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Old 04-02-14, 07:20 AM   #51
indyfabz
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Make sure you have plenty of water carrying capacity for the WE section at that time of year. Also be prepared for fires.
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Old 04-02-14, 04:48 PM   #52
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I got a question for the OP: How much money are you allotting for this trip? I got a question for those that have done this, how much are you actually spending during a trip like this, from NY to CA? 2 months is a long time...that's a lot of food, and other stuff you might find you'll have to buy on the trip. On food alone I'm thinking it's gonna be $600...assuming you can only survive so long on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
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Old 04-03-14, 07:35 AM   #53
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I got a question for the OP: How much money are you allotting for this trip? I got a question for those that have done this, how much are you actually spending during a trip like this, from NY to CA? 2 months is a long time...that's a lot of food, and other stuff you might find you'll have to buy on the trip. On food alone I'm thinking it's gonna be $600...assuming you can only survive so long on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
The budget question comes up at least once a year. Here is the latest thread:

Average budget to tour Trans Am?

One thing to keep in mind is that food costs while touring do not represent at total increase over your normal living budget since you eat when you are not touring. While I have never done a formal accounting, I have a suspicion that my average daily food budget on tour, assuming I am cooking, is no greater than my average daily budget when I am not touring. It may even be a little less over. That is because I often cook more expensive things when at home (e.g., rabbit last Saturday, arctic char last night), often buy my lunch on weekdays, and the GF and I eat nice dinners out at least once/week.
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Old 04-03-14, 01:54 PM   #54
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I'm a little over a month away for my first tour from East to West riding the AC, TA, WE. I'm really excited about it and still working to make sure I have what I need to be out for just about two months during this trip.
One more thought then I will shut up. Have you added up the mileage? Unless my math is wrong, the TA and WE is 3760 miles. That's from Yorktown, so shave a few off between Yorktown and Ashland. The AC route is nearly 390 from Choshocken to Ashland, where it intersects with the TA. Plus you have the mileage from Hazelton to Conshy. Let's assume Hazelton to Conshy kills the mileage savings from not starting in Yorktown. That gives you a total of roughly 4,150 miles. At 62 days, you would have to average 67 miles/day, with no rest days or days off for bad weather or mechanical problems, to finish in 2 months. You might want to budget 8-10 off days.
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Old 04-03-14, 10:32 PM   #55
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I got a question for the OP: How much money are you allotting for this trip? I got a question for those that have done this, how much are you actually spending during a trip like this, from NY to CA? 2 months is a long time...that's a lot of food, and other stuff you might find you'll have to buy on the trip. On food alone I'm thinking it's gonna be $600...assuming you can only survive so long on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
In terms of food, It's something I've been putting together and still working on. Things I took into consideration are accessibility, weather, weight, nutrients, needs and wants. Hope this isn't impractical. I plan to pack lots of dried fruit here at home and other things like grains, bars, and jerky. For luxury I'm going to prepare my dried watermelon, banana, and pineapple here at home and packed small. Considering it's going to be pretty hot I'm doing lots of fresh fruit and could be found cheap. I'm bringing my small Snowpeak stove and plan to cook meals as well. I cook potatoes, with onions and garlic when I camp now and pack my spices with oil in small drip free container. Peanut butter, rice cakes, jerky, ginger root for digestion, canned food (black beans, corn, chickpeas, onion/great with tortilla or wrap. Hot Sauce packed .

instant oatmeal, single serve moka pot for coffee, ramen, raw veggies I can buy like broccoli heads, carrots, onion, garlic all steamed with very little water or eaten raw. Fast Food, restaurants once a week Snacks. I try not to think to much about money aspect of it, however I think it's about how to not live beyond your means and leverage the fun time on the road with what you need and want. I budgeted for $500, food, maintenance, camping and lodging. I'm trying to be creative about it, meet people, trade and share.

Last edited by Blackguyrides; 04-03-14 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 04-04-14, 06:52 AM   #56
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$500 is too little, if you take 60 days that's less than $10 / day. You'll be surprised how much you spend on food, it's actually more expensive b/c you have to buy things in small sizes. You're not going to want to haul several weeks supply of snacks & canned food, you will want to buy for one or two days at a time, at the most, and you'll end up buying food in convenience stores which are more expensive... at least, that has been my experience.

