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TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third

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TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third

Old 03-22-20, 08:55 PM
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smudgy
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TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third

My 4th and final tour of 2019 captured on video. I only had time to ride from Pueblo, CO to Carbondale, IL. I heard a biker call it the dreaded middle third. He said it's called that because that's where most people quit. Kanas is too long, too hot, too windy, too boring. Maybe so, but I love the open spaces and the small western towns on the high plains. On the other hand, The Missouri Ozarks have hilly, twisty roads. Hilly is an understatement, 3 or 4 days of 8-12% hill after hill, most less than 2 miles. If not the hills, the scenery will take your breath away. Check it out.


If you're stuck at home and really bored, binge watch my other touring videos.

Erie Canal 2019
Ohio to Erie Trail 2019
Natchez Trace Parkway 2019
Lake Michigan 2015
Western Express 2013

That's if you are REALLY, REALLY bored!
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Old 03-22-20, 10:07 PM
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I did the entire Northern Tier. The wide open spaces of the High Line of Montana and the rolling hills of North Dakota were some of my favorites. One of my favorite critter sightings was during the former. I sneezed while riding past a fallow farm field. A camouflaged animal took off. Thought it was a dog at first. It was a huge jackrabbit. Loved the small towns along the way.
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Old 03-23-20, 12:08 AM
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I didn't do any touring last year, cause I was busy moving and settling into new digs. My fiancee and I did lots of local "training" rides, though. Your tour video is great, my idea of a fantastic ride. We've got plans to do our own tours, if the virus allows. Just one (rhetorical) question: Why doesn't your wife ride with you? Double the pleasure, cut the misery in half.
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Old 03-23-20, 01:40 AM
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Great video. Thanks for posting it.
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Old 03-23-20, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I did the entire Northern Tier. The wide open spaces of the High Line of Montana and the rolling hills of North Dakota were some of my favorites. One of my favorite critter sightings was during the former. I sneezed while riding past a fallow farm field. A camouflaged animal took off. Thought it was a dog at first. It was a huge jackrabbit. Loved the small towns along the way.
indyfabz, I rode the Lewis and Clark on 2004 and fell in love with open spaces and small towns of South Dakota, North Dakota and eastern Montana. I have also rode across Nebraska twice, I love the Sand Hills. Oklahoma once and Kansas twice. The greatest part of the Great Plains however, is the people. East Coast? West Coast? No comparison. No offense to anyone on the east or west coasts, but I have found that folks in the midwest just treat you different. Maybe it's because there are just fewer people.
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Old 03-23-20, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by DeadGrandpa View Post
I didn't do any touring last year, cause I was busy moving and settling into new digs. My fiancee and I did lots of local "training" rides, though. Your tour video is great, my idea of a fantastic ride. We've got plans to do our own tours, if the virus allows. Just one (rhetorical) question: Why doesn't your wife ride with you? Double the pleasure, cut the misery in half.
My lovely wife just doesn't share the same love of self-torture that bike touring does for me. She would rather sit on a sunny porch and read a good book while sipping a beverage. Go figure? To each his or her own. To me that sounds boring, I can't sit still for long. We do however go for some very pleasant weekend rides on our local rail-trail. She max's out at about 20 miles. But it's tree lined and shady with low wind and no hills. I'm considering getting her an e-bike, if she'll ride it.
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Old 03-24-20, 08:34 AM
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TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third
Originally Posted by smudgy View Post
My 4th and final tour of 2019 captured on video. I only had time to ride from Pueblo, CO to Carbondale, IL. I heard a biker call it the dreaded middle third. He said it's called that because that's where most people quit. Kanas is too long, too hot, too windy, too boring. Maybe so, but I love the open spaces and the small western towns on the high plains.

On the other hand, The Missouri Ozarks have hilly, twisty roads. Hilly is an understatement, 3 or 4 days of 8-12% hill after hill, most less than 2 miles. If not the hills, the scenery will take your breath away. Check it out.
I have posted about our cross country cycling honeymoon from LA to Washington DC in 1977, the first year after Bikecentennial, the forerunner of Adventure Cycling:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
The trip was back in May to June of 1977 on our honeymoon as we were moving from Michigan to Boston and managed a two-month hiatus from work... We navigated with an AAA USA Road map showing us the general direction, and then we used state Highway maps for day-to-day routes..

[We] crossed the Continental Divide at Wolf Creek pass; then through La Veta pass on into Kansas, through Garden City (where we met a Bikecentennial rider for 1976).

