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Long Term Planning/ Saving for the TransAmBike Trail 2033

Old 09-06-23, 02:07 PM
  #51  
Bassmanbob
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Originally Posted by tcs
I see Adventure Cycling is offering a 2024 coast-to-coast trip @ $10999. It's van-supported (a van with driver hauls all the gear).
If I did an ACA trip, I'd want to do an unsupported trip. It's an ego thing for me. I want to do my own work getting across the continent. I would like to share the experience with a friend, but not have someone carry everything for me.
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Old 09-06-23, 11:46 PM
  #52  
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These cost estimates are way excessive. $60 per day is more than enough to ride across America. Even $30-40 a day would be doable. There is no need to stay at paid campgrounds every night. Truck stop, gas station, private land. Almost anybody will let you pitch a tent if you simply asked. Or, stay at paid campgrounds every night and skip the hotels. As long as you get a shower, what's the difference? Some hotels are so nasty the tent is actually better. Cold food for breakfast, fast food for lunch, pasta and tuna on your own stove for dinner. 75 cents of gasoline runs a stove for two weeks. Bike touring is cheap. You're just a homeless guy, stop pretending to be fancy.

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Old 09-07-23, 03:26 AM
  #53  
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A. I wish I had a crystal ball that would allow me to predict inflation 10 years out.

B. That sort of touring (e.g., sleeping at gas stations) doesn’t sound like it would be appealing to the OP, based on what he’s written. The issue is what might it cost to do it the way he wants to do it, not how little could one do it for.

🤦‍♂️ R.C.I.F.
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Old 09-07-23, 04:10 AM
  #54  
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Why tell OP to live like a bum?

Personally, I would do it in 2 months not 4 months and my costs today would be around $7500-8000 because I do like sleeping in a bed more than in a tent and I am getting that fifth piece of pie.
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Old 09-07-23, 06:04 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
Why tell OP to live like a bum?
+1.

t's easier to spout inapt ideas rather than it is to think about what is really being asked and respond with useful suggestions.
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Old 09-07-23, 06:37 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob
If I did an ACA trip, I'd want to do an unsupported trip.
Which should cost less than the $11K trip where someone drives along with all your gear.
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Old 09-07-23, 06:40 AM
  #57  
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ten years is a long time. You might not even want to do that trip by then.
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Old 09-07-23, 07:29 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
Why tell OP to live like a bum?

Personally, I would do it in 2 months not 4 months and my costs today would be around $7500-8000 because I do like sleeping in a bed more than in a tent and I am getting that fifth piece of pie.
Originally Posted by indyfabz
+1.

t's easier to spout inapt ideas rather than it is to think about what is really being asked and respond with useful suggestions.
The OP specificall said they planned to camp and get a room maybe twice a week/ They mentioned inexpensive rooms. They mentioned free legail camping, but weren't confident about it. Most likely that lack of confidence is just a lack of experience with it. A trip on the TA using ACA maps to stay in free places at least a portion of the time will develope that confidence.

I think you meet the local folks and get more in tune with the local culture if you camp than if you get rooms all the time. Same for meeting and getting to know other riders going the same way.

As far as how long it takes... 10 weeks is a pretty common number, but people go faster or slower. We did it is 73 days and it was a pretty "normal" pace for a lot of riders. 12 weeks is really taking it pretty easy. 4 months would be really taking it easy of taking a lot of days off. The mention of 2 months... That is a fairly hard pace. We didn't meet many who were managing that pace when we were on the TA, a few, but not many. I think I did the ST at a pace that would allow finishing the TA in 2 months, but the TA has a lot more hard mountain passes so I don't think I'd have been able to do it in 2 months without really training and a hard effort.

