Hi. I'm planning my first cycle touring adventure for late March into April. Shipping my bike from Salem, MA, USA to a friend in Stuart, Florida and pedaling alone across the state to Gulfport, about 220 miles. I plan on 4 days/3 nights travelling.
I'm a 59 year old aging hippie who gave up my car a year ago and ride 100 to 150 miles a week in good weather (50+ miles a week this winter). I would like route advice - Google maps has me going 1A to Vero Beach then Route 60 across the state. Anyone experienced with the area? I plan on rustic camping so any advice on campsites along the way is appreciated.
Also, if you are willing, I'd like to review my gear list, preparations, and plans with a seasoned rider.
Florida will make a great tour - I have cycle the state several time and just got back from a tour last month. The coast is good, highway 60 is desolate, and the Tampa area conjested. A route around Lake Okeechobee would be scenic and offer food stops along the way.
Finding a free place to camp is easy or consider Warm Showers hosts. Shipping your bike it going to be expensive for a short trip ($200+ via FedEx or the airline). Maybe consider borrowing or buying a bike in Stuart and returning it at the end of your journey. Regarding gear, less is more (I tour with 20 pounds): you need basic tools, camping gear, and a change of clothes. Enjoy!
Harold - Thanks for the route tip, I'll look into the ok'bee route. That's cattle country. I believe.
I'm weighing everything, not cooking. Maybe I'll put 2 10lb dumbbells on and get a feel for that
I'm taking amtrack with the bike from Boston to West Palm Beach. $10 fee
Ah, yes, Amtrak is great for starting and ending a tour and is indeed a bargain to transport a bike. Certainly do a few miles with loaded panniers before you leave to be sure they are stable. With abundant delis and fast food, cooking gear is something I will never carry again.
You might find the info in this useful for overnighting. Summary of camping done on a ride along the coast to St Augustine.
hello dude...have done some bicycle touring over the years...planning a solo trip from pennsylvania to key west around april...are you solo or traveling w/ a person or people ?....if not solo, sometimes you will be able to share the load...i suppose everyone has their preferences when it comes to anything, including bicycling gear, i have mine, and after your trip, you'll have yours...i know what works for me, and even still, i keep an open mind to new and better stuff or just tweak it myself until it works better for me(or it breaks in the tweak process)...i think about duration of trip, road surface, time of year and weather, sleeping is important to me so i will carry extra weight if i think i'll rest better, to me, i am concerned about nourishment for sure, but for 4 days, not so much....1 lb of nuts, dried fruits, some cheese, bread or hard rolls...that stuff carries well...i would be more concerned about water...will you be cooking ?...if you do other outdoor activity, some of the gear overlaps...on a 2 week trip, i would pack similiarly as to a 5 month trip...on a 4 day trip i would pack differently than i would for a 2 week trip...is the trip a loop or point A to B, when you get to destination, will there be amenities (shower/food/water/electric)? will there be other transportation involved that would require you to dis assemble some of your bicycle (tools) ?...will there be a support vehicle or totally self sufficient ?...for me, i like a larger tent and i bring my gear inside.. right now i am using a marmot 3man tent, i am not a large man 5'7" 190 lb, never had, and hope never to have, a 1 man tent...used a 2 man tent for a while and decided to go for the 3man tent...these are some of my preferences...
Michael, thanx for your tips. This is a point A to B trip, solo. I have friends on either end who will be available if needed. I don't plan on cooking and will be provisioning daily from stores along the way. I purchased a 1 person tent for the trip (hadn't thought about storing gear in tent until you brought it up). I agree that experience is the best education and hope to gain from this trip for a Massachusetts to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia trip this summer.
On your Pennsylvania to Key West trip - do you plan all your stops ahead or as you go along? I'm planning on 20# of gear and 50 miles a day. I want to stop a few times a day for hikes and sightseeing. When you are travelling and trying to make time/distance what is your estimate of mileage/day?
one day i was cycling along the c&o canal in maryland, camping...woke up, packed it all in....about an hour down the road, i realized i had forgotten my tent poles...turned around and tried to remember where i camped....took a while, i found them...it started to pour, decided to stay where i was....i plan as i go...on a good day, no hills, i may be able to do 80 or 90 miles a day, maybe 100, not sure...when i travel on my bicycle, that mind set of "making time" is not in the frontal lobe, also, the mind set of "making time" is not friends with, and does not like to spend time with or be involved in internal dialogues and conversations with that other mind set of "plan as i go".. every now and again it sneaks into the internal dialogue i have going on...it usually justs sneaks in and then leaves right away, chased out of the internal dialogue by "plan as i go" ... one day i was bicycling thru ohio and determined to stay ahead of an on coming downpour by having that "making time" mind set...if i do 30 to 60 miles a day, thats a fine day on my bicycle..that being said, i have had many a fine day without turning a wheel ! ...cycling thru kansas one day, hadnt seen a car or a person for 5 hours, stopped to rest, i see a lone bicyclist coming towards me about a mile away, dude was decked out in spandex, circled on his bike as we spoke a few words, never got off his bike, gone in less than 2 minutes, said he was trying to make 100 miles a day cross country...who was that dude ? ...i sat there another half hour just to wind down from that last encounter !
There are many versions of bicycle touring. The thing is just to get out there and experience it. Your 50-60 miles a day should be fairly laid-back with plenty of time to smell the roses. Your training should tell you what is a good daily distance for you. The weather, socializing, sight-seeing, and misfortune can impact mileage.
I see, depending on the route you take, there are Warm Showers host about every 50-60 miles on the way to Vera Beach. With minimal gear, a small tent should hold your gear with room to sleep. I consider a camping mattress and ear plugs essential for a good night's sleep. Enjoy!