Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: Westinghouse on September 26, 2008, 12:13:34 pm

Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: Westinghouse on September 26, 2008, 12:13:34 pm
I have cycled 34,000 miles through 19 countries, and six times across the USA. I rough camp most of the time, and use motels on occasion. I am considering another US transcon in a year or two. I might be trying to locate a cycling partner for that one some time now or in the future.

Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: Westinghouse on September 30, 2008, 01:32:27 pm
A friend of mine and I have been talking about a transcon. So far we have hit on going diagonally across the USA from Florida to Seattle or Portland. I figure that would be 90 days or more. Another thought discussed was the pacific coast route in summer. We also thought on the southern tier from Florida to San Diego in winter.

This friend is new to touring. In fact, his only tour has been 250 miles from here to Key West, and that was with me. He screwed up so much I left him in Key West. It took us 5 1/2 days to get there with him. I got back alone in 2 1/2 days. He took the Greyhound bus.

This poor guy wanted to bring everything with him but the kitchen sink. By the time he was loaded he had more weight than I would carry on an around the world expedition. His rack broke. He messed up his wheel by jumping curbs. He left behind gear I told him to take, and took what I told him to leave behind. Then, when that gear was needed he bummed off of me leaving me at a disadvantage. He got us nearly attacked and killed by some deranged homeless man. He missed a point where we were supposed to meet. He got us off on some long wild goose chase setting us back miles. He would not listen to any advice. That was why I left him in Key West.

Now he talks like he and I will cycle across America together. If he wants to he had better be willing to listen to and follow the voice of experience, and if not, it would be much better doing it alone.

Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: Westinghouse on October 01, 2008, 01:32:20 pm
What this country needs is a good, dedicated, transcontinental, bicycle path. A good model for such a path can be found in the Tammany Trace running some 31 miles from Slidell, Louisiana to around Covington. It is about 12 feet wide, smooth asphalt, with picnic tables along the way. A transcon bike path would need to have basic shelters every so often, like the sort they have along the Appalachian trail.

Google Tammany Trace, and you can see pictures of it.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-22-08 @ 8:52 AM
Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: staehpj1 on October 02, 2008, 09:00:15 am
I'm not sure what the deal is with this thread, it just seems to be random series of somewhat unrelated (to each other) comments where you reply to yourself.

On the notion of a dedicated transcontinental bike path...  I don't see the need.  Much of the US can be crossed using rural roads and passing through small towns.

We have rail trails and MUPs similar to the Tammany Trace here and I don't think I would want to go cross country on them.  They are well suited to multi-use including casual cycling, but not so much so for touring or any other less casual form of riding.

They typically don't offer camping although there are exceptions like the C&O Towpath and the KATY Trail.

I have my doubts as to whether there is much demand for a dedicated transcontinental bike path.  I think it would be pretty expensive to construct and maintain.  I doubt that it would see much use in remote areas.  Additionally it would reinforce anti bike folks opinions that we should be on a bike path rather than on the road.

It seems really odd to me that someone who has "cycled 34,000 miles through 19 countries, and six times across the USA" and who "rough camps" most of the time would see any use for such a path.

All that said there is an effort to build the American Discovery Trail.  It would be way down on my list of possible bike routes across the US, but check it out if you are interested at:

All three Adventure Cycling cross country routes would be preferable to me and when I did cross the US I picked the Trans America.  Next time I will probably do the Northern Tier or some variation of it.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 10-2-08 @ 6:05 AM
Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: mimbresman on October 02, 2008, 10:06:59 am
I agree that there is no need for a trans-con bicycle path.
I did the Katy this past summer and it was fun and all. Not much in topography, but it was okay. It by-passed a lot of small towns that might have been interesting to see. I did meet some locals. They were fun to talk too. Of course there were a few locals that thought we (me and my companions) were nuts.  
There are tons of rural roads out there, that are perfect for cycle touring, plus there is the whole new element of dirt touring. I'll seriously be considering combining the Colorado/Wyoming/Idaho/Montana sections of the GDMBR with the Trans-America when I do the Trans-Am. It'll depend on the bike I'll be riding...either my 26" wheeled Litespeed mtn bike, or my old 27" wheeled Univega touring bike, or a new new bike yet to be purchased...a 29" Coconino? mmmmm!

