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New biker planning 600mi bike trip - plausible?

Old 04-19-20, 11:11 PM
  #26  
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I would not want to do a long trip on a single-speed bike, slow pedal cadence can be fatiguing. One could install an internal-gear hub but I look at the price for a Shimano Alfine 8-speed & they're over $200. One might be able to find a nice suitable used bike for $300. 70 miles/day sounds feasible though it might not leave much time for sight-seeing.
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Old 04-20-20, 03:42 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
70 miles/day sounds feasible though it might not leave much time for sight-seeing.
I looked back over my trips across Kansas and my one trip across eastern Colorado and I didn't recall any sightseeing that I/we did. The country seemed to lend itself to long days on the bike with a little time meeting the local folks on rest stops and in the evenings. My notes and pictures didn't jog my memory about much in the way of sightseeing opportunities. When I rode across the southern part of the state in the spring there were the Flint Hills which were pretty scenic, but best enjoyed from the seat of the bike IMO. Also on that trip I enjoyed observing a wide variety of birds that I usually don't see, but again while riding.
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Old 04-20-20, 04:36 AM
  #28  
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To the fellow asking this
All our talk is just blah blah to you , but riding ss on your first time carrying gear on a bike no matter the distances, or slight hills, or wind, is different than riding recreationally unloaded for a short period.
Low cadence is hard on knees
You might be a super beefy legged young guy, but ss for what you want to do is like driving around in a four speed manual transmission car only ever using third.
for non car folks this won't mean a thing, especially automatic driving only folks
You'll be lugging the engine a lot, it's hard on the knees, and you'll be packing probably 20lbs of stuff easily let's say, your SS bike will be maybe twice as heavy.

Bottom line, as suggested, get out there and load your bike with 20,30lbs of stuff and do some consecutive 60 70 mile days, get your answer

Last edited by djb; 04-20-20 at 04:40 AM.
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Old 04-20-20, 05:09 AM
  #29  
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For my first tour, 1000 miles around Lake Michigan, I borrowed a friend's ten speed (Schwinn Continental, the nicest bike in my Chicago suburb in 1975). Even as a teenager, I figured that ride would be tough on my older brother's 1950's era single speed hand-me-down. After the ride (which changed the direction of my life), I wouldn't return the bike. I don't remember what I traded for it. Anyway, that's another vote for getting a different bike for this trip, even if you have to beg or borrow one.

Great analogy above, driving around in third gear.
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Old 04-20-20, 07:05 AM
  #30  
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SURE. plausible. I mean people did the Continental Divide trail on single speed so yeah...you walk when you can't ride and eventually you get to your destination. nice adventure
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Old 04-20-20, 07:16 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
For my first tour, 1000 miles around Lake Michigan, I borrowed a friend's ten speed (Schwinn Continental, the nicest bike in my Chicago suburb in 1975). Even as a teenager, I figured that ride would be tough on my older brother's 1950's era single speed hand-me-down. After the ride (which changed the direction of my life), I wouldn't return the bike. I don't remember what I traded for it. Anyway, that's another vote for getting a different bike for this trip, even if you have to beg or borrow one.

Great analogy above, driving around in third gear.
good story, and as for the third gear thing, its one thing if someone has Massy Ferguson tractor motor torque legs and knees vs what most people which is maybe a 1600cc four banger with badly adjusted carbs and low compression...
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Old 04-20-20, 08:14 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
....Bottom line, as suggested, get out there and load your bike with 20,30lbs of stuff and do some consecutive 60 70 mile days, get your answer
Though yet to do my first tour, this sounds most sagacious. I might suggest making the test route a circle/out-n-back as representative of the real trip as possible. Each "day" you would be back home and can camp in your/someone's backyard, wake the next morning, and assess whether you can do another day....
​​​​​
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Old 04-20-20, 08:31 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Digger Goreman View Post
Though yet to do my first tour, this sounds most sagacious. I might suggest making the test route a circle/out-n-back as representative of the real trip as possible. Each "day" you would be back home and can camp in your/someone's backyard, wake the next morning, and assess whether you can do another day....
​​​​​
Probably a sensible approach. Not one I'd ever consider though. For me camping in the back yard is something I probably looked down my nose at by the time I was 8 or 9. Otoh, it would allow sorting out the kinks.

