Author Topic: just need pointers. live in scotland so not too clued up on american routes lol  (Read 6313 times)

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Offline cunni14

yeah...much as the title says. im planing a cycle from california to the grand canyon and monument valley. thn onto wichita, tulsa, kinston and somewhere on the atlantic coast. taking place next summer.

would i be best to use the transamerica trail from cedar city all the way along until Damascus, Viginia and then down to Kinston NC??

also....whats the stops like along arizona?? for water and camping places?

help would be greatly appreciated!!!

Offline JimF

Have you checked crazyguyonabike.com for route info? Lots of journals on all kinds of routes. Also, for camping, take a look at warmshowers.com . If you can make the connection, it'll beat just about any campground/site. Good luck.

Offline rvklassen

As far as Arizona and water - think spring or fall.  The Grand Canyon is extremely hot at the bottom in the summer (and well worth hiking down otherwise.)

Much of Arizona is desert - although there is some irrigation-based agriculture. 

Offline whittierider


Offline aggie

I've ridden in AZ in July and it is hot but doable if you are willing to tolerate the heat.  I suggest starting to ride at first light or a little earlier if you have a light and then stop for the day around 1 pm (1300).  When you get near the Navajo Nation I highly recommend you do not ride at night (if that is your intention).  I would recommend at least 3 water bottles and a Camelback.  This should allow you to carry enough water to reach a fresh water supply.  I recommend stopping at each location to refill any empty water bottles as there are some areas where the water stops may be 70 miles apart. 

As was mentioned earlier do a search for information that has been previously posted about riding in Arizona (Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, etc).

Offline cunni14

thanks guys.  how safe is the journey? the trans america trail thru kentucky missouri? my partner is a bit wary n im just making sure i've company for all the 3200 mls.

ive got some help from a guy in arizona about roads to use. dnt plan to hike he grand canyon...just a couple a snaps and a nosey around. say ave been there, u know
« Last Edit: April 20, 2010, 02:54:06 am by cunni14 »

Offline tonythomson

Arizona is a great place, I have never felt threatened while cycling over in USA.  Just do you hoe work re water, temperatures, distances etc.  Planning is the key to riding out here.

Take a look at the American Cycle routes, off course ACA, Rails to Trails and Google maps choosing bike routes.  I have planned several trips using them, plus the guys on here will put you right about any parts that seem unclear eg my next trip (which should be now b****y volcano) is to take me through Akron Oh, the route I planned via Google maps was to take me through a bad part of town and they soon put me right.

You'll have a great time.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline staehpj1

thanks guys.  how safe is the journey? the trans america trail thru kentucky missouri? my partner is a bit wary n im just making sure i've company for all the 3200 mls.

ive got some help from a guy in arizona about roads to use. dnt plan to hike he grand canyon...just a couple a snaps and a nosey around. say ave been there, u know

I consider it quite safe.  You will be chased by dogs fairly often in Missouri and Kentucky but that is manageable.

Offline cunni14

lol as in vicous dogs or your grans dogs who want to lick your face.

i think im going to take the southern tier, grand canyon connector to western express and along the transam. im assuming these trails are good for camp sites?

i have to stop in wichita and tulsa as im doing it for a company charity....hopefully get some kudos if a make a passing visit.

Offline staehpj1

lol as in vicous dogs or your grans dogs who want to lick your face.

i think im going to take the southern tier, grand canyon connector to western express and along the transam. im assuming these trails are good for camp sites?

i have to stop in wichita and tulsa as im doing it for a company charity....hopefully get some kudos if a make a passing visit.

We saw a wide variety of dogs.  Most just wanted to chase.  At least one wanted a chunk of me.  I actually found outrunning them to be fun.

Of those routes the TA is the only one I have ridden, but I suspect you will have no problem finding places to camp.  In the plains and the west I have found that you can usually camp in the little community parks and not be bothered.  On the TA and presumably the other routes campsites, including free or cheap ones are listed on the AC maps.