This message was edited by mimbresman on 10-2-08 @ 7:09 AM
Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: Westinghouse on October 03, 2008, 10:38:15 am
I have heard and read about the Katy trail. I did some research to link up bike trails across the USA. I found that from the east coast of Virginia one can cycle through a greenway at D.C., then to Georgetown, and follow a series of canal tow paths through Maryland and west across southern Pennsylvania to Pittsburg. Then there is some road cycling.

Once in Ohio there is a series of bike paths running roughly north and south. South of Ohio there is quite a bit of road travel. Then you get on the Kady trail which will run you south and southwest, and let you out near an entry point to ACA's Transam route. From there it is on to Pueblo, north to Denver, and then 10,000 feet into the clouds. From there follow the Transam route---AND YOU HAVE ARRIVED.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-27-08 @ 3:59 PM
Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: Westinghouse on October 03, 2008, 10:50:35 am
I did 2600 miles on the northern tier beginning in Seattle and then going to Ana Cortes. It was quite good. I got along the Mississippi, went south, and cut off to Chicago before getting to Davenport, Iowa. Something important came up, an emergency, and I had to cut the trip short.

There are two routes along the Mississippi. One is right on the river. It is full of short, steep, abrupt hills, and can be very difficult. The other is farther west and away from the river banks and not nearly as hilly. I got caught out in some really bad weather, and spent the night in the number 1 fire department in Minneapolis when the worst storm since the early 1800s blew through. It killed people and leveled communities.

There is a lot of very beautiful scenery across the northern tier. There are Glacier National Park, the Going to the Sun Highway, and Logan Pass at the continental divide all in one strip. There is a station at the top of Logan Pass. I got there at night, so it was closed.

Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: bagoh20 on October 04, 2008, 12:33:50 am
I'm considering doing a cross country this spring 09.  I would like to go from LA to NYC or Jersey shore.  This would be my first time.  I currently commute about 30 miles a day to work.  I'm 50 yrs old so I'll need to keep it slow and steady not trying to break any records.  How many miles a day is reasonable on this trip in both mountains and flatland?  And does anybody have suggestions for where I could get more info?  Also, there does not seem to be any direct route from LA to Utah on the routes shown on this site.  Any Ideas?

Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: staehpj1 on October 04, 2008, 09:50:33 am
Number of miles per day...
I was 56 when I did the Trans America, so our ages are similar enough.  We averaged 60 miles per day including days off (we didn't take many days off).  My suggestion is to take it easy for the first few days and hit your stride after a week of riding.  Personally I try to maintain a pace that does not require full days of rest and prefer to take a half day once in a while instead.  There isn't much point in pushing for a really long day and then crashing in a motel for a day or more to recover.  Save the rest days for places where you really want to spend a day and do something.

On the route...
I would probably just start farther north (take the train?) and use the Trans America or the Northern Tier routes.  You could also start in SF and use the Western Express to connect to the TA.

You say Spring of 09...
Consider starting in the East if you want to start much before June.  The weather will work out much better that way for the Rockies and the humid east. The winds for the E-W vs W-E part of the trip are a crap shoot.  The part of the trip where they were the biggest factor they are likely to be from the SE, so I think the edge goes to traveling E-W, but I wouldn't let the winds be a deciding factor unless you decide to ride on the west coast, there you want to go N-S for sure.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 10-4-08 @ 6:53 AM
Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: Westinghouse on October 04, 2008, 11:59:18 am
Mileage can vary so much from day to day. You can be on the road at eight, and make forty miles by noon. Another day you can be on the road by eight, and not make forty miles until four p.m. Some days total fifty miles, another day 82, another day 67, another day 54, another day 91, another day 45, another day 120.

I did a 3700 miles bike trip across the USA in 66 days total, but 54 days of actual cycling. That averaged about 70 miles per day. I cycled from South Florida to Bangor, Maine in twenty days, averaging about 85 miles per day. My daily average on the pacific coast bike route was low by comparison because there were so many hills, but mileage did not matter because the scenery was so great.

I once did 250 miles with a lot of city cycling in two and one half days.

As for LA to New Jersey, you can take the Transam to Colorado and across to the Katy Trail, take it to the end, go north to Ohio where a number of bike trails can take you to Pittsburg. From there the tow paths will take you off road to Washington, D.C. You can get over to Delmarva and get the Lewes-Cape May ferry to N.J.

