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Help!!!(5 posts)

Jan 2, 2003 7:05 PM
My mother died of cancer several years ago. I'd like to raise some funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation by doing a ride around the state -- hitting the towns in the four corners. It's planned out to be about 1600 miles. The ride will be on paved roads, mostly two lane highway. There will be a lot of hills in the early part of the ride with most flat land and rolling hils in the latter stages.

I haven't ridden a road bike in about seven years - back in my days as a triathlete. My exercise lately has been limited to running and riding my mountain bike.

I weigh about 190 but should be down to about 175 for the ride -- I'm 5'10" and have about a 33 inch inseam. I know I'll need to get the bike fitted for me; however, I also know that some bikes are probably better suited to lighter riders. What I need is some advice on the type of bike to look for. I'm guessing that a touring bike would be the best bet. Since I won't have a sag wagon on any regular basis (some friends have volunteered days here and there, but nothing for the duration) I'll probably need to tow a small trailer during the ride.

Any help you can provide on the type of bike, components, trailer types, training, safety aspects, etc. would be helpful. I know it sounds like I am ill-prepared to deal with the technical aspect; however, my heart, and my mind, are in the right place. I know that this type of ride is way beyond the triathlons and ultras I have participated in, but I think it is within my capabilities. Thanks
re: Help!!!jtolleson
Jan 2, 2003 8:25 PM
Your intentions are wonderful but why not start with a more manageable goal? LAF organizes several rides, including the Skinny Tire Festival in March. Very reasonable registration gives SAG, mechanical, and first aid support.

Walk before you can fly.

re: Find a group to help with the fund raising.dzrider
Jan 3, 2003 5:04 AM
I got into cycling by buying panniers and riding from New Orleans back to Connecticut. It's not that hard if you start out in decent shape, learn some rudimentary repairs and take your time.

Fund raising and publicity are far more difficult. It's lots of work. When my wife and I did AIDS rides our teammates' experience at fund raising was how and why we raised money. Knowing what to say in a fund raising letter, getting them out to enough people, overcoming shyness about asking for money aren't likely to be easy or natural. Doing that stuff with folks who have done it before is much easier.

As for the bike, I have, and recommend highly, a Lyonsport bike from GVH bikes. You can get one for $2000 or less depending on the components you want. They aren't fancy but handle anything from fast, shop rides to loaded touring with 35c tires and fenders. Gary Hobbs can and will do a good job fitting you over the phone.
Name brands.Sintesi
Jan 3, 2003 6:31 AM
I'm kind of w/ JT on this: Are you sure you want to go 1600 miles? That's a lot. When you get your bike work up to 50 - 60 miles and see how you fare. This isn't something you want to jump right into.

Anyway, assuming you know what you're in for I suggest you go with name brands (e.g. Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, Bianchi, etc. . .) at a good local dealer who will take time with you to get you set up right. you probably want a touring bike or a hybrid bike for comfort and stability. Don't know how much you want to spend but look for Shimano 105 of Campagnolo Veloce level components or better because they will be reliable and up to the task. I'm thinking around $1,000 - 1,200. Also budget for the helmet, shoes and padded shorts (big help).

If you take your time and do all the research (check out Bicycling's annual buyer's guide at the library) you might get a real good deal, but you got to know what you're looking for.

Here's a nice bike:
re: Help!!!Scot_Gore
Jan 3, 2003 6:41 AM
I agree with JT, if your goal, first and foremost, is to raise money for LAF. Particpate in a LAF fund raising ride. From experience I can tell that fund raising for a charity ride is a developed skill. Learn the ropes of both raising money and riding bikes over distance with the help of an organization and organizied event.

In any event, either way you go, you'll need a bike.

Below are two good choices for the kind of riding you want to do. I pasted some of relevant sections off the sites regarding why this bike might meet your needs.
Waterford Models 1900 and T-14
The Adventure Cycle Frameset offers riders a rugged chassis to support a wide range of uses, from cross-continent unsupported tours to commuting around town. The geometry provides a stable, comfortable ride with plenty of room and bosses to accomodate on-bike storage. We call it Gestalt Design - design to enhance every aspect of the rider's experience - design to completely serve the rider.

A Rambouillet vs a typical road bike
A typical road frame is limited to a 700x28 tire, maximum, and doesn't accept fenders. The chainstays are so close together at the point where the tire passes them that a broken rear wheel spoke renders it unrideable. The frame is light, it was made quickly, with little attention to art, but with loud graphics. It's strictly a race bike by design marketed to the racer, weekend warrior or racer wannabe—somebody who wants a bike like everybody else's, and is heavily advertised. This typical modern road bike will be replaced by an updated version in 2 to 3 years.
A Rambouillet is built to last and to keep. It is more comfortable than a typical road bike, has better road manners, and by virtue of its greater tire clearance, is much more versatile.

Please be aware, you didn't mention a price point so I made the assumption that function is parimount over price. These are not the cheapest bikes around but they are very good at what they are built to do.

BTW: there's a few folks on this board with personal stories regarding Ride for the Roses that make me tear up. Put up another post asking for some info. I think it could be a very rewarding option for you.

Good luck