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I'm trying to to stay as inexpensive as possible.When trying to use a non-touring bike for touring, it's usually best to consider using a trailer rather than panniers. You won't need the extra fittings, the short chainstays won't be a problem, the wheels don't need to be quite a strong, and you can carry extra water in the trailer. Be sure to take some test trips before your big one. Go for a few days with all the gear you need to go cross-country. Unfortunately, riding in Florida is not going to tell you if your gearing is low enough. Good luck.
I left around 1st June going E to W and met a total of 20 i would guess.So maybe the date you leave is more important than I thought. I did the TransAm E to W, leaving Yorktown on May 7, 2010. I just went back and looked at my notes. I have pictures of 61 TransAm cyclists I met along the way, and those are just the ones I remembered to take pictures of. There may be as many as another 61 that I didn't get pictures of. I do think that your decision to take the Western Express, however, reduced your encounters. I'm not sure if you camped or not, but camping every night (or staying in cyclist-only accommodations) significantly increases the encounters.
Agreed, but I do also recommend stopping and comparing notes with folks going the other way when you get the chance. It is worth it for the chance to meet other cyclists, but also for info sharing. It is a good way to learn about great places to stay, things to avoid, and things not to be missed.Absolutely! It's an unwritten rule of the TransAm that you must stop and talk with every touring cyclist you see going the other way. To not stop would be violating the code. The only exceptions I would make is if you are on opposite sides of a divided highway, or if you are currently going 50 MPH down a mountain pass.
You will meet fewer people headed in your same directionYes, fewer, but much more meaningful. I might spend perhaps 10-15 minutes with cyclists on the road going in the opposite direction, but perhaps weeks with cyclists going in my direction.