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Old 03-15-06, 11:09 AM   #1
eofelis 
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US Coast-to-coast 2007

We are just starting to think about a big tour next year. The longest tour we have done is a week-long tour a couple years ago.

So far the general plan is to leave in May (when my semester is done). We want to start in San Francisco, head north either along the coast or a bit more inland up to Portland, then head along the Columbia River. We want to see the Scablands. We want to hit geology-stuff along the way. Not yet sure of exact route through Idaho and Montana. Further east, we are not yet sure if we want to go through the UP of Michigan or up and over Lake Superior. Ultimate destination is Boston (my mom lives there).

Time is not a huge factor, we plan to put our "other lives" aside for 6 months.

We want to keep our apt we have now, and have to find someone to help care for our kitties while we are gone. ("Whadda ya mean ya can't freeze-dry 'em?")

We have our bikes and most of our gear already. I'm riding an LHT and my bf has a Cross Check he set up for touring. We plan to pull Bob trailers (got 'em already), and have small panniers for day-stuff on the bikes.

We have been trying to entice a friend to go with us. He's young and not tied down and it sounds like his kind of adventure.

I don't have any specific questions, but if anyone has any suggestions, we'd love to hear them.
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Old 03-15-06, 12:40 PM   #2
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I'm planning the same thing for roughly the same time (I'll be riding the BikeCentennial route most likely), on my Cross Check with f/r panniers-and most likely solo. I really don't have anything else to add as I'm only in the planning phase and have never ridden more than 4 consecutive days for a self-supported tour. I'll likely aim for a month to 6 weeks to complete and will have to have someone live in my apt. to look after my cat as well. I mainly wanted to congratulate you on your choice of bikes (Surly) and ambition regarding these plans. I'm really looking forward to this trip as even a few days of touring help to reset one's emotional well-being, a Trans Am ride should have quite a profound effect.

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Old 03-15-06, 01:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjw16
II'll likely aim for a month to 6 weeks to complete)
TransAm = 4250 miles = 30 days = 142 miles a day (with no days off)...that will really have a profound effect!
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Old 03-15-06, 02:06 PM   #4
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Those both sound like great trips. My only thought is that you will probably be heading into the wind heading north on the west coast. I rode the transamerica east to west in 2003 and heard all the way across the US that we were going the "wrong way," because of the wind, which is complete BS. (actually people are still trying to tell me that ... maybe I shouldn't have even bothered to do the ride) When we got to the Oregon coast, though, we found that there was pretty consistently a strong wind out of the north all the time.

Have fun!
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Old 03-15-06, 02:40 PM   #5
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We are aware of the northerly winds on the west coast. We may stay more inland to see some of the outcrops (blueschist facies) in the Klamaths. We were thinking of seeing Mt Shasta and Crater Lake but it will probably still be too snowy there in May.
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Old 03-16-06, 11:07 AM   #6
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rnagaoka,

142 miles a day, ha! Back to the drawing board! Actually, that's what my little bro tried to do 2 years ago-in July! He ran out of steam in Kentucky and took a bus home (D.C.). He's a marathoner and in better shape than me. It was hard to believe that he didn't finish this, but I guess he realized how difficult it would be to go unsupported in a month (his work time constraints required this).

I was really thinking more like 2.5 months. I know my limitations and 100+ miles a day is not only unrealistic, but wouldn't be fun. I'm already on the "massive weight loss/get spindly" diet and plan to ask my employer about my vacation options. My biggest goal is to get down from my current weight of 260#'s. Although it's largely muscle, it's a big liability, especially for a ride of this nature. It'll mean spending very little time lifting and much more time comitted to cardio/diet. Then, I'll really feel commited.
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Old 03-16-06, 11:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjw16
rnagaoka,

142 miles a day, ha! Back to the drawing board! Actually, that's what my little bro tried to do 2 years ago-in July! He ran out of steam in Kentucky and took a bus home (D.C.). He's a marathoner and in better shape than me. It was hard to believe that he didn't finish this, but I guess he realized how difficult it would be to go unsupported in a month (his work time constraints required this).

I was really thinking more like 2.5 months. I know my limitations and 100+ miles a day is not only unrealistic, but wouldn't be fun. I'm already on the "massive weight loss/get spindly" diet and plan to ask my employer about my vacation options. My biggest goal is to get down from my current weight of 260#'s. Although it's largely muscle, it's a big liability, especially for a ride of this nature. It'll mean spending very little time lifting and much more time comitted to cardio/diet. Then, I'll really feel commited.
I agree. I'm planning this trip, as well, and I estimated 3 months at 50 miles a day. This gives me time to explore, hang out, and meet interesting people. It also allows me some leeway (i.e. 70 miles one day, 30 the next, if need be).

I was wondering, though: are you folks planning on camping out and cooking your own food? If so, what did you have in mind for grub and what kind of gear will you be hauling? At the recommendation of a few friends (also, most recently surlyblog (see March, 13th, 2006)), I will be using Kifaru tipis and stoves.

I might be leaving from LA, but I would love to leave from Oregon! I might plan some extra time for a ride up to Portland or he surrounding areas, but that's something that I have to work out - I've heard that the ride up Highway 1 at this time (February-ish) can be harsh.

The best of luck to you folks!
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Old 03-16-06, 12:35 PM   #8
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Go East! Go East!
Nice rides north of Chico - esp. thru Susanville.
Lava Beds has a great loop with no traffic.
New bike trail from Klamath Falls to the Sycan Marshes.
Willamette Valley has some pleasant rides.

I vote for the U.P. Far less traffic then the TransCanada.
Plus it's inhabited by Yoopers - a rare and exotic people.
Apostle Islands are super. Porcupine Mountain #1.
If you have time - do the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Grand Island off the coast at Munising is a cyclist's paradise.
Then you have Pictured Rocks.
Ya! It's the Yoop for me.
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Old 03-16-06, 12:51 PM   #9
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PS -
People who say "I have half a mind to go to the U.P." have all the
right equipment.
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