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Messages - Jono1979

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General Discussion / Re: Your best single piece of advice
« on: May 26, 2023, 06:26:18 am »
Hi there! How exciting, your trip is coming up soon. My best piece of advice for bike touring is staying flexible, use the warmshowers app and pack a rechargeable battery pack. Having the rechargeable battery pack is essential when your phone dies. If you plan to get a sim card or just use offline maps your phone will die quickly. The battery pack saved me so many times in the middle of nowhere.

Also, make sure you stay flexible on the trip. Don't book accommodations every night and go with the flow- you never know when you might want to keep biking into the night for a few hours or if your body really needs a break. Make sure to sign up for warmshowers if you haven't yet.

If you want to learn more about what important items you should pack, check out this blog post 15 essential items to bring on a bike tour.

Happy biking!

Warmshowers is brilliant, but don't forget to payback kindness with kindness.

General Discussion / Re: cost per day to tour
« on: May 26, 2023, 06:25:12 am »
(Variables - area of the country, population density, food preferences, calories burned/aomount of food consumed, grocery vs. cafe vs. restaurant, camping vs. hotel, etc....)

Most recent - rural, 8000 kcal/d, grocery plus one meal a day in a cafe, one motel a week.


This is probably not a bad estimate.

Routes / Re: English rider thinking of Transamerica
« on: April 14, 2023, 10:39:01 am »
Keep the wind at your back.

Then you end up riding round in circles.

General Discussion / Re: Sunglasses
« on: April 14, 2023, 10:37:54 am »
I'll be in a pair of POC sunglasses for riding.
I got them free as a friend works for POC here in the UK.

Gear Talk / Re: cooking System
« on: March 31, 2023, 10:29:54 am »
A few comments that some may find relevant.
I have a JetBoil rig and it lives up to its name, very fast to boil water.  I found that if I leave the gas canister installed over night, the fuel runs out a lot faster than if I disconnect it after use. I guess the valve, or something must have a very slow leak. 
I usually do a mix of camping and cheap motels, about 3:1 or 4:1.  I eat a lot of convenience store lunches, and hit diners as I find them. 
When camping, breakfast is usually a bottle of OJ from a convenience store the day before, tea, and a sweet roll.  Then, a second breakfast if I find a diner.  Dinner is usually based on couscous because it cooks fastest.  I have found air dried meats from Croatia, beef and pork, in a European Deli in Burlington, VT.  I carried some on the GAP and C&O trip, which actually started in Buffalo, so was about 21/2 weeks.  By Cumberland it had gotten a little slimy on the surface, but I washed it off with soap, and rinsed it and dried it thoroughly, and it was fine.  It has a lot more flavor and better texture than freeze dried stuff.  I supplement the "stew" with some fresh veggies.
Trying the local cuisine is part of the experience for me.

David, your experiences seem the same as mine. I too use a Jetboil and find it great, but you have to remember to disassemble it. My camping to motels ratio is similar, as are my breakfast habits - although I've also gotten a taste for soaking oatmeal overnight in milk for a cold porridge breakfast.

Routes / Re: English rider thinking of Transamerica
« on: March 24, 2023, 07:49:18 am »
Not to mention -
For a trip of this length, you will need to learn the local language.  ;-)

For example -
In parts of rural England, "Knock you up sometime" is a casual response.
It is - most definitely - not so in the Colonies.

What do the Colonials think I mean when I say "knock yourself out"?

You get a better sense of the geography of a region by pedaling a bicycle over it. Expending personal strength and energy pushing over the hills and mountains internalizes it. The extra time necessary to transit an area impresses cognition and memory far superior to speeding through in a motor vehicle. The more time you are in any given area, the better and more clearly you remember it. It is a lesson in geography they cannot write into books.

I love that.

General Discussion / Re: Security - locking your bike
« on: March 21, 2023, 09:26:32 am »

First welcome to the ACA Forums.  Like the others, I use what I call a "deterrent" lock which is basically a 15' length of coated 1/8" wire locked with a more heavy duty (LOL) luggage lock (a local hardware store like ACE or True Value will make one for you probably).  If in small towns (under 3k people), I never lock but like others try to keep an eye on it or ask someone to if they can.  In larger towns (20+k) I always lock unless if just going into a CS.  However, while I tour, I am rarely in a larger town.  If going into a big city, i.e. Washington DC, then I just ride into town, check in at the hotel, and just use public transportation to get around.  Maybe I am jinxing it but in 40+ years of touring, I have not had anything stolen.

