April '09- 1,000 plus miles w/ RS 35cc....

Discussion in 'Motorized Recumbents' started by bamabikeguy, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    ...will probably be easier and take less time than figuring out how the MAPS programs work nowadays.

    Get this, I had to cut up an old 1950's (pre-interstate highways) encyclopedia/atlas, do a bunch of scanning and cropping, to get a decent image to post !!

    Maps are irrelevant once I get on the road, due to my tendency to follow the wind and end up 50 miles from that day's target. When I punched up this first part of the journey, Alabama to North Carolina, it was 457 miles by car, but 422 "walking". (Part of the first day will be retracing a route from my September '06 Mt. Cheaha trip, where I "lost" 140 pictures switching to Google's Picasa program, right before joining the forum.)

    Since putting on the engine in December, I've done at least 500 miles of breaking in-3 oil changes, things are purring back behind the seat.

    Some of the towns I'll pass in Georgia are Rome, Gainesville, up to Toccoa.

    When I posted the plan at Daily Kos, a guy e-mailed me an invitation to dinner and potential campsite in Alto, which is about 204 miles from the house. At least the social part of the intratubz works better than the maps !!

    Helen and Anna Ruby Falls are part of a German/Alpine replica town, which I thought might be my scenic time-outs. Helen is home of the Cabbage Patch Dolls, which holds zero interest for me, but there is a genuine German type brewery nearby, which holds a 6 pack of test packing.

    I'll just zip through South Carolina, Seneca, Clemson, Westminster....but I want to be 30 miles north of Greenville and Spartanburg if I can.

    Lincoln, Cherryville, Mooresville are on the route into North Carolina, where my Easter Grateful Greensboro Sunday Dead ticket awaits. Exit N.C. sometime Tuesday, either north through Galax/Roanoke or south toward Columbia.

    There is reserved for me a ticket up in Virginia for a Charlottesville Dead show the next week, but I may just go south to Charleston, SC, where another friend has backstage contacts for some sort of jam-band festival going on down there the next weekend.

    I've searched the threads to see if somebody has put the 4-stroke Robin Subaru on a cross country stress test. With this journey, & especially if I do the Charleston option, all the "hard miles" will be on Day 1-2, once I get in the flatlands it's a smooth cruise. I was thinking of doing a Virginia Bluegrass tour in October, that's just another reason to "go south" next month.

    Estimated day of departure is Tues. April 7....Rucio the Pack Mule is still a work in progress !

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  2. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    Very cool. Watch out for the storms moving through, though. We wouldn't want to hear that you did a 'dorothy' on us!
  3. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Aiming toward the Atlantic, and ending up somewhere past Kansas....that would be a bummer.

    However, landing in Oz, throwing shrimps on the barbie with the Aussies, would work out well.

    Its still summer down there!
  4. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    Hmmm. The bamabikeguy of Oz. Has a ring to it!

    The excursion does sound like it'll be a lot of fun. I've driven the roads in NC & western VA many times. It's beautiful country. Do you have a flag to mount on your bike? I think I'd like riding a recumbent, except for the reduced visibility aspect (since you're AT the bumper/grill level already!)
  5. eastwoodo4

    eastwoodo4 Member

    do u plan on stealth camping,camping in designated areas or hitting up the hotels?are u gonna pull a trailer?how many miles a day u gonna cover?
  6. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Leave nothing but tire prints....about 2 hours before sunset I start to plan.

    I knew from the Boy Scout days that camping near water was for photographic reasons only (more bugs and critters), so I look for higher ground. I buy a couple of snacks and make sure the water bottle is filled, then keep my eyes peeled for an isolated spot.

    On the Florida and Denver trips I used tarps, I didn't get the dome tent until the 2006 Mt. Cheaha trip. When I start looking, abandoned barns or a really old house with a porch are all over the place. I like to have shelter nearby if there is a threat of rain. Out in windswept Kansas I could hide behind round bales of hay to cut down on the breeze factor.

    You can get an idea of how sparse the population is on a map by aiming for a national or state forest, and when you pass a likely spot, just circle back if it suits your fancy.

    Funny thing, on the Mobile AL run in Jan 07 three times I found deer stands, like in Pic 1. You'd get off the main road, see some tire tracks, and could pretty well "be alone" after hunting season. In exchange for borrowing a hunters chair/stool, I'd haul out a bag of their litter the next morning.

