Author Topic: Riding coast to coast  (Read 7578 times)

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Offline toadmeister

Re: Riding coast to coast
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2019, 05:20:40 pm »
I know about the snow. I need to buy good winter hiking boots.
I am pretty skeptical about riding a northern route very late in the season.  Many of the passes close all winter with serious snowpack, some until June or later sometimes.  I do not know of anyone doing northern coast to coast routes once the snow really sets in in the Rockies.  Not sure of what possible bike suitable routes there may be that remain open through the winter, if any, but they probably wouldn't typically be any of the normal touring routes.

I don't know how soon you plan to start riding or what kind of daily mileage you plan to make, but it is already getting to be very late in the season for a northern W-E trip so with much delay or a slow pace I don't see you making it.  10-12 weeks is pretty normal time to complete the TA that gets you into November.  There could be 10' of snow in the Rockies by then.

I don't think we are just talking the danger of being inconvenienced by a little snow, you'd have that on the ST.  We are talking about conditions that will almost certainly stop your travel and may well threaten your life.
Not to mention cold can just plain be miserable and requires more and heavier clothing and camping gear.

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Offline HobbesOnTour

Re: Riding coast to coast
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2019, 03:14:26 am »
Hi,

Your goal is certainly challenging and definitely unique.

I cannot give any advice on routes as it's alien territory to me, but I can emphasise that the advice to date is good and based on broad and deep experience.

I can give advice on charging options as I have researched them myself;
There are generally 3 different options for charging while on a bike;
1. Hub dynamo with an adapter to charge via usb. Only works above a certain speed and is not cheap to put together an adequate system. Most people use a powerbank charging from the usb port and then charge sensitive electronics such as a phone since the varying speeds can mean intermittent charging and phones stopping the charge at low speeds and not starting to charge when speed picks up.
2. Solar. Not terribly effective on a moving bike. Handy when stopped and able to manually adjust to maximise sunlight. I have a 3 panel unit that is a backup. But winter effectiveness is minimal.
3. Stopping and charging "on the road". As pointed out, some purchases may be advisable. And in winter, there may be less options open and available. Also, in winter, every hour spent charging is one hour less of daylight for cycling.

I have never come across a generator that works off braking as you have described. That is not to say that it won't work, but I would strongly advise that this is both weatherproof and tested "in the field" before you find yourself in an area with few people, a problem and no charge on your phone.

I can also give advice on Winter touring;
As stated by others, a big issue is daylight, or rather the lack of it. This is not an issue of toughness, it is an issue of daylight. Simply, there is less time to get from A to B. In mild weather, not getting to my destination can be uncomfortable. In winter weather not getting to my destination can be fatal.
In winter I travel slower than normal. I am packing more weight - clothing and food and also need to regulate my effort to that I am not sweating too much. Too much heat generated when I am cycling will quickly turn into too much cold as soon as I stop.
There are also issues with road surfaces and snow or sub-zero temperatures.
Slower travel can also have an impact on charging abilities.

There are many blogs on CrazyGuyOnABike that cover travelling in winter, or in very cold locations. On Youtube too.

I wish you the best of luck in your adventure.


Offline staehpj1

Re: Riding coast to coast
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2019, 07:32:48 am »
There are many blogs on CrazyGuyOnABike that cover travelling in winter, or in very cold locations. On Youtube too.
Can you point to any journals where they rode coast to coast on a route in the middle or northern half of the US in a late December - March time frame?  Of the hundreds of northern coast to coast journals that I have seen, I don't recall ever seeing any that were done in the winter.

I have heard quite a few folks say they that won't even do the Southern Tier in winter.  I am not afraid of a little cold weather or a bit of snow, so my favorite time to do the ST is late winter, but the TA or NT I wouldn't even consider if it puts me in the Rockies in late Fall or early spring let alone winter.

By the way, it would be helpful if vt91 would weigh in with comments on some idea of what he expects as far as how long he is likely to take.  What kind of daily mileage?  How many days off?  Leaving how soon?

There is a really wide range of how long people take to cross the US.  Ten to twelve weeks is pretty common, but a few do it in a good bit less.  It is also possible to take a very long time.  I met a guy who was walking across the US.  Granted, he was walking, but he had been on the road for something like ten years.  That was 7 years ago and if I had to bet, I'd bet he was still "walking across the US" and 17 years into the trip.  He stopped anywhere he liked for as long as he liked.  He was camped a reservation casino campground that was $10 a night and had good cheap food.  He had been there a long time.  I got the idea that while crossing theUS started out to be the goal he now really didn't want to ever get to the west coast.  It had become about the journey and he didn't want it to end even if he was in one place for six months, a year, or two years at a time.  He was living off of an SSI check.  He seemed happy if a little starved for human communication.  I had a couple meals with him while I was there.  Interesting guy.

