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General Discussion / Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA
« Last post by kate12024 on January 25, 2015, 08:33:38 pm »
Cycling friends,

I'm brand new to bicycle touring, but have a bunch of road bike experience.  I'm considering my first bike tour this spring from Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA.  Unfortunately, I don't see many ACA map segments that will help me plan my trek.  Has anyone out there done this route, or portions of this route before?  What roads did you take, and where did you stop for overnights?  As I mentioned, I'm new to bicycle touring, so I'd also welcome planning resources/blogs from other tourers.  Thanks in advance!

Kate
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Routes / Re: roads in south carolina
« Last post by mszostek on January 25, 2015, 08:25:52 pm »
Also, thank you for mentioning the blue ridge parkway; i am going to see what that is /look it up now ...
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Routes / Re: roads in south carolina
« Last post by mszostek on January 25, 2015, 08:23:30 pm »
I am referring to the Atlantic Coast MAP  --NUMBER 5 - wilmington, nc to statesboro, ga.  and i've never tried to ride a bike on a state route rural road---it seems very dangerous, because the cars have no where to pull over, nor does a bike---so, if they dont see you--its like- death. i just really need someone on here to say-- yeah- its okay/i have never been in this state before;/i'm doing this solo. i'm staying at a friend's house in south carolina, looking at how cars drive on these state route roads---very daunting. if anyone has done the route , please say how it was! thank you, mandy
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General Discussion / Re: Green-lighted to go staehpj1cross-country! (questions)
« Last post by staehpj1 on January 25, 2015, 07:39:58 pm »
I have to politely disagree with staehpj1. I notice that on his TransAm he averaged just shy of 60 miles per day - - 73 days, 4244 miles. Similar for his other trips.

Yes I think my TA was actually about 58 miles per day.  Not sure how similar my other trips were though.  They were actually kind of all over the board at 38, 38, 53, 73, and 74 mpd if you count all days (one of the 38's would be a 43 if I didn't count a 5 day stay in Yosemite).  I don't think anything about that says much about how feasible an 80 mile per day TA would be for the OP especially since he is 24 years younger and a triathlete who has done an ironman (actually the OP only need to average 75 mpd to finish in his allotted time).   Bear in mind that the TA was my first trip and I was over packed, that I am not a very good athlete, that I turn 64 this year, and that I typically ride very little when not on a tour.

I probably do more hiking and exploring than staehpj1 does while on tour - backcountry up to the Pacific Crest in Yosemite, crossing the Grand Canyon and picking up my bike on the other side, hiking up to the ancient bristlecone forest in Great Basin.

Yep, I am sure that you do and that is great.  The thing is that I don't think that riders who are focused on riding something like the TA are typically doing very many long hikes.

Then there are the big breakdowns which I hope you never have - but if you tour long enough you probably will. I can think of three offhand - when you are in Fumbuck, Arkansas miles from nowhere. I had a derailleur snap. I had a seat post snap. (Which makes for some rather uncomfortably cycling) And I had a wheel rim split. If you care close enough to a big town with a bike shop, you can limp along. But if you are 150 miles away from anything, you may just need to call Performance, FedEx it, and wait.

Maybe, but then again if "150 miles away from anything" with a rim split, it might be just as likely that the rider would hitchhike the 150 miles, particularly if they have a deadline.
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General Discussion / Re: Green-lighted to go staehpj1cross-country! (questions)
« Last post by jamawani on January 25, 2015, 06:38:09 pm »
I have to politely disagree with staehpj1. I notice that on his TransAm he averaged just shy of 60 miles per day - - 73 days, 4244 miles. Similar for his other trips. I do not know many people who average 80 miles per day over a lengthy trip. I realize that staehpj1 prefers not to take "rest" days, per se, but nearly every rider has plenty of half days. Bad weather part of the day or just coming upon a place that is really cool and you want to explore - whether its a town or a perfect campsite. And according to the old math - two halves equal a whole.