I have often heard a recommendation of allowing 10-12 weeks. If you have the luxury of a flexible schedule that is a good range to shoot for for most folks. Having that flexibility is a great idea and makes the trip more enjoyable. I like to start at the farther away coast and ride toward home so that air travel is out of the way up front. That way I don't have to have a fixed date to fly home. That may not work if you don't live near either coast.
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Old 09-07-23, 07:32 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by tcs
Which should cost less than the $11K trip where someone drives along with all your gear.
You got me thinking about the cost of an un-supported TA tour, so I went to their website. Only the van supported version of the TA is listed as of now. Perhaps it is too early for them because they need to nail down a leader. I hope it's not gone forever. I got my first exposure to touring by doing their unsupported Norther Tier tour. Learned a good deal.
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Old 09-07-23, 07:45 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
You got me thinking about the cost of an un-supported TA tour, so I went to their website. Only the van supported version of the TA is listed as of now. Perhaps it is too early for them because they need to nail down a leader. I hope it's not gone forever. I got my first exposure to touring by doing their unsupported Norther Tier tour. Learned a good deal.
Wow, that is sad. I think the focus of the organization has changed. I just looked and they list 4 "epic tours" and they are all van supported?? Oh well, at least the one I looked at shows restriction against ebikes but I suspect that will soon change.
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Old 09-07-23, 08:55 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by L134
Wow, that is sad. I think the focus of the organization has changed. I just looked and they list 4 "epic tours" and they are all van supported?? Oh well, at least the one I looked at shows restriction against ebikes but I suspect that will soon change.
Some of the tours are ebike-friendly. I suspect they are ones where charging sources are reliable.

I hope it's just too early to post the unsupported, cross-country offerings. I think I registered for my 1999 Northern Tier trip near the end of 1998. If the organization is moving away from those types of trips, demographics might be playing a role. The population is getting older. I know of a couple of annual events that have changed structure to offer more indoor sleeping options and/or more days where you set up camp for a couple of days in one place and do loop rides instead of moving every day. The Bon Ton Roulet is one of them. When I did it in '06 or '07, there was one a rest day in Watkins Glen with an optional loop ride. And any indoor accommodations anywhere in any of the areas where we stayed had to be made on your own. When I did it again in 2014, we spent two nights each at two different colleges, and there were options to reserve dorms rooms at both when you registered for the event. The organizers acknowledged that this change was implemented in response to participant feedback. This year's edition had only one "non-move day" but stayed at three colleges which offered dorm rooms. Not only that, there were motels in every town. Most of them were chain motel. What I don't like about that format is that it can limit the areas where you can stay and ride.
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Old 09-07-23, 10:02 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by tcs
Which should cost less than the $11K trip where someone drives along with all your gear.
what would it cost to hire a college kid with vw camper van as sag support for the entire trip?
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Old 09-07-23, 10:10 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
I hope it's just too early to post the unsupported, cross-country offerings.
Adventure Cycling has a self-contained page with upcoming scheduled tours: https://www.adventurecycling.org/gui...ntained-tours/ So far the ones listed are one to two weeks with the Pacific Coast North + Pacific Coast Central being adjacent to each other for a four-week trip.

Adventure Cycling 2023 PDF guide is here: https://www.adventurecycling.org/mem...tours-catalog/ Looks like they had a self-contained TransAm tour westwards from May 4th to August 4th.

I don't know what 2024 brings that isn't already posted, but it looks like 2023 had a TransAm westbound this summer, a few Pacific Coast rides and then a handful of self-contained trips that are one to two weeks long.
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Old 09-07-23, 11:31 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob
A number of people have suggested doing the tour in sections. While this is something I would consider, my current vacation time is spent with my wife. She has 2.5 months off each summer and a week here and there. But I usually have 10-12 days during each summer and maybe a week during Christmas once every two or three years. I also take 2-4 long weekends: two with her, one quick return to family in Long Island and one bicycle long weekend trip for me. My bicycle long weekends have been two different short tours, 6 Gap in Georgia, the Bourbon Burn in KY, Ride Across Wisconsin and the GFNY in New York.

