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Messages - Cupocoffee

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Gear Talk / LWB or SWB for touring
« on: August 12, 2007, 01:45:58 am »
Carl, I ride a LWB Rans Stratus XL and rode the TransAm west to east this year. I am 60 years old and a lot of riders thought I was crazy because my bike and gear totaled 120 pounds. I pulled a Burley trailer (mistake) ... get a Bob. The bike is extremely comfortable but it is hell in the mountains. I put on a fourth chainring which has 18 teeth. I would never have made it up the mountains on the standard chain rings. The bike and trailer were very long and could be difficult to get into motel rooms. It fits fine in the back of my S-10 Chevrolet pickup but if you want to ship it somewhere it is a major pain. I never had a problem with numb feet save for a few days. When I would have a problem, I would just get off my bike for a few minutes and walk around. Same for recum"butt."  That was a bit more common if I rode for several hours without a break. If I were to do another cross country, I don't know if I would do it on a recumbent or not. The guys on their DF's were complaining more than I was. The thing is ... there are a lot more mountains and hills than there are flat spots.  I just took the mountains slowly but surely. I did a lot of grumbling but never doubted I would be able to do it. I have a journal at if you care to check it out.

Gear Talk / Should I buy a bent?
« on: August 12, 2007, 01:58:10 am »
I can't add much to the comments that have already been made except for this ... if you are anti-social .. do not get a recumbent. People will come out of the woodwork to ask you what that thing is. I rode the TransAm from west to east this year and there wasn't a single day that someone didn't stop to talk to me. I actually had three people ask me where the motor was. I told them the motor is sixty years old. I love my Rans Stratus XL. My bike and trailer were 120 pounds and other cyclists thought I was crazy but I took all my toys and once I rode for a few hundred miles I never noticed all the weight. Oh yeah, they will work you out on the mountains but you just have to take it nice and slow. I put a fourth chainring on mine with 18 teeth and I could climb a wall if I had to. They are incredible fun just because you aren't hurting all over and you have a great view. Check out my web site at .

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / importing AC waypoint files
« on: February 03, 2008, 02:18:09 am »
Hi Sue. While riding the TA last year I used a program called Easy GPS. I used a Garmin GPS with their mapsource software. You have to have a program to upload the waypoints to your GPS. Once I finally learned how to do it, it was a lifesaver. You can get the program free at . My GPS is pretty old and has little memory so I could only load a couple of states at a time. If you have a newer GPS you can probably put all the different states in at once, which would be much better. I carried my laptop on my trip so I was able to upload the different states as needed. As good as the ACA maps are, there are times when you just might get confused by the mapsand it is good to be able to turn on your GPS and see exactly where you are and where you need to go. You absolutely cannot go wrong if you have the waypoints loaded and they are a fabulous addition to the ACA maps. I rarely used my GPS out west but the more east I got, the more I used it. It is well worth your time. You will need to load the files into Easy GPS, THEN upload them to your GPS. One thing I should note ... there are a lot of places on the map sets and the waypoints which are no longer in business but probably 90% of them are. Plus, there are a lot of new places which are not on the maps or waypoints. I also only turned my GPS on as needed to save batteries. Good luck!!!

Routes / Mckenzie Pass (oregon, Transamerica route)
« on: February 07, 2008, 01:27:15 pm »
My son drove me from Oklahoma to Oregon to begin my TransAm ride. When we left Sisters,continuing west, there were big iron gates which went all the way across the road because McKenzie Pass was closed. So,we went to Florence by way of Santiam Pass. Once I started my ride and I got to the turnoff for McKenzie Pass there was a sign saying the pass is closed. I asked a man working in the area and he said the government won't clear it until the end of June. He said all the switchbacks were coverd with 30 feet of drifted snow. I met one guy in Kentucky who decided to go over McKenzie Pass anyway and he made it but he had to port his bike for a couple of miles in very, very deep snow. I read another journal where a guy crossed over the gates, a year or two earlier, and made it okay except he said there was literally tons of debris (rocks, trees, and branches) all over the road. I said in my earlier post that it adds forty miles to your ride but I checked back on my journal and it is only twenty miles more by way of Santiam Pass.

Routes / Mckenzie Pass (oregon, Transamerica route)
« on: February 03, 2008, 02:38:58 am »
Doug, I started my TA last year from Florence on April 26. A lot of people told me I was leaving too early but that was the only time my son could drive me and my equipment from Oklahoma. I ran into some pretty cold weather and quite a bit of rain, sleet, and snow all the way through Colorado but I was dressed for it and it wasn't too big of a deal. All you have to do is cut over to Santiam Pass which will add about forty miles to your day but it is an easier pass than McKenzie from what I have been told. Since Santiam Pass was my first major pass to climb, I thought it was very difficult but, really, it is just one of many. Oregon was one of my favorite states because of the fabulous roads and shoulders. Have a great trip. Planning is almost as much fun as the journey itself.

