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Messages - BikeFreak

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General Discussion / Re: Scenic America
« on: September 14, 2013, 04:31:35 pm »
I have a very easy answer for your question:

I circled Australia on a trike (14000 kms). I biked in Europe, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, 4 times across USA/Canada - I even did the Continental Divide Trail. I also passed by Yellowstone ...

But nothing - absolutely nothing comes close to the scenic beauty of southern Utah. And the Western Express Route brings you right through.


Routes / Re: Southern Tier / Grand Canyon Connector / Trans-Am
« on: August 14, 2013, 11:27:02 am »
I did the Transam + western Express from Washington DC to just before Panguitch, UT and then the Grand Canyon Connector going South to Phoenix. 13 Years ago I attempted the Southern Tier from San Diego to Phoenix. Both rides were done in the summer. I finished in Pheonix in July and it was blistering hot - but I cope very good with heat.

But in detail:

It will only be hot at low elevations!

Description for summer time: As you leave San Diego it will be nice and comfortable. When you drop into the Imperial Valley on I8 just before El Centro it becomes blistering hot and will stay that way all the way to approx 20 mi N of Wickenburg (Congress, AZ). Here you will have long climb up, and for every foot it becomes cooler. Then it stays cool all the way to the intersection HWY 160 and HWY 89. At this point the route slowly descends down to the Colorado river and it becomes hotter and hotter. At the bottom the route rises again and finally at Jacob Lake it is cool again. It will stay cool till you reach the Western Express route.

Then, on the Western Express there is a blistering hot section between Hanksville, UT and Blanding, UT.

PS: I have a hard time understanding why the Grand Canyon connector should be closed in spring time. I would have more concerns on the Rockies following in Utah in Colorado.


Routes / Re: WE Advice - Hanksville to Blanding
« on: August 12, 2013, 01:11:38 pm »
There is a  grocery store at Hite which is open 8am-5pm. So there ARE services. When I passed through, I camped at the campground (the worst campground experience in my life). I was also looking for the motel (because it was listed on the ACA maps) but could not isolate anything. There were a bunch of houses on the left hand side before entering the park area where you have to pay a fee. But the place was sort of completely deserted - it was a very strange feeling.

If you are a strong rider, and don't carry a lot of equipment, you should be able to do the entire 126 mi in one day. Just start out as soon as the sun gets up or maybe 1-2 hours before using lights. The route itself is not very demanding - fairly straight and no steep hills. Well, towards Blanding there are some small, steep arroyos.

Very annoyingly, the grocery store at Hite is some mi off the main route. So fueling up will add approx 5 mi to your 126 mi.


Routes / Canada: Any cross country routes?
« on: August 10, 2013, 06:32:30 am »

Similar to ACA routes, is there a Canadian cross country route (coast-coast) with listed campgrounds, grocery stores etc? Alternatively, what is the best option?


Routes / Re: What's the best cross-country route in the US?
« on: August 06, 2013, 03:50:17 pm »
I have also done the Northern Tier and the Transam. I agree on most of the comments/observations listed in the crazyguyonabike-link. However, I disagree on a few subjects:

1. There is a big difference in temperature and humidity. The Northern Tier is much more comfortable and not so humid. On the Northern Tier you mostly have cool mornings. On the Transam you often have warm mornings with +70 degF at 6am (east of Pueblo, CO).

2. The New England hills are easier than the Appalachian and Ozark hills.


General Discussion / Re: Brooks Sadles
« on: July 18, 2013, 02:05:22 pm »
I own 2 Brooks saddles:

1. Brooks B17 Aged
2. Brooks Flyer (which is basically a B17 with springs)

Summer 2012 I biked across America on the B17 Aged. I really liked it but could ask for a bit more cushioning. The saddle coupled with my Assos bike shorts made me do the entire trip without any serious butt soreness.

When I came home I bought the Flyer and wanted to break it in during the year to come (during commuting and have it ready for another big trip). I thought the Flyer was the perfect saddle beacuse of the springs.

Now a year has passed on with my Flyer saddle. I don't like it at all. I weigh 155 pounds and the springs are SO rock hard that I can barely feel any improvement in terms of cushioning. It also makes a lot of cracking noises. Thus, at the moment my aged B17 is my preferred saddle.

Note: If you really start reading about the Flyer saddle you will experience that many other users (in different bike forums) are complaining about the rock hard springs.


General Discussion / Re: Low Carb and Long Distance Touring
« on: July 18, 2013, 01:55:50 pm »
I still find the topic highly interesting.

Let's assume you are traveling without a stove and you rely on cold food and restaurants (family, fast-food, pizza, subway, whatever that you see on the roadside). You happen to be in the middle of Kansas and you arrive in let's say Tribune, KS in the evening and all stores are closed, so are the restaurants. The 24h gas station is open however. The gas station carries those "normal" gas station foods (probably all packed up). The next morning you want to leave early before the grocery stores open.

What sort of low carb food do you buy for both late dinner and breakfast?


General Discussion / Re: Low Carb and Long Distance Touring
« on: July 18, 2013, 06:03:15 am »
I weigh 155 pounds and my problem is, that I loose weight too rapidly. Doing 125 mi/day you need approx 5000-10000 kcal pr day (standard everyday person is 2000-2500 pr day). That is SO much energy that basically you need to eat almost all the time. And if you have a blood sugar low - carbs are the only way to rapidly get on top again. My 2 cents.


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.

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