But I can't justify going for a week by myself with only 1.5 to 2.5 weeks off all year while my wife waits for me back home, nor do I want to right now. I also have to go to two 3- 5 day mandatory conferences a year that take me from her as well. Now if I could just hypnotize her into wanting to do bicycle touring, I'd love that. But she knows I want to do this, and has accepted that this will be done upon my retirement as long as nothing imperative gets in the way.
Let me make one more comment, and one more suggestion, and then I promise I won't argue with you any more over this.

Comment: it's not just about your health, it's also about your wife's health in 10 years. If you figure you've got a 70% chance of being healthy enough to ride this trip in 10 years (a number that appeared floating in the air as I looked out the window!), and your wife is as healthy as you are, there's a 50% chance one of you isn't going to be healthy in 10 years. Are you and she ready to face the possibility the only way you'll make the trip is to put her in an assisted living facility if she's had a debilitating health issue -- heart attack, hip or knee replacement, etc. -- and can't live on her own?

Suggestion: Negotiate a vacation where you spend 4-5 hours riding per day, and the rest of the time with your wife. Some supported bike rides have provisions for this; she'd drive the car while you ride the route. Or just pick a convenient part of the Trans-Am, or some other route, and she can shuttle camping gear, or the two of you can meet at a motel at the end of your day's ride, and take in the sights. You can spend the afternoon at Colonial Williamsburg, or touring Monticello, or the Bardstown bourbon center, or a train ride or whitewater rafting through Royal Gorge, or look for buffalo and bears in the evenings at Yellowstone, etc. The Adventure Cycling maps note on-route diversions, or with a car you can look up things near your route in AAA guide books.

The point of all this is to experience the country, mostly outside big cities, as much as you can, as soon as you can, while you can. It's not that I hope bad things happen to you; rather, I wish you and your wife well, and also I hope you maximize your chances to experience bike touring.
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Old 09-07-23, 12:30 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
Comment: it's not just about your health, it's also about your wife's health in 10 years. If you figure you've got a 70% chance of being healthy enough to ride this trip in 10 years (a number that appeared floating in the air as I looked out the window!), and your wife is as healthy as you are, there's a 50% chance one of you isn't going to be healthy in 10 years. Are you and she ready to face the possibility the only way you'll make the trip is to put her in an assisted living facility if she's had a debilitating health issue -- heart attack, hip or knee replacement, etc. -- and can't live on her own?
In all honesty, last night, while looking over the latest post in this thread, those types of "wife issues", for lack a better term, popped into my head.

As I have mentioned, I hope to be retiring at the end of March. If that happens, my only real tether will be my cat, assuming he's still around. With all the possible developments related to the OP's job and family situation, and the inability to predict things like inflation and market returns with any degree of certainty, it seems like this exercise is very premature. But that is not to say it's not something he shouldn't aspire to and start saving what he can towards its possibility.
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Old 09-08-23, 10:30 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
+1.

t's easier to spout inapt ideas rather than it is to think about what is really being asked and respond with useful suggestions.
???

The OP says, quote, "I want to make sure I save enough so it doesn't cut into retirement funds. I want to make sure I have everything saved prior to the tour."

He is TEN years away from doing the tour and the above is his situation. He is clearly EXTREMELY budget constrained. TEN YEARS.
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Old 09-09-23, 04:42 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Yan
???

The OP says, quote, "I want to make sure I save enough so it doesn't cut into retirement funds. I want to make sure I have everything saved prior to the tour."

He is TEN years away from doing the tour and the above is his situation. He is clearly EXTREMELY budget constrained. TEN YEARS.
You missed it. Try again.
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Old 09-09-23, 05:27 AM
  #68  
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Somehow the 10 years part really didn't click with me. After that really sunk in, I'd say two things.
  1. Rather than saving for the trip over the ten years just be sure you can retire with enough that you can afford to do a trip like that once in a while. That means concentrating on saving enough and planning on living within your means before and after retiring. A coast to coast bike tour can be no more expensive than what many folks consider a normal annual vacation. IME.
  2. Think about doing the trip sooner rather than later. Figure out how to manage the time off sooner rather than later. Ten weeks might be more doable than you think if you make it a priority. Barring that at least do a shorter 3-4 week tour in the mean time. It will give you a better idea of what you are up against.
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Old 09-09-23, 07:43 AM
  #69  
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AC blazed the TA in '76, and a stream of folks rode the route every year since. These days there are great maps, a long-established touring infrastructure and other cycletourists to meet along the way daily. Perhaps the demand for an organized group has slacked.

