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The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell books about touring

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India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

Alaska / Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010

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Sept 2007 to May 2008

Australia
Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

AZ, Mexico, and Central America
March 2002 to April 2003

How I started
The 5 years before I left


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Equipment Pages Index

Introduction
How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Kickstands
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Camping
Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Clothing
Bike Touring Shorts

Electrical
Short-wave Radio
Computer
Internet
mp3
Bicycle touring lights

Books
Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures
Shopping


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(see all 3 book)

Adventure Cycling USA Transamerica Route Bicycle Touring Route Maps
Bike Coast to Coast Across America -  States: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Virginia

A CLASSIC TRANS AM ROUTE AS OLD AS BIKECENTENNIAL

Grand parks along the TransAm include Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, among the best in the United States. One additional treat: because this route has been ridden by cyclists for years, many of the cafes, restaurants, and overnight accommodations along the route have kept journals consisting of entries written by cross-country riders from previous years, providing you with a cyclist's history of the route. Plan on around three months (give or take) for the crossing. Some traverse the route quicker, but this leaves less time for sightseeing. This route can be ridden from May through September. Note that snow can occur at any time in the Rocky Mountains, and the highest pass on the route is over 11,500 feet. Although the prevailing weather patterns are from west to east, local wind patterns are more dependent on the passing pressure systems and local terrain, so you can expect your fair share of tailwinds and headwinds regardless of which direction you ride the route.

Astoria, Oregon, with the hills of a miniature San Francisco, is the official beginning-of-the-road. The view from atop the Astoria Column is well worth the uphill pedal. Stretches of beaches, outstanding state parks, steep ascents and descents, and great seafood abound during your first days of riding before you turn inland to the Willamette River Valley. Eugene is the largest city along the route, with about 140,000 residents. Other sizable cities along the way are Missoula, Montana; Pueblo, Colorado; and Carbondale, Illinois. The lush, green western side of the Cascade Mountains is a startling contrast to the dry terrain you'll be riding into after McKenzie Pass. The road over McKenzie Pass literally cuts through an ancient lava field and offers spectacular views of the Three Sisters and other snow-capped volcanic peaks of the Cascades. Central and eastern Oregon are made up of dry, mountainous terrain. It's a good idea to carry extra water. The National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center outside of Baker City is a must-see, and after completing your trip crossing the country, you'll have no trouble relating to the experiences of the early pioneers.

Idaho offers a wonderful ride along the Salmon River, and some interesting Native American historic sites to visit. The route then follows the winding, scenic Lochsa River for the longest ascent of the trip (around 70 miles). You'll climb up and over Lolo Pass, enter Montana and soon reach the spur into Missoula. Missoula, a college town, provides one of the highlights of the route: the Adventure Cycling headquarters with its "cyclist's lounge" and other amenities, along with whatever services you may require in town. Beautiful panoramas and mountain passes await you in Montana.

The views in Yellowstone National Park and of the Grand Tetons in Wyoming are incomparable. It's worth an extra day or two off the bike to experience as much as you can of these two phenomenal national parks. Towns such as Dubois and Lander remind you that you're in the West, with their historic architecture and western-style cooking. Lamont is an oasis in the windy, desolate Great Divide Basin, and local restaurants serve up a mean bowl of chili.

The scenery quickly changes from dry, high desert to alpine as you reach Kremmling, Colorado. Touristy Breckenridge is another great place for a layover day. You begin a long climb to crest the Continental Divide at Hoosier Pass, 11,542 feet, up amongst snow-covered peaks. As the route leaves the Rockies, Royal Gorge Park offers a fun layover day. Choose from hanging out at the Arkansas River bridge, taking a helicopter ride over or a raft trip through the gorge. Pueblo offers bike shops and great places to eat; it also serves as the halfway point of the TransAm Trail (time to celebrate!). It's a good place to stock up -- this is the largest city you'll pass through until Carbondale, Illinois.

Things start to dry out as you get into the eastern part of Colorado and cross into western Kansas. Carrying extra water is smart planning here -- this is hot, barren country. Right around Haswell, Colorado, you'll see your last hazy glimpse of the Rocky Mountains. Overnights at city parks in Kansas are usually accompanied by cool dips in the city swimming pools. You might have to do some early morning and early evening riding to escape the midday heat. Don't miss the pies at Cookie's in Golden City, Missouri! The flat-as-a-pool-table terrain of the Great Plains will change quickly into the roller-coaster riding of Missouri. You'll find Missouri offers Civil War history, terrific canoeing (at Eminence) and an excellent swimming hole (Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park).

The route crosses the Mississippi River at Chester, Illinois, and heads into Carbondale, another fun college town. A ferry takes you across the Ohio River into Kentucky, where you'll enjoy the evening fireflies at your campsites. Kentucky offers rolling white-fenced farms and woodlands until reaching Berea, the gateway to the Appalachian Mountains. A loop south of the route will take you to see Mammoth Caves National Park, the longest cave system in the world. Past Berea, you'll spend some time ascending and descending the mountains of the Appalachians, and riding part of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. The mountains turn to rolling hills and then flatten out through lush plantations and farmlands. The last stretch of the route is rich in the history of the American Revolution, with Colonial Williamsburg as the highlight. Yorktown, situated on the Chesapeake Bay, is the route's end.

Terrain

Some stretches of the western portion of the route follow large river valleys and can be generally flat, but expect some climbing almost every day between Astoria, Oregon and Pueblo, Colorado. The passes throughout the Rocky Mountains are generally long but not terribly steep. The descents from these passes are, of course, a blast. Most of Kansas is boringly flat. Missouri through the Ozarks and eastern Kentucky through the Appalachians offers short, steep climbs. The Virginia portion of the route, surprisingly, has more total elevation gain than any other state.

Logistics

Camping choices will vary across the country between small private campgrounds, city parks, state and national parks, national forests and the occasional backyard. The northern Oregon coast is a heavily traveled tourist route and is flush with camping and service opportunities. From Oregon eastward through Kansas, you'll find services limited mainly to the towns along the route. Carrying extra water in the West is a good plan. Camping options improve once you're in the Rockies, but you should still expect some long stretches between accommodations and services. Options will increase near tourist areas such as Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Kansas is legendary for its hospitality. Camping in city parks is the norm through Kansas and Missouri. Food, water and overnight accommodations are abundant from Missouri to Virginia.

 

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What I Have Learned On The Road

Dreaming of Endless Travel

Injustice of Poverty

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