Author Topic: Across America 2018  (Read 9428 times)

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Offline SaemiVald

Re: Across America 2018
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2018, 09:00:05 am »
Great replies from all.
We definitely plan on "smelling the roses", chatting with fellow travelers, meeting locals, etc, despite doing more mileage each day than most find comfortable. Hope to see as many of you on the road this summer.
Only 109 days until the start of our trip! :D

Offline staehpj1

Re: Across America 2018
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2018, 09:47:39 am »
Great replies from all.
We definitely plan on "smelling the roses", chatting with fellow travelers, meeting locals, etc, despite doing more mileage each day than most find comfortable. Hope to see as many of you on the road this summer.
Only 109 days until the start of our trip! :D
Have a great trip.  The daily mileage won't prevent you from smelling the roses unless you let it.  Make it a point to be warm, open, and friendly and folks will react in the same manner.  If there is a long communal table where the various local folks sit, introduce yourself and ask if you can join them.

Oh and take off the sunglasses when speaking to folks!  I found that made a huge difference in how people treated me.  People can be really put off by those dark glasses.  That may seem obvious, but it took me a while to realize how important it is.

One other thing...  Days off.  Personally I prefer to ride every day unless there is a specific reason for a day off.  That might be for an activity or repair.  I find active rest days better, so unless I take off for an activity like hiking or whitewater rafting, I'll take short or half days when I feel like it.  Even on those activity days I tend to ride at least a little.  I had no actual zero days on the TA, but did ride something like 8 miles the day we went whitewater rafting and did a few 30 mile days that I considered active rest days.

I did once take a week off in Yosemite (SC trip).  That exception was well worth it.  I spent it hiking and sightseeing.  Another time I took a day and a half off sick as a dog and holed up in a motel room (Santa Fe Trail tour).

Offline SaemiVald

Re: Across America 2018
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2018, 09:54:17 am »
Great replies from all.
We definitely plan on "smelling the roses", chatting with fellow travelers, meeting locals, etc, despite doing more mileage each day than most find comfortable. Hope to see as many of you on the road this summer.
Only 109 days until the start of our trip! :D
Have a great trip.  The daily mileage won't prevent you from smelling the roses unless you let it.  Make it a point to be warm, open, and friendly and folks will react in the same manner.  If there is a long communal table where the various local folks sit, introduce yourself and ask if you can join them.

Oh and take off the sunglasses when speaking to folks!  I found that made a huge difference in how people treated me.  People can be really put off by those dark glasses.  That may seem obvious, but it took me a while to realize how important it is.

One other thing...  Days off.  Personally I prefer to ride every day unless there is a specific reason for a day off.  That might be for an activity or repair.  I find active rest days better, so unless I take off for an activity like hiking or whitewater rafting, I'll take short or half days when I feel like it.  Even on those activity days I tend to ride at least a little.  I had no actual zero days on the TA, but did ride something like 8 miles the day we went whitewater rafting and did a few 30 mile days that I considered active rest days.

I did once take a week off in Yosemite (SC trip).  That exception was well worth it.  I spent it hiking and sightseeing.  Another time I took a day and a half off sick as a dog and holed up in a motel room (Santa Fe Trail tour).

Great points!

Offline Figaro

Re: Across America 2018
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2018, 12:26:58 pm »

If you want to ride like the person who posted before me bragging about riding 4,419 miles in 51 days, then OK.  If you are a person who says "F-CK YOU" to everyone who smiles or tries to talk to you.  And spit on everyone you meet. 

I'm not sure riding 4.4k in 51 days means you have to say what you indicate above and spit on everyone--seems a little dramatic to me. For some people riding IS the thing...for you, it's not and that's ok. I'm planning to do the transam this summer and have not posted my planned daily mileage or length of time for just this reason--people thinking they know my capabilities and what's best for me. I don't think anyone here can do anymore than give advice on what they have done, what they are capable of doing, and the approach they take to touring to make if enjoyable for them. Trying to project those things on others is simply not realistic.

So, I do ask for a lot of advice here from people who are a lot more experienced at touring than I am--which is most everyone here. But, I don't ask advice on how many miles I should ride a day or how long it should take me.

