Key West - Seattle ride

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides' started by [email protected], Mar 21, 2006.

  1. hi list, i've undertaken an ambitious, cost to coast ride taking the
    diagonal from key west, fl to seattle, wa and am positing the day by
    day blows on my homepage at http://www.rasiel.com

    i'm inexperienced and not very well prepared but i'm inching forward
    each passing day and hopefully within another couple of months get to
    my destination.

    i would like to have the chance to meet cyclists and get info on
    good/bad routes along the way, cheap places to stay, etc.

    many thanks,
    ras
    ras suarez -at- rasiel dot com
     
    Tags:


  2. NY Rides

    NY Rides Guest

    This is a great log, so far. I recommend checking it out.

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > hi list, i've undertaken an ambitious, cost to coast ride taking the
    > diagonal from key west, fl to seattle, wa and am positing the day by
    > day blows on my homepage at http://www.rasiel.com
    >
    > i'm inexperienced and not very well prepared but i'm inching forward
    > each passing day and hopefully within another couple of months get to
    > my destination.
    >
    > i would like to have the chance to meet cyclists and get info on
    > good/bad routes along the way, cheap places to stay, etc.
    >
    > many thanks,
    > ras
    > ras suarez -at- rasiel dot com
    >
     
  3. RicodJour

    RicodJour Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > hi list, i've undertaken an ambitious, cost to coast ride taking the
    > diagonal from key west, fl to seattle, wa and am positing the day by
    > day blows on my homepage at http://www.rasiel.com
    >
    > i'm inexperienced and not very well prepared but i'm inching forward
    > each passing day and hopefully within another couple of months get to
    > my destination.
    >
    > i would like to have the chance to meet cyclists and get info on
    > good/bad routes along the way, cheap places to stay, etc.
    >
    > many thanks,
    > ras
    > ras suarez -at- rasiel dot com


    Hey Ras. Nothing like jumping in feet first, eh?

    Let me give you a little advice and a little pep talk.

    When I rode cross country I did it solo also. I had panniers and a
    handlebar bag - no tent! I read a lot, made a complete packing list
    and tried to keep the weight to a minimum. It seemed like I was
    constantly sending stuff home. When I saw the trailer you were towing,
    I had two thoughts. One, better you than me, and two, I guess he
    hasn't encountered any hills yet. If you're trying to make time, and
    going to be going through some mountains, a trailer is going to kill
    you. Sure, you can drag everything and the kitchen sink with you, but
    you're dragging and anchor. Wait until you hit some big winds in the
    midwest. That trailer will act like a sail. You'd probably be doing
    20 miles more a day without a trailer, easy. You should look at your
    objectives and decide which items are essential and which aren't. Send
    the non-essentials home now.

    Watch out for those knees. If they're swollen this early in the game,
    your body is trying to tell you something. Like stop once in a while.
    You'll find that the miles will start rolling by much more quickly
    later in the trip when you're in better condition and have lost some
    weight. Pushing really hard at the start is risking the entire trip.

    When I rode, as I mentioned, I didn't have a tent, just a plastic tarp
    and a sleeping bag. Most nights were no problem (I'm lucky), and other
    nights I managed to chat someone up and get some shelter. If I was in
    a city or an iffy area I came to rely on hitting a local church and
    asking if I could throw my sleeping bag down out back in the yard. I
    was only turned down once, and other times I was treated to a roof over
    my head and a warm dinner. I'm not religious - I kind of looked at it
    as organized hospitality. Colleges are also good places to crash.

    The travelogue is great! Keep up the good work, and make sure you keep
    current. I only had a diary with me and I would skip days hoping to
    fill in the blanks later. Well, here it is years later and some of
    those days have a start and finish and mileage and that's it. I'd
    really have liked to have those details.

    take care

    R
     
  4. There's one reason why you may not want to pick up the pace too quickly.
    The reason is that it is very early in the year to be approaching the high
    plains and western mountains. You can have freezing temperatures and new
    snow practically to the end of May. (I was on a rented bike in Ft. Collins
    CO in late May a few years ago and they had a nasty snow storm). On our
    LA - Milwaukee trip some years ago, a group of us tented at 10500 ft, in NM
    in early June and while the roads were fine, there were still snowbanks
    around. At Glacier Nat. Park, around June 22 or so, 1996, an avalanche
    killed a motorist on the main road through the Park, (We were biking on US
    2 along the south edge of the park about that time - no snow problems
    there.)

