Author Topic: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022  (Read 3049 times)

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Offline jamawani

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2022, 08:50:20 pm »
Don't skimp on the rain gear.
Western Washington - the west slope of the Cascades -
has had 200% of normal rainfall in the past 3 months.
And western Washington gets lots of rain/snow from mid-Feb to mid-May.
We're talking 30-40 inches of rain in 90 days.

The water faucet may turn off suddenly, but don't count on it.
Your initial few days are likely to be very soggy.
Don't let the cold/damp conditions spoil your start.
Once you get over Washington Pass, it's dries out quickly.

PS - I hope you are thinking of taking the ferry out to the San Juan Islands.
Even staying two nights at the county park in Anacortes and doing a day cruise on the ferry
out to one of the islands and back gives you a super start to the tour.


Offline Joey_Bai

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2022, 09:10:03 pm »
I'm sorry I won't be able to join you for a stretch of your ride.  We just adopted a new doggie.  Wife wouldn't be pleased if I were to take off for a week!

Will you be posting a journal someplace?  CrazyGuyOnABike?

I will post pictures and journals on facebook (Joey Bai) and instagram (joeybai7)!

Offline Joey_Bai

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2022, 09:30:01 pm »
The bike is getting heavier and heavier... Will post my packing list soon for feedback.
:D
The weight only matters if you're on a schedule.... That said, there are a lot of mechanical and esthetic advantages to a minimal load.

Unfortunately, if you leave it up to 100 people to tell you what they consider to be the most essential item they bring, you'll likely get 110 absolutely essential items.

As you read through the comments on your list, remember to (a) don't take offense and (b) heed only those recommendations that truly strike a chord for you.

Matthew Lee liked to point out that on 2 week races, he only took a few items in addition to his everyday carry of tools and parts. It's surprising how little it takes to sleep, eat, and keep moving.

For comparison, I ran into a fellow time-trialing the Great Divide Mountan Bike Route on a rig that weighed ~35 pounds fully loaded including mud and water. On the other hand I had a great time taking 4 times longer to complete the trip on a bike and racks that had a mass of 34 pounds and went ~80 pounds fully loaded..., including spare pedals, an electric shaver and computer, but on the other hand, without a stove.

That make sense! I'm not in rush. I plan to use 3 month to finish the trip. If I bike 50 miles/day on average I can finish in 78 days, with 12 rest days. I will bring cameras and a laptop with me to do some video editing along the way so it's probably gonna be a heavy load.

I'm mostly unsure about clothing. Do these clothes make sense for northern tier (East to West) route June - September?

Two cycling shirts
A pair of cycling shorts
A pair of cycling pants

A lightweight dawn jacket (Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Parka)
A thin jacket (Patagonia R1 techface jacket)
A rain jacket (Rei Co-op Men's Junction Cycling Rain Jacket)
An ultra thin jacket
A short sleeve tshirt
A long sleeve tshirt

A pair of thin sweat pants
A pair of thick sweat pants
A pair of jeans
A pair of shorts

Two low neck socks
Two long neck socks
Two pairs of underwear
A pair of cycling shoes
A pair of sandals
A baseball hat
A gaiter
A pair of UV protection sleeves


Offline Joey_Bai

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2022, 09:37:26 pm »
Don't skimp on the rain gear.
Western Washington - the west slope of the Cascades -
has had 200% of normal rainfall in the past 3 months.
And western Washington gets lots of rain/snow from mid-Feb to mid-May.
We're talking 30-40 inches of rain in 90 days.

The water faucet may turn off suddenly, but don't count on it.
Your initial few days are likely to be very soggy.
Don't let the cold/damp conditions spoil your start.
Once you get over Washington Pass, it's dries out quickly.

PS - I hope you are thinking of taking the ferry out to the San Juan Islands.
Even staying two nights at the county park in Anacortes and doing a day cruise on the ferry
out to one of the islands and back gives you a super start to the tour.

Thanks for the recommendations! I will be riding from East (Providence, RI) to West (Seattle, WA). I do plan to bring a rain jacket! Thanks for affirming that!

