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Another question - recognizing that saddle comfort is highly individual, can anyone point me to a saddle that you really love for a long tour (6 hrs per day on the bike)?I really like the WTB Volt series of saddles. That said I am not very fussy about saddles and would happily ride another coast to coast trip on any of the saddles that came with my bikes. I used to like my Prologo Kappa the best, but find the Volt nicer. I usually stick with the saddles that are on my bikes, but if I were to bother to switch saddles for a long tour, I'd put the Volt on.
The difference is that I recognize that some folks, including myself, have a very specific window that they can get away from job/family/whatever. I assumed what he had was March and that's what he wants to see. The SC is out but I'd do the WE in March if thats the only time I could get away.Some of how well that works may have to do with how open ended the schedule is. There may be fresh snow and a delay while snow melts or roads are cleared.
A good chunk of the TransAm lore would be lost if the Kentucky dogs were eliminated. Dogs can certainly be a problem, but it's another one of the exciting challenges of the TransAm. It's not an insurmountable problem. To me, Kentucky was an unfamiliar and mostly welcoming world, and I would not want to miss it.
The ST avoids the Appalachians altogether and crosses the Western Mountains by what is probably the easiest route. It does still cross the mountains, has some fairly long steep climbs, and tops out at a little over 8200'.Quote from: staehpj1Just one data point. I did the ST with a 25" low gear. I was 60, not especially fit, and carrying 14 pounds of gear (base weight). The 25" gear was okay.Doesn't the ST route avoid the high mountains of the west and the steepest hills of the Appalachian/Blue ridge/Smokies if TN,KY and VA?
At what point of youth, fitness, and light load does a 27-30 gear inch low become a viable option for touring?Just one data point. I did the ST with a 25" low gear. I was 60, not especially fit, and carrying 14 pounds of gear (base weight). The 25" gear was okay.
If you don't mind my asking, which mountains? I found the Rockies and Cascades much easier than the Ozarks and Appalachians.That is true for the Trans America. On the TA I found the Appalachians and Ozarks to be much harder than the Rockies and Cascades, but depending on your route that can be far from true. For example I found the Sierra Cascades to be exceedingly difficult when we rode the Southern half of it.
Of course, you have to be a dedicated cycle tourist to think the Yorktown Monument is all that special at the eastern end of the TransAm.
If you are going to be self-contained and this is the first tour for most of you -The timeframe is doable for a first timer, but I think it wise to have either an open ended schedule with some extra time built in or a flexible end point. On a coast to coast trip the flexible end point may not make sense so allowing some extra time is more important.
I would suggest either a shorter route or more time.