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Messages - staehpj1

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Routes / Re: Tips for a Rollerblader going coast-to-coast
« on: April 30, 2015, 01:12:54 pm »
Also note that road construction could throw a serious monkey wrench into your plans. While riding both the TransAm and Northern Tier routes I encountered long stretches (I am talking miles) where the pavement had been ripped up for resurfacing, leaving only dirt and/or gravel, and there were not alternate, paved options. Bring some good walking shoes just in case.

Yes, roadwork that requires at least a few miles of walking is definitely likely.  I'd also expect you might do some walking up mountain passes, how much will depend on how steep of a grade you can skate up.

You might find Björn Suneson's trips interesting and maybe glean some useful info from his pages.  He has done a number of US coast to coast trips running and carrying some gear in a baby jogger.  He is quite a good athlete and has generally taken 100 days plus or minus a bit to cross the US.  I wonder if his baby jogger approach might be suitable for rollerblading.

Routes / Re: Tips for a Rollerblader going coast-to-coast
« on: April 30, 2015, 08:41:24 am »
Most of the Adventure Cycling routes I have done are almost 100% paved unless billed as otherwise.  Some may have some pretty rough pavement.

Do you have a rough planned amount of time or expected daily mileage?

Are you planning to camp along the way or motel it?  Either way my suggestion is to go very light since carrying a heavy backpack will get really old really fast.  I have found that I can be pretty comfortable with a fairly minimal load.  I went coast to coast camping and cooking with 15 pounds of gear and definitely wasn't packed as light as I possibly could.  I figure that if I was carrying the weight all on my back I'd definitely pack even lighter.

I avoid really high dollar gear, eschewing Cuben fiber and the like, and still could easily get below 10 pounds of stuff, while maintaining fairly good comfort and the ability to camp and cook.  A similar approach would seem ideal for what you are proposing.

Some of what I did with ultralight bike touring might be worth checking out for your blade tour.  I documented my quest for a lighter load at:

Routes / Re: Earliest to Leave on Trans Am - West to East - 2016
« on: April 29, 2015, 03:59:10 pm »
I know most folks go east to west but I grew up in Washington DC and would like to end there in an August time frame.

Actually I think about half of the people riding the TA go West to East.  We took 73 days riding every day, but not doing super long days.
Have a good trip.  It is a great route.

General Discussion / Re: TransAM Newbie w/ Questions
« on: April 28, 2015, 06:22:08 pm »
1) How many other TransAmers did you meet along your summer TransAm route ? How often did these cycler interactions occur? --- I'll be traveling solo so it will be nice to meet people.
We met other tourists every few days, sometimes mor often sometimes less.

2) I have the ACA maps, but does anyone have a resource to determine the best campsites along the route? any info or link helps.
We found that the ACA maps, asking local folks, and talking to riders going the other direction gave us enough info.  We never had any problem finding a place to stay, especially in the plains.

Routes / Re: Getting bikes to Canada from California
« on: April 23, 2015, 06:59:10 am »
We don't have the money to fly so I was wondering if anyone knows of a bus that goes up that far or if you can take a train with a tandem.
Are you sure the train is actually cheaper?  I have often found flying to be cheaper, so don't rule it out without checking.  Be sure to check on the airlines bike in baggage policies though as they vary widely in price.  I try to fly Southwest for their more reasonable baggage and bicycle policies, buy they don't fly to Vancouver.

Shipping the bike using something like might work for you with whatever mode of transit you use to get there.

Routes / Re: Idaho Hot Springs Loop 2015
« on: April 10, 2015, 02:23:52 pm »
I suggest you call the national forests listed on the main route map in the USING THIS MAP text. They will be able to give you a good idea of snowpack. It sounds a bit early to me but some parts of the northwest have had a mild winter.

The National Forest guys there are super helpful so definitely ask them.  If it is open all the way in May or even the first week of June that would be super early.  Also they still may get more snow between now and then.

A good resource is:;jsessionid=wF0KxWzI-yh7BX82aXLsVvgA?report=Idaho&format=SNOTEL+Snowpack+Update+Report

General Discussion / Re: Hello newb here looking for advice
« on: April 09, 2015, 08:19:49 am »
Just me, but I would consider either going later in the season when it will be cooler for that last leg or not doing it as a loop if the heat will be too bad.  If timing the trip to finish in the Fall wasn't an option I would probably fly or take the train from San Francisco or San Diego back to SLC.  I really hate hot weather though.

Abandoning the loop requirement could maybe open up some other possibilities.  Something to consider anyway.

On the 100 mile per day goal...  Most of the folks I met who planned to average 100 mpd wound up doing a good bit less; most of them more like 80 mpd.  Ideally I'd suggest allowing enough time for a slower pace and taking it as it comes pace wise.  Alternately being flexible on the end point works too.  That way you can do 100 mpd if you want but you have plenty of flexibility built in to the plan for a slower pace if that winds up making sense.  A rigid schedule can really suck a lot of the joy out of a tour.

What ever you decide, have a great trip.  It sounds like you will be travelling through some beautiful country.

