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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 04-15-07, 09:46 PM   #1
likapunchindafa
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im new and in need of help

i am 15 and a half and i am looking to start biking. i want to get into biking. and by the end of the summer (july 25) i am hoping to reach my goal of riding to new york. i live in new hampshire (243.74 mile trip)
so i have many questions being so new to the sport.
1) first off i need a decent bike between $300 and $400 used. what are some suggested brands and other specifications i should get for a long distance bike, (would craigslist be a good place, or junkyarding and making one from scratch be better)
2) what kind of training regiment should i be on if i want to be able to complete the journey by july (25)
3) what would a typical biker bring on a trip such as this one??
4) any other suggestions??

thank you for taking the time to read this and any help would be awesome.
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Old 04-15-07, 10:24 PM   #2
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likapunchindafa,

I suggest you start by looking up a nearby bike club in your area. If you already have a bike, you could start riding with them, with your parents permission, to get in proper shape and to learn good skills for riding in traffic.

Riding 245 miles by summer's end would be very difficult, especially if you want to do it in one day. In addition, as a 15-year old, you will need to have an adult go with you on this trip - either to ride along with you, or to drive and keep tabs on you.

I wish you luck, but I believe your plans are a little bit too ambitious for someone your age.
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Old 04-15-07, 10:40 PM   #3
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well i plan on having my brother come with me (who is 23) i am not even dreaming of making the trip in one day. lol im actually just planning on taking my time and going for 3-4 days. but its a goal that i want to achieve, and im not gunna give up on it unless i am 100% posotive that it will not work.
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Old 04-16-07, 09:41 AM   #4
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Getting in touch with your local bike club is a great idea. Go on group rides with them. Everyone you meet will be a fount of knowledge for you.

Try to find a bike shop that fixes up older bikes and resells them. Or a place that recycles used bikes. They can help you with bike selection, which craigslist cannot.

Your training regimen will be to ride lots. Ride. 5-6 days/week, but don't exhaust yourself. If you feel yourself getting tired and run down, keep riding but ride easier.

Try the touring forum for equipment lists.
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Old 04-16-07, 11:08 AM   #5
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how tall are you? where in nh are you? I may have a bike in boston for you.
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Old 04-16-07, 11:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by likapunchindafa
i am 15 and a half and i am looking to start biking. i want to get into biking. and by the end of the summer (july 25) i am hoping to reach my goal of riding to new york. i live in new hampshire (243.74 mile trip)
so i have many questions being so new to the sport.
1) first off i need a decent bike between $300 and $400 used. what are some suggested brands and other specifications i should get for a long distance bike, (would craigslist be a good place, or junkyarding and making one from scratch be better)
2) what kind of training regiment should i be on if i want to be able to complete the journey by july (25)
3) what would a typical biker bring on a trip such as this one??
4) any other suggestions??

thank you for taking the time to read this and any help would be awesome.

I would try to find an older good quality steel frame ten speed at a yard sale or thrift store. You should be able to get one for 50 dollars or less. Check the local papers for local yard sales. Get some one who knows about bikes to help you find the right size and a good deal.

Then take it apart and clean and lubricate everything. A new bottom bracket and chain and tires would be advised. Then get a light handlebar bag and rear rack or large seat bag.

If you can afford it get some new inexpensive aluminum wheels. About 90 dollars. And you should be able to renew the entire drivetrain for 300 dollars or less and even convert it into a 24 speed. Check out Bikepartsusa.com as they stock inexpensive replacement parts.

Last edited by Hezz; 04-16-07 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 04-16-07, 12:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Hezz
I would try to find an older good quality steel frame ten speed at a yard sale or thrift store. You should be able to get one for 50 dollars or less. Check the local papers for local yard sales. Get some one who knows about bikes to help you find the right size and a good deal.

Then take it apart and clean and lubricate everything. A new bottom bracket and chain and tires would be advised. Then get a light handlebar bag and rear rack or large seat bag.

If you can afford it get some new inexpensive aluminum wheels. About 90 dollars. And you should be able to renew the entire drivetrain for 300 dollars or less and even convert it into a 24 speed. Check out Bikepartsusa.com as they stock inexpensive replacement parts.
Expecting a 15-year old non-experienced cyclist to select a good used bike that fits, then perform an overhaul and upgrades is asking a lot. Most newbie adults would find this to be a difficult challenge.