If you take the ACA trail you will most likely meet other cyclists.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-27-08 @ 4:00 PM
Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: staehpj1 on October 04, 2008, 01:43:09 pm
Just a clarification...
I count ALL days in the average including days off so Westinghouse's 3700 mile trip would have been counted as 56 miles per day not 70.

Nothing wrong with either way of counting just as long as it is clear.

I find that his examples of daily mileages are spot on with my experience.  I just take less days off.

On our 4244 mile 73 day TA we took one day to go whitewater rafting and and one day for one of our party to recover after a crash (I went out and rode 40 miles that day anyway even though I had a net gain of minus 4 or something for the day).

We did take some 30-40 mile days where we did laundry, site seeing, hiking, swimming, shopping, or just reading for the afternoon.  I prefer that to actual days off.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 10-4-08 @ 10:44 AM
Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: wanderingwheel on October 04, 2008, 02:32:07 pm
Heading east from LA is tough.  You don't have too many options on how to get out of California, and none of them are benevolent to the unprepared cyclist.  Regardless of which way you, you will have to cross some long, desolate, hot, and dry stretches of desert.  You will probably also need to spend some time on the interstate.  

One option is to head due east through 29 Palms, into Arizona towards Phoenix, and then begin to angle northward towards to Boulder to pick up the Trans-Am.  Another option is to head northeast towards Las Vegas, and then into the beautiful riding of southern Utah, and then pick up the Western Express in eastern Utah or even Montrose, Colorado.  One more option is to head north up beautiful 395, and then across Nevada thorough Tonopah and meet the Western Express in Ely.  All of these routes can be wonderful and I've done all or large portions of each of them, but I'm having a hard time suggesting one over the others.  Regardless, this will probably be the most difficult part of your trip because of the desert environment and lack of services.  For turn-by-turn directions, look for a Route 66 guide, or even the Race Across America (RAAM) routes.

At the other end, you can go all the way to the end of the Trans-Am and then pick up the Eastern Seaboard.  It's a nice ride and won't add too many extra miles.  Personally, I'd be tempted to stay in the Appalachians and follow them north into Pennsylvania, and then head east into New York or New Jersey.  Pennsylvania has an excellent set of cross-state bike routes to follow, another resource may be RAAM again since they often end in Atlantic City.

When I tour, I average 80-100 miles on the bike, but take at least one day off a week.  Unlike the others, I prefer full days off rather than half days.  In the end, we all end up at about the same speed.  I find that I ride nearly the same number of miles per day in the mountains as the flats.  30 miles a day commuting should be excellent preparation for your tour.  Consider doing a few full day rides on the weekend as your tour nears, and riding with your gear (or weights) so that you get used to the handling of the bike.


Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: staehpj1 on October 04, 2008, 03:47:23 pm
Sean said. "Unlike the others, I prefer full days off rather than half days."

In fairness I should say that I am probably in the small minority in advising skipping days off.  Almost everyone I have heard comment on this takes full days off.

Still I am convinced that my way works better, at least for me.  To me, it really isn't any less restful to ride for 30 miles in the morning at an easy pace than taking a full day off.  I am pretty sure both of my companions om the Trans America would advise it too, but other than the three of us I can't claim that I know of others who have advocated it.  I suspect it would work well for at least some others if they tried it, but don't assume it will for you just because I advise it.

If you want to try my way the key is to use a pace that you can maintain.  That way you can make progress every day.  Even on our two days off we didn't actually stay the same place twice.  I like it that way others may not.

Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: bagoh20 on October 04, 2008, 05:41:28 pm
Thanks a lot guys for all the input.  I've never really attempted to do more than about 40 miles in a day.  I know I could but, I'm most concerned about the mountainous parts.  I hate hills.  What about equipment?  Is there need for a more all purpose bike or can you use a pure road bike with narrow tires.  I ride a mountain type bike every day on the street. It doesn't really roll all that efficient with the fat tires.  How much equipment do you carry weight wise.

Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: staehpj1 on October 05, 2008, 11:05:02 am
Have no fear.  My daughter hated hills and pretty much sucked at riding them before our big tour.  A week into our Trans America she was absolutely kicking @ss on the climbs.  Just take it easy to start, and a week to ten days into the trip both the daily mileage and the climbing will come together.  Avoid the pattern of knocking yourself out and then needing to veg out in a motel for one or more days.  Try for a daily pace that is at least somewhat sustainable especially in the beginning.  If you take rest days let them be fun not just crashing because you are exhausted.

FWIW: As long as you have low enough gearing all the climbs in the Cascades and Rockies were quite do-able.

The Appalachians were the tough part due to the much steeper grades.  The climbs there were fairly short so walking for a couple miles would be an option.

On the bike, I prefer a dedicated touring bike, but any bike could possibly work.

Weight of stuff carried?  Try to shoot for 30 pounds or so and try REALLY hard to stay below 40.  After you have been on the road a bit reevaluate each item and mail stuff home that you find you don't absolutely need.  Do that periodically on the trip.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 10-5-08 @ 8:09 AM
Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: Westinghouse on October 07, 2008, 02:13:19 pm
Weight should be kept at a minimum. Know your needs on the road, and carry the minimum that will meet those needs. The heaviest weight I ever carried was 65 pounds on a 4,500 mile tour through France, Germany, Czech, Poland, the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Moldovia, then Romania, Bulgaria, Greece. Italy, and the east coast of the US from New York City to south Florida. Cycling days averaged at something over seventy.

Going across the USA in winter requires additional weight for cold weather. You can get by carrying thirty pounds, sometimes less.

I do not even use a tent anymore. All I carry for shelter is a 10 X 12 polyethylene tarp, camoflage pattern. String a line between two trees, throw it over the rope and peg it to the ground. It is certain shelter against the rain and snow. On cold nights, below freezing when the wind is kicking up, put the pad on the ground, fix up a pillow, lay the bag(rated at 20 degrees F or below) on the pad, and when you go to sleep just throw the tarp over the bag. It breaks wind chill and turns your 20 degree bag into a 10 degree bag, or so it feels anyway. When you choose a must-have item to take with you, think of where you might be able to get the same item in lighter weight.
Saving ounces on many different items adds up to several pounds lighter.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 11-5-08 @ 1:18 PM
Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: wanderingwheel on October 07, 2008, 05:19:28 pm
As compared to backpacking, I don't think weight on a bike tour is that critical.  An extra pound or five really does not make that big of a difference.  Just compare how your bike feels with full water bottles and empty water bottles.  I feel every ounce on my back, but can ignore many pounds on the bike.

I have toured with everything from 60+ pound loads with every concievable "luxury" to stupid-light trips with just a daypack of maybe 10 pounds.  In the end I don't think it matters much, one is better on the road, on is better in camp.  If you have plenty of time and your bike can handle it, carry everything; no reason (in my mind) not to.  

There's a theory that every tour has a given amount of discomfort associated with it.  You can't avoid it, but you can move it around to some combination of: the time on the bike, the time off the bike, your wallet, and the calendar.  Everybody has a different mix that works best for them.


Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: bagoh20 on October 07, 2008, 05:34:39 pm
So what do you experienced guys consider essential?  How about entertainment (music)?

Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: Westinghouse on October 09, 2008, 06:34:04 pm
Clothing appropriate for weather. Tent or other shelter, sleeping bag, maps. Some snacks depending on where you are. Water. A cook stove is not actually essential. A bike in condition to complete a long tour.
Enough money to complete the tour without having to stop and work. Also, do not go anywhere without tools, a pump, and a patch kit.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-14-08 @ 8:14 AM
Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: Westinghouse on October 16, 2008, 03:20:11 pm
Weight is not all that critical, but it is a factor. If you look to keeping your weight down, it is possible to reduce it by 10 or 15 pounds by being careful. If you get into a particularly hilly, rollercoaster like area like the Smokey Mountains or the road alongside the Mississippi river, you will definitely start feeling that weight. After a while it can really be a drag.

New touring cyclists often bring too much gear, and they end up mailing some home. There are things you think you cannot get along without at home which suddenly become useless ballast on a long cycling tour. Read books on bicycle touring. Look up web sites on the subject. Find out what experienced cyclists take on long tours.

Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: staehpj1 on October 16, 2008, 06:35:20 pm
"Weight is not all that critical, but it is a factor."

