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Messages - yumadons

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31
General Discussion / Re: Hi, I'm a newby after advice!
« on: November 17, 2011, 08:11:01 am »
Be sure to sign up at warmshowers.com, a network of people who host cyclists in their homes overnite. Americans love all things Australian, you'll find plenty of takers! 

32
General Discussion / Re: Stupid Hotel Question
« on: November 08, 2011, 02:55:15 pm »
My husband & I just completed the first half of the TransAm (OR coast to Pueblo, CO) 100% motels, didn't carry camping gear. Longest day 71 miles.  All accommodations / prices / contact info on blog:

http://bicyclelife.topicwise.com/doc/yumadons1

Suzanne

33
South Atlantic / Good route from Fulton, MS to Hilton Head, SC?
« on: October 25, 2011, 02:31:37 pm »
We did the first half of the TransAm from the OR coast to Pueblo, CO, this year and have 2 months to do the second half starting 9/1/12. We'll take the TransAm from Pueblo and want to adjust the route to end at Hilton Head, SC. My thought is to take the TransAm to the Underground RR south to Fulton, MS, then cut across AL & GA to Hilton Head. Would appreciate any suggestions on getting from the Underground RR to Hilton Head. We're slow, 40-50 miles daily unless tailwind.

Suzanne
Yuma, AZ

34
General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: October 18, 2011, 11:57:45 am »
Forgot to say that not just McD's, but many restaurants & cafes along the route have free wifi so if you don't need your daytime hours to ride, you can get quite a bit done at food stops. It took me forever to post pix to my blog so I was better off doing my internetting at nite & using rest days to make reservations (used both internet & phone for that). Hotels.com has good prices, lots of small towns won't have any listings with them. Momandpopmotels.com has listings in many tiny TransAm towns, most of their motels have phone numbers listed but many aren't big enough to have a website, so you have to call for prices. They don't keep the website up to date either, but it's still helpful.

Suzanne
Yuma, AZ

35
General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: October 18, 2011, 11:45:24 am »
On the western half (Oregon coast to Pueblo, CO), I'd say motels averaged ~$75 including tax, but they'll be a bit cheaper on the eastern half. And as John says, some free warmshowers nites will bring that average down. There may also be stretches where you're cycling & moteling with another rider & can split the cost. Most US motels charge the same for one or two people. A room with 2 beds is the most common setup and doesn't necessarily cost anymore than a room with one bed. Motel front desks frequently gave us 2 bed rooms when cost was the same because there was more room for 2 bikes. Link to blog:

http://bicyclelife.topicwise.com/doc/yumadons1

Suzanne
Yuma, AZ

36
General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: October 17, 2011, 11:22:03 am »
Yes, Yellowstone motels not only book up early and are hard to get, they will be the most expensive on the trip along with those in the adjoining Tetons ($160 range). Prices of everywhere we stayed are in our blog. "Bicycling the TransAm Trail" uses symbols of $,$$, & $$$ to give you an idea which are cheapest. I'm sure you can do it cheaper than us, we were more concerned with location (making each day's ride doable distance and hillwise) than cost. Especially if you're a strong rider (could do a big day if you have to) I don't see any problem with leaving camping stuff at home. If you're doing warmshowers, you'll need good phone /wireless service to make your contacts, Verizon works better in remote areas of the west than ATT. And an added perk of motels is most of them have good wireless / phone service even if the phone you bring does not.

Suzanne
Yuma, AZ

37
General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: October 14, 2011, 10:25:18 pm »
Another cheap (free) alternative to motels is www.warmshowers.org and www.couchsurfing.org. We didn't do it but ran into people who did, mostly warmshowers. Americans LOVE the Brits with their accents & I'll bet you'd get first dibs. Plus, traveling alone, the company / hospitality would be fun for you :)

Suzanne
Yuma, AZ

38
When it became apparent last year riding in Bryce Canyon that Don wouldn't be able to do the hills, I was envisioning some sort of semi-sagged ride with our RV. He watches all those shows like "How It's Made" and "How Do They Do It" and thought of the electric bike. I never even knew there was such a thing, especially from a major manufacturer like Trek. Had to share how it worked out!

