Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Bikes: 2014 Pivot Mach 5.7 MTB, 2009 Chris Boedeker custom, 1988 Tommasini Prestige, 2007 Bill Davidson custom; 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper
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A couple of short tips:
1. You can learn lots about touring from 3 places: the touring forum here, a touring-focused site called www.crazyguyonabike.com;
and the Adventure Cycling Association's website. Honestly, almost any question that you can think of has been asked and answered in those 3 places so I would advise you to spend *at least* a few days digging deep into the archives of those 3 sites before re-asking the questions. You will definitely have question, just wait until you plow through the basics and then you can zero in on anything you need to know.
2. In terms of routes, you can check out the Adventure Cycling Associations route maps. Their route called the Sierra Cascades Route gets very close to Reno. You could hop on that route pretty close to Seattle and take it all the way until you get close to Reno. If you want some time on the coast, though, you could catch the Adventure Cycling Associations Pacific Coast route until you get down to the Oregon Coast, then pick one of several good ways across the state of Oregon to catch the Sierra Cascades route down to Reno.
In terms of what to bring -- there are good packing lists at the Adventure Cycling sites and most folks who write journals at crazyguyonabike.com show their own packing lists. One thing that is most common among new tourists is that they often end up getting rid of extra stuff after they start because they are over-prepared and over-packed. If you take off before the weather starts to cool down you shouldn't have to carry a lot of heavy gear.
I guess I would add -- don't over-think it. If your bike is well maintained and in good shape it will make a 600-mile tour without a lot of stress. Make sure your wheels are true and in good shape before you take off, because dealing with broken spokes or trying to scrounge up new wheels in the boonies would be one of the harder things to deal with on the road. Try to scrape up a little cash to take with you for emergencies. Having a little extra money in your pocket for emergencies is easier than being prepared for *every* emergency that might take place before you leave.
One more thing -- try to do a short "practice" tour before you take off. Even if you just do an overnight tour -- ride 30 miles to a local campground, unpack, set up camp, and head home the next day, you will learn a lot.
Last edited by BengeBoy; 08-06-11 at 01:03 PM.