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Messages - Gif4445

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Man, that is some light weight cargo!  I appreciate you going "all in".  I could see myself making compromises with each component, and have the final pack weight be more than I want.   Up till now, I have chosen to go "all out", aka credit card camping.  Granted, a $1000 is a chunk of change.  OTOH, each time the gear is used, it is a possible $$ benefit of 5-10% of the  purchase price.  Have you used or at least set-up the gear yet? 

OP, I take it when you say "Credit Card Camping", you mean staying indoors at hotels and the like, not actually camping. (Though I would love to see someone tour by actually taking a credit card camping tour and set up tents inside motel rooms each night.  ;) )

I looked over a couple sections of the Sierra Cascade Route, namely sections 1 and 2, from Sumas WA to Crater Lake. Yeah, it looks like you can do it for that length, but there will be those long stretches sans service like zzzz mentioned. And you'd probably have to book space far in advance, as the lodging options are either small, or in a touristy area, or both. So you would be "locked" into a schedule. Still, it would be safe to have a camping setup as back-up, just like zzzz plans to do.

I've done parts of the northern part of the Sierra Cascades, and it is definitely a beautiful route, but challenging.

Yes Adv pdx.  It is my favorite type of camping!  Although I'm slowly warming up.  Did most of last years BRAN ride stays in a tent.  Course this was a supported tour, so much easier.    Baby steps I guess.   You make a very good point on not being locked into a schedule.  A bummer sometimes, good motivation othertimes.  Most people have some sort of timetable, but I hate to miss "smelling the roses".  I need to re-check my "free" transportation to the west coast. (Nephew with some business meetings in the NW)  If that is still available, I will probably secure the maps and start the planning in earnest!

We may be seeing each other out there. I have my plane tickets already for a flight into Seattle on 8/29 & home from LA on 9/30 and plan on doing most or all of the SC route as a credit card tour during those 32 days.

I already bought the maps and I can tell you it's possible to do the entire trip staying in motels every night. I can also tell you that after previously doing two long  tours, one at 3000 miles in 30 days and 1 at 1800 miles in 19 days as 100% CC tours, when I reviewed the maps I decided to do things a little differently this time.

Here's why I came to the conclusion I wanted to have a back up to a pure CC tour. There are 3 long sections on the # 2 map that are w/o services, 1 @ 93 miles, 1 @ 90 miles, & 1 @ 73 miles. If you hit each of these sections first thing in the morning and that's your entire day, no problem. But this really tends to screw up your previous day as you go short or long to accommodate the next day. And there are shorter spaces that present the same problem. Do you want to do a 65 mile day (kinda short) or a 115 mile day (kinda long) in order to get to a hotel? In the end I decided this time I was taking camping gear.

I did some research and bought the lightest tent, bag, and pad I could find. The total weight for these 3 items is under 3 lbs. & cost was about $1000. I think for about 1/2 that much money you can be under 4 lbs , & for about 1/2 that much again you can be under 5 lbs. I will still not be taking any cooking gear and expect to only be sleeping at camp sites 3-5 nights total.

Do yourself a favor, buy the maps, much will become clear when you are looking at them. If you decide not to do the trip you can sell them on the classified forum so you'll only be out a few bucks.


You make some good points ZZz.  I considered taking the camping gear 2 years ago (Black hills/Sandhills )   Weight of extra rack/panniers, tent, pad and sleeping bag added 14 lbs. to the load.  It was kind of an easy choice and I opted to leave the extra home.  If I could get that extra weight down to even close to where you did, I think it would be a viable option.   Can you give some specifics on the gear you purchased?

 I need Advice from those that know.  Looking long and hard at riding the Sierra Cascades ACA route in September.  My preference is to  "credit card camp".  How doable is this?  I probably won't have time to ride the entire route so where are the problem areas?  I don't have the maps and know that they will tell the tale.  Just don't want to make the purchase unless there is a chance to CCC.   I am a medium to strong rider and can do the century days.  Thanks in Advance!

General Discussion / Re: bike tour spring summer 2014 questions
« on: February 01, 2014, 07:40:52 am »
I usually begin with a pretty good breakfast.  Maybe the continental breakfast at the motel (I have only credit card toured thus far), if it is a decent one.  I probably am around that 700-1000 calorie level.  And like a previous poster said, protein is pretty important here.  Eggs, good meat choices, milk and the like.  Afterwards my preference is a few hundred calories and hour or so.  My lunch is relatively low in calories.  Ate a fairly large lunch once, with some serious cycling ahead.  Never again.  Dinner (or supper, as us farm folk like to call it), is my largest meal.  Steak and potato etc.  I try to maintain weight on a tour.  My last 3 week jaunt had me losing a few pounds.  On a sub 500 mile supported ride a couple years ago, I gained a couple.  I don't carry much food with me, unless I'm heading into an area with little or no services.  Usually a few snacks that could, if needed get me through the day to a food source at the overnight.

General Discussion / Re: riding and camping in thunderstorms
« on: June 15, 2013, 11:47:04 am »
I would think the first line of defense would be to watch the weather forecast.  Although it is not 100% accurate, it is usually reliable for the most part.  As a farmer, I'm looking at the forecasts all the time for precip, wind and severe weather possibilities.  Sometimes it's best to simply avoid the situation, if the likelihood of an event is great enough.