I probably do more hiking and exploring than staehpj1 does while on tour - backcountry up to the Pacific Crest in Yosemite, crossing the Grand Canyon and picking up my bike on the other side, hiking up to the ancient bristlecone forest in Great Basin. And when you ride up to the Yukon and Alaska, there are just some days where it is best not to set out at all - esp. if you have the advantage of some kind of shelter. So maybe, I use more off days - but I think you have to plan for some.

Then there are the big breakdowns which I hope you never have - but if you tour long enough you probably will. I can think of three offhand - when you are in Fumbuck, Arkansas miles from nowhere. I had a derailleur snap. I had a seat post snap. (Which makes for some rather uncomfortably cycling) And I had a wheel rim split. If you care close enough to a big town with a bike shop, you can limp along. But if you are 150 miles away from anything, you may just need to call Performance, FedEx it, and wait.

Also, there are unexpected glitches that can happen at the beginning or end of your trip. The worst thing if you fly or Amtrak it is for your bike not to show up on the baggage carousel. That has happened to me once - when it went to the wrong city. Took a day and a half to get it. (Read the small print in your baggage "contract". Nice airlines may offer to cover some of your costs, but they don't have to.)

I stick by my math - 400 miles per week (66 per day + a day off) if you are a moderate cyclists. 450 miles per week (75 per day + a day off) if you are moving at a good clip. Check out the journals at CrazyGuy and see how many people did the TransAm + Western Express (3762 miles) in less than 8 weeks.

My first cross-country trip was from Astoria, OR to the Outer Banks of NC - used a more direct route than the TransAm, so let's say about 3600 miles in 10 weeks. I was 31 at the time, commuted regularly 25 miles round-trip and had taken a few weekend rides prior to that. I stopped to smell the flowers at various national parks and other places, but 8 weeks would have been pushing it.
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General Discussion / Re: Green-lighted to go cross-country! (questions)
« Last post by staehpj1 on January 25, 2015, 11:08:57 am »
Jamawani's experience is unquestionable and his advice good, but I think that it is at least a bit conservative with regard to mileage, especially considering that you are apparently fairly athletic.  Also a lot depends on your touring style.

One example is whole notion of rest days.  He mentions "only 5 days off for the entire trip" as if that was a pretty low number.  I have not racked up the amount of touring miles that he has, but I have crossed the US a couple times with no zero mile days and without having any real desire to take any.  I do take an easy day here and there, but definitely do not consider rest days a given.

On the TA we did take what was essentially a day off to go whitewater rafting, but even then we rode 8 miles down the road to our next camp.  I have fairly rarely taken days off on other tours to do things but never really considered them rest days since I was generally active hiking or something.  That was pretty much limited to a day at an especially day at a nice beach and adjacent hiking trails when I did the Pacific Coast and a week in the Yosemite Valley area hiking and sightseeing when in the Sierras.

I think the only actual "real" rest day I ever took was when I was very sick on my Santa Fe Trail trip and slept for 24 hours straight.

Lots of folks manage to average 80 miles per day (when I calculate an average I count all days).  The Trans America is listed as being 4232 miles, at 80 mile days that is 7.5 weeks.  It takes a 75 mile per day average to do it in 8 weeks.  Whether you should do that much mileage is a different question, but it is certainly possible without superhuman effort.

Personally, if I were going to do the TA again I'd probably expect to finish in nine or ten weeks, but allow eleven weeks just in case.  I am a reasonably fit mid 60s non athlete who carries a pretty light load due to a minimalist style of packing.

I agree 100% with Jamawani on the suggestion to pack light.  Going no cook is a reasonable option, but even when I pack only 15 pounds or less base weight (including gear, clothing, and baggage, but not any food, fuel, or water) I still manage to carry minimal cooking gear.  My cook set varies with the trip, but is almost always under a pound and sometimes well under (plus 12 ounces of fuel).   Even if it is only instant oatmeal or Ramen noodles with tuna, a hot meal or even just a hot beverage can be pretty nice.

