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December 26, 2012
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Since a few folks expressed interest in the coast-to-coast trip I mentioned in my last journal, here's how it's done:

- Choose a route and buy a set of maps from these good people. I opted for the Transamerica route.

- You may already have a fantastically dependable bicycle capable of carrying a lot of extra weight, but if you don't, and you don't mind laying down some dosh, I can recommend one of these.

- Since you've now blown a quite extraordinary chunk of your savings on your shiny new machine, buy a set of cheap, nasty front and rear luggage racks for your bike. You will come to regret this when both racks fail simultaneously on a backwoods mountain bike trail in Idaho.

- Load the bike with camping gear. Your once elegantly minimalistic setup will now resemble one of these.

- Decide not to train beforehand, figuring that you'll get fit as you go along. You may question the wisdom of this decision when you have to climb about 5000 ft up a snow-capped mountain on the second day. Surprisingly, you will go on to complete the entire ~4000 mile trip while still retaining the build of a strand of wet spaghetti.

- After many adventures, you will reach the Atlantic Ocean. Probably best to stop at this point.



(And once there, don't take a photo like the one above. You'll get sand in your drivetrain).

Hope this helps!
  • Mood: Optimism
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:icondukemills:
DukeMills Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Are you truely a cyclist? Not many serious athletes appear on deviantart other than the average 9-to-5 college girls or jocks trying to just stay in decent shape. I thought I was alone on here. I was actually thinking of doing a journey by foot of the entire USA sometime before I get too old to do it.
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:iconadoradora:
Adoradora Featured By Owner May 13, 2013
I'm afraid I'm really not a 'cyclist' per se -- I feel like that would imply that I actually take an interest in the sporting side of bike riding. As it is, I see it mostly as a means of transportation. For most of my trip I just trundled along merrily at about 8mph (I can't say for sure as I don't have a bike computer). I did a couple of 100 mile days, but they damn near killed me. I am not, by any definition, an athlete. I am about 100 pounds of anaemic, bandy-legged, myopic, vegetarian nerd. I just make up in sheer doggedness what I lack in physical strength. Sorry to disappoint you!
That aside, I really hope you follow through with your idea to hike across the States! That would be an incredible trip. Any idea what kind of route you'd take?
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:icondukemills:
DukeMills Featured By Owner May 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
A person that bikes though will have that sort of body. You're not a weight lifter. You do pure cardio so you're going to have a small skinny body like that.

And not sure really, I figure I'd just pack a map, some water and food, and bring my credit card when I have to stay at hotels to sleep and just see how long it takes me.
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:iconshakusaurus:
shakusaurus Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Came for the art. Stayed for the cycling advice. This is really encouraging >>
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:iconadoradora:
Adoradora Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013
Oh, beaut! Well, if you need any further advice on how to travel absurdly long distances on a bicycle, just drop me a line. It is one of the very few subjects on which I can speak with any authority whatsoever ;)
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:iconshakusaurus:
shakusaurus Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ALL THE ADVICE. It's a distant dream at the moment. I don't have a single penny to drop for a lovely bike (I want a Novara Safari, but my buddy wants a big dummy~), but I can't wait until I have enough saved XD So yes, I would love any and all advice ♥
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:iconadoradora:
Adoradora Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013
Oh yeah, I've heard great things about Novaras. As a hobby, bike touring sure ain't the cheapest, but after the initial outlay it's a pretty low-cost way to travel. Feel free to shoot me any questions that arise -- I'm just getting ready for another big ride (up from New Orleans to Minnesota, then possibly across to Seattle) so bike stuff is much on my mind at the moment.
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:iconshakusaurus:
shakusaurus Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm pretty sure our plan right now is "go everywhere," but we wanna head up to Canada somehow (coming from central Texas). Do you know why tornado alley doesn't seem to have any good pathways? It seems like everyone opts to go through mountains XD
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:iconadoradora:
Adoradora Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013
Heh, I suspect tornado alley's lack of routes may have something to do with the very fact that it is tornado alley, but I don't really know -- it does seem to be a glaringly large hole in the route network (I'm assuming you're looking at Adventure Cycling's routes? I don't really know of any others, aside from those that folks have worked out for themselves). I do know that riding across eastern Colorado and Kansas was a tremendous pain, precisely because there weren't any mountains to block the wind. It's pretty dang miserable riding a loaded bike into a strong headwind at 5mph for days on end -- climbing mountains is much, much easier.
If you're considering taking the 'Great Rivers' route up north, I should be able to tell you all about it after this summer! Otherwise, I imagine taking the Souther Tier to California and then cutting up along the Sierra Nevada range to Canada would be a pretty amazing trip.
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:iconshakusaurus:
shakusaurus Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nooo don't tell me that! There is no such thing has headwind! ;3; I find it crazy that headwind is more of an issue than sharp inclines XD But I guess the idea that it's not a constant, grating presence?

I'm definitely considering the Great Rivers route!! I can't wait to hear all about it! What kind of job do you have that you're able to do this? I've always wondered~ I'm pretty sure I'll have to quit mine and find a new one afterward, haha. I would consider the southern tier a lot more if I weren't a wimpy white girl ;n; I've been warned away from the Del Rio - El Paso area by Hispanic friends. The Sierra Nevada range would be absolutely amazing, though.

I'd love to hear more about your other ride, if you have pics or anything posted somewhere?
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