Offline bbarrettx

Re: Across America 2018
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2018, 06:07:17 pm »
I don't really understand the special kind of virtue signaling of people bragging about their wondeful experience doing low mileage touring in response to folks who want to cover more distance in a day. To each his own. If someone is capable of riding good distances and wants to plan their tour that way does that mean that they're spitting in peoples' faces? Someone might want to look into a Prozac prescription.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Across America 2018
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2018, 06:26:14 pm »
I don't really understand the special kind of virtue signaling of people bragging about their wondeful experience doing low mileage touring in response to folks who want to cover more distance in a day. To each his own. If someone is capable of riding good distances and wants to plan their tour that way does that mean that they're spitting in peoples' faces? Someone might want to look into a Prozac prescription.
Yeah I don't get it either.  Ride short miles, long miles, or something in between.  It is all good.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Across America 2018
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2018, 08:39:07 pm »
If you are riding 4419 miles in 51 days you are averaging 87 miles per day.  Every single day, 87 miles.  Assuming this is a loaded touring bike carrying full gear.  Lets pretend you are doing about 15 mph.  For many in this group, I suspect riding at 15 mph average is well beyond their abilities.  But lets pretend he is able to ride at 15 mph average every single day for 87 miles every single day.  That is 6 hours of riding time per day.  (If he is averaging 10 mph then he is spending 9 hours of riding time every day.  Adjust the following times given by adding 3.)  Add in 1 to 2 hours for eating stops along the way.  Figure it will take 8 hours every single day to ride 87 miles.  Leave at 8 AM every day.  Finish at 4 PM every day.  Of course some days will be shorter or longer.  So lets say he finishes every day between 3 and 5 PM.  Find and setup camp or find a motel.  1 hour.  Its now 5 PM.  Eat.  1 hour.  Now 6 PM.  Go touring in the town from 6 to 7 PM in the dusk, dark.  Go to bed at 8 PM and get up at 6 AM next day.  Check out or break camp.  Eat breakfast.  Leave for the ride at 8 AM.  Looking at the town for one hour at dark does not sound like much touring.  Just riding.  Where are you meeting people or even talking to people?  Where are you experiencing anything except riding the bike?

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Across America 2018
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2018, 09:10:45 pm »
Where are you meeting people or even talking to people?  Where are you experiencing anything except riding the bike?

At the place you stop for a second breakfast?  The diner where you might have lunch?  At the little country store out in the middle of nowhere, the one you have to stop at to get more water (and maybe a snack) that the little old lady running the place has a log she asks touring cyclists to sign?  At the family reunion where you pull in to camp, and they offer you all the food you can eat because it's almost all leftovers?  How about the church picnic in the late afternoon in the town park?  Or the librarian when you get into town, it's hot as blue blazes, and she wants to tell you all about her little town?  Or the post office where you need to pick up a package, and the postmistress is retiring and celebrating by buying a cake and punch to share with all the customers?

Funny thing, even in my 12 week trip I met more people at roadside stops than anywhere else.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Across America 2018
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2018, 09:21:18 pm »
If you are riding 4419 miles in 51 days you are averaging 87 miles per day.  Every single day, 87 miles.  Assuming this is a loaded touring bike carrying full gear.  Lets pretend you are doing about 15 mph.  For many in this group, I suspect riding at 15 mph average is well beyond their abilities.  But lets pretend he is able to ride at 15 mph average every single day for 87 miles every single day.  That is 6 hours of riding time per day.  (If he is averaging 10 mph then he is spending 9 hours of riding time every day.  Adjust the following times given by adding 3.)  Add in 1 to 2 hours for eating stops along the way.  Figure it will take 8 hours every single day to ride 87 miles.  Leave at 8 AM every day.  Finish at 4 PM every day.  Of course some days will be shorter or longer.  So lets say he finishes every day between 3 and 5 PM.  Find and setup camp or find a motel.  1 hour.  Its now 5 PM.  Eat.  1 hour.  Now 6 PM.  Go touring in the town from 6 to 7 PM in the dusk, dark.  Go to bed at 8 PM and get up at 6 AM next day.  Check out or break camp.  Eat breakfast.  Leave for the ride at 8 AM.  Looking at the town for one hour at dark does not sound like much touring.  Just riding.  Where are you meeting people or even talking to people?  Where are you experiencing anything except riding the bike?
Here is an alternate way the day might go:

Get up at 5:30 or 6 am and roll out by 6:30 at the latest unless camping with others and wanting to hang out.

Ride 10-15 miles and stop for a diner breakfast or just coffee if you want.  Sit at the communal table with the locals.

Ride for a couple more hours and either shop for a cold lunch or hit a diner.  Shop for dinner stuff while you are there unless you know you can shop later.  Chat with the folks at the store or diner.  Since it will be obvious you are touring, folks will likely be interested in what you are doing.

Ride some more.  Chat up locals when you stop to fill water bottles or whatever.  Take a hour long break whenever you feel like it. Note that on the TA in June sunset will be very late some of the way (9:30 ish in Missoula). 
Stop at any attractions that pique your interest.

Stop and fix dinner.  This may or not be the end of your riding day and in camp.  You might ask around about where you can camp.  You might be invited to stay with someone or to have dinner in their home.  I find it happens pretty often.  Note that on the TA in June sunset will be very late some of the way (9:30 ish in Missoula).  Also sunrise will be before 6 (~5:45).  So you have 15 hours of daylight to squeeze in 6 hours of actual riding.

Stop and meet whatever other tourists you meet.  If they are going the opposite way compare notes.  If going the same way consider riding or camping together.  I have sometimes met others that I camped with for large portions of my tours.  I probably could have ridden with them as well, but typically choose not to.

Most of the meeting people occurs during the day, not at the end of the day after everything else is done.

Offline bbarrettx

Re: Across America 2018
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2018, 07:45:29 pm »
My experience exactly. Thanks for your post.

