So I'm moving to California for a bit and wanted to ride my new LHT there. I planned and researched the route last year and it was the Trans American to the Western Express. Now I wanted help on a few things. One, does anyone know a good and safe route to travel from East to West without buying the Adventure Cycling maps. I don't mind spending the extra money for them but If I can save, keep cost down and develop a route that would be ideal since I need to save as much as possible. I also needed help with components for my LHT. I picked up a a black 2013 model from the local shop Bicycle Habitat here in NYC. I needed to get front and rear racks and have been looking into the Tubus, Surly and Topek from REI. Any help with rack or anyone selling please let ne know. Also thinking of getting fenders but not sure as I plan on getting an extra set of tires and have been looking at the Schwalbe Modial tires. The tires I have now are Continental Contacts that came stock with the bike. So if any recommendations on tires to bring for back up over this terrain (Trans Am/ Western Express) that would be great. Water bottle holders, wanted to know which ones you all are running.
I'm going to keep the bike pretty stock for now and change things accordingly as needed. I was looking into solar power as It will come in handy as I'm bringing my camera gear and will be continuing to produce my photography and video work. I saw this one here... https://www.voltaicsystems.com/fuse10w.shtml. I purchase on ebay for a great deal the Ortlieb Back roller classic panniers for the rear and was thinking of getting Bikepacker plus up in the front for easy access in and out the bag. This is all very loose as I am still checking things off my list so I might have left something out.
In terms of the trip, I'll be leaving in late April of 2014. Would this be an alright time to leave for a trip heading from East to west from VA's Trans Am to Western Express? I'm planning for a solo ride but invited a friend who may come, however he won't be staying in California. All help greatly appreciated.