Author Topic: Transamerica route question  (Read 7346 times)

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Offline staehpj1

Re: Transamerica route question
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2017, 07:38:53 am »
I agree that jeans are a bad choice and two pairs would be one too many if you do take them at all.  I typically take one pair of light weight nylon zip off leg pants, 1 pair of tights, 1 pair of bike shorts, and one pair of running shorts.

Recently I have sometimes taken some ultralight wind pants instead of the zip off leg pants.  They are lighter and pack smaller, but are probably less presentable and not especially suitable if it is warm.

I typically am inclined to not be bashful about wearing my bike shorts just about everywhere.  When people know that you are riding coast to coast they will cut you a lot of slack about how you are dressed.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 07:40:52 am by staehpj1 »

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Transamerica route question
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2017, 08:28:26 am »
Actually, there is no "right" amount of clothing.  I know people who tour ranging from people with 2 entire large panniers devoted to clothing to a one guy who basically only have 1 outfit (he rinses it out in the shower, and then bitches about walking around in wet clothes).  All of them, and all who post here, carry what they think is appropriate for them.

However, there is a lot of wisdom in what is being said.  On my first tour in the early 80s, I carried a pair of jeans also.  However, I was a young 17-year old who could sprint of hills with ease on a fully loaded bike.  Plus, I didn't know about nylon pants then.  I sure would not bring them now due to bulk and weight.  Plus I only wore them like 6 times in 84 days.  For me, I really try to get at least 2 uses out of everything if possible, i.e. my riding shorts are typically a khaki baggy style so I can wear around town and not have to carry too many sets of "street" clothes.  Again, this what works for me and I would not expect others to agree to my thinking on this.  Like others, I use zip-off nylon pants but they double as my swim trunks since it has a nylon mesh liner.

I personally hate to do laundry so carry 3 pair of riding shorts, 1-2 lightweight wool t-shirts (no, they are not hot plus they don't stink if not washed), 2 long-sleeve nylon shirts (I am very susceptible to skin cancer so typically ride in LS shirts), 1 pair of nylon zip off pants, 4 pair of socks, 2 underwear (usually wear twice since only wear a few hours a day), a pair of lightweight sneakers, and depending on the weather, a lightweight riding jacket.  I also carry leg warmers to keep my legs warm without another pair of riding pants if the temps might get cool.  Some think that is way too much, some think it is not enough.  For me, it is about right, but I agree is more than "average".  I typically get 4-6 days out of it before a laundromat visit depending on the mileage, weather, and if I can rinse my clothes out.

Another thing to consider is that the TA Route has a wide range of weather conditions. When I rode it in the 80s, I had 105 degrees near the OR/ID border to getting snowed on July 4th in Yellowstone with a high of 34 and lows into the upper 20s.  So some cool weather stuff is needed also.  However, you can always mail yourself stuff care of general delivery so you don't have to carry warmer clothes the entire way across the country.  Temps between the east coast and Pueblo, CO, will be similar.  Once you get into the mountains, it does cool off, especially at night and/or cloudy days.

In summary, bring what makes you happy (and can carry).  You can always mail it back home and/or buy more on the road.  Most of us have done that.

Enjoy the ride, John


Offline staehpj1

Re: Transamerica route question
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2017, 08:39:37 am »
Another thing to consider is that the TA Route has a wide range of weather conditions. When I rode it in the 80s, I had 105 degrees near the OR/ID border to getting snowed on July 4th in Yellowstone with a high of 34 and lows into the upper 20s.  So some cool weather stuff is needed also.
Good point.  I have almost never been on a long tour where it didn't get cold at some point and hot at another.  On the other hand, I find I don't need all that much clothing in cold weather if I have a wind shell and I can wear most of what I brought all at once if necessary.

You can always mail it back home and/or buy more on the road.  Most of us have done that.
Another good point, but one that is most often used to justify taking more rather than less.  People tend to lean on the ability to mail stuff home and forget that they can also pack lighter and buy an item or have it sent from home too.  I'd advise leaning toward taking less than you think you need rater than more.

Offline currinbrandon

Re: Transamerica route question
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2017, 11:49:34 am »
I appreciate the words of wisdom and caution you each have said.. I've been reading for months maybe years and truly first hand accounts still seem to be rare and oddly enough I never came across any TA specific stories... So thanks for everything.. I do believe that you have all helped me out and I'll reevaluate my clothing list.

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Offline Bclayden

Re: Transamerica route question
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2017, 10:54:08 am »
Agreed. Ditch the jeans and find a lightweight alternative. 1 set is all you will need. You will be fine traveling with 2 days worth of riding and street clothes and do the washing every other day. Easy to find coin-op laundry places in nearly every town.

