Here’s some test footage riding around the neighborhood (sunset park) from the small helmet/handlebar mountable video camera I got for my birthday. If you’re prone to motion sickness, be warned it’s pretty jittery.
In preparation for the long haul, Sarah and I spent the holiday weekend practicing our riding and camping chops. This was our second trip to Beaver Pond Campgrounds, a state run campground in Harriman State Park, just southwest of Bear Mountain. Instead of starting off our ride from Brooklyn, we decided to start from Fort Lee (the Jersey side of the GW bridge), since we were already going to be in northern NJ picking up the Bob Yak trailer I had won off ebay earlier in the week. Two important lessons we learned on our first camping trip were:
- Being able to sleep well is important. Having something more comfortable than bunched up clothes as a pillow is worth the extra weight/bulk.
- It gets cool in the mountains at night, even in the Summer.
This second trip we brought a pair of small Thermarest pack pillows, and silk sleeping bag liners. As a result of our quality of rest was much improved. We learned a few new things on this second trip:
- Always call ahead when making accommodation plans. Thanks to Sarah’s sweet talking abilities we were able to stay at the camp despite being full.
- Make sure all of our edibles are wrapped up real tight (possibly hung off a tree branch) to keep raccoons or worse from feasting on our snacks. At about 4am I awoke to rustling just outside the tent, which turned out to be a hungry raccoon rifling through the pannier with all of our snacks.
- Don’t forget to keep a camera inside the tent so we can record any surprise late night guests like the aforementioned raccoon.
Here is a record of part of our return trip back to Fort Lee… Harriman park partial return. All in all a fairly successful trip, we learned a few new things, our legs got a little stronger, and I now have the yak trailer I’ve been seeking to take most of the load off my bike and shift it to a trailer. I look forward to giving it a test to see how it affects the bike handling. Perhaps I’ll simulate a loaded trailer by transporting some cases of beer. Who’s up for a delivery?
8 weeks, 9 states, 3 mountain ranges, and about 3800 miles. For those who don’t already know, the long haul is a self supported (we’re transporting all of our gear on our bikes) cross country bike tour, starting from San Francisco and ending in Yorktown VA. The first portion of the tour follows Adventure Cycling’s Western Express. On the second day out of San Francisco we’ll be climbing our first mountain range. Once over the Sierra’s we’ll be descending into Nevada to follow what has been described as America’s loneliest highway. As we approach Utah, we’ll be faced with our second mountain range the Rockies.
At mile 1,589 the route ends in Pueblo, CO and meets up with the classic Transamerica trail. From there it will be about 2196 miles to Yorktown. To complete the trip within 8 weeks we hope to average about 75 miles a day. We expect to be camping 5-6 nights a week, saving hotel stays for foul weather days and the occasional reward of a matress and hot shower. For anyone considering a tour of their own either long or short, the maps published by Adventure Cycling are a fantasic resource. The routes primarily use small US highways and county roads, doing their best to keep the route bike friendly. They are chock full of detailed service information such as camp sites, hotels, gas stations, and of course bike shops.
Scenes from our various training rides this summer.