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What is the easiest route across the US?

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What is the easiest route across the US?

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Old 11-21-13, 10:02 PM
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pianobike
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What is the easiest route across the US?

I've been pulling a piano with my bike in Salt Lake City where I live for the past 3 years. Playing my original compositions to passerbys. I am building a new pianobike because the old one broke down. I began thinking that I'd love to celebrate the completion of the new pianobike by taking it on a short tour, but, while the new one is lighter than the one prior, I still don't think I can pull it too far.

I am setting out on a new goal; to find a piano manufacturer that will work aside a frame builder to co-create a pianobike light enough for me to move it slowly across the country and play my music along the way.

Moving weight without an incline is exponentially easier than with one. So my question is what is the easiest route from coast to coast?

Thank you for your input! I look forward to hearing what you have to offer.

Eric
ericrichmusic.com
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Old 11-22-13, 04:53 AM
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Well, that's one I haven't seen before. I think I'm not the only one curious for pictures of this contraption!

Anyway, given that there are a virtually infinite number of potential routes across the US, the question is difficult to answer. If you're referring to established/mapped routes though, the Adventure Cycling Association is the most-recommended source for those - they have a whole network of routes around the US and sell very helpful maps for each. Their "Southern Tier" route crosses the US from Florida to Southern California and is known, as far as I'm aware, both for being the easiest cross-USA route in terms of elevation change, and also the least scenic. It's best done in the cooler months of the year, because, well, Florida, Alabama, Texas, etc.

www.adventurecycling.com

Because the Rockies and Appalachians exist, if you're looking to cross the US without mountains, you're pretty much stuck with a route along the southern edge of the country, but it's totally possible you could piece together your own, even flatter route.
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Old 11-22-13, 05:37 AM
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Carbon fiber piano?

http://www.composites-manufacturing..../14/20132/354/
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Old 11-22-13, 07:03 AM
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Piano cycle.

Easiest coast-to-coast? San Diego-San Antonio-Corpus Christi. Easiest across US? Minot, North Dakota-Brownsville, Texas.



PS - Similar requirements in the 19th century resulted in the invention of the portable harmonium. Just sayin'.

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Old 11-22-13, 07:07 AM
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Unfortunately, your question cannot be answered in simple black and white terms. We know that the route must be flat, or at least a flat as possible. No matter which route tickles your fancy, there will be at least some some mountains that will require you to push down hard on the pedals. Perhaps you should scale back your plans until you at least go on some tune up rides.
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Old 11-22-13, 07:17 AM
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Some puns are good and some puns make my brain hurt.
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Old 11-22-13, 07:22 AM
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Southern Route and this:

http://www.kraftmusic.com/digital-pi...gn=yam-np11he&
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Old 11-22-13, 08:07 AM
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Would you consider an electric piano? I've thought about bringing one of those - the kind with 88 keys, speakers, and battery power.
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Old 11-22-13, 08:49 AM
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Brownsville, TX to Pembina, ND (south of Winnipeg). I did this route several years ago. Relative to the other cross country routes, this is flat, and if you go south to north, you will usually get some great tailwinds.

Of course, if you change your definition of "coast to coast" you could ride across Florida from the Atlantic to the Gulf.

Sounds like an interesting project. Best wishes!
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Old 11-22-13, 08:57 AM
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I'd say the Southern Tier. Don't do it in the Summer though unless you have a high tolerance for heat. There are long stretches of nothing that may not suit you unless you are making pretty good time. The first couple days out of San Diego would be tough and there are a few other long climbs, but it is probably the flattest route coast to coast.

What does this rig look like and what does it weigh? Could you please post a picture? I could see problems with a few sections if the rig is at all wide.
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Old 11-22-13, 09:19 AM
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This fellow does it in an ancient Toyota PU, with dog. Overnighted with us years ago. Op wants to do same on a bicycle. Dog is highly recommended.

As for the bicycle, get yourself an ebike of some sort to help pull that piano up hills. That way you could do a modified TransAm and thereby avoid more desolate areas.
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Old 11-22-13, 09:52 AM
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Easiest .? Amtrak. Louis and Clark did most of their trip on Rivers..

