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Messages - fastrog

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Routes / Re: Trans Am timing
« on: March 03, 2019, 10:55:22 pm »
i live in florida and have traveled all parts of the southern tier. much cool stuff, but just not the rockies. strongly suggest east to west on the tansamerica. april start in virginia might still be frosty, but not the sierras, cascades  or rockies in spring. i've reseached this for years, as well as living in kentucky, missouri, montana, utah, wasington, oregon and california. i'm resuming my transam trip in late april or first week of may. 800 miles in where i crashed and broke some bones last year. i might get cold a few times, but nothing like what can happen in the west. good luck. maybe see you out there.

Routes / outdated maps
« on: March 03, 2019, 09:50:04 pm »
how often does aca update maps? i bought the full set of transam maps a few years ago while prepping for the trip, and a digital version about a year ago. made it 800 miles before  breaking some bones, but going back in may to do the rest. if i can find a year on my maps, is it possible to get an idea -- at least a ballpark -- on whether  i should replace any or all?

Routes / Re: Fast Trans-Am route ideas welcome
« on: February 28, 2019, 09:35:26 pm »
You might want to look into the ACA Southern Tier. Much shorter than the other options, and much flatter. Wind along the Gulf of Mexico is also generally more moderate than the Plains and Rockies. Given your start date, at least you would not have to worry about cold-weather gear or snow and sleet in the Rockies, where it can snow any month of the year, and does. It will be hot (mostly 90s), but since you have a camper you could go 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. withe the camper following with flashers during dark hours. Chill and hydrate in the hot part of the day. If you did shorter hand-offs you could ride in the hottest parts of the day. I live in Florida and you get used to the 90s pretty fast. Also: You can expect heat anywhere. I rode the first 800 miles of the ACA Transam last year, starting June 12 in Yorktown, and had many days of temperatures over 100F. They say Kansas is a virtual oven, and the Midwest is almost a hot as the Southern Tier Good luck.

Routes / TABR route
« on: February 28, 2019, 08:47:27 pm »
I understand the TABR is adding an optional route through Nebraksa. Is ACA going to sanction it as a Transam alternative? What are the advantages of Nebraska? Maps coming?

General Discussion / Re: Walking your bike
« on: February 06, 2019, 10:54:07 pm »
thanks pat

General Discussion / Re: Walking your bike
« on: February 06, 2019, 03:04:23 am »
I walked shamelessly many times on the first 800 miles of the Transamerica last year. When I hit the road to Afton it was over 100 and the road was freshly chip-sealed. Just too much. Living in south Florida, I had no chance to train on hills, so it was not go or walk some. I walked when it seemed my forward progress was getting too slow for stability, and/or my lungs and muscles were crying for a break. I crashed near Loretto, Kentucky, while trying to avoid a ground hog who wanted to be a road hog
. Broke some bones and abandoned. Going back to pick up this year, and will walk as much as I need to.

General Discussion / Re: First Time Cross Country Trek
« on: January 04, 2019, 03:23:57 am »
first off: trust the ACA data, and stay in touch with them. i think stealth camping is dangerous anywhere, and maybe moreso in the south. it usually means trespassing, and even friendly landowners look down on that. i think if you keep a good attitude and ask for permission, you will have far better luck. might even get a meal or a shower out of it. it never hurts to go to city hall, the sheriff or police or fire station and, looking really hot and tired, ask if they know a place you could camp. same thing for small neighborhood stores.  also: if you're riding along near the end of the day and you see somebody working in their garden or sitting on their porch, give  a big wave  and shout a hello. if they respond nicely, stop and ask for some water. never been turned down. most will ask where you are from and where you are going.  chat. after a little while, ask if they know where you might camp.  you will get some offers for their front yard. in february, you may find developed  campgrounds that will give you a price break. just tell them you can only afford $10 and see what happens.

General Discussion / Re: Mechanical Doping or Misplaced Sympathy?
« on: December 13, 2018, 01:44:13 am »
I tend to agree with John. Being purists limits people on bikes. The ideal would be a national, or international, standard, that e-bikes cannot exceed 20 mph under electric power. If only people would not cheat. My local rails to trails ride, the Legacy Trail in Sarasota, Florida, has a 15 MPH limit, but the club riders fly by at almost twice that, and often cut it too close in passing. But at least they warn. Some -e-bike riders seem to have no bike manners and just speed by way too close with no warnings. I tend to err on the side of e-bikes for personal reasons, too. I have congestive heart failure, and while under control, I am told my blood flow will never be what it was. So my miles and speed will never be what they were. My dream is to ride the Transam. Started last year and made it 800 miles before falling and breaking some bones. I'm going back in April or May to pick up where I left off, with the goal of making it to the Pacific Ocean under my own steam. No e-bike, and I will resist it. But it is possible that if it is just too much for my old, bad heart I will go back in a later year on an e-bike. It is a little like accepting I will never run as fast or jump as high as I once did. So if I someday take a 50-percent boost from an e-bike, I think I can manage not to be ashamed.

