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I'm going to across America.

Old 04-19-16, 09:47 PM
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I'm going to across America.

Hello everyone.
I'm young man who are going to across America by bicycle on August for 3 months.

I'm South Korean and... my English is so poor.
This is my first time visit America... and I'm planning the journey with great expectation.

And of course, I have many questions.

First, My route is LA - San Francisco - Yosemite National Park - Death Valley - Hoover Dam - Bryce Canyon - Grand Canyon - Monument Valley - Colorado Springs - Kansas City - New York.
It is West to East. But Someone told me that ,If I go that direction, I have to encounter an intense heat at Death Valley.
Actually I don't care about an intense heat.
And I also heard that wind direction of America is West to East.

Anyone have advice about route?

Second, I will use Camp Site or Warm Shower whole journey.
But, As I told, It is my first time visit to america.. So I can't expect how much I have to pay for Camp Site.
How much is the average cost?

Ummm...... I have more curiosity but I can't remember now.

Every advice can help me. Thank you guys
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Old 04-19-16, 09:56 PM
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형식적인 인사

Best of luck in your planning and tour. I can only recommend that you check out Adventure Cycling Association Forum and check out Adventure Cycling Association website and store. Lots of maps and good information.

I'm sure you will find some helpful people here as well.
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Old 04-19-16, 10:09 PM
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Read about how other people have done this at crazyguyonabike.com: Bicycle Touring: A place for bicycle tourists and their journals. There are several people biking across the country now.
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Old 04-19-16, 10:13 PM
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if camping, often free.
east coast not so easy, but can ask to camp at churches or fire stations.
in the middle (between blue ridge and rockies) can often set up camp in local parks,
but ask the sherriff/police for permission first.
west of rockies to california, much land owned by government, can free camp.
california? i dunno.

yes, in death valley you will encounter an intense heat.
you should worry. intense heat doesn't mean 35C.
average high is 45C, can be much hotter still indeed for sure.
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Old 04-19-16, 10:29 PM
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Yeah its gonna be hot!

The whole Death Valley to Monument Valley stretch sounds hot! But its beautiful.

Many years ago I rode across the USA from Oregon to Maine. The "northern" route. Loved it.
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Old 04-19-16, 11:00 PM
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It will be a great adventure. I went XC 40 years ago. Bike packed the whole way and camped in local, state, national
campgrounds, RV parks, a baseball dugout, farm fields, porches, rest stops, ski slope (summer!), hostels, taken in by the kindness of strangers, and under the stars. Ate a lot. Probably got dehydrated a few times, sunburned, lots of flats. A few broken spokes.

Learn basic bike repairs. Think of a budget as it is not an inexpensive endeavor. Cost me including return flight, about $1,000 in '76. I'd guess $4,000+ today and that was a no frill trip as in no restaurant meals or motels/hotel stays. Start easy say 30-50 miles a day. In a month you'll be doing twice that...if you want to.
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Old 04-19-16, 11:38 PM
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Don't pass off the heat so quickly- it was part of what killed my last ride that crossed Nevada. The heat, plus high elevation in the desert, dries you out very quickly. Be ready to carry a ton of water for that desert stretch.
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Old 04-20-16, 09:06 AM
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It is called Death Valley for a reason. Long stretches of nothing, and incredibly hot, dry heat that will dehydrate you quicker than you realize. It is where the hottest temperature in the world was recorded. Carry LOTS of water.

You really don't understand what the western desert heat is actually like until you experience it firsthand. Don't underestimate it.
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Old 04-20-16, 09:30 AM
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January~February was the time to visit Death Valley , since California got rain & snow over winter the desert Bloomed .

LA-> SF, then Yosemite is a long ways apart .

you have No experience of the great distances between the locations You are mentioning ,

with your experiences of southern end of the Korean Peninsula .

Siberia has a long ways between places , as a Metaphor.

Budget more money for lodging you Pay for if the hosting and camping is not available Or considered Safe ..

May You consider using Amtrak to leapfrog to major cities ,

As I Recall , like Eurail passes there is a monthly use as Much as needed rate If you buy the pass abroad at travel agencies ..