Minneapolis to New Orleans.. Take the Mississippi, downstream.

MIDI, like Casio keyboard and a battery powered amp can be bike trailered..

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Old 11-22-13, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Unfortunately, your question cannot be answered in simple black and white terms. We know that the route must be flat, or at least a flat as possible. No matter which route tickles your fancy, there will be at least some some mountains that will require you to push down hard on the pedals. Perhaps you should scale back your plans until you at least go on some tune up rides.
This is one of the best responses I have read in a long time. Great job I'm still laughing.
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Old 11-22-13, 01:03 PM
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Several great piano apps out there.
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Old 11-22-13, 01:17 PM
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west to east .... unless you want 3000 miles of headwind (I have done it both way)
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Old 11-22-13, 04:32 PM
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I read a lot about carbon fiber soundboards, with many mixed reviews, then I did a search on youtube and found a video of someone playing this piano! I couldn't find much of any information on it though, so thank you so much for posting the link! It's very helpful.
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Old 11-22-13, 04:36 PM
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While keyboards are the more practical thing to do. It takes the fun out of the challenge and I don't like the sound of a digital keyboard. I've played on one in public places and it doesn't draw people in.
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Old 11-22-13, 04:41 PM
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Cyclebum,

Yeah, I entertaining the idea of using an e-assist, but realized that I'd rather have help pushing with friends over the passes (if I am crazy enough to choose them) to complete the challenge which is specific, but as a lot of play; pedal an acoustic piano across the country. Maybe it's necessary though. I do need to test the waters a bit to know what I'm up against.
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Old 11-22-13, 04:42 PM
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Thanks muzpuf,

I was wondering if there was a benefit to which direction to take. West to east it is.
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Old 11-22-13, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Several great piano apps out there.

None of which move an acoustic piano across the country.
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Old 11-22-13, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by jbphilly View Post
Well, that's one I haven't seen before. I think I'm not the only one curious for pictures of this contraption!
I have pictures and video of the old pianobike here:

www.ericrichmusic.co

Thanks for taking interest. And when my new fully integrated pianobike is finished, I'll be sure to post photos!

Last edited by CbadRider; 11-22-13 at 07:25 PM. Reason: Deleted link that violates forum solicitation guidelines
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Old 11-22-13, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by pianobike View Post
None of which move an acoustic piano across the country.
If you insist on hauling a piano, you'll want separate brakes for the piano. Maybe you can rig up some hydraulic disc brakes. Otherwise, you'll be literally flying downhill, followed by crashing sounds.
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Old 11-22-13, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
What does this rig look like and what does it weigh? Could you please post a picture? I could see problems with a few sections if the rig is at all wide.
The rig is still being conceptualized. I'm planning this for spring of 2015 and my goal is to be sure that the pianobike is no wider than a tadpole recumbent bike. I was thinking of using a recumbent, though I've only ridden one time and I'm not completely sure I like them. It would be most helpful to bring the center of gravity lower, so, like the foreseeable problem you mentioned, the rig is not too wide. When I have a better drawing and idea of what this will look like I will post them.

Thanks!

Eric Rich
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Old 11-22-13, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by pianobike View Post
The rig is still being conceptualized. I'm planning this for spring of 2015 and my goal is to be sure that the pianobike is no wider than a tadpole recumbent bike. I was thinking of using a recumbent, though I've only ridden one time and I'm not completely sure I like them. It would be most helpful to bring the center of gravity lower, so, like the foreseeable problem you mentioned, the rig is not too wide. When I have a better drawing and idea of what this will look like I will post them.

Thanks!

Eric Rich
I'd go with a tandem for extra horsepower, and have the stoker hop off and operate the piano brakes on downhill sections.
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Old 11-22-13, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
If you insist on hauling a piano, you'll want separate brakes for the piano. Maybe you can rig up some hydraulic disc brakes. Otherwise, you'll be literally flying downhill, followed by crashing sounds.
haha! Yes, brakes are going to be KEY!
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