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Messages - yumadons

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General Discussion / Re: Which sunscreen?
« on: March 14, 2012, 11:48:26 am »
I'm a fair skinned Arizona rider who goes thru a spray can of sunscreen every 3 days and used to just pick the "on sale" brand of the day. Both dermatologists I've seen have recommend Neutrogena and it does have the added perk of not staining your clothes. I spent a half hour in Walmart one day looking at all the sunscreens to see if any were labelled as non-staining of clothes and there aren't any. So when you're touring with only 2 outfits, it's nice not to ruin them  ;)

General Discussion / Re: how safe is it to ride in the US?
« on: February 29, 2012, 03:52:04 pm »
I say stick to the ACA routes where people are used to cyclists coming thru and you needn't be worried  ;)

General Discussion / Re: transam
« on: February 12, 2012, 08:02:23 pm »
I added some stats to my  "W2E leisurely TranAm no camping" blog - first half from North Bend / Coos Bay, OR to Pueblo, CO. It's on the Intro page and the results are:

Mileage from North Bend to Pueblo: 2050m
Riding days: 47
Rest days: 8 (4 of these were veterinary convention)
Avg mileage per riding day: 43.6m
Longest day: 71m (two of these)
Avg motel cost inc. tax: $86 (includes 20 breakfasts & 3 hot spring passes)
Total motel cost for 56 nites: $4832
Total loaded weight of Don's panniers / rack trunk / handlebar bag: 16#
Total loaded weight of Suzanne's panniers / rack trunk / handlebar bag: 27#

Don't forget that if you're carrying essental group cooking equipment, they can't start cooking til you get there. So if you're slow or like to screw around and get into camp late, carry the group tool kit. Heavy but works well because anyone who breaks down knows that you 'll eventually be along  ;)

You could easily do any of  those trips! I'm a slow girl rider your age. My husband and I trained for this summer's TransAm in totally flat Yuma, AZ (laser planed for agricultural irrigation). I ride a mountain bike with the whole anti-flat 2" slimed, linered tire setup and go a whopping 8-12 mph most of the time. 3 mph up mountain passes, 14-15 with a tailwind  :-)

Our training ride was 50 miles, no hills. Don has COPD so we took a weekend trip up to 6,000 feet to see what would happen & he was fine (albeit on a Trek electric-assist bike, FX+).  I've also done AC's Northern Tier and its discontinued North Star (Missoula to Anchorage, AK, half dirt roads) with 50 mile training rides in Mesa, AZ with only one hill. Not ever having ridden with a club, I was totally unfamiliar with the concept of spinning as I hit my first ever mountains, the Cascades, on my first ever tour, the Northern Tier. The group leader took one look, told me to get down in my lowest gear (luckily a mountain bike has really low gears) and spin! I did and went right over the Cascades and Rockies. I don't think I've ever stood up climbing hills and have never (yet) walked one. Just make sure you get a bike with low gears!!

My understanding of high altitude disease is that it's random - fit people can suffer just like the unfit. I was afraid COPD husband would have trouble on Hoosier Pass (11,500') but it turned out to be no problem. Cycling apparently isn't as oxygen demanding as hiking because Don would have to stop and catch his breath once or twice on the ~  500' walk uphill from the Keystone convention center to our hotel room. It helped that we had gradually acclimated by cycling over progressively higher passes coming from the west coast. Since you will not have this luxury, here are 3 ideas. 1) several people in the ski town of Keystone, CO told us it helps to SLEEP at high elevation before exercising there, so maybe you could come a few days early. 2) we bought packets of a powdered Gatorade - type product that is supposed to prevent altitude sickness called Acli-Mate at the Grant Lodge store in Yellowstone  3) avoid caffeine on altitude days.

