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Transamerica, alone or with group?

Old 08-08-22, 04:12 PM
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HendersonD
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Transamerica, alone or with group?

I was scheduled this past May to bike across the US using the Transamerica route. Ten days before departure I got a hernia and had surgery and have fully recovered.
I now have a choice of doing the Transamerica summer 2023 by myself or doing it with 13 others in an organized tour through Adventure Cycling.
Any advice?
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Old 08-08-22, 04:35 PM
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Though I tend to be a loner, I would prefer to tour with a group. The miles go by faster, and it’s nice to have something to distract you from the daily fatigue. There is more safety in numbers, and if your tour has a support vehicle you don’t have to carry so much on your bike.
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Old 08-08-22, 05:02 PM
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I am inclimed to tour alone most of the time or with someone I am close with now and then. I have never done an organized tour. Some folks prefer one some the other. It is hard to advise someone else on what they should do. They are quire different experiences. You need to fiure out which you prefer.
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Old 08-08-22, 08:14 PM
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Do you have past long distance touring experience? If you do your answer may lie there.

I'd prefer to be in a group on trip like that but agree that it's personal and may not be for everyone.

Can you start with the group and then go solo if you want to? Or start solo (perhaps a little before) and then drop back with or converge with the group if you decide you want to try it? Keeping the option open and even going back and forth between group and solo days could be worth considering if it's logistically feasible.
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Old 08-08-22, 08:40 PM
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[QUOTE=HendersonD;22603478....I now have a choice of doing the Transamerica summer 2023 by myself or doing it with 13 others in an organized tour through Adventure Cycling.
Any advice?[/QUOTE]

i can't imagine a more miserable cycling experience than being locked into a group schedule for a month or more. they design the route, they set the schedule, they choose the accommodations, they select the menu...........,leaving you with virtually no options to explore, rest a day if needed, see what's down that dirt road.....

just seems to me that a long-distance organized tour is the antithesis to what cycle touring is all about.

i could see maybe doing an organized tour if for some reason..........health, physical limitations, time constraints, government policy........you were unable to do the route on your own or with at most two others, but you don't claim to fall into that category.

comes down to do you want to explore or do you want to led around.
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Old 08-08-22, 10:07 PM
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I say mix it up. Do some in a group then separate yourself from the group, see which you prefer. I can do a day maybe 2 with a group, but as time goes by, conversations turn to less delicate topics, then I feel like a drill is going into my head
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Old 08-09-22, 03:57 AM
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I have done trips with a friend and former co-worker, two ACA trips (one van support, one guided but no other support), and some longer solo trips. At this time I am thinking about two trips, one with a friend I have toured with before and the other would be solo, each would be very different trips.

You did not say if there is a financial reason to do it one way or the other. Therefore I assume that budget is not part of the decision.

You also did not say if you have schedule issues, such as you could have the summer off but have to be at work at a certain day, such as some teachers. Or perhaps you are retired and can be open ended on final date.

You were silent on your past bike touring background. And you were silent on your past camping background.

And you were silent on if there is a particular reason to not be part of a group, such as you may have dietary issues. For example, the last time I did a week long ACA trip, I could not eat many of the meals, and it took me almost a month after being home to get my blood sugar under control again because some meals were pure carbs. If I tried to do a multi-month ACA trip, I would probably be in the hospital half way through it.

So, given all these unknowns, these are my generic thoughts.

ACA group trip, you should have the knowledge to fix basic stuff on your bike, you do not need to bring cooking gear but you will have to carry your share of the group cooking gear and supplies. There probably is someone in the group that is knowledgeable about basic bike repairs if something serious breaks, they likely will not have the tools to fix something serious but can diagnose it. The guide may have info on where the next bike shop is. One of the group trips I did with ACA, one person had a bottom bracket bearing go, he was lucky and the bike was new enough that he had warranty support. Another guy in that group had a front derailleur break, either the spring or spring stop I do not recall which, I managed to make it functional for the rest of the trip with a piece of bunge cord. If you have a serious mechanical on a solo trip, you are on your own, but you might get lucky and get help from someone in the campground that is also following the same route.

Solo trip, my last tour I saw five consecutive days of rain in the forecast, so I chucked my planned route and went to a small city that had a hostel and some sightseeing opportunities, stayed there for three nights in the middle of the six days of rain (forecast was five but it became six days) and did some sightseeing, some beer drinking, and hanging out with others from the hostel. If I had to pedal for six consecutive days to meet schedule in the rain with a bunch of other miserable cyclists that were doing the same, camping most or all of the nights in campsites full of puddles, that would be something that I would remember unfavorably for a long time. If you were in that situation, what would you have done, would you feel comfortable going off route and doing something completely different than planned? These are things to think about.