Originally Posted by saddlesores
What would it cost to hire a college kid with VW camper van as sag support for the entire trip?
Place an ad for the college kid. Here's your camper:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifi...php?id=2565716
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Old 09-09-23, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
Place an ad for the college kid. Here's your camper:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifi...php?id=2565716
Wow, thats ia a lot of money for a VW camper ($94,000). Looks nicely restored though. Most of them in the mid atlantic area where I lived when I had mine rusted to pieces too badly to restore. I had a 1969 Westfalia pop top. We had a lot of good times in that old camper. I often think fondly of it.
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Old 09-10-23, 06:39 AM
  #71  
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"what would it cost to hire a college kid with vw camper van as sag support for the entire trip?"

The kid needs something more reliable than a VW camper van. lol Something more along the lines of a swager-wagon as it won't struggle in the mountains and won't break down every 1000 miles!
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Old 09-10-23, 12:00 PM
  #72  
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I'd find a less boring route for starters, like UTAH.
Get doing 90/ 100 mile day rides NOW and every year maybe 10 times, so you DON'T get OLD. I still do up to 116 mile rides at 69. But then there's extreme uncertainty with the Con19 kerfuffle, especially IF you took the kool-aid, NOT ME. Neither would I count on the country not going to HELL sooner that 10 years.

In 2014/5 I turned 61 on my 1st tour in Vietnam/ China, only trouble was a rickety weak fork breaking 3 times and when using stupid and unnecessary malaria pills that made me feel blah. I went the hard way northbound too. I stayed at the better hotels to get a bathtub and BF.
2nd tour at 65 in the mountain NW. Piece of cake the whole ride, when it wasn't 92F+. I had ZERO knee or back aches. I did need getting used to lurching off the 120 lb bike. I hoteled both trips 100%. Fast food was about $25 a day. I drank tap water unless there was a warning. I guess motels averaged $150. I doubt I could do less than $200 this year. Small old style motels are soon extinct. 3,900 miles over 98 days taking my time, about 14 layover days with relatives, heat and a couple for rain and flat tires.

Except for possible goat thorns, Marathon Plus tires will do the whole trip. Some of mine did 10,000+ miles. ROTATE them half way for best results.
Might need rim pads if you have the stupid things. My SA XL-FDD has done 32,000 miles and is NOT done yet, The #1 thing to UPGRADE. I would get a Rohloff14 as well of course. Otherwise get STRONG spokes with 2.3 heads.
With my chain case, I could do the whole 4,500 miles with one chain, with the original grease lube.
I went to car/ plane museums and other sightseeing and glad I did. I was in all the big cities as well, NONE are included in the boring camper-ville Trans/Am. LOL.





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Old 09-11-23, 01:56 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Yan
These cost estimates are way excessive. $60 per day is more than enough to ride across America. Even $30-40 a day would be doable. There is no need to stay at paid campgrounds every night. Truck stop, gas station, private land. Almost anybody will let you pitch a tent if you simply asked. Or, stay at paid campgrounds every night and skip the hotels. As long as you get a shower, what's the difference? Some hotels are so nasty the tent is actually better. Cold food for breakfast, fast food for lunch, pasta and tuna on your own stove for dinner. 75 cents of gasoline runs a stove for two weeks. Bike touring is cheap. You're just a homeless guy, stop pretending to be fancy.
I understand your point and partially agree with it. Yes, sleeping in my tent would be better than some hotels. I'll also be somewhere between 65 and 68 years old. I'm not too sure I'll want to live like a homeless person every night. I also don't mind eating the way you mentioned... occasionally. But life is too short to eat the same cold boring food all the time. I enjoy cooking real food and want to incorporate a system to cook that into my trip. When I'm tired and don't want to bother, I want to budget a decent meal I don't need to cook every once in a while too.
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Old 09-11-23, 02:03 AM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
The OP specificall said they planned to camp and get a room maybe twice a week/ They mentioned inexpensive rooms. They mentioned free legail camping, but weren't confident about it. Most likely that lack of confidence is just a lack of experience with it. A trip on the TA using ACA maps to stay in free places at least a portion of the time will develope that confidence.

