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Messages - BikeFreak

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General Discussion / Re: Low Carb and Long Distance Touring
« on: July 17, 2013, 11:51:07 pm »
Never a problem riding many miles and I feel that it actually enhances my athletic performance (fat burning as opposed to sugar burning).

What are many miles for you?

My standard pace is 125 mi/day. Anything 125-200 mi/day is many miles for me. I would consider it amazing doing 125 mi/day for 30 days without any single rest day on low carb food.


Gear Talk / Re: Jetboil: Possible to cook real meals?
« on: May 27, 2013, 01:48:55 am »
Standard Jetboil Flash/Sol etc. "pot" won't do 5oz. of dry pasta - too small. You could get one of their 1.5l or 3l group pots (the Sumo is 1.8l) but if you're traveling solo it's getting into overkill ('tho of course YMMV).

What do you mean by overkill if you want to use the Sumo as a stove for solo tours?

Gear Talk / Jetboil: Possible to cook real meals?
« on: May 26, 2013, 03:14:43 am »

I'm interested in the Jetboil stoves because their size really appeal to me. However I have no intentions to use the stove just for making tea and coffee. I need to be able to cook real meals. As a reference, when cooking pasta, I need at least 5 ounces of pasta (on a dry basis) and the water that goes along.  Can a Jetboil handle that? What about the Jetboil Sumo?


General Discussion / Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
« on: May 06, 2013, 02:38:09 pm »
Hi Lucas

Understand what you mean, I just ended my first Ultracycling event from Paris to Milan and believe was terrible talking about terrain! Exactly hills like yours in photo, I did 1322 km in 6 days and 9102 mt of altimetry! Crazy ;) Better an high pass than 30 hills right! I think that the very hard part of my trip will be in the first part until Big Horn National Forest, then with the central states should be a more relaxed and fast trip. I thought to take northern tier from the start, but Yellowstone and Grand Teton have a very strong appeal!


I think we share some cycling experiences because I have also biked to Nordkapp, I also circled Australia and I also circled Iceland. Moreover I have done the Continental Divide passing the outskirts of Yellowstone, Grand Teton etc. I did the Northern Tier, Southern Tier, parts of Western Express ... I have seen a fair amount.

From ALL what I have seen in my entire life, nothing comes close to the scenery in southern Utah along the Western Express - not even the Grand Canyon. I was completely amazed - I could have taken photographs constantly. It is just SO beautiful and picturesque. The scenery up North in the Yellowstone is well ... something you can find many places - you find similar scenery even in Norway - however without any grizzly bears.

A Utah promotional video:


General Discussion / Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
« on: May 05, 2013, 05:30:34 pm »
Although too late already ...

+1 on Northern Tier suggestion. I did both the Northern Tier and the Transam and I would choose the Northern Tier any time.

Andrea: You mention hard terrain in Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming ... wait till you get to Missouri, Kentucky and Virginia ... it will hit you like a sledge hammer :-).

Many cyclists try to explain the severeness of the hilly roads in the Eastern states. Below I personally think I managed to illustrate what people are trying to explain. In one day you might have 20-30 of those crazy hills - I would prefer 2 Rocky Mountains passes in one day at any time:


General Discussion / Re: Tents
« on: April 28, 2013, 02:10:32 am »
I agree on the N-1 formula. On all my solo touring I have used 2 person tents. If you do a cross country trip, your tent becomes your home for many weeks and it is nice to have some comfort and space. If, however you do a mix of tenting and lodging/motels etc, you could maybe consider a 1 person tent.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling partner(s)
« on: April 23, 2013, 01:57:18 am »
I have done the ST a number of times, the atlantic coast three times and more, 2600 miles of the NT, the pacific coast, and several other areas of the USA.

I have a more "mental" question: How do do manage to do (for instance) the Atlantic Coast 3 times? When I have ridden a route myself (it might be a very short one), riding it again becomes just plain boring to me. My first grand tour was the Northern Tier, which was the most memorable one. I would love to do it again, but I am afraid that a lot of adventure has gone because I will remember the road ahead of me.