And, if you get sick for a couple days where you can't travel? I have been fortunate, that has never happened to me. But if that did happen to you, what would you do and what would the rest of the group that is committed to make schedule do if you were not solo? A friend of mine has gone to the hospital on two separate van supported trips after a crash, in both cases there was a guide and van available, I am glad that never happened to me.

Last point. I have traveled by air, in which case I knew the dates that my trip would start and end. On those trips, the last third or fourth of my trip is devoted to making sure that I get to the end point on time, perhaps with some contingency. I have also traveled by train at the end of a trip to get home, train tickets can be bought on short notice (few days) that are not that much more expensive than tickets bought weeks or months in advance. Thus, if you can travel home by train, you have a LOT of flexibility for how much distance you average every day. I traveled for a couple days with a gal that was going half way across Canada before she flew back to Europe, in her case her bailout plan to make it to the airport was to rent a car if she was behind schedule to finish her trip.

ACA trips, they set a schedule, months in advance they can say where the group will be on a certain date, weather is not part of the consideration, you go when and where told. Solo, you decide if you want to travel that day, how far, and what destination, and what route, and part way through if you change your mind you can, with complete flexibility on route, and if you run out of water in a very dry place you have only yourself to blame, while wondering where you will find the next grocery store or fuel for your camp stove.

Read the last paragraph above one more time. Close your eyes and think about that for five minutes. Did that tell you how to decide?

I did not tell you what to do but I did tell you what I would be thinking about if I was making the decision you are making.

A friend of mine has done two cross country trips with ACA that had a guide but no support. He did one Canada to Mexico van supported trip with ACA. And several other one week long trips where food, lodging and guides were provided in USA, Europe and in Asia. But, I do not think he has ever done a trip longer than one week solo where he had to make the decisions every day. His personality is not the solo touring kind of personality needed for that.

Good luck, and I hope you have a great trip.
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Old 08-09-22, 05:02 AM
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Solo. You will meet other riders going solo and you can decide to spend a day or two with them. Sticking to a prepackaged schedule and their meals would be hell on earth for me.
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Old 08-09-22, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Solo. You will meet other riders going solo and you can decide to spend a day or two with them. Sticking to a prepackaged schedule and their meals would be hell on earth for me.
Ditto this, especially the part about meals.

As mentioned several times above, we know nothing about you personally and that makes all the difference. On my two XC bike rides and most of the shorter ones, I've met fantastic people, made lifelong friends all by myself or with my wife. I can't imagine having gone with an arranged tour group. But some people are tour group people and that's okay.
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Old 08-09-22, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by HendersonD View Post
I was scheduled this past May to bike across the US using the Transamerica route. Ten days before departure I got a hernia and had surgery and have fully recovered.
I now have a choice of doing the Transamerica summer 2023 by myself or doing it with 13 others in an organized tour through Adventure Cycling.
Any advice?
There must be reviews/posts by people who have actually done the Adventure Cycling trip.

Adventure Cycling has been doing this for years.

If you have less experience or time, you’ll likely benefit from an organized trip run by experienced people.

A lot of the time, you’ll be on a bike or sleeping. This will reduce any issues dealing with “other people”. And there is a reasonable chance there won’t be many significant issues with other people.

Last edited by njkayaker; 08-09-22 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 08-09-22, 07:03 AM
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Ride with a group or ride solo? Definitely. (Just go ride!)

Thoughts on riding solo: You likely won't be with the same people every night. You'll have sole responsibility for finding food, shelter, post offices, help (should you need it). There won't be anyone to watch your bike for you when you need to pop into a restroom, grocery store, etc. If you decide to be a tourist for a day or a week, there's nobody to share what looks strange, exciting, or cool.

Thoughts on riding in a group: Somebody will rub you the wrong way at least one day. You have a good chance of developing friends during the trip. You do have to keep up, and if you drop out, you need to give the group notice (or the spaghetti pot won't show up at dinner). Unless you hitch a ride, I'm not sure how you could catch up to the group after a few days away from them. You can probably eat on your own most nights if you want something other than spaghetti or pizza, but it'll cost more and you can't do that on the night you're scheduled to cook.

