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Messages - dwboca

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Routes / Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« on: August 17, 2012, 05:24:44 pm »
Where do people stay/camp in Bylas, AZ?  I was thinking somewhere along the road or taking the alternate road Coolidge Dam Rd and finding a camping spot.  Suggestions for camping all along my route appreciated.  I plan mostly camping and a motel room once every 7 days...

My rough route in Google Maps:,-94.394531&spn=26.376013,61.787109

Routes / Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« on: August 17, 2012, 05:00:56 pm »
Thanx for the info and advice!

Routes / Re: Southern Route: Start in March, April, or May?
« on: August 16, 2012, 06:20:05 pm »
Thanks for replies.  So, last week of March will be my start date.


Routes / Southern Route: Start in March, April, or May?
« on: August 13, 2012, 05:08:07 pm »
Hello again,

I will be doing a coast to coast southern route (east to west) from Savannah, GA to San Diego, CA.  Everyone has been helpful in these forums about routes, equipment etc.  Last piece of my puzzle is start date.  I have 5 weeks and can use them any time of the year.

My plan is to start the last week of March and end the last week of April.  My thought is that it is warming up so I should miss the snow going over the divide near Datil, NM.  Then I'm thinking the desert won't be so brutal yet in April.

Basic route in NM:  Roswell, Socorro, Datil, Mule Creek, then Bylas, AZ and into Phoenix where I follow the Southern Tier Route to San Diego.
Google Map with cities I will hit:,-109.742432&spn=3.405007,7.723389&iwloc=0004c3e1750bcb7f7e410

Advice/Experiences appreciated.  Thanks for everyone's inputs - you have inspired me to do this trip.

Gear Talk / Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« on: August 06, 2012, 06:01:32 pm »
Thanks everyone for your responses - very helpful.  I'll start watching for used stuff but will most likely have to buy new since the good stuff doesn't pop up that much.  I loved the response "he's about three sigmas lighter than the average tourist."  That shows someone has had statistical training or corporate continuous improvement classes!  Think of the responses as an "Affinity" exercise and I will pick the best ones to use...but I digress.

I'm excited about getting a bike and would rather buy a pre-loaded one with proven parts - in case anyone knows of a 56cm available.  I wonder why Surly doesn't offer one?  I guess there are too many different variables that each of us consider individually.


Gear Talk / Re: Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« on: August 05, 2012, 04:31:31 pm »
Ooops.  I forgot pedals and seat.  I'd love to hear recommendations here too.

I like to pedal with my running shoes so if there is a pedal that takes both regular shoes and bike shoes, that would interest me.  I've heard the stock seat on the LHT is to be replaced on arrival and I see lots of people like the B17.  I have several road bike seats including a Spenco gel cover that I may play with.

Thanks again for all your help.


Gear Talk / Help me accesorize my Surly LHT
« on: August 05, 2012, 04:26:37 pm »

I've decided to get a new Surly LHT (56 cm) with 26 inch wheels for my Christmas present.  I will get from LBS who will ensure correct size.  I still see new/used Jamis Aurora and Cannondale T1/T2 bikes on Ebay and other sites (for under $1,000) and could be swayed if I find the right size, but for now, its the LHT new since I cannot find used.

Anyway, I will be doing a coast to coast from from Savannah, GA to San Diego, CA - 2,600 miles, self-supported in 2014 and want to log some miles/trips on my touring bike before then.

What accessories should I get?  Below is my prelim list but I'd like to hear from people who have done tours and what has worked for them.  Cost is a factor so I will shop used when I can.  My budget for total bike with accessories is $1,600 but hopefully I can do it for less.

Surly front and rear racks - may as well order with bike

Surly fenders - order with bike?  Should I get plastic or metal?

Ortlieb waterproof panniers - roller front and back  Question:  do I really need front and rear - I will be camping/preparing my meals most of the way.

Cateye Bike computer to monitor speed and mileage

Map holder - what brand?

Did I miss anything?  All feedback appreciated on bike choice as well as accessories.

Routes / Re: Google's bicycle directions
« on: July 26, 2012, 07:17:31 pm »
Be careful using Google for bike routes.  I put in some local destinations and it will put me on some rough, unpaved roads as part of my route.  I know these roads are not ride-able on a road bike and maybe not on a touring bike either. 

I love Google and use it exclusively for searching and for looking at maps for information and ideas of places to ride, kayak, and visit.  I am excited about the bike route feature and it seems to work well except for putting me on unpaved roads at times.  I try to verify by zooming in on "Satellite" images but for a long route (I'm planning a cross-country), this may be too much trouble.


Routes / Re: When is the best time to visit Yellowstone
« on: July 20, 2012, 05:10:54 pm »
I was there for my first time June 9 - 17th 2012 and it was perfect.  Crowds not there yet and we had great weather.  First day got cold with snow in the higher elevations but the rest of the days actually got a little warm by afternoon.  Windy mostly every day and few scattered afternoon showers that were not bad.  No bugs.  Avoid the crowds early June as we did.  Just my recent experience - may help you decide.