Through Kansas we paralleled US 50, and crossed the Missisippi in St Louis (on a Sunday). We crossed the Ohio River three times at Madison, Ind, (?) Mt Carmel, Ill, and Maysville Ky, all charming towns. Then through Southern Ohio crossing into West Virginia at Point Pleasant, and through to Blacksburg, VA, and Winchester, VA....We entered [Washington] during rush hour on a Monday, crossing the Potomac on Constitution Avenue (the same Route 50 we encountered in Kansas.)

Otherwise the weather was outstanding with only that one bad rain day in Virginia. Even the desert was unseasonably cool in May. We did carry about two gallons of extra water in the desert. The hottest days were in Kansas in early June...

The mountain roads out West were long but not too steep since they were federal highways and had to accommodate trucks. Backroads became more plentiful in Kansas, and the steepest hills were on backroads in the Missouri Ozarks, and in West Virginia Appalachians...

Every year beginning on our anniversary on April 30 for the next eight weeks I frequently try to recall where we were at that particular time on that date back in 1977:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
"Emotional letdown after tour ends?"

On our cross-country honeymoon tour in 1977, as I recall, there was a sense of letdown, but not much time to dwell on it as we now arrived in Boston to start new jobs and life in a new city...

There also was a minor let-down as we left the West after the Rocky Mountains since the California and Arizona deserts, and Colorado mountains were such exotic environments for two lifelong Midwesterners who were now descending into more familiar terrain.

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Old 03-25-20, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third I have posted about our cross country cycling honeymoon from LA to Washington DC in 1977, the first year after Bikecentennial, the forerunner of Adventure Cycling:
I rode across the country in 1985 with a buddy. We had heard of Bikecentennial, but we didn't know where the route went. It turned out that we were on it a good part of the way in Montana and Wyoming. But we rode across northern Kansas and Missouri and crossed the river at Hannibal. We started in Seattle and finished in Savannah, Ga. I guess I enjoy hearing about other people's adventures and sharing my own. Thanks again!
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Old 03-25-20, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by smudgy View Post
I rode across the country in 1985 with a buddy. We had heard of Bikecentennial, but we didn't know where the route went. It turned out that we were on it a good part of the way in Montana and Wyoming. But we rode across northern Kansas and Missouri and crossed the river at Hannibal.

We started in Seattle and finished in Savannah, Ga. I guess I enjoy hearing about other people's adventures and sharing my own. Thanks again!
Thanks for your reply. I recognize the early Bell Helmets. When we rode we only had the leather "hairnet" type.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
My wife and I crossed the country in 1977 from LA to Washington DC. Some of the now-old-fashioned elements as I recall:

Hairnet helmets, woolen bike shorts, jogging suits for colder weather, toe clips, paper maps, phone booths for calls; sent post cards; for cash we used travelers checks and had money orders wired to us at various post offices. We were not into photography, so instead of an SLR film camera, we had a Kodak Instamatic.

To track mileage we had a mechanical odometer with a metallic striker affixed to a spoke. For lights we used those strap on D-cell battery powered lights with a front yellow and rear red lenses.

We rode Merciers, model not recalled, with sew-up tires and fullly loaded rear panniers (not recommended)…
As I noted we met a 1976 Bikecentennialist in Garden City KS.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… In Garden City, KS we were approached in the city park by guy in his 20's who had ridden BC the previous year, and GC was his home. He showed us the sights and his family put us up for the night in an apartment above their jewelry store.

Such is the fellowship of the Cross-Country Ride.

From the best I can tell, it looks like our routes crossed around Larned, KS. BTW, Bikecentennial has a Wikipedia entry.
Speaking of sharing adventures,
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
It was one of my most pleasant cycling days in 40 years of cycling, to ride with @jppe, and to direct his wife in the van to various locations and ultimately the Atlantic Ocean on the last day of his cross country ride from Oregon to Boston

We next rode to Bedford, and took the 11 mile Minuteman Bikepath to Arlington. We could ride two abreast, and Ihad a chance to hear all the details of his ride.

As did many respondents to his threads, I already knew of the virtually day-by-day details, and I asked pretty specific questions about the activities. I was impressed by his engineer’s approach to planning the trip …


I told jp, “Well this far, and no farther.”(a favorite line from an episode of Columbo), and we took the end-of-ride pictures. We then had a celebratory dinner at a fine Boston seafood restaurant (Legal Seafood Harborside). We re-hashed our respective cross-country trips, including the current one with Jeri’s point of view.

While jp was away from the table, I asked her how she liked the trip…”I had a blast."

