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Messages - jwrushman

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I did the Northern Tier last year with a fully-loaded (four paniers, camping gear, etc) Disc Trucker and didn't have to get off to walk.  My impression is that the hardest part of the Trans-America is not the Rockies, but the hills east of the Mississippi with steep uphills, steep downhills and repeat. 

I live in NJ and there are no roads here where I could simulate the climbs I experienced in the west.  In the west, the hills may not be particularly steep, but they were 15+ miles long.  I tried to plan my rides so I'd have the worst climbs early in the morning.  I couldn't do that in the Midwest and NJ - it's always up and down, up and down, up and down.  No rest until you stop.  But when I got to the Rockies, I knew I was physically and mentally ready. 

I did my ride with a Disc Trucker.  Although it's not a FUN! bicycle to ride, it was very reliable.  Whatever I was up for doing, it could handle.  The autumn before my trip, I took my Surly up to Smugglers Notch in Vermont.  I think that may be the steepest, sustained hill I've done.  I had tried it before with rental bikes, but that was the first time I had made it to the top without stopping.  A great experience letting me know we could make it out west. 

If you are new to touring, my most important advice is to load up your bike - with whatever you think you'll bring - and start doing overnighters.  You'll learn what gear you need, what you don't, and give you confidence in your set-up.

John R.
Planning for 2022!

Routes / Re: Route Planning Great Parks North / GDMBR
« on: November 15, 2020, 11:27:22 am »
"... As this is remote, I am planning to carry cash as a backup to credit, but just as a backup.  That said, I'm hoping to scrap by with $100 / week (3 weeks).  Will most places take credit?..."

I don't know about your route, but on the Northern Tier, I did fine with a small amount of cash, one credit card and an ATM card.   I carried about $100 in cash and looked for an ATM when I got down to about $30.  I think small businesses don't like credit card usage for my small purchases of Gatorade and a sandwich. 

Routes / Re: ACA Discontinuing some Paper Maps
« on: November 11, 2020, 05:49:01 pm »
For Northern Tier last year, I had three maps - Bicycle Route Navigator, ACA paper maps, and my own route entered in to RideWithGPS.  I used RideWithGPS for its turn-by-turn navigation (even though there weren't many turns in ND and eastern MT!).  Bicycle Route Navigator got little use.  ACA paper was my "bible".  It's what I used as input for RideWithGPS.  It where I started when looking for lodging.  It's what gave me the overview I've where I'd be riding. 

It will be sad for me if ACA discontinues paper.  I guess it's a sign of the times.  I still get real books from the library too.  Luddite and proud!  (Although I really do love me cell phone for many reasons!)

Old Fart

General Discussion / Re: Maximum/minimum speeds
« on: November 10, 2020, 02:59:47 pm »
Must have been an awfully day.

General Discussion / Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« on: November 07, 2020, 11:37:17 am »
Gets me out of my "bubble".  Reaffirms my faith in the goodness of my fellow countryman.  A year ago, on a cross-country ride, I had a health issue in Palmyra, New York.  Having a cup of coffee at a canal-side cafe while waiting for nearby urgent care center to open, I was talking about my ride with the cafe owner.  She loaned me her car to drive myself to the center 4 miles away.  I don't think I would have loaned my car to a total stranger!

Gear Talk / Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
« on: November 05, 2020, 06:02:03 pm »
Hennessey hammock and suspension = 1286 g
Warbonnet Superfly tarp = 928 g
Warbonnet 3/4 length underquilt = 354 g
Warbonnet top quilt = 562 g
Total = 3130 g = 6.9 lbs

Did modified Northern Tier (started in New Jersey), June -> August -> cold weather wasn't a problem for me.  Bugs occasionally were bad (Saco MT, Luther MI). 

General Discussion / Re: Bed and Breakfasts for Bicyclists
« on: October 22, 2020, 07:16:52 pm »
It looks like the website for Bed & Breakfasts for Bicyclist is no longer active.

Did it 30 years ago but with a credit card and no tent. 

General Discussion / Maximum/minimum speeds
« on: October 11, 2020, 09:29:34 pm »
canalligators wrote in a post "...One of my keenest memories of my Northern Tier was coming down passes in the Cascades at 40+ mi/hr..."

Not touring this year, I've got lots of time on my hands.  I started looking at last year's New Jersey to Northern Tier ride.

Fastest speed 40.0 mph - heading west from Diablo Lake viewpoint to Colonial Creek Campground in North Cascades.

Day with the slowest average speed - 6.8 mph from Medora to Beach ND.  Was planning to ride 65 miles to Glendive but gave up after 25 miles!  But it worked out okay.  The next morning, shortly after leaving Beach, I met up with two other cyclists heading my way, Parke from Denver and Doug from Virginia.

I don't think I'm obsessive.  I'm guessing others track many more stats. 

Routes / Re: Route around the Great Lakes
« on: September 12, 2020, 03:04:01 pm »
Looks like a great trip!  Any highlights you'd like to comment on?  Many coronavirus issues?  With the mileage you covered, it doesn't look like you did much site seeing, even on Mackinaw.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling across the US (east to west)
« on: September 03, 2020, 07:12:24 pm »
" well as cycling routes, gear, camping, etc. .."

Kind of a broad question.  Care to be more specific?  What is your bicycle touring experience level?  What type of bicycle, equipment do you already have?  Have you been looking at the ACA forum already and have some ideas?

Gear Talk / Re: Tubus Tara Lowrider Front Rack Mounting Question
« on: August 31, 2020, 07:27:54 pm »
Website shows a Surly with disc brakes (doesn't appear to be a disc trucker) with the Tubus rack mounted.    Trying to mount my Jandd rack on my Surly Disc Trucker, I needed to use a spacer to get clearance around the brake mechanism.  Jandd sells a spacer specifically for this but the threaded section stripped out after about a month of use. 

General Discussion / Re: Erie Canal Trail in 2020
« on: August 20, 2020, 07:36:30 pm »
More info!  Did you go east-west?  Did you have problems with Isaias?  Were accommodations a problem?

Food Talk / Re: Recovery time when cycling across USA?
« on: August 15, 2020, 05:56:28 pm »
"Will A over the course of the trip slowly build the same strength=stamina=milage as B towards the end and thus be as powerful after lets say 30-60 days of cycling?"   - Probably not.   Rider A will likely make bigger gains, but Rider B will continue to improve as well, probably just not as fast proportionally.

"Or will he keep struggling with his strength=stamina=milage due to the fact that his body simply needs more recovery than just 1 nights sleep?" Maybe, maybe not.   I used to schedule a day off, once a week but ended up feeling like I never need it.  I always ride at whatever pace feels right.  If I want to stop, I do.  If I want to picnic, I do.  Part of the joy of touring without a fixed end date.

Or even worse: Will his milage drop?   Are you asking, will he burn out? 

Too many variables. 
What's the reason for this question?

Gear Talk / Re: Compression sacks - do you use them?
« on: August 11, 2020, 10:11:28 am »
I too used ziplock bags for organization - one for electronics, one for the items I'd need in the tent at night.  I haven't seen 2-gallons ones in the store.  I think they would have been useful. 

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