Bicycle Travel > Routes

I quit a ST trip in2010. I was slow and ran out of time. Going ultralight. Tips?

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--- Quote from: Gif4445 on January 18, 2013, 06:54:35 am ---My 2 cents worth.  I ride an LHT, but I weigh a little over 200 lbs, so I don't think the weight of the bike slows me down much.  Packing more than I need will however.
--- End quote ---

FWIW, I think that a lighter bike starts to make sense when you have already cut the load substantially.  I figured that for me a road bike started to make sense when gear and bags weighed less than 20 pounds.

--- Quote from: Gif4445 on January 18, 2013, 06:54:35 am ---If you are on the light side and a comfort ride is not that important, ride something far lighter.
--- End quote ---

This is an area where I often don't get folks comments.  Maybe it isn't true for everyone, but I find my road bike supremely comfortable as long as the road surface is decent.  On good roads I find it more comfortable than a touring bike.  I will grant that on poor quality chip seal roads I like a little fatter tires, but even then I find 25 mm tires pretty comfortable and 28 mm ones plush.  As far as riding posture I like the same position on both the touring bike and the road bike, including the bars being 4-5" below the saddle.  Actually even my mountain bike is pretty close to the same riding posture.

You can plug the url below into your browser to access monthly NOAA maps of historic prevailing winds.  That will give you a good idea of which way the wind blows around the country for each month on a historic basis.  Obviously, which way the wind is blowing at your exact location, when you are there, depends on the current weather at that precise time which can vary alot.

I also agree with the general idea that lighter weight on the bike is a good idea, but I think many people tend to overly obsess about that issue.  I think the mental aspect of touring is alot more important than worrying about if you're toting 10lbs to much.   For the most part, you can always ship stuff home if you have too much or buy more stuff if you don't have enough.    As J. Nelson pointed out, scheduling 80 to 100 miles a day every day sounds like a job instead a fun trip, which I thought was the whole point.

"scheduling 80 to 100 miles a day every day sounds like a job instead a fun trip, which I thought was the whole point."  Fun and adventure with a goal is the whole point for me.  Believe me, if I had the luxury of being able to do this in 8 weeks instead of 5, I would.  So, in order to meet my goal of a self-supported bike ride across the US, I have 5 weeks.  Yes, I could break it up and do half this year and half next, but my goal is one continuous ride to cross the country.  I have a few friends who said they may run a SAG for me but so far I've declined.  We'll see how I feel as my trip date gets closer.

I do appreciate all the input and I feel better knowing lots of people have done it (further too) in less than 5 weeks.  I see this ride as a reason to do lots of 2 and 3-day training trips closer to home in Florida and as something that may get me planning another tour when I do have the time to enjoy it.  I'm already looking ahead to doing the Trans Am maybe 5 more years down the road...


Don't over-think it.  Some good replies on this's my input.

Despite some discouraging comments, I set out last summer on a solo/unsupported cross-country ride on my off-the-shelf carbon frame Trek Madone road bike, 13 lbs of gear (including Ipad) and a credit card.  Mind you this ride is happening one week at a time due to family/job obligations but covered Sacramento-Salt Lake City last June.  100+ miles some days crossing Nevada and Utah on the "Loneliest Road".  July, 2013 I continue another week...SLC-Nebraska.

You don't need a heavy duty bike if traveling light on paved roads.  Plenty of restaurants and stores to fuel up and if you don't mind the occasional long day in the saddle and washing your clothes each night in the bathroom sink you too can travel very light.  Bike shops are not as common the West at least.  I could easily have continued for a month with the gear I had.

Downside?  This plan requires a fairly rigid schedule and pre-booking of motels in some remote places.  If there is delay due to weather your plan will be upset.

Upside?  You can comfortably cover a lot of miles in a day and climbing will be a snap.  Also, I enjoyed riding solo and the flexibility it offers.

Thanks Bclayden.  I know everyone is different and some don't like long days, etc.   I don't mind and even enjoy the struggle - especially when I have a goal.  I will probably go solo unless I can talk one or two of my friends into joining - and adhering to MY schedule.

Yes, I do tend to over-think things when planning but relax after a few days on a trip.


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