my first cross country trek.



turnernhoochin

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Dec 11, 2009
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In the summer im planning on riding from Richmond VA to Portland OR. Ive already bought a bike (surly long haul tucker) a bob, and a rear rack. im an experienced cyclist, but i have never taken on a cross country ride. I plan on taking the trans-american trail. I just have a few questions

how much training should i do? (i ride about 60 miles a week at the moment)

what would be a good estimate of how much the trip will cost not including gear?

is camping in city parks acceptable?

what kind of tires would be good for the trip?

should i get a gps?

any advice helps. thanks!
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
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turnernhoochin said:
In the summer im planning on riding from Richmond VA to Portland OR. Ive already bought a bike (surly long haul tucker) a bob, and a rear rack. im an experienced cyclist, but i have never taken on a cross country ride. I plan on taking the trans-american trail. I just have a few questions

how much training should i do? (i ride about 60 miles a week at the moment)

what would be a good estimate of how much the trip will cost not including gear?

is camping in city parks acceptable?

what kind of tires would be good for the trip?

should i get a gps?

any advice helps. thanks!
I'm pretty sure there is at least one site which caters to long distance tourists ... so, try a web search.

I don't know how much training you need to do ... I think it depends on how many miles you plan to cover each day.

You probably want to work out an itinerary where you figure out your average mileage per day ... then see if you can realistically ride that distance for a few successive days without being encumbered with your extra gear.

3000 miles at an average of 60 (?) miles per day would be 50 days ...

Of course, you probably need to become familiar with riding with weight in your panniers + towing the BOB trailer with weight AFTER you figure how many miles you can comfortably ride on successive days.

You cannot camp in any city park that I know of ... besides, it probably wouldn't be safe.

National Parks & some State Parks have "over night" campgrounds ... KOA & other RV campgrounds are another possibility. Sometimes, you'll need to use a motel.

I think you have to budget for the worst case scenario -- allow $50 per day (because of the need for motels) as an average. It will hopefully cost you much less. Carry a credit card & minimum (less than $100) cash ... you can get more cash from WalMart as part of any credit card purchase.

I'm enough of a wuss that I would recommend NuTek urethane tires which are available from places like airfreetires.com -- sizing may be tricky OR you may need a new set of rims (e.g., Sun Rhynolite) which are wider. Its one less thing to worry about. If you get urethane tires for the bike, remember to get one for the trailer!

Since I haven't used a GPS, I would consider getting AAA Triptiks (you have to belong to AAA) ... ask them to plot out a route for you. AFTER you look at what they provide, then decide if you think you would benefit from having a GPS.

Remember, you want fenders on your bike even if you don't plan to ride in the rain because you'll want to ride as soon as the rain stops and the roads will still probably be wet.

LED lights (front & back) might be a good idea.

I recommend a full length backpacker's poncho for when you are off the bike + goggles (cheap "shop" goggles) for when it is windy.
 

cyclebum

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Dec 20, 2009
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how much training should i do? (i ride about 60 miles a week at the moment)

That's enough to stay in cycling condition. Ramp it up as the tour date approaches. Be sure and do a couple of overnighters to check out the gear and figure out what you DON'T need.

what would be a good estimate of how much the trip will cost not including gear?

$20-$30/day for comfortable tour. As little as $15 if you're really disciplined.

is camping in city parks acceptable?

Often in small towns. Never in larger.

what kind of tires would be good for the trip?

Schwable or Continental, with puncture resistance a priority. Vittoria also getting some good press.

should i get a gps?

Not necessary at all, especially if you're using ACA maps. If you like gadgets, by all means.

any advice helps. thanks!

Check out crazyguyonabike.com: Bicycle Touring: A place for bicycle tourists and their journals. All there is to know about cycle touring somewhere, and a great community.
 

jellymuscles

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Nov 13, 2009
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You need to join Warmshowers.org | Hospitality for touring cyclists now so you can get to know some of the bicyclers who will be on your root. For example I am on some east-to-west trail through Appalachia in Keyser, WV. This is an organization of bicycle tourers all over the world who are willing to put up bicyclers in exchange for the same. Using this group, you can have many, many places to stay free. Not only that but when you have bike trouble, for instance, you will have help. If you have any questions for problems email me.
Jellymuscles
 

jellymuscles

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Nov 13, 2009
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P.S. I checked the map, there are 5700 members in the US and probably enough for you to stay at one of them all the way across the US except in remote desert area.
Jellymuscles
 

borisBob

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Nov 10, 2005
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turnernhoochin said:
In the summer im planning on riding from Richmond VA to Portland OR. Ive already bought a bike (surly long haul tucker) a bob, and a rear rack. im an experienced cyclist, but i have never taken on a cross country ride. I plan on taking the trans-american trail. I just have a few questions

how much training should i do? (i ride about 60 miles a week at the moment)

what would be a good estimate of how much the trip will cost not including gear?

is camping in city parks acceptable?

what kind of tires would be good for the trip?

should i get a gps?

any advice helps. thanks!

You will find answers of all these question alone Turnernhoochin
 

vspa

Active Member
Jan 11, 2009
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watch out your rear rack, i have broken them twice on off road touring. You have to consider the quality of the road as a factor, rather than the rack load-capacity alone. I was even thinking, for my next tour, to carry an spare rear rack with me !
 

PedaltheGlobe

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Mar 7, 2010
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turnernhoochin said:
In the summer im planning on riding from Richmond VA to Portland OR. Ive already bought a bike (surly long haul tucker) a bob, and a rear rack. im an experienced cyclist, but i have never taken on a cross country ride. I plan on taking the trans-american trail. I just have a few questions

how much training should i do? (i ride about 60 miles a week at the moment)

what would be a good estimate of how much the trip will cost not including gear?

is camping in city parks acceptable?

what kind of tires would be good for the trip?

should i get a gps?

any advice helps. thanks!

Your training will depend on how much distance you plan to ride each day on tour.

It would be hard to estimate how much the trip will cost as that will mainly depend on your average daily distance, where you eat, and how much you camp vs. stay in hotels.

Camping is allowed in some city parks, but not most. Contact local law enforcement of that city for details.

Schwalbe and Continental seem to be the most recommended brands of tires for touring.

I highly recommend a GPS.

Thanks,
Jon
PedaltheGlobe.com: Bicycle Touring Around the World including blogs, articles, product reviews, photos, and videos
 

beandeanscene

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Mar 9, 2010
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Here are a few tips that are tried and true, Schwable Marathon tires should last you the whole trip, take a bottle of chain lube with you and lube your chain everyday, start riding now everyday and go for longer rides on the weekend. The GPS would be handy but buy the right one.(garmin make a few bike specific models) If you can avoid staying at camp grounds you will save money (hide out somewhere and do not be afraid of anything) If you take a good gas stove with you it is a really handy thing to have. You should be able to ride 60-100 miles a day without problem even if your a grampa