    The bottom line is that if I were you, I would not be in any hurry to get to
    that region.



    "RicodJour" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > [email protected] wrote:
    >> hi list, i've undertaken an ambitious, cost to coast ride taking the
    >> diagonal from key west, fl to seattle, wa and am positing the day by
    >> day blows on my homepage at http://www.rasiel.com
    >>
    >> i'm inexperienced and not very well prepared but i'm inching forward
    >> each passing day and hopefully within another couple of months get to
    >> my destination.
    >>
    >> i would like to have the chance to meet cyclists and get info on
    >> good/bad routes along the way, cheap places to stay, etc.
    >>
    >> many thanks,
    >> ras
    >> ras suarez -at- rasiel dot com

    >
    > Hey Ras. Nothing like jumping in feet first, eh?
    >
    > Let me give you a little advice and a little pep talk.
    >
    > When I rode cross country I did it solo also. I had panniers and a
    > handlebar bag - no tent! I read a lot, made a complete packing list
    > and tried to keep the weight to a minimum. It seemed like I was
    > constantly sending stuff home. When I saw the trailer you were towing,
    > I had two thoughts. One, better you than me, and two, I guess he
    > hasn't encountered any hills yet. If you're trying to make time, and
    > going to be going through some mountains, a trailer is going to kill
    > you. Sure, you can drag everything and the kitchen sink with you, but
    > you're dragging and anchor. Wait until you hit some big winds in the
    > midwest. That trailer will act like a sail. You'd probably be doing
    > 20 miles more a day without a trailer, easy. You should look at your
    > objectives and decide which items are essential and which aren't. Send
    > the non-essentials home now.
    >
    > Watch out for those knees. If they're swollen this early in the game,
    > your body is trying to tell you something. Like stop once in a while.
    > You'll find that the miles will start rolling by much more quickly
    > later in the trip when you're in better condition and have lost some
    > weight. Pushing really hard at the start is risking the entire trip.
    >
    > When I rode, as I mentioned, I didn't have a tent, just a plastic tarp
    > and a sleeping bag. Most nights were no problem (I'm lucky), and other
    > nights I managed to chat someone up and get some shelter. If I was in
    > a city or an iffy area I came to rely on hitting a local church and
    > asking if I could throw my sleeping bag down out back in the yard. I
    > was only turned down once, and other times I was treated to a roof over
    > my head and a warm dinner. I'm not religious - I kind of looked at it
    > as organized hospitality. Colleges are also good places to crash.
    >
    > The travelogue is great! Keep up the good work, and make sure you keep
    > current. I only had a diary with me and I would skip days hoping to
    > fill in the blanks later. Well, here it is years later and some of
    > those days have a start and finish and mileage and that's it. I'd
    > really have liked to have those details.
    >
    > take care
    >
    > R
    >
     
  5. Triman

    Triman Guest

    Ive always wanted to go in the opposite direction(Seattle to key west)
    ive did a lot of touring on the east coast,Hopefully one of these days
    ill get to make that trip, good luck and best wishes i hope you have a
    safe trip.
    The Alabama Tri-man
    http://www.tri-mansworldmailboxofficesupply.com/index.html
     
  6. Nice interesting daily reports! Regarding your complaints about road
    quality: My working strategy is to look for US highways that parallel the
    interstates. The US highways usually have a few feet of paved shoulders and
    enough traffic and right of way to keep dogs away, while the fast through
    traffic is on the interstate. You can also find motels near the interstate
    exits.

    The trouble is that most interstates run either NS or EW. There aren't many
    options on your angle route.

    FWIW, I'm starting a Key West - Milwaukee trip next month. My preliminary
    route plan: generally US 1 and A1A to Jacksonville, 17 to Savannah, 80 to
    Jackson MS and then 49 into AK; then north on a few roads to 62, on which
    I'll recross the Mississippi near Cairo and head north through the middle of
    IL. I've ocassionally had to switch routes, on my trips over the years, but
    the strategy described above has worked as well as anything.


