Unexperienced but planning a coast to coast trip



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Saeed Noursaleh

Guest
Hi everyone,

I have no experience with touring and ride my bike only as an occasional recreation and to get
around campus (I have a cheapo mountain bike). Despite this, I'm planning on doing a
cross-country touring trip this summer, and I thought I would ask if anyone can point me to good
references for getting started. Specifically, I want to get a good bike at a good price, figure
out all the equipment and skills I need for the trip, and anything else I might need to
accomplish this. I'm working on convincing at least one my friends to go along, but I will do it
alone if no one goes with
me. Any information is greatly appreciated.

Also, if anyone is interested in riding from Seattle to New York City, let me know. I'm thinking
about starting out some time in June. FYI, I am pretty out of shape, so I will probably start out
pretty slow. I plan to exercise between now and then, though.

Thanks -Saeed
 
M

Mike Vermeulen

Guest
>Specifically, I want to get a good bike at a good price, figure out all the equipment and skills I
>need for the trip, and anything else I might need to accomplish this. I'm working on convincing at
>least one my friends to go along, but I will do it alone if no one goes with
>me. Any information is greatly appreciated.

Some suggestions:

1. As much as you can, take some shorter "shakedown" rides to work some of the equipment and skills
issues out. For example, take an overnight ride or perhaps a three or four day ride. There will
be a set of choices you can make where there is no right answer, but different preferences. For
example: -- camping vs. motels -- bring stove/cook gear or not -- how much of your day to ride?
-- taking rest days along the way? -- riding early or late Many of those you can try out to see
what fits for you...

2. A search on the web shows several equipment lists. Mine for a recent 12 month trip that included
crossing the USA is listed here: http://www.mvermeulen.com/oneyear/equipment.htm

3. It will be useful to have some basic bike fixing skills for simple problems, e.g. tubes, tires,
spokes, cables, adjustments,... Also useful to have some knowledge of bike shops along the way
for larger issues (use either periodic checks of Yellow Pages or get maps such as those put out
by Adventure Cycling organization).

4. Adventure Cycling otherwise has a good set of information on their web site:
http://adv-cycling.org

5. Some approaches I've found useful: -- As much as you can, don't start out on a new unadjusted
bike, trying to push too much to meet a "schedule" and finding yourself behind. Allow yourself
some shorter days if possible to get into condition. If you get behind the curve and strain knees
or other things, it can get worse. -- A post office is always useful to mail home things if you
discover you've packed too much. Many towns can be used to pick up missing items. -- In many
parts of US, still seems like one can stand beside road and get help if the worst happens. --
Consider there are two categories of events that can happen:
(a) Those that will stop the trip and (b) those that when they occur are part of the
adventure.

Category (a) might include things like:
* knee strain due to unadjusted riding, pushing too hard into the wind, etc.
* theft of your bike
* crash For this category, you do everything possible to prevent them so they don't occur.
For example, safe riding, not at night,...

Category (b) might include things like:
* a week of rain or headwinds or ...
* mechanical troubles For category (b), you anticipate they will occur and do some
preparation. However, when they do occur they are just part of the trip.

6. Some things you'll want to consider for the bicycle: -- Racks and panniers to carry your gear --
Sufficient range in the gears, particularly low gears -- Enough ways to adjust your hands to
avoid having to ride in one position all the time (some avoid straight mountain bike handlebars
for this reason on long tours). -- get it soon enough to shake down early issues

>Also, if anyone is interested in riding from Seattle to New York City, let me know. I'm thinking
>about starting out some time in June.

See also the match list on Adventure Cycling web site or magazine.

>FYI, I am pretty out of shape, so I will probably start out pretty slow. I plan to exercise between
>now and then, though.

Good idea to start out slow and to exercise before. If you avoid over-doing it too much at start, a
slower week or two at the start can also help you ride into shape.

Have fun in planning and executing this adventure.

