I am going soon on a tour from SE Michigan to northern New Mexico. I could use some help, so here it goes. My first tour. I've been riding about 1.5 years, pretty seriously. I lived in northern NM until last may, know what hills look like, feel like.
1. I am using a trek 520, changing out the rear cassette with an 11-34. This gives me a low gear inches value of 23.8. high of 122.7. I am pulling a light (ten pound) ExtraWheel Trailer. rack and paniers on back of bike, lowriders on front. paniers will be light, heavy stuff in trailer. I will be carrying a load appropariate for this trip - about 1900 miles when taking expressways, longer by back roads though I dont have the route planned yet. see #2 below.
Is this low enough gearing> I am crossing the rockies, probably in southern colorado, and dropping into NM from the north (walsenburg - highyway 160 to fort garland, then south into NM).
2. how do you recommend planning the route - are there available resource showing best cycling routes> just use google? need to plan stop so they are at campgrounds, what is the best way to do that?
3. have been purchasing gear using recommendations from this forum. very helpful, thanks. using a summer weightdown bag, prolite 4 pad, dragonfly stove, MSR raingear.
4. biking tights or shorts with biking pad underwear? issues and pros and cons?
5. average miles per day goal? 50?? I plan on a day off about every 5 days or so.
6. condition - currently 210 pounds, could lose some. plenty even. I can ride back to back centuries here in SE mI a week apart - ride 60-70 miles the day after a centory no problem. have been doing about 200 miles a week sometimes 280 for about 2 months now. can i do this?
7. allot what duration of time for this? a month? is that too agressive? how much? (one way time, I am flying back)
8. time of year - plan to start end of next week, or at least by sept 17. should be ok provided I corss rockies during a good weather window?
9. route suggestions are approciated. other tips welcome.
thanks in advance, I am sure a lot of things haven't been covered here, but this is a good start.