On a bike tour it is pretty easy to make adjustments as you go so It is way less of a big deal if you get things wrong than when backpacking, canoe camping, x/c skiing, or other back country stuff. You can buy stuff, mail stuff home, or just tough it out. The penalties are so low that you might as well leave a little adventure in the process. I have always done zero dry runs even for backpacking or canoe camping. My first tour I was pretty seasoned though having a lot of years of other outdoor experience under my belt. I took off on the Trans America with no dry run and no short warm up tours at all. Maybe I'd have done differently if I hadn't done other kinds of adventure trips, but maybe not. I figure the unknown factor was part of the adventure that you only get once. That view isn't for everyone though.
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Old 04-20-20, 01:19 PM
  #34  
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I will simply add that averaging 70 mile days is no realistic, multiple gears or not. Can it be done? Sure. Is it reasonable and realistic? No. Would it be enjoyable? Probably not.
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Old 04-20-20, 10:08 PM
  #35  
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Dear Walt,
You doesn't tell us much about you.
And you doesn't check back in.
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Old 04-20-20, 11:02 PM
  #36  
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Thanks everyone for the thoughtful and helpful replies! I will look into getting a different bike, but I do sort of like the idea of spending a minimal amount of money and toughing through it on the one I have. I am able to maintain 90rpm on it most of the time, which is comfortable for me.

I do plan to do some longer back to back rides in the next couple months, possibly while carrying extra weight, just to see how hard it is. Since Kansas seems to have towns with motels and small groceries every 30ish miles, as one of you mentioned, I don't plan to bring cookware or a tent; my gear should be pretty light. I'm also definitely aware that Covid could affect my plans, and don't plan to break any travel restrictions if those are still in place by summertime.

The KDOT traffic map was helpful! I plan to take US 36 almost the whole way, which gets very little traffic.

I did think about wind and heat and planned to do the bulk of my riding before 10am each day to avoid those things. (Not sure what I'd do in the middle of the day, though. Read? In random small towns or on the side of the road? Hm.)

70mpd was my more ambitious plan; I have a lot of flexibility and could definitely go shorter than that. My only concern would be a section in Eastern CO where the only towns are ~80mi apart; if I couldn't do that in a day I'd have to sleep on the side of the road and make sure I packed enough food. Obviously this is how many if not most bike tourists do it, so I can too. But just something I'll have to plan for.

I'm 20, if it matters, so that might help as far as physical resilience...?
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Old 04-20-20, 11:17 PM
  #37  
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You might want to get another 80 years out of your knees. Mashing for days on end can lead to serious lifelong problems. Especially if you start to experience pain and think you can just push through.
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Old 04-21-20, 03:38 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by walter smitty View Post
Thanks everyone for the thoughtful and helpful replies! I will look into getting a different bike, but I do sort of like the idea of spending a minimal amount of money and toughing through it on the one I have. I am able to maintain 90rpm on it most of the time, which is comfortable for me.

I do plan to do some longer back to back rides in the next couple months, possibly while carrying extra weight, just to see how hard it is. Since Kansas seems to have towns with motels and small groceries every 30ish miles, as one of you mentioned, I don't plan to bring cookware or a tent; my gear should be pretty light. I'm also definitely aware that Covid could affect my plans, and don't plan to break any travel restrictions if those are still in place by summertime.

The KDOT traffic map was helpful! I plan to take US 36 almost the whole way, which gets very little traffic.

I did think about wind and heat and planned to do the bulk of my riding before 10am each day to avoid those things. (Not sure what I'd do in the middle of the day, though. Read? In random small towns or on the side of the road? Hm.)

70mpd was my more ambitious plan; I have a lot of flexibility and could definitely go shorter than that. My only concern would be a section in Eastern CO where the only towns are ~80mi apart; if I couldn't do that in a day I'd have to sleep on the side of the road and make sure I packed enough food. Obviously this is how many if not most bike tourists do it, so I can too. But just something I'll have to plan for.

