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Old 01-06-10, 01:07 PM   #1
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South Bend, IN ->Memphis, TN in July...advice requested

I am in the process of planning my first bike tour for our plant's shutdown week in July and want to push myself myself pretty good in a well as have a nice reward at the end (plan is to camp on way down and whoop it up for couple nights in memphis)....Will be having wife go along in minivan (doing her own thing during days but meeting up at night) as dont have to go crazy with fully loaded tour...but will be on own for 100 mile stretches. I dont have a good bike for this (yet). Last year spent all summer riding fixed gear (redline 925) and did rack up some good distances on it, but need a better LD / Touring bike. My thought is to go with a Surly LHT with Surly Nice Racks to give flexibility to carry whatever i want...and to grow into more self supported tours later.

So couple areas would like advice / input.........

Route...any recommendations? I am starting googling etc but would love any advice / recommendations on routes.

While I think it is reasonable to train and do 6 100 mile days in a row i am wondering if i am overly optimistic. part of my thought process is that when i have a full day i could get up at 8 and go til 6 and only need to average 10mph...doesnt seem too tough since I usually average 15mph on my fixed gear ovr 50-70 mile rides. Thoughts?

Anyone have experience with generator hub for lights and charging usb devices? would love to be able to charge my droid on the fly (would help with maps/navigation)....thinking of speccing out a generator hub on my LHT if seems do-able / convenient.

Lastly....any other general thoughts / advice for a first timer? Think i am doing it fairly "easy" with wife going as support if needed (although she informed me she would only be available for emergency....shes planning on enjoying herself during days!).

Thanks in advance for your comments.
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Old 01-06-10, 10:14 PM   #2
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You sound like a strong, well conditioned, experienced cyclist who can handle the high daily mileage, seeing as this is basically a sagged ride. There probably won't be any big climbs on the route. Biggest problem will likely be the heat and humidity you'll experience in July. Staying hydrated and eating enough to fuel all that pedaling will be a challenge. If you're not very careful, could be a show stopper.

Seems like a hub generator should easily charge your gadgets, but I've never heard of a system designed for that. I'm sure there are technical reasons they aren't common. Some use solar chargers, with varying degrees of success. I just plug my stuff into an outlet in the campground, the restaurant, or buy new batteries.

If you don't get any specific advice about routing to Memphis, just use the Google walking option and ride it. Will keep you off limited access highways. If interested in elevation profiles, use
The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me
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Old 01-08-10, 05:59 AM   #3
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I do recall seeing a charging gadget for a hub generator- don't recall where though- google... it's out there.

/edit: in the forums too..
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Old 01-09-10, 05:54 AM   #4
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Sounds like a great trip, except the destination. Memphis in July, or any other month is less than desirable.
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Old 01-09-10, 09:56 AM   #5
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Will you be riding US31? If so you will be passing right by me. I am interested in what route you pick through Indiana. I would like to do the same trip but to Nashville. Also, if you don't have a Surly dealer near you I highly recommend Indy Cycle Specialists in Indianapolis. Scott sells tons of LHT's and usually has at least 3 on the floor. He told me people from out of state drive to test ride and buy from him. I have one in layaway with them at the moment. He also has the Surly racks as well as some others. Great shop.....and the most down to earth guys I've met.
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