Pre-Ride Info & Gear List

Pre-Ride Info & Gear List

On May 11th, I will begin a cross-country bike trip following the Adventure Cycling Association’s TransAmerica Trail. I am riding the trail east to west, meaning I will start in Yorktown, VA and end in Astoria, OR. I expect the trip to take about 10 weeks.

I will be blogging about once a week to provide updates. If you’d like to follow along, you can subscribe here to get email notifications when I post a new entry. I will also be posting photos occasionally to instagram (@thejohnsub). If you want to judge my slow pace and low mileage, you can follow my Strava to see my daily ride information.


A trip like this probably sparks romantic imagery of leaving all the conveniences of modern society behind and riding off into the sunset. You’d be wrong, and not just because riding in the direction of a setting sun can be dangerous. I’ve spent many hours reading gear reviews trying to find the best (and lightest) conveniences modern society can produce. No details (including what saddle will most tenderly cradle the unique shape of my butt) have been spared. As is tradition in the bike touring community, I have listed the final gear decisions here. As is also tradition in the bike touring community, I will probably end up mailing a good number of these items home after I try to drag them up the first mountain pass.

  • 2018 All City Space Horse (affectionately named “Spacey Musgraves”)
  • Brooks C17 Saddle
  • Crankbrothers Double Shot pedals
  • VEE Speedster Tires
  • 46/30T Crankset
  • 10 Speed Cassette
  • SRAM GX 2×10 Rear Derailleur
  • SRAM Apex Front Derailleur
  • Salsa Down Under Front Rack
  • Salsa Wanderlust Rear Rack
  • SKS Fenders
  • Ortlieb Backroller Free Panniers (rear)
  • Ortlieb Sport-Roller Free Panniers (front)
  • Swift Industries Paloma Handlebar bag
  • Revelate Designs Mag-Tank 2000 Top-Tube bag
  • REI Quarter Dome 2 w/ Footpad
  • Marmot Trestles 30 Sleeping Bag
  • REI Co-op Camp Dreamer Self-Inflating Pillow
  • Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad
  • 3 generic microfiber polyster riding shirts 
  • 2 pairs PEARL iZUMi riding shorts
  • Giro Rumble Vr MTB Shoes
  • 1 off bike shirt
  • 3 Smartwool PhD Cycle Light Elite Mini Socks
  • 1 calf length synthetic socks
  • 3 pairs of underwear
  • Patagonia Houdini jacket
  • Patagonia Quandary shorts
  • Teva Hurricane XLT2 Sandals
  • Marmot PreCip Rain Jacket
  • Prana Hiking pants
  • Hat
  • Bike gloves
  • Specialized helmet
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • Fujifilm x100f Camera
  • Celtic Blu Bluetooth Speaker
  • Anker PowerCore II 20000 battery bank
  • Ayyie Solar Charger
  • Black Diamond Astro 175 Headlamp
  • 2 rear lights
  • 1 front light
  • Chain lube
  • Crankbrothers M19 Bicycle Multi-Tool
  • Pro Bike Tool Mini Bike Pump
  • 3 Spare Tubes
  • Park Tool Glueless Patch Kit
  • Tire levers
  • Pocket knife
  • Zip ties
  • ACA TransAmerica map set
  • 2 camping mugs
  • 2 on-bike water bottles
  • 2 reserve water bottles
  • 1 LifeStraw
  • Spork
  • Deck of cards
  • 2 REI Co-op Multi Towels
  • Fotopro Flexible Tripod
  • First Aid kit
  • Journal
  • A book
  • Kryptonite U-Lock
Week #1 >>

5 Replies to “Pre-Ride Info & Gear List”

  1. We met at top of Afton climb as you were getting on Blueridge Parkway.
    Hope you were able to camp near Love church and the Deli. Have a great ride. David

    1. Hey, David! I made it!
      It was a great ride. Thanks for the tip about camping at the deli place. It was a good deal, and the property owner is a hoot. I’m very glad I don’t have to climb back on the mountain from Lake Sherando tomorrow morning

  2. I just read your list of equipment , WOW! I went camping only once, walked 7 miles down the Grand Canyon past the Hopi Reservation. I recall only having borrowed a neighbor’s sleeping bag and needed help since I locked myself in it. The 2’nd important item was a bug spray that I used more than half the first night and almost killed myself. I was scared to death of all the creepy crawlers and envisioned boa constrictors wanting to share my sleeping bag. The 3ed item and most important was a wide brimmed hat like one of those for the Acapulco beach, for shade and to impress the local “inhabitants”. With the torrential rains, canyon floods and an all night long hike back out of the canyon I could have used more suitable equipment. Oh well, I survived to remember it all and told myself that camping, roughing it is not my cup of tea. —- Have a great adventure and be safe!

  3. Hmmmm 3 socks…. I’m not that into biking to get that. Plus I’m wondering what kind of hat since there was no description. I love that you are sharing your experiences for others to read. I would love to bike across the country but don’t see me making that commitment. So thanks for sharing your story 🇺🇸

    1. Regular baseball cap, nothing special.
      Happy to share! I’m sure I’ll look back in a few years and be happy I documented as much as I could. Thanks for following along!

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