General Discussion / Re: Do we need to do any training?
« on: April 23, 2013, 01:49:11 am »
Hi All,

My girlfriend and I will be cycling the TransAm West to East this August. Although we both cycle to work currently (3-4 miles each way) neither of us have any touring experience.

We are both relatively young (25 and 24) and have a lot of enthusiasm. We will have to complete the TransAm in 90 days.

I am getting a bit concerned that this might be too much of an ordeal. I am less worried about myself, but I wonder whether it might be too much for her.

What do people think? Should we be training, or can we just rock up and go?

One nice thing about such a 90 day trip: If you manage to do it without any fights, extensive arguing etc, you can safely get married and remain as a couple for the rest of your lives :-).

I also stayed at Dave's place last summer (2011). It was one of the evenings I clearly remember in full details, positively. The stay is even better thinking about the area you are riding in: Very often you do not feel welcome. So Dave's place is like an oasis.

General Discussion / Re: Getting hungry too fast while riding
« on: April 08, 2013, 02:57:31 pm »
Thanks for all your answers.

Concerning proteins: As already suggested plenty of times, this is the way to go. However as paddleboy mentions, they take more time to digest: I read somewhere on the internet that proteins need to broken down to carbs in order to fuel the muscles. This break down process (break down before they get available as fuel) requires energy. And that energy is taken from 1st hand carbs (like pasta, potatoes etc). Thus, it should be an "evil" cycle where valuable carbs are used for processing protein instead of being used as "fuel" right away.

I was always told that Tour de France racing (and alike) cyclists eat carbs alone.

I do drink Gatorade, however cannot remember if it is the G2 version - I just pick whats in the fridge. Or Powerrade. I like the stuff and could easily spend 10 dollars each day on "gas station Gatorade/Powerade". Alternatively I tried buying Gatorade powder (which is more economic) but that is a bit messy and tastes more chemial.

I never experience muscle cramps.


General Discussion / Re: Getting hungry too fast while riding
« on: March 30, 2013, 04:43:32 am »
Hi and thanks for all your answers.

1. I never tried the newton figs. I will try that next time.
2. When you mean baked goods, do you mean, for instance, those blueberry, chocolate chip etc cupcakes available at virtually all gas stations?

1. Will cheese also be OK for 2-3 days at temperatures around 100 degF?
2. How will beef jerky hold up in the heat?

Concerning a): When stuffing I feel great the first 3-4 hours, not sluggish or anything at all. I also tried what you recommend, but more to an extreme: Not eating breakfast at all for the first 15 mi (first hour of riding) until I reach a place to buy food. In these cases (which I really try to avoid) I feel completely wasted and empty on arrival. If you recommend snacks all day long, what sort of snacks would you suggest?

Concerning b): I don't know my heart rate. I just picked the figures from webpages - and many seem to agree on that figure. However I can say, that 15 mph is a pace where my heart is not racing at all and I rarely sweat unless it is 100 degF.

You mention a carb-protein-fat ratio of 40-30-30. For oatmeal this ratio is 68-20-12. Is it really that bad?

I think one of your most valuable comments is the one on water. I don't drink a lot of fluids in general because I don't feel thirsty at all. So maybe I should force myself to drink more even though I don't want to.

PS: I forgot to mention: I weigh 155 pounds, and after 30 days of riding I typically loose 10 pounds of body weight. After a few weeks without riding I gain the 10 pounds again.


General Discussion / Getting hungry too fast while riding
« on: March 29, 2013, 12:32:35 pm »

This post is targeted towards those of you who have toured the ACA maps in US. I have posted this in a European bike forum, but it seems that people back here have a hard time understanding how food supplies are in the US.

I myself am from Europe and have toured Northern Tier, Pacific Coast, Great Divide Trail, Atlantic Coast, Transamerica and and parts of Western Express.