Different strokes, but for me it is one of the most important factors that I have control of.  That said I am OK with 30-40 pounds and could survive with more.  Still if I send home 2 pounds it is noticeably more pleasant.

Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: biker_james on October 17, 2008, 07:16:32 am
I tend to go with weight not being an issue. My tours are normally limited to my holiday time of 3 weeks, so maybe if I were going longer I'd be more concerned. I'm not sure where I'd cut the weight-leae the electric toothbrush at home, cut down on my rock collecting on the trip, avoid stopping at bookshops along the route, not buy a watermelon, then carry it for days waiting for a sunny day to enjoy it? It's just too radical to consider.
I have a friend with more holiday time who usually does 5 week tours in exotic or arctic locales, andhe just carries everything , even on weekend trips. The philosophy being that its not an issue if you are used to carrying it.

Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: MrBent on October 17, 2008, 09:31:07 am
My philosophy is to reduce weight but not be fanatical about it--though I do admit that lighter almost always makes for more pleasant cycling.  It's just nicer to have less weight to push around.

Here's an example of saving weight in, for me, a really good way: I stopped using a trailer.  I did a ride from California to Arizona towing a Burley Nomad--great trailer, super convenient, no flats, no problems.  I can totally see why folks like trailers.  But when I looked at the panniers that my German recumbent could use, I calculated that I could shave at least 10 lbs.!  That's no joke on climbs.  I sacrificed some convenience, but the increased climbing ability and better aerodynamics in windy conditions were the clinchers.

For my cross-America ride last year, I ultimately chose a Pepsi can alcohol stove, which is about as light as they get.  I cooked the vast majority of my meals, made coffee every morning, often a second cup later in the day--great!  

I splurge in weight with sleeping gear.  I really want and need a good night's sleep, so I carryied a 2" thick, full-length Thermarest pad with integrated camp chair--weighed about three pounds.  But man, was it sweet.  Pull into camp, set up the chair and kick back for reading, cooking, journal writing.  I've since acquired a Big Agnes air mattress--lighter, more compact, more comfortable.  The only drawback is that you get a little light-headed filling it up!  Setting up the Big Agnes chair is not as convenient as the Thermarest, however, but it seems okay.  I think the BA combo is about a pound lighter than the T-rest.

For me, in most settings, a tent is essential in order to avoid insects.  Westinghouse recommended a tarp, which is fine, but I can't imagine what that would have been like in the mosquito infested Midwest last August.  I also like the idea of a little cave or shelter to call my own, a sanctuary that sets me apart for a while.  When conditions permit, however, I love to sleep out under the stars.  As I got into the Southwest in October, I had a blast laying out the tarp and flopping out in the open--no bugs, clear skies, can't beat that.  My tent is a Sierra Designs one-person model, can't recall the name right now, and it weighs about three pounds.  I go super light with sleeping bags and carry a  sub-two pound 20 deg. F. down bag--very compact, too!

Leave the cast iron gear at home, and you'll be fine!

The more important thing is to realize that you don't need the best of the best.  People get by and have wonderful adventures on all kinds of gear.  Mostly you need a reliable bike and a way to carry gear so it won't fall off.  Get out there and ride.



Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: bagoh20 on October 17, 2008, 11:46:17 am
I want to load very light just out of a personal aesthetic.  I don't want to carry anything that I can get along the way when needed.  When doing the TA would food even be needed?  Can you find food everyday enroute?  I can go without eating and definitely without cooking for a day.  I'm thinking all I really need is: water, shelter, 2 sets of clothes, tools, a credit card, cell phone, and one book.  Am I missing something?

Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: Westinghouse on October 17, 2008, 01:20:59 pm
I think weight is an issue, and I say go as light as you can. But it is not an all determining issue as long as you can go enjoyably with what you are carrying. Keep it light. Why pull a lot of useless weight? What would be the purpose? An alcohol stove weighing a total of 20 ounces with fuel included is a better choice than a stove that weighs two pounds (32 ounces) with fuel that weighs 28 ounces. And that is only one item where weight can be pared. Keep reducing weight and the next thing you know you are carrying 25 pounds of weight instead of 35 or 40.