I'm 20, if it matters, so that might help as far as physical resilience...?
Dude, just hunt down an old mountain bike or a hybrid bike, doesn't need to be fancy, just in good condition mechanically. You might even find one with a rack fitted already.
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Old 04-21-20, 05:42 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by walter smitty View Post
...I did think about wind and heat and planned to do the bulk of my riding before 10am each day to avoid those things. (Not sure what I'd do in the middle of the day, though. Read? In random small towns or on the side of the road? Hm.)...
Not too long ago I pushed though a Midwest heat wave, temps in the 100s every day, dewpoints in the 70s. I still made 80+ miles every day, even one century. I got up before dawn, rode till mid-morning, 40 or 50 miles in a sprint to a town, then hunkered down in town. An hour at the library, two hours at lunch, back to the library, a nap in the park. If there was a running water in the park, I'd wash and dry clothing (and myself if possible), buy groceries for dinner, a pint of ice cream for the park. As shadows lengthened in early evening, I'd ride another two or three hours for another 30 or 40 miles, either to a campsite or motel. When I camped, I timed my arrival for sunset when temps would drop below 90. It was breezy every night so it worked.
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Old 04-21-20, 05:56 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by walter smitty View Post
I plan to take US 36 almost the whole way, which gets very little traffic.
US 36?

Why? When there are far better choices.
You haven't said, but I'm guessing you are going between Denver and K.C. metros.
I did grad work in Lawrence and live in Wyoming.
I know the backroads well.

US 36 is a through highway.
2-lane, but through - so people are wailing.
Other roads have less traffic and lower speeds.
Also, there are almost no diagonal roads in the Great Plains.
So these tend to have heavy, fast traffic - avoid.

US 36 has low traffic in eastern Colorado -
but by mid-Kansas traffic increases- high-speed traffic.
US does has only fair shoulders in most of Kansas,
In Colorado, fair to none - but much less traffic.
(State Hwy 36 parallels I-70 east of E-470.)

If you are heading to the KC metro -
I would suggest Hwy 9 and Hwy 18.
Cutting south from US 36 at Oberlin on US 83.
Then south thru Osborne on US 281. to Hwy 18.
Hwy 9 is practically empty in west Kansas.

Less remote and a little shorter -
Still cut south at Oberlin on US 83,
But continue south on Hwy 23 ro US 24 to Hwy 18.
More county seats, more services.
Slightly more traffic.

BUT - - -

You will need to know how to ride safely
on two-lane highways (not city streets)
with traffic travelling at high speeds.

Do you have a handlebar or helmet mirror?
Do you even ave a helmet?
I think riding & listening to music is risky, in general.
But I really discourage if you are new.

Two more things -

Weather - Storms can be doozies in Kansas.
Don't forget the story about Dorothy.
Huge thunderstorms crop up in the afternoons -
They are worst in May & June.
Don't push your luck.

In little towns without motels consider churches.
Many small town church are struggling.
Pastors are often shared and live out of town.
Ask around for the pastor or the church moderator for permission.
Catholic churches often have a rectory next door.

Good luck.
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Old 04-21-20, 06:00 AM
  #41  
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It is nice to see the OP post back. All too often we hear from folks once with a question like this and never again.
Originally Posted by phughes View Post
I will simply add that averaging 70 mile days is no realistic, multiple gears or not. Can it be done? Sure. Is it reasonable and realistic? No. Would it be enjoyable? Probably not.
I disagree. I crossed KS a couple times and Colorado once and I am not sure exactly what all my averages were but I am pretty sure they were at or above 70 each time for that section. Depending on the rider's age, fitness level, level of commitment, and so on it could be difficult or it could be a cake walk. For some riders it might leave them wondering what they are going to do with the rest of their day in some tiny KS town.

Originally Posted by walter smitty View Post
Thanks everyone for the thoughtful and helpful replies! I will look into getting a different bike, but I do sort of like the idea of spending a minimal amount of money and toughing through it on the one I have. I am able to maintain 90rpm on it most of the time, which is comfortable for me.
Your call, but if it was me I'd want a semi nice bike with gears. Not necessarily something expensive, but not complete junk either. Maybe something in the $600-1200 range when new, possibly bought for half that used. That said it isn't an absolute requirement.

Since Kansas seems to have towns with motels and small groceries every 30ish miles, as one of you mentioned, I don't plan to bring cookware or a tent; my gear should be pretty light. I'm also definitely aware that Covid could affect my plans, and don't plan to break any travel restrictions if those are still in place by summertime.
I am not one to plan daily mileage and stops preferring to stop when I feel like it, but my recollection of KS and CO are that motels were not all that conveniently spaced. I realy don't recall them being anything like every 30 miles in a lot of places. Being on a US highway may help, but often on US highways a lot of businesses have closed. This may be more so after the Covid social distancing. Businesses that were barely hanging on may not open again. So you should probably verify the locations of possible stops if you do not have the ability to camp. Some may no longer be open.

