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Messages - HobbesOnTour

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General Discussion / Re: Riding coast to coast
« on: August 21, 2019, 08:27:49 am »

Can you point to any journals where they rode coast to coast on a route in the middle or northern half of the US in a late December - March time frame?  Of the hundreds of northern coast to coast journals that I have seen, I don't recall ever seeing any that were done in the winter.

No, I can't.
But then again, that was not what I said. I said there were journals that covered travelling in winter, an entire category, in fact.
In any case, a good read of the most appropriate journals will help the OP understand what they may be getting into.
Ditto with Youtube. The one I was specifically thinking of was this He even got a fine for riding his bike when it was not permitted. But there are other videos as well, some more useful than others.

@ vt91; For good or ill, it looks like you are pretty determined to have a go at this. Other than pure luck, your chances of success will increase proportionally to your research and preparation. Determining the uniqueness of your quest may help you to look again at your plans.

I can't help but think that you will be ultimately disappointed, not because of whether or not you can go where you want when you want, but that the public interaction you seek will be so limited due to the weather and the lack of daylight.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: ACA gpx on Wahoo?
« on: August 21, 2019, 03:24:59 am »
Has anyone had luck using ACAs digital routes on a wahoo? My Element loads the route, but doesn't display the map or give directions. If there's an extra step I'm missing beyond importing into and from RWGPS I'd be interested to hear about it.

I'm wondering if you got this sorted?

General Discussion / Re: Riding coast to coast
« on: August 21, 2019, 03:14:26 am »

Your goal is certainly challenging and definitely unique.

I cannot give any advice on routes as it's alien territory to me, but I can emphasise that the advice to date is good and based on broad and deep experience.

I can give advice on charging options as I have researched them myself;
There are generally 3 different options for charging while on a bike;
1. Hub dynamo with an adapter to charge via usb. Only works above a certain speed and is not cheap to put together an adequate system. Most people use a powerbank charging from the usb port and then charge sensitive electronics such as a phone since the varying speeds can mean intermittent charging and phones stopping the charge at low speeds and not starting to charge when speed picks up.
2. Solar. Not terribly effective on a moving bike. Handy when stopped and able to manually adjust to maximise sunlight. I have a 3 panel unit that is a backup. But winter effectiveness is minimal.
3. Stopping and charging "on the road". As pointed out, some purchases may be advisable. And in winter, there may be less options open and available. Also, in winter, every hour spent charging is one hour less of daylight for cycling.

I have never come across a generator that works off braking as you have described. That is not to say that it won't work, but I would strongly advise that this is both weatherproof and tested "in the field" before you find yourself in an area with few people, a problem and no charge on your phone.

I can also give advice on Winter touring;
As stated by others, a big issue is daylight, or rather the lack of it. This is not an issue of toughness, it is an issue of daylight. Simply, there is less time to get from A to B. In mild weather, not getting to my destination can be uncomfortable. In winter weather not getting to my destination can be fatal.
In winter I travel slower than normal. I am packing more weight - clothing and food and also need to regulate my effort to that I am not sweating too much. Too much heat generated when I am cycling will quickly turn into too much cold as soon as I stop.
There are also issues with road surfaces and snow or sub-zero temperatures.
Slower travel can also have an impact on charging abilities.

There are many blogs on CrazyGuyOnABike that cover travelling in winter, or in very cold locations. On Youtube too.

I wish you the best of luck in your adventure.

That's great!
thanks for that info!

Yes please!
I'll be in some of the similar areas you were planning on travelling.
Thank you

My ride is now taking shape... I've booked my flights and have 89 days to to LA from Boston via Nashville..... taking in some places along the way that were significant to Johnny Cash....
I'll be wanting a SIM card for three months with a decent data allowance to keep my blog going and be able to get in contact with warm showers hosts, google maps etc.....
Any recommendations for a SIM deal for Johnny Foreigner visiting the USA please?...

Hi John, wondering if you have any feedback on your choice(s). I'll be in a similar situation to you shortly.

Many thanks

Routes / Re: Southern Tier, Heading West, Novemberish...
« on: August 12, 2019, 05:54:20 am »
Thanks all.

It looks like I'll be following the Southern Tier from about New Orleans as far as Del Rio, Tx. Then I'll cross the border and head approximately south and west to hit the coast after the Devil's Backbone.

