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Thread: 3000 Mile trip

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    3000 Mile trip

    I'm planning on biking from California to New Hampshire(Free State Project). I was wondering if there was a "bike quest" or what anyone would recommend for long distances such as water, backpack, type of bike, provisions, etc. This trip isn't going to happen until 2010 so I have some time to prepare for it. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Go to www.crazyguyonabike.com and read some journals for cross country trips. Pay attention to the packing lists and remember that less is better. I recommend our journal as an example of three first time tourists crossing the US.

    My advice is don't even think of wearing a backpack.

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/staehling2007

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    Senior Member recklesscogniti's Avatar
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    I'm about to embark on an 8500 mile trek and have a blog up at www.recklesscognition.wordpress.com. I can't guarantee it has your answers, but there is some stuff on there that might help. Also, all of the stuff I'm bringing with me is up on my website at www.theultimatetrek.com/gear.html

    you have a number of bikes to choose from, styles and brands of course. I'd recommend a touring bike, they are designed to cover long distances and haul gear. I ride a Surly Long Haul Trucker, inexpensive and specifically designed for your ride. I've got a list of some touring models up on my blog at http://www.recklesscognition.wordpress.com. I've got a number of posts looking at each model, so just search through the old posts.

    As far as backpacks, would definitely frown on them, unless you're gonna carry a small water backpack like a camelbak. Even then, just 2 liters is over 5 pounds of weight. Look into getting some panniers (bike luggage), that's what most of us tourers use to carry our things. The bags hook onto racks over the front and rear tires.

    Water I heard should be about a liter an hour of riding. That seems a little high for me, I'm usually in at about 20 ounces and hour. If you have plenty of refill points, don't worry about a lot of on-bike water storage, if you're going through a desert, carry enough for an entire day of riding, some camping, and the next morning. That would be around 10 liters a day.

    Good luck and keep us up to date
    Last edited by recklesscogniti; 01-10-09 at 10:50 AM.

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    wow 8500 miles is a long trip and for a great cause. Thats amazing dude. Good luck with your trip. Thanks for all the great advice. I'm gonna be avoiding deserts cuz thats a little worrisome to me. So should I just buy a big map to plan out my route?

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetfire769 View Post
    what anyone would recommend for long distances such as water, backpack, type of bike, provisions, etc. ... So should I just buy a big map to plan out my route?

    What are you currently riding? What do you currently use for carrying water and your things? How do you currently plan your routes for your longer rides?

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    Also, if you haven't planned your route yet, AdventureCycling.org has maps for bike tours, you might be able to use parts of their routing.
    ...

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    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    Take it slow, expect failure, and have fun.


    Since you're moving I would plan to have some fun on my trip. I would start in Feb. Plan to land in the free state around Oct.

    I would look at a combination of ACA routes east of Colorado (Northern tier maybe head up to Canada for a portion Montreal has a great bike path 2500 miles), and your own route West of Colorado since there is more free dispersed camping. IE National Forest, National Park, BLM land here.

    I would start touring with small trips to get a feel. This is so helpful in making your journey fun. Ultimately you will be still learning you can count on it. By 2010 rolls around you will have the advice you just asked for.

    I thought I was rather experinced since I had several tours and a lot of more bicycle camping trips. Yet I felt like a dumb ass and had to do alot of learning.

    Funny you mention water, this was one of my things I didn't manage very well at the beginning I was way over weight after I had to ask err beg someone to feed me some water, and at the end of my trip I was a pro.

    Hope that helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    What are you currently riding? What do you currently use for carrying water and your things? How do you currently plan your routes for your longer rides?

    Well for the past 8 months working at a motorcycle shop I've been bicycling 15 miles to get there and 15 miles to get back. My bike doesnt have anything to carry water and I'll probably be getting a new bike specially for the trip. I currently have a bike that says Simple on the top bar of the body and Giant on the bottom bar with SC on the front tire holster bar. I got the bike like 6 years ago. Its a beach cruiser from what my step dad told me. Anyways I need to get something that'll be able to hold some clothes and whatever basic necessities I need. I was told to get a recumbent but not so sure how much I can lug around on those things. Plus I think I would look kinda silly riding one....