    <[email protected].com> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > hi list, i've undertaken an ambitious, cost to coast ride taking the
    > diagonal from key west, fl to seattle, wa and am positing the day by
    > day blows on my homepage at http://www.rasiel.com
    >
    > i'm inexperienced and not very well prepared but i'm inching forward
    > each passing day and hopefully within another couple of months get to
    > my destination.
    >
    > i would like to have the chance to meet cyclists and get info on
    > good/bad routes along the way, cheap places to stay, etc.
    >
    > many thanks,
    > ras
    > ras suarez -at- rasiel dot com
    >
     
  7. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    Ron Wallenfang wrote:
    > There's one reason why you may not want to pick up the pace too quickly.
    > The reason is that it is very early in the year to be approaching the high
    > plains and western mountains. You can have freezing temperatures and new
    > snow practically to the end of May. (I was on a rented bike in Ft. Collins
    > CO in late May a few years ago and they had a nasty snow storm). On our
    > LA - Milwaukee trip some years ago, a group of us tented at 10500 ft, in NM
    > in early June and while the roads were fine, there were still snowbanks
    > around. At Glacier Nat. Park, around June 22 or so, 1996, an avalanche
    > killed a motorist on the main road through the Park, (We were biking on US
    > 2 along the south edge of the park about that time - no snow problems
    > there.)
    >
    > The bottom line is that if I were you, I would not be in any hurry to get to
    > that region.


    Having lived in the area all my life, I can tell you that it can snow on
    any given day of the year. Some back roads don't even open up before
    July 4. Snow is rare but not unheard of in July and August. June is
    fairly safe. If you ride across the mountains in September, you'll want
    cold-weather gear just in case.

    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall
    The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.
    The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the
    occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We
    must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.
    Abraham Lincoln
     
  8. RicodJour

    RicodJour Guest

    Ron Wallenfang wrote:
    > There's one reason why you may not want to pick up the pace too quickly.
    > The reason is that it is very early in the year to be approaching the high
    > plains and western mountains. You can have freezing temperatures and new
    > snow practically to the end of May. (I was on a rented bike in Ft. Collins
    > CO in late May a few years ago and they had a nasty snow storm). On our
    > LA - Milwaukee trip some years ago, a group of us tented at 10500 ft, in NM
    > in early June and while the roads were fine, there were still snowbanks
    > around. At Glacier Nat. Park, around June 22 or so, 1996, an avalanche
    > killed a motorist on the main road through the Park, (We were biking on US
    > 2 along the south edge of the park about that time - no snow problems
    > there.)
    >
    > The bottom line is that if I were you, I would not be in any hurry to get to
    > that region.


    It's a crap shoot in the mountains. On my cross country ride I stayed
    overnight in a jail, as a guest not an inmate, in Saguache, CO. There
    was a mooshed small RV in the garage. One of the officers told me that
    a family of four was killed when their RV hit a 300 yard stretch of 6"
    of snow going over a mountain pass. This was in late July. Road was
    perfectly clear on either side.

    Your point about general road directions is a good one. In Vermont
    most of the major roads run north-south. I think it had something to
    do with the glaciers' movement.

    Ras seems to be pretty computer savvy, so it's probably a safe bet that
    he did his routing on the computer. Hopefully there won't be any of
    those, "Ya can't get there from here" moments.

    R
     
  9. just wanted to say thanks to all the great tips guys!

    i'll be honest and admit to very little planning and even worse bike
    knowledge. i think i know how to change a spare. i mean, i saw it being
    done a couple of times and have brought with me a repair kit just in
    case but i'm really winging it and crossing my fingers nothing happens
    to the bike. even biking itself is a bit of novelty. i have such poor
    balance that i can't lift my butt off the seat or a hand off the
    handlebar for literally more than a few seconds. yet, somehow i'm
    inching along.

    the hills in southern georgia have been an absolute killer and make me
    want to quit more than the wind, sun, a-hole drivers and everything
    else. you know how *you* go up a hill by standing on the bike and
    powering through on each stroke? boy, i'm jealous because (again
    balance) i just can't. all i can do is pedal in the granny like there's
    no tomorrow and eventually the summit comes up - all this at the
    slothful pace of around 6mph on the uphills.

