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Cross Country Biking

Old 09-24-18, 05:33 PM
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Cross Country Biking

Hey!
I'm somewhat new to biking, but I really want to accomplish a goal that I've always had on my bucket list-biking across the US (East Coast to West Coast). I am a high school athlete, so I think I have the fitness base, but I understand I will need to develop a base when it comes to biking endurance. I have the rest of this year to train since In planning to spend the Summer doing this, so does anyone have a tip to do train for this? I know this sounds crazy, but you gotta follow your dreams, right?

Thanks, and sorry if this is in the wrong section.
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Old 09-24-18, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SonicSpeed
Hey!
I'm somewhat new to biking, but I really want to accomplish a goal that I've always had on my bucket list-biking across the US (East Coast to West Coast). I am a high school athlete, so I think I have the fitness base, but I understand I will need to develop a base when it comes to biking endurance. I have the rest of this year to train since In planning to spend the Summer doing this, so does anyone have a tip to do train for this? I know this sounds crazy, but you gotta follow your dreams, right?

Thanks, and sorry if this is in the wrong section.
Besides this forum another forum which is solely about touring is " crazyguysonanike.com. It is pretty informative
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Old 09-24-18, 07:06 PM
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It would be much easier to go west to east. You would be fighting the wind going east to west.
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Old 09-24-18, 07:19 PM
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There is a touring sub forum that can help right here at bike forums: https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/
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Old 09-24-18, 07:27 PM
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As others have mentioned, there's a 'Touring' forum down below which is probably a better place to post this (and search through, too). Also try 'crazyguyonabike.com' to find journals on previous XC trips - its invaluable what you can pick up reading through those.

Also - what sport are you in? Being a football lineman probably isn't going to help much with conditioning, being a long distance runner will, and anything in between those two will be a good starting point for conditioning. But nothing substitutes for good, solid bicycle riding that includes climbing up hills, fast paced intervals, etc. Concentrate of aerobic conditioning. Cheers
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Old 09-24-18, 09:53 PM
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I rode cross country just after high school,

on the base of riding for a few years including commuting to school, weekend rides up to 100 miles,

and one shorter tour of about a month.

Being able to cover 60 miles with some load is good, and having ridden enough miles to know that you can go a ways without things breaking down- mechanically or physically.

Pack light and go for it! 20 lbs of gear= riding a bike; 30 lbs of gear= being a pack animal.

Train by gradually increasing ride distance until 70+ miles is not a big deal.

Don't over-plan. Leave room for adventure.
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Old 09-24-18, 10:02 PM
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You have defined a lofty goal. Now, break it down into pieces you can complete. Do your homework on your goal through research and knowledge building. As others have already said, you can start here in the Touring sub forum. But don’t stop there, read all you can from the vast amount of information available online. Learn what works and what doesn’t, and devise your plan. There’s an old saying — “plan your work then work your plan.” So do just that.

Are you a procrastinator or lazy? Break everything down into small steps and assign a completion date for each. Pick a start date for your trip about one year from now (an actual date and time) and stick to it. No excuses. There’s a young guy on YouTube (“bicycle touring pro”) I believe he started touring at 17 years old, so if he can do it...

And during all of the research and planning, ride. Ride, ride, ride. You don’t have to be fast or fancy. You do have to be dedicated, so get out there and stay out there until your plan comes together and the date arrives for your departure. Then go.

Oh yeah, be sure to bring a camera.

-Kedosto
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Old 09-25-18, 01:42 PM
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Yes, do read as many of the posts on "crazy guy on a bike" as you can. Not only are they informative, they are entertaining. Also as some one suggested because of prevailing winds West to East would seem the logical way to ride.
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Old 09-25-18, 03:49 PM
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Take a look at Adventure Cycling (adventurecycling.org). They've done a nice job of identifying routes and publishing maps with details of possible camping locations, services (like grocery stores, bike shops, and places you can get water). The TransAm is the original cross-country route.