I pack 1 set of shorts with the zip-on/off legs made of synthetic lightweight material. The kind hikers wear. Most of my touring is in warm places or during summer and I only had to bust out the long legs 1 time in past 5 years. Stylish? Perhaps not, but functional.

I only pack shirts, 1 long sleeve and 2 short sleeve, made of dry-wicking synthetic material. The sort runners wear. Lightweight, compact, fast drying and the material does not absorb odors so less washing. Also, does not wrinkle.

What about your street shoes?  I tour with a pair of flip-flops  Super lightweight, compact, and fine for most occasions in my world but not everyone's cup of tea.

I suppose everyone has their own way of packing and will figure out what works best for you once you head out on the road.

Less is more! 

« Last Edit: March 23, 2017, 11:04:04 am by Bclayden »

Offline etsisk

Re: Transamerica route question
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2017, 11:22:35 am »
I will usually carry two pair bike shorts, a pair of stretch cargo shorts to wear over the bike shorts if presentability is important, a ss bike shirt, a long sleeve ultralight cool tech hoodie, a med weight merino hoodie, a pair of lightweight poly travel pants and a similar shirt, a fleece, a wind shirt, rain gear, and a hat of some persuasion, depending on the weather. If you don't have hair you need a hat. I, well, I have a hat. 😞

I also take a couple pair of quick dry travel undies and three pair of socks, one orange non-working and 2 merino. Wool isn't hot and it doesn't smell, so it works well for socks and shirts.

I want to be ok dry, wet, hot, cold. Or any combo thereof. I've been cold and wet and after a while I got numb and stupid, so I'll carry enough to be warm and dryish. Or at least warm. :/
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« Last Edit: March 23, 2017, 11:27:45 am by etsisk »

indyfabz

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Re: Transamerica route question
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2017, 01:57:23 pm »
Jeans?  :o As other have said, don't go there.

Here is what I have been packing when I am touring in areas with a good chance of wide ranging conditions, including morning temps around freezing:

Off-Bike:
Synthetic, convertible (i.e., zip-off legs) pants
Synthetic t-shirt (might consider 2 for a x-country tour)
Underwear (2)
Warm, wool socks
Very light pair of sandals from PayLess
Long sleeve, synthetic pull over with hood that I wound on the side of the rode last year  ;D
Long John bottoms
Warm hat

On-Bike:
Short sleeve jersey (2)
Bib shorts (2)
Short socks (2)
Arm and leg warmers
Rain pants
Rain jacket
Wool base layer
Long sleeve jersey
Short gloves
Polypro glove liners
Cold weather gloves
Skull cap that can be worn under the helmet

Offline currinbrandon

Re: Transamerica route question
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2017, 02:02:46 pm »
I keep getting more information and reevaluating my clothes list.. Which isn't a bad thing.. I am going on a really long trip, TA, PCH, southern tier, east coast down and back up to the north then the northern tier

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indyfabz

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Re: Transamerica route question
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2017, 10:14:02 am »
In that case, I would consider having someone who you can mail unneeded stuff to when climate conditions change and who will mail stuff back when they change again.

Offline YogaO

Re: Transamerica route question
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2017, 11:54:22 am »
For a base layer, strongly consider lightweight merino wool and ditch the synthetics. Synthetics smell after one day, whereas merino wool can be worn many days before people stop talking to you and desperately try to stay upwind of you. A long-sleeved merino wool top can also be worn all day - you will be cooler than in short sleeves from wicking action, plus protected from the sun.

A critical piece of bike gear you should consider is a really good taillight. On our trip last summer, we realized that too many riders have lots of black and gray when viewed from behind, blending into the road. A good, well-positioned flashing taillight (many we saw were partially blocked by panniers) does wonders to let drivers see you from a distance. We were literally thanked by drivers we met @ rest stops for being visible.

Offline currinbrandon

Re: Transamerica route question
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2017, 05:34:44 pm »
For a base layer, strongly consider lightweight merino wool and ditch the synthetics. Synthetics smell after one day, whereas merino wool can be worn many days before people stop talking to you and desperately try to stay upwind of you. A long-sleeved merino wool top can also be worn all day - you will be cooler than in short sleeves from wicking action, plus protected from the sun.

A critical piece of bike gear you should consider is a really good taillight. On our trip last summer, we realized that too many riders have lots of black and gray when viewed from behind, blending into the road. A good, well-positioned flashing taillight (many we saw were partially blocked by panniers) does wonders to let drivers see you from a distance. We were literally thanked by drivers we met @ rest stops for being visible.
I have some wool socks, not sure what they are past that, got them years ago for Christmas, they are amazing despite how thick they are.

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Offline canalligators

Re: Transamerica route question
« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2017, 11:54:12 am »
That's easily twice as many clothes as you need. And really, no jeans. Lightweight nylon pants look just as formal.

We've used zip-off nylon pants.  That gives you flexibility in your off-bike clothing.