IME there aren't many days when it rains all day. It's even more rare when there's multiple days like that in a row, usually associated with a hurricane (although most of those blow through in a couple days). It's usually interesting to watch a storm move through, then the rain slacks off and it may even clear up. Of course another shower may come through later in the afternoon. Bike commuters and tourists know this; most people who live and work indoors just categorize the whole day as rainy. One of my best touring days was rainy and the only day in Kansas it didn't hit 100F -- until late afternoon, when it was still pleasant to be outside.
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Old 08-09-22, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
IME there aren't many days when it rains all day. It's even more rare when there's multiple days like that in a row, usually associated with a hurricane (although most of those blow through in a couple days). It's usually interesting to watch a storm move through, then the rain slacks off and it may even clear up. Of course another shower may come through later in the afternoon. Bike commuters and tourists know this; most people who live and work indoors just categorize the whole day as rainy. One of my best touring days was rainy and the only day in Kansas it didn't hit 100F -- until late afternoon, when it was still pleasant to be outside.
That has been my experience too. I have done the TA and a bunch of tours of a month or so as well as some shorter ones of a week to 10 days. I don't recall ever taking a day off because it rained. Sometimes I headed out while it was raining pretty hard, but generally it let up and some of the day was pretty nice.

There were a few memorable periods of cold rain and wind, but in general they were for an hour or two at worst. That or just regular rain for a bit longer period. That isn't a big deal IME. I have been hailed on a few times, but that passed quickly.

The bad weather that really sticks in my mind is relentless heat. I seem to be followed by that even if I go when it shouldn't be hot. I hate it, but try to minimize it's impact by riding at dawn or even pre dawn for some of my miles. Not sure if group responsibilities limit the ability to roll out before daylight. I'd imagine they might if you are carrying group gear that is needed in the morning or have chores to do in the AM. I'm an early bird and would hate being stuck hanging around in camp when I wanted to be rolling out. I love watching the sun come up while rolling down the road.
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Old 08-09-22, 02:25 PM
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Group touring can be cool but there's no way in hell I would go on a tour with thirteen other people. If I wanted to be around that many people I'd just skip my vacation and stay at the office. Also, with more people comes more problems. There are more breakdowns. There is more drama. You have to compromise on every tiny decision. You will not be able to deviate from the set plan in any way. It sounds terrible.
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Old 08-09-22, 05:56 PM
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I'm with pdlamb, whichever speaks to you. My preference is for solo. I have done groups, and even led them, but there is a satisfaction in the self-contained, solo tour. On a trade route, you will likely leapfrog with other riders, thus being is sort of 'pseudo groups' as you go along.
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Old 08-09-22, 07:21 PM
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I have done both organized trips and my own self-supported rides. The organized rides are more in areas overseas where I could use help (e.g. TDA across Africa, China) or pick some particular highlights (e.g. Cambodia).

Here is how I see the tradeoffs:
1. That organized Adventure Cycling trip will have a fairly predictable schedule (perhaps a day or two here or there). That means if there is some reason you can't ride - you'll find a way (SAG or otherwise) to keep up. On your own trip, you might more easily wait a day or two, go slower or faster, etc.

2. That organized trip will have more of a constrained "menu" of where you stay, routes you ride, arrangements for food, etc. That can be nice if you like that structure and want to concentrate on riding. It can be frustrating if you like making those arrangements or aren't always happy with choices.

3. On the organized trip you may find others to ride with. You might well find others on your own trip as well since you might leapfrog or encounter others en route.

4. You will want basic bike maintenance/troubleshooting in either case. In the group setting there can be others to problem solve with you on potential issues - along with a higher probability you may help problem solve other issues.

I think the tradeoffs of how you see these sorts of things is more of a personal preference. I enjoy my own company and bias towards my own ride for a trip like this than an organized ride. However, for a long trip or places I would be more isolated (not as fluent in language) I'll do an organized ride too.

Something somewhat in between those two choices is a ride with someone(s) you know very well (I'd almost say blood or family relationship though that is more in spirit). In that case you can keep some of the "work things out as we go along" without as constrained of a menu as well as social aspects with relationship you already have.