--mev, Mike Vermeulen

p.s. Web site with my past trips including two cross-USA and one
cross-Canada ride is here: http://www.fietstocht.com
 
P

Pat Clancy

Guest
Check out Adventure Cycling at http://www.adventurecycling.org/

The home page will start you right off with information about choosing a bike.

Pat

"Saeed Noursalehi" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
> Hi everyone,
>
> I have no experience with touring and ride my bike only as an occasional recreation and to get
> around campus (I have a cheapo mountain bike). Despite this, I'm planning on doing a
> cross-country touring trip this summer, and I thought I would ask if anyone can point me to good
> references for getting started. Specifically, I want to get a good bike at a good price, figure
> out all the equipment and skills I need for the trip, and anything else I might need to
> accomplish this. I'm working on convincing at least one my friends to go along, but I will do it
> alone if no one goes with
> me. Any information is greatly appreciated.
>
> Also, if anyone is interested in riding from Seattle to New York City, let me know. I'm thinking
> about starting out some time in June. FYI, I am pretty out of shape, so I will probably start out
> pretty slow. I plan to exercise between now and then, though.
>
> Thanks -Saeed
 
S

Saeed Noursaleh

Guest
It is wonderful to be in on the creation of something, see it used, and then walk away and smile at
it. -- Lady Bird Johnson

* 5 Days 'Till Ride *
*112 Days 'Till Rally *

Our ride site: http://www.bikeroute.com/NationalMayorsRide

For details: These topics (and past issues) are at:
http://www.BikeRoute.com/MayorFestNews

1) About today's quote
A) Just Two Bikes Jim Muellner (67 years old!) may ride the whole US!
B) Jim Redd's killer Santa Cruz NBG Bike Fest page
C) Jim to ride Just Two Bikes performance trike that fits in a suitcase
D) If all goes according to plan, Just 2 Bikes to introduce water bent at Santa Cruz NBG Bike Fest
E) Denise Hill Pulls DC Riders, Sponsor, etc together - to ride to Columbus (after DC to
Pittsburgh)!!
F) Jim Redd's killer banner image
G) Bubba meets with Dan Trevas -- Columbus to work its magic
H) Added Jeff Stephens and Jim Muellenr's pix to Mayors Ride Schedule
I) Rail Trail booth at Fest
J) Velda Solomon goes inactive
K) Earth Day Kowabunga
- Coastal Rail Trail Ground Swell
- Assemblyman John Laird to pump Rail Trail at Fest
- Sierra Club Connect
- "Connection" magazine connect
- Juicycle Crowds
- Etc

1) Though many of us here may not have agreed with her husband's politics, the Lady Bird did bring
some light to the Oval Office. A woman who really should have been in front of LBJ instead of
behind him, her words form the basis of the detachment principle taught by many of the world's
spiritual doctrines. Here she is suggesting a way to create a thing of beauty while not invoking
any of the pitfalls that can come from then trying to own it.

In the high Tibetan Alps, the Buddhist monks practice this awareness every summer. It is there that
they use colored sand to create beautiful mandalas made out of complex and intricate patterns. And
every year once the tourists have gone for yet another season, they celebrate as they smear their
creations back into the nothingness with their feet.

For the monks this is a hands on way of understanding that we own nothing of the world. Just as
we come in with nothing and we leave with nothing, everything in between needs to be viewed with
the same level of detachment. This is not to say that we should not put our total best foot
forward to actualize any of our dreams. But it is to say that in order to fully experience the
joy of living that we must be able to smile at a thing in full appreciation knowing that it can
never be ours to keep.

