Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - Planning a 130 mile trip from Philly to NYC
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08-12-11, 07:36 PM
Hi, everybody. I usually hang out in the utility cycling and the folding sections, but I really need some help from you guys. I'm planning to buy a CETMA cargo bike and the closest dealer is in Philly and I'm in NYC. My plan is to take a train there and ride the bike back. I checked on google maps and it is 127 miles. Has anyone ridden this route before? How should I plan for something this long? The longest i ever ridden is from Whitestone, Queens in NY to Manhattan.
08-13-11, 02:02 AM
I just finished a NYC to Philly century back in June, and it was fantastic. One thing you could definitely learn from my ride is to make a friggin' cue sheet! Let's just say we didn't plan it very well...
If you've never ridden a century+ before, you'll definitely want to work up to that distance. Whitestone to Manhattan is only ~15mi each way, give or take your actual starting location. Do some 50 milers, then some 75 milers, then try for a supported century (the NYC Century is coming up, which could be a great way to try it out!)
Also, riding a utility bike all the way back to Queens would be pretty badass, and pretty tough. Most of the way is flat except for Philly itself, but damn, that's a heavy bike to be taking 100 miles.
Other tips: the ECG (East Coast Greenway) is nearly complete in Jersey. It's fantastic, almost entirely signed, and takes you on some lovely routes. Pennsylvania has parts of it finished, as does New York. You'll still want that cue sheet or GPS for those few turns where the ECG signs are missing.
Save yourself some miles. Get to Newark and then take the PATH back into Manhattan. Then ride from there or subway it back home. You'll be beat by then anyway.
Alternately, take SEPTA and NJTransit all the way. Bikes are allowed on all non-peak/non-holiday trains. Bolt Bus allows bikes in the luggage section, too. They leave from 30th St Station in Philly and drop you off at Penn Station in NYC.
Last but not least, take pics and post 'em here!
08-13-11, 06:29 AM
I say rent a car or a van.
Seriously, you're trying to get from Point A to Point B with a 65-75 pound bicycle (not including a few pounds for overnight gear) without the relevant experience, and presumably you don't want to take 2-3 days to do it.
The world will not shudder to a halt because you rent a car for the day, nor is adding ~$100 to the cost going to ruin your bank account. In fact, staying in a hotel on your trip home will probably cost as much as renting a vehicle.
Also, if you want to ride in that area without putting up with a bunch of garbage miles, take your regular bike on NJ Transit to New Brunswick or Princeton. It's easy.
08-13-11, 02:03 PM
Are you already riding a similar cargo bike?
I would second the suggestion to go ride some 50 mile or longer rides.
Do you plan to ride back in one day? You may need lights if so.
Keep in mind, that on a 1-way ride, you can have a headwind the whole dang way, so your speed can vary considerably.
08-13-11, 10:06 PM
I would use Google to plan your route carefully. Use the 'bicycling' feature on 'traffic' to highlight recommended bike routes, and link up as many as you can. Then, take the time to see the satellite photos of the rest of the potential route, to make sure you have a bike lane, or at least a shoulder, wherever possible.
Based on your current long ride, I'd recommend taking a tent and camping one night so you can ride for two days. As long as you can go 30 miles straight without serious discomfort, you should be able to get 60 miles a day.
The weight of the bike is not a big deal, unless you are going up big hills. Bike fit and comfort issues could come in to play, though. I'd bring a saddle that already works well for you. Some chamois cream can prevent saddle sores, and I'd say it's worth it to bring it and use it. If you've never gone that far, you don't know if you really need it. But, by the time you would know you needed it, you'd be in trouble. Good luck.
08-13-11, 10:21 PM
The Philly>>NYC route is pretty flat, except for the initial Philly section. Once you're out of the Northwest and into Bristol heading towards Trenton, it's really flat. If it had been hilly, we wouldn't have made it to our destination by nightfall. :rolleyes:
Google was helpful, but only as a supplement to the ECG cue sheets. We used Google's bike-mapping feature to skip a few of the more circuitous ECG paths, but there were sections (mainly in the aforementioned area between Northwest Philly and Trenton) where the "beta" status of Google's bike routing was very apparent. Definitely heed their warning and use Google maps with caution, but it's fantastic in a pinch and will only get better as users report to Google with feedback.
Frankly, I wouldn't go out and do a century on a bike I've never ridden before. All the more so if no one else rode the bike to make sure there are no errors in construction or assemble.
08-14-11, 01:31 PM
that's a good point. I know that when I worked as a bike mechanic, I would have felt fairly uncomfortable having the first ride on a new bike being 130 miles. It's not that I didn't do the best job I knew how, but it is really hard to test everything to the degree that a few shakedown rides will. And I follow the same philosophy with my own bikes, to the degree that it's possible.
08-15-11, 02:40 PM
I appreciate all your advises. It bring up many points that I didn't consider when I thought of the idea. Some of these I can overcome such as putting the trip off to a later date not undertaking it until i"m up to it. But I didn't consider the fit of the bike and mechanical problems that usually creeps up from a new bike. Thanks for bring those points up. I'll be driving to Philly to pick up the bike. I'll post of pics of the bike afterwards.
We were glad to help. Unfortunately, in the process we got oursevles banned from the Living Car Free forum !
08-15-11, 05:59 PM
08-15-11, 06:25 PM
I believe that was a joke
I believe that was a joke
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