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Old 04-20-16, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
It is called Death Valley for a reason.
yeah, a guy died there trying to cross in the mid-1800's. wasn't really popularly
known as death valley until the 30's when some mining company wanted to
get a tax break by donating some useless land to the park service. the name
was chosen cause it sounded cool from a marketing perspective.

not many actual deaths in death valley, just the odd darwin award winning
tourist deciding to hike across the valley without water.....

yeah, it's hot. biked through there end of july. 115+ daytime, nighttime
dropping to a frigid 90 degrees. water from the ground at the campsite
was scalding hot.




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Old 04-20-16, 09:15 PM
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Your trip sounds like a nice adventure & your English seems very good actually.

Yes, West to East is more common but some people say East to West route winds are not that bad. Death Valley heat could be a big problem. There is a July 217 km running race there: many runners do not finish even though part of race is at night. In September average high temperature is 40 C which could be very tiring even for a strong rider.

If one has to pay for a camp spot the parks usually charge about $15-$20 I think. Consider Washington DC as the final destination instead of New York City. NYC is impressive with the tall buildings but DC is prettier & easier for bicyclists. Washington DC also has a large Korean community, there are many Korean restaurants & food stores.
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Old 04-20-16, 10:27 PM
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while cycling around australia, a local dude in darwin told
me that during WWII, the japanese planned to land
bike brigades in darwin that would then cycle across
the country.

he explained that when teenage boys in japan got too
uppity, laughing at their old man about his war stories,
they'd be sent to darwin with a bicycle and 100 bucks.
there would be additional packets of $100 sent to
various post offices general delivery. if sonny wanted
to come home, he'd have ride town to town and picking
up his allowance, and reach adelaide by bike first.

the upshot was that every now and then, rangers would
come across dessicated cyclists out in the outback.

don't know if it's true, but it sounded good at the time.
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Old 04-21-16, 10:21 PM
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A friend had visited Australia & said it was very hot, significantly worse than DC which can be be sweltering itself. I check avg max summer temps for Outback towns & while they're hot they're quite less hot than Death Valley. Surely, I suppose, there must be a way for AsianRider92 to follow most of his suggested route but avoid Death Valley? Even motorcycle tourists advise to avoid Death Valley in the hot months.
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Old 04-21-16, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan
A friend had visited Australia & said it was very hot, significantly worse than DC which can be be sweltering itself. I check avg max summer temps for Outback towns & while they're hot they're quite less hot than Death Valley. Surely, I suppose, there must be a way for AsianRider92 to follow most of his suggested route but avoid Death Valley? Even motorcycle tourists advise to avoid Death Valley in the hot months.
It was hot enough in Death Valley to work up a sweat on New Year's Day.

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Old 04-21-16, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
It is called Death Valley for a reason. Long stretches of nothing, and incredibly hot, dry heat that will dehydrate you quicker than you realize. It is where the hottest temperature in the world was recorded. Carry LOTS of water.

You really don't understand what the western desert heat is actually like until you experience it firsthand. Don't underestimate it.
+1000

It is not a matter of mental toughness or mind over matter. Death Valley kills people all the time because they think they can have stiff upper lip or whatever and tough it out. You can't. It's simply physics. Underestimate it at your peril.

Anyhow, the basics are water water water. The other basic is travel early, rest in the hottest part of the day, and resume later on. Water consumption may be 8 liters or more a day, at which point you will be getting water intoxication, which you will need to deal with by consuming electrolytes.
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Old 04-21-16, 11:54 PM
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It sounds like fun. You are hitting all the best natural and manmade wonders of the West except maybe Mt. Rushmore, and you'll have a lot of time to reflect in between. The country gets much denser the further you go east of the Mississippi and you will want to study further where you'd like to go between KC and NYC. I hope you don't spend too much time online, since part of the point of this is solitude; but at the same time it would be interesting to read your story. Perhaps you could keep a diary and photos, and write it up later.

People who work (and critters who live) outdoors in desert states use the twilight and morning to get their job done and seek shade in the afternoon. It's not impossible. A coyote can do it and he has to wear a fur coat all day. Just be safe, have lots of water and a backup plan!
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Old 04-21-16, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine
It is not a matter of mental toughness or mind over matter........Underestimate it at your peril......
correct. it's a matter of preparation. if asiandude does his research, he'll know
what he's in for. it IS possible to safely cycle across darth valley in the summer.

and note there's more dessert than just the valley. lots of hot and dry out there
that can kill you just as fast.

get the right gear, carry plenty of water, know where supplies "should" be
available, know the alternates when those places don't exist any more,
carry more water, carry portable shade, don't forget more water.

