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So I don't currently own a bike. And I decided today I want to go cross-country next year.
I have some precedent for this; in 2006 I'd never been backpacking, and two years later I did the Appalachian Trail. Been thinking about doing the Transamerica ever since. Next summer I may be able to create window of time between the end of grad school and the start of a job adequate to do Transamerica. (I hear 3 months, right?), and if I don't do it now, it may be years before I can get enough time off.
I need to buy a bike and start riding in the next week or two. I'd like to avoid spending huge money; is there a touring bike that will do the job for under $1000? Recumbent or upright?
I've already started getting in shape, and I'm reading the journals on Crazy Guy on a Bike to learn. Any guidance for a newb appreciated?
They flew by me and gave a quick nod before re-focusing on the tire in front of them. I noted the wildflowers seemed particularly abundant this year.
What makes it work for you, I wonder..........
In my opinion, this is a no-brainer.
(1) Take the TransAm. This is the route with the best supporting infrastructure and the best chance of meeting other cyclists on the road.
(2) Go east to west. The weather will be better for a mid-May start. Forget everything you've heard about "prevailing winds". It's a bunch of hogwash.
The exception might be if the tires you have started off with monster knobs, and the "worn out" part you refer to is the knobs have worn down to small nubs. In that case, you might want less aggressive tread/knobs.Or just use the old worn ones without changing them. The GAP is a pretty short ride as far as tire wear goes. If there is still rounded tread left then I'd keep using them. If not, it sounds like you pretty much answered your own question since it seems you really like the tires you have been using.
I previously advised that the most economically sensible choice is to just change rings, so we agree on that. However, you error in dismissing difference between 22 and 24 ring as "not worth talking about". It is not the two tooth difference, but the percentage difference in gear inches that is determinative. It is significant enough to determine choice.
If you can set aside issues of flavor for a moment, consider combining starches, fats, and sugars in the highest densities possible and then using protein bars for protein. This could be dry potato flakes mixed with olive oil, for example, and hydrated with a bit of water. You could also try something like bringing cake or brownie mix, adding oil and water, and then just eating it with a spoon, that is of course unless you want to try to 'bake' it in a pan over a fire or something creative like that. Quick-cook oatmeal is also dense complex carbs and rehydrates easily, even without heat. Add trail mix to it or some other combination of nuts and dried fruit and/or other sugary garnish and add coconut oil to make it creamy and add very high-density fat calories. These may not sound like the tastiest meals but if you're trying to pack a lot of calories with little weight and you're filtering water along the way, they'll work. Most importantly, experiment with ratios of complex carbs, fats, and sugar that works for you. I once tried living on mainly nuts and sunflower seeds as these have lots of calories and protein, but I found that I just can't get the energy from fats that I can from complex carbs. This may be different for people depending on the ability of their livers to break down fats into simpler carbohydrates, though, idk.
I met a guy last summer on a two-wheel recumbent towing a two-wheel trailer. He said that the biggest unanticipated issue with the trailer was the difficulty in trying to avoid the rumble strips.
You don't encounter rumble strips when riding.Actually I have found them on the shoulders of many roads where I have toured. On the Trans America there were probably thousands of miles of rumble strips. There were plenty on the Southern tier as well.
Unless you really enjoy working on your bike, chain maintenance can be a hassle. Although I enjoy tinkering and routine maintenance, I dread cleaning chains. I know that everyone seems to have a formula that works for them, but they are all time consuming and messy. "I would rather be riding my bike". No matter what I do I seem to get about 3000 miles out of a chain which involves two cleanings. With my next chain I'm thinking about just running it until it reaches the stretch limit and replacing it. At $25 for a decent SRAM chain that seems to make sense to me. I know there are those of you who are more meticulous that may get two to three times the life out of a chain than I do, But... Is my rational that far off. I'm really curious to see if there are others out there with the same thought.