Off to the US!!

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Off to the US!!

Postby ejayt » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:13 am

Catching a flight Monday week to San Francisco to begin my first cycling tour towards New York with a couple of mates from Sweden starting mid April. We have set up a blog if anyone's interested in following us.

I think the hardest part so far is having to depart with my road bike which I just put on ebay, it has been a very hard task to get used to the speed difference between that and my new tourer, which is all complete now. If you're interested, I wrote a build diary at our website :)

Any questions at all about our trip or my bike send them through, also I would love to hear about any experiences anyone has had with their route through the US. We've decided to leave it fairly open for which roads we'll take and take it at our own pace. For example recently we've heard it would be much nicer to cycle through the northern states rather than through the middle so we're thinking of taking that advice. Our proposed route is also on our site.

We intend to blog our trip as we go here and we'll be tweeting and facebook updating also if you want to know the finer details of how we're keeping up.

:D :D
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by BNA » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:57 am

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Off to the US!!

Postby gabrielle260 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:57 am

Hi Ejayt, I've ridden across the US twice. I did San Diego to Charleston and then, 2 yrs later, south to north - Panama City Beach, Florida to Portland, Maine. From my experience and what others have told me, a northern transcontinental is more scenic but has harder riding. Leaving from southern California takes you across the desert and the full width of Texas which is basically uninteresting. You can chose a northern route that takes you through Yellowstone. For detailed ideas on routes, look at Adventure Cycling - the US association, and also google the people I did it with - PACTour - Lon Haldeman and Susan Notorangelo, their website used to have maps of the routes they take.
Good luck - it is one hell of a country and amazing to ride across!!
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Re: Off to the US!!

Postby ejayt » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:13 am

gabrielle260 wrote:Hi Ejayt, I've ridden across the US twice. I did San Diego to Charleston and then, 2 yrs later, south to north - Panama City Beach, Florida to Portland, Maine. From my experience and what others have told me, a northern transcontinental is more scenic but has harder riding. Leaving from southern California takes you across the desert and the full width of Texas which is basically uninteresting. You can chose a northern route that takes you through Yellowstone. For detailed ideas on routes, look at Adventure Cycling - the US association, and also google the people I did it with - PACTour - Lon Haldeman and Susan Notorangelo, their website used to have maps of the routes they take.
Good luck - it is one hell of a country and amazing to ride across!!


Thanks!
I'm checking out the site, I can't seem to find any maps but I've found some people who have written about their journey. It's helpful at least to see some common routes.

I'm figuring they sorted out the water and food, however what was it like to source water through the desert and dry states?
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Re: Off to the US!!

Postby RonK » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:26 am

Bon Voyage! Enjoy your journey.

Are you aware of the site crazyguyonabike.com? You can glean much information from the tour journals and forum there. Most important is to understand when the roads over the high passes in the Rockies will be open, particularly since you are starting in the west.

Heres a link to the Adventure Cycling Association map page.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
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Re: Off to the US!!

Postby ejayt » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:02 pm

Oh! Thanks for bringing that to my attention RonK, about the roads through the rockies!! I'll keep an eye out on that site and some others now.
I have had a browse through it before and love the idea of everyone keeping a journal of their trip on there :) might think of writing up something there also when we get going.
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Off to the US!!

Postby gabrielle260 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:42 pm

Thanks!
I'm checking out the site, I can't seem to find any maps but I've found some people who have written about their journey. It's helpful at least to see some common routes.

I'm figuring they sorted out the water and food, however what was it like to source water through the desert and dry states?[/quote]

We were doing 200kms a day so there were always towns or gas stations along the route. It's not like Australia - you are seldom seriously isolated.
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Re: Off to the US!!

Postby PawPaw » Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:32 pm

Did a lot of touring in New England, Up State NY, and NW Pennsylvania in the 80s and 2001-2.
The blacktop is very good in those areas, especially on the secondary and tertiary roads. So it's easy to avoid heavy traffic. It also helps that roads are a bit wider than Australia's, and average car width has decreased in the last 20 years.

Drivers seemed more conservative and bike aware than Australians. However, remain vigilant and use mirrors. There's a lot of older drivers in regional areas with poor eyesight and diabetes.

In 2002, you could get a fantastic nosh at buffet diners like Howard Johnsons. Salad bar with a variety of pastas and deserts and refillable coffee for less than $10. Cooked breakfasts were similarly ridiculously cheap.

Carry mitts in addition to any gloves, and a full face balaclava. Weather can get very cold (and wet) quickly, even in spring/summer, and your fingers will appreciate being all in the same compartment. I have only cried from pain several times in my life. Once was when wind chill dropped the temp below freezing and I could not get my fingers warm for over 45minutes. They hurt so much I could not ride, and I was sure they'd been permanently damaged (which they hadn't).

Stay tuned into the weather. Tornadoes are a serious serious risk to life (Australia has nothing comparable, maybe bushfires), and can spring up in a few hours. I saw the carnage of two the day after they claimed over 20 lives in a small NW Pa town.
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Re: Off to the US!!

Postby RonK » Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:42 pm

ejayt wrote:Oh! Thanks for bringing that to my attention RonK, about the roads through the rockies!! I'll keep an eye out on that site and some others now.
I have had a browse through it before and love the idea of everyone keeping a journal of their trip on there :) might think of writing up something there also when we get going.

Mate - I wanted to alert you to the likely weather conditions in the Rockies, but I'm not sure you got my point. Since you are starting in April you need to have a good idea of your route - many roads (that cycle tourists usually take) don't open until the end of May or even June, and you will likely need 4 seasons clothing and equipment.

Read through this crazyguy thread, then get on the forum and seek advice as to weather conditions this season.

It may be worth considering delaying your departure for a month.

I would definitely encourage you to post a journal of the journey there, even if it's a cross post of your personal blog.

Most TransAm cyclists follow the Bicentennial route (or variations of it) which is mapped in detail by the Adventure Cycling Association.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
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