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Messages - staehpj1

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1681
Routes / Southern Tier in Winter?
« on: September 14, 2007, 06:02:55 am »
I can't speak from experience on the ST, but I did talk to a guy on the transam who said he had done the NT and the ST.  He said the ST was his favorite and that February was the best time to start.  I don't recall which direction he rode and didn't get any other details.  I don't know if that helps or not, but I figured I would pass that on.


1682
General Discussion / Biking from the West Coast in May: too early?
« on: January 06, 2009, 05:57:21 am »
It varies a lot from year to year.  That is pretty early.  If you want to do McKenzie Pass it is likely to be closed then, but you can probably do Santiam Pass instead.

Can you go later?  If so I would.  Early May is a great time to start in the East.


1683
General Discussion / panniers and a trailer
« on: December 08, 2008, 07:55:38 am »
Which Nashbar Panniers?  If you are thinking of the waterproof rear panniers you should be fine unless you have a lower rack than the Blackburn EX-1.

Between the three of us we used two sets of rear Nashbar Waterproof, two sets of front Nashbar Waterproof, One set of Performance Transit Epic, and one set of Nashbar MTB.  All held up fine for our TA tour and I would definitely buy the Nashbar Waterproof again.  I wasn't crazy about the MTB ones but my partners liked the pockets.

Edit: I forgot to say that all of the panniers that I mentioned clear the axle fine.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 12-8-08 @ 6:56 AM

1684
General Discussion / Touring Wired, Wireless, Etc.
« on: December 04, 2008, 10:02:47 am »
If it adds value to your tour then do it, but I would advise considering if any of that is really worth it.

The following is what I recommend.  It is just one person's opinion after one coast to coast tour.

Touring should be laid back and fun.  The more you fuss with average speed, heart rate, etc. the less it can be.  Riding long hard days is OK, but why worry about collecting a lot of data?

Scribble some notes about how you felt, what you saw, who you met, and where you stayed and forget about the rest.  A few extra pounds and then needing to plan your tour around charging and internet access will detract more than it will add to the experience.  When the trip is done the notes you scribble will be far more valuable than heart rate data.


1685
General Discussion / cookie ladie
« on: December 02, 2008, 01:03:42 pm »
I can't imagine that you would regret it.  It is a great route.

I did meet one guy who had done the NT, ST, and TA who liked the ST best of the three, but he didn't like mountains much and I suspect that was the reason.


1686
General Discussion / PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« on: November 11, 2008, 06:05:35 am »
I never had that experience.  Most of my friends, coworkers and acquaintances were interested and quite a few said they were jealous.  I never crammed it down their throats but a lot bring up the xc trip and ask about it.


1687
General Discussion / PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« on: November 08, 2008, 11:46:35 am »
Yes a cross country tour leaves it's mark on you.  I doubt most people are the same person after something like the TA or the NT.

In my experience the hardest thing about a tour like that is going home after.  Real life becomes a bit more acceptable after a few months, but...  It takes a year or so before you really get back into the swing of things and as I said it is never quite the same again.


1688
General Discussion / Northern Tier -- Start Late May 2009
« on: October 27, 2008, 06:34:31 am »
Always better to allow extra time.  Most of the folks we met who had planned on 100 mile days wound up averaging less.  We did the TA and spent 73 days and only took two days off one to go rafting and one when one of us was injured.  We actually rode a little both of those days.  Personally I prefer taking a half day once in a while rather than full days off.  50 days is possible but allowing extra is a good idea.  60 days is still fairly good mileage.  If you are moteling it, high mileage might be easier, but it is less fun IMO.

Having a hard deadline makes the trip less pleasant in my mind.  Better to be able to take long or easy days as you feel like it rather than have to constantly be monitoring progress against a self imposed deadline.

Remember that in places the towns and potential stops are pretty far apart so you will not always have the choice of doing the amount of mileage you choose.

You will certainly meet lots of other cyclists and will have opportunities to camp or ride with them if you choose.  You will also have the opportunity to meet a lot of nice local folks.  I advise taking time to interact with the people you meet if it is a choice between spending a while chatting and making really great mileage.