Routes / Re: Directional recomendation for Feb 1 start on ST
« on: February 12, 2013, 02:40:21 am »
Thanks for the replies.  I can see the pluses and minuses of going either way.  I like the idea of starting in the East to get your legs worthy of the challenges in the west.  Seems like the temps might get you either way in the West.   Cold at start in higher elevations, or hot at the end in the lower.  Thanks John for the sampling info from CGOAB.  I wasn't aware of that.   I'm curious though, if it could be broken down into a start date range closer to my tentative departure?

Routes / Re: Directional recomendation for Feb 1 start on ST
« on: February 04, 2013, 11:36:30 pm »
From the random sampling of ST journals on Crazyguyonabike, most were east-to-west.   Maybe just the luck of my search.   I did not find many with a Feb. 1 start date however.  And I think the one that I found was E-W and complaining about headwinds.  Doesn't mean they had more head than tail, just the theme of the ride I think.  Did you journal your ride staehpj?

Routes / Directional recomendation for Feb 1 start on ST
« on: February 03, 2013, 04:32:03 pm »
Starting to make plans for doing the Southern Tier a year from now.  I need to start around the first of February.  I assume an east to west direction is the choice of most?  To those of you who have done the ST in that time frame, what direction is the best as far as temps,wind and the like?  Or those that have done extensive research.  I'm a mid 50's, 4000 mile/year male, with shorter (1000 m) tour experience.   Farmer by trade.  Hence, I need to be back home in Nebraska by the first part of April.

My 2 cents worth.  I ride an LHT, but I weigh a little over 200 lbs, so I don't think the weight of the bike slows me down much.  Packing more than I need will however.  If you are on the light side and a comfort ride is not that important, ride something far lighter.  It will make a difference.   If I was in your shoes and just wanted to cover ground, I would credit card tour.  Pack light and just figure to stay in a motel each night.  Sure, there are days you will have to cover some miles, but that is the point of your trip right?  In my case, a comfortable bed (hopefully), warm shower and espn get me ready for the next day.  Especially if the day was a battle with mother nature.  I've read many journals on crazyguyonabike and my take is headwinds in various areas at various times of the year are somewhat predicable, but a C to C ride, cycling across many different regions, will be the luck of the draw.  I plan to go C to C sometime in the next 2 years, but I'm blocking out 2 months for the ST and thinking 2 1/2 for the Trans Am.  I don't think I would personally be happy if I tried to do it in far less time.  But I like to stop and smell the roses.

General Discussion / Re: Costs of Touring
« on: January 12, 2013, 06:04:11 pm »
I like to think I live pretty average at home.  But when I tour, I'm probably on the expensive side by what I have read here.  Credit card touring, with motels averaging around $60.  Most of these places provide a breakfast and I eat pretty light, but often during the day.  Evening or dinner time is when I like a good steak or equivalent.  I'm on of those that would probably crowd that $100/day.  Guess I figure it is a vacation.

Gear Talk / Re: Outfitting a Trek 7.5 FX for a full summer tour
« on: October 29, 2012, 06:58:55 am »
Since you have some time, (and I applaud you for asking questions and doing some research), you should read some travel journals.  Maybe you already have.   They should give you a good feel for what you are up against.  A good source is .  My first real tour ( ) was only 500 miles, but I did have issues with spokes and tires in a credit card touring situation.  My second tour was twice as far, but went much, much better with a bike meant for touring (Surly LHT).  Bottom line, I finished with both bikes.  And maybe the challenges of the first tour just made it more of an adventure.  But I credit the people helping you out on this forum.  They have been there and done that.  It gets very frustrating when your equipment lets you down. 

General Discussion / Re: In praise of rest days...
« on: October 29, 2012, 06:32:10 am »
One of the things I love about touring (I'm a relative new-be), is how it slows my point A to point B mentality down.  A rest day slows it down even more.  Last year on a ride to the Black Hills and back ( ), I took a day off in Newcastle WY.  I met many locals, went to a church, a bar, a laundromat and basically walked around town.  Really besides rest, I got to know the town.  What I love about touring is meeting new people and seeing new places.  But most times it can be a little superficial.  Getting to spend more time doing it can be a really neat thing.

Gear Talk / Re: Well, here we first touring bike is........?
« on: October 21, 2012, 11:31:12 pm »
Would it be possible for you to test ride each first?  I may not have the experience of many on here, but my LHT has been a great bike for me.  I started years ago with a mountain bike, then an aluminum/carbon fork road bike.  When I decided to look at a touring specific bike, I was able to test ride some.  For me, I knew I wanted the LHT after a couple blocks.  The comfort improvement was day and night.  And later when I had some serious climbing to do, the lower gears were a big help.  I'm sure there are several good choices out there.  Personally, I would not buy a bike before first riding it.  Good luck!!

Gear Talk / Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« on: October 14, 2012, 10:36:52 am »
Also sspeed, you mentioned wanting a GPS log of your trip.  I unknowingly had that, or something close, when I chose the location function on the camera application of my Iphone.  It showed a map of all the places I had taken a photo.  I took enough pictures along the way that it made for a nice bread crumb trail, with info on location, date and time of day I believe.

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