Author Topic: Getting Across The Desert  (Read 6664 times)

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Offline Stevenp

Re: Getting Across The Desert
« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2011, 11:50:17 pm »
No. At one point I was looking into the idea of making my trip a fundraiser, and thus raising funds for myself, but I decided against that. It seemed that it would cause too many restriction in my trip, and 1 restriction to me is too many. I would like to plan a couple of places to stop and share my story, but I am supporting my trip 100%.

In fact, i just sold my furniture set today and will be purchasing my Surly LHT along with the Surly front and rear racks. I can't wait!! Things are coming together well and I have learned so much already. I approached the local bike shop and offered a free employee to the owner in exchange for learning how to work on a bike and fix everything. I hope to know a bike quite well by the time i leave. I already have half of the funds for the trip and still another 6 or so months to go. I think I may plan on "suping" up my bike in a few ways too before the trip.

Stevenp

Offline John Nelson

Re: Getting Across The Desert
« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2011, 03:43:17 pm »
Steven, in cyclotouring lingo, the word "supported" does not typically refer to financial support, but rather to a motorized vehicle carrying your gear.

Offline Stevenp

Re: Getting Across The Desert
« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2011, 04:23:19 pm »
Oh, alright. Thanks for helping me grow with my Touring lingo. :) No, I haven't looked into that option. In fact, i plan on camping most of the way simply because I want this to be an achievement also, no easy way.

I do have a question in regards to racks. I am a couple of days away from buying my Surly LHT bike and having it fitted already with the Surly front and rear racks. I'm wondering if it is overkill to purchase the Surly racks—each for $130, so I would be spending $260 just for the front and rear Surly racks. I know I can get much cheaper racks than the Surly ones, but I want your opinion on whether you think they are worth the price.

Should I spend the money for the Surly f/r racks, or save some money by buying cheaper racks?

Thanks!

Offline John Nelson

Re: Getting Across The Desert
« Reply #33 on: January 23, 2011, 04:34:51 pm »
Opinions are all over the map on racks. Racks do sometimes break, and more expensive racks are less likely to break and less likely the flex as you ride. There's no right answer. If you budget allows it, it often pays to buy quality. But if your budget does not allow it, cheaper racks usually server well. Just pay attention to the weight limits from the rack manufacturer.

Offline Mattie

Re: Getting Across The Desert
« Reply #34 on: January 23, 2011, 05:23:52 pm »
.............Should I spend the money for the Surly f/r racks, or save some money by buying cheaper racks?

Thanks!

I would avoid cheap aluminum racks. My last bike was sold from new as a complete tourer and came with cheap aluminum racks, by blackburn I think. The struts that took all the weight were just thin aluminum, squeezed flat at the ends and a hole drilled through so they could be bolted to the frame. I thought that might be strong enough to carry a newspaper and a loaf of bread back from the shop, but that's about it ! replaced with Tubus.

Oh one other thing - When I cycled in Spain in August 2009 it was really hot, up to 38 Centigrade. But the real killer was sun and hills. As soon as the terrain starting going uphill then the sweat just started pouring out of me. Hot and flat and no head wind was fine, but hot and hills is the killer for me.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Getting Across The Desert
« Reply #35 on: January 26, 2011, 03:14:12 am »
I don't know your particular route; however, I have cycled the ST in summer, 98-110 F, and I had to drink about three gallons of liquids / beverages daily. Hydration is of the essence. Plan for sources along the way.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Getting Across The Desert
« Reply #36 on: January 26, 2011, 09:04:34 am »
Two things, if you are riding in the heat and long distances between supplies, then you need good quality racks to carry your extra water - you will be surprised how heavy it is.

Secondly if you go for cheaper racks, keep to something that can be easily welded - not aluminium.  Oh and a few feet of duct tape will get you to a welding shop.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline John Nettles

Re: Getting Across The Desert
« Reply #37 on: January 26, 2011, 09:19:03 am »
Two things, if you are riding in the heat and long distances between supplies, then you need good quality racks to carry your extra water - you will be surprised how heavy it is.

Secondly if you go for cheaper racks, keep to something that can be easily welded - not aluminium.  Oh and a few feet of duct tape will get you to a welding shop.

Don't forget some hose clamps!  They are great to have for emergency repairs.
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline Rep

Re: Getting Across The Desert
« Reply #38 on: January 28, 2011, 09:40:15 am »
I have had great service from Wayne over at The Touring Store.  I have outfitted my LHT with Tubus and Ortlieb.

http://thetouringstore.com/
Bicycling, Brewing & Backgammon...What a life.

Offline Stevenp

Re: Getting Across The Desert
« Reply #39 on: January 28, 2011, 12:55:12 pm »
Rep,

Great site! Thank You!

I chose to purchase the Surly rear rack. I love it! I think I am also planning on purchasing the Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus Waterproof Rear Panniers. I still haven't decided on whether to purchase the front rack and panniers, still considering.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Getting Across The Desert
« Reply #40 on: January 28, 2011, 09:13:23 pm »
Re front racks - I would always recommend them and you'll see a lot on here about handling better if your load is distributed around the bike.  I agree, however, what is often missed is if you have a loaded bike (camping gear etc) all on the back you could end up flipping over backwards, like a rearing horse, in certain circumstance.  So unless you are travelling very light IMO you need front racks, and the lower you get them the better.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline leicrao1

Re: Getting Across The Desert
« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2011, 05:06:03 pm »
Havent read the whole thread so do not know if I am repeating what others have said.

I am 45, a keen amateur cyclist rather than anything super special or competitive. Last summer my brother in law and I left LA on 28th July and took 29 days to get to NY, stopping in motels all the way. For those of you in the US (we are British), you may remember it was particularly hot. The first few days took us through Barstow and Baker and the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas and then to St George and across southern Utah.

So I have ridden the desert in late July early August and I would say go for it, but be very prepared. From Barstow, we took the I-15 to Vegas and beyond to Mesquite where we took the back road over Utah moutain. I-15 was one of the most enjoyable bits of the trip. I had capacity for 7 litres of water (3litre camelback, 2x1litre bottles and 4x500ml bottles in my bar bag). Even though I would start the day with all 7, at no point did I come close to running out. We started early (4am out of Barstow, leaving Baker at 10pm and cycling through the night to the Nevada border) and we made sure that when we stopped we fully hydrated as well as topping off the bottles. Cycling at night was essential not just here but in the mid-west as well where the humidity made it even worse. Get good lights. Enough to light up the road in front and not just those designed to ensure cars can see you. I was lucky in not having any major mechanical malfunction. Paul had a puncture five miles short of Baker at about 12noon (I was already there) and there is absolutely no shade except the odd bridge you go under. Indeed it is only when you stop, and lose the breeze, that you realise just how hot it is. Also, plan not just the route but also the elevations. We got into Baker around noon after a lot of downhill from Barstow and feeling relatively fresh despite the heat. It would have been tempting to plough on but my research had told me just how long a gradient it is heading East out of Baker so we were able to hole up and wait until dark.

I would advise choosing routes with sufficient cars on them. If anything goes wrong mechanically, I would rather be on the shoulder of I-15 than some deserted back road.

Enjoy
« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 05:13:54 pm by leicrao1 »

Offline BicycleNevada

Re: Getting Across The Desert
« Reply #42 on: February 04, 2011, 07:12:40 pm »
If you need information on cycling any of the routes in Nevada feel free to contact me.  We have maps for cycle-touring that will give you information on traffic, trucks, shoulders, etc..

Bill Story
State Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator
Nevada Department of Transportation
(775) 888-RIDE
bicycle@dot.state.nv.us