 Any and all suggestions welcome  ;D

General Discussion / Re: Tire pressure
« on: August 01, 2019, 03:31:07 am »
I'm far from an expert on tyre pressures but I do recall reading of a loaded tourer being advised not to fill his tyres to maximum as this added extra stress to the rim,increasing the chance of splitting the rim.

Sorry, I can't supply a link - I think it was on CGOAB. The idea is worth considering, any way.

Personally, I choose comfort over speed and tend to believe that the middle of the road approach works well to most aspects of cycle touring - except for road positioning  ;D

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: ACA gpx on Wahoo?
« on: July 28, 2019, 01:50:46 pm »
That's clearer.

If you have the RWGPS app on your phone, can you open it and see the route?
If you have the appropriate sub on RWGPS can you navigate the route on the app?
If you have the appropriate sub on RWGPS can you download the gpx file? If so, you could try renaming the file, importing it into the app, syncing the unit and then using the unit. (of course, if you have the original gpx file that would be better)

After that, I don't know what else to do.

Without meaning to be insulting, are you sure you have loaded the route correctly on the unit?
Maybe try loading a totally different route, starting it then reloading the one you want.

Have you ever had this problem before?

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: ACA gpx on Wahoo?
« on: July 28, 2019, 05:40:03 am »
How have you put the gpx on the Elemnt? By cable? Through the app? Have you tried loading the route in Komoot or RideWithGPS first and syncing the unit? Loading a gpx file directly to the app or unit will not give turn by turn directions, only a breadcrumb trail. That's why you'd use something like Komoot or RWGPS.

Where are you in relation to the route?

Finally, have you checked that the underlying maps are actually loaded on the unit? You'll see that in the app.

General Discussion / Re: Dealing with boredom on long bicycle trip
« on: July 06, 2019, 04:55:42 am »
Maybe that's the problem...we are in 'training' mode and waking up, having breakfast and then biking 20-25 miles and then back in the house by 9:30 AM, before it gets too hot and really not taking breaks, along the way......It seems to me  my body doesn't like stop and go and stop and go and stop and go.....I might need an attitude adjustment

I think this is significant.

I always cringe a little when people talk of training for a bike tour, because it normally means following a training regime that is all about mileage.
I prefer to think in terms of practising. Doing the things I will be doing on tour, only some of which is cycling.
To me cycle touring is not about the distances - it's about what happens in between.
In my experience the part of the body that needs to be most prepared is not the butt or the leg muscles (although it obviously helps if they're road ready), but the brain.

I think on some level you're recognising this. Yes, you probably do need an attitude adjustment simply because for the few weeks of your tour, your normal life, and it constraints are very different. That deserves a different attitude to make the most of it.

Instead of getting up early and clocking up 25 miles, take breakfast with you and cycle somewhere specifically to have a nice picnic breakfast. Or in the evening. Or overnight to an inn or a friend. It might mean less "cycle" training, but more "tour" practising.

I refer to it as my "touring head". When my "touring head" is on, everything is different. The differences is particularly noticeable in the decisions made with my "Touring head" on as opposed to off.

As to your original question, I've never been bored when away on the bike. There is always something to do, even if that is nothing except taking a moment to appreciate where I am. Some people find that very hard to do.

Travelling with a Significant Other can be great when you are both on the same wavelength. I've had wonderful days cycling with someone - sometimes long, hard days, other very short where the afternoon was spent having a few drinks and playing cards.

Time on the bike varies. I stop every hour, hour and a half. That might be 5 minutes, it might be an hour or longer. It all depends on what I want to do at that time. I reckon my average "riding time" in a day is probably 5-6 hours, but I'm en route for maybe 8-10 hours. That works for me. The trick is to find what works for you.

Good luck!


General Discussion / Re: First tour in Europe- bike suggestions
« on: July 03, 2019, 03:21:41 am »
You must be getting sick of me by now :D

How much of my money could I get back?  How quickly could I sell it?   If I knew I could sell the bike easily-- and for a decent percentage of what I paid-- I'd feel more comfortable spending more. 

Time is your enemy.
If you want to sell your bike, it will really only be practical where they speak English. That means the UK, NL, possibly Belgium and less likely France. Possibly Germany.
If you want to use a local second hand site expect problems without an address. Possible, but more complicated - again language is an issue. Lack of local phone will also be an issue.

Best bet is to bring to a bike shop - and get a nominal price. Sorry.
Of course, if you have local contacts/family who can sell on your behalf, that's different.

