Old 07-08-13, 11:46 AM
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Advice and Insight for a Beginner Starting a 3,000 Mile Journey

Good afternoon everyone,

My name is Evan Eshelman and I am a college student at Virginia Tech. My fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, runs a charity organization for people with disabilities called PUSH America. One of our biggest events that we run is called Journey of Hope which is a two month cross-country bike journey from Seattle to DC during the summer. We ride on average 75 miles each morning to a new town along the way to partner with different organizations to host events for and with these amazing individuals. We do have a van and a crew that follows us the whole way to carry all our belongings, so I don't need to worry about that. I am in the beginning stages of planning my entry into this opportunity, but have many questions about the biking aspect of it all--I was hoping to hear from you all about whatever information/advice/tips/insight you can give me. And if there's something that I didn't ask that you think I should know or contemplate, please let me know!

I love biking, but I've only ever ridden a fairly affordable, low key Trek mountain bike. I don't do anything intense, and really know next to nothing about the sport at all.

I'm trying to do research and find as much information about the gear that I'm going to need and the type of bike I should be getting, but the problem is that I really don't even know where to start. I'll obviously need to look into purchasing a proper, probably fairly expensive bike. I'm fortunate enough to have a pretty decent job this summer that is paying fairly well, so I'll be able to afford quality. And that really is my focus now, I want to make sure that what I buy is worth the money and will be extremely reliable. Alongside the bike, I'll need to figure out how the special shoes work as well as which ones to buy, a helmet, and then maybe even look into a saddle? I'm not sure if people usually change out saddles, all I know is that I've never sat on a bike that didn't give me pain after fifteen minutes.

Again, I have about a million questions but I figured this would be a good place to start. Please feel free to give me whatever knowledge you possibly can, and I look forward to hearing from all of you--thank you so very much!

Best wishes,
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