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheel View Post
    Take it slow, expect failure, and have fun.
    Thanks man I expect to have fun. I gave myself plenty of time simply because I dont want to go unprepared. I dunno everyone's political views but my bike across USA is for Liberty and lessening the amount of government since I had a relative who was put on death row and killed but later found not guilty from blood tests.... (I also dont agree with the war or having my decisions made by ppl who shouldnt be.) Not as noble as a cause as the other guy or as long but we each have something to support right? Anyone interesting in checking it out in 2010 I'll be posting video blogs on bikeforliberty.com. Anyways thanks to everyone for the advice I've received. I really appreciate it. I hope the bike for hunger goes well and is successful.
    Last edited by jetfire769; 01-10-09 at 07:07 PM.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetfire769 View Post
    Well for the past 8 months working at a motorcycle shop I've been bicycling 15 miles to get there and 15 miles to get back. My bike doesnt have anything to carry water
    http://www.nashbar.com/results.cfm?s...cat%3A%20Cages


    Quote Originally Posted by jetfire769 View Post
    and I'll probably be getting a new bike specially for the trip. I currently have a bike that says Simple on the top bar of the body and Giant on the bottom bar with SC on the front tire holster bar. I got the bike like 6 years ago. Its a beach cruiser from what my step dad told me.
    It's a start. You can use it to make your list of things you'd like in a bicycle.


    Quote Originally Posted by jetfire769 View Post
    Anyways I need to get something that'll be able to hold some clothes and whatever basic necessities I need.
    http://www.nashbar.com/results.cfm?s...cat%3A%20Racks


    Quote Originally Posted by jetfire769 View Post
    I was told to get a recumbent but not so sure how much I can lug around on those things. Plus I think I would look kinda silly riding one....
    If you're going to go with a recumbent, try one first. Try it several times so you get a feel for it. Recumbents are great, fun to ride, and I would like to add one to my collection of bicycles, but you'd definitely want to be familiar with them, and comfortable with them before riding across the country. Riding a recumbent is a very different thing than riding an upright bicycle.

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    Awesome thanks a bunch ^_^

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    Senior Member recklesscogniti's Avatar
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    As far as route planning and maps, there is a site I just ran across the other day through bicycling.com. It's called trimleoutdoors and it basically a gps tracker for bike riders. You can upload your gps data and it maps it all online. BUT, if you don't use gps, you can use the site to look at maps, at gps points manually, and make directions for yourself. Im touring in remote areas and dont have great maps, but I'm sure there's a lot of stuff for the US in there. They also feature good rides that may be of inspiration to you. Check it out... http://bicycling.trimbleoutdoors.com...ling/Plot.aspx

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    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I'm guessing, from your questions, that you have never done anything like this. If so, there's a lot to know, and a lot of gear to accumulate. You want a bike that is strong enough to carry a load, particularly the wheels. I think a dedicated touring bike is best. There are many to choose from. I also think mountain bikes are fine, particularly hardtails or rigids. You can successfully tour on just about any bike, but you'll have better luck with some than others. Avoid carbon fiber frames. Longer geometry is nice, and long chainstays are nice if you use panniers and have large feet, to avoid heel strike on your panniers.

    You need lightweight camping gear - sleeping bag, pad, and shelter (a tent usually). I also suggest cooking gear - a stove, a mess kit, a plate, coffee mug, cutlery, etc. I met a guy riding across the country who didn't have the ability to cook. He said finding food every day was a huge hassle, and he wished he could cook. I think you need rain gear. I like rain gear suitable to ride in, because I don't want to get wet and cold while riding. You definitely need rain gear in camp, unless you're going to get a motel room every time it rains. You can't always predict it though. You might go to bed in nice weather and wake up in a deluge.

    I prefer panniers front and rear, but I've also toured with only rear panniers (short trips) and a Bob trailer. If your bike isn't the best for carrying panniers, a Bob trailer can be an easy solution. However, again, I've heard you should not use a trailer with a carbon fiber frame.

    I would not tour with anything heavier than a Camelbak on my back. I used to carry my books in a backpack when I rode to college every day. However, that was an 8 mile roundtrip, and even then it got heavy. If you're riding lots of high mileage days in a row, that weight will become unacceptable fast.

    I did a lot of backpacking before I started bike touring. One of the attractive aspects of bike touring is that you usually don't have to carry much food, as you will be passing grocery stores along the way. You usually pass places that have water too, but not always. Particularly out west, there are long stretches where you might not be able to fill your bottles. One option, if you're going to be riding past rivers and lakes, would be to carry a lightweight filter. I wouldn't want to filter water too often, and the filter might be one more piece of junk to add to your pile of unnecessary things adding to your total weight.