1689
General Discussion / Just Wondering
« on: October 23, 2008, 04:46:11 am »
Just normal cold feet.

Have a great trip!


1690
General Discussion / TransAmerica Bike route breakdown
« on: October 23, 2008, 05:02:48 am »
Actually Fred, it looks like he did.  The subject says "TransAmerica Bike route breakdown".  That would usually mean the Adventure Cycling Trans America route.

With that in mind...
Lots of folks have recorded their TA experiences in journals.  Tons of them are on the Crazy Guy on a Bike site.  You can start with ours at:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/staehling2007

Cost is WIDELY variable.  If you camp and cook most of the time you can go pretty cheaply.

We averaged under $5 per night for campsites and motel rooms, but we very seldom got a room and stayed in city parks, churches, and other free places whenever possible.  The AC maps were a great help in finding these places, but we also seeked out others on our own.  We got some invites from generous hosts, which also helped a lot.

I don't have an exact accounting, but spent around $2k including airfare (one way only since we were picked up by family at the end)and everything I spent during the trip.  This included shopping stops at the Patagonia outlet and the Pearl Izumi outlet. It also included quite a few restaurant meals and things like a rafting trip on the Salmon river.

I actually think I would have spent more if I were at home.

While we were on the frugal side, a true cheapskate could get by cheaper and some who want to stay in motels and eat in more expensive places will spent several times that much.



1691
General Discussion / What gear?
« on: October 27, 2008, 06:41:02 am »
Westinghouse,

Thanks for the comment about our journal.  We really had a wonderful trip.  To do a trip like that is great, but to share it with my daughter was priceless.  The other young woman on the trip is now a very good friend and like family too.  I think the trip will be something special to all of us for the rest of our lives.


1692
General Discussion / What gear?
« on: October 22, 2008, 05:32:01 am »
What I took on the Trans America is in my journal at:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/staehling2007

There are lots of other journals in the crazy guy site that have lists.  It is a good idea to read a bunch.

If you have experience in other forms of self supported camping (backpack, canoe, kayak) skills and gear choices carry over well.


1693
General Discussion / Cycling Goggles
« on: October 20, 2008, 11:41:07 am »
Why not just wear sunglasses instead of goggles.  Bicycle specific ones may be better than non bike specific ones in that they tend to hug the face and protect a bit better.

Goggles would be a pain, but if you insist try well ventilated off road motorcycle racing or downhill ski goggles.  I will say that I have never seen anyone wear goggles on a bike even when I raced XC mountain bike races.

Lots of people wear sunglasses with contacts for riding.  My two companions on the Trans America did exactly that last year and we rode in some very dusty and windy conditions.


1694
General Discussion / Bicycle Trip form Arizona to Alaska
« on: October 15, 2008, 04:16:16 am »
"I'm assuming the trip from Arizona to Alaska would involve getting over to the coast quickly and then going up the coast."
Given that assumption you would be correct and winds would be a really big negative factor.

My assumption (perhaps a bad one?) was that the route would be between Utah and Colorado and then across Wyoming, and Montana.  In that case the winds would be a help.

So this raises the big question what route were you (the OP) considering?


1695
General Discussion / Bicycle Trip form Arizona to Alaska
« on: October 15, 2008, 04:02:05 am »
"A group of us rode from Fairbanks to Vancouver in 2005.  Hate to tell all of you this - the "prevailing westerlies" concept does not apply to the route."

That is generally the case for pretty muc ALL routes in the US.  Surface winds do not follow that prevailing westerlies pattern at all.

He is another attempt to show a chart of the prevailing winds for July:

Note that this is for July, in January they are almost the opposite pattern.  Any other time they are in some transitional stage in between.

So looking at this graphic I would have to say that winds might be a pretty major positive factor given that your proposed direction of travel.  This is true since the winds when crossing the most open part of the country are with you. This would be likely to be true unless you veer farther west sooner.

I have no clue what the prevailing winds are for Canada though

OTOH for the more typical E-W or W-E trip on a route like the Trans America it is more of a mixed bag, with the edge going to E-W on the TA.


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