I think you meet the local folks and get more in tune with the local culture if you camp than if you get rooms all the time. Same for meeting and getting to know other riders going the same way.

As far as how long it takes... 10 weeks is a pretty common number, but people go faster or slower. We did it is 73 days and it was a pretty "normal" pace for a lot of riders. 12 weeks is really taking it pretty easy. 4 months would be really taking it easy of taking a lot of days off. The mention of 2 months... That is a fairly hard pace. We didn't meet many who were managing that pace when we were on the TA, a few, but not many. I think I did the ST at a pace that would allow finishing the TA in 2 months, but the TA has a lot more hard mountain passes so I don't think I'd have been able to do it in 2 months without really training and a hard effort.

I have often heard a recommendation of allowing 10-12 weeks. If you have the luxury of a flexible schedule that is a good range to shoot for for most folks. Having that flexibility is a great idea and makes the trip more enjoyable. I like to start at the farther away coast and ride toward home so that air travel is out of the way up front. That way I don't have to have a fixed date to fly home. That may not work if you don't live near either coast.
I agree with just about everything in this post. I don't have any significant experience, but I'm sure I'll gain that relatively quickly. I planned for 4 months, not knowing my physical condition. As it turns out, I'm in better shape at 58 than I was at 48, thanks to cycling, which I started at the age of 49. But I do not plan to be in better shape at 68 than I am now. So I've allotted more time to get across the country.
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Old 09-11-23, 02:15 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
Let me make one more comment, and one more suggestion, and then I promise I won't argue with you any more over this.

Comment: it's not just about your health, it's also about your wife's health in 10 years. If you figure you've got a 70% chance of being healthy enough to ride this trip in 10 years (a number that appeared floating in the air as I looked out the window!), and your wife is as healthy as you are, there's a 50% chance one of you isn't going to be healthy in 10 years. Are you and she ready to face the possibility the only way you'll make the trip is to put her in an assisted living facility if she's had a debilitating health issue -- heart attack, hip or knee replacement, etc. -- and can't live on her own?

Suggestion: Negotiate a vacation where you spend 4-5 hours riding per day, and the rest of the time with your wife. Some supported bike rides have provisions for this; she'd drive the car while you ride the route. Or just pick a convenient part of the Trans-Am, or some other route, and she can shuttle camping gear, or the two of you can meet at a motel at the end of your day's ride, and take in the sights. You can spend the afternoon at Colonial Williamsburg, or touring Monticello, or the Bardstown bourbon center, or a train ride or whitewater rafting through Royal Gorge, or look for buffalo and bears in the evenings at Yellowstone, etc. The Adventure Cycling maps note on-route diversions, or with a car you can look up things near your route in AAA guide books.

The point of all this is to experience the country, mostly outside big cities, as much as you can, as soon as you can, while you can. It's not that I hope bad things happen to you; rather, I wish you and your wife well, and also I hope you maximize your chances to experience bike touring.
Yes. I am aware of the possibility of me being well and my wife not well enough for me to go do this trip. I get it, and I'll deal with that situation if it arises. And for your second paragraph, it's not something that neither of us wants to do right now. I also want to cross the country all at once rather than a section at a time. Part of it, for me, is me getting from the Pacific to the Atlantic all by my power. The bicycle will get me there far more efficiently, but it will be done all by my generated power.
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