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2022, 08:41:39 am »
Even with all the problems the Post Office has been having, it's still a touring cyclist's best friend.  Load up (not too much) and get started.  After five days or so, look at your load and what you have and haven't been using.  Stop at a P.O. and get a flat rate box (medium or large usually work best), fill it up, and mail it home (or to a friend).  Repeat two weeks later.  You probably won't get down to a Pete Staehling ultra-light load that way, but you'll get to a tolerable load pretty quickly.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2022, 09:13:45 am »
If you aren't completely locked into your plans you might consider that riding toward home allows for getting air travel out of the way up front.  It is easier and likely cheaper to buy a ticket for a date that you can plan ahead for.  You likely won't know when you will arrive at the end and want to fly home.  A flexible schedule is a joy and a locked in one is more of a ball and chain.

I found that wearing bike clothes every day and switching to running shorts in camp worked well for me.  Since the running shorts have a built in brief I took no underwear.  If it is too chilly for that the running shorts alone tights with a wind shell over them work well.  I have shirts that were from ww kayaking and backpacking that serve well.  I don't take any sweatshirts and definitely no jeans.

Offline ray b

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2022, 03:20:18 pm »
Your clothing shows a lot of thought.

As above. The post office is your friend.

Have you tried packing all this yet? Clothes take up a lot of room. Think about the extra mass of the bags and racks required to carry them. Think about redundancy of function; get your items of clothing to do as many jobs as possible.

E.g., agree with the above. My camp cargo shorts are a pair of lightweight, quick-drying board shorts (swim trunks) with a mesh liner and a few pockets. 

You'll find that even your thinnest wind-breaking jacket does the job with the proper amount of layers underneath. I'd lose all but your waterproof shell and maybe the down parka, which you can use to supplement the loft in your sleeping kit.

I see the R1 and the down sweater as redundant. I'm guessing the Uniglo packs smaller than the fleece-based R1.

I assume you'll spend most of your time in your cycling shorts. For hygiene, better to have two pair of cycling shorts (in case you don't get to wash and fully dry them nightly).

Too many pants:
Not sure what cycling pants are. If tights - then they are the equivalent of sweat pants. If pants, can they do double duty for the jeans?
Not clear what the sweat pants are for. If cold, you can wear the cycling pants under the jeans?
And think about the weight of jeans - especially when wet - and how long they take to dry. Unless this is a mandatory fashion statement, a compulsory part of the great American adventure, or an attempt to blend in with the Dakota cowboys, you might think about something a little more light weight, packable, and perhaps useable over cycling shorts, while you are on the bike. I rode in jeans and cut-off jeans in the 70s; I'm just sayin'.... (And besides, it's hard to blend in with the average cowboy wearing sandals.)

If your socks are wool, you can probably cut the number in half. Wear them out? Buy a new pair.

Think about a pair of lightweight rain shorts or cut-off el-cheapo rain pants to keep from completely soaking your shorts in a downpour.

Unless you like sunblock, think about UV protection extenders for your legs as well.

Have fun with this.
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline Joey_Bai

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2022, 04:05:24 pm »
Even with all the problems the Post Office has been having, it's still a touring cyclist's best friend.

Thanks for the idea!

Offline Joey_Bai

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2022, 04:09:02 pm »
If you aren't completely locked into your plans you might consider that riding toward home allows for getting air travel out of the way up front.  It is easier and likely cheaper to buy a ticket for a date that you can plan ahead for.  You likely won't know when you will arrive at the end and want to fly home.  A flexible schedule is a joy and a locked in one is more of a ball and chain.

I found that wearing bike clothes every day and switching to running shorts in camp worked well for me.  Since the running shorts have a built in brief I took no underwear.  If it is too chilly for that the running shorts alone tights with a wind shell over them work well.  I have shirts that were from ww kayaking and backpacking that serve well.  I don't take any sweatshirts and definitely no jeans.

I'm actually moving from Providence to Seattle! All this effort just to save the plane ticket (jk  ;D).

Thanks for the running shorts idea!

Offline Joey_Bai

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2022, 04:34:29 pm »
Have you tried packing all this yet? Clothes take up a lot of room. Think about the extra mass of the bags and racks required to carry them. Think about redundancy of function; get your items of clothing to do as many jobs as possible.

