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Messages - MarkM

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1
General Discussion / Re: The TransAmerican for a beginner?
« on: November 26, 2012, 09:57:23 pm »
Cat,

 I finished the Transam August 11th. Started in Florence Oregon June 2. I was able to find motels in the $40 to $50 range quite often using the ones listed on the ACA maps. If you want to keep a reasonable budget, try to camp when the weather is good. There are private RV park/campgrounds that usually have grassy tent sites and shower/laundry facilities, state parks, and several small communities allowed camping in their city parks for the cross country cyclist. I found all the camping I did to be safe and was never bothered by anyone. You'll also meet other riders and will have the opportunity to ride and camp together.  Yellowstone Park was the only place I had any issues with a place to stay. I was riding with a couple guys I met earlier and was figuring on staying in a hiker/biker site only to find out that is wasnt open yet. The ACA map read the camp area opened mid June. We were there June 18 and it was still closed. A park employee invited us to camp on his site at a employee RV park. There are also a few hostels along the way. I have a journal on the crazyguyonabike.com website. Log on to the site, click the link for journals, then enter Hobodog in the search journals box. You'll see Transamerica trail 2012. If you would like, I can make you a list of motels, campgrounds, and Hostels that I found comfortable.

Mark

2
Routes / Re: Timing and weather
« on: October 29, 2012, 03:30:35 pm »
Greetings Rick.

I finished the TransAmerica trail in August. I chose to leave home [Mesa Arizona] on June 1st, flying to Eugene Oregon. On June 2nd, I went to Florence where my Surly LHT was ready and waiting at a bike shop that I had shipped it to several days earlier. I rode back to Eugene for the weekend and left eastbound from there on June 5th only to get snowed on crossing McKenzie Pass. That's a little unusual for that date but it can and did happen. About an inch of wet slushy snow and 37 degree temps. I was froze by the time I got to Sisters.  But what the heck, what doesnt kill you will just make you stronger. I would recomend West to East. Some people say it doesnt matter as far as winds are concerned, but I think it work in my favor on my trip. A few cool/cold nights for the first 7-10 days but a good sleeping bag and proper cycling clothing made it very comfortable traveling for me. I had a Shower Pass touring jacket that worked well under all wet/cold conditions. By the time I reached mid Wyoming it started to warm up. Lots of sunscreen and liquids. The Rockies were beautiful. Perfect conditions, occasional rains, pleasant temps. Once I got as far as Pueblo, the heat was on. Hot all the way across the plains. Humidity rose the farther east I went. Very hilly through some sections of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Virginia. Do learn to carry plenty of fluids. Over all, It was the best vacation I've ever had in my lifetime. Easy days, challenging days, feelings of accomplishment. Everything I needed.

Mark

Mesa, Az.

3
General Discussion / Re: transam
« on: January 24, 2012, 08:22:55 pm »
I was in Yorktown Va. the first week of May 2011. There was several small groups and a couple solo riders heading west during the first couple days that week. Seemed like a great time to go East to West. I wouldn't start at the west coast before June 1st. Even then McKenzie Pass may still be closed.

Mark

4
Routes / Dipping the tire in Florence Oregon.
« on: January 10, 2012, 09:00:42 pm »
Does anyone know the exact beach location in Florence Oregon for dipping the rear tire to start the Trans America ride?

Thanks,
Mark

5
Gear Talk / Re: Brooks saddle dye.
« on: December 29, 2011, 06:42:33 pm »
My black shorts don't contribute to the problem. I wear them because the dye doesnt show on them. I notice the dye bleeding when I rode with lighter colored shorts. I've treated the seat with the brooks saddle conditioner but the dye still comes off when I wipe the seat with a towel. Also, I have emailed Brooks and got no reply although I will try again.  Lately, I've soaked the saddle in hot water several times. That seems to be bringing out some of the dye. I guess I'll keep doing that until the bleeding stops.

Thanks everyone for your replies.
Mark

6
Gear Talk / Brooks saddle dye.
« on: December 26, 2011, 10:23:58 am »
I'm breaking in a Brooks B17 saddle that is black color. Can anyone recommend a way to rid the saddle of the excess dye so my butt isnt black every time I ride. Riding with black bike shorts only is OK for now but won't be this summer when I travel long distance.

Mark

7
Pacific Northwest / Florence Oregon to Eugene Oregon.
« on: August 16, 2011, 06:52:53 pm »
Does the Transamerica Trail follow route 126 from Florence to Eugene/Colburg?

Thanks,
Mark

8
General Discussion / Astoria or Florence?
« on: May 31, 2011, 12:54:17 pm »
Do most Transamerica route riders start at Florence or Astoria? I'm leaving west to east next summer and I'm wondering if Starting at Florence is better because early June will still be the rainy season. Skipping the Astoria to Florence part will allow me to get through the mountains to dryer climate [I hope] faster. Any thoughts?

Mark

9
General Discussion / Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« on: April 25, 2011, 05:53:51 pm »
I would buy whatever panniers you feel are right for your bike and add weight to them as soon as possible. You can't start training too soon. I havent done any long road trips yet, but I have just recently purchased a touring bike for a trip next summer. I hope to carry no more than 40 lbs of gear so what I have done is added 5 and 1/2 lbs of weight to each of the four panniers. I used bird seed of all things, in large freezer zip locks. Its clean if the bag comes open and I could always dump some out without feeling like I littered if I needed to lighten up for any reason. Then I filled the rest of the space in the panniers with wrinkled news papers inside of 13 gallon plastic trash bags. I wanted the panniers to be fully bulged to get the maximum wind resistance I would encounter on any given day. This fall I will add 4 more lbs of weight to each and train until the summer trip with my actual gross weight. Keeping your loaded weight low on your front rack seems to make good sense as far as handling the bike goes. Using a backpack would bring your center of gravity up and would probably be hot on summer days.

10
Routes / Southern Tier, Mesa Arizona.
« on: March 10, 2011, 05:21:30 pm »
Greetings bicycle travelers on the Southern Tier. Just want to send out an invitation when passing through Mesa Arizona. If you wish to take the time, stop in at 6424 East Main Street during business hours for a break. I can refill your water containers and I have a few energy bars on hand. I recently bought a Surly LHT and I'm hoping to do some touring in the coming years, starting next summer [2012]. Road biking for now. I'd like to hear how your trip is going when you stop in.  Hope to see a few of you.   Mark

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