Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Touring from LA to DC for Obama's inaugaration in January! I need some advice

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Touring from LA to DC for Obama's inaugaration in January! I need some advice

Old 11-19-08, 07:30 AM
  #26  
StanSeven
Administrator
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Delaware shore
Posts: 13,323

Bikes: Cervelo C5, Guru Photon, Waterford, Specialized CX

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 754 Post(s)
Liked 337 Times in 263 Posts
Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
Amtrak to New Orleans.
Follow that up with a break and then Amtrack from New Orleans to DC
StanSeven is offline  
Old 11-19-08, 07:39 AM
  #27  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 9,731
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 382 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 64 Posts
Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
No one has naysayed. We've critiqued his proposal - a cyclist with no touring experience, no equipment, and no plans riding across the US at a pace that will require him to ride a century a day for a month or more.
I think it could reasonably be done by a fit 22 year old, IF he got the AC maps next day shipped to him, bought gear right away, had someone at home to mail stuff that he forgot of didn't know he needed to him via general delivery, and left this weekend. I agree that the longer he waits the worse his chances are. His proposed departure date puts him on the very edge of possibility given what we know about him and his plans, IMO. I won't say he absolutely will fail if he leaves December 15th, but the deck will be heavily stacked against him.

OTOH: He will have a great adventure even if he fails and if it gets close and he sees he won't make it he can decide whether he wants to miss the inauguration or catch a bus.

Some folks have really surprised me though. There have been a few young folks who seemed way more clueless than this one who pulled off trips that I gave them zero chance of doing. I keep hoping he is one of those.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 11-19-08, 07:51 AM
  #28  
rhm
multimodal commuter
 
rhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Posts: 19,449

Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...

Mentioned: 489 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1716 Post(s)
Liked 181 Times in 136 Posts
In addition to the advice I gave before (which was: get going, asap!), I'll add:

While you're on your way, be prepared to switch to Plan B; weather looks bad? pull into a truck stop and see if there's someone who can give you a ride 100 miles east, and call it a day.

Between now and when you reach DC, devote a lot of time to social networking. Find people who will put you up, as many as possible. Have you looked at warmshowers.org? Obama has lots of supporters, so it shouldn't be too hard.

In particular, you need a place to stay in DC. Have you found that?

I wish I was young enough (by which I mean: unemployed enough, unmarried enough, and crazy enough) to join you. Ride on!
rhm is offline  
Old 11-19-08, 08:17 AM
  #29  
sjauch
Senior Member
 
sjauch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Astoria, NY
Posts: 186

Bikes: '09 Surly Cross Check, '05 Specialized Allez Comp, '08 Specialized Langster, Iro Mark V

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hope you have a place outside of the city to leave your bike. There is no way security will let you with your bike anywear near the crowds of people. And if you lock it up to anything it will be removed and possibly blown up.

Last edited by sjauch; 11-19-08 at 08:21 AM.
sjauch is offline  
Old 11-19-08, 08:23 AM
  #30  
Neil_B
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Originally Posted by sjauch View Post
Hope you have a place outside of the city to leave your bike. There is no way they will let you with your bike anywear near the crowds of people. And if you lock it up to anything it will be removed and possibly blown up.
The OP could leave the bike with his host and then take the train into town, along with a million other people.
 
Old 11-19-08, 08:26 AM
  #31  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 9,731
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 382 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 64 Posts
Originally Posted by sjauch View Post
Hope you have a place outside of the city to leave your bike. There is no way security will let you with your bike anywear near the crowds of people. And if you lock it up to anything it will be removed and possibly blown up.
Probably true for a loaded bike. Hopefully he will have a host to leave the gear with.

I doubt that the bike itself is a problem.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 11-19-08, 08:42 AM
  #32  
neilfein
Senior Member
 
neilfein's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Highland Park, NJ, USA
Posts: 3,797

Bikes: "Hildy", a Novara Randonee touring bike; a 16-speed Bike Friday Tikit; and a Specialized Stumpjumper frame-based built-up MTB, now serving as the kid-carrier, grocery-getter.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ryan, another option is to start in Chicago, Barack's old stomping ground. You can then do Chicago to LA at your leisure. It's not written anywhere that you have to do this tour all in one shot.
__________________
Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

My bands:
neilfein is offline  
Old 11-19-08, 08:56 AM
  #33  
rhm
multimodal commuter
 
rhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Posts: 19,449

Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...

Mentioned: 489 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1716 Post(s)
Liked 181 Times in 136 Posts
Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
It's not written anywhere that you have to do this tour all in one shot.
I dunno about that... there's something about the LA to DC for the inauguration title that implies the bike is transportation, not recreation. That's what I like about the idea, anyway!
rhm is offline  
Old 11-19-08, 08:59 AM
  #34  
valygrl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 8,546
Mentioned: 83 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 163 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
(chicago in january???? seriously? lake effects snow? the windy city????)

