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Messages - Joey_Bai

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I'm in Minnesota now. Gonna take two rest days here. It's midpoint for Northern Tier right?
I finally uploaded my Vlog:
Follow me on Youtube if you are interested! I will keep updating my Vlog!
I have been using that same lock for years.

Did you put the keyboard in a dry bag to protect it from the elements?  ;D

Careful today.  There could be some serious storms in MN.

The keyboard of the lock? I haven't thought of that. Will watch out for the storm. Thanks!

I'm in Minnesota now. Gonna take two rest days here. It's midpoint for Northern Tier right?
I finally uploaded my Vlog:
Follow me on Youtube if you are interested! I will keep updating my Vlog!

General Discussion / Re: Northern tier crossing end of June!!
« on: June 21, 2022, 07:31:34 pm »
Maybe I will meet you on the road! I'm doing the opposite direction, started a week ago. I'm at Rochester now.

Finished my first week yesterday. I'm taking a one day break here at Rochester, NY. Oh man, my butt hurts! I switched from Brooks to a Bontrager saddle at Albnay, which is still not comfortable enough. Today I replaced it with a even wider Bontrager saddle. This one finally feels comfortable enough! Lost my Khul pants somewhere on the road or at a hotel (so sad...). I shipped back my tri bar because I didn't really use it much. So far so good!

I have met 4 experienced riders already, each of whom has done coast to coast biking trip. I'm so inspired!

Follow me on Instagram @joeybai7 or facebook Joey Bai for daily updates! Will post some videos on YouTube soon if I have a chance to edit them lol.

Have you tried packing all this yet? Clothes take up a lot of room. Think about the extra mass of the bags and racks required to carry them. Think about redundancy of function; get your items of clothing to do as many jobs as possible.

E.g., agree with the above. My camp cargo shorts are a pair of lightweight, quick-drying board shorts (swim trunks) with a mesh liner and a few pockets. 

You'll find that even your thinnest wind-breaking jacket does the job with the proper amount of layers underneath. I'd lose all but your waterproof shell and maybe the down parka, which you can use to supplement the loft in your sleeping kit.

I see the R1 and the down sweater as redundant. I'm guessing the Uniglo packs smaller than the fleece-based R1.

I assume you'll spend most of your time in your cycling shorts. For hygiene, better to have two pair of cycling shorts (in case you don't get to wash and fully dry them nightly).

Too many pants:
Not sure what cycling pants are. If tights - then they are the equivalent of sweat pants. If pants, can they do double duty for the jeans?
Not clear what the sweat pants are for. If cold, you can wear the cycling pants under the jeans?
And think about the weight of jeans - especially when wet - and how long they take to dry. Unless this is a mandatory fashion statement, a compulsory part of the great American adventure, or an attempt to blend in with the Dakota cowboys, you might think about something a little more light weight, packable, and perhaps useable over cycling shorts, while you are on the bike. I rode in jeans and cut-off jeans in the 70s; I'm just sayin'.... (And besides, it's hard to blend in with the average cowboy wearing sandals.)

If your socks are wool, you can probably cut the number in half. Wear them out? Buy a new pair.

Think about a pair of lightweight rain shorts or cut-off el-cheapo rain pants to keep from completely soaking your shorts in a downpour.

Unless you like sunblock, think about UV protection extenders for your legs as well.

Have fun with this.

Wow, lots of helpful ideas! Thank you so much!

You're totally right. I realize that the pannier itself is not light at all. I have two 20L front panniers and two 27L back panniers. I was thinking front + back panniers can balance front and back weight. But now I need to re-think whether I should use all of them.

I just ordered a pair of Kuhl renegade convertible pants to replace all the non cycling pants in my list. I don't know what was I thinking when I put jeans on the list. Maybe "an attempt to blend in with the Dakota cowboys"? You see right through me. Lol

I've never thought about UV protection for legs. Will take a look.

If you aren't completely locked into your plans you might consider that riding toward home allows for getting air travel out of the way up front.  It is easier and likely cheaper to buy a ticket for a date that you can plan ahead for.  You likely won't know when you will arrive at the end and want to fly home.  A flexible schedule is a joy and a locked in one is more of a ball and chain.

I found that wearing bike clothes every day and switching to running shorts in camp worked well for me.  Since the running shorts have a built in brief I took no underwear.  If it is too chilly for that the running shorts alone tights with a wind shell over them work well.  I have shirts that were from ww kayaking and backpacking that serve well.  I don't take any sweatshirts and definitely no jeans.

I'm actually moving from Providence to Seattle! All this effort just to save the plane ticket (jk  ;D).

Thanks for the running shorts idea!

Even with all the problems the Post Office has been having, it's still a touring cyclist's best friend.

Thanks for the idea!

Don't skimp on the rain gear.
Western Washington - the west slope of the Cascades -
has had 200% of normal rainfall in the past 3 months.
And western Washington gets lots of rain/snow from mid-Feb to mid-May.
We're talking 30-40 inches of rain in 90 days.

The water faucet may turn off suddenly, but don't count on it.
Your initial few days are likely to be very soggy.
Don't let the cold/damp conditions spoil your start.
Once you get over Washington Pass, it's dries out quickly.

PS - I hope you are thinking of taking the ferry out to the San Juan Islands.
Even staying two nights at the county park in Anacortes and doing a day cruise on the ferry
out to one of the islands and back gives you a super start to the tour.

Thanks for the recommendations! I will be riding from East (Providence, RI) to West (Seattle, WA). I do plan to bring a rain jacket! Thanks for affirming that!