The KDOT traffic map was helpful! I plan to take US 36 almost the whole way, which gets very little traffic.
I don't know US36, but I like highways with the US designation in general. Obviously not all are suitable, but I have found that many suit my style of touring very well with a good balance of services, not too heavy traffic, and minimal navigation required.

I did think about wind and heat and planned to do the bulk of my riding before 10am each day to avoid those things. (Not sure what I'd do in the middle of the day, though. Read? In random small towns or on the side of the road? Hm.)
The hours can get long in those little towns. Most that I stopped at have a little park with a picnic pavilion.

70mpd was my more ambitious plan; I have a lot of flexibility and could definitely go shorter than that. My only concern would be a section in Eastern CO where the only towns are ~80mi apart; if I couldn't do that in a day I'd have to sleep on the side of the road and make sure I packed enough food. Obviously this is how many if not most bike tourists do it, so I can too. But just something I'll have to plan for.

I'm 20, if it matters, so that might help as far as physical resilience...?
I really don't think that 70 miles is all that likely to be a problem for you, but it is hard to tell, everyone is different. Also some days you feel better than others. By the way when I say 70 mile days that usually means some are 60 and some are 80. Some might even be 50 and some 90. That is just the nature of touring. I know there are days I feel like riding 30 miles and stopping and days where I ride and ride. One tour across KS, OK, and NM, I did a 142 mile day to finish up in Santa Fe including a fairly easy mountain pass on well graded road that day. I was 58 at the time and carrying 30 pounds of camping gear so at 20 and not carrying camping gear I think it is unreasonable for folks to assume it is a bad idea for you to attempt 70 or 80 mile days.

All that said I'd advise being as flexible as you can in your daily mileage plans. Allow yourself to stop at 30 if you want to some days. Allow yourself to push well past 70 some days if feel like it that day. Just be careful in the very beginning the very first days are the days you don't want to push too hard. You might stop for the day at 10 AM, hang around in town, get bored, and go out again at 3 or 4 or 5 and ride another 30 or 40 miles. I know that I do that some times. You may even find that works well as standard procedure.

I try to avoid having a fixed end date on any tour if possible. I prefer to not have the pressure of having to be at the end on a certain day. The weird thing is that while I don't want to be pressured to have to get there, but when not pressured I ride more miles than I need to and get there days early most times. Having more time than you need is a good thing. Same applies to a budget. I make sure I have more money than I need and still spend very little. It is good if you don't have to be a slave to a budget or a schedule IMO.
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Old 04-21-20, 10:07 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by walter smitty View Post
I plan to take US 36 almost the whole way, which gets very little traffic.
Hwy 36 is an excellent choice if you won't be camping. It also has wide shoulders. The high speed traffic will get annoying in eastern Kansas. So will the hills on a single speed bicycle but if , in fact, you were using a single speed bicycle this would be the route you want.
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Old 04-21-20, 10:16 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
It is nice to see the OP post back. All too often we hear from folks once with a question like this and never again.

I disagree. I crossed KS a couple times and Colorado once and I am not sure exactly what all my averages were but I am pretty sure they were at or above 70 each time for that section. Depending on the rider's age, fitness level, level of commitment, and so on it could be difficult or it could be a cake walk. For some riders it might leave them wondering what they are going to do with the rest of their day in some tiny KS town.


Your call, but if it was me I'd want a semi nice bike with gears. Not necessarily something expensive, but not complete junk either. Maybe something in the $600-1200 range when new, possibly bought for half that used. That said it isn't an absolute requirement.


I am not one to plan daily mileage and stops preferring to stop when I feel like it, but my recollection of KS and CO are that motels were not all that conveniently spaced. I realy don't recall them being anything like every 30 miles in a lot of places. Being on a US highway may help, but often on US highways a lot of businesses have closed. This may be more so after the Covid social distancing. Businesses that were barely hanging on may not open again. So you should probably verify the locations of possible stops if you do not have the ability to camp. Some may no longer be open.


