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Messages - dwboca

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General Discussion / Re: Cycling partner(s)
« on: May 16, 2013, 08:28:50 pm »
Hi Westinghouse,

Not a full hijack but a partial - sorry - but it's on topic.

I am not signing up for your tour (timing bad) but would like to see if there is interest on your part or any other people reading this post for joining me for any part or all of my modified Southern Tier tour. 
This is my basic route

I want to do this in 29 or 30 days, self-supported, camping most nights and a motel once a week.  The average daily mileage would be 92 miles to complete in 29 days.  The route is 2,600 miles and I "borrowed" it from two other cyclists who did it and said the route was pretty good.  I will be 55 years old and am into endurance activities.  I have never cycle toured before but have bought all the right equipment and am training/experimenting right now.  I will earnestly start training in October 2013 and be ready by March 2014 for my trip.

Check out my website: and navigate to the training section where I have started to post my bicycle exploits.

I have decided to do this alone but want to consider having someone join me.  The only two people I know whom I would invite cannot make it due to the time constraint (like me, they have jobs).

Let me know if any interest.


Thanks Bclayden.  I know everyone is different and some don't like long days, etc.   I don't mind and even enjoy the struggle - especially when I have a goal.  I will probably go solo unless I can talk one or two of my friends into joining - and adhering to MY schedule.

Yes, I do tend to over-think things when planning but relax after a few days on a trip.

"scheduling 80 to 100 miles a day every day sounds like a job instead a fun trip, which I thought was the whole point."  Fun and adventure with a goal is the whole point for me.  Believe me, if I had the luxury of being able to do this in 8 weeks instead of 5, I would.  So, in order to meet my goal of a self-supported bike ride across the US, I have 5 weeks.  Yes, I could break it up and do half this year and half next, but my goal is one continuous ride to cross the country.  I have a few friends who said they may run a SAG for me but so far I've declined.  We'll see how I feel as my trip date gets closer.

I do appreciate all the input and I feel better knowing lots of people have done it (further too) in less than 5 weeks.  I see this ride as a reason to do lots of 2 and 3-day training trips closer to home in Florida and as something that may get me planning another tour when I do have the time to enjoy it.  I'm already looking ahead to doing the Trans Am maybe 5 more years down the road...


First, apologies to adlocopter for hijacking your thread.  Topic somewhat related and I do love the idea of ultralight touring.  Very interesting...

John - thanks for your response.  I feel better about my endeavor now.  I know it will be a grind but I kind of like that when I have a goal.  This is for the purpose of going cross-country on a bike and I have limited time because of work (and wife).  Next tour will be for enjoyment and I hope to take my wife on 30 to 50 mile days through Nova Scotia and parts of the US.  Maybe if she gets enthused, we will spend a few months and do the Trans Am together.

My LHT if interested:;topic=10927.0;attach=1486;image

OK adlocopter, thread is once again yours, I relinquish control - thanks!


Eeeek!!  I just bought a Surly LHT (26 inch wheels), added panniers, handlebar bag, racks, fenders.  It is heavy without anything in the panniers.  I plan to ride a Southern route from Savanah, GA to San Diego, CA east to west (2,600 miles) in 5 weeks.  Start date is March, 2014 so I will be conditioning. 

So, are 80 to 120 mile days for 4 to 5 weeks too much on my above set-up?  I think I can do it and for me, the struggle is part of the reason I want to do this.  I just get worried when I see posts like this.  I would love to take my Cannondale road bike but this will be a self-supported, mostly camping trip.

Hey, someone out there give me some encouragement!  Really, I would love to hear advice, concerns, etc about this.


Gear Talk / Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« on: December 19, 2012, 07:55:28 pm »
Fenders installed - easy once you've screwed it up once :)  Here is what my bike looks now, fully loaded.  Thanks everyone for their advice.  Now I will start bike touring Florida for the next 15 months and then do my Souther Tier route end of March, 2014.

Gear Talk / Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« on: November 13, 2012, 09:47:34 pm »
Thanks for the advice on the fenders.  I tend to not read instructions in detail but I did go over these and I believe it had me put on the plastic tabs that cover the stays first so then you had to cut the stays in order to get the fender to fit on the bike.  I would re-write the instructions to install, then cut, then disassemble and put on the plastic cap assemblies, then insert the stays.  I tend to be anal but I always have issues with instructions that aren't perfectly clear (at least to me).

I have the instructions (SKS P55 fenders) in my hand: the first thing it says is "Insert endcap (1) into fixed bridge, pass the stay (3) through the hole in bolt (2) and push into the endcap (1) tighten with nut (4) as shown in pic.A."  So, with the endcap in place, you cannot adjust the stays!  The last part of the instructions say "The protruding stay can either be cut off or fitted with an endcap."  By virtue that they were placed in the endcaps during the very first part of the instructions, they do not protrude but then you can't find the correct adjustment so I just eye-balled them and cut.  As I was cutting I was wondering why the stay on one side was a lot different than the stay on the other side.  Ahhhh, my first clue that something was amiss!

