Face to Face Planning

Thomas HallTom Hall was in town this weekend.  He and I got together at a local Perkins Restaurant to discuss the ride and look over some of the maps we purchased from Adventure Cycling.  This organization has a tremendous selection of well documented maps showing all different routes across and through the United States/Canada.

Several years ago Tom did a 2,000 mile trip on  his own so I plan on using his past experience extensively.  He went from Missoula MT to Del Rio TX.

Tom and I have decided to follow the northern route plus several variations on this route.  We purchased 14 maps (~$140) covering the start in Oregon/Washington and ending in Maine.  Each individual map is broken down into ~40 mile segments which is very well documented with emergency numbers, bike repair stops, restaurants, lodging, campgrounds, and other tidbits of information.  The maps are in color and on a tear resistant type of paper which is somewhat impervious to damp conditions.

Each of the routes listed on the map has been traveled before so the information is pretty accurate.  There are addendum’s listed on their website which show recent changes not reflected on the maps.

We finally made the decision to carry all of our gear on our bikes, rather than pull any type of tag-along behind.  We are planning on camping out ~4-5 times during the week so we will have to carry lightweight tents, sleeping pads, and sleeping bags, and other miscellaneous items.

I am planning on blogging across the US and will need to decide how to charge a cell phone, tablet, Garmin GPS, and possibly a helmet mounted video camera.  Initial Googling has not been very good regarding solar chargers, but, technology is always improving.

Half the fun of going is the planning.

Cross Country Route Ideas

Cross Country Route Overview

I looked over the Adventure Cycling Website to check out their northern route and sent Tom a list of potential routes we might consider:

  1. Lewis & Clark Trail – Seaside OR to Clarkston WA
  2. Lewis & Clark Trail – Clarkston WA to Missoula MT
  3. Lewis & Clark Trail – Missoula MT to Glendive ND
  4. Northern Tier – Glendive ND to Osceola WI
  5. North Lakes – Osceola WI to Monroeville IN
  6. Northern Tier – Monroeville IN to Sandusky OH
  7. Ferry from Sandusky OH to Lemington Canada
  8. Lake Erie Connector – Lemington Canada to Buffalo NY
  9. Northern Tier – Buffalo NY to Bar Harbor ME
An alternate to running strait down the center of MI would be to hug the western edge of MI which runs along Lake Michigan.  I have ridden that road from Mackinaw City to Mishawaka three times; it is very scenic.

Getting A Bike

Well, after confirming with Tom that the west coast to east coast trip is a go for the summer of 2013 I decided to go ahead and purchase a Bacchetta short wheel base recumbent.

Wheel and Sprocket sold a number of different brands and types of recumbents, but Mark and Jeff both felt the Bacchetta Giro 20 was the best bike for what I planned to do.  The bike was not the most expensive, nor was it the least expensive.

Bacchetta makes a Giro 20 and a Giro 26; the difference between the two is the size of the front wheel (20″ versus 26″).  The larger front wheel raises the front pedals up about 3″ higher.  The taller front wheel makes for less front body area to catch wind, and the shorter front wheel puts your feet closer to the ground for stopping (particularly with a fully loaded bicycle).  I decided to purchase the 20″ model since this was my first recumbent and seemed to be the recommended choice.

A full description of the bike will be in another post.