Toward this end, my professional psychic friend, Zev Ben-Yakov offers us this insight:

One day some people came to the master and asked: How can you be happy in a world of such
impermanence, where you cannot protect your loved ones from harm, illness & death? The Master
held up a glass and said: Someone gave me this glass, and I really like this glass. It holds my
water admirably and it glistens in the sunlight. I touch it and it rings! One day the wind may
blow it off the shelf, or my elbow may knock it from the table, I KNOW THIS GLASS IS ALREADY
BROKEN, SO I ENJOY IT INCREDIBLY ---

And it is in this context that I see our soon upcoming ride as exciting and real. And I hope you,
like me, are ready to throw it all away. This as we see it as just one of the many fun stepping
stones that will bring us the resources and awareness needed to actualize the far more grandiose
vision we hold for the National Bicycle Greenway. Onward we roar!!!!!

A) Jim Mullner of Just Two Bikes <http://JustTwoBikes,com>, might just be the glue that holds all of
our relay together by riding every mayors' reception all the way to us here in Santa Cruz. Talk
about newsworthy!! First we'll likely have a woman riding all the way to Columbus, Denise Hill
(and she sez she'll even keep us stoked with Pocket Mail reports as per (E) below), and now maybe
even a (big power) senior might be doing the whole thing. Talk about empowering for all those who
sit behind a TV and watch life happen!!

Jim, who rode from Indianapolis to Chicago for us last year as per
<http://www.bikeroute.com/SCNBGFest/ChicRecep.html>, burns pretty hot up in White Bear Lake,
Minnesota. At 67 years old, he's starting a second career and a second successful business. If
you've ever rented a cart to move your suitcases around in an airport, you have Jim and the
business he ran, Smart Carte, to thank. He sold that business a few years ago to create something
that better aligned with his jolly personality. He started making side by side comfortable
recumbent bicycles through his company Just Two Bicycles. As added testimony to his desire to sell
fun, besides his side by side (which can also be split apart to run as separate bikes), and the
trike we'll talk about
Aa (A) below, his company is putting the finishing touches on a kit that will turn Hobee Cat
sailboats into pedal powered watercraft. For less than what it would cost to replace worn
sails and all the rigging! Here is a prototype:
<http://www.BikeRoute.com/NBGPix/Just2WaterBike.jog>. Wow - we have a true revolutionary
taking our ride to a whole new level!!

B) One can't use the word revolutionary without including Jim Redd (or our other web developers Jody
Fitch or Andrew Morton, for that matter) in the same breath. Jim who is leaving for a vacation in
Ecuador with his wife Marshia in just a couple of days has been busy tieing up loose ends.
Besides laying brick at his innovative new bike restaurant, the Handlebar
<http://www.handlebarchicago.com>, and a whole host of other jobs, he found time to pump out, as
he had promised, a new web page for our Santa Cruz NBG Bike Fest. Too Phenomenal:
<http://www.nationalbicyclegreenway.com/Events/Festival/indextest.php>. When you get there, you
will get a sneak preview of the overall look of the all new web pages we have been working on at
NationalBicycleGreenway.com !!

C) As I said in (A) above, the bike Jim will be riding is a Just Two Bikes trike. And get ready for
this. With three 20" wheels and weighing in at under 44 pounds, the whole machine breaks down to
fit inside of a suitcase. A suitcase that you can bring on a plane as regular luggage!! A
suitcase that also breaks down to travel *with* the bike not behind it!! And since from his Smart
Carte business, Jim knows the needs of travelers, he also made sure that this trike which steers
when you lean would roll through hotel doors. Built of the highest quality components available,
the Raven, as they call it, was also made durable enough so that it would hold up to long bike
trips as Jim will be proving to us this summer!!

D) If all goes according to plan, Just 2 Bikes will the introduce the pedal powered watercraft we
talked about in (A) above at our second annual Santa Cruz NBG Bike Fest. Whether or not he and
his company are satisfied that their pedal boat is ready will determine whether they will come
out from Wjhite Bear Lake for our show. Because Santa Cruz is right on the ocean, they feel that
our city represents the kind of built in market that will make it worthwhile for them to also
come out here with the rest of their product line!

