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Messages - Gif4445

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General Discussion / Re: bike tour spring summer 2014 questions
« on: February 01, 2014, 07:40:52 am »
I usually begin with a pretty good breakfast.  Maybe the continental breakfast at the motel (I have only credit card toured thus far), if it is a decent one.  I probably am around that 700-1000 calorie level.  And like a previous poster said, protein is pretty important here.  Eggs, good meat choices, milk and the like.  Afterwards my preference is a few hundred calories and hour or so.  My lunch is relatively low in calories.  Ate a fairly large lunch once, with some serious cycling ahead.  Never again.  Dinner (or supper, as us farm folk like to call it), is my largest meal.  Steak and potato etc.  I try to maintain weight on a tour.  My last 3 week jaunt had me losing a few pounds.  On a sub 500 mile supported ride a couple years ago, I gained a couple.  I don't carry much food with me, unless I'm heading into an area with little or no services.  Usually a few snacks that could, if needed get me through the day to a food source at the overnight.

General Discussion / Re: riding and camping in thunderstorms
« on: June 15, 2013, 11:47:04 am »
I would think the first line of defense would be to watch the weather forecast.  Although it is not 100% accurate, it is usually reliable for the most part.  As a farmer, I'm looking at the forecasts all the time for precip, wind and severe weather possibilities.  Sometimes it's best to simply avoid the situation, if the likelihood of an event is great enough.

Routes / Re: Directional recomendation for Feb 1 start on ST
« on: February 12, 2013, 02:40:21 am »
Thanks for the replies.  I can see the pluses and minuses of going either way.  I like the idea of starting in the East to get your legs worthy of the challenges in the west.  Seems like the temps might get you either way in the West.   Cold at start in higher elevations, or hot at the end in the lower.  Thanks John for the sampling info from CGOAB.  I wasn't aware of that.   I'm curious though, if it could be broken down into a start date range closer to my tentative departure?

Routes / Re: Directional recomendation for Feb 1 start on ST
« on: February 04, 2013, 11:36:30 pm »
From the random sampling of ST journals on Crazyguyonabike, most were east-to-west.   Maybe just the luck of my search.   I did not find many with a Feb. 1 start date however.  And I think the one that I found was E-W and complaining about headwinds.  Doesn't mean they had more head than tail, just the theme of the ride I think.  Did you journal your ride staehpj?

Routes / Directional recomendation for Feb 1 start on ST
« on: February 03, 2013, 04:32:03 pm »
Starting to make plans for doing the Southern Tier a year from now.  I need to start around the first of February.  I assume an east to west direction is the choice of most?  To those of you who have done the ST in that time frame, what direction is the best as far as temps,wind and the like?  Or those that have done extensive research.  I'm a mid 50's, 4000 mile/year male, with shorter (1000 m) tour experience.   Farmer by trade.  Hence, I need to be back home in Nebraska by the first part of April.

My 2 cents worth.  I ride an LHT, but I weigh a little over 200 lbs, so I don't think the weight of the bike slows me down much.  Packing more than I need will however.  If you are on the light side and a comfort ride is not that important, ride something far lighter.  It will make a difference.   If I was in your shoes and just wanted to cover ground, I would credit card tour.  Pack light and just figure to stay in a motel each night.  Sure, there are days you will have to cover some miles, but that is the point of your trip right?  In my case, a comfortable bed (hopefully), warm shower and espn get me ready for the next day.  Especially if the day was a battle with mother nature.  I've read many journals on crazyguyonabike and my take is headwinds in various areas at various times of the year are somewhat predicable, but a C to C ride, cycling across many different regions, will be the luck of the draw.  I plan to go C to C sometime in the next 2 years, but I'm blocking out 2 months for the ST and thinking 2 1/2 for the Trans Am.  I don't think I would personally be happy if I tried to do it in far less time.  But I like to stop and smell the roses.

General Discussion / Re: Costs of Touring
« on: January 12, 2013, 06:04:11 pm »
I like to think I live pretty average at home.  But when I tour, I'm probably on the expensive side by what I have read here.  Credit card touring, with motels averaging around $60.  Most of these places provide a breakfast and I eat pretty light, but often during the day.  Evening or dinner time is when I like a good steak or equivalent.  I'm on of those that would probably crowd that $100/day.  Guess I figure it is a vacation.

Gear Talk / Re: Outfitting a Trek 7.5 FX for a full summer tour
« on: October 29, 2012, 06:58:55 am »
Since you have some time, (and I applaud you for asking questions and doing some research), you should read some travel journals.  Maybe you already have.   They should give you a good feel for what you are up against.  A good source is .  My first real tour ( ) was only 500 miles, but I did have issues with spokes and tires in a credit card touring situation.  My second tour was twice as far, but went much, much better with a bike meant for touring (Surly LHT).  Bottom line, I finished with both bikes.  And maybe the challenges of the first tour just made it more of an adventure.  But I credit the people helping you out on this forum.  They have been there and done that.  It gets very frustrating when your equipment lets you down. 

