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51
General Discussion / Re: leaving May 20 from Willliamsburg
« Last post by BikeFreak on October 26, 2014, 06:46:28 am »
When I did the combined Transam and Western Express I was shocked how few cyclists I met. I thought it was the cross country cyclist highway. I left around 1st June going E to W and met a total of 20 i would guess. I rode for several days without meeting anybody. I guess that almost 20% of those were not riding the Transam and have never heard of it before.

Lucas
52
General Discussion / Re: Touring Bicycle
« Last post by John Nelson on October 26, 2014, 12:49:53 am »
I'm wondering how a cyclist from Kansas knows that he's a strong climber. He surely didn't figure that out in Kansas!

There's two kinds of climbs the touring cyclist needs to worry about: (1) 20% grades for a quarter of a mile (e.g., in the Ozarks, New England or Appalachians) and (2) 6 to 8% grades for 30 straight miles (e.g., the Rockies).

My lowest gear is 20 gear-inches, and I need every inch of that. Over and over and over again. Even with that gear, I sometimes feel that I couldn't get up the hill I'm on at all if it were even a bit steeper.
53
General Discussion / Re: Touring Bicycle
« Last post by zzzz on October 25, 2014, 10:04:45 pm »
If "ozroller" is evaluating himself accurately as a strong climber and he's packing light he should be fine w a 30x30 (27" gear) and certainly w a 30x34 (23.8"). Just make sure you take a drive over to Colorado and test how it all feels with accurate weight in your panniers before you leave on a long trip. Loveland Pass should tell you everything you need to know. Or since Kansas is a big state you can go the other way and spend a couple days going up & down in the Ozarks. Be very honest w yourself after your test, pulling too high a gear can lead to issues w your knees.

I fancy myself a pretty good climber and I pack light and I just take my regular road bike. My low gear is 34x28 and it's served me well and I've gone up plenty of long and steep stuff (SC, all of the GPN & 1/2 of the GPS, WE, & the TA between Missoula & Co. and then again east of the high plains to the Va. coast).

Pete
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General Discussion / Re: leaving May 20 from Willliamsburg
« Last post by John Nelson on October 25, 2014, 09:58:21 pm »
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.

There's a message system running up and down the TransAm. A lot of cyclists you meet, especially the unusual ones such as the very heavily loaded, the ones riding unicycles, the walkers, the family all dressed alike, the guy with the 100-pound dog, etc., you will already know about from other cyclists.
55
Routes / Re: Sierra Cascades; desert heat in July
« Last post by sam21fire on October 25, 2014, 09:53:46 pm »
I agree with MrBrent. I just rode across from Victorville almost to Needles, then north to Las Vegas a few weeks ago and it was in the 90's.  Not too uncomfortable because I'm very acclimated to the dry heat, but even so there were a few stretches where I was climbing at the same speed as the wind and it felt like it was much hotter.

Sam
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General Discussion / Re: Touring Bicycle
« Last post by RussSeaton on October 25, 2014, 06:35:08 pm »
I'll contribute to this thread.  Already mentioned, Trek 520, Surly Long Haul Trucker, REI Novara Randonnee.  These three are the name brand full touring bikes.  All three are more or less identical.  All sell for about $1500.  All will work fine as loaded touring bikes carrying four panniers and a handlebar bag and a tent on the rear rack.  Other possible options for bike mechanics, Nashbar touring bike and BikesDirect touring bikes.  These are around $700.  These are fairly close to the three name brand models.  The parts are lesser in the hierarchy but will function as well in the real world.  BUT, you will need to tune and overhaul the bikes to make them function well.  Think of them as kits with all the parts but assembly required.  All of these bikes will carry panniers and have low gearing.  Low enough to crawl up any hills you come across.  And you can probably put a 22 or 24 tooth inner chainring on the triple cranksets of any of these bikes.  And a 32 or 34 rear cassette in 9 or 10 speed.  Better to have low gears you do not use than the opposite.  A full on touring bike will work fine no matter whether you are carrying a lot of gear or going ultralight.  Or carrying nothing.  They are durable bikes that keep working almost forever.  You can use them to commute to work or the grocery store too.  They are functional.
57
Routes / Re: Route 66 Mojave Desert
« Last post by bonniemckibbin on October 25, 2014, 06:22:46 pm »
we went the same route,,,,from victorville ca to az, then las vegas nv....there was nothing absolutly nothing!!!!
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Classifieds / Re: FS: Pacific Coast Route Maps
« Last post by zonesystempro on October 25, 2014, 04:30:45 pm »
Just wondering if your maps are still for sale? Look forward to your response. Contact me at: thepedalingphotographer@gmail.com
Thanks.

Mike
59
General Discussion / Re: leaving May 20 from Willliamsburg
« Last post by staehpj1 on October 25, 2014, 03:16:06 pm »
You will meet fewer people headed in your same direction
Yes, 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.
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.
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General Discussion / Re: leaving May 20 from Willliamsburg
« Last post by John Nelson on October 25, 2014, 12:59:25 pm »
You will meet fewer people headed in your same direction
Yes, 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.
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