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 03-25-20 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 03-25-20, 06:10 PM
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Thanks for making and posting your videos. I always enjoy them.
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Old 03-25-20, 09:26 PM
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Thanks for watching and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate it.
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Old 03-26-20, 02:31 PM
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Really enjoyed your video....thanks for sharing
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Old 03-27-20, 01:42 PM
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My favorite series of videos! The production and the ideas behind how to produce them is fantastic. Never a dull moment.
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Old 03-27-20, 05:48 PM
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UKFan4Sure, Thanks for the positive comments. I have been bike touring for years and sometimes people ask me about it. I started the videos as a way to show people what bike touring is about. For me its a great way to share the adventure and show my friends and family that I'm not really crazy. Other people do this too. My sister-in-law saw my latest video and said "I knew you liked to ride your bike, but I didn't know that's what you did. That looks pretty intense." Can you imagine if Lewis and Clark went on their little adventure and when returning home they didn't tell anyone about it? If Lewis and Clark had a video camera, I'm sure they would have made a video about it. For me, the adventure is fun, the telling of the adventure is fun, and reading your comment just made my day. THANKS!
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Old 03-28-20, 06:53 PM
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Smudgy. I discovered your youtube channel the other day and now seeing you are on here got me to join. Your style of camping some and motelling some looks like the way to go, 'cept I'm a westerner and probably would want AC at night because of the humidity.

I started riding again after getting an e-bike and daydream about traveling on it.

Had the virus thing not happened, I'd be heading down to a bike shop to try out non ebikes with lots of gears and the right amount of comfort.

Thanks for the videos. They make the semi quarantine much more bearable.
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Old 03-28-20, 07:19 PM
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How can I access your YouTube channel ?
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Old 03-28-20, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 257 roberts View Post
How can I access your YouTube channel ?
Click on Paul's video above. When it starts playing, click on "watch on YouTube". Once it's open and playing in YouTube, you hit the subscribe button.
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Old 03-28-20, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 257 roberts View Post
How can I access your YouTube channel ?
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOI..._as=subscriber
I just learned a new internet trick!
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Old 03-28-20, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Cowlitz View Post
Smudgy. I discovered your youtube channel the other day and now seeing you are on here got me to join. Your style of camping some and motelling some looks like the way to go, 'cept I'm a westerner and probably would want AC at night because of the humidity.

I started riding again after getting an e-bike and daydream about traveling on it.

Had the virus thing not happened, I'd be heading down to a bike shop to try out non ebikes with lots of gears and the right amount of comfort.

Thanks for the videos. They make the semi quarantine much more bearable.
When I was younger I camped out on bike trips like 99% of the time. Of course then I was young and broke. Now I'm older and not broke, so given the choice between sleeping on the ground in a tent or sleeping in a bed in a motel with AC, usually I choose the latter.
Yeah, this whole virus thing is a drag. All my summer touring plans are up in the air.
Thanks for watching!!
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Old 03-28-20, 10:22 PM
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"When you go looking for adventure, don't complain when you find it".

I love it.

Thanks for the video. My legs are sore just from watching all the up and down.

What was the total trip mileage and elevation gain if you have those numbers?
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Old 03-28-20, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
"When you go looking for adventure, don't complain when you find it".

I love it.

Thanks for the video. My legs are sore just from watching all the up and down.

What was the total trip mileage and elevation gain if you have those numbers?
I should have said "don't complain when it finds you." I wish I could take credit for that one.
Total miles from Pueblo to Carbondale was 1,093. No clue on the elevation gain. I probably don't want to know, it might scare me away from bike touring. I'm sure somebody kept track of elevation gain and loss between those 2 towns. Anybody?
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Old 03-30-20, 11:50 AM
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Thanks

Originally Posted by Tony Marley View Post
Great video. Thanks for posting it.
Love the Video. So you carried a drone a little extra weight there but i worked well. How long would you guess that you spent on the journal a day?
Thanks
JKP
Rob
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Old 03-30-20, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by gorob23 View Post
Love the Video. So you carried a drone a little extra weight there but i worked well. How long would you guess that you spent on the journal a day?
Thanks
JKP
Rob
Thanks for watching. I recently purchased an even lighter drone with a better camera. The technology keeps getting better. As far as your question, do you mean while out on tour? I'm pretty slow and take lots of breaks anyway. I usually film myself talking (awkward) once or twice per day. Not much planning goes in, I'm just saying what's on my mind at the time. Takes 10 -15 minutes, but I'm taking a break from riding so it's not really wasted time. And I'm always looking for something interesting to video. Before I did the videos I would stop and take lots of photos anyways, so that doesn't add a lot of time to the day. I travel alone, so it doesn't bother anyone, but a travelling partner would probably get annoyed quickly by all my stops. The real time consuming part is the editing. That takes time. They say for every minute of video it takes an hour to edit. I must be very slow. My 26 minute video took way longer than 26 hrs. I enjoy the creative part of that, but it does take a long time. Thanks again!
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