Suzanne
Yuma, AZ   

39
General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: October 10, 2011, 10:26:00 pm »
Hi Simon,

There's a book you can buy from Adventure Cycling (on this website) called "Bicycling the TransAm" by Stephanie Kirz. It's written to go east to west without camping tho she and her husband brought camping stuff. I emailed to ask her if she ever used it but didn't hear back. Be sure to buy the third edition (most recent, 2009) but some things have changed so be sure to get the Adventure Cycling maps also and don't forget to read the addendums (addendums contain the most recent closed motels, new restaurants, etc that people out riding the route report back to AC). You could plan to go in her footsteps.

My husband and I just did the first half riding west to east (North Bend, OR to Pueblo, CO) and kept a blog listing daily mileage and motel name & cost. We were only averaging 40-50 miles a day, our 2 longest days were 71 miles:  http://bicyclelife.topicwise.com/doc/yumadons1

If you don't want to camp, you'll be glad you left your camping gear at home. We met a Londoner, Michael, who said he had intended to camp but it was so hot he ended up in lots of motels & wished he didn't have to carry so much stuff. His blog is:
www.transamerica2011.blogspot.com

Your crucial motel reservations will be in Yellowstone Park, Yellowstone Park lodges can book a year in advance. The lodges that are on route are Grant, Old Faithful Inn, Old Faithful Lodge, & Old Faithful Snow Lodge.  You'll have to estimate when you'll be there and make reservations (you can search for availability & make reservations online at www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com). You get a full refund with 24 hour cancellation so if you can't narrow it down to the day, you can always reserve multiple days and then cancel
the days you don't need once you figure out exactly when you'll be there. If you're a strong rider you could probably make it all the way from Flagg Ranch (only one hotel there so it will need a reservation too, www.flaggranch.com) to West Yellowstone (a town just outside the park with lots of motels, no worry about reservations). If you look at my blog, you can see where to stay in Jeffrey City where the motel has closed.

I think you'll have a way easier time going east to west cuz you can follow Stephanie Kirz's book. Since we went the opposite direction, I had to study the elevation sections of the AC maps VERY carefully to make sure we didn't bite off more than we could chew. The west is really the challenge motelwise because towns can be far apart and the route passes thru some highly desirable tourist areas that can book early (ie Yellowstone, Tetons, & the stretch along the McKenzie River in Oregon. I booked my reservation at The Caddisfly in McKenzie Bridge in Feb & they were already full but nice enough to give me a "park model" (tiny mobile home) that they use for their grandkids.

I made what I considered to be the critical reservations way ahead of time (the aforementioned places and weekend nites in places with just one or two motels). I had most of the daily destinations penciled out, but not necessarily the motel reservations made. On rest days, I'd lay out the maps and make phone calls a few days ahead. For the eastern half next year (Pueblo to the east coast), I don't anticipate making any
reservations way ahead of time. Midwest towns are closer together and not as touristed. Plus you can get some serious tailwinds in Kansas which I'd like to take advantage of  ;)

Look on Crazy Guy On A Bike website & check Fred Werda's journals, he did 3 TransAm crossings and
 mostly moteled it. Also look at Stefan Steen's journal. He didn't do the TransAm, he & his dad did another route from Washington state to New York with only seat bags! Don't worry about breaking down in the middle of nowhere, there is nowhere on the route so desolate that someone won't come along in a truck and give you a ride if you need it.

You will have a great trip!

Suzanne
Yuma, AZ


40
General Discussion / Re: hip pain
« on: October 10, 2011, 08:16:23 pm »
Get the new hip if they'll give it to you, ObamaCare is coming :-o   My 60 year old husband got one 6/09 and the doc let him ride again after the one month recheck. The only thing he wasn't allowed to do for 3 months was a full golf swing. We were quickly riding 25 miles again. We're not even hard core bikers, just do it for exercise and to get in shape for our TransAm ride this summer.