$10-$15 / day for food plus $10/day for camping (if you sleep in campgrounds about half the time and free the other half) is more realistic.
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Old 04-04-14, 07:40 AM   #57
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I'll pipe in with a comment that has nothing to do with route. I hope you have started putting all your gear together and seeing how it fits in your bags, its common to realize "holy crap, this is just too much". Also, its always a really good idea to get all the stuff together in the bags, and do some rides to see how it is with everything included.
Photo gear, laptop and that stuff will add a fair amount of extra pounds (compared to what I have toured with, always just with a point and shoot, even 25 years ago) so actually getting out for a days ride may be an eye opener to "holy crap this is heavy" so to speak.

re weight, I would highly suggest finding a good bike shop with an experienced wheel builder and pay the small amount to have the person go over your wheels, getting the spoke tension right. This goes a long long way in making sure your wheels are in the best shape to deal with the weight you will be carrying--most likely 50lbs easily. It is completely worth paying for a go over by someone who really knows wheels and touring, it could save you time, money and especially hassle of having to deal with busted spokes. Really.

Another little heads up, re doing lots of photo and video stuff, be prepared to find that at the end of the day, after eating, washing clothes and all that rigamorole, you probably wont have a lot of oomph for doing too much other stuff, but like any other aspect of a longer bike trip, that will evolve and you'll find your rhythm that works for you.
cheers, good trip
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Old 04-04-14, 09:19 AM   #58
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+1 for valygrl. Try and keep the food you're packing to a minimum, like only an emergency dinner and breakfast, and instead try for fresh foods. Maybe just bring a pound or so of the luxury jerky and dried fruits. Farm stands in agricultural areas are great, will save you time and your bike should be more secure than outside a supermarket. However, if you do pass a "natural foods" place that has stuff like granola, soy protein, trail mix, and couscous in bulk, that is a good place to save some money. This is a situation where electronic mapping comes in handy. My local area has the Pacific Coast route run through it, and just about all the markets where you can get the best food at good prices lie a mile or so off the route, beachfront property values being what they are, and are not on the ACA maps.
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Old 04-04-14, 11:22 AM   #59
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Unless he's going to avoid private campgrounds coming south, he will likely blow through a significant portion of that $500 just getting to the TransAm. Private campgrounds along that stretch can easily run $30+/night. Even state parks in that part of PA are around $25/night. Same for NJ.
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Old 04-05-14, 02:34 PM   #60
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Farm stands in agricultural areas are great, will save you time and your bike should be more secure than outside a supermarket. However, if you do pass a "natural foods" place that has stuff like granola, soy protein, trail mix, and couscous in bulk, that is a good place to save some money. This is a situation where electronic mapping comes in handy.
I can remember only a very few farm stands on the TransAm, less than half a dozen. Back roads are great for cycling, not a great place to put up a stand - and for the same reason, not much traffic.
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Old 04-05-14, 04:39 PM   #61
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I can remember only a very few farm stands on the TransAm, less than half a dozen. Back roads are great for cycling, not a great place to put up a stand - and for the same reason, not much traffic.
Good point, though I've done most of my longer tours in the West in areas where there's only one road, period, to get where I'm headed, so I take what I can get.

I remember the Pacific Coast Route avoids the town where I grew up, Santa Maria, where every weekend there are barbeque stands set up in parking lots along the main drag, selling that awesome Santa Maria BBQ. Mmmmmm. Maybe you can find some along Hwy 1 in the area on weekends, too.

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Old 04-05-14, 07:19 PM   #62
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Hey blackguyrides! I don't know where your coming from but if you pass through St. Louis at all I have a almost new camelback that's all yours. )
Right on!, Will keep you posted on that. Many thanks.
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Old 04-22-14, 08:34 PM   #63
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Hey all, tour is just a few weeks away. Just wanted to thank everyone for helping out in this again. I look forward to possibly meeting some of you on the road and sharing my experiences through my website I built for the tour and more to come at Manual Pedal. I'll be making post sharing video, photo and other related media with content to represent everything. Start date is May 16th, stay tuned, stay safe, and keep pushing the pedal.
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Old 04-22-14, 10:03 PM   #64
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As far as racks and bags are concerned, you don`t need to spend a lot. I am a rack snob, and build my own, but while a trip like the one you are planing is a trip of a lifetime for many, it is not all that far, you can easily get it done with the cheaper alloy racks if you don`t overdo the load.

Otlieb panniers are a favourite of many people but the only really serious advantage is the waterproofness which is not universally accepted. I think I would be OK with it, but the panniers I have had for 20 years are pretty permeable, and have never been a serious problem. A lot of what I carry like pots pans, rainwear, or cooksets does not really need to be in a waterproof container. Some other stuff like cameras, and sleeping bags already is. It is a relatively minor portion of my overall goods that are in need of protection and plastic bags keep them perfectly dry.

So while I generally buy the best I can, so I only buy it once, you can probably find ways to save a lot of money on that stuff if it is your intention to cut costs.
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Old 04-22-14, 10:24 PM   #65
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MrD makes many an excellent point, all very valid.
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