Ride for the Dream

Cycling From Coast To Coast

Archive for February, 2014

Riding Companion

by on February 26th, 2014

While researching this trip there were several options to consider. Which route….. Northern Tier, TransAm, Southern Tier (see adventurecycling.org) or some hybrid? Did I want to do it with a tour group? Unsupported with a tour, van supported with a tour, etc.?

The Southern Tier route was an obvious choice based on the time of year I set aside to make the trip (weather and such).  I decided to do it unsupported and outside of an organized tour group for a number of reasons.  I was prepared to go solo but open to the idea of finding one or two others to share the road with if the opportunity presented itself.  I ran across Ben Jernigan (from Texas) through the Adventure Cycling Association trip board and found that he was planning a similar route around the same time.  We decided to ride together and have been coordinating our schedules for the past couple of months.

Ben is a great story in his own right.  He just recently turned 30 and used to weigh 420 lbs until he started cycling!  Ben is also raising money for MS during his ride.  You can check him out at www.cyclingben.com.

benweightloss Ben2 ben3


Time to Pack

by on February 25th, 2014

Well…..this time next week I will be dipping my rear tire in the Pacific Ocean and heading east out of San Diego.  In the past weeks (months really) I have been researching and assembling my list of clothes, equipment, gear and spare parts that I will take on the trip.  I’m traveling unsupported which means I will be carrying everything either on my bike or on my person.  I plan to stay in hotels when I can find them and camp on the days I can’t.  There is plenty of available information and opinions (they vary widely) on what one could and should take with them on such a trip.  Some have front and rear panniers, handlebar bags, frame bags, back packs, pull trailers and everything in between.  I decided to forgo some common items like camping stoves, pots and pans, utensils, fuel canisters, etc. and have elected to go with what I feel is a fairly minimalist list, and still 70+ items.  The list seems to change slightly every couple of days…..


Everything listed below is on the bike in this pic except water bottles and the front fender.

  1. Trek 520 steel touring bike
  2. rear rack
  3. Brooks leather saddle
  4. PowerGrip pedals
  5. Profile T1 clip on aero bars
  6. Schwalbe Marathon Plus 700×32 flat resistant tires
  7. basic bike computer
  8. front and rear fenders
  9. headlight
  10. taillight
  11. (2) Ortlieb rear panniers
  12. under seat wedge pack
  13. spare folding tire
  14. (3) spare tubes
  15. tube/tire patch kit(s)
  16. (4) Fiber Fix spare spokes
  17. spare chain
  18. spare chain links
  19. spare brakepads
  20. Topeak Alien 26 function multitool
  21. spare brake and shift cables
  22. cable lock
  23. (3) water bottles
  24. (3) water bottle cages
  25. (2) bungee cords
  26. frame mounted pump
  27. (1) pair shoes (Salomon Speedcross trail shoes, will wear on and off bike)
  28. helmet
  29. fingerless riding gloves
  30. full finger windproof riding gloves
  31. waterproof baseball style hat
  32. sunglasses
  33. Adventure Cycling Association Maps
  34. wireless internet hotspot
  35. Macbook Air or Ipad mini and charger (still haven’t decided)
  36. cell phone and charger
  37. first aid kit
  38. zip ties
  39. duct tape
  40. para cord
  41. electrical tape
  42. survival knife
  43. 20 degree sleeping bag and stuff sack
  44. self inflating sleeping pad
  45. one man tent
  46. ultralight sil nylon tarp
  47. basic toiletries
  48. chamois butter (skin  lube)
  49. chain lube
  50. (2) pair cycling bib shorts
  51. (2) short sleeve cycling jerseys
  52. long sleeve tech fabric shirt
  53. polo style tech shirt (off bike)
  54. pair of tech fabric long pants with zip on/off legs
  55. arm warmers
  56. (2) pair socks
  57. pair of goretex waterproof socks
  58. pair of running/swim shorts
  59. (2) pair tech fabric underwear
  60. Coolmax  T shirt
  61. rain jacket
  62. rain pants
  63. longsleeve cycling jacket
  64. long cycling pants
  65. camera
  66. mace spray
  67. beanie for under helmet
  68. tek towel
  69. (3) small waterproof stuff sacks
  70. sunscreen
  71. waterproof cell phone pouch