get the right body. all the gear in the world, and enough water to fill an
olympic sized pool won't help if your body isn't acclimated. sf to la then on
to df might be sufficient. or might not....depends on asiadude's phyicalness.

get the right mental attitude. listen to your body. don't be too proud to take
a break or stop for the night without meeting the day's goal.
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Old 04-22-16, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan
Even motorcycle tourists advise to avoid Death Valley in the hot months.
Riding a motorcycle in the afternoon desert heat at interstate speeds is truly a miserable experience. Your sweat can't really cool you, because you can't make enough of it, your homeostasis can't keep up. It's like being in a blast furnace. I would stop and soak my t-shirt and helmet liner every 20-30 minutes. I honestly think it wouldn't be so bad on a bicycle at ten mph or whatever. When I was a kid in Phoenix we'd ride out into the desert or to the water park and though those rides were only a few miles, I don't remember being really uncomfortable... so long as I didn't touch the chrome.
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Old 04-22-16, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
Riding a motorcycle in the afternoon desert heat at interstate speeds is truly a miserable experience. ...
depends. some people like it. i spent my last summer in the us riding all over the
southwest (interstate speeds = 75-90) all day long in full thick water-buffalo
leathers. living in texas at the time, highway 90, used to the heat. no problem.
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Old 04-22-16, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
depends. some people like it. i spent my last summer in the us riding all over the
southwest (interstate speeds = 75-90) all day long in full thick water-buffalo
leathers. living in texas at the time, highway 90, used to the heat. no problem.
It's a matter of degrees (to be punny). As you go west it's hotter but less humid. 100 is doable, 110+ is eaugh.
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Old 04-22-16, 12:25 AM
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but it's a dry heat!

once the humidity gets low, 100 feels like 105 feels like 120.
it's just damn hot....but comfy. sweat boils off immediately.
no sticky clothes, no sweat soaked shoes and gloves,
no sweat constantly running in my eyes!
i'll take 110 and 5% humidity over 80 with 90% humidity!

cycle death valley in july. you bet!
cycle luwezziana in july. that's nuts!
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Old 04-22-16, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
correct. it's a matter of preparation. if asiandude does his research, he'll know
what he's in for. it IS possible to safely cycle across darth valley in the summer.
I never meant to imply that people can't do it safely, just that taking the tough attitude of "I don't care about the heat" in a place where a few people die a year with exactly that attitude is not the best idea.
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Old 04-22-16, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
but it's a dry heat!

once the humidity gets low, 100 feels like 105 feels like 120.
it's just damn hot....but comfy. sweat boils off immediately.
no sticky clothes, no sweat soaked shoes and gloves,
no sweat constantly running in my eyes!
i'll take 110 and 5% humidity over 80 with 90% humidity!

cycle death valley in july. you bet!
cycle luwezziana in july. that's nuts!
Sure, it's doable. I've bike raced in 117F weather, I hike the desert all the time when it's over 110, but I'm accustomed to it, and I know how to deal with it. It's just that all the time people run into trouble because the think they can tough it out, and end up getting sick. People usually get rescued these days, but getting heat stroke in the middle of nowhere is no fun. Respect the desert.

On another aspect of the proposed route: I'd suggest going from SF to LA along the coast rather than starting in LA. Alternatively start in LA and go up through the desert to yosemite etc and then back down the coast. Riding up the coast northerly typically you will get headwinds after 10am or so. Much easier to ride south, plus you are on the right side to see the view, which is spectacular.
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Old 04-22-16, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by AsianRider92
Hello everyone.
First, My route is LA - San Francisco - Yosemite National Park - Death Valley - Hoover Dam - Bryce Canyon - Grand Canyon - Monument Valley - Colorado Springs - Kansas City - New York.
It is West to East. But Someone told me that ,If I go that direction, I have to encounter an intense heat at Death Valley.
Actually I don't care about an intense heat.
You may want to look at the ACA's interactive bike route map. Excellent overview.

I would personally ride from NYC and end in Los Angeles or San Francisco. West to east means that you'll have to deal with extreme heat in the west, and with the train of depressions that affects the east coast during the fall. Riding from east to west will put you on the west coast at the best of times ("Fall in San Francisco is truly the best time of year for weather" -- sanFrancisco.com)

Infinitely many possibilities depending on whether your main goal is to visit the USA (on a bike) or ride a bike (in the USA), or if you want to ride from coast-to-coast vs take the bus to cover more ground.