General Discussion / Re: Hello newb here looking for advice
« on: April 08, 2015, 07:01:53 am »
One suggestion I am able to offer is, if indeed west coast is the route, to consider north to south. There are a number of reasons for this suggestion, with one being the pacific coast route tends to have much better shoulders when travelling north to south.
Also the winds are generally more favorable on the coast going N-S, and the winds can really kick up on the coast.  I would strongly suggest getting to the northern end of the coast via an inland route and then riding South on the PCH. 

jmsbrlw, you really don't give us enough info to estimate your time needed.  The length of the route you mention could vary pretty widely and we know nothing about your personal pace.  A lot of folks fall into the 50-60 miles per day range, but 20 miles per day above or below that isn't that unusual.

Costs can vary widely depending on your choices.  I find that camping most of the way I manage on $15-20 per day depending where I am and how frugal I am.  I know of folks who get by on half that and others who spend 4-5 times as much.

On much of the inland portion of the route, I'd camp for free in plain sight most of the time and on the coast there are cheap hiker biker sites in Oregon and California.  So the actual camping part can be pretty cheap.  Camping in small town parks or picnic areas and other impromptu sites when possible and using hiker bikers sites when I can, I have averaged less than $5 per day for camping on longish tours in the West or across the US.  On the other hand campgrounds can cost $20-30 in some places if you use them.

Food and drink is tough to call because it will depend on your choices.  Both sport drinks and alcoholic beverages can raise costs a lot.  Food will vary widely depending on whether you are eating ramen noodles and oatmeal or steaks in restaurants.  I find that I can eat and drink on $15 pretty easily while eating some diner meals, cooking at least one meal a day, and getting stuff like $5 footlongs at Subway when available.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route
« on: March 26, 2015, 07:56:37 am »
North to South is generally highly recommended.  If you go the other way I'd recommend starting early to get as many miles in before the wind kicks up as you can.

General Discussion / Re: Charging iphone for maps while touring
« on: March 26, 2015, 07:54:06 am »
I have cut back on the electronic devices I carry and now it is usually just the smart phone.  I leave it turned off most of the time nd generally tend to minimize usage.  Mine takes spare batteries that are about an ounce and are fairly inexpensive.  I also own one of the smallish power wallets which I may or may not take depending on the trip.

I tend to eat at least one meal a day in some kind of diner or restaurant so charging is typically available much more often than I need it.  If you don't you still might consider buying a beverage and sitting in a fast food place nursing the beverage while you use their wifi and charge batteries.

If going out into the backcountry I get by without charging by taking the spare batteries, the power wallet and conserving on usage.  I really don't think I personally will resort to a dynohub or solar panels for any tour I am likely to do.  The weight, drag, and expense of a dynohub (or solar panel) seem like enough downside for me to not even consider them.

Routes / Re: Need additional Rider or Riders ASAP.
« on: March 25, 2015, 07:50:33 pm »
Kind of an off the wall suggestion maybe, but could you possibly do the Pacific Coast or the Trans America instead.  On the Pacific Coast in Oregon and California, you can camp in hiker biker sites most of the time.  You will almost certainly fall in with a group that you can camp with and maybe ride with.  I was with a large-ish group most nights in camp and we typically planned where to stop the next day.  I probably could have ridden with others every day, but didn't choose to.

Those routes are popular enough that you might be more likely to find someone to officially join your group.

Routes / Re: Need additional Rider or Riders ASAP.
« on: March 24, 2015, 05:29:56 am »
I am curious as to why you "must" have 3 people to go?  I did it solo and many more cyclists do it solo or with just 1 other person than with 2+ persons.
That made me wonder as well.  I always figured one was a good minimum number to go :)

I can think of two reasons why three might be his minimum.  One is that they want to split expenses three ways.  Given that this tends to be a route with expensive camping, that could be a good reason.  The other reason that comes to mind would be if it was a guided trip that had a minumum.

Lars,  I hope you get to go and have a great trip.

General Discussion / Re: Here we go!
« on: March 20, 2015, 03:12:16 am »
Have a great trip!

Routes / Re: Starting Transam in Yorktown, nearest train station?
« on: March 18, 2015, 10:33:25 am »
Not into doubling back.
I can relate to that.  I avoid doubling back like the plague once underway, but the logistics of getting to a tour are a different matter IMO.

BTW, one thing you might consider is whether you really want to start in the East.  If you will be using air travel between the west coast and home, I find it is easier to get the flying out of the way up front.  It is easy to buy a ticket for a specific date when you know the exact date for sure.  It is much harder to know when you will finish than to know when you will start a trip.  Amtrak is much easier to deal with for changing a departure time/date.

We found the Appalachians to be the hardest part of the trip and were happy to save them for the end when we were well road hardened.

With regard to weather, what date you want to start will also play into direction of travel.  An early start favors starting in the east.  June or later favors starting in the west.

Routes / Re: Starting Transam in Yorktown, nearest train station?
« on: March 18, 2015, 09:37:31 am »
No offence intended, but isn't a bit odd to worry about 12 miles in getting to the start of a 4200+ mile tour.  It seems like it would be a pretty rare case to have a train or plane get even that close to the start of a coast to coast route.

My suggestion is to do one of the following:
  • Start your ride from the train station in Williamsburg and skip Yorktown.
  • Start your ride at the train station in Williamsburg and ride to Yorktown before doubling back through Williamsburg.
  • Use the bus to get to Yorktown from Williamsburg.  Double check, but it looks like there is an hourly bus with bike racks.  Given the short distance I'd probably just ride my bike though.
  • Figure out a way to actually start at the ocean.  That would probably mean using the Newport News station. plus some other form of public transportation or a ride to the coast.

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