Routes / Re: Dipping the tire in Florence Oregon.
« on: January 11, 2012, 02:55:26 pm »
As of Aug 2011, if you take a left into the Harbor Vista Park entrance, the park is way high above the ocean, no wheel dip. There are stairs you can walk down but you couldn't bring your bike.  If instead of turning in to the park, you continue to the end of the road, there is a big parking lot for the jetty. From there you *could* take off the panniers and push / carry thru ~ 1/4 mile of sand DUNES to dip your wheels but there's nowhere to leave your stuff safe while you do this. No dip for us  8-)

TransAm 2011

General Discussion / Re: Best cycling town/area on Atlantic coast?
« on: November 27, 2011, 02:14:23 pm »
Hilton Head Island, SC?
1. Savannah International Airport
2. Nice & flat with paved bike trails everywhere. Don't know about off road.
3. Beach, temperate, & HHI never gets hit by hurricanes.
    Hottest month is July (avg high 89-90, avg low 73-74)
4. GOLF & retirement mecca, cyclists OK ;) Del Webb has a Sun City just off the island in Bluffton if you   
    like those.
5 & 6. Plenty of shopping /restaurants but reasonably tasteful & "environmental" (can't cut down trees, can't have bright 
          lights - some of those shops & restaurants can be hard to find!)

 We own an RV lot there for retirement, haven't gotten to use it yet.


General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: November 22, 2011, 10:28:11 am »
Per room


staehpj1, if you haven't seen it already, you must look up (CGOAB) Stefan Steen's trip from BC, Canada to NYC with only seatbags! They don't list their equipment but it only takes reading their journal to figure out what they brought. I thought we packed pretty lite but these guys are amazing. Part of the difference is that hardy Canadians don't require the warm clothes that wimpy Arizonans do  ;) 


General Discussion / Re: Hi, I'm a newby after advice!
« on: November 17, 2011, 10:11:01 am »
Be sure to sign up at, a network of people who host cyclists in their homes overnite. Americans love all things Australian, you'll find plenty of takers! 

General Discussion / Re: Stupid Hotel Question
« on: November 08, 2011, 04:55:15 pm »
My husband & I just completed the first half of the TransAm (OR coast to Pueblo, CO) 100% motels, didn't carry camping gear. Longest day 71 miles.  All accommodations / prices / contact info on blog:


South Atlantic / Good route from Fulton, MS to Hilton Head, SC?
« on: October 25, 2011, 05:31:37 pm »
We did the first half of the TransAm from the OR coast to Pueblo, CO, this year and have 2 months to do the second half starting 9/1/12. We'll take the TransAm from Pueblo and want to adjust the route to end at Hilton Head, SC. My thought is to take the TransAm to the Underground RR south to Fulton, MS, then cut across AL & GA to Hilton Head. Would appreciate any suggestions on getting from the Underground RR to Hilton Head. We're slow, 40-50 miles daily unless tailwind.

Yuma, AZ

General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: October 18, 2011, 02:57:45 pm »
Forgot to say that not just McD's, but many restaurants & cafes along the route have free wifi so if you don't need your daytime hours to ride, you can get quite a bit done at food stops. It took me forever to post pix to my blog so I was better off doing my internetting at nite & using rest days to make reservations (used both internet & phone for that). has good prices, lots of small towns won't have any listings with them. has listings in many tiny TransAm towns, most of their motels have phone numbers listed but many aren't big enough to have a website, so you have to call for prices. They don't keep the website up to date either, but it's still helpful.

Yuma, AZ

General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: October 18, 2011, 02:45:24 pm »
On the western half (Oregon coast to Pueblo, CO), I'd say motels averaged ~$75 including tax, but they'll be a bit cheaper on the eastern half. And as John says, some free warmshowers nites will bring that average down. There may also be stretches where you're cycling & moteling with another rider & can split the cost. Most US motels charge the same for one or two people. A room with 2 beds is the most common setup and doesn't necessarily cost anymore than a room with one bed. Motel front desks frequently gave us 2 bed rooms when cost was the same because there was more room for 2 bikes. Link to blog:

Yuma, AZ

General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: October 17, 2011, 02:22:03 pm »
Yes, Yellowstone motels not only book up early and are hard to get, they will be the most expensive on the trip along with those in the adjoining Tetons ($160 range). Prices of everywhere we stayed are in our blog. "Bicycling the TransAm Trail" uses symbols of $,$$, & $$$ to give you an idea which are cheapest. I'm sure you can do it cheaper than us, we were more concerned with location (making each day's ride doable distance and hillwise) than cost. Especially if you're a strong rider (could do a big day if you have to) I don't see any problem with leaving camping stuff at home. If you're doing warmshowers, you'll need good phone /wireless service to make your contacts, Verizon works better in remote areas of the west than ATT. And an added perk of motels is most of them have good wireless / phone service even if the phone you bring does not.

Yuma, AZ

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