Offline HobbesOnTour

Re: Riding coast to coast
« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2019, 08:27:49 am »

Can you point to any journals where they rode coast to coast on a route in the middle or northern half of the US in a late December - March time frame?  Of the hundreds of northern coast to coast journals that I have seen, I don't recall ever seeing any that were done in the winter.

No, I can't.
But then again, that was not what I said. I said there were journals that covered travelling in winter, an entire category, in fact.
In any case, a good read of the most appropriate journals will help the OP understand what they may be getting into.
Ditto with Youtube. The one I was specifically thinking of was this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0wAPztOO2U He even got a fine for riding his bike when it was not permitted. But there are other videos as well, some more useful than others.

@ vt91; For good or ill, it looks like you are pretty determined to have a go at this. Other than pure luck, your chances of success will increase proportionally to your research and preparation. Determining the uniqueness of your quest may help you to look again at your plans.

I can't help but think that you will be ultimately disappointed, not because of whether or not you can go where you want when you want, but that the public interaction you seek will be so limited due to the weather and the lack of daylight.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Riding coast to coast
« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2019, 08:52:14 am »
@ vt91; For good or ill, it looks like you are pretty determined to have a go at this. Other than pure luck, your chances of success will increase proportionally to your research and preparation. Determining the uniqueness of your quest may help you to look again at your plans.

I agree here.  There have been many thousands of bike trips across the US by people of all sorts and walks of life.  Anyone can benefit by using that huge pool of experience to increase their chances of success.  Taking an approach that is widely considered to be a recipe for failure would be best avoided.  Riding at a northern route at a time that puts you in the Rockies in late Fall thru early Spring is just such a recipe for failure.

People risk life and limb doing extreme things, they do extreme polar expeditions, climb Everest solo, whatever.  An extreme challenge doesn't sound like what this trip is supposed to be or what vt91 is prepared for.

Quote
I can't help but think that you will be ultimately disappointed, not because of whether or not you can go where you want when you want, but that the public interaction you seek will be so limited due to the weather and the lack of daylight.
If vt91 must go during cooler months he would find that on the ST.  I met a lot of interesting people there.  Some were other travelers, some were local folks.  Many of both were transplants  from other places.  They tended to kind of be misfits that didn't fit in somewhere else.  I was surprised that I met a lot of folks from Alaska and a lot from northern states along the northern tier.  As expected I met folks from south of the border.

I didn't care for the scenery much, but the free camping by the roadside that he seems to want was plentiful even if it was often in plain sight, because of lack of cover.  The weather was good enough that you seldom need to pitch a tent.  Cowboy camping works great most of the time once you are out of bug season/country and I used a bivy bag and tarp often not pitching the tarp and sleeping on top of the bivy.

Offline vt91

Re: Riding coast to coast
« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2019, 10:00:27 am »
I am going off weather maps that show how much snow fall takes place and where and temperature ranges.
A lot of little details to work out.

I am not going to travel in the NW Rockies. Neither am I planning to travel in a straight line East to West.

Presently I am weighing my gear and figuring out what I really need.
My gear comes from the 1980s because this is what I can afford / inherited what was left behind by people who moved on to more advanced stuff.
I am also practicing tying things to the bike using paracord.

I have PTSD and history of abuse. I have a dual level of endurance. I want to explore that area of myself.
Sometimes I collapse in regular day situations. Other times, I am an unstoppable beast.
I either make it across the toughest terrain or I collapse for no apparent reason.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Riding coast to coast
« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2019, 10:20:01 am »
I hope that all works out well for you.

Please do remember that you will need to to go over passes that will exceed 10-11k feet and that unless quite far south that can mean a lot of snow and pretty extreme weather pretty early in the fall or even late summer.  Far enough south you can stay lower (8k feet) and hit fewer passes.  Snow there causes only a few days of delay usually, not an end to progress.

If you won't be conservative in route choice I'd at least recommend flexibility in your route if you plan a route that is at all far north.  Keep an eye on conditions and adjust accordingly if necessary.  Don't get stuck too far north in horrendous conditions, if things are looking sketchy, better to adjust early and veer south.  The problem is that weather in the mountains can turn on a dime.

Any way best of luck on your trip.  I hope you will keep us posted on how things go with your planning and ultimately the actual trip.

Offline BikePacker

Re: Riding coast to coast
« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2019, 07:42:30 am »
I am also practicing tying things to the bike using paracord.
Paracord is great stuff.
Something of which you may already be well aware...
Consider trying to always avoid bungie cords ....
cause if they break and get caught in spokes &/or drive train...
it can all get a little messy.
- Wishing you a wonderful and safely conducted expedition.