    Most touring bikes have three water bottle cages. That's usually enough for me. Last summer I was in some places where getting water might be difficult, and riding on many days where the temperature was over 100 degrees. I carried my three water bottles, plus a Camelbak. I never ran out of water, but there were some times when I was on my last bottle before I found a place to fill up. I learned to look at the map and plan my water accordingly. If I was going to be passing places with water every hour or two there was no need to fill all my bottles and Camelbak.

    I suggest you keep reading this forum. Also get on CrazyGuyOnABike and start reading journals. There are also interesting articles and discussions there. Find out what other people do in terms of equipment, routes, etc. Think about what would work for you and start asking questions about details. Take a few mini-tours and see what works and what doesn't.

    My feeling is that if you are adventurous and like to travel, there's nothing better than bike touring! Have a wonderful adventure!

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    Yea this would be my first time traveling like this and thanks for the advice. Everyones insight has been really helpful. One thing I'm curious about is repairs... Do those come up often? I heard there are products that are like foam in your tires so you never get flats although not sure how useful or effective those are. I imagine it would add lots of weight too. A few tools for chain repair shouldnt be heavy I would think.

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    Senior Member jonsam's Avatar
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    It's almost a cliche to say this but the late Sheldon Brown's website (http://sheldonbrown.com/) is a great place to learn almost everything you need to know about bikes. There is a bike glossary on his site with practical definitions of most every term you would run into in cycling. Do a lot of reading and get familiar with how bikes work, parts, repairs, etc. That will help you know what you need when you do go to get a bike to tour on. Knowing how to work on your own bike is I feel very important for making the right choices in buying a bike.

    Good luck and have fun

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    Quote Originally Posted by jetfire769 View Post
    Yea this would be my first time traveling like this and thanks for the advice. Everyones insight has been really helpful. One thing I'm curious about is repairs... Do those come up often? I heard there are products that are like foam in your tires so you never get flats although not sure how useful or effective those are. I imagine it would add lots of weight too. A few tools for chain repair shouldnt be heavy I would think.
    You can pretty much count on some flat tires, so you definitely want a patch kit and tire levers plus the knowledge of how to use them. You will also need a pump. I highly recommend the Topeak Road Morph, because it has a flexible connector that lets you set the pump on the ground and use your body weight. But more importantly, it doesn't wiggle the valve stem and break your tubes like a lot of frame pumps. You also probably want 2 spare tubes because sometimes it is just nicer to slap in a new one rather than sitting by a bad stretch of road trying to find a pinhole leak, and sometimes a tube isn't patchable.
    A spare tire is sometimes nice, but I unless you really shred it up, you will probably be able to make it to a city with a bike shop on a tire that has some cuts or bulges in it. Many people say a folded dollar bill inside the tire can keep the tube from bulging through. I tried it once though and it just ripped my dollar bill.

    Depending on your total weight and wheel build, you might be snapping spokes, so it's a good idea to have a few spare spokes and a spoke wrench. Don't get the cheapest spoke wrench, it sucks. If you break a spoke on the back wheel cassette side, you are going to have trouble unless you bring a cassette *******. I did it once, on the last day of the trip and managed to fix it sort of by loosening the spoke, bending the broken spoke into a hook, and cinching that down hard to the hub using small diameter cord. then tightening the spoke nipple. Dental floss looped around several times might also work. Then I had to adjust all the spokes around it to compensate. I probably got to about 1 mm of true which was good enough.

    Not a lot else will really break from regular use. You will want chain lube for sure, maybe some grease as well. If you are riding your bike beforehand, you might need to replace the chain at about halfway. 3000 miles is usually the distance where chains start stretching and grinding out your cogs on a heavily loaded touring bike.


    For other repairs or cleanings you need a set of hex keys. Usually this means a multitool which also includes a spoke wrench and maybe a regular wrench and some screwdriver bits. You will also want electrical tape and zip ties,some spare screws for your racks, and some locktite. A lot of vibration can shake the screws out of the frame.

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    Biking 4 Life vja4Him's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetfire769 View Post
    I'm planning on biking from California to New Hampshire(Free State Project). I was wondering if there was a "bike quest" or what anyone would recommend for long distances such as water, backpack, type of bike, provisions, etc. This trip isn't going to happen until 2010 so I have some time to prepare for it. Any help is greatly appreciated.
    Where in California are you starting?

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    stockton

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    I wont be going on the journey until 2010 in april but before then I'll post the route I'll be taking. If anyone lives around my path and would like to join feel free to take part on part of my journey and I'll update my blogs and give updates on here for anyone who's interested. bikeforliberty.com

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