Or, if your plans allow it, a decent amount of time in your final destination to give you time to sell the bike. But that's most likely a big city - expensive.

In other words, the more you spend, the less likely you are to get your money back.

It strikes me that there are a lot of variables at play here, and no one has priority.
You want a bike.
You want new.
You want to tour.
You want to sell it back.
You want as much back as possible.

The single most important thing about a bike for a tour is that it is comfortable. If you don't believe me, ask anyone who has tried to tour on an uncomfortable bike!  :) At the end of a 6-8 week tour what value would you put on being pain free?

If you're in anyway handy, you could pick up a cheap 90's rigid MTB for anything up to €50. Stick on a rack, change tyres, check chain etc. and you're good to go. Have a good look at the wheels. They'll be important. Realistically, you'll have a bike that will get you around for €100 odd. Lots of bike shops in case of repairs that you can't do yourself. You'll pay far more for the bike if you buy through a bike shop. Bring your own saddle!

That's the cheapest way. The more adventurous!  :D

Good luck!

General Discussion / Re: First tour in Europe- bike suggestions
« on: July 02, 2019, 05:11:22 pm »
Hi again!  :)

First things first - do you plan on bringing this bike back with you?
If you are, then I'd strongly suggest you check out the ability to claim sales tax back (VAT in UK, BTW in NL or Belgium). That can be up to 23% so can significantly boost your budget. Of course, you may get hit with import duties?

If you are planning on bringing it home you'll need to pack it - it's easier to get the experience at home - just pay your LBS to do it for you and show you how to do it. Also, lots of Youtube videos.

$1000 is not that much for a decent, new bike, racks etc that will not let you down and is ready to go. Factor in the cost of bringing the new bike back home too.
You can put together a great touring bike for $1000 - if you have time. I know - I did. But you don't have the time.

I thought the deal offered by the shop in France was a good one, assuming you get a suitable bike and that they'll pick up the tab for any mechanicals along the way.

Jan's bikes are great too. Have you had contact? Thought about asking about a buy and return? Buy a bike with an option of returning it at the end of the trip? Maybe get half back? If you love the bike bring it home, if not sell it back. (I have no idea if he does that!)

As for what bike? Ask 100 people get 102 answers! :D The most important thing is that it's comfortable. This is no expedition style touring. Good surfaces, hills, no real mountains. I've toured all over Europe on a no-brand hybrid with dodgy front suspension.

The second thing for you is good wheels. If you want to get a wheel rebuilt or even retensioned properly that will take time. If you buy in a chain store you will need to get that done. Probably in a different shop.

Decathlon is probably your best Chainstore option since they have good after sales service and stores all over Europe.

Good luck!



Routes / Re: Charleston S.C. To Nashville TN.
« on: July 02, 2019, 04:40:00 pm »

Speaking of steep, here's a route from outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSM) to Nashville, with a couple of options on how to get over the state line from Robbinsville:

Leiper's Fork at the western end is a half a mile from the Natchez Trace Parkway, which is a good cycling road that'll lead you into western Nashville.  You could also take the road from Cherokee, NC into Gatlinburg, TN (except on a weekend or holiday -- stay away then!), come over the ridge and down to Townsend, down the road to the Foothills Parkway, and pick up the Nashville route on U.S. 129 to TN 72.

Let me know what you're interested in and I may be able to help with more specific recommendations.

I really appreciate the time and effort, Pat. I'll probably be taking the Natchez Trace south after Nashville.

I'm leaning towards following the Walter Ezell Route simply because it'll mean the least back-tracking and I can avoid Atlanta. I'm not a fan of cycling through, or indeed, around big cities. Having looked at the Silver Comet route though, I think I would have enjoyed that. Decisions decisions!

This is what my planner is suggesting for the route into Nashville after the Walter Ezell Route, starting from McKinney Mountain..ish.
Any comments gratefully received  :)

You might be interested in either the Savanah River Route or the Walter Ezell route for riding from the Charleston area northwest across South Carolina if you are aiming for Nashville.

Thanks Dan. I remember coming across the Walter Ezell Route a couple of years ago when this was more of a notion. It appears to be the route that suits me best as I really want to visit Charleston and don't fancy doubling back to Savannah.

Routes / Re: Charleston S.C. To Nashville TN.
« on: June 29, 2019, 08:14:25 am »
Thanks, Pat.

I really appreciate your replies.

I'll have a look at some of your suggestions over the weekend in more detail.

Then, I'll probably come back with more questions!  ;D

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