Mr Brent was saying something about the mosquito problem in summer where I was. Well, you can say that again. There were millions of the little blood sucking little demons from hell. And it was a pain in the neck dealing with them. There was almost no rain at all on that trip, and I hardly used the tarp at all. Mostly it became part of my pillow arrangement. But the mosquitos were everywhere. Here is how I dealt with them. I just lay out in the open. I sprayed myself with Cutters spray and rubbed it around on myself. Then I would light three mosquito coils, and place them so that the barely perceptible drift of the night  breeze would keep the smoke flowing across me. It worked, and the problem was solved, but my clothes held the distinctive aroma / odor of smoke.
Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: MrBent on October 19, 2008, 04:12:13 pm
Hey, Bogo: Not missing anything.  So much of this thread is about personal preference.  Sooner or later, we all work out what's best for us.  I, for one, really enjoy having a stove and cooking my own meals.  When I pull into some totally choice, hidden spot, set up my chair and kick back with a tasty meal bubbling on the stove, I've found a little slice of heaven.  When I get up in the morning, I make my own coffee and get to slurp it down in whatever place I've landed.  Although I carry more weight, for me the freedom and experience of these simple chores more than make up for it.  I could eat cold, skip meals, etc. if necessary, but why?  I cover all the miles I want to in a day.  I have fun on the climbs, so whatever weight I've ended up with is not an albatross around my neck, and when I ride up a remote dirt road and throw down camp between some junipers on a high lonesome ridge, I get all the benefits of home--only more.

One very practical concern, of course, is money, at least for most people.  Cooking one's own chow is usually a lot cheaper than eating out all the time.

Ah, Westinghouse:  I can see how your method works.  Personally, I hate bug juice and those smoky rings like crazy, so being able to dive into a tent is a big plus for me.  For me, bugs are the single worst thing about outdoor living.  That's why I love touring in the desert in the winter and also why I timed my cross-country ride so much of it would be in the fall.

A point to remember: Heinz Stuck (sp?) is the world's most traveled man.  He has toured in virtually every country in the world on a super heavy-duty three speed and a mountain of gear for a bike+load of about 100lbs.  This is what works for him. I would never tour in that manner.  Still, he puts all of this in perspective.



Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: bagoh20 on October 19, 2008, 05:06:24 pm
Mr. Bent, Everything you said I completely agree with.  I'm looking for the basic requirements for success (reach goal alive).  I agree, I also would "require" more than that for my own personal success.  Making coffee at campsite does make the world all right.

Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: Westinghouse on October 23, 2008, 01:12:51 pm
When it comes to reaching the goal alive, I am sure that everyone would agree very much on that point. It is the one point on which everyone would agree, and it is the one point on which we do not have full control. No matter how safely you cycle it could still come out bad. Someone might just run into you. It happens. A person riding a bicycle was killed here just a few days ago. I knew a fellow (Gus) who was hit. Both his legs were broken and he required surgery to have them set. Another man, Arthur Hudson, was killed by an 18 year old guy in a truck. Every once in a while, even in this relatively sparsely populated area, somebody gets killed riding a bicycle. There are several others.

All I can tell you is to read books on cycling safety and take what they say seriously. Be very careful in traffic. You cannot always tell what a motor vehicle driver might do, but you can tip the odds in your favor by being a careful, defensive cyclist.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-28-08 @ 10:13 AM
Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: Westinghouse on October 24, 2008, 02:24:21 pm
Van Horn, Texas is on the S-tier. Two things I have noticed about Van Horn need to be mentioned. First, Van Horn used to have very reasonably priced motels, and was a good stopping off place for rest days. Prices went up when road work was being done in that area, and they have not come back down. For quite some time roads in that area were being improved, requiring many persons to be in the Van Horn area doing the work. Motel owners raised their prices significantly, knowing that the workers had no places else to go. After the workers left the prices stayed inflated. Second, I noticed it myself, and read about it in the journals of those who stayed to eat in Van Horn. People who eat in Van Horn's restaurants end up leaving the town with diarrhea, or with some mild form of dysentery. It happened to me every time I ate out there. After reading many journals by others who ate there I realized it was not just me.
Title: Transcontinental touring.
Post by: Westinghouse on October 27, 2008, 06:58:07 pm
A transcontinental bicycle trail would run into some pretty substantial costs to build and maintain, but it would also create jobs for the building and maintaining.