Still thinking of not installing fenders but more posts are for than against so I will probably do it later...

Gear Talk / My LHT fully assembled!
« on: November 12, 2012, 08:16:32 am »
I have everything attached except the fenders - I was watching the UF game and got distracted.  I cut one of the stays too short - arghhh!  Oh well, I may opt not to do fenders or when/if I get replacement stays, I will install all stays and fender mounts to bike, then mark the stays, then cut.  The instructions for putting on the fenders is lacking - nothing like experience (that I now have) to re-do it right!

Gear Talk / Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« on: October 23, 2012, 09:42:52 pm »
Well, I took delivery of my new 2013 Surly LHT - in smoggy Silver/Pearl.  I love the new color.  As you can see, I've already changed the seat to a Brooks Flyer.  Installed MKS Prime Sylvan platform pedals.  I have the Surly Racks and SKS fenders waiting at home to install.  The Ortlieb packer plus style for front and back and handlebar bag will be on order shortly.  Bottle cages and bottles will come from LBS this weekend.

Classifieds / Wanted: Garmin 62s
« on: October 21, 2012, 08:34:41 am »
Hi, looking for a Garmin 62s preferably with US cities/maps for my tour across the US.  Probably don't need it but would be nice addition and I can use for other trips by kayak, car, etc.  If you have a used but not abused one, let me know.  I am currently waiting for the Christmas sales to buy new since most used ones are going for new pricing anyway.  If you have a one for sale or know of a good sale, please let me know.


Gear Talk / Re: How much does a sleeping bag liner increase warmth?
« on: October 14, 2012, 10:26:50 am »
I use a silk liner and it helps but what really saved me once when we encountered unexpected freezing conditions was one of those "emergency blankets" that fold up to wallet size and looks metallic.  I put it around my feet and pulled it up as far as it would go and then wrapped it under me.  It really kept in the warmth.  I always carry one and hope I won't need it because I hate being uncontrollably cold at night.

Gear Talk / Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« on: October 09, 2012, 09:44:34 pm »
Ordered a 2013 LHT 56cm 26 inch wheels in Smoggy Silver (called Smoggy Pearl on their website).  Photo of new color on their facebook page and it looks pretty cool.  Price went up 75 dollars I think - my LBS charged $50 more than their 2012 quote.  Oh well.

Also got Brooks Flyer saddle, Surly Racks front and rear in silver, SKS P55 fenders, also silver, Orlieb pannier set - front and back packer plus series with handlebar bag with map case - all yellow except handle bar bag is red just for some diversification.

MKS Silvan Prime Touring pedals - decided against clipless since I ride platforms with toe clips on my road bike now and I like it.

All set.   Just waiting for deliveries.  My tour isn't until March 2014 but now I have something to play with in the mean time and do 2 and 3-day touring.

Gear Talk / Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« on: August 29, 2012, 05:47:00 pm »
OK.  I started.

First purchase:  Brooks Flyer saddle.  Now I need to get the bike to go under it! ETA late November.

I plan to give my list to my LBS:  Surly LHT, Surly Nice Racks, Ortlieb Panniers (Bike Packer Plus for rear and  Front Roller Plus), probably pedals with cages - haven't talked myself into clipless yet because I love wearing my regular running shoes when I ride.

I figure my LBS may be able to offer a discount on a package, if not, I will buy panniers from Randonnee Shop and racks from Amazon, bike from LBS.

dave, wannabee LHT owner and operator

Gear Talk / Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« on: August 20, 2012, 05:53:29 pm »
Thanks everyone.  I will be ordering my LHT in November and meanwhile looking for good used racks and panniers if anyone has any they want to part with.  Otherwise, I'll get new.


Gear Talk / Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« on: August 17, 2012, 05:38:42 pm »
Thanks for all the help.  Getting closer to ordering my LHT but trying to wait for Christmas.

Mirror - I was looking at a helmet mirror vs handlebar.  Any suggestions?  I'm afraid the handlebar mirror will accidentally get broke off especially since I don't plan on having a kick stand. 

Last bit of advice I need and I have read the posts but one more time:  26 vs 700 wheels?  I am leaning toward the 26 but I test rode a Surly last weekend for the first time (found one in my daughter's college town (go gators!)).  It had the 700s and it felt fast!  Of course, I didn't have it loaded - I will be on a self-supported camping tour.  I have an aggressive schedule of 90 to 100 mile days so extra speed would be nice.  I don't plan to do off-road riding but may do some sandy/crushed rock trails. 

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