Where I Slept in the Trans Am Bike Race
Below is a list of where I slept or camped during the 2015 Trans Am Bike Race.
In summary, I stayed in hotels 11 times, slept on a bunk bed in Newton Bike shop 1 time, and stealth camped a dozen other times behind guard rails on gravel, off road on grass, on concrete at churches, or on/under picnic tables.
|Day||Location||Description of Lodging|
|1||Deerhorn, Oregon||Behind public water company-owned “shed” near golf course in bivy sack from 12-4 a.m.|
|2||13 miles past Dayville, Oregon||Behind guard rail in bivy sack from 12:30-4:30 a.m.|
|3||Cambridge, Idaho||At Idaho rest stop with public bathroom and running water, on lawn in bivy sack from 1-5 a.m.|
|4||Kooskia, Idaho||Behind guard rail in bivy sack, next to Clearwater River. from 12-4 a.m.|
|5||Darby, Montana||First, at Days Inn in Lolo, Montana from 4:30-8:30 p.m. First shower of race. Then, 30 feet off road on grass in bivy sack from 3-6:00 a.m.|
|6||Cameron, Montana||In weeds off US-287, 10 miles from Ennis, in bivy sack from 2-7 a.m. (overslept alarm).|
|7||Rockefeller Memorial Parkway, Wyoming||In cabin at Flagg Ranch from 11 p.m.-3 a.m.|
|8||Jeffrey City, Wyoming||In weeds off road in bivy sack from 12-5 or 6 a.m.|
|9||Walden, Colorado||At Chedsey Hotel from 10:30 p.m.-4 a.m.|
|10||Fairplay, Colorado||At Riverside Inn from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Nap in bivy sack in weeds from 5-7:00 a.m. after got too cold.|
|11||Tribune, Kansas||On grass in public park in bivy sack across the street from Trail’s End Motel from 2-6 a.m.|
|12||Newton, Kansas||At Newton Bike Shop dorm from 5:30-8:50 a.m.|
|13||Pittsburg, Kansas||At Holiday Lodge from 2:30-7 a.m.|
|14||Houston, Missouri||At Southern Inn from 12-5? a.m.|
|15||Ellington, Missouri||At Scenic Rivers Motel from 7 p.m.-5 a.m.|
|16||Goreville, Illinois||4 miles off route at America’s Best Value Inn in Carbondale, IL from 12-5 a.m., and napped on concrete porch of Lick Creek Pentecostal Church from 7-8 a.m.|
|17||Utica, Kentucky||1 mile off course on concrete in front of doorway of church from 12-5 a.m. Warm enough to not need to sleep in bivy.|
|18||Lincoln Homestead State Park, Kentucky||Parkview Hotel in Bardstown, KY from 11 p.m.-3 a.m., and on picnic bench in covered picnic area at Lincoln Homestead State Park from 6-8 a.m.|
|19||Chavies, Kentucky||On wood church deck in bivy sack from 12:30-6:30 a.m.|
|20||Virgie, Kentucky||Under picnic table in bivy sack by gas station from 10 p.m.-7 a.m. during thunderstorm. Wet, overslept.|
|21||Konnarock, Virginia||Under trees in bivy sack from 11 p.m.-7 a.m. during thunderstorm. Wet, shivering and cold; overslept.|
|22||Christiansburg, Virginia||At Budget Inn from 8 p.m.-5 a.m. (overslept).|
|23||White Hall, Virginia||At Colony Hotel in Waynesboro from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. 15-minute nap on church concrete at 4 a.m.; nap on grass from 5-7 a.m. due to pain from Shermer’s Neck.|
|24||Yorktown, Virginia||Biked all night. No sleep until 9 hours after finish.|
Musings on Sleep
Motels along the Trans America Bicycle Trail averaged about $70 (including taxes), which was not cheap when you consider I often only stayed in them for 4 hours. But they provided a decent place to shower, do laundry in the shower or sink, recharge electronics and get a few hours of sleep. They helped conserve energy especially when it was cold outside. Towards the end of the TABR I found myself being able to wake up in them much easier than outside, when I had a tendency to oversleep my alarm.
Most nights were warm enough that I only slept inside my 32-degree down sleeping bag once or twice before shipping it back home in Newton, Kansas. But there were a couple nights when I was cold to the point of shivering; both times were during thunderstorms inside a bivy sack which apparently wasn’t very waterproof and got saturated.
My initial strategy was to ride a couple hours past sunset and wake up before sunrise, resulting in 4-5 hours of sleep. Surprisingly, despite normally needing 8 hours of sleep each night, I managed this pretty well for the first couple weeks of the race and only overslept my alarm a couple times. However, by the third week when fatigue and injuries racked up, I was oversleeping and needed to rest a lot more. Thunderstorms and being cold also kept me in my bivy sack much longer than planned.
There are 4 comments.
Did you encounter any people when you went to sleep or when you woke up? No police activity? Were the places you slept in legal? You did arrive very late at night and left early in the morning, so it's possible no one ever saw you come and go.
l only encountered people once, at 12:30 A.M. at a church in Chavies, KY (shown in the featured photo of this post). A couple guys living next door to the church must have seen my lights so they came out wielding a rifle and shouting, "Anyone need some help?" They kept searching so I came out from behind the porch and replied, "Sorry, cyclist," and explained I was biking across the country and just pulled over to get some sleep. They were relieved, saying that I scared them, although they added, "I bet we scared you too!" They were nice and took no issue with me sleeping on the church deck.
The other times, I was much stealthier and usually was gone before daylight broke. :)
Does anyone carry a bike lock. Seems it would be easy to sleep so hard that someone could walk off with your bike.
I carried a lightweight cable lock which I used a few times (including a couple times before the race to run errands), but I ended up shipping it back home when I arrived in Newton, Kansas. After that I simply brought in my bike into stores such as Walmart and Walgreens. Employees for the most part understand and do not care that you do so as long as you are not, say, blocking exits or product displays by doing so.