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Topics - JonathanW

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Hi there,

As said in the subject, I want to bridge the gap between the Chicago/NYC and Route 66 maps by going from Indianapolis to St. Louis. By just looking at the map, it seems so easy by just taking Highway 40 al the way. From judging the Google Streetview pictures it looks fairly rideable. When I ask Google for a direction for bicycles though, it sometimes guides me North or South of Highway 40. It even looks like a few Miles extra (which wouldn't bother me at all, if its worth it).

Do you have any recommendations/hints here? Thanks in advance!


Hi Folks

I will start my Cross Country adventure when I arrive at JFK (Terminal 1) on March 7 (around 1pm). My plan is to get to the Sandy Hook area the same day. I want to stay there for 1-2 days max. until I dip my tires into the Atlantic and start this crazy adventure (to San Francisco in 90 days).

I'm a little bit worried about getting my bike unboxed, set-up at the airport, load&pack everything. Can you share some of your experience? I'm afraid this is going to take forever and I will basically just have my multi tool and other small tools i bring on my trip. And all that bags :O

After asking Dr. Google, I plan on taking the Green train to Howard Beach Station, where I will hop onto a subway (A line?) that brings me right to downtown (Fulton Street). Do you think this will work out with a fully loaded bicycle? How much space will be on those  trains? Do they allow bikes afterall? Is that something you would recommend, or do you have other/better choices that get me from JFK to downtown NYC?

From Manhatten I want to take the Seastreak Ferry (Pier11) until Highlands, NJ). I assume a ferry will have much more space and will not cause too much trouble with my bike and bags?!

I would greatly appreciate any hints/tips/tricks/experiences you could share on how to get me and my bike from JFK to Highlands, NJ (before its darks...). Thank you so much in advance.

Cheers from Frankfurt, Germany,


General Discussion / Tips for Cross Country Ride 2019
« on: January 29, 2018, 10:47:55 am »
Hi Guys,

Jonathan from Frankfurt, Germany here. I plan on doing a Cross Country ride in 2019 and I am just now slowly starting with preparations. Together with preparations are many questions. I hope you can shed some light and I would be grateful for some help from you guys until the start of my trip next year.
First, I'd like to tell you something about myself and my trip, so you have a little context.

I am 34 years old and live in Frankfurt, Germany. I'm a pretty unexperienced bicycle rider. But the first spark about doing a cross country trip in the US was lighted a year ago and I couldn't forget about since. I realized I want to do it and I am dead serious about it.
So far, the longest trip I did were 8 days through the beautiful Rhine valley with 570km (ca. 356miles) total. I had slim to none training before that and no major pains during the trip or afterwards. I would certainly do some more training before the actual cross country ride.

The trip:
I want to do a self-supported/camping ride, start of somewhere on the East Coast and end up somewhere around the San Francisco area. So it will definitely be more of a Northern Tier route. I already had some discussions and great tips about finding a route here.
I plan on taking the full 90days which are possible without a VISA.  I have the luck on working for a big firm which offers a Sabbatical program, so I'd guess I am fairly flexible on when to start. Right now, I'm planning of starting around April.

There are a couple of fields that I have questions about. But of course I am thankful for every tips/hints you can give me!!!

How did you navigate and ensure you are on track? Using some sort GPS Navigation. I see 2 main problems (besides the high price). 1 - I don’t know which systems would completely work in the US and have detailed maps on their drive. 2 - You need power all day to run this. I would think that this is hard to ensure.
How did you navigate and would you recommend doing this solely by maps? I read great stuff about them, so I ordered some ACA maps that would make the start of the route to check them out. But I am not sure in general if it is feasible to navigate by maps only?

Were there any situations where you did not have access to buy new stuff for more than 1-2 days? I was wondering of you ensured to have enough supplies (food and water) with you on the bike for those situations.
I have not done a very detailed Route planning so far, so I don't know how big the chances are that I would not hit a store for 1-2 days. But I would think that I need some back up supplies for emergencies. But water alone for 1-2 days takes up so much space/weight. How did you manage that?

Mental and physical strength
Although I am not a trained biker, I am not worrying so much about my physical strength to be honest. Having 12 weeks leaves me with 375 miles a week, if the route would be 4,500 miles. Even if the route is longer, there should be enough reserve to pull this off in 90 days.
What I am worrying about is my mental strength. Generally I am a guy that finishes what he started. But this is obviously something totally different. I am just afraid of myself a little and that I cheat myself into this. I really want to do it and I am so excited that I'd like to start sooner than later. But I am just afraid that 4 weeks into the trip, I lose self-confidence and the mental power to pull this off. What are your experiences here?

Might sound silly... but how often and in what way did you wash your clothes? I know it sounds silly, but if the network of laundry shops in the US is big enough, or if you also just washed your stuff in the river from time to time.
I also read about, so I think this would be an opportunity as well.

I know this has gotten a little long, please excuse me   But like I mentioned above: I am so excited for this trips that I have tons of questions... Again, I am grateful and thankful for any kind of hints you can give me!



Routes / Addition for ACA maps?
« on: January 25, 2018, 09:54:19 am »
Hi Guys,

Newbie first poster from Frankfurt, Germany here. I am looking forward to have fun here and find some answers to my numerous questions I will have over the year :)

I am planning on doing a Cross-country ride in in Spring 2019. I'd love to start in the New England area and end up in San Francisco. I just received a set of ACA maps for the Northern Tier, that would cover up my route until around the Chicago area. I red so many great stuff about the ACA maps and I like the idea of being independent from a GPS device and avoid the constant need for power...

But here is my problem: in 1999/2000 I spent a year in Butte, Nebraska (close to the SD border) and I definitely need to pass by there. This makes a HUGE hole into the area which are covered by the ACA maps, if I want to end up in San Franciso and if I want to avoid to many detours in order to save 100s of miles.

Do you have any recommendations for alternative maps which I can (A) use to plan the route here in Germany and which are (B) as handy as the ACA maps on the road? I think I would need something to cover up Iowa, Nebraska and parts of Colorado until I am back on a track which is covered by ACA maps.

Any helps, tips, tricks and comments would greatly be appreciated! I am pretty sure this wont be my last post here cause I am only starting the detailed planning for my tour :)



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