The bike is getting heavier and heavier... Will post my packing list soon for feedback.
The weight only matters if you're on a schedule.... That said, there are a lot of mechanical and esthetic advantages to a minimal load.

Unfortunately, if you leave it up to 100 people to tell you what they consider to be the most essential item they bring, you'll likely get 110 absolutely essential items.

As you read through the comments on your list, remember to (a) don't take offense and (b) heed only those recommendations that truly strike a chord for you.

Matthew Lee liked to point out that on 2 week races, he only took a few items in addition to his everyday carry of tools and parts. It's surprising how little it takes to sleep, eat, and keep moving.

For comparison, I ran into a fellow time-trialing the Great Divide Mountan Bike Route on a rig that weighed ~35 pounds fully loaded including mud and water. On the other hand I had a great time taking 4 times longer to complete the trip on a bike and racks that had a mass of 34 pounds and went ~80 pounds fully loaded..., including spare pedals, an electric shaver and computer, but on the other hand, without a stove.

That make sense! I'm not in rush. I plan to use 3 month to finish the trip. If I bike 50 miles/day on average I can finish in 78 days, with 12 rest days. I will bring cameras and a laptop with me to do some video editing along the way so it's probably gonna be a heavy load.

I'm mostly unsure about clothing. Do these clothes make sense for northern tier (East to West) route June - September?

Two cycling shirts
A pair of cycling shorts
A pair of cycling pants

A lightweight dawn jacket (Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Parka)
A thin jacket (Patagonia R1 techface jacket)
A rain jacket (Rei Co-op Men's Junction Cycling Rain Jacket)
An ultra thin jacket
A short sleeve tshirt
A long sleeve tshirt

A pair of thin sweat pants
A pair of thick sweat pants
A pair of jeans
A pair of shorts

Two low neck socks
Two long neck socks
Two pairs of underwear
A pair of cycling shoes
A pair of sandals
A baseball hat
A gaiter
A pair of UV protection sleeves

I'm sorry I won't be able to join you for a stretch of your ride.  We just adopted a new doggie.  Wife wouldn't be pleased if I were to take off for a week!

Will you be posting a journal someplace?  CrazyGuyOnABike?

I will post pictures and journals on facebook (Joey Bai) and instagram (joeybai7)!

Trip starts in two weeks! So excited! Just bought the Northern Tier phone map. I'm bit worried about over packing. The bike is getting heavier and heavier... Will post my packing list soon for feedback.

General Discussion / Re: Shout Out
« on: October 18, 2021, 10:28:30 pm »
I recently completed my first cross country ride from Portland, Oregon to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was a self supported solo trip.  I just wanted to say "Thank You" to those of you who post on here and those of you who gave me personal advice.  All of your advice was welcomed and most heeded.  I found that most of it was spot on.   Also a Hi to all the great people I met along the way.....Doc, Warren, Tony and many others.  It was inspirational how kind and caring most people are.  Also a shout out to ACA for their great maps, both print and digital.  I wish I would have purchased both from the start!  I truly enjoyed my visit to the ACA headquarters in Missoula!  One other home bike shop, Attitude Sports in Fond du Lac, WI was instrumental in making my journey possible with product, advice and support!  Thank you Dave, Justin, Kyle and Pat!

What a ride :))

Again.......Thank You!


Awwww... How wholesome!

General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« on: October 18, 2021, 10:23:15 pm »
If you're still looking for riders in April, May, please re-post this.  I did the NT in 2019 but may be interested in joining you for a week. 

Are you going to do the NT as-is, or start in Rhode Island?  Cutting across Ontario and Michigan, or going south through Ohio and Michigan?  Camping?

I probably start from Providence, RI and get to the NT route at Rochester NY. I will be camping most nights but have occasional hotel luxury :)
I will definitely re-post this when it get closer! It will be nice to bike together!

General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« on: October 18, 2021, 10:16:51 pm »
To address your question - you might not find a suitable riding partner before you leave, or realize after a few days (if not weeks), that your chosen riding partner is not compatible.

As noted in other posts throughout the forum, don't be a afraid to ride by yourself. After years of touring, most of us old guys only run solo - no compromises necessary: no audience to watch us struggle, no pressure to keep up, no disagreement on how much garlic is needed in the spaghetti sauce.... Coming out of graduate school, you might appreciate the autonomy.

Although slightly fewer riders head east to west - due in part to the folklore and myths of the prevailing surface winds noted by all above - you'll still run consistently into fellow riders and potential for at least transient riding partners all along the way, especially if you are camping.

Don't sweat the little stuff and have fun.

OMG thank you for the wisdom! The reason I want to find some partners is that I saw the video of Sarah and her partners biking on the transAm and became good friends on the trip. I really want that. But like you said, I will probably run into to many riders along the way especially at camp sites!

General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« on: October 18, 2021, 10:04:06 pm »
No, not me. You will find the northern tier route very good for cycling. I did 2600 miles of it in 1987, west to east. I flew to Seattle from Florida to avoid the head winds I hear about. There were some strong following winds. How strong? Like tearing along at 30 mph and going over hills and rises hardly needing to pedal. I would say the winds were 40 mph, maybe stronger at times. That did not go on for a long time, but I would not have wanted to go against it. You most likely will not need cold weather gear till after the foot hills, out west. You will be climbing a long time, sweating hard, and going into high altitude cold. Use breathable fabric for your jacket and pants. If not, you will be soaked, cold, with no way to dry and get warm.

Thank you for the advice! And great job on your past ride!

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