E) Denise Hill has been very active over these last few weeks in preparation for her part in the DC
to Pittsburgh relay. Not only has she gotten all the riders in contact with one another so they
can work out schedules and the like, begun getting herself familiarized with her Pocket Mailer
(so she can be the lead group scribe) and been working with our send off sponsor and DC Bike to
Work Day Sponsor City Bikes <http://citybikes.com>, but she has also found time in her work week
to visit the DC offices of Congressmen Sam Farr and James Oberstar. Here's a picture of this non
stop dynamo kissing her bike in her DC office: <http://www.BikeRoute.com/NBGPix/DeniseHill.jpg>.

F) Fueled by a moment of inspiration, Jim Redd threw a new image into the ring for our new web page.
It totally ROX!! And as such, because it doesn't fit into the navigation structure of the page
Jody Fitch has been slaving on, all of us scratching our heads as we try to figure out where to
go from here. If we run with it, it means that all of the work Jody has done to date will have to
be almost completely overhauled. Here is what Jim threw at us:
<http://www.cyclechicago.org/ginwaving.jpg>. When you get a look, you will see why we are in such
a quandary. We welcome your input!! Most importantly what do you think of the picture? Are there
women who don't like it? And why?

G) Not only is Pittsburgh going to be much alive as you have been seeing in these newsletters but
THX to Dan Trevas, the Communications Director for the city of Columbus, and Jeff 'Bubba'
Stephens, our RAAM racer NBG powerhouse out that way, the barns will truly be burning by the time
we get there as well (on May 9th)!! Jeff and Dan struck a deal. They agreed what they would do
what each of them does best. While Bubba agreed to get a worthy bike crowd together to ride in to
City Hall with he and David Huggins Daines, Dan agreed to use his connections to publicize the
police bike escort and the luminaries he will have assembled for Jeff and David's arrival!! And
experience has shown that people put out for these guys!!

H) If you want to see what Bubba (everyone who knows him, calls him that because they know he loves
them and vica versa) looks like, we now have his picture at our Mayors' Ride. The loveable Jim
Muellner is also pictured there: <http://www.bikeroute.com/NationalMayorsRide>.

I) We've been talking about a Coastal Trail for a while now. And yet we can use our Santa Cruz NBG
Bike Fest to get it out of the mode of mere words. I mean the county hasn't even bought the rail
line yet as we saw in here last week as per
<http://www.BikeRoute.com/MayorFestNews/4-21-03.html#Anchor-6296>. And so I say we get back out
in front of the push to make this a reality. I say that instead of waiting to see if Capitola
City Councilman, Dennis Norton, comes up with a booth for our festival (or a web site for the
internet) that we get the ball rolling ourselves.

Who will help get an info booth together for this at our Festival? As well, you will have many tools
at your disposal. Besides the 25 big city mayoral proclamations supporting a National Bicycle
Greenway beginning in Santa Cruz, local political representatives will also be on hand to pitch for
it as well!

Who also will help us get a web page together? We can make this the local theme of our Santa Cruz
festival -- Momentum for the Coastal Rail Trail!!

J) Velda Solomon, a Sacramento powerhouse who you saw us talk about a lot last year, tuned in last
week to say that she is going inactive. Seems her husband's shoulder injury is not healing as
fast as they would have liked and now with boys headed off to college, they are finding that
their resources are getting depleted to a a threatening level. Velda did say, however, that she
will throw some time at our Sacto reception if any becomes available. Let's hope that Carol
Stubbs, the fiery Sacramento Mayor's scheduler and Gold Country Cyclery
<http://www.tandems-recumbents.com> and John Hockenbury of the Sacramento Wheelman can fill in
the huge gap left vacant here......

K) Instead of rewriting (I) above, I left it intact in order to give our Earth day presence some
perspective.The gods must have been listening over the last few weeks because at yesterday's
Festival, Mike Dalby and Bob Riley were there manning an info table for the Coastal Rail
Trail, And they even have a work in process web site up <http://santacruztrail.org> that
details this important vision and Mike tells me that meetings are on the immediate horizon
once again as well!!