    The ideal spot is 10 miles from the next town, so in the morning, you have a brisk ride before the first cup of coffee.

    Once I got the hang of it, I'd ask the locals while lunching at a diner "where's the best swimming hole?", and after a swim and a siesta, a 2-3 hour late afternoon ride, there really wasn't a need for a motel. The new hammock purchase will make that siesta twice as nice.

    As to the trailer, no, I'm putting the final touches on Rucio the Recumbent to carry as much gear as Rocinante, the Red Cruiser.


    I only use one flag locally, but have a second one available....maybe it will be a good idea to fly both. Thanks !!

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    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  7. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    On the 2 cycles, either the Zenoah or the Tanaka, there were a couple of times I was over 250, maybe 280 miles that time I caught the tailwind out of Manhattan Kansas.

    Average worked out to 225, because I do way too much yakking along the way. I carve up a map in 200 mile pieces, to gauge if I'm ahead or behind the clock.

    Since the first leg of this trip is over 400 miles, I know there will be 2 nights camping, no matter what, so I'm not going to push it.

    But for sure, since this is a "test of the 4 stroke", on the return I will put in at least one "dawn to sunset ride", pure "riding for distance", just to see what it will do.

    The big differences are the cruiser's 12" saddle versus the recumbent's chair, and not being able to use cruise control on the 4 strokes trigger throttle.
  8. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Years ago, when last I did any road trips opn my bicycle, I generally carried a 12 X20 rip stop nylon tarp treated with waterproofing, and I watched for roadside rest stops or isolated small town parks with a picnic table well off the road. Picnic tables make great tent frames, and the tarp was big enough to make a ground sheet and wrap up over one side bench, cross the top, and down on the other side to about bench level. I did that many times, and only encountered a problem once - a local cop in Gold beach, Oregon thought I was breaking some local ordinance and hauled me to city hall.

    I talked to the night shift sergeant, provided ID, explained what I was doing, and the sergeant told the patrolman to try not to be such an a$$ in future. Then he gave me a ride back to the park. Said he wished he had time for something like what I was doing, but three kids and all that kind of stuff kept him way too busy.

    If I can get my health issues under control, I hope to start road tripping myself, once I get the trike done.
  9. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Since the forum has grown by leaps and bounds, and so many folks are interested in cross country riding (and to remind myself to replenish the mini-citronelle candle supply), I'll post a few ideas I've found out along the backroads.

    My neighbor has one of those mini-thin Time/Life FM radios I borrow. You wake up at 4 in the morning, and you can find some of the coolest stations that break the monotony, like a 2 hour Dylan concert from a college in Georgia, or the "Bunkhouse" on a Sunday morning which aired out of Texas, but I picked up in the middle of Oklahoma. Texas swing music and the history of the smaller cow-cutting horses was discussed with the son of a famous pioneer cowboy. Very informative, and it gives you good karma during the day, something to think about in foreign territories.

    Give yourself a minimum hour before sunset to set up camp, to gather up a little firewood....and break off a couple of green leafy branches to occasionally smoke out the insects, making sure you guessed the wind direction ahead of time.

    Buy the local newspaper before getting off the road at night, you might find an item to check out the next day, and that's how you light your fire. It is USELESS to think you can read a novel on the road, due to the dim light "on the road again" attention span being ultra-short.

    I have a key chain flashlight and another bigger one, I use the key chain light to locate the other one.

    When you pack up your gear, you really want to reduce the weight. I've built up a separate set of traveling tools, carry cheap rubber flip flops instead of clunky sandals. My wish list item is some sort of galoshes to slip over the Chuck Taylor's when it rains.

    As an example of "weight control"....a bottle of OFF bug spray would last you a month, what you really want is a mini-spray bottle to carry enough for a few days. I also spray it around the perimeter of my ground tarp before sleeping, (I think it works).

    Never be wearing denim jeans if the weather threatens, they won't dry out easily unless you hang them up, which wastes travel time.

    If you are going to do a sightseeing loop, you can hide some of your gear behind the bushes, climb that peak or go see that tourist trap, then reload on the return.

    Lunch conversations are 10 times better in a local diner than a franchise burger joint, all-you-can-eat lunch buffets are the holy grail of $10 a day traveling.

    If you travel with others you might be able to cook in camp, but it won't work for solo riding. I don't even brew water, just wait till I reach the first store in the morning for coffee and a 30 minute conversation with the locals, who tell me the shortcuts or alternative destinations. I am usually packed and ready to ride when the sun peeks over the horizon.