    yes, i'm dragging a trailer and my own overweight ass up these hills
    but i'm not ready to quit just yet. i'm also ill-prepared for the cold
    having only one long sleeved shirt. today i got lucky and a local paper
    donated a great windbreaker which i think will come in handy. they're
    doing a front page article on me! anyway, all this is to say that i'm
    learning along the way and meeting people and surprising myself with
    staying in the ring. one thing i keep my mind entertained with during
    the long hours is thinking about my entry for the day. internet
    connection is hit and miss because of the rural areas but as soon as i
    can i log in and ftp them up so if anyone reading this thread is
    interested check once a week or so.

    and if you live along this diagonal route and would like to meet me,
    heh, i would like to meet you too! really, i'm open and receptive to
    ANY kind of help :)

    ras
    rasiel.com/bikingamerica/
     
  10. NY Rides

    NY Rides Guest

    This journal is engaging me like very few ride journals ever have. Anybody
    in great shape with some decent equipment can prepare for a ride like this,
    knock it out, and be boring as hell talking about it because they forgot to
    smell the roses along the way. Ras may not be hammering away out there, but
    he's living every minute of this dream, and his journal oozes with life.

    Ras, I know there's a bit of pain and doubt right now. I've done shorter
    multi-day rides during which I constantly asked myself "What the hell am I
    doing this for?" Within weeks after returning, though, all the negative
    stuff had been forgotten and I have nothing left but great memories of those
    rides. Remember to keep your eyes, ears, nose, and heart open and you will
    be amazed at the great, inspiring stories you can tell your family when you
    get home. Their lives will surely be changed for the better by the miles
    you are chugging away at right now.

    Please keep up the journal and the pics. My wife and I are following this
    closer than we're following the new season of The Sopranos!

    Tom in New York
    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > hi list, i've undertaken an ambitious, cost to coast ride taking the
    > diagonal from key west, fl to seattle, wa and am positing the day by
    > day blows on my homepage at http://www.rasiel.com
    >
    > i'm inexperienced and not very well prepared but i'm inching forward
    > each passing day and hopefully within another couple of months get to
    > my destination.
    >
    > i would like to have the chance to meet cyclists and get info on
    > good/bad routes along the way, cheap places to stay, etc.
    >
    > many thanks,
    > ras
    > ras suarez -at- rasiel dot com
    >
     
  11. ujb

    ujb Guest

    NY Rides wrote:
    > This journal is engaging me like very few ride journals ever have. Anybody
    > in great shape with some decent equipment can prepare for a ride like this,
    > knock it out, and be boring as hell talking about it because they forgot to
    > smell the roses along the way. Ras may not be hammering away out there, but
    > he's living every minute of this dream, and his journal oozes with life.
    >
    > Ras, I know there's a bit of pain and doubt right now. I've done shorter
    > multi-day rides during which I constantly asked myself "What the hell am I
    > doing this for?" Within weeks after returning, though, all the negative
    > stuff had been forgotten and I have nothing left but great memories of those
    > rides. Remember to keep your eyes, ears, nose, and heart open and you will
    > be amazed at the great, inspiring stories you can tell your family when you
    > get home. Their lives will surely be changed for the better by the miles
    > you are chugging away at right now.
    >
    > Please keep up the journal and the pics. My wife and I are following this
    > closer than we're following the new season of The Sopranos!
    >
    > Tom in New York
    > <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> hi list, i've undertaken an ambitious, cost to coast ride taking the
    >> diagonal from key west, fl to seattle, wa and am positing the day by
    >> day blows on my homepage at http://www.rasiel.com
    >>
    >> i'm inexperienced and not very well prepared but i'm inching forward
    >> each passing day and hopefully within another couple of months get to
    >> my destination.
    >>
    >> i would like to have the chance to meet cyclists and get info on
    >> good/bad routes along the way, cheap places to stay, etc.
    >>
    >> many thanks,
    >> ras
    >> ras suarez -at- rasiel dot com
    >>

    >
    >
     
  12. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    It might be a little late to help Ras, but CNN has this "You don't have
    to be Lance Armstrong to bike cross-country."

    http://us.cnn.com/2006/TRAVEL/ADVISOR/03/24/bicycling.cross.country.ap/index.html

    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall
    The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.
    The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the
    occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We
    must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.
    Abraham Lincoln
     
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