He got 2 new knees 6/10 on the same day and for that they put him on a stationary exercise bike after 3 weeks. He was only in the hospital for 3 days after the hip and 3 days after the knees. He did all his hip rehab at home and for the knees he went 3 times a week for 3 weeks to physical therapy along with his home exercises. The new hip technique is way better than back in the old days. They don't even cut any muscles, they just spread them. And if it ever needs replacement, a replacable "liner" just snaps out and they glue in a new one. We highly recommend Dr. Ezzet at Scripps in San Diego if you're anywhere near.

We just got home from the first half of our TransAm ride :-)  http://bicyclelife.topicwise.com/doc/yumadons1

Suzanne
Yuma, AZ

We just got back from

41
General Discussion / W2E credit card TransAm on Trek FX+ electric bike
« on: October 10, 2011, 04:45:00 pm »
My husband & I just cycled the first half of the TransAm, from the Oregon coast to Pueblo, CO. Will do the second half next year. We're weak riders, averaging 40-50 miles daily, all motels (didn't carry camping gear). He's  60 with COPD, lung lymphoma, 2 new knees and a new hip and rode a 2011 Trek FX+ electric assist bike (I rode a 20 year old Raleigh mountain bike). Wanted to post this so anyone sitting on the fence knows they can do it too :)

Our blog including names / prices of all accommodations is at:  http://bicyclelife.topicwise.com/doc/yumadons1

Suzanne
Yuma, AZ

42
General Discussion / Re: travelling long distance with my dog
« on: July 14, 2011, 03:57:05 pm »
We met a guy touring with 4 panniers plus an Australian Shepherd (~50#) in a Bob trailer last summer in Utah, they've been all over together. He ties the dog in and sometimes lets her run along beside him. If you don't have anyone to keep Jerry, you just have to do your best with a setup to take him along. Maybe it's not ideal but don't let anyone make you feel bad about it, adult shelter dogs are not faring well in this economy  :(

Suzanne   

43
General Discussion / Re: Astoria or Florence?
« on: July 03, 2011, 09:21:52 pm »
We're flying United into North Bend / Coos Bay, 48 miles south of Florence. You can ship bikes boxed on United for $100. We're UPSing them to Moe's Bike Shop instead, 2 miles from the airport, advertises "the biggest bike shop on the Oregon Coast" because there's a chance United won't be able to get both bikes on the puddle jumper into North Bend.

Suzanne
W2E TransAm leaving Aug 1  

44
Gear Talk / Re: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes
« on: July 17, 2010, 09:18:39 pm »
Thanks. I can hopefully hit a Trek store this summer with a 520 in my size to try (does a 54" frame sound right for 5'9" with 32" inseam and 135#?). Tinker with handlebars as needed. If that doesn't work, you've given me some ideas. The husband just got on a real bike for the first time in 7 weeks since double knee replacements, he has some interest in a recumbent because he likes the recumbent exercise bike he's been using. Will be keeping eyes peeled for one of those!

45
Gear Talk / Re: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes
« on: July 08, 2010, 02:35:31 pm »
<< The 520 is a touring bike.  No other Trek road bike rides and fits like a 520.  As opposed to other road bikes, you sit more upright on a touring bike. >>

Glad to hear this. Hopefully I'll get a chance to ride a 520 this summer. May spend more time at the bike store in Columbus than at my OSU alumni stuff  ;-)

<<There has to be some other reason why you are faster on your husband's mtn bike than your mtn bike besides bar ends.>>

You're right. His frame is longer and the seat is higher than the handlebars, so I can lean forward some with the bar ends. I just put the bar ends on my mtn bike and I'm so upright on it that they don't really help. Definitely want a new bike!

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