Routes / Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« on: July 19, 2012, 09:47:18 pm »
"So how are you planning to get from Bylas to Mesa without passing through that tunnel?"

I misread my map (I am still in process of downloading from someone else).  I guess I will get to experience that dang tunnel.  I will have a headlight and tail light just for it.  Heck, it is an adventure, right?

As far as the other states east, I am looking forward to the roads and food in each.  In my travels, I have always had mostly good unexpected experiences I believe because of my positive attitude and luck.  I've been on trips/to diners that I thought were great while my companion thought was lousy.  I have already verified with another who did same route that it is good for bicycling and enjoyable so I'm confident I will do fine.

Thanks for all your input (route, food, roads) and getting me to realize that I will go though that dangerous tunnel.

Still appreciate any advice/info anyone cares to give. 

First time tourer, 54 years old.  I will be on a Surly LHT, self-supported, east to west from Savannah to San Diego.  Mostly camping but plan for 5 to 7 days at motels.  2,600 miles - goal to complete in 29 days and do 90 to 110 mile days.  May have a companion or two for part/all of trip but will go solo if needed.

Routes / Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« on: July 18, 2012, 07:54:12 pm »
I saw that in someone else's blog.  Luckily, the route I am looking into turns south and goes thru Gila Nat'l Forest and approaches Globe on 70 from the south east.  Thanks for the location of that tunnel - I've been wondering if I would see it or not.  Not is better!

Appreciate the input from everyone so far.  Keep it coming!

Love to hear about places to camp/avoid/stay at hotel/church/etc on my route or in cities I noted.  As noted earlier, I will be ordering my Surley LHT 56 cm in December but if I find a good used one before then, I'd buy it.  Let me know if anyone knows of one for sale please.


Routes / Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« on: July 16, 2012, 08:10:16 pm »
Hi,  I guess I should have posted my proposed route.  Below is what I copied from another's blo and he said was a good route.
East to West ride.  I have concerns about mountains after Rosewell, NM.  Someone in this thread suggested to go south from Rosewell to avid shoulderless roads and a steeper climb.  I'm still leaning on doing the below.  From Phoenix to San Diego I will use the ST maps from Adventure Cycling - not sure if below route shows same since my map hasn't arrived yet. 

If anyone is familiar with these areas as far as camping, conditions, please chime in.  I plan to start last week of March 2014.  Will it be cold in the mountains?

Thanks again for all input - I appreciate it.  Hey, I am also getting ready to order a new Surly LHT 56 cm with 26 inch wheels for Christmas but would love a deal on a slightly used one if anyone knows of one.

Reidsville, GA
Hawkinsville, GA
Talbotton, GA
 Deatsville, AL
 Payne Lake, AL
AL to Macon, MS
Tchula, MS
Montrose, AR
El Dorado, AR
Texarkana, TX
Paris, TX
Gainesville, TX
Wichita Falls, TX
Guthrie, TX
Lubbock, TX
 Crossroads, NM
 Roswell, NM
Nogal, NM
San Antonio, NM
Datil, NM
 Mule Creek, NM
Bylas, AZ
 Mesa, AZ
 Wickenburg, AZ
 Quartzsite, AZ
Imperial, CA
Pine Valley, CA
San Diego, CA

Routes / Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« on: July 13, 2012, 08:07:00 am »
Thanks for the input.  I will consider your input and make some changes.  Please keep advice/info coming on this route. 

I am a first-timer (54 yrs old) bicycling coast to coast but have experience on self-supported 8 to 10-day expedition style kayak/camping trips in the wilderness with long days.  I also enjoy endurance sports - running, triathlons and like to push myself and do what most people consider too far.  A coast to coast ride has always been a dream of mine and now I have the opportunity (5 weeks off from work and wife says "OK") so I just have to go for it.


Routes / Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« on: July 07, 2012, 02:47:30 pm »
I will use Adventure Cycling maps from Phoenix to San Diego.  Savannah to San Diego is right around 2,600 miles compared to the Southern Tier at around 3,100 miles.   Since I have 35 days max, I need a shorter route.   I think I read on that Steve's route was just under 2,500 in 2008 but had areas he would change.  He did another southern trip in 2011 but I didn't see the mileage posted - probably around 2600. 

I got a lot of data and my preliminary route from here:¬

Routes / Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« on: July 07, 2012, 10:38:49 am »

I am just starting to plan a cross-country ride (east to west) in which I have 5 weeks to complete.  The Southern Tier route is a little too long for the amount of time I have.  I know several people have done a Savannah, GA to San Diego, CA route and I have some useful maps/info from them.  What I have not been able to find in my web searches is a laid-out route with stops/places to camp/places to stay/bike shops/etc.  Anyone have one or know where I can get one?

I am good at using Google/Google Maps and the route I have in mind I can find places to stay, etc but I'd appreciate input from someone who has done it.  This will be a self-supported tour and the preliminary plan is to begin the last week of March, 2014.  I know it's a ways off but getting the route laid out will allow me to get the logistics figured out.   In the meantime, I will be buying a Surly LHT and doing some serious training - I live in south Florida so am also a little worried about hills and (gulp) mountains.

Thanks for any advice and info.

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