If interested in more details on my packing list decisions check out:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Ultralight
There is probably some useful info there for most folks even though most will not want to take it as far as I do these days.
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General Discussion / Re: Green-lighted to go cross-country! (questions)
« Last post by jamawani on January 25, 2015, 09:55:43 am »
Wow, those are lots of questions - -

The most important limitation you mention is the time frame - 8 weeks.
If that is so, you are going to be moderately pressed to make it; you, need to select a direct route and avoid zigs and zags to Virginia or Minnesota. It's roughly 3000 miles directly from NYC to SFO. Decent biking routes are usually at least 10% longer.

Second, Google Maps is not the cyclist's friend. Over and over again, it puts you on dirt, private, or nonexistent roads - especially in the West. Yours does in Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. And the Cowboy Trail is a dirt/gravel route across Nebraska that largely parallels US 20. But US 20 itself is a good choice.

I've got 100,000 miles of touring experience and can say that 400 miles per week is a moderately high average - 450 is getting up there. The former is 66 miles per day with a day off per week, the latter is 75 miles per day. Planning in a day off per week doesn't mean you have to sit around eating bon-bons. But there will be weather delays, mechanical issues, perhaps a day when your internal parts are in rebellion.

The TransAm plus the Western Express is just shy of 3800 miles. That's 475 miles per week - or 75 miles per day with only 5 days off for the entire trip. Doable, but tight. And you certainly need to take Amtrak or fly down to Virginia to start. Since you appear to be doing this solo, I would also encourage you to keep the equipment down to a minimum. It's one thing to cook when you are with a group, but if you are solo that means you have to have all of the gear and weight. I would forgo camp cooking and have hot meals at cafes and sandwiches at camp.

I do think your idea of a direct route is good - but there are other ways to create a good one. Ask for help here - go to Crazyguyonabike. Sounds like you are ready for a big trip. So, enjoy.
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Hello !

I edited a compilation video about my bicycle tour In Andalucia (year 2012).
This is the 1st part with english subtitles 

The route - this part shows - was: Malaga - Puerto del Leon (view) - Almunecar - Mirador Cabra Montes (view) - Motril - Haza del Lino (Veleta panorama) - Motril - Granada - Pico Veleta - Granada
Have pleasure with the video !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZpdFe6uEdU



Similar videos, articles, photos of my experiences of 30.000 kms + 650.000 m heightdiff in the Alps, Pyrenees, Andalucia, Canary islands, here , on my facebook site: facebook.com/cycling.high
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General Discussion / Re: Green-lighted to go cross-country! (questions)
« Last post by staehpj1 on January 25, 2015, 07:05:23 am »
John covered things pretty well and I generally agree.

It took us about 10 weeks doing the TA route on our first tour and two of us were starting with good general fitness but no cycling specific fitness.  I was inexperienced carrying a lot more than I now recommend.  If I wasn't riding with companions that got going later in the day and were slower getting back on the road at stops than me I think I would have taken a bit less time.  8 weeks is doable, but I like to allow a bit of extra time whether you need it or not.  It is good to not be a slave to a rigid schedule.

On the camping experience issue...  Depending on how adaptable you are the camping doesn't need to be too big of a deal.  Do at least be familiar with and know how to use your gear.

Bike selection...  To some extent packing style will affect that.  I think that non touring specific bikes are fine if you pack fairly carefully and I actually have begun to prefer a sportier bike as my packing style has gone more minimalist.  My advice would be to try to pack pretty light.  What is considered light varies from person to person, but I'd suggest a first timer try to shoot for 30 pounds base gear and clothing weight and if you wind up at 40 pounds I'd take a long hard look at the packing list.  Folks usually have a tendency to take too much.  It helps to have a well thought out list that has been gone over many times trimming and trimming.  Even then be open to sending things home if you find you can get by without them.  Most folks wind up doing that.

I have found I prefer to go very light (10-15 pounds of gear and clothing).  The relatively unladen riding is wonderful, but camping and cooking with really minimal stuff isn't for everyone.  I mostly mention this to emphasize the notion that you really need very little.
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Routes / PC / Mac for some photography PP on route? Suitable for a 6 month ride?
« Last post by RonK on January 25, 2015, 02:51:41 am »
I took a 13" Macbook Air on my last tour which include quite some distance on unsealed roads. Packed in a STM laptop bag it fitted easily in a rear Ortlieb Roller and travelled very well.
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