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Ok.....I just want to make sure that everybody is talking about he same bike....I have been asking about the Jamis Aurora 2009 model which is pretty seriously overhauled from last year.Yep. That is the one I was looking at the specs for
I have a friend the rides a Cannondale T-2000 (now called the Touring-2). It is in the same price range as the Aurora Elite, and has mostly sensible components on it. The Cannondale touring bikes have that shorter wheelbase more nimble ride. So far Cannodale has stayed true and not bastardized the bike with a cheap Chinese made carbon fiber fork.I agree with all of that about the Aurora and Aurora Elite. I also agree that the Touring 2 is a nice touring bike. Not to quibble too much but... The wheelbase is a bit longer on the Cannondale touring models than on either Aurora though.
So perhaps a Touring-2 would be a good alternative.
Electronic stuff is neat to own, but how do you keep it from being stolen while you're in the market replenishing your food stuffs? How do you keep it dry?My handlebar bag goes with me everywhere regardless and is waterproof so neither of these are concerns.
I definately agree with the cell phone suggestion. That is the most important thing I carry with me!Not me. It never has occurred to me that a cell phone was an essential safety item. That may be because I grew up years before they existed. A cell phone is handy for checking on available camp sites or for calling home once in a while. I call the police or sheriffs office, but only to touch base on where we are staying. I think it is a long shot that it would ever be used in an emergency except an accident, in which case everyone else on the road has a phone. We did have one time when one of us was injured in a crash, but there was no signal any way. I'd say that a very substantial portion of the time on the TransAmerica we had no signal. We flagged down a car who gave her and her bike a lift back to the town we had passed that morning so she could get treatment there.
If you could guarantee trees on your route, you should consider a camping hammock instead of a tent. I think these are in the $130-$150 range. This is a about the price of a low end solo tent, and no Thermarest is needed. I might try to go this route, but I upgraded my tent and mat last season. The hammocks are strung between trees, and you enter from the bottom. They looked really nice. I thought REI carried them at one point. Googling camping hammock should get you close.Since the OP said they were doing the TA I would advise against the hammock. There were a lot of places on the TA where I didn't see trees for days. I think it was for good reason that the cyclists I met on the TA pretty much all were using tents. I don't have anything against hammocks and would consider one myself, but on a route like the TA I consider it a poor choice.
Get a bike and panniers. Get maps. Go.Seriously that is about it. The Adventure Cycling Atlantic Coast route is what I would probably do.