Local state assemblyman, John Laird, who I have kept in sporadic contact with over the years stopped
by our booth for a brief period. I asked him if he would make a presentation on behalf of the Rail
Trail at our August Santa Cruz NBG Bike Fest. He said he'd love to ! He just needs me to clear the
date with his office!

I also connected with George Jamal, the executive director of the Santa Cruz Chapter of the Sierra
Club <http://ventana.sierraclub.org>. A long time reader of our newsletters, he was very receptive
to having a presence at our 8/17 Santa Cruz NBG Bike Fest. He and I talked about the transportation
component of the Sierra Club and he told me the reason we don't hear a big denunciation from them
about local issues such as a path through Arana Gulch or the widening of Highway One is because they
don't have enough volunteers working in that part of their organization. If you want to find out how
you can help in this regard as fortified by the powerful Sierra Club name, address an email to
George's attention at: [email protected]

Patty Mills, the publisher of the Connection magazine, stopped by our booth. She told me that there
is still time to develop a program that will feature our event. In terms of a promotional strategy,
we had planned on letting our exciting Mayors' Ride do a lot of that work for us. But if we can get
a strong and growing regional publication to help us get the word out there --- WOW!! I plan to talk
to Patty this week!

Woody's Juicycle <http://juicycle.com> was the star of the show as he went thru 25 lbs of carrots
and bunches of beets as he helped pedal for juice on and off throughout the day. Wes Anthony took a
shift manning the booth and Faye Saunders not only helped us trailer the booth to San Lorenzo Park
(we took two trailers) but she helped us to get it set up and broken down!!

We made a lot of great contacts. And put forward a good face for the National Bicycle Greenway as
per <http://www.BikeRoute.com/NBGPix/EarthDay2003.jpg>. And when I get this newsletter out I can
relax with a bike ride to the post office!! Yahooo!!!!

MARTIN KRIEG: "Awake Again" Author c/o BikeRoute.com 79 & 86 TransAms, nonprofit Nat. Bicycle
Greenway CEO

Ever wanted anything so bad U were willing to die for it? Really die? By moving thru clinical death
and reversing paralysis, *I saw God* when I answered that question.
 
B

Brian Huntley

Guest
Saeed Noursalehi wrote:
>
> I'm actually thinking about getting a hybrid bike because I like the upright feel to it. I tried
> out a touring bike today and it just seems like the drop down handlebars will cause upper back and
> shoulder pain. The bike I'm looking at is a Raleigh C700. I think it feels much more comfortable
> than an actual touring bike, but I'm not sure what I'm losing by taking the hybrid. I would
> appreciate your thoughts on this.
>

I've toured on a hybrid, though not cross country. The disadvantages include 1) fewer hand
positions, 2) more drag, 3) difficult to mount front rack/panniers, and 4) they tend to be heavy.

I went out of my way to try to maximize my hand options, and still got a bit of numbness in my ring
and little fingers. I could also get fairly aero for downhills, but still suffered more than I had
to in headwinds. I didn't really need front panniers, but instead used a medium sized handlebar bag
(but you may well need more gear.) And touring bikes tend to be heavy once loaded anyway. A stronger
bike makes me feel more confident. Note thought, that this was a middle of the road hybrid
(Specialized Crossroads) not a department store bike.

That said, I'm still debating with myself whether to take the same bike on this year's tour or use a
proper touring bike. This year's route is a lot more mountainous, so weight and drag will be bigger
factors. I do like the view from the hybrid, though.
 
C

Chuck Anderson

Guest
Saeed Noursalehi wrote:

> > 6. Some things you'll want to consider for the bicycle: -- Racks and panniers to carry your gear
> > -- Sufficient range in the gears, particularly low gears -- Enough ways to adjust your hands
> > to avoid having to ride in one position all the time (some avoid straight mountain bike
> > handlebars for this reason on long tours). -- get it soon enough to shake down early issues
> >
>
> I'm actually thinking about getting a hybrid bike because I like the upright feel to it. I tried
> out a touring bike today and it just seems like the drop down handlebars will cause upper back and
> shoulder pain.

