Well, I accomplished the main goals of interest for this trip. I tested out my equipment, travelling kit, riding skills, endurance. While many things worked out well, I was disappointed in my endurance towards the end. Two 20 mile days? Bleah!
I was happy that my packing list worked as well as it did. I was happy that I didn’t get sick and have to figure out how to manage any emergencies, large or small.
For the next trip, I could take less clothing (or more correctly, reduce the duplication and add items of varying warmth). Exception: more socks. A second set of footwear is a good idea but sandals/flip flops would do the trick.
My rear pannier set was destroyed (both sides) but the trip saved, thanks to the miracle of duct tape.
- It was a challenge, but I did it.
- Consecutive travel days are harder than independent travel days. Daily travel distance doesn’t seem to relate well to exhaustion level. I didn’t mind wind (or even rain) that much but hills are really difficult.
- Chicken trucks really stink.
- A computer with route mapping and a GPS were worth the weight and trouble. In fact, crucial.
- I should have picked several better cycling routes (and in the future will). Some of the paved, well marked highways were a bit dangerous (hwy 30, 94, 999). Hwy 59 was very busy but was actually a very good cycling highway. One of the best was hwy 105.
- There was a lot of variation in the amount of debris on the side of the road, which could not be predicted by software, Google images or reasoning. More debris -> more flat tires. I think I had 4 flat tires in ~315 miles.
- Greyhound Bus turned out to be very amenable to bike transportation – that is the way to do the return trip. I have also since taken Amtrak (not with bike) from Houston to California, and I see from their own posters and publications that they are hostile to bikes and bike riders. Within California, they have bike oriented commuter trains, but not the long distance trains.
- Looking ahead, it seems that a major challenge on long distance trips will be in crossing rivers. Most bridges seem to be on interstate highways or narrow high speed highways. More later…
- My amateur logistical efforts worked out.
- Definitely for the next trip: state map, GPS, cell phone, duct tape, spare tubes, armored tires.
- [Addendum: I traveled the route from home to Huntsville a second time since the dates listed here. They took a really nice highway between Anderson and Roans Prairie (yay!) and added chip seal to it (boo!).]