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General Discussion / Re: Touring Bicycle
« Last post by BobbyBear on November 16, 2014, 05:38:45 pm »
The hills Pat Lamb referred to in Kansas between Chanute and Eureka are not the Black Hills, they are the Flint Hills.  In the spring with the new grass they are beautiful, but they can be a challenge for bike riders.
Food Talk / Re: vegetarian trek on the transamerica?
« Last post by Itinerant Harper on November 16, 2014, 04:37:28 pm »
I'm vegetarian and rode cross country on the Northern Tier a couple years ago.  My basic advice is be prepared to carry more food.  I had a four pannier setup on that tour but I normally just use two front panniers and a saddlebag so I had a lot more space. I devoted the main compartment of my front pannier to food which let me carry a decent amount so I could stock up. I found, with only a few exceptions (East Montana for instance), there would be something close to a supermarket every four days or so. So I would stock up on my basics plus a few things for the next couple of days and then use the small town stores to supplement with more perishable things like cheese, fruit and vegetables (if available).  I carried dried things like rice and beans, but I like to spend time cooking each evening  (especially when you are camping at city parks and such where there isn't too much else to do)  so I carried staples that in a pinch could serve as a meal and supplement it with what I could find. This all could be done vegan I think, many of my meals pretty much were.

In the midwest on the Northern Tier, which I imagine will be similar to the Midwest on the TransAm in the tiny town stores it'd often be pretty hard to find much vegetables. So worth carrying more of those when you can find them.  I also found that even things like vegetable soup would usually be the kind with beef broth. You always can find bread, peanut butter and cheese of varying quality.  Tortillas are usually pretty available and less bulky then bread. Mac and Cheese is usually available.  Plenty of eggs if you are willing to eat those.  The other problem I had was finding veggies in small quantities, even the big stores in the midwest would only sell things like carrots and such in big bags.  Often I'd get those bags of pre sliced things so you could get less. Getting things like Tofu I could only really do in towns with a coop as if a big store even had it, it be some huge package.

At restaurants I think vegan would be harder.  Grilled Cheese can be had if you ignore what it's going to be grilled on. Pancakes, waffles, fried potatoes likewise.  That old standby salad is harder to find in the midwest and will usually be iceberg lettuce based. That being said I was occasionally surprised by some little town being hipper than you'd have suspected, or some random looking diner having a sautéed veggie sandwich, or a good coffee shop that might make pannis or some such.  But you can't bank on that at all.
General Discussion / Re: Useless advice/help
« Last post by indyfabz on November 16, 2014, 11:52:20 am »
A ranger at Bay View State Park in WA swore up and down that it was only 8 miles round trip to the grocery store in Burlington and back despite the fact that our map suggested it was 8 miles each way. "I drive it all the time." It was 8 miles each way.
General Discussion / Re: Touring Bicycle
« Last post by LongTallEandM on November 16, 2014, 10:57:45 am »
Just completed the TransAm on a Jamis Aurora Elite.   Love love love it.  Lighter 631 steel tubing, good components, disk brakes, rear rack, nice looks, great tires.  More bang for the buck than a Surly LHT (bought one of those used first, then sold it; liked the Aurora Elite SO much better). You can find them new sometimes on ebay, usually a previous model year.  I bought mine new on ebay 2 years ago for $1200.  Just be sure to confirm that the model year, gearing, etc. are what you want:  Jamis has gradually been dialing in the ideal touring components over the past few years.   Oh, and the paint job is smooth and incredibly durable (powdercoated?).  My bike has not a single chip or scratch after 7000 miles, including 4700 miles of loaded touring.  This despite plenty of fall overs onto metal posts, park benches etc.  Each time I thought, "oh well, so much for the nice paint job..."  But then I'd pick up the bike and not. a. nick.
Classifieds / Re: Seeking 60 CM Surly Long Haul Trucker with racks
« Last post by Radica on November 15, 2014, 09:59:24 pm »
No problem.  I am 6' tall and wear 34'length jeans.  (Does that mean I have a 34" inseam? I don't know.).  My  local bike shop thinks I should be on a 58cm but I like it.  My 58cm Vaya feels small to me. 
General Discussion / Re: Useless advice/help
« Last post by johnsondasw on November 15, 2014, 06:53:42 pm »
I have received repeated worthless advice on tour.  Most of it was about routes. One time I was in a small town in Western WA and asked at the ice cream shop about different roads out of town on the map.  The lady said she only had lived there three years and only knew one way out of the 4 or 5 on the map because she was afraid of getting lost and so only used that one route.  Also, she then told me she was not sure if it was hilly or not.

Another time we were in the far NE part of WA and met three locals who were walking along and we told them we were heading from Tiger over to Colville. They told us that we would have to climb Tiger Hill and that it was probably close to impossible to do that on a bike and it would take hours.  I got up that hill  in just over a half hour.

Another time we stopped in a bike shop in Oxnard CA to ask how to get south along the Pacific Coast because construction had affected the normal route. The guy working there just said something like "How would I know that?"  We later found the necessary trail over a dry creek bed about a half mile away.  Jeez! 

Locals often know little to nothing about local geography and especially about topography.  If you always driver everywhere maybe you lose all ability to notice ups and downs!  I've seen that over and over when asking about upcoming routes in the west. 
General Discussion / Re: Southern Tier Tour(self sustained) this fall
« Last post by Westinghouse on November 15, 2014, 05:41:16 pm »
That is great' I  am on the ST now and resting in Gainesville. I set out again tomorrow. A wet cold front is coming late Sunday. My highest mileage day so far is 83. I am going E to W. I do not follow ACA all the way. The weather has been good.
Classifieds / Re: Salsa Fargo 2 2013 For sale LOW PRICE LOWER PRICE
« Last post by spatrickmanning on November 15, 2014, 12:20:58 pm »
Have you unloaded this bike yet?
General Discussion / Re: Southern Tier Tour(self sustained) this fall
« Last post by staehpj1 on November 15, 2014, 11:13:28 am »
Surprisingly, because I'm not very social, many of the highlights of the trip thus far are the people Jve met.

I am not surprised.

I met more interesting local people on the ST than on any other route.  I also met a few interesting folks that were riding the ST.  I found a lot of interesting and really good food along the way too.  Good Mexican food, Cajun food, barbecue, and seafood were highlights of various sections.

On the downside I found the scenery pretty uninteresting or even dreary much of the way, especially in Texas (which was a full 1/3 of the trip).  YMMV on that though.  I tend to like forests and mountain streams, and found day after day of dry brown scrub as far as the eye can see a little depressing.  I hear that some folks actually thought the ST was pretty scenic.  There were some pretty areas, they were just a small portion of the trip.  Fortunately, the people and the food, both of which were awesome, made it worthwhile to me.
Routes / Re: Appalachian mountain bike tour? Great Divide prep.
« Last post by craigt on November 14, 2014, 06:51:11 pm »
This may be a little farther than you wanted to travel, the Trans North Georgia Mountain Bike Adventure would mirror many aspects of the Tour Divide.  It runs about 350 miles and combines pavement, graded Forest Service roads, and Pinhoti Trail single track. For a shorter challenge, I've put together a 120 mile route that encircles the Cohutta and Big Frog Wilderness Areas in North Georgia and Tennessee.  The route also combines pavement, graded FS roads, and single track.  You could stage out of Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Get-away, or Chatsworth, GA and ride a circular route. 
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