Offline MrBent

If you intend to start on the Southern Tier in summer, you need to brace yourself for some pretty harsh temperatures, conditions that, I suspect as a native of Scotland, you may have little experience with.   Southern Arizona sees about 90 days a year of 100+ deg. F. days, and some of these can be pretty humid when the monsoon sets in in July.  June is considered the "cruelest month" by the native people's because the lack of storms means the heat is relentless.  Bread becomes toast in seconds, and sweat evaporates instantly.  Sleeping out at night can be brutal, too, as temps sometimes don't drop much below 80 deg. F. at the coldest.  In short, cycling through that part of the world in the summer can be done, but it entails a good deal of suffering.  As recommended, do pre-dawn starts and quit by lunchtime.  Having money for motels will make recovery a lot easier--Air conditioning!

Have a blast, but go armed with all the info. you can get.  Personally, I'd leave the Southern Tier for very late fall or early spring, the usual times for that route.

Have a blast, and report here about your progress!

Cheers,

Scott

Offline cunni14

we plan to start in august. plan is to to 70m/day. would this seem feasable throughout. having to take some time unpaid leave to cover as i dnt think i will relly have chances later in life...especially with my knees lol  :)

dnt spose any1 would have pointers on good bikes? would have to carry my equipment but there will be some1 cycling with myself. not adventurous enough for solo jaunt.

i will update on here throughout my preparation and the actual journey....taking a camcorder with myself aswell. wee bit of video footage of my progressive breakdown  ;D

Offline aggie

It is possible to do 70 miles/day but there will be days when that will be a stretch depending on you average speed due to climbing.  If you leave San Diego on the Southern Tier, it is a pretty much uphill for the first 50 miles with some 8% grades.  Also August is one of the hottest months.  After you leave the mountains outside of San Diego it will be very hot during the day until you get to Colorado.  If you start riding at 6 am (0600) and ride until 1 pm (1300) with short stops you should be able to do 70 miles.  Make sure to carry lots of water, refill every chance you get, and wear a good sun screen (don't forget your nose and ears).  I suggest you obtain the ACA maps (if you haven't already) as they will give you the particulars on the route.

If you want to save a couple of days follow Hwy 89 in Utah north, don't turn off at Mt Carmel Junction, until you join with the Western Express.  It is a pretty good road with several places to stop.  It will save you from making a loop.  You will miss Zion National Park but it will save you some time.

For bike info check out the forum on gear talk.  Lots of info on various bikes.

Offline rvklassen

Taking it one further - if starting in August, I'd suggest Western Express, as you can cut down to the Southern Tier via the Grand Canyon.   Much of that route until you get several days south of the canyon will be at high enough altitudes that the heat won't be a problem (mostly).  By then you're either in late August or September. 

The earlier poster mentioned temperatures of the upper 90s and lower 100s.  To translate that into real temperature  ;) think mid 30s and up to 40.

Whether 70 miles per day is feasible depends.
- on your physical condition
- on how much load you carry
- on how much time you spend on other things - sight seeing, finding and/or preparing food, etc.
- whether you have any mechanical issues on a given day.

It's not too hard to do 70 miles most days.  But it's very hard some days.  And it's a good idea to add in some rest days to your itinerary.   

Offline Galloper

Are you planning to buy your bikes on arrival or bring bikes with you.   If you're going to bring bikes with you, I recommend a trip to your nearest Edinburgh Cycle Co-Op store, they have several throughout Scotland.

Their own brand bikes are pretty good, the Revolution Traveler is worth a look.   In any case they will be able to advise you and they always have a good range of bikes in stock.   They also do a one day bike maintenance course which, for £40 is well worth while.

If buying in the USA, as always a lot depends on your budget.   About $1100 will buy a Surly Long Haul Trucker, which is an excellent machine.   If cash is short, have a look at a hybrid and think about the possibility of using a trailer rather than racks and panniers.

One thing to be aware of is that the shoulder of the highway tends to accumulate lots of rubbish so it's worthwhile to have puncture resistant tyres.