Obviously, if you are going solo, it is a bit tougher than if in a group, then someone can stay outside while the others shop, shower, etc.  Plus in a group, if you wrap the cable through a lot of the bikes, they can't just pick up the bikes and haul off, at least not easily.

Tailwinds, John

John. Some great advice there.
I plan on carrying a couple of lightweight cable locks but I don't really expect to be leaving y bike anywhere vulnerable.
When I'm in my start and finish cities I intend to leave the bike at my hotel and use public transport to get around.

Safe riding all.

Routes / Re: Transamerica trail sleeping
« on: March 21, 2023, 09:23:13 am »

I want to bicycle the Transamerica trail in May-August 2019. I'm from Belgium, Europe.

the latest blog I found was from 2015.

Sleeping was then possible without too much trouble at fire stations, parks, churches, gyms and with people. Have things changed in hospitality? is it still possible to do the Transamerica with these kinds of sleeping?

I ask because of the general scare of terrorism etc etc, maybe mistrust has grown.

Could you direct me to recent blogs?

thank you,

Dirk Dom.

Dirk Dom.
I'm an Englishman making this journey between June and August this year.
The ACA maps are brilliant to use, they show places to stay in most towns.

Regarding safety, I still believe that the USA is a very safe place to ride a bike and the Trans Am route is well cycled. I have no worries about it at all.

Which direction are you riding?
A couple of good YouTube videos to watch depending on your direction.

West to East - Toby Rail Touring. He did the route back in early Summer 2021.
East to West  (the route I'm taking) - Sara Dicky. She rode the route again back in the Summer of 2021.

Both of these have been inspirational and educational to me.

General Discussion / Re: Your best single piece of advice
« on: March 15, 2023, 10:39:43 am »
1. I did not like biking in the Appalachians on the TransAm (Virginia, Kentucky): Some locals were hostile, lots of aggressive chasing dogs, you are in hill billy country. I did not feel welcome in that part of USA. The bikers I met had similar experiences.

Can't argue about the dogs, though I wasn't bitten.  I found the locals gracious and generous; of course, I didn't have a "get past the hillbillies" chip on my shoulder.

I try to treat my rides as an opportunity to learn about the areas I'm riding through, to approach new locations with an open mind.  At first it's surprising -- the people with whom I disagree the most on political or ideological grounds are often the same people who are the most welcoming.  After a while, I re-learned the lessons of the Muppets: People is people.
Your final paragraph is inspiring. I know that this summer my perceptions of the "Red States" as a European will change. People is people. The majority just want security and purpose. I am really looking forward to the people I will meet on my TransAm adventure.

General Discussion / Re: Must have spare parts/tools
« on: March 15, 2023, 10:33:11 am »
Hi - I'm preparing for a transcon starting in May and just wanted to gather opinions on the tools/parts most needed for emergency situations. I've got some basics covered - couple tubes, CO2 inflator, spare tire, pump, tire levers. What else would you have for those situations you might need to make a quick field repair? I know I need a good multi-tool and I'd love any feedback on ones you love. I'm wondering if I need a chain tool, spare links, etc. What else?

Thank you in advance!

I'm preparing for my trip stating June 1st. My tool list sounds similar to yours. Two tubes (although I'm running tubeless), tire levers, pump. A good multi tool - can't go wrong with Park Tools, try and get one with a chain breaker on the tool. I also run disc brakes so I'll be packing a spare set of pads too.
If you have your bike     serviced a couple of weeks before the trip you should break a chain, but maybe it's a good shout having a spare quick-link.

Routes / Re: English rider thinking of Transamerica
« on: February 24, 2023, 04:57:54 am »
I'm riding the Trans-Am from East to West this year. Setting off early June.
Oh, I'm English too.

General Discussion / Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« on: August 21, 2021, 01:41:24 pm »
Some great advice here from everyone.

Gear Talk / Re: Leg warmers: Over or under?
« on: August 09, 2021, 07:22:48 am »
Under. Overlap them by six inches.

Correct. And no arm warmers with sleeveless jerseys. In fact, no sleeveless jerseys. Period.  :D

Yeah, no sleeveless jerseys. We're cyclists, not triathletes.

General Discussion / Re: British rider doing Trans AM 2022
« on: August 08, 2021, 03:44:04 pm »
And “Go West” is a song by The Cult, so each day on Strava gets a line from it.

I'll be flying most likely to Baltimore and getting the train to Williamsburg. A quick cycle to Yorktown and away we go.

My plan is to use lyrics by Rush to describe my days on Strava.

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