E.g., agree with the above. My camp cargo shorts are a pair of lightweight, quick-drying board shorts (swim trunks) with a mesh liner and a few pockets. 

You'll find that even your thinnest wind-breaking jacket does the job with the proper amount of layers underneath. I'd lose all but your waterproof shell and maybe the down parka, which you can use to supplement the loft in your sleeping kit.

I see the R1 and the down sweater as redundant. I'm guessing the Uniglo packs smaller than the fleece-based R1.

I assume you'll spend most of your time in your cycling shorts. For hygiene, better to have two pair of cycling shorts (in case you don't get to wash and fully dry them nightly).

Too many pants:
Not sure what cycling pants are. If tights - then they are the equivalent of sweat pants. If pants, can they do double duty for the jeans?
Not clear what the sweat pants are for. If cold, you can wear the cycling pants under the jeans?
And think about the weight of jeans - especially when wet - and how long they take to dry. Unless this is a mandatory fashion statement, a compulsory part of the great American adventure, or an attempt to blend in with the Dakota cowboys, you might think about something a little more light weight, packable, and perhaps useable over cycling shorts, while you are on the bike. I rode in jeans and cut-off jeans in the 70s; I'm just sayin'.... (And besides, it's hard to blend in with the average cowboy wearing sandals.)

If your socks are wool, you can probably cut the number in half. Wear them out? Buy a new pair.

Think about a pair of lightweight rain shorts or cut-off el-cheapo rain pants to keep from completely soaking your shorts in a downpour.

Unless you like sunblock, think about UV protection extenders for your legs as well.

Have fun with this.

Wow, lots of helpful ideas! Thank you so much!

You're totally right. I realize that the pannier itself is not light at all. I have two 20L front panniers and two 27L back panniers. I was thinking front + back panniers can balance front and back weight. But now I need to re-think whether I should use all of them.

I just ordered a pair of Kuhl renegade convertible pants to replace all the non cycling pants in my list. I don't know what was I thinking when I put jeans on the list. Maybe "an attempt to blend in with the Dakota cowboys"? You see right through me. Lol

I've never thought about UV protection for legs. Will take a look.

Offline Joey_Bai

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2022, 07:29:03 pm »
Finished my first week yesterday. I'm taking a one day break here at Rochester, NY. Oh man, my butt hurts! I switched from Brooks to a Bontrager saddle at Albnay, which is still not comfortable enough. Today I replaced it with a even wider Bontrager saddle. This one finally feels comfortable enough! Lost my Khul pants somewhere on the road or at a hotel (so sad...). I shipped back my tri bar because I didn't really use it much. So far so good!

I have met 4 experienced riders already, each of whom has done coast to coast biking trip. I'm so inspired!

Follow me on Instagram @joeybai7 or facebook Joey Bai for daily updates! Will post some videos on YouTube soon if I have a chance to edit them lol.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2022, 01:24:43 pm »
Do not be overly concerned about overpacking. It is a common mistake made by many. I have done a great deal of bicycle touring, and I still do that myself. I don't know why, I just do. If you read enough journals by people who did cross country cycling tours you will see that many people over packed at the beginning. What day did was they mailed the unnecessary things to somewhere such as back home. Once you get started a while you will find out what you actually need oh, and what is actually just fluff. What you do not need or use, just put it in a box and mail it home.

Offline ray b

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2022, 06:10:00 pm »
For what it's worth, he's been on the road for a week and has made it to Rochester.
https://forums.adventurecycling.org/index.php?topic=17371.msg93018#msg93018
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2022, 03:11:27 am »
Some who hiked the Appalachian Trail are experts in ultra light camping gear and Tents. I suppose if you can pay $500 for a small two person tent they would be the people to listen to. Some can get hey 25 pound load in a backpack including clothing and t e n t 3 days of food and water.

Offline Joey_Bai

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2022, 12:17:48 pm »
I'm in Minnesota now. Gonna take two rest days here. It's midpoint for Northern Tier right?
I finally uploaded my Vlog: https://youtu.be/BchKagQfKqU
Follow me on Youtube if you are interested! I will keep updating my Vlog!