Better for him to find a mentor, either a parent, his brother, or someone that his parents trust, to help him pick out a suitable bike and provide instruction and proper guidance. It might be best for him and his brother to sign up for an organized tour (if the trip he is contemplating is not) rather than attempt to plan a long distance trip on their own.
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Old 04-16-07, 04:08 PM   #8
likapunchindafa
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i am about 5' 7'' and i wiegh around 126 pounds. and my brothers friend is an avid biker so anything i do i will probably ask him first if it would be the right decision. right now, im just looking for any advice i can get.
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Old 04-16-07, 05:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by supcom
Expecting a 15-year old non-experienced cyclist to select a good used bike that fits, then perform an overhaul and upgrades is asking a lot. Most newbie adults would find this to be a difficult challenge.

Better for him to find a mentor, either a parent, his brother, or someone that his parents trust, to help him pick out a suitable bike and provide instruction and proper guidance. It might be best for him and his brother to sign up for an organized tour (if the trip he is contemplating is not) rather than attempt to plan a long distance trip on their own.
While I agree clubs, group rides and organized trips could be a tremendous resource I'm not sure it's totally necessary.

at age 15 my friends and I set the goal of bicycling to Montreal and back to RI the next summer. We pulled together old 3 speeds, bought books on how to disassemble them including breaking down a Sturmey Archer hub- still one of the biggest challenges to any bike mechanic- and rode all over RI on them. We camped out in state forests and logged several thousand miles on our Lucas cyclometers before we decided to invest in ten speed bikes for our "big trip". Though I bought my 1970 Raleigh Grand Prix brand new my friend bought a used Schwinn Varsity and we ripped it down to the bearings and cones and rebuilt it for the trip. We did all of this with no adult advice or supervision except for what we could garner from books we bought or whatever was at the public library and information we got from the local bike shop when we went in for parts.

At a time when the internet offers a phenomenal amount of information from bike mechanics to training to route selection and cell phones and GPS devices offer some on the road security I think it's completely plausible a couple of resourceful 15 or 16 year old could manage such a feat.

BTW after completing that trip we went on to join a brand new bike club with only 15 official members- we were the youngest, fastest and most experienced of the riders. The club now has thousands of members.
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Old 04-16-07, 05:55 PM   #10
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Buzzman - yeah, the stuff we used to get away with, huh? Just gone all day and no one knew where we were. I'd get on my bike and I was gone.
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Old 04-16-07, 07:30 PM   #11
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Great anecdote, buzzman! I really wish parents weren't so paranoid about their kids these days.

Likeapunchindaface, If you are riding with someone older and experienced, and intend to complete the journey in multiple days, I say go for it. No matter how many flat tires you get, you will not regret the ride. In fact, I have some 175 Sugino road cranks I will contribute to the cause. Send me a PM if you're interested.
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Old 04-16-07, 07:58 PM   #12
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The good thing about you is that you have a brother who has some experience with whom you can tap into right where you live.

The other thing you may want to try is looking on E-Bay with your brother as a guide. Your local bike shops (LBS) might have used bikes in their inventory so check them also; and Craigslist might be worth a try. You could try thrift stores and garage sales but I've had no luck with those places, all I ever find in those places are junk kids bikes; you would probably have better luck at garage sales but not much better. If you hook up with a local bike club members a lot of times sell bikes to each other or know someone who has one for sale.

How far do you plan on riding per day and how many days will it take to get to the stopping point in New York? Are you camping outside or credit carding it?

If your camping outside or maybe planning on a major tour sometime in the future you should visit this web site for ideas as to what to take on the ride etc. http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/touring/
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Old 04-16-07, 08:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by likapunchindafa
1) first off i need a decent bike between $300 and $400 used. what are some suggested brands and other specifications i should get for a long distance bike, (would craigslist be a good place, or junkyarding and making one from scratch be better)
2) what kind of training regiment should i be on if i want to be able to complete the journey by july (25)
3) what would a typical biker bring on a trip such as this one??
4) any other suggestions??
I also don't think that you necessarily need a training 'regimen'; since, here's the thing, you're not talking about racing to New York. You're talking about touring. The general training method for a tour -- on a weekend, ride thirty miles to a campground. Camp overnight. Ride home. Next weekend, ride forty miles to a campground. Camp overnight. Ride home; etc.

What should you bring -- essential touring gear kit: (multitool, patch kit, tire irons, pump, spare chain links, chain breaker), base travel kit: (maps, food, water, money, phone card or cell phone), camera, spare clothing, toiletries.

Consider getting at least a seatpost rack and rack trunk bag to hold your gear. It'll be more comfortable than having a backpack. If you're camping to save money, then consider investing some basic panniers along with a full rack. Plan on getting a bike that has eyelets for a full rack.

Oh yeah, and have fun with route planning and try to pick out interesting intermediate destinations between you and New York. Your tour will be a lot more fun and more interesting if you treat it as an opportunity to visit a bunch of little places, with the idea of finally arriving in New York at the end. If you just treat it as one long 250 mile slog, then you're more likely to get discouraged.
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