Offline hikerjer

Re: Across America 2018
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2018, 02:52:59 pm »
"Too often I have met men who boast only of the miles they've traveled and not of what they have seen." - Louis L'Amour

But, each to his own.

Offline SaemiVald

Re: Across America 2018
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2018, 04:40:58 am »
This forum is interesting. It seems like there is a prejudice towards those who like to ride light and cover more distance and that the "accepted" way is to pack heavy and cover less ground. However, based on what I have read it seems that despite different mileage the number of hours in the saddle is often similar because of the weight difference.

I believe people should do what gives them the most out of the trip and I disagree completely with those who have said that riding more miles means that people cannot smell the flowers, enjoy the scenery and chat to the locals.

I intend to cover lots of miles per day but thoroughly enjoy the crap out of everything  :D ;D ;) :o ::)

Offline SaemiVald

Re: Across America 2018
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2018, 09:05:48 am »
I am curious.
Why did you post this thread if you already know everything you need to know?


I posted because I wanted to share info and ideas with people who were excited to undertake this crazy adventure this coming sumer. Like I wrote in my post:
Quote
If anybody is planning on riding the same route we would love to share ideas, plans, tips and tricks, packing and perhaps ride together part of the way

I was not expecting comments suggesting I say "f-ck you" and spit on on other people or that my plan is to boast rather than enjoy. This is why I wrote the follow up post criticizing some of the comments. In hindsight I probably shouldn´t even have written my last post.

I definitely do not claim to know everything and therefore I greatly appreciate all the comments and information that has been posted. My biggest fear is the heat and humidity and maybe that will put a big dent in our mileage plan.
jamawani, you are right that my values and political views are probably very different to some of the people I will meet but I really do like meeting people from different backgrounds and I very much look forward to meeting and talking to people that can give me a new view on life as I don´t claim to know everything or be in any way better than others. I appreciate your comments and will do my best to leave my preconceptions behind.

Thanks again to all that have posted insightful comments and perhaps we will meet along the TAT route this summer. Only 69 days until departure :)

Offline bbarrettx

Re: Across America 2018
« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2018, 12:35:54 pm »
SaemiVald, I think you're going to have a great trip and you'll find, barring crazy headwinds, that your mileage goals will be easy to meet with the relatively long Summer days (not as long as Iceland though!). I'm going to be finishing up a cross country tour that was cut short last year starting in late May in Wisconsin but will be on the Northern Tier. Too bad as we'll miss the opportunity to spit in each others faces as we grind past each other in full tuck position grunting like Andy Hampsten on the Passo Duran;).

Relative to warnings about "Trump Country", that's perhaps a little more nuanced than many would have you believe. I rode through these areas last summer and the people were awesome.

The story of the 2016 US election is a very complicated one that many on the left haven't fully accepted and I'd like to give you some background. We had a president for eight years who was an absolutely world class orator but basically did nothing for the middle class in rural America. There were a lot of misrepresentations about policies which were supposed to help these folks but instead did the opposite. The media, loving the world class orator, did little to focus on his policy faults and people started to rightfully distrust their message and began to question whether the Democratic party had their best interest in mind.

As we approached the 2016 election during primary season there were two very pivotal things that occurred. The liberal media, in a likely effort to get Hillary elected, did everything they could to cover Trump as much as possible while ignoring his Republican competitors. After all, there was absolutely no way that Trump could prevail over Hillary. The media even had negative stories on Trump that they buried during the primaries but somehow surfaced once Trump was nominated as Hillary's opponent (see NBC News/Access Hollywood). Additionally, having now created this Trump phenomenon, the media and the powers that be in the Democratic Party decided that they needed to derail Hillary's populist primary opponent (who might have had difficulty defeating Trump as a Socialist) so they did things like give Hillary debate questions in advance of debates. Meanwhile you had the FBI helping cover up for Hillary with her classified email server scandal which would have landed most folks in jail.

So here we are in November 2016, we have a disgusted rural/middle America which is reeling from at least 16 years of poor executive leadership and a financial recovery which seemed to have passed them by. In addition you had a real sense of cynicism towards the dishonest mainstream media and even trusted entities like the FBI. Thus the perfect storm for the folks to give a big middle finger to the establishment. Most people I know who voted for Trump (including myself) voted for him not by embracing the man or his values but because the alternative was unacceptable and it was time for change. The swamp needed draining. Trump is hardly an ideal man or an ideal president and the people who voted for Trump understand that. That's the important nuance that you need to know when alarmists might try to warn you about "Trump Country". These people in general don't embrace Trump's rough edges, they were fed up and decided on a different route. I'm confident that you'll come to the same conclusion as I did about "Trump Country".

Amusingly, the warnings about "Trump Country" are the same type of virtue signaling that you get from those guys looking down their noses at you for planning high mileage days. Take them for what they're worth.

Cheers and enjoy the tour!


Offline Figaro

Re: Across America 2018
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2018, 05:52:40 pm »
From "Across America in 2018" to "American Politics"....I guess whoever said "Everything is politics." may have been right ;-)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 05:57:15 pm by Figaro »