Last edited by mev; 08-09-22 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 08-10-22, 04:44 PM
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Thanks for everyone's input. I purposefully left out some details in my first post. I have only done on bike tour, an 8 day, 420 mile tour with 9 friends. Loved it but it was uneventful in terms of anyone having difficulties or really bad weather. That certainly could change on a 3 month trip. I am retired and have the time and the money to do the Transamerica route. Being locked into a schedule with 13 other people could get tough given the length of time for the entire trip. I am doing a solo bike tour from my house outside of Rochester, NY, to Pittsburg via roads and then to DC via the GAP and C&O canal trail. It will be a 13 day ride in September with about half camping and half hotels. I will likely decided on how to handle the Transamerica tour after this shorter jaunt but I am leaning towards a solo cross country ride next summer
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Old 08-10-22, 04:51 PM
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It's interesting that the posters almost uniformly favored doing this solo. I've done all my touring with a friend but I am an experienced bike mechanic and I've done a number of tours. If I were going to do another cross country (and I'd like to one day), I'd seriously consider the ACA tour especially the one where a van carries your gear. It will make it easier to socialize. You can and will meet people when going solo but in a group, that is built in. Plus with a van carrying your gear, you can bring a bigger, more comfy mattress since weight (and space) is not as much of an issue. That said, you are locked into a schedule which you may not like.
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Old 08-10-22, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
It's interesting that the posters almost uniformly favored doing this solo. I've done all my touring with a friend but I am an experienced bike mechanic and I've done a number of tours. If I were going to do another cross country (and I'd like to one day), I'd seriously consider the ACA tour especially the one where a van carries your gear. It will make it easier to socialize. You can and will meet people when going solo but in a group, that is built in. Plus with a van carrying your gear, you can bring a bigger, more comfy mattress since weight (and space) is not as much of an issue. That said, you are locked into a schedule which you may not like.
This particular ACA tour is self supported so I will be carrying as much gear solo as I would on this tour. If it were van supported that certainly would be a consideration
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Old 08-10-22, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by HendersonD View Post
Thanks for everyone's input. I purposefully left out some details in my first post. I have only done on bike tour, an 8 day, 420 mile tour with 9 friends. Loved it but it was uneventful in terms of anyone having difficulties or really bad weather. That certainly could change on a 3 month trip. I am retired and have the time and the money to do the Transamerica route. Being locked into a schedule with 13 other people could get tough given the length of time for the entire trip. I am doing a solo bike tour from my house outside of Rochester, NY, to Pittsburg via roads and then to DC via the GAP and C&O canal trail. It will be a 13 day ride in September with about half camping and half hotels. I will likely decided on how to handle the Transamerica tour after this shorter jaunt but I am leaning towards a solo cross country ride next summer
When I did GAP and C&O, we spent two full days in DC sightseeing before leaving. We stayed at the HI Hostel in DC. That was in 2013 before covid, I have no clue how hostels are running these days with covid, but I can say that before covid that hostels were a great way to travel for a solo retired person. Cheap, you can be as social or as anti-social as you like, etc. And that trip gave me two full days to spend in Smithsonian.

Bonus since you will be assembling your kit to travel solo - my solo cook kit in the photo. This includes my butane stove, but if I am traveling domestic, I might be more inclined to bring a liquid fuel stove instead.



Starting top row on left, working to right, butane stove, pasta strainer, small measuring cup, small mug (single wall, can also use as a small pot on stove), green plastic bowl nests in pot, plastic bottle in it is for instand coffee and it nests in my coffee mug, lower/middle row on left, small cheese slicer, spatula, another spatula, vintage can opener, spoon and fork, knife with sheath, cork screw (most important), stove windscreen above pot support, the plastic coffee can lid under pot gripper and wood spoon is my cutting board, big titanium pot about 1.2 liters (roughly) above and to right of it is a small fry pan (upside down and in plastic bag to protect non-stick surface) that nests in the pot, and lower right is coffee mug (double wall).

If you buy a liquid fuel stove, you should be aware that travel by airplane is a major hassle.
https://www.msrgear.com/blog/flying-...camping-stove/

Have a great time.
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Old 08-11-22, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
When I did GAP and C&O, we spent two full days in DC sightseeing before leaving. We stayed at the HI Hostel in DC. That was in 2013 before covid, I have no clue how hostels are running these days with covid, but I can say that before covid that hostels were a great way to travel for a solo retired person. Cheap, you can be as social or as anti-social as you like, etc. And that trip gave me two full days to spend in Smithsonian.

Bonus since you will be assembling your kit to travel solo - my solo cook kit in the photo. This includes my butane stove, but if I am traveling domestic, I might be more inclined to bring a liquid fuel stove instead.



