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Messages - John Nelson

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I did the TransAmerica Trail in 70 days in 2010. A year in advance, I started telling everybody, including my boss and his boss, that I would be gone the next summer. I didn’t make a big deal about it. I didn’t ask permission. I just spoke of it as if it had all been agreed to, a done deal. I spoke of it over and over again until it was ingrained in everybody’s knowledge. When the time came, everyone was expecting it. When I returned, I just went back to work as if I had just been gone for the weekend.

Couple of things.  Do you want to do the TransAm Bike ROUTE or the TransAm Bike RACE (Race Across America)?  They are different.  One is a tour and you can take as little or as much time as you want. The other (RAAM) is a race and takes I think around two weeks. 
The Trans Am Bike Race and the RAAM (Race Across America) are two completely different races, at different times, on different routes and with different rules. But, as you say, they are both different than the TransAm route.

Yes, your calculation is correct.

Is 27 gear-inches low enough? Depends. Are you young and fit or old and fat? Do you travel light or heavy? Do you object to walking? Do you plan high-mileage days or low-mileage days? Are you a spinner or a masher?

Does TABR = TransAmerica Bike Ride? Do you plan to follow the Adventure Cycling TransAmerica Trail route?

The TransAmerica Trail is pretty hilly. If instead you want to ride on interstates and federal highways (not recommended by me), they are considerably less steep.

Routes / Re: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
« on: November 17, 2020, 09:37:24 pm »
If it was me, I’d prefer the LHT. But you’re not me.

General Discussion / Re: Can you tour on a carbon road bike?
« on: November 17, 2020, 08:47:01 pm »
Wider tires put less stress on the spokes. Breaking spokes on a tour is quite annoying.

General Discussion / Re: Can you tour on a carbon road bike?
« on: November 16, 2020, 01:42:23 am »
I don’t think I’d worry about the frame, but how many spokes do you have in your wheels?

General Discussion / Re: Can you tour on a carbon road bike?
« on: November 15, 2020, 12:11:51 am »
Use the widest tires that your frame and fork allow.

You can get a 17 liter saddle bag that will hold your clothes and tools. Then you can strap the tent under your handlebars, or put it in a handlebar pack. The frame pack can then carry food, etc. You'll then have plenty of capacity. Try not to use it all just because it's there.

General Discussion / Re: Can you tour on a carbon road bike?
« on: November 14, 2020, 05:26:31 pm »
I think you can do it if you pack ultralight. The frame pack might interfere with your ability to use standard water bottles. Do you want to use a camelback instead?

Get your gear down to about 15 pounds (yes, it can be done) and volume down to about 18 liters.

General Discussion / Re: Can you tour on a carbon road bike?
« on: November 14, 2020, 04:07:51 pm »
Standard questions: camping? cooking? Etc? Just something so that we can get an idea of what you need to carry.

Standard answer: trailer. Although if you pack light, the bags you mention should work.

Routes / Re: ACA Discontinuing some Paper Maps
« on: November 11, 2020, 05:08:14 pm »
I like paper maps, but I'm not sure a PDF would be good enough. I need them on the waterproof paper that the ACA uses. On my next tour, I was planning to get both the paper maps and the digital maps, but that might not be an option because my route is on the to-be-discontinued list. Maybe I should buy my paper maps now.

Gear Talk / Re: Off the Bike Shoes
« on: November 11, 2020, 05:04:10 pm »
On long tours, I carry two pairs:
  • Normal cycling shoes with recessed cleats, which is okay for the walking you do during the day.
  • A pair of crocs for mornings and evenings. The main reason for crocs is they are lightweight and waterproof. But they are certainly less than ideal if you want to take a 10-mile hike, and they can be slippery in wet conditions.
On shorter tours, I have taken just one pair, which is a compromise. They are essentially running shoes with a recessed cleat: Pearl Izumi X-Road Fuel III.

General Discussion / Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« on: November 07, 2020, 06:17:36 pm »
Oh, I thought he really meant weary.

General Discussion / Re: Maximum/minimum speeds
« on: November 06, 2020, 11:42:35 pm »
When it comes to 30 mph it is time to stop and wait for it to end. I would be off the bike with a 30 mph side wind.
I encountered very strong crosswinds in Montana once. But I was in the middle of nowhere, 30 miles from any civilization. Those winds were going to continue for the rest of the day. I couldn’t just stand there until it got dark. Well, at least I didn’t want to. And I didn’t have time to walk anywhere either. I guess I could have hitchhiked.

Gear Talk / Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
« on: November 05, 2020, 10:33:56 am »
Tent+footprint: 4 pounds
Sleeping bag: 2.4 pounds
Pad: 0.8 pounds
Pillow: 0.2 pounds

Total: 7.4 pounds

General Discussion / Re: Newbie seeking advice
« on: November 01, 2020, 12:58:03 am »
It is very inefficient to buy a bike and then start upgrading it. It is much more cost effective to buy a bike that already has what you want on it.

You need to wear out what you already have to earn something better. If you get that far, you’ll know what you want.

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