Traveling by Bicycle Across America

Month: July 2012

Cyclist hot foot

With many hilly days in southern Minnesota and eastern Iowa, I experienced foot problems. The article in the link explains the cause and solutions for the problem

I changed my cleat position and frequently loosen my straps. I will try orthotics tomorrow as I prepare for the last third of my trans-continental tour.

Rest days at home

I am home for two rest days. I will be back on the road Tuesday. Only 1460 miles to Bar Harbor, Maine. I plan to finish by mid-August.

Pictures from the last 10 days or so

Carrying My Gear in a B.O.B Yak Plus Trailer

Shular’s B.O.B. Yak trailer

I have been pulling my gear in a trailer for a month now. This first picture shows it fully loaded without my tent on top. It is so full that it is hard to roll the top closed to keep the rain out. I don’t know how much my gear weighs, but I am guessing that it is 45 to 50 pounds. Add to that the weight of the B.O.B Yak Plus which includes the bag, another 15 to 17 pounds. It is like an anchor on steeper hills. Even here in Minnesota I have found some grades of 6 or more percent.

The company was originally Beast or Burden – the origin of B.O.B. It is a beast to manage at times. As you see in the picture, the trailer is leaned against a picnic table. I love picknick tables. I have to find something to lean it against to park. Guard rails on the highway work well as do grocery cart corrals at stores. It is tricky to park against a post or a tree, especially when I the Racktime handlebar bag is loaded with food.

Attachment of B.O.B Yak Trailer to Bicycle

The trailer came with a quick release axle to replace the regular axle. The spring loaded pin in the photo wrapping around the axle keeps the trailer attached to the bicycle. It is somewhat awkward to attach the trailer. I have to lift up the ‘tongue’ then place the tabs over the special axle and insert the keeper pins. It helps when the bicycle is leaning against something. I have left it at a campground to go grocery shopping a few times.

My Bianchi Volpe and B.O.B Yak trailer leaning on bicycle rack

You can see in this photo with the back of the trailer in the foreground, the bike and trailer takes up one whole side of a bicycle rack. On the plus side, the trailer allowed me to continue the trip. On the minus side, it is heavy and can be hard to manage at times. As long as the load is balanced, it is easy to ride on the level.

What Do You Eat Since You Ride 6 to 8 Hours Per Day

This morning, I made scrambled eggs, whole wheat toast with homemade strawberry preserves and coffee. Most days breakfast is cold and very simple.

I shop for groceries as I travel. I try to have a banana with breakfast each day and another one, usually in the afternoon.

I eat a lot of granola bars. John Howard at Performance Sports says you can have 240 to 360 calories per hour as you ride. The granola bars give me 190 calories. Since it got hot a couple of days ago, I picked up a sport drink mix. I mix raisins and almonds for a snack.

I ate whole wheat English muffins for a while. They pack well, but cost a lot more than bread. Peanut butter is a staple. I found that if you let dry soup mix soak, it is okay to eat cold. Tuna fish cans are small, light and easy to pack in my bag. Tortillas pack well and substitute for bread.

Until I rode into the heat, I was carrying summer sausage. Making sandwiches before I started in the morning made lunch easy. I have not stopped at a fast food place since a cold rainy day in Sandpoint, Idaho. Extra sharp cheddar cheese traveled well until the heat.

water bottle oatmeal

Most days, I have cold oatmeal. The recipe is simple. I put dry oatmeal in a bicycle water bottle and water. It stands overnight. In the morning I add almonds and raisins.  When I finished a jar of peanut butter, I started using that instead of the water bottle. The wider opening is more convenient. Packing a big container of oatmeal in my bag is not easy. I tried a time or two. Now, I distribute the oats into two zip bags.

When a grocery store is near where I camp, I pick up a container or two of yogurt. Must places stock only the light versions. I am looking for the fat and the calories. Prices have been as high as 95 cents for a little container. I skip it at that price.

When I was riding with Dylan, we split a cantaloupe and a bag of grapes. I have an apple in my handlebar bag now.

Some of you know I hardly ever drink soda. Research shows caffeine while riding does enhance endurance. With the heat Monday and Tuesday I did have soda. The sugar is okay, as long as you are riding.

I tried a bag of pretzels. It was too large and not easy to pack.

While I seldom eat at a restaurant, I did eat at Jordie’s Cafe in Bowles, MN. Jordie supervises the city park across the street from the cafe where I camped. Monday night was taco night. The Soo Line trail is almost in front of the cafe. That trail seems to bring a lot of riders to the cafe.

I am open to suggestions on simple meal ideas.

Where in the World is Shular on July 3, Day 38 of the Journey

It has been more than a week since I had wi-fi to do an update. I tried from my phone, and found it slow and frustrating with 2G service. Last week I had a text message from t-mobile telling me I had used 40MB of the miserly 50MB of data available while roaming. Since reaching Minnesota, I have had t-mobile service, but it has all been 2G with screens saying we are having trouble loading that page or some similar phrase. This is the same problem I had while roaming.

So where  am I on Day 38? I am near Dalbo, Minnesota. It is a very small town that I think is about 40 miles north of Minneapolis. Donn Olson, a local farmer, found that cyclists on the Adventure Cycling Association Northern Tier Route were passing by his farm needing a place to stay. He had a barn. The Bunkhouse has grown from there. People have been telling me about it for days. An air conditioned barn, a solar shower a stocked refrigerator and wi-fi! I will be here tonight and tomorrow night. Tomorrow is my first rest day in more than a week.

It was 89 degrees when I passed through Milaca this afternoon. I was told the heat index was 105. I averaged 12 mph this afternoon. Fortunately, the southeast wind was light most off the day.

My day started in Bowlus. I crossed the Mississippi River – several crossings are coming up.

I will put up another gallery of photos tomorrow. I have been thinking of several post topics.






This is day three in Minnesota. I am headed to Bowlus today.

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