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Advise on very long bike tour please(10 posts)

Advise on very long bike tour pleaseTahn
Jun 5, 2001 7:35 PM
I have a dream. I want to ride my bicycle across Canada and/or the US and hopefully at the same time raise some money for charity e.g. The Canadian/American Cancer Society (I've lost several relatives to cancer including my father). I would appreciate any info, comment or advise on the following:
- Is it better to do such a ride on a mountain bike or a road bike and why?
- As this trip will be long (at least 4 months I think) How should I eat on the road. Should I follow some diets?
- what sort of daily mileage should I aim for?
- How do you avoid the busy highways leading into big metropolitan centers? Are there always smaller, less busy roads that you can ride through those big cities?
- Do you think a support car that follows me is a good idea? (My friend might offer to drive it :)
- How should I train for such a long trip and how long do you think I need for training?
- Is it safe to do such a trip or is it too risky? (as I will be sharing the road with all the cars out there)

FYI here are a few things about my current physical conditions.
- So far yet I am not a serious rider. I have done lots of mountain biking but never a very long ride. The longest ride I have done was ~130 km (~80 miles) on paved road on a mountain bike. It took me 7 hrs (including rests) and I was dead tired at the end.
- I am also a recreational runner. I can run a 1/2 marathon in under 2 Hrs and probably a marathon in about 4Hrs 15'.
- The longest outting I have done so far was a recent trekking trip in the Himalayan region of Nepal for 3 weeks (lots of walking up and down the trails. The highest point was 5545m or over 18000')

Any comments or advises are greatly appreciated.
Pain Favors the Weak and Searches Out the Willing. nmblue bayou
Jun 5, 2001 10:23 PM is a good place to startHaiku d'état
Jun 6, 2001 7:37 AM
hit the index page and scroll through the articles for what catches your attention. i learned alot for my "short" recreational interests here.

good luck!
re: Advise on very long bike tour pleaseBrianU
Jun 6, 2001 8:25 AM
I would recommend doing some shorter bike tours first. MS150's are fun and raise money for a good purpose. Week long bike tours are pretty common, the RAGBRAI (an annual week long ride across Iowa) for example. These give you a good taste of what it will feel like to ride 70, 80 or even 90 miles every day. Not only will this build confidence and experience, but let you fine tune your bike for daily extended rides. Having to deal with an ill-fitting bike, a pedal/shoe combo or saddle that really sucks after 50 miles every day, is the last thing you want to worry about when you start your tour across this great country.
I have thought about doing something like this myself when I retire from the Navy. I have talked to two different people that have done this and it sounded great. Although I do not have any info off-hand to give you about doing this, I have seen information on websites about riding to raise money for organizations like the American Cancer Society. I saw one that actually provides a supported tour across the United States for the people that meet a certain goal for fund raising. Sorry, I can not remember which organization it is, maybe someone can give some help here. If not, I'm sure a little internet surfing will turn something up. Good Luck.
re: Advise on very long bike tour pleasePyg Me
Jun 6, 2001 8:48 AM
Here is an interesting idea. I am a bike cop in the fourth largest city in the US. Recently while taking a break from pedaling, I was at one of the local fire stations. Some guy rolled up on his touring bike complete with bike trailer. He told us that he was traveling across the US by bike. He then asked if he could pitch his (one man) tent under a tree behind the fire station. The fire men/women had absolutely no problem with this. Not only did he sleep under the tree, they invited him in the station for a home cooked meal. The fire men/women --and me too--really enjoyed all tales from the road.

Privately, he told me that 8 times out of ten, he gets invited to dinner with the crew.

He said that somewhere there is an "underground" list of fire stations along several routes across the US. He has never been turned away. He also like the safety of sleeping at the fire station as opposed to camping out in the open or at a rest stop.

Just something to popnder.
Fire stations are the bestSteve Davis
Jun 6, 2001 1:07 PM
Last year a buddy and I were on a long ride and got completely lost. We stopped at a firestation for directions. The guys were the greatest. They filled our bottles with water, offered snacks and gave us directions to get us on our way.
Here's a good story...Greg Taylor
Jun 6, 2001 10:46 AM a colleage of mine. He did a transcontinental trip, and wrote (and photographed) his experience. Lots of good tips and good humor.

one of the funniest things i've ever seenHaiku d'état
Jun 6, 2001 1:20 PM
I also collect pics of road signs, and this is a great one!

the whole darned page is full of 'em.

thanks for the link!
re: www.adventurecycling.orggmagee
Jun 6, 2001 12:39 PM
Check out Adventure Cyclings web site.
Cross country rides are what the specialize in.
They have a great knowledge in long distance bikerides.
They sell specific maps for bikes and equipment for long distance tours.
They also have there own magazine that covers touring.
I believe you can find almost all the answers to your questions (nutrition, distance, lodging, logistics, equipment requirements, preperations.).
They even have a classified section to find partners to join in your ride all the way or just in parts. There is safety in numbers, if you would like company on your trip.
I wish you all the luck in chasing your dream, but remember to have a good time and enjoy the scenery.
It will help to be in comuntcation with people that have done these kind of rides before.
re: Advise on very long bike tour pleasetahn
Jun 7, 2001 6:26 AM
Thank you to all that replied to my message.
I now have at least an idea on how to plan and train.
You guys are great.
Thanks a bunch, Tahn