit, not working for me.
You need cold weather gear and rain gear in march and april.

Last edited by chrisx; 12-03-17 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 12-03-17, 08:50 PM   #14
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un chose trés important, je suis un canadien et chaque fois que je vais aux etats, il faut avoir un tres bonne et solide assurance de maladie et d'accident. Vous savez qu"aux etats, si tu as un accident, tu pourrais se trouver en debt de les centaines de milles de dollars americaine tres vite, donc naise pas et etre sur et certain que vous avez un assurance fiable pour les truc medicaux. J'imagine que sera facile de trouver le bon info chez vous, mais je suis tres serieux comment c'est important.
Ils sont foux ces romains......

bonne chance avec vos plans et de penser d'un route. J'ai jamais voyagé dans ce secteur, seulement la cote ouest et ici dans le nord est pret de Montreal.
Si vous avez d'autres questions, n'hesitez de demander.
Google Translated:


a very important thing, I am a Canadian and every time I go to the States, you have to have a very good and solid insurance of illness and accident. You know that in the States, if you have an accident, you could be in debt of hundreds of miles of American dollars very quickly, so do not be afraid and be sure that you have a reliable insurance for the medical stuff. imagine that it will be easy to find the right info at home, but I am very serious how important it is.
They are crazy these romans ......

good luck with your plans and thinking of a road. I have never traveled in this area, only the west coast and here in the north is near Montreal.
If you have other questions, do not hesitate to ask.
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Old 12-03-17, 08:52 PM   #15
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I don't agree that March - May would be the wrong time of year for a roundabout LA-SLC trip. Actually, it's probably the best time of year if you'll be spending most of your time in lower elevations. SteveB's comment about the 5,000 foot mark is certainly off - I lived most my life at 5,000 ft in the southwest, and in mid-April, that's perfect 70 degree weather, not anywhere near the rain/snow line that time of year.

Unless you're planning to cross the mountains right away, you'll likely have good weather. Depends greatly on your route, but March is perfect in much of Southern California, Arizona, and Southern Utah.

Most likely the coldest part of your trip would be around the Grand Canyon/Flagstaff areas, and if hit that area in late April, you can expect highs near 60 F and lows about 35 F - not really too bad for bike touring.
Yeah, you are correct about the altitude, maybe take it up to 6000-7000, but they still need to be aware that early April is still cold. Maybe lows to 35 at night, maybe colder. As well and where I lived (Santa Fe at 7000), it was a bit further north, so warm season comes a bit later, I well recall many snowfalls in early April. Certainly touring the Bryce/Cedar Breaks area and up on the Kaibab might need some caution early in the year.

I would still recommend heading SE out of LA and into Arizona, then north, as opppsed to Up tha Pacific coast and then east.
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Old 12-03-17, 11:20 PM   #16
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Благодарю за перевод cb400,
twin or four?
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Old 12-04-17, 05:30 AM   #17
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So many answers, oua!! thanks a lot!!
I need a bit of time to process all this information, looking on the map etc... I'm a bit lost!
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Old 12-05-17, 02:50 AM   #18
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a rough touring map for you during your march-may trip would have suggested boundaries as so:

western boundary: lone pine/bishop/california highway 395

northern boundary: us interstate 80 in nevada and utah

eastern boundary: arizona/utah highway 191

southern boundary: us interstate 10 in california and arizona

there's enough adventure for a lifetime within those parameters.
personally, i'd start near joshua tree national park, head north to mojave national preserve, then angle nw
towards and through death valley national park. after hitting california, i'd head due east and ride the south rim of the grand canyon
and then head through monument valley in the ne corner of arizona. after that, i'd backtrack and head east towards kanab, utah.
visit zion national park. see if you can hitch a ride through the zion np tunnel as you can't ride through it...otherwise, it's a looong
scenic backtrack to kanab then north to bryce canyon national park. after that, it's a personal preference zig-zagging through
grand escalante national monument, capitol reef national park, bears ears national monument, canyonlands national park, arches national park
and the mount timpanagos/sundance area before exiting via salt lake city.

there will be no huge cities except at your beginning (los angeles) and at your conclusion (salt lake city).
in between, your journey will consist of fairly small towns and hamlets that will be few and far between. some of these hamlets will be little more
(if lucky) than a general store so prepare accordingly. enjoy!

and yes...the humidity will be fairly low since the areas described above are mostly desert. the high point would be rainbow point in
bryce canyon national park which runs 9,100 feet. most of your riding would be below 5,000 feet and even the riding above that elevation is sparsely forested.
your biggest problem-that time of year (besides supplies here and there)-might be allergies from pollen and dust.