Starting top row on left, working to right, butane stove, pasta strainer, small measuring cup, small mug (single wall, can also use as a small pot on stove), green plastic bowl nests in pot, plastic bottle in it is for instand coffee and it nests in my coffee mug, lower/middle row on left, small cheese slicer, spatula, another spatula, vintage can opener, spoon and fork, knife with sheath, cork screw (most important), stove windscreen above pot support, the plastic coffee can lid under pot gripper and wood spoon is my cutting board, big titanium pot about 1.2 liters (roughly) above and to right of it is a small fry pan (upside down and in plastic bag to protect non-stick surface) that nests in the pot, and lower right is coffee mug (double wall).

If you buy a liquid fuel stove, you should be aware that travel by airplane is a major hassle.
https://www.msrgear.com/blog/flying-...camping-stove/

Have a great time.
I gave a lot of thought on how to handle food during a Transamerica ride and decided to go stove less. This was after reading a lot of postings about this very subject on these forums. In my upcoming two week trip I will get a chance to test this method by using a combination of cold soaking, ready to eat food, and stopping at restaurants.
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Old 08-11-22, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by HendersonD View Post
I gave a lot of thought on how to handle food during a Transamerica ride and decided to go stove less. This was after reading a lot of postings about this very subject on these forums. In my upcoming two week trip I will get a chance to test this method by using a combination of cold soaking, ready to eat food, and stopping at restaurants.
Good luck with that. It works for some. It would not work for me. I especially need my two cups of coffee in the morning.

For two weeks, you can run a calorie deficit without problem, but for months that could be a problem. These two pieces are written for people doing strenuous hiking, not biking, for months. Concepts here may be useful for planning.
https://www.msrgear.com/blog/nutriti...food-for-fuel/
https://www.msrgear.com/blog/9019/

This is a good piece on different calorie sources at different exertion leveis. Touring, most of us are at the low to medium intensity level, do not need the constant carb intake that a pro racer needs because our bodies can process a lot of fats for some of that caloric requirement.
https://www.roadbikerider.com/energy...e-intensities/

Electrolytes are something often missing from discussion on fueling for exertion. A couple years ago on one of my exercise rides, I bonked badly after about 50 miles, the last 20 some miles to get home were very slow and I had no energy. I had ridden that route many times, knew how much hydration and energy intake I needed, thus something was off. Eventually I decided that it was probably lack of electrolytes. Since then I have made sure I have some salty snack foods in my handlebar bag too.

I am packing for a backpacking trip in a few weeks, two weeks long, probably will run a calorie deficit of a thousand calories a day, in two weeks that would mean burning off about four pounds of body fat, which I have more than enough of. Every supper will be cooked and every breakfast will be a add boiling water to something kind of meal.

Have a great time.
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Old 08-11-22, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by HendersonD View Post
Thanks for everyone's input. I purposefully left out some details in my first post. I have only done on bike tour, an 8 day, 420 mile tour with 9 friends. Loved it but it was uneventful in terms of anyone having difficulties or really bad weather. That certainly could change on a 3 month trip. I am retired and have the time and the money to do the Transamerica route. Being locked into a schedule with 13 other people could get tough given the length of time for the entire trip. I am doing a solo bike tour from my house outside of Rochester, NY, to Pittsburg via roads and then to DC via the GAP and C&O canal trail. It will be a 13 day ride in September with about half camping and half hotels. I will likely decided on how to handle the Transamerica tour after this shorter jaunt but I am leaning towards a solo cross country ride next summer
In deciding how to handle your TA remember that it will likely be different than your Rochester to DC tour when it comes to a lot of factors.

The road portion will be like the TA in some ways, but you likely won't be meeting othe fellow touring riders. On the TA we met a lot of folks that we felt a common goal with. We leap frogged with some of them for weeks or more. We bumped into people we met during the planning stages and got to know them in camp and on the road. On the GAP and the C&O riding will likely be quite different. You likely will meet lots of other riders, but I'd imagine it is a different dymanic.