I really don't like to be negative. I really like to encourage people to bike tour, I've done a lot of touring and think it's really great, everyone should try it. and I did have encouragement from unexpected sources, and a little naysaying to overcome, when I started.

BUT.

I'm going to weigh in here, was hoping to not do this but, I'll sign up as the naysayer. I think it's a bad idea. Chances of success are low, for reasons already discussed. (Amount of time, amount of daylight, weather, inexperience, not ready to go right away.) It's just going to end up making you feel like you failed AND not being a fun in-the-moment experience, which (for me) is what bike touring is all about.

If you succeed you're going to have something really cool to say you did,when you are done, and you will be able to feel really hard core. And the idea of riding to the inauguration is just brilliant. But it's hard to imagine it being a good time while you are doing it.

OP, if you go I wish you all the success in the world. I hope I'm wrong. But I urge you to look at your plan in the harsh light of reality.

Sorry to be the bad guy... and please, I don't want to argue about this with all the forum members, I'm just stating my opinion with the full knowledge that some people will agree and others won't. I'm not planning on defending this statement.

Peace
valygrl is offline  
Old 11-19-08, 09:39 AM
  #35  
Neil_B
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I dunno about that... there's something about the LA to DC for the inauguration title that implies the bike is transportation, not recreation. That's what I like about the idea, anyway!
Here's a suggestion: travel to DC by motorized transit and ride back to LA.

Or, perhaps a better one: travel to DC and back by motorized transit for the big day and then ride this summer from LA to Chicago, and then Chicago to DC. After all, I assume the OP wants to ride to celebrate Obama's presidency. He's going to be President for at least four years, God willing. The OP has a lot of time to celebrate.
 
Old 11-19-08, 09:41 AM
  #36  
Neil_B
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Probably true for a loaded bike. Hopefully he will have a host to leave the gear with.

I doubt that the bike itself is a problem.
Unless he has low tire pressure.

 
Old 11-19-08, 10:46 AM
  #37  
axolotl
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,852
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 25 Posts
I completely agree with what you wrote, valygrl. In fact, given what we know concerning the trip, I believe it is irresponsible to encourage it in its present form.
axolotl is offline  
Old 11-19-08, 10:49 AM
  #38  
Neil_B
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Originally Posted by axolotl View Post
I completely agree with what you wrote, valygrl. In fact, given what we know concerning the trip, I believe it is irresponsible to encourage it in its present form.
Ditto that.
 
Old 11-19-08, 11:19 AM
  #39  
jamesshuang
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 46
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Well, i just finished a cross-country *fully supported* bike tour this summer. I wasn't in shape when I started, but i sure am now, haha. My tour was 65 days long, Baltimore to San Francisco. There's no way you can take our route - Trail Ridge Road in Colorado is closed from September to May...

Start now. You'll need the time. Breaks were essential for us along the way. I might be able to do our tour again now in about 40-ish days now that I'm in much better shape, but that wouldn't be pleasant. Since you're doing a southerly route, go for flatness as much as possible. It'll be boring, but at least you'll have a chance of making it there on time. Be careful in the Appalachians, you'll probably have issues with snow and ice, especially when descending. Remember, those mountains are shorter, but generally steeper than what we have here on the west coast. With a loaded rig and slippery conditions, that's a recipe for disaster. Good luck!
jamesshuang is offline  
Old 11-19-08, 12:28 PM
  #40  
nun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,573

Bikes: Rivendell Quickbeam, Rivendell Rambouillet, Rivendell Atlantis, Circle A town bike, De Rosa Neo Primato, Cervelo RS

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 17 Times in 15 Posts
I'll get involved too. This is sort of what what the OP is attempting to do

https://www.americabybicycle.com/Fast/

I cannot imagine him doing it other than by a direct route as the mileage would be just too much.
Even with a direct route the OP will have to pack lightly and, therefore, stay in hotels along the way.
Then there is the daily mileage. Check out the itinerary on the website, there will be a lot of centuries.
Also there is weather to consider.

Could some one go from LA to DC in winter in 35 days, sure, it's possible, but only for a hard core long distance cyclist comfortable with doing 100 miles a day or more. This is not touring, it's long distance ultra cycling.

Why not take Amtrak half way and ride the rest.

FYI ABB does a fast southern route at the pace required by the OP. Reading the journal of that trip
shows just how hard it can be. I don't want to be a naysayer, but the sad events of this trip offer some lessons for even the experienced rider. Read the "POST RIDE SUMMARY" if you don't want to read everything

https://www.bamacyclist.com/Journal20...8fastsouth.htm

Last edited by nun; 11-19-08 at 12:41 PM.
nun is offline  
Old 11-19-08, 12:53 PM
  #41  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 9,731
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 382 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 64 Posts
Originally Posted by nun View Post
I cannot imagine him doing it other than by a direct route as the mileage would be just too much.
A direct route is probably not possible this time of year and would likely be dangerous.