If you were to ride from west to east starting in early August, be sure to print "I don't care about an intense heat" and put it in plain sight on your handlebar bag.
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Old 04-22-16, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by AsianRider92
Hello everyone.
I'm young man who are going to across America by bicycle on August for 3 months.

I'm South Korean and... my English is so poor.
This is my first time visit America... and I'm planning the journey with great expectation.

And of course, I have many questions.

First, My route is LA - San Francisco - Yosemite National Park - Death Valley - Hoover Dam - Bryce Canyon - Grand Canyon - Monument Valley - Colorado Springs - Kansas City - New York.
It is West to East. But Someone told me that ,If I go that direction, I have to encounter an intense heat at Death Valley.
Actually I don't care about an intense heat.
And I also heard that wind direction of America is West to East.

Anyone have advice about route?

Second, I will use Camp Site or Warm Shower whole journey.
But, As I told, It is my first time visit to america.. So I can't expect how much I have to pay for Camp Site.
How much is the average cost?

Ummm...... I have more curiosity but I can't remember now.

Every advice can help me. Thank you guys
In August there are strong afternoon winds from the northwest along the California coast. It is better to ride SF to LA rather than LA to SF.

The heat in Death Valley is like nothing you've experienced. It's no joke. A Dutch cyclist got heatstroke, fell over, and got badly burned while lying on the hot asphalt. It's unpleasant even if you manage to ride it. There are more beautiful places to visit, especially in August.

If I may suggest a far more interesting and beautiful alternative:

(1) Ride from Yosemite over Tioga Pass and down to Lee Vining and Mono Lake. Visit the South Tufa Towers area while there -- it is worth the short side trip.

(2) Ride south on Hwy 395 toward Mammoth Lakes. Make a side trip to Mammoth Lakes if it interests you. The scenic loop is a nice ride, and then you can ride back to Hwy 395 on Hwy 203.

(3) Continue south on 395. Visit some hot springs in Long Valley if it interests you. You will be in the crater of a giant supervolcano at that point. Free camping is simple and easy in this area.

(4) Continue south on 395. This section of 395 is spectacularly beautiful -- it is one of the most scenic roads in the USA.

(5) Resupply in Bishop. There are good markets, a natural foods store, a bike shop, a great bakery, and several outdoor gear shops there. (The Burger Barn is a great little restaurant with better and more natural food than the name might suggest.)

(6) Continue south on 395. A short side trip to Keough Hot Springs is worth it.

(7) Just before the small town of Big Pine, turn off toward Death Valley on Hwy 168. Then stay left and go up into the White Mountains instead of going right into Saline Valley. It is a challenging but beautiful climb up to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forests. The oldest trees in the world are up here -- over 5,000 years old. Some of the fallen trees are over 12,000 years old. The dolomitic soil is an ancient seabed, with remains of ancient sea creatures, and it is about 700 million years old.

The views from that road, as you near the bristlecones, are fantastic. There are incredible views of Sierras to the west. And there are also views out over the deserts, including Saline Valley and Death Valley, to the southeast. You feel like you are on top of the world.

(7) If you are looking for an interesting challenge, after checking out the trails to the bristlecones, continue on past the Discovery Trail and Methuselah Trail, and the pavement, to the Patriarch Grove, and beyond. You will be gradually ascending, mostly on a dirt road, from 10,000 ft. elevation at the first bristlecone groves, up toward the top of White Mountain (14,254 ft).

(7) Ride/hike on to the top of White Mountain, which is one of the highest peaks in the contiguous USA. (You can see Mount Whitney, which is further south off Hwy 395 -- it is only about 240 ft higher at the top of Mt Whitney. The views are as good or better from the top of White Mountain.) Have plenty of water for this trip. You need to drink extra water at high elevations.

I believe this is the highest bikeable road in the contiguous USA.

You might also want to acclimatize if you might have issues with these altitudes. The Grand View Campground would be one place to acclimatize. You will probably have acclimatized fairly well by the time you get there, if you have spent some days prior in the Sierras. Take it easy if you have symptoms of altitude sickness.

If you are young and reasonably fit, which you should be by that point in your trip, the above adventure is quite doable, and one of the best highlights of your America journey.

Have a wonderful trip.

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