I don't know US36, but I like highways with the US designation in general. Obviously not all are suitable, but I have found that many suit my style of touring very well with a good balance of services, not too heavy traffic, and minimal navigation required.


The hours can get long in those little towns. Most that I stopped at have a little park with a picnic pavilion.


I really don't think that 70 miles is all that likely to be a problem for you, but it is hard to tell, everyone is different. Also some days you feel better than others. By the way when I say 70 mile days that usually means some are 60 and some are 80. Some might even be 50 and some 90. That is just the nature of touring. I know there are days I feel like riding 30 miles and stopping and days where I ride and ride. One tour across KS, OK, and NM, I did a 142 mile day to finish up in Santa Fe including a fairly easy mountain pass on well graded road that day. I was 58 at the time and carrying 30 pounds of camping gear so at 20 and not carrying camping gear I think it is unreasonable for folks to assume it is a bad idea for you to attempt 70 or 80 mile days.

All that said I'd advise being as flexible as you can in your daily mileage plans. Allow yourself to stop at 30 if you want to some days. Allow yourself to push well past 70 some days if feel like it that day. Just be careful in the very beginning the very first days are the days you don't want to push too hard. You might stop for the day at 10 AM, hang around in town, get bored, and go out again at 3 or 4 or 5 and ride another 30 or 40 miles. I know that I do that some times. You may even find that works well as standard procedure.

I try to avoid having a fixed end date on any tour if possible. I prefer to not have the pressure of having to be at the end on a certain day. The weird thing is that while I don't want to be pressured to have to get there, but when not pressured I ride more miles than I need to and get there days early most times. Having more time than you need is a good thing. Same applies to a budget. I make sure I have more money than I need and still spend very little. It is good if you don't have to be a slave to a budget or a schedule IMO.
Sure you can average 70 miles a day, and of course many have done it. Having said that, the entire rest of your post agrees with everything I said. I said it could be done, no question about that. It is not something I would actually plan on with a single speed bike, fully loaded. It simply would not be enjoyable, for me, to have to hit that mileage every day. As you said, you don't like planning daily mileage.

I said the same thing you did, but use far fewer words.

Is it possible? Yes. Is it realistic? No. Would it be enjoyable? Probably not.
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Old 04-21-20, 10:42 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Sure you can average 70 miles a day, and of course many have done it. Having said that, the entire rest of your post agrees with everything I said. I said it could be done, no question about that. It is not something I would actually plan on with a single speed bike, fully loaded. It simply would not be enjoyable, for me, to have to hit that mileage every day. As you said, you don't like planning daily mileage.

I said the same thing you did, but use far fewer words.

Is it possible? Yes. Is it realistic? No. Would it be enjoyable? Probably not.
Okay, fewer words... Would it be more enjoyable than sitting all day in a tiny KS town? For me and just maybe the OP yes.
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Old 04-21-20, 12:27 PM
  #45  
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This guy crossed the Sahara on a $100 bike
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Old 04-21-20, 12:29 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Okay, fewer words... Would it be more enjoyable than sitting all day in a tiny KS town? For me and just maybe the OP yes.
fair point!
and anyway (no disrespect intended walt) but he's 20 and he'll try it and see how it goes, we're just a bunch of old geezer anonymous internet goofs telling him he can't do it...

(Walt, one good point that was made though is about not ignoring knee issues. You won't believe us, but it is worth taking care of yourself and specifically knees for the long term take, even if its hard to believe now.)
Have fun discovering bike traveling and all the ins and outs.
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Old 04-21-20, 12:48 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by walter smitty View Post
Thanks everyone for the thoughtful and helpful replies! I will look into getting a different bike, but I do sort of like the idea of spending a minimal amount of money and toughing through it on the one I have. I am able to maintain 90rpm on it most of the time, which is comfortable for me.

I do plan to do some longer back to back rides in the next couple months, possibly while carrying extra weight, just to see how hard it is. Since Kansas seems to have towns with motels and small groceries every 30ish miles, as one of you mentioned, I don't plan to bring cookware or a tent; my gear should be pretty light. I'm also definitely aware that Covid could affect my plans, and don't plan to break any travel restrictions if those are still in place by summertime.

The KDOT traffic map was helpful! I plan to take US 36 almost the whole way, which gets very little traffic.

I did think about wind and heat and planned to do the bulk of my riding before 10am each day to avoid those things. (Not sure what I'd do in the middle of the day, though. Read? In random small towns or on the side of the road? Hm.)