Why not take Amtrak half way and ride the rest.
I see that or leaving very soon as the viable options, but I don't see it as irresponsible or dangerous to try the Southern route as long as he knows he is likely to fail to get there in time under his own power.

I advise caution and will save the nay saying for if he decides to try a direct route rather than stay way south until on the east coast.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 11-19-08, 01:56 PM
  #42  
nun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,573

Bikes: Rivendell Quickbeam, Rivendell Rambouillet, Rivendell Atlantis, Circle A town bike, De Rosa Neo Primato, Cervelo RS

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 17 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
A direct route is probably not possible this time of year and would likely be dangerous.


I see that or leaving very soon as the viable options, but I don't see it as irresponsible or dangerous to try the Southern route as long as he knows he is likely to fail to get there in time under his own power.

I advise caution and will save the nay saying for if he decides to try a direct route rather than stay way south until on the east coast.
The ABBike Fast south ride took 27 days and that was fully supported and had some serious incidents. If he managed that he'd probably be able to make it to DC as its about 800 miles in 9 days. Given his planned starting date and lack of experience I'd suggest getting the train to New Orleans and riding to DC.
That's about 1200 miles in 35 days, a pace that will allow for some rest days and documentary film making
nun is offline  
Old 11-19-08, 02:43 PM
  #43  
Losligato
VWVagabonds.com
 
Losligato's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 595
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
This video came to mind while reading the replies in this thread.

YouTube
Losligato is offline  
Old 11-19-08, 02:52 PM
  #44  
nun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,573

Bikes: Rivendell Quickbeam, Rivendell Rambouillet, Rivendell Atlantis, Circle A town bike, De Rosa Neo Primato, Cervelo RS

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 17 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by Losligato View Post
This video came to mind while reading the replies in this thread.

YouTube
I know, I'm really saying "No I can't". This forum is generally very encouraging to those wanting
to go out touring and seeking adventure, but sometimes common sense has to enter into the equation. It would be interesting to see the replies the OP would get on the Long Distance Cycling forum
nun is offline  
Old 11-19-08, 04:03 PM
  #45  
wheel
Senior Member
 
wheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Crystal MN
Posts: 2,147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
35 days to do what is probably 3400-3600 miles is really pushing it for this time of year. Can you do at least 100 mile days? With no days off? With short daylight hours? With possible weather delays the last few days?

I am hoping you can make this work, but fear that you are allowing too little time.

Yea Houston.
The key is to have fun that way failure is not all that bad.

Why not encourage him it is not like he is going to the north pole? He is an adult and can ask for help.

Sure it will be hell have fun. I will be in Mexico hopefully by then.
Only one way to learn.
wheel is offline  
Old 11-19-08, 05:06 PM
  #46  
Monoborracho
Senior Member
 
Monoborracho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Small town America with lots of good roads
Posts: 2,676

Bikes: More than I really should own.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 153 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
[QUOTE=flyinryan08@gma;7874882][Here's a pertinent question: BESIDES the winter weather, what kind of risks does my body entail from riding like this?
QUOTE]


You mean, like, BESIDES losing some of the smaller, less important toes to frostbite while cycling between a couple of small towns in Kansas versus between Sanderson and Del Rio, TX.

Have you ever been cold for 48 hours straight?
__________________
"You can vote your way into Socialism but you have to shoot your way out."
Monoborracho is offline  
Old 11-19-08, 08:36 PM
  #47  
wrk101
Thrifty Bill
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mountains of Western NC
Posts: 22,597

Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue X2, 88 Cimarron LE, 1975 Sekai 4000 Professional, 73 Paramount, plus more

Mentioned: 78 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 902 Post(s)
Liked 302 Times in 227 Posts
+1 Start in Houston or New Orleans.
wrk101 is offline  
Old 11-20-08, 06:15 AM
  #48  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 9,731
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 382 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 64 Posts
Ryan, How are the plans going? Decided on your route? Accumulated any of the gear yet?

Last edited by staehpj1; 11-20-08 at 06:22 AM.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 11-20-08, 06:47 AM
  #49  
Nigeyy
Senior Member
 
Nigeyy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 818
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I wish you the best of luck.

To echo some other posts: please consider flying/driving/train to DC and then cycling back -I think your timetable is extremely short. I think the probability of getting very, very cold and/or wet is high for consecutive days, and coupled with many, many 100+ mile days, that's not going to be pleasant or possible -as well as potentially making you sick. Please think about this carefully and don't be afraid to revise plans.
Nigeyy is offline  
Old 11-20-08, 06:59 AM
  #50  
b_young
Support JDRF
 
b_young's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 925

Bikes: Specialized Sirrus, Specialized Roubaix Elite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by flyinryan08@gma View Post
Thanks for all the replies so far!
Here's a pertinent question: BESIDES the winter weather, what kind of risks does my body entail from riding like this?
Depends on how many Obama stickers you have on your bike riding in the south. I'm not trying to be a hater but realize a lot of people are not for him. Be careful and have fun.
b_young is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.