Author Topic: Trans Am planning  (Read 2116 times)

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Offline mattdwyerva

Re: Trans Am planning
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2022, 08:46:27 am »
Thanks, good to know. 

I ran into grizzly mom and cub decades ago in Jasper AB, without injury or food loss, but I do NOT wish to repeat that experience.   

Offline staehpj1

Re: Trans Am planning
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2022, 09:00:35 am »
FWIW, I Have ridden the Trans America and a bunch of other long tours and rarely if ever made a reservation for a room or camping.  Off the top of my head I don't recall any.  I have called ahead the same day and maybe someone I was riding with may have made a reservation a day ahead at some point, but usually I don't even know where I will stop that far ahead.

There have been a couple places where I rode around the camp and found someone willing to share a site because the sites were all taken.  In the cases where that was the case a reservation wasn't an option (they didn't take them) and we didn't make it in time before the camp was filled.  The next camp was out of riding range.  A few times a Ranger or host has let me stay somewhere that wasn't officially a campsite (usually in a state park, never a national park other than hiker biker sites)

Something has always worked out.  Only very rarely have I ever had to resort to stealth (I have wild camped in plain sight).   When I have stealth camped it was never in a NP and generally on wooded private land.  I have dispersed camped on NF land some.

Offline mattdwyerva

Re: Trans Am planning
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2022, 09:06:45 am »
Good to know.  What makes me nervous about reservations is the dreaded "schedule" that accompanies them.  As I age, physical unreliability increases. 

Offline staehpj1

Re: Trans Am planning
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2022, 09:25:47 am »
Good to know.  What makes me nervous about reservations is the dreaded "schedule" that accompanies them.  As I age, physical unreliability increases.
A flexible schedule is a must for me.  I like to be able to choose how far to ride based on how I feel on a given day.  Some days I may not know if it will be a short day or a crazy long day until the end of the day.  I may take a break mid day and decide whether to continue after hanging out a while.  I may have multiple decision points like that during the day.

Sometimes you will need to do a bit of looking ahead a couple days at times where services are sparce for an upcoming gap.  Sometimes you may need to do a 30 or 90 mile day to set up for an up coming stretch without services when what you want is a 60 mile day.  In those cases you may need to commit to a particular mileage for a day.

Good luck and have a great trip.

Online John Nelson

Re: Trans Am planning
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2022, 07:42:24 pm »
Isn't this thread about riding across the country on an e-bike? I don't have an e-bike, so I don't really know what it takes to recharge them. Can you do it in a campground? Do you have to recharge every day, or are there ways to go multiple days without recharging?

Offline mattdwyerva

Re: Trans Am planning
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2022, 08:56:38 pm »
The intent was to summarize my plans for a cross country trip with my wife  (one ebike, one regular bike) and get some advice from experienced Trans Am and similar riders.  The ebike is an issue, the route is an issue, where we stay is an issue, etc.

But since you asked about e-bikes...
Most e-bikes need to be charged after long rides, but there are many variables.  Range listed by mfrs assumes pretty flat, and no extra weight in my experience.  Most campgrounds are not set up for charging e-bikes, only RV's I think.  Then again, standard outlets are not uncommon at stores or cafes, so we might get by camping at times.  Or we may have to scale back plans, or overload the non e-biker (me) at times.  Some e-bikes are very heavy but my wife's is remarkably light so she can ride it unpowered - slowly. 

Many people don't like e-bikes, but it lets my wife ride at the same speed as me which is great fun for us. It does complicate planning a bike trip.

Online John Nelson

Re: Trans Am planning
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2022, 10:43:57 pm »
Thanks for the additional explanation.

I suspect that the e-bike is the most significant factor in your planning and will be the center of your planning effort. Note that most of the country is hilly, especially on a cross-country trip. Only 10 to 20 percent of your trip is likely to be relatively flat.

Most campgrounds have a 120-volt electrical outlet around somewhere, but it may not be convenient to your campsite, or there may be restrictions on your using it. It's good that your wife can ride the bike unpowered, but can she do it for 50 miles in hilly terrain? Can you carry a spare battery to get you out of problem spots?

If you use ACA maps (and even if you don't, but with a bit more effort), you can do your research for possible overnight spots, and the likelihood of the availability of electrical outlets there. When in doubt, you can call ahead to check. In problem areas, you can research how you might go off route to access electricity.

Note that there are online journals by people who have previously crossed the country on e-bikes. These journals may show you how others have handled the challenge. I suggest you browse journals at https://ebikes.topicwise.com/ There are more than 50 e-bike journals there.

Offline mattdwyerva

Re: Trans Am planning
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2022, 06:32:58 am »
I'll check it out, thanks.  We do have portable spare battery (2 perhaps) as mentioned in prior post. If a cafe is used to laptops, they may not object to us charging them.  Of course the cafe must be in a town for that to work, and we would be taking a 2-3 hour break in that case.

Yes, I understand it's "hilly". I have ridden some in the Rockies (eg, climbed Mt Evans, Icefields Parkway, Kootenai) and done countless miles on the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway near our home, often with my wife, and once with her on an old ebike.  I love riding in mtns.  Not everyone likes it. I've seen people crack up there - angry at the "hill" that never seems to end.  You go around a bend, and it continues upward.  Hard for some to calm down, accept the slow slow pace, and appreciate the beauty of the views at those times.

The Eastern Express is a good way to start building confidence and testing basics, I hope.   Less reason to go thru Afton VA, now that the wonderful trail angel, June Curry, has passed.  I am grateful that we got to know her a bit years ago.

I purchased ACA gpx data for route planning using ridewithgps, and used Frank Moritz data for E Express.  I can't share my map links due to ACA copyright of course.  We may take paper backups.  I once rode from Maine to Virginia using an East Coast map - not enough detail but all they had at the gas station in Maine

I have some test trips planned over the next year with my wife including the Skyline Drive (16 of the first 22 miles are uphill).  I never like brand new gear on tour if I can help it.  Supply chain may force me to break that rule for some things, but the ebike will be tested at least, as will we.  Either of one of us may fail, or life may intervene - I guess we'll see.