Routes / Which Route?
« on: January 09, 2008, 09:00:22 pm »
Ken, I did a cross country trip beginning the end of April 2007. I used the TransAm route from east to west. Total distance was a bit more than 4,100 miles. I am sixty and was on a recumbent bike pulling a trailer. I didn't find anything too difficult but ran into a couple of stretches of roads where the traffic was scary for about ten miles each. I carried a 100 oz. Camelbak plus when I knew there would be long stretches with few services, I would keep at least two 32 oz bottles of water in addition. There was only one place in Idaho where there was about 65 miles between any services. Be aware, on this route, that between Missouri and the east coast, the road shoulders are almost non existent. There are literally hundreds of journals online of people who have traveled on the TransAm. The ACA maps are a MUST. I rode solo and loved it. I did no cooking but either ate in cafes or carried food. Many, many people I met carried a loaf of bread with peanut butter and jelly. I did that towards the end just to have a snack anytime I wanted. Good luck. If you have any questions about this route please contact me.

Routes / Dog incidents in KY
« on: August 12, 2007, 01:31:28 am »
I rode west to east on the TransAm this year and was in Kentucky in June. I had heard from many, many cyclists about the terrible dogs in Kentucky and some people told me the owners would encourage their dogs to chase cyclists. I had a large cannister of bear spray which I never used and I figured I would have to use it on dogs in Kentucky. On June 30th, between Berea and Booneville, I was chased by 12 different dogs. I was able to just shoo all of them away except one. These are dogs which came into the road and chased and barked at my side. I was only really threatened by the one dog which grabbed the covering on my trailer and was tugging it. The rest of my ride in Kentucky, I never had another incident. There were a few dogs which started to come at me but their owners hollered at them and I was never threatened. I have to say, I was only chased two other times on my whole cross country trip. One in Oregon and the other in Virginia. My experience is dogs are the least of your worries. Cars getting too close are more apt to kill you.

General Discussion / Transamerica Route COST $$$
« on: February 16, 2008, 02:53:59 pm »
Hi Doug.  I did the TransAm last year at a fairly leisure pace. It was around 75 riding days. I can only guess that I averaged around $60 per day. I met one young man who averaged $8 per day. I camped and stayed in motels. Food was a pretty good part of that cost. I never scrimped on my meals. I think eating at local establishments was one of the really fun parts of the trip. I ate a lot of hamburgers, tons of ice cream, and I drank a lot of Mountain Dew, in addition to tons of water. Motels weren't all that expensive but I did pay $70 per night several times. Camping would have been my choice but I was keeping an online journal and I usually did that at a motel but sometimes at libraries. I took no cooking equipment because at the end of a long day, cooking might be the last thing you will want to do. I learned towards the end of my trip that many riders carried a loaf of bread with peanut butter and jelly or honey. I hate white bread but it will last for a couple of weeks. Ha! Sometimes it is nice to just pull off the side of the road and make a PB&J sandwich. Never allow yourself to get short of food or water. I met riders who were spending more than I did but most were spending somewhat less. My observation was that older people tend to spend more. Have a safe and great trip. You will love it and you will hate it but, in the end, it will be something you will remember all your life.
Steve in Oklahoma City

General Discussion / women cycling solo across the US
« on: February 03, 2008, 01:44:59 am »
Michele, I met at least four women riding solo on the TransAmerica Trail last summer. There were quite a few others riding with partners. Those who were riding solo were having as much fun as I was. One of the most fun parts of a ride like that is meeting and visiting with other cyclists. I never once had a lady say she had any problems or was afraid except maybe for a dog or two. That was my experience as well. I carried UDAP bear spray as a precaution but never touched the stuff. I camped and stayed in motels or churches. I pretty much planned my ride from day to day because I didn't know how strong I would be. On the TA you can pretty much find accomodations every 50 to 70 miles. There are some pretty barren areas however. I know as long as you make it to any town that you can find a church and get permission to sleep somewhere on their property. Most motels I stayed in were at least $35 per night to $70. I loved traveling alone and think you will too. I left Oregon around the end of April and there are a lot of motels and eating places that don't even open until the middle of May or later. My biggest worry was cars and not people. Good luck and just use common sense.

General Discussion / Overnight Bike Theft
« on: December 03, 2006, 05:27:55 pm »
I will be going cross country in April and have given considerable thought to this topic. I plan to buy a cheap door hanger alarm which is motion activated and battery operated. Clip it anywhere on the bike and if it is disturbed an alarm will sound and hopefully will startle the person or animal away. They are lightweight and available at hardware stores. I would rather a thief be frightened off rather than confront him. My bike will also be locked.

General Discussion / Watering holes on TransAm
« on: September 06, 2006, 12:52:56 am »
I'm planning a trip next spring - west to east. I don't know how much water I should carry on any given day. I am thinking of weight issues. Are there places to get drinking water every 20 miles, 30 miles, 40 miles? Thanks for any tips on this. Also, how much snack food do you normally carry to make it from meal to meal?

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