    Talking to locals every couple of hours, to get oriented, is a lot better than being tied to a map, so be flexible mid-journey. But always try and be as far from the city lights by late afternoon, camping spots leap out when you are on a two lane in the middle of nowhere.

    Never forget to fill the water bottle before camping, nothing worse than waking up thirsty at midnight.

    A package of 18-24" zip ties are very handy.

    That's a few suggestions, there are a lot more little details, but it is all trial & error.
  10. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    I was doing the same thing with tarps and picnic tables, and the only time I talked to a cop was at Foss Lake State Park, above Elk City, Oklahoma. I was three days out of Denver, aimed for the lake to wash the Panhandle dust off, and set up air mattresses atop a table, hung the tarps to break the wind.

    It was midweek, and about 9 p.m. a cop drove up, said there were troublemaking teenagers....I carry business cards and sometimes copies of the newspaper interviews I've done along the way, so that answered all his questions.

    But the tent gives me more possible campsites, and since part of the purpose it to find a little solitude, avoiding state parks is a better plan.

    National Forests are good, a fire ranger in the Okefenokee Forest in N. Florida let me use the showers at the station.

    Boy Scout training taught me to always leave a camp looking pristine, the extra water is to make sure the small fire is completely out, then scatter dirt and leaves over it to make it look like nobody was there.

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  11. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    I am originally from Spartanburg, S.C. but now live in Florida. Wave at that place as you go by. The old Hwy. 29 in that area, may be the road you are looking to ride. ENJOY & be safe. A lot of crime in that area.
  12. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Hey Esteban !

    I cross into SC from Toccoa GA to Westminster SC.

    Westminster or Seneca give me an option, a northern scenic loop on that Cherokee National Foothills Highway (a lot of small towns, better carry my gas)....

    OR Seneca-Clemson-Easley then a northeasterly loop toward Chesnee, where I can aim for Shelby NC....

    Do you know anything about the Cherokee Scenic Hwy?

    Is it just hills and dales or are there mountains to conquer?

    It looks like if I change my mind on that scenic route, there are plenty of ways of heading east-southeast and get back into flatter ground.

    My recollection is the real mountain-y area begins north of Brevard NC.

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  13. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    I sent you a PM.
  14. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Posting Esteban's excellent PM, cuz it has lots of possibilities:

  15. eastwoodo4

    eastwoodo4 Member

    hows everything coming?u still gonna leave on the 7th?
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  16. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    I just got back from the shop/taking a test ride....this thing is starting to look like the hobo express, blue coffee cans dangling under the seat, kiddie sleep pad/scrapbook behind the seats back, bent shelf over the front basket....

    I have another wire rack atop the black diaper bag (containing my spare gas), and when I drape my blue poncho over the seat and that rack, it hides the engine !

    A stealthy blue hobo bomber.

    I'll diary the expenses per day, but one campfire project will be physically counting the zip ties, because I just bought another pack of 100 !!
  17. eastwoodo4

    eastwoodo4 Member

    the hobo express.that ones gonna stick!got a pic?
  18. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Rucio is still her name, Sancho Panza's bony donkey. In Don Quixote, Sancho Panza rides a donkey he refers to as "my rucio" or "the rucio", an elegant (and ironic) designation of the texture of the animal's fur.

    (Phil, the owner of a great bar, Sancho's in Denver, named my red cruiser Rocinante, Quixote's noble nag)...

    Note to loquin, I put the second flag on yesterday !

    1. I think, if it rains, I can ride with that poncho covering the seat, so the foam doesn't get wet, zip tie it away from the exhaust.

    2. The new rack put on a few minutes ago, light weight stuff, for like my rain suit.

    3. Scrapbook/kiddie pad tucked behind my seat

    4. 3rd piece of shelving bent over basket, where the air mattress, fleece blankets will be inside, and something could be lashed on top.

    5. Maxwell House sock and underwear storage units.

    Still have to stash tools, spare tubes/belt, maybe a fifth & sixth bottle holder tied to the trapper keeper....I'm getting hesitant to have too much weight on the front handlebars, BUT the long chain is interfering with my plan to tie stuff under the frame....

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  19. eastwoodo4

    eastwoodo4 Member

    thnx for the pics.rucio it is :).i see what u mean about to much wait on the handle bars.let me know what u come up with.
  20. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    Looks like a plan to me.