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Old 08-06-12, 05:21 AM
bicycle tourist
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
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Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500

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Originally Posted by msa6 View Post
Which takes me this a possibility, or just a dream? Can I go from zero to cross country by next June? When I ran marathons, I came across a very helpful online coach who was incredibly regimen, encouragement, the occasional hard push when I fell off the program, etc. Is there any sort of coaching like this available for someone looking to do what I have in mind?
A few suggestions:
1. First thing is to get on your bike and get in some riding. Most areas I've lived (Boston, Northern Colorado, Portland, Austin, SF Bay Area) have a local group out for weekend rides and often during the week as well. A cross-USA trip is a sequence of 50-100 daily rides added together, so start by doing several.
2. Next try an overnight or three day ride. This helps accomplish two things (a) You can sort out what "style" works for you. For example, carrying all your gear (loaded touring) or staying in motels (credit card touring) or somewhere in between. There are also companies that for $$$ will carry gear and give you a route. There are different ways to do this and different preferences to work out (b) you can see what to bring.

It is useful to have a basic level of fitness, though I'd say the mental aspects are at least as big a part as the physical ones. If you give yourself enough time, then it is possible to simply take things as they come. What you don't cycle today, you can ride tomorrow. Particularly true with loaded touring. Getting some experience with shorter trips can give some confidence and experience as well as sorting out some of the gear to bring. You can do that alone or with local riding clubs as you find them.
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