Newport News

A 5:30 am flight really wacks a day. With a three hour difference it’s almost the same as overseas jet lag. Not quite as bad but bad nonetheless. Flights were pretty much on time. Ron, a ACA contact who is also starting the same day has arrived too.

Bike and gear arrived via FedEx in good shape and the bike is ready to go. Did have my first flat without even getting on the bike. Punctured the front tire removing the zip tie holding it, Just a little knick but I know I have everything to fix a flat and the new pump works good too.

PS: I’ll take Southwest over US Airways anyday.



I have been considering just the Droid Razr Maxx as my only electronic device.

It can serve as my camera using this holder and tripod.



As my GPS unit. I have also loaded CoPilot Live app with maps so that I can navigate without an internet connection. I also have converted the Adventure Cycling TransAmerica  GPX to the CoPilot format and loaded them on the phone as well.

Other apps I have loaded are AccuWeather and Camp and Tent for locating camping facilities.

The Google Nexus 7 tablet is still an option to take as it is better at website updating. It has a few more apps and it also has a “On The Go” USB hosting cable and SD card reader. It is wi-fi only but the phone has a hotspot capability for a wi fi connection.

I have had the phone for a while and really like it. Good battery life, nice pictures and it is some what weather proof. I have it an Otter Box Commuter case.



The bike and gear have been packed. Almost ready to ship next week.

The bike is in a home built crate framed with 1X2 and skinned with card board. The crate length 62″ X width 14″ X height 32″ is under FedEx Ground limits. Frame with racks and rear tire fit with room to spare.

All gear and panniers fit into a 20″ X 22″ X 20 ” box.

Getting Close

It is getting close to the departure now, less than a month to go, in fact it is 23 days out now.

Training is going well. 45 miles today with the bike at its “wet” weight of 74-75 pounds. Shaved a bunch of weight and then replaced it with food and cooking kit. Dropped the kickstand as it wasn’t really all that reliable with the heavy bike. Frame pump got dropped as it wasn’t as efficient or effective as the Air Tool micro. Also the frame pump tended to limit the size of the water bottle on the seat tube.

Taking the attitude “if I need it, I’ll buy it” with clothing as I will be taking little extra stuff.

Riding to conserve energy and increase endurance.  Seems to be working well as the hills are a constant but steady grind without “pooping out” before the top.

Built a shipping crate skinned with cardboard that FedEx ground will move to Newport News and hold for me. I’m shipping bike and gear ( one box). Don’t want to miss around with airlines and TSA.


Me and friends on ride.

Me and friends on ride.


Big Bend II Loop Tour Completed

The Big Bend II Loop tour was an outstanding tour that meet all of my expectations. The tour ran from November 3rd though to November 11th 2012 and covered 360 some miles with around 23,000 feet of climbing. We had excellent weather, perhaps on the warm side some days, but no rain (riding that is) and mostly very favorable winds.

The roads generally had little traffic and the Texas chip seal was tolerable to very good riding. In general it was very good road bike riding. We had long, long grinding grades as well as some sharp and steep grades. Then there were the instances where the miles flew by as you cruised along the flats.

Big Bend Fall 2012 >>

ACA Big Bend Loop II

Have been wait listed since early March For the ACA Big Bend Loop II when at the time it wasn’t certain that a Big Bend spring tour would happen. A slot did opened up from a cancellation and now this tour is on for November 3 – 11, 2013. The Big Bend 2013 is now ACA Big Bend Loop II.

The itinerary is essentially the same as the Big Bend 2013 except this tour ends at Marfa. The spring tour was hot and windy and hope this fall will be cooler. The south wind might be welcomed on the Presdsio to Marfa leg however. Two full months to peak up the riding, mainly hill climbing.

Cycle Utah Bike

I am taking the Soma Stanyan on the Cycle Utah trip as I have done for RAGBRAI and the Big Sur ride.


This is the Stanyan as it is currently set up for the Cycle Utah ride.

  • Terry Fly saddle on a Easton Carbon Fiber seatpost
  • Forte stem and handlebar
  • Ultegra STI 9 speed shifters
  • Shimano Long Reach Dual Pivot brakes
  • Sugino 48-36-24 DX500 triple chainset
  • Sheldon Brown Century cassette 13-14-15-17-19-21-24-27-30
  • Mavic T217 Ceramic rims on Ultegra hubs with 28mm Continental GatorSkins
  • Ultegra derailleurs
  • Shimano 520 SPD pedals

Tubus Vega rear rack

A bar bag has been added primarily to carry a camera and will use a book pannier (Eagle Creek)  to carry

  • extra water
  • tire pump,
  • tools
  • extra patches rain gear
  • sun screen
  • jacket