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Old 12-05-17, 09:06 AM   #19
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Death Valley is great that time of year, but it's a little bit out of the way and there's no good public transportation to/from the park. I've gone from Death Valley to Tonopah to Pahrump to Las Vegas and there are a few sketchy stretches of road, but it's mostly good.

From Las Vegas you could go to St. George and then you're closer to a lot of good stuff- the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, all the parks in Southern Utah, etc.

Joshua Tree is a great park to ride in. You're going to love it there. The Grand Canyon isn't great for riding (the South Rim, at least), but the park itself is amazing and is a must-see. Death Valley is my favorite park for riding and if you want more info on routes there just let me know. Of all the parks in Utah (they're all good), Canyonlands is the most underrated and is the best of the bunch for riding. Obviously Moab is well known for its cycling, too.

3 months sounds like a lot, but there is so much to see. Have fun!
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Old 12-05-17, 10:28 AM   #20
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I hope the OP understands that under the visa waiver program, they can stay for 90 days, not 3 months. The distinction is important. 91 days constitute an overstay with serious repercussions. Also, djb's advice about getting travel & health insurance for at least their time in the US, is a very good point.

Based on what the OP wrote, I presume they'll be in the US from early March to late May. Places like Bryce Canyon and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon are likely to still have snow in March, and snow is quite possible in April because of their elevation. I had chilly temperatures at the North Rim in late May. The lower South Rim of the Grand Canyon will still be chilly in April. The average low temperature in a place like Flagstaff is still below freezing on April 30. I experienced snow at Cedar Breaks in mid-May, which is normal there at 10000 feet/3000m. The Visitors Center didn't even open before Memorial Day in late May. I would urge the OP to remain in low elevation areas for all of March. They might want to even consider spending their first few weeks in North America in Baja California in Mexico, and then returning to the US.
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Old 12-05-17, 11:13 AM   #21
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Kind of a difficult time to tour in the West. Consider taking a southern route to El Paso, TX, then head north to Denver and west to SLC. Hopefully the route is passable by then. According to Google Maps, it’s about 2,000 miles. Never done it myself, but just throwing it out there as a possibility.
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Old 12-05-17, 11:26 AM   #22
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On the 90 day limit, perhaps they can sort out a multiple re entry visa, with the US embassy in Paris, before they leave,

then go to Canada , and come back in , returning to where they left off , after getting a renewed tourist visa ?..
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Old 12-05-17, 12:23 PM   #23
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On the 90 day limit, perhaps they can sort out a multiple re entry visa, with the US embassy in Paris, before they leave,

then go to Canada , and come back in , returning to where they left off , after getting a renewed tourist visa ?..
They can get visas, but that entails interviews at an embassy and a $160 fee, compared to the $14 ESTA fee. They should only use the official U.S. Government ESTA site. Third-party sites add additional fees to the $14.

Going to Canada is bad advice for several reasons. First of all, they're not going to be anywhere near Canada. Furthermore, the 90 day Visa Waiver clock does not automatically get reset to 0 by going to a contiguous country (Canada or Mexico), a Caribbean nation, or Bermuda.

Citizens of Visa-waiver countries who enter the U.S. at a land crossing do not need an ESTA. Instead, they need an I-94 which costs $6.

Canada now has a similar program to the ESTA. I believe it's called eTA (electronic Travel Authorization).
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Old 12-05-17, 12:40 PM   #24
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When in UK (6 Month tourist visa starts at landing in LHR) I talked to some people who went to Norway , then came back.

this was 1997..
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Old 12-05-17, 01:07 PM   #25
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Each country makes its own rules. There is no reason to assume that the USA's rules are the same as the UK's rules.
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