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Old 02-07-09, 10:39 AM
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staehpj1 
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1. Any of the touring specific models are fine. The Cannondale Touring 2 is a great bike. If the budget isn't tight you can't go wrong with it.

2. Prevailing winds favor starting in the east if you are riding the Trans America. The winds are typically out of the SE in Kansas and Eastern Colorado in summer. This is where the wind is the biggest factor. The West bound TA goes NW in those states.

That said winds should not be the deciding factor. I went W-E and the main reason was to avoid the Appalachians until we were toughened up by several thousand miles of touring. I don't regret that choice, but either way is fine. I like to get air transportation out of the way in the beginning and having friends and family greeting us at the end was nice. They threw us a nice cookout on the water in Yorktown.

Weather is the biggest factor for most. If you start early in the season from the east you can avoid the heat and humidity in Missouri, Kentucky, and Virginia and hit the Rockies when it is way less likely to be cold.

3. We flew with ours, but shipping ahead is probably cheaper. It was cool riding out of the airport though.

4. I am a big believer that you really don't need to train for a tour as long as you are used to fairly long rides. Just take it easy for the first week to ten days. That is a good idea either way.

You can find a bit of info on our TA trip page. I tried to document some of the stuff that worked for us and some that didn't. http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/staehling2007

The biggest thing that can make or break the tour is how much you carry. In my opinion less is usually better. I would shoot for 30 pounds or less. Failing that I and would try very hard to stay below 40. Some will say that they need a lot of stuff for comfort. I find the greatest comfort is a light-ish load.
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