When riding I never use a stove. I eat from super markets, grocery stores, gas stations, family restaurants, Subways, Burger Kings etc. Anything at hand along side the road. And you know how difficult it can be getting food in the middle of Montana, Kansas etc.

My riding style is approx 125 mi/day. Approx 60 mi before 1 or 2 pm and the rest thereafter. On my last tour I realized that I either

1. Get hungry too fast.
2. Or my blood sugar level drops too fast.

However I do not know what applies in my case.

Typically I would eat breakfast consisting of oatmeal and stuff as much as possible into my stomach. Then add a drink and maybe a granola bar/chocolate bar. I hope this should last the first 60 mi, but it rarely does. After a few hours a need to top up with chocolate bars, granola bars, peanuts, drinks or whatever to keep going till noon where I will have some sort of meal. After the meal at 1 or 2 pm I get going again, but the topping up has to be done again.

The reason for this posting is that basically I don't like that many chocolate bars, granola bars etc and would rather have something different. Also, because of the heat I spend too much money at gas stations buying these quick fixes = chocolate, soft drinks etc. The quick fixes are not bad - they work very well - but I would rather have the option to try something else. But as you know, in the middle of Montana/Wyoming/Kansas ... something more wholesome is very difficult, because ACA maps take you along the quite roads.

Now here is the problem, at least what I believe:

Riding for 1 hour at approx 15 mph burns approx 650 kcal (based on internet information). Riding 60 mi will thus burn 2600 kcal. Looking at oatmeal (or any other grain) they contain approx 375 kcal pr 100 gram. If I really push it, I can eat 200 grams = 750 kcal and then there is no more space left in my stomach. Then I can add a chocolate bar of 240 kcal. Then a drink of 150 kcal. Now I total at 1140 kcal. But I am still far away from my 2600 kcal which I need in order to make the first 60 mi. I believe this explains my hunger after some hours of riding. I do know that chocolate bars and soft drinks are bad, but I just don't have many options at the tiny gas station somewhere in Kansas (when refueling to make it to the first meal around noon).

I do like fruits: When possible I get bananas, apples, pears, peaches etc, however there is a problem with that. They are tasty but contain a lot of water. Thus my stomach is filled very quickly with too few calories.

You folks who follow the ACA maps do know that food can be a problem on route. There are plenty of gas stations, but stores with healthy food can be a problem - also you need to observe their opening hours.

So my question is: What do you guys do in order to get all the calories? Do you drink pure olive oil? Are you actually able to do 60 miles with only one single meal and no snacks/drinks at all? When posting, please consider that many ACA cyclists have a daily milage of 60 miles in total, so making a comparison to my daily milage, you need to basically imagine that you eat breakfast, have no lunch, but a meal in the evening.


General Discussion / Re: Packing for flights
« on: March 28, 2013, 04:55:54 pm »
Use a sturdy one.
Agree on that one.

I would say that 90% of all bike boxes are flimsy, soft ones. Go to a high end bicycle dealer who sells Cannondale bikes or similar. They have really sturdy boxes and they are also larger.

General Discussion / Re: Packing for flights
« on: March 28, 2013, 12:24:38 pm »
Last year I pedaled the Transam. I'm from Europe and I go quite lightweight which means I only use rear panniers and a roll for the tent. Here is what I did:

In the cardboard box with the bike I also stuffed all metal parts such as tools, knives etc in the water bottles. I also put my roll with my tent as cushioning in the box to avoid a damaged bicycle at arrival. I think I also put my sleeping bag and mattress in the box. The trick is to put all the bulky stuff in the box and place it where it will cushion the bike. If needed put plastic bags around if your bike is dirty. Of course when doing this, observe the 50 pounds max limit.

I was able to put the remaining stuff into just 1 of my rear panniers which acted as my carry on luggage. Then a hip purse/bag for all my essentials and wearing my fleece/jacket if it should get cold during the flight. Wearing the fleece/jacket will again displace a lot of volume from your bags.


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