General Discussion / Re: In praise of rest days...
« on: October 29, 2012, 06:32:10 am »
One of the things I love about touring (I'm a relative new-be), is how it slows my point A to point B mentality down.  A rest day slows it down even more.  Last year on a ride to the Black Hills and back ( ), I took a day off in Newcastle WY.  I met many locals, went to a church, a bar, a laundromat and basically walked around town.  Really besides rest, I got to know the town.  What I love about touring is meeting new people and seeing new places.  But most times it can be a little superficial.  Getting to spend more time doing it can be a really neat thing.

Gear Talk / Re: Well, here we first touring bike is........?
« on: October 21, 2012, 11:31:12 pm »
Would it be possible for you to test ride each first?  I may not have the experience of many on here, but my LHT has been a great bike for me.  I started years ago with a mountain bike, then an aluminum/carbon fork road bike.  When I decided to look at a touring specific bike, I was able to test ride some.  For me, I knew I wanted the LHT after a couple blocks.  The comfort improvement was day and night.  And later when I had some serious climbing to do, the lower gears were a big help.  I'm sure there are several good choices out there.  Personally, I would not buy a bike before first riding it.  Good luck!!

Gear Talk / Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« on: October 14, 2012, 10:36:52 am »
Also sspeed, you mentioned wanting a GPS log of your trip.  I unknowingly had that, or something close, when I chose the location function on the camera application of my Iphone.  It showed a map of all the places I had taken a photo.  I took enough pictures along the way that it made for a nice bread crumb trail, with info on location, date and time of day I believe.

Gear Talk / Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« on: October 14, 2012, 10:27:47 am »
Yes sspeed, I considered and looked at some bluetooth keyboards.  Keeping it lightweight, I could have taken my Iphone and the keyboard.  Actually, the Iphone works better for a lot of things than my Ipad, if I wanted to leave the Ipad home.  I wouldn't have to have Wi-Fi and there would be no need to download photos either, as they would already be on the Iphone.  But the size of Iphone screen is an issue, as was the added weight of the keyboard if I took Ipad and bluetooth keyboard.  My daughter just informed me yesterday that I could get a virtual keyboard for $200.¬

Gear Talk / Re: Tablets/IPad or laptops
« on: October 14, 2012, 05:11:19 am »
On my tour to the Black Hills, , I used the voice recorder on my Iphone extensively.  I tend to forget pretty easily, even when updating a journal daily.  This worked very well.  I used an Ipad 2 to write the journal.  It was ok, but not without challenges.  I found using the keypad to be better than expected after getting used to it.  A laptop or possible folding keyboard would probably be an improvement, but the iphone/ipad option was lightweight.  On CGOAB, I had to be a little creative with the Ipad.  When writing  a lot of text, I soon found out there was no scroll option or arrow down feature on the Ipad. (at least I was unaware of any)  Finally found if I used the copy function and enlarged the copy box, I could move down text that way.  I used my Iphone for photos and emailed them to myself, downloaded them to my Ipad and then to my journal.  Could probably take a shortcut with the correct wiring or whatever, or get a good camera and go direct from camera to Ipad.  But again, would have to bring along more stuff.  Of course the Iphone and Ipad use the same lightweight charger.  And I have been happy with most of my photos.  I understand all of you that make a point of getting away from technology on your tours.  Especially those of you that use it a ton on the job.  However, it was important to me to have a functional journal to share with my friends and family who wanted to follow my ride.  And for me to re-live the journey from time to time.

Gear Talk / Re: Bar-end mirror & front down tube shifter?
« on: April 27, 2012, 05:39:06 pm »
I have the take-a-look eyeglass mirror and love it.  It did take some getting used to, but by the 3rd short ride my eyes had it figured out.  Again, like you said it's personal preference.  But it's easy and cheap, and for me it was much better than a bike mounted mirror.

General Discussion / Re: Touring Across America
« on: April 12, 2012, 04:32:41 am »
Some really good advice for you in the posts thus far.  I will add my two cents worth.  I was a newby to the scene and purchased a trek 1.2  a couple years ago to take on some 4 day rides doing part of two BRANs and a NUMB (Nebraska rides).  Then last September, I did a 500 mile solo credit card tour (motels) from SC Nebraska to Breck CO (you can read my journal of the trip at )  Basically what all the posters are saying is true.  The trek 1.2 or equivalent is not a great pal on these trips.  You can do it and will have some great memories, but there are better options.  Recently, I bought a Surly Long Haul Trucker to do a coast to coast ride, hopefully in the next couple years.  I have about 400 miles on it and couldn't be happier.  First of all, the ride is some much better.  Wider tires, steel frame and longer wheelbase make it much more comfortable for me to ride.  I don't know your dimensions, but I'm 5-10 and 205.  My extra weight makes the LHT a good choice by itself.   Like previous posters said, if you are taking a lot of stuff, the LHT is a much better choice.  As my journal stated, the trek 1.2 has a shorter wheelbase and I had some issues with heel strike on my rear saddle bags and had to place them farther back on the rack, which created other issues.  The LHT was about $400 more than the Trek 1.2, but IMO this is money very well spent when you are on the road.  The most surprising thing to me about my Surly is that it weighs more than the Trek, but my average speeds are higher.  Probably just me.  Oh, and one more thing.  The LHT tends to be a little larger compared to the Trek.  I was fitted with a 56" trek, but when I test rode the LHT, I was borderline between the 54" and 56".  Good Luck and hope this helps!

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