Author Topic: TransAmerica 2012  (Read 15406 times)

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Offline webm8

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #45 on: November 24, 2011, 06:36:01 am »
Thanks Mark.  Wondering also if I should buy the camping gear out there instead of lugging it from the UK, cheaper?

Offline John Nelson

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #46 on: November 24, 2011, 10:40:20 am »
I would recommend not only buying your camping gear well in advance, but using it at least a few times before your trip too. You want to have time to carefully consider the options, wait for sales, and work out any kinks. Once you get on the TransAm, your options for replacing gear that isn't working for you will be limited. Travel is hassle enough without trying to incorporate a shopping trip into it. Presumably you won't buy heavy camping gear, so it won't be a big deal to bring it with you.

Offline webm8

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #47 on: November 24, 2011, 11:25:40 am »
Well I am cheating by doing the TransAm Van with Adventure Cycling, so they cart all your gear for you, while you enjoy the ride.  So in that respect, weight is not that much of an issue.   I'm not much of a camper and have pretty much no idea how to put up a tent at the best of times, so getting it in advance thing is a good idea.  I do want to stay in hotels/motels/couchsurf/warmshowers etc as much as poss though.  Being limited to one bag on the airlines, what with my bike too, this is why I'm thinking of buying the camping gear in the US and just getting easiest tent to put together.

Offline John Nelson

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #48 on: November 24, 2011, 09:33:49 pm »
I'm not sure I understand how ACA trips work exactly, but don't you sleep where everybody else sleeps?

Offline webm8

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #49 on: November 25, 2011, 04:10:20 am »
well you can camp with those who are camping, but there is the option, paid for by yourself, to stay in motels etc when its possible.  IE not when your stuck in the middle of nowhere.  Personally, after a long ride I like nothing more then a nice shower and comfy bed, not a cold hard windy campsite  :)

Offline Jambi

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #50 on: December 01, 2011, 09:19:30 am »
If your working on a tight budget you can pick up quite a lot of stuff cheaply when you get there (headlamps, sleeping bag etc. I ended up buying my tent the day before my trip for 60 dollars (about 38 quid) and it served me well for the full summer.

Offline U2bike

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #51 on: December 22, 2011, 02:06:22 pm »
Last year I participated in an 8 day tour with camping in Europe (www.tourforlife.nl) . Average distance each day was above 100 miles with serious climbing. Within our group one person also preferred to stay in hotels and he also had little to no experience in camping. Result was that at his first night of camping he was wrestling with his tent for about an hour because he hadn't practiced and during the nights he stayed in a hotel he had to carry a day pack with luggage up and down to the hotel from the camping site. Average distance was about 5 km single way. With shared meals and cooking you have to be prepared to spend quite some extra time on travelling back and forth between the hotel and the campsite. I've no experience with camping in the US but I would guess that the distances between campsite and hotel can be much bigger. By the way, I also subscribed to the 2012 van supported TransAm so we will meet somewhere in 2012.  :)

Offline Scottybhoy

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #52 on: December 27, 2011, 06:00:18 pm »
Hi guys, Im planning on going East to West starting Yorktown on 20 April and taking approx 9 weeks to complete.
Does anyone know estimated temperature ranges? Im about to buy sleeping bag but not sure how cold ..... or warm it gets.
Let me know if I can expect to see you on the Transamerica cycle route (Central)
Cheers
Scottybhoy
East Lothian, Scotland

Offline John Nelson

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #53 on: December 27, 2011, 06:13:47 pm »
If you buy a +32 or +35 bag, you should be fine. You could even buy a +40 or +45 bag assuming you have a good insulated sleeping mat and are willing to wear extra clothes on the coldest nights. Also, you usually have options of where you sleep, so if you plan to sleep in lower elevations as much as possible, you can avoid a lot of cold. Although it might be cold on top of Hoosier or McKenzie Pass, you're not going to be sleeping there. The coldest weather you'll see will probably be in Colorado (Guffy, Fairplay, Frisco) or in Yellowstone.

Of course it depends on the year, and who knows what the weather next year will be. Typically, people have more problems with heat on the TA than cold, but you're starting a bit earlier and traveling a bit faster than most, so you have a good chance of avoiding a lot of the heat.

It also depends on how cold you sleep. The temperature rating of a sleeping bag is only a rough guide. If experience tells you that you get colder on camping trips than your companions, you'll want a warmer bag.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2011, 06:16:31 pm by John Nelson »

Offline misterflask

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #54 on: December 27, 2011, 07:24:15 pm »
I was planning to ride the TA W-E starting around mid-august.  I planned to use lightweight gear that could sustain me down to about 30degF and my theory was that I should be over the Rockies before temperatures started to drop that far.  Then the edge should be off of temperatures across the plains and on the east coast.  Any flaws in my theory?

tnx
bcs

Offline John Nelson

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #55 on: December 27, 2011, 07:39:59 pm »
misterflask, it depends on how many days you are planning to take. If you are fairly average, you'll be over the Rockies by the end of September, and you should finish in the first half of November. So I think you'll be okay.

Offline misterflask

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #56 on: December 27, 2011, 09:44:39 pm »
I was planning to average 500miles per week, which would put me on the east coast at the end of october, which I'm pretty comfortable with.  That's pretty much all the time I have available.  I can generally make 500 miles/wk touring, but a major mechanical mishap or a long stretch of miserable weather could sure ball things up.  Anybody have tales of woe or encouragement on ambitious schedules?

Offline John Nelson

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #57 on: December 27, 2011, 10:58:30 pm »
500 miles a week is probably above average, but not overly ambitious. Start with your gear in good shape and your body well trained, and you should have no problem (barring unusual weather). Getting in good mileage will be a bit more challenging as the days get shorter--I prefer to tour when the days are long. I know a lot of people feel rest days are necessary, but I have never found them very beneficial. I'd rather stay on the move. I think I'd get bored on a rest day unless there was something very compelling there.

Offline PeteJack

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #58 on: December 28, 2011, 11:53:46 am »
Quote
I think I'd get bored on a rest day unless there was something very compelling there.

+1

Believe it. I made the mistake of taking a day off in Packwood WA when doing the Sierra-Cascade route. I was bored to distraction. There's absolutely nothing there, I couldn't even find anything to read. What I found to be better than a rest day is a short day, say 20-30 miles, I even had a day of just 12 miles! You can relax, have a late breakfast, see the museum or whatever and set off early to mid afternoon. This way you satisfy the urge to keep riding, there's no chance of stiffening up and the next day you're ready for that 70 miler.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #59 on: December 28, 2011, 02:01:42 pm »
Hi guys, Im planning on going East to West starting Yorktown on 20 April and taking approx 9 weeks to complete.
Does anyone know estimated temperature ranges? Im about to buy sleeping bag but not sure how cold ..... or warm it gets.

As John said, you can expect temperatures down to around freezing.  (Although we had a killing frost the first of May a few years ago!) 

Highs can exceed 100F.  After drinking a over a gallon per day for a week, and hiding out in air-conditioned libraries, restaurants, and grocery stores in the afternoons,  I found it hard to sleep when the temperature "dropped" to 85F after 11:00 p.m.  Motels made it possible to continue.

Of course, you'll have to wait until next summer to see what the weather is like then!