General Discussion / Re: Miles per day in different parts of the country
« on: December 08, 2018, 01:54:57 am »
Assuming the PA Appalachians are similar in nature to the  VA ones, I found them harder than the Rockies. I rode 800 miles of the Transamerica this year, and suffered the steepness at Afton and Vesuvius more than the long climbs when I lived in Montana, Oregon, Washington, Utah and California. So I agree with those who favor long, more gradual climbs of the west over the shorter monsters in the Appalachians. Now that my bones have healed from a little episode on the Transam am in July, I plan to pick it back up next year in Kentucky. Maybe see you out there. Good luck.

General Discussion / Re: Coordinated stalking on the road
« on: November 10, 2018, 08:08:02 pm »
There is a less nefarious explanation for vehicles slowing before a bridge or a narrow road. A good driver might see the cyclist, slow for the cyclist and oncoming cars and proceed. In a car, I slow before a narrow bridge, checking of the oncoming to see of it is wide or weavy. On a bike, I watch the oncoming cars AND the rear-approaching ones. if the vehicles are wider than normal, not in their lanes  or are sporting a Rebel Flag, I might just stop, get a swig of water and wait for the traffic to clear. There are certainly plenty of nut jobs out there, but I find the chances of this kind of traffic conspiracy highly unlikely, maybe a little paranoid and even a little aggressive in sharing the road.

General Discussion / Re: how late in the season to go
« on: November 10, 2018, 07:47:22 pm »
Don't start too late. My wife was out of the country, so I started Transam in Yorktown in late June. Hit a 102-103 heat wave and suffered a lot. Expect to get snow or sleet any time of the year in parts of the West. I have gone through sleet in Montana's Big Hole (on the route) and over several passes, and in Yellowstone. In July and August.

Perspectives always odd. I found many of the Transam roads in Virginia and Kentucky, before a fall there, just too narrow and shoulderless, even though traffic was generally light. I would have welcomed some more traffic, if it came with a wide shoulder. I lived and rode in Oregon and Montana and felt traffic there was more bearable than the skinny roads in Virginia and Kentucky.

General Discussion / Re: e-bikes are motor vehicles
« on: November 10, 2018, 07:22:43 pm »
Another perspective: Despite running marathons and an ultra, climbing mountains and biking a lot, I ended up with congestive heart failure and a mild heart attack in my late 60s. With time and medication, I am back on the bike. I was riding the Transamerica this year until a fall and some broken bones.  I plan to go back in April and pick up where I left off, under my own power. Unfortunately, my heart's blood flow will never be what it was. Might the day come when my blood flow puts me on an e-bike? I hope not, but if it happens, and as long as I kept pedaling the best I could, I would hate to be banned or become a pariah in the touring community.

General Discussion / Re: Support vehicle on TAT
« on: November 10, 2018, 07:02:58 pm »
We tried a version of this last year, and it will work. We have one of the smallest minivans -- a Ford Transit Connect Wagon. And a 10 by 10 tent that attaches over the hatch when up. My wife likes keeping an eye on me -- ha ha -- so she would go 10 miles or so ahead and then pull over and wait for me. The deal was if I did not show up in the right amount of time, she would come back looking for me. She writes books and works with students online, so she had no trouble keeping busy. She is fairly new to camping, so I would do most of the setup and take down, just giving orders to pull that tent stake or hold that  tent fly.  This started and ended most of my days with some work, thus cutting into my riding and recovery time, but we were in no hurry. So, if your wife can handle the trailer, congratulations. I will add this: unless you can plan your daily mileage perfectly, you may have issues with campsites. It is my understanding and experience that many of the city parks, fire stations and churches are ONLY for self-contained riders. Because the ACA does such a good job of keeping the route rural and low-traffic, we  sometimes had to drive off-route for a campground. ALSO: Some of the roads are very steep, winding and extremely narrow.  My wife was sometimes anxious in a van. A trailer might be a little sketchy. Read about the road up to Afton, Virginia, and the road DOWN to Vesuvius, Virginia. Footnote (pun intended) I mixed it up 700-800 miles in with a Kentucky groundhog and fell, ending up in the Bardstown emergency room. Broken wrist and big toe withe the other big toe smashed and lots of road rash. I wish you better luck, or skill. BTW: Going back in April to continue the route, so maybe see you out there.

General Discussion / Re: april weather transam
« on: September 25, 2018, 10:48:27 pm »
 thanks, john. just second week back and left arm/hand/wrist weak, but legs and lungs don't feel too bad after two months off. hope do be ready by april.

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