70mpd was my more ambitious plan; I have a lot of flexibility and could definitely go shorter than that. My only concern would be a section in Eastern CO where the only towns are ~80mi apart; if I couldn't do that in a day I'd have to sleep on the side of the road and make sure I packed enough food. Obviously this is how many if not most bike tourists do it, so I can too. But just something I'll have to plan for.

I'm 20, if it matters, so that might help as far as physical resilience...?
Not sure if you are talking early summer or late summer or when, but later summer has shorter days.

And not sure where exactly your route is. I picked a weather station near Highway 36. This is my go-to website for weather data that I look at when I am planning a trip. Gives you good data on precip chances, wind, temp, hours of sunlight, etc.
https://weatherspark.com/y/149755/Av...tes-Year-Round

If you are new to bike touring, a few related issues. I like to have a AAA powered flashing taillight on my bike. And I wear a high visibility color bike jersey or windbreaker. When raining a bright red rain jacket. If I am heading straight into the sun when it is close to the horizon, if there is much traffic I might get off the road and wait for things to change because the driver of a car coming up behind me might not see me in the sun. You want to make sure you are visible. I am not familiar with the highway you plan, if there is a wide shoulder, great. If you are in the lane of traffic, try to be safe.

I have a mirror attached to my helmet so I can see what is coming up behind me. Some large trucks on a windy day can have a pretty massive wind blast as they pass you and can have a slipsteam that can pull you in behind it. I really like to know when big trucks are approaching when the wind is strong so I can prepare for the wind blasts better.

Good luck.
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Old 04-21-20, 12:52 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Sure you can average 70 miles a day, and of course many have done it. Having said that, the entire rest of your post agrees with everything I said. I said it could be done, no question about that. It is not something I would actually plan on with a single speed bike, fully loaded. It simply would not be enjoyable, for me, to have to hit that mileage every day. As you said, you don't like planning daily mileage.
.
I see this much more as a comment about a single-speed bike than a pace of 70 miles/day. If he gets lucky and prevailing winds prevail, he may have more tailwinds than headwinds. The headwind days will be more obnoxious but the tailwind days can add up.

I looked through my logs for two trips I took that took me across CO/KS:
- Fort Collins to Wichita
- Wichita to Memphis
First to Wichita and then on to Memphis. I had a geared bike, but for me it was more a matter of putting (sometime long) hours into the riding than anything else:

First trip mileage was: 28+137+114+102+83+95+43+34+50 miles. The main travel days were those in the middle and after that I took short days to celebrate 4th of July and go around Wichita.
Section trip mileage was: 104+92+72+78+74+113+72+75 miles.

A single-speed would be more obnoxious, but likely at least as important would be getting some saddle time so you could spend longer riding in a day if needed. In my case above, I was well accustomed to riding some longer days.
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Old 04-21-20, 02:51 PM
  #49  
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One other thing that the OP needs to remember is that average mileage is just that average mileage. Towns often won't be spaced conveniently. He will likely have to often choose between riding 10-20 farther and 10-20 miles less than he wants in order to hit where there is a town with services. At least I often have in many locales. Not sure about how US36 is in that regard. Any way 70 mile days likely means some 40-60 mile days and some 80 mile days or maybe even a 90 mile day somewhere along the way.
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Old 04-21-20, 03:38 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
One other thing that the OP needs to remember is that average mileage is just that average mileage. Towns often won't be spaced conveniently. He will likely have to often choose between riding 10-20 farther and 10-20 miles less than he wants in order to hit where there is a town with services. At least I often have in many locales. Not sure about how US36 is in that regard. Any way 70 mile days likely means some 40-60 mile days and some 80 mile days or maybe even a 90 mile day somewhere along the way.
My guess is the largest gap is ~85 miles prior to St Francis (assuming other motels are still open). However, coming across US 34 instead in this section has multiple towns with a closer spacing.

When I did my trip from Fort Collins CO to Wichita KS, I didn't make reservations anywhere since I wanted to keep flexible on days to ride south vs. east, but instead used the internet and sites like motelguide.com to have my list of small towns/motels and don't recall gaps bigger than 50 miles in that route. I took US 34 across eastern CO instead of US 36.in part because I started further north and in part because the gaps were smaller.
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