Originally Posted by HendersonD View Post
I gave a lot of thought on how to handle food during a Transamerica ride and decided to go stove less. This was after reading a lot of postings about this very subject on these forums. In my upcoming two week trip I will get a chance to test this method by using a combination of cold soaking, ready to eat food, and stopping at restaurants.
Your call, but I'd miss having the ability to heat up/cook food. You will be carrying a cup and/or bowl and utensils any way so a pop can burner, stand, and wind screen might add as little as 2 ounces. That and a few ounces of alcohol and you could have a hot drink or maybe ramen noodles with some foil packed tuna now and then even if you don't want to actually bother with cooking. Even when my total camping and cooking gear is trimmed down to a 9 pound base weight I still take a little stove. Something to consider.
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Old 08-11-22, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by HendersonD View Post
Thanks for everyone's input. I purposefully left out some details in my first post. I have only done on bike tour, an 8 day, 420 mile tour with 9 friends. Loved it but it was uneventful in terms of anyone having difficulties or really bad weather. That certainly could change on a 3 month trip. I am retired and have the time and the money to do the Transamerica route. Being locked into a schedule with 13 other people could get tough given the length of time for the entire trip. I am doing a solo bike tour from my house outside of Rochester, NY, to Pittsburg via roads and then to DC via the GAP and C&O canal trail. It will be a 13 day ride in September with about half camping and half hotels. I will likely decided on how to handle the Transamerica tour after this shorter jaunt but I am leaning towards a solo cross country ride next summer
When I was young, touring, stoves, and tents were synonymous. 100% in the tent. Eventually, I found myself using my stove less and less. I also found myself mixing hotels with camping. Of course, location influences these choices. Touring Europe, I would never bring a stove. In cold, wet areas? Absolutely. I prefer to get going on the road at the crack of dawn and simply stop somewhere for my coffee although depending on your speed and location, this is not always possible. If you are unsure about cooking and already have your kit, you can always ship it home from the TA. If I were to do TA again, it would be most nights in a motel.

You are smart to do a shakedown tour. But if your preferences change on TA, you can adapt. Send stuff home. Lightening the load is a normal evolution. Not many add stuff.
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Old 08-11-22, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
When I was young, touring, stoves, and tents were synonymous. 100% in the tent. Eventually, I found myself using my stove less and less. I also found myself mixing hotels with camping. Of course, location influences these choices. Touring Europe, I would never bring a stove. In cold, wet areas? Absolutely. I prefer to get going on the road at the crack of dawn and simply stop somewhere for my coffee although depending on your speed and location, this is not always possible. If you are unsure about cooking and already have your kit, you can always ship it home from the TA. If I were to do TA again, it would be most nights in a motel.

You are smart to do a shakedown tour. But if your preferences change on TA, you can adapt. Send stuff home. Lightening the load is a normal evolution. Not many add stuff.
FWIW, I am way more likely to use the stove in the evening since I too like to hit the road at the crack of dawn and have coffee and maybe a diner breakfast later. Often that winds up meaning missing the coffee and breakfast when the diner doesn't materialize. I often have a granola bar in camp before hitting the road.

That said, instant oatmeal or grits in camp doesn't take long and can be nice on a cold morning.

On sending stuff home... I suspect most folks do a little to a lot of that. Fewer do the opposite, but it is a good idea to have someone at home who knows where your stuff is and can mail you stuff if you want it. That can be handy if things break or you have a change of heart. Also as the climate or terrain change you may want different items.
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Old 08-11-22, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
FWIW, I am way more likely to use the stove in the evening since I too like to hit the road at the crack of dawn and have coffee and maybe a diner breakfast later. Often that winds up meaning missing the coffee and breakfast when the diner doesn't materialize. I often have a granola bar in camp before hitting the road.

That said, instant oatmeal or grits in camp doesn't take long and can be nice on a cold morning.

On sending stuff home... I suspect most folks do a little to a lot of that. Fewer do the opposite, but it is a good idea to have someone at home who knows where your stuff is and can mail you stuff if you want it. That can be handy if things break or you have a change of heart. Also as the climate or terrain change you may want different items.
I put stuff in 2 day overnight Priority Mail boxes but more often hiking. Like spare hiking trail shoes, they only last 400-500 miles for me. If particular about tires nd chains, you can have them ready to be sent along with different kit. For instance, West to East TA. you might have cold weather gear until say Pueblo where you could change tires, clothing, chain, brake pads, etc. Odd things that fail are usually small like dereailleur hanger, cleats, taillights, brake cable, etc. I carry spares of those. I have broken a freewheel, a frame, a spoke or two, destroyed tires, broke cleats, broke the cleat mounting plate, a saddle rail. All of them took engineeruity to get resolved on the road.

Dietary choices are so different from person to person, it is impossible to reconcile and that is one reason an organized group trip would drive me nuts.
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