Oh, and unless you're going to be cycling at 30,000 feet, skip the advice to go west to east for the winds. Ground level winds don't follow the jet stream.
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Old 09-25-18, 04:04 PM
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I did a west coast tour (Portland, OR to SF) right after high school. Best thing I ever did. In terms of conditioning, you'll be fine. Just go for it. Once you point your bike West and make up your mind that's where you're going, everything will work out.
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Old 09-25-18, 04:29 PM
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Old 09-25-18, 05:10 PM
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My wife and I did a cross-country tour, west to east, in our twenties. We had done a few-week long trips over the few years preceding that, and gained experience, but did not specifically train, and mostly rode in relatively flat Southeastern Michigan.

Our first day out, we rode up our first mountain ever, with switchbacks. Since we were both working at the time, planning a wedding, and packing up our lives to move to Boston,there was no way to...
Originally Posted by woodcraft
Train by gradually increasing ride distance until 70+ miles is not a big deal
including mountain passes. We were young, and endurance developed with daily fifty mile rides over eight weeks.

On the pentultimate day of the trip, we easily rode over five relatively low passes (gaps) in the Shenandoah Mountains.
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Old 09-25-18, 05:59 PM
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I bet those Rockies will be tough
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Old 09-25-18, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider
I bet those Rockies will be tough
The rockies are a piece of cake compared to the coast range- that's where the steep stuff is.
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Old 09-26-18, 06:05 AM
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Thread moved from General Cycling to Touring.
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Old 09-26-18, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by astrodust
It would be much easier to go west to east. You would be fighting the wind going east to west.
Do you speak from experience? I went west to east and had plenty of days of headwind during my 3 months on the road. During summer, you often get systems that produce hot, humid flows out of the SE.
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Old 09-26-18, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft
The rockies are a piece of cake compared to the coast range- that's where the steep stuff is.
Don't forget the east. When I did Seattle to Bar Harbor, ME the one time I thought I might have to walk the bike was near the top of Brandon Gap in Vermont, and that's a relatively easy climb as Vermont Gaps go. And grades in the Appalachian Mountains can be severe.
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Old 09-26-18, 07:56 AM
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Training isn't necessary. You will be in shape by the fourth day, or so. I've done two cross country trips (age 27 and 36) and never trained a bit for either one. Your mind set is more important. There is no reason you have to ride 70 miles a day right from the start.
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Old 09-26-18, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by boomhauer
Training isn't necessary. You will be in shape by the fourth day, or so. I've done two cross country trips (age 27 and 36) and never trained a bit for either one. Your mind set is more important. There is no reason you have to ride 70 miles a day right from the start.
I did one X-country trip (OR to ME) and should have trained more. Trip was almost derailed by tendon issues that probably would have been avoided with better prep.

Just noting that one person's experience may not apply to another's.
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Old 09-26-18, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft
The rockies are a piece of cake compared to the coast range- that's where the steep stuff is.
Neither the Rockies nor the Cascades came close to the miserably steep grades in Missouri and Kentucky.
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Old 09-26-18, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
Neither the Rockies nor the Cascades came close to the miserably steep grades in Missouri and Kentucky.
Such were our experiences too. Apparently the only roads across the Rockies are Federal Highways with standards for maximum grades for trucks. However after the Rockies, in the Ozarks and the Appalachians, state and local (back roads) are more plentiful, and allow more steep grades.
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Old 09-26-18, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
Neither the Rockies nor the Cascades came close to the miserably steep grades in Missouri and Kentucky.
Our biggest hill was 5,800 ft of uninterrupted climbing up the Bighorn Mountains out of Lovell WY. Much of it at appx 10%.
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Old 09-26-18, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by dgodave
Our biggest hill was 5,800 ft of uninterrupted climbing up the Bighorn Mountains out of Lovell WY. Much of it at appx 10%.
Lovell to where?
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Old 09-26-18, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Lovell to where?
Lovell to Sheridan via hwy ALT 14.
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Old 09-26-18, 09:57 AM
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At the western end of a transcontinental route , used by Lewis and Clark
from St Louis and back in May 1804 to September 1806,
[they primarily used rivers since no roads back then went across the country.]

this town was founded just 5 years later, but from the Sea.


Adventure cycling association
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