A properly fitted touring bike will not cause upper body pain.

> The bike I'm looking at is a Raleigh C700. I think it feels much more comfortable than an actual
> touring bike, but I'm not sure what I'm losing by taking the hybrid. I would appreciate your
> thoughts on this.

I have done all of my touring on an MTB (with thin tires - L-bend bar ends - front and rear rack
w/ panniers - kick stand) and I still have no desire to ride a "real" touring bike. I like
upright, too.

--
**********************************************
Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO http://www.CycleTourist.com Tolerance is recognizing that other people
have different ideals and needs than you. Compromise is acting on that knowledge.
***********************************************************
 
W

Www.Raph.Nl

Guest
"Saeed Noursalehi" <[email protected]> schreef in bericht
news:[email protected]...
> Hi everyone,
>
> I have no experience with touring and ride my bike only as
an occasional
> recreation and to get around campus (I have a cheapo
mountain bike).
> Despite this, I'm planning on doing a cross-country
touring trip this
> summer, and I thought I would ask if anyone can point me
to good references
> for getting started. Specifically, I want to get a good
bike at a good
> price, figure out all the equipment and skills I need for
the trip, and
> anything else I might need to accomplish this. I'm
working on convincing at
> least one my friends to go along, but I will do it alone
if no one goes with
> me. Any information is greatly appreciated.
>
> Also, if anyone is interested in riding from Seattle to
New York City, let
> me know. I'm thinking about starting out some time in
June. FYI, I am
> pretty out of shape, so I will probably start out pretty
slow. I plan to
> exercise between now and then, though.
>
> Thanks -Saeed
>

Hi Saeed,

I did a solo cross-country trip myself in june-september 1990; from LA to NY. Previous experience:
one 4-day bicycle vacation. Bicycle: Univega ATB, 1988 model. Bike and gear weighed 125 pounds. Had
a great time, though. Biggest broblem: getting accustomed to bicycle touring. My advice: take it
slow the first two weeks; take signals and symptoms seriously, but don't quit! After two weeks,
you'll get into the right pace, no doubt. Don't plan too much ahead; only the final destination is
enough. Don't worry that you might ruin a great daily average, because in the end nobody cares and
neither should you. After two weeks, try to make it a 40 hour 'working' week: ride the bike eight
hours a day, five days a week and you'll average 300+ miles per week easy. And if you feel like it,
take a few days off. It's a holiday, remember? The best thing I remember from that bicycle trip is
that I had no obligations whatsoever, my only goal was to get to New York on my bicycle.

Another tip: visit www.raph.nl and check for stories about cross-country trips; route maps, tips on
equipment etc.

Good luck!

Raph www.raph.nl Home of the Travel to the Horizon website
 
O

One Of The Six

Guest
"Saeed Noursalehi" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
>
> > 6. Some things you'll want to consider for the bicycle: -- Racks and panniers to carry your gear
> > -- Sufficient range in the gears, particularly low gears -- Enough ways to adjust your hands
> > to avoid having to ride in one position all the time (some avoid straight mountain bike
> > handlebars for this reason on long tours). -- get it soon enough to shake down early issues
> >
>
> I'm actually thinking about getting a hybrid bike because I like the
upright
> feel to it. I tried out a touring bike today and it just seems like the drop down handlebars will
> cause upper back and shoulder pain. The bike
I'm
> looking at is a Raleigh C700. I think it feels much more comfortable
than
> an actual touring bike, but I'm not sure what I'm losing by taking the hybrid. I would appreciate
> your thoughts on this.
>

Drop bars are superior to hybrid bars because of the many different hand positions. You should be
able to change the stem so that the bars are as high as you need them. Usually so the top of the
bars are the same height as the seat, but you can get the bars higher than that if you want/need.
 
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