Author Topic: New to cycling and taking a loop around America  (Read 4375 times)

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Offline Teepee Tommy

New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« on: January 30, 2013, 05:58:00 pm »
Hello everyone!

My trail name is Teepee Tommy. I am new to Cycling and to this website. I have an adventure planned. This one will involve a bicycle. I wanted to post a bit about my trip ahead to see who else I might run into along the way. I am starting in Damascus, Va ( near my home) the first week in March. Riding East to Richmond, where I will get on the Atlantic Coast trail and head south. Connect to the Southern Tier and ride it all the way West until I reach the Sierra Cascades. Head North to the Western Express. Ride West to San Francisco and hit the Pacific Coast trail. Bike North until I hit the Trans America trail and ride it all the way East back to Damascus, Va. ideally knocking the trip out in 4 months. Hopefully I will get to meet many other cyclist along the way.

I just finished Thru Hiking the Appalachian Trail this past summer. I found my self unhappy and going crazy being back into the swing of normal life.  Hence this adventure! I am a ultra light minimalist back packer with a base weight of 11 Lbs. I will be using the same gear from my hike while on the bike. I plan on camping most of the way. Going as light as possible will hopefully equal a more pleasurable ride and minimize strain.

My cycling experience? Does riding through the neighborhood as a child count? Didn't think so. I hope to just learn along the way. Another reason for this post is to hear from people who have done a long distance bike trip. I love hearing about others adventures. If anyone has suggestions or major tips I would love to hear. Every little bit of information will help my understanding of this goal.

« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 02:21:30 am by Teepee Tommy »

Offline John Nelson

Re: New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 06:08:28 pm »
I am a ultra light minimalist back packer with a base weight of 11 Lbs. I will be using the same gear from my hike while on the bike.
You'll need to add some bike parts and tools, but you can subtract some food and water. Good luck. Sounds like a blast.

Offline staehpj1

Re: New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 06:29:26 pm »
 I think you will find that the ultralight packing style translates nicely to bike touring.   Have a great trip!

Offline Teepee Tommy

Re: New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 06:42:56 pm »
Here is a picture of my setup. .
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 07:37:25 pm by Teepee Tommy »

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2013, 10:40:45 pm »
Sounds like it could be a great trip, with a couple of provisos.

First, your itinerary is about 10,000 miles on the back of my envelope, in 120 days; or about 80 miles a day.  That could be tough.

Second, you'll be hitting the southern tier as things start to heat up.  I don't know what the temperatures are like in the southwest deserts around April-May, but it could be hot.  Not impossible, but it could be a challenge.

Are you going to post a journal or blog?

Offline Teepee Tommy

Re: New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2013, 05:50:22 pm »
I hope to just miss the heat. As for my time frame, I can take 4 months or 4 years. Not in a hurry.  I will have a facebook page just for the trip. I am not much of a blog or journal guy.

Offline staehpj1

Re: New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2013, 07:39:55 pm »
Here is a picture of my setup.
Nice looking rig, but I have to say that I am a little surprised.  It looks like a lot of bag space for 11 pounds of backpacking gear.  That must be  4 or 5 pounds of bags.  Did you decide to go heavier or are the bags mostly empty?

Offline Teepee Tommy

Re: New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2013, 09:17:04 pm »
Only one bag is filled. I weighed every thing today and with 2 days food and the bag weight I am at 19 LBS. I got some tools and 3 tubes stuffed in there also.

Offline jimbo

Re: New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2013, 09:22:01 pm »
Tommy, I met  an AT thru hiker (Pacific crest also) on the Northern Tier last summer. He was a novice touring cyclist but made the transition easily. He also was an ultralight gear guy. Look up Turbo ( Brandon Gabel) on FB.

Offline Teepee Tommy

Re: New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2013, 09:25:24 pm »
Hi, Jimbo. I want to say I think I will get in full swing after a few weeks. The only thing I can really say is some of the best adventures are the ones you go into knowing nothing about.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2013, 11:29:49 pm »
Would you mind giving a run down on the gear you will be carrying that will weigh in at 20 pounds or thereabouts? Some day I plan to do another long tour. I am looking at 1. the southern tier   2. Mexico, Central America, South America  or 3.  Cairo to Capetown.

Offline Teepee Tommy

Re: New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2013, 12:22:02 am »
Sure thing, Westinghouse. I actually made a video while on my hike.  A few things are different for the bike trip though. I switched to a Neo air short pad weighing 8 0z. I also don't have to carry 4 days of food. The biggest things that keep my weight down are my tent and sleeping bag. My tent is 1lb 10 oz and my bag is a 1 lb down bag. Another thing is I don't carry anything that doesn't involve making miles, eating and sleeping. So no pillow, laptop, i-pad, books, games, extra clothes, box wine, "combat axe murderer knife'. 20 lb propane tank.

I don't condone ultra light camping unless you are used to being cold, wet, hungry and dirty. I have lived in the woods for 2 years now in an Indian tipi. I can handle myself with out loads of creature comforts. If you like to read a book at night, bring one. If you like clean socks everyday, bring them. Trekking/Touring should be as comfortable as you like. This video is just how I like to roll. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bp6uwrb-hXY

Offline John Nelson

Re: New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2013, 03:46:24 pm »
I'm impressed by the fact that you carry no clothes. I think most cyclists carry at least one set of off-bike clothes so that they can get out of their sweaty stinky cycling clothes each night and rinse them out for the next day. Cyclists also spend more time in civilization than hikers, so there's a bit more of a reason to smell half-way decent.

Offline HONDO

Re: New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2013, 02:18:11 pm »
It will be interesting to see how your bike ride compares to your AT thru hike. My friend told me the AT was much tougher than his cross country bicycle trip.

Offline staehpj1

Re: New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2013, 02:46:07 pm »
Just on the time it takes alone, an AT thru is a much bigger deal IMO.

The TA took me 73 days.  I figure the ST could be fairly easily done in 5-6 weeks so, since I went from San Diego to Pensacola in 33 days and figure St Augustine was about another 5-6 days down the road.

An AT thru hike typically takes between five and seven months.

I also figure carrying your stuff on your back while climbing over rocks and stuff is harder than riding a bike even a loaded one on mountain roads.

Add to that the ability to stop for cold drinks, food, and resupply almost every day and sometimes several times a day on a bike tour vs less frequent opportunities on the AT.

To calibrate my view...  I have done a number of long tours, but have done no really long hikes.