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

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

Old 11-20-08, 08:02 AM
  #51  
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You might want to consider carrying one of these, or at the least, carry a cell phone and keep someone updated on your progress frequently.

Keeping stuff powered is another issue. I have to agree with staehpj1's post on this, alkaline batteries would be best. Someone here suggested a hub dynamo (I can't find the post), and a combination of the two might work.
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Old 11-20-08, 08:03 AM
  #52  
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Ryan, this is an obvious question, but do you have winter cycling gear? Balaclava, glasses/goggles, gloves and liners, etc.
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Old 11-20-08, 09:38 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Losligato View Post
I love crazy adventures!

You will be pedaling against the wind through hostile territory with time constraints in the heart of a freezing winter. Entering DC and pedaling past the Lincoln Memorial, the reflecting pool, the White House and up the Mall to the Capitol Building ...


hey, that is my daily commute... you should see it in spring though, the cherry blossoms before the city is awake and rowers on the river... just great.
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Old 11-20-08, 09:45 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by wheel View Post
Why not encourage him it is not like he is going to the north pole?
Because he didn't ask for encouragement. He asked for advice. Folks are not obliged to tell him what he wants to hear.
 
Old 11-20-08, 09:52 AM
  #55  
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A related thread, from the Commuting forum:

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...33#post7885533

Note all the DC commuters describing conditions in the downtown. This means Ryan will probably need to arrive the day before the big event.
 
Old 11-20-08, 04:54 PM
  #56  
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Have you noticed that the OP has not responded since the first couple of days and that they were his only posts on bikeforums? I think you are dealing with a troll here.
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Old 11-20-08, 04:59 PM
  #57  
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Rats! I was with him until he started asking for donations on his blog.
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Old 11-20-08, 05:01 PM
  #58  
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spinnaker & losligato, I don't think he is a troll or a scam artist.

I think he's an exited college student with a great idea, that's just a bit too big to actually execute. Maybe he bit off more than he can chew, and is in backpedal mode (heh). Maybe he's out training and acquiring equipment.

But my troll-o-meter didn't go off.
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Old 11-20-08, 05:17 PM
  #59  
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Oh, I believe he's real. The trip held real parallels to the Obama saga of hard work and perservierance. Against all odds and all that. Asking for others to pay somehow tinges it.
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Old 11-20-08, 05:41 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Losligato View Post
Oh, I believe he's real. The trip held real parallels to the Obama saga of hard work and perservierance. Against all odds and all that. Asking for others to pay somehow tinges it.
+1

I don't think he is a troll. I think he is an idealistic young man with a great idea. I wish he would have started earlier and allowed himself more time. If I had to bet, I would have to bet against him making it in the time he is planning. Still I hope he does. I will be a little sad if he backs out, but won't blame him. I will be really happy if he pulls it off.

I am still rooting for him even though I find the donation angle a bit unpalatable. Hell I might even send him a few bucks, but will wait until he is maybe halfway there.
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Old 11-20-08, 06:32 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
Ryan, this is an obvious question, but do you have winter cycling gear? Balaclava, glasses/goggles, gloves and liners, etc.
+11111111111111

I just checked. Right now in LA it's ~70 degrees. You probably think the rest of the country is this nice. Trust me, it's not. And the Midwest and East Coast, especially mid/north, is cold. Even right now in Boston it's in the high 20's and in DC it's low 40's. Be prepared. There's snow, which if you've lived in LA, you've rarely seen, much less rode or spent 2 months in. And imagine being stuck outside for 10-12 hours in that weather.
You don't need "some" advice. You're going to need a lot.
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Old 11-20-08, 08:35 PM
  #62  
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Update for all the skeptics/haters/supporters etc!

Heres an update!

Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
Have you noticed that the OP has not responded since the first couple of days and that they were his only posts on bikeforums? I think you are dealing with a troll here.

To address Spinnaker and Losligato: I must assure you all that I am no "Troll" as you say. I have been spending the last 3 days tirelessly investigating whether or not this trip is still possible, and with the revisions I've made, I still believe it is.

My start date is now Sunday, December 7, which will give me 45 days. I contacted AdventureCycling.org, and the rep told me that 45 days is definitely do-able. I have also gotten a coach now, (shout out: Tony from Budget Bikes in Glendale, CA!) I've also been contacting corporate sponsors and local media and news folks to try and draw some interest (mainly to make it attractive to the sponsors).

As for my financial situation and equipment, I'm a recent grad with about $400 in the bank, and student loans rapidly approaching. Please dont get it twisted, this isnt some get rich quick scheme! I actually do need the financial support. I know these times its hard to take anyone for their word, so I don't blame anyone for their skepticism.

Today i purchased webspace and now you can follow this adventure at www.BikingforObama.com.

I appreciate the support, without your advice I wouldn't even have a chance.

I'll keep you as updated as possible, but keep it comin' with your thoughts!

P.s. i'm a little new to bike forum lingo.."OP" is a term i'm unsure of.. what does OP stand for?
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Old 11-20-08, 08:43 PM
  #63  
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OP = Original Poster
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Old 11-20-08, 08:43 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Losligato View Post
Asking for others to pay somehow tinges it.
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Old 11-20-08, 08:50 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by wils0nic View Post
+11111111111111

I just checked. Right now in LA it's ~70 degrees. You probably think the rest of the country is this nice. Trust me, it's not. And the Midwest and East Coast, especially mid/north, is cold. Even right now in Boston it's in the high 20's and in DC it's low 40's. Be prepared. There's snow, which if you've lived in LA, you've rarely seen, much less rode or spent 2 months in. And imagine being stuck outside for 10-12 hours in that weather.
You don't need "some" advice. You're going to need a lot.
I have got to agree. I have lived in that weather all of my life and if it gets below 40 I really don't want to get out and ride. I can't imagine being out all day, riding in the dark part of the way in 20 degrees. Not sure about DC but we have been getting wet snow here. That is the worst of all. In fact it is miserable just to be outside in that stuff.
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Old 11-20-08, 11:31 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by flyinryan08@gma View Post
As for my financial situation and equipment, I'm a recent grad with about $400 in the bank, and student loans rapidly approaching. Please dont get it twisted, this isnt (sic) some get rich quick scheme! I actually do need the financial support. I know these times its (sic) hard to take anyone for their word, so I don't blame anyone for their skepticism.

Today i purchased webspace and now you can follow this adventure at www.BikingforObama.com.
Was www.payformyvacation.com taken?
 
Old 11-20-08, 11:38 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Losligato View Post
Oh, I believe he's real. The trip held real parallels to the Obama saga of hard work and perservierance. Against all odds and all that. Asking for others to pay somehow tinges it.
There's also a parallel with the President-elect's lack of experience.
 
Old 11-20-08, 11:48 PM
  #68  
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Here is the budget for the ride, as posted on Ryan's website (the page where he solicits donations).

Note to Ryan: you might reconsider some of these items -- might you, for example, make do with a less expensive camera?

Equipment list:
  1. Touriing bike $1000
  2. Canon 5D Mark III camera and equipment, $4500
  3. Bike accessories, upkeep/unexpected expenses, $1000
  4. Clothing/Apparel to keep me warm in the winter weather, $300.
  5. Hotel fees, nourishment: $2000
  6. Web design and maintenance $1500
  7. Apparel, supporting T-Shirts, buttons, stickers: $1500
  8. Satellite phone: $500
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Old 11-21-08, 12:12 AM
  #69  
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We got flurries mid-day at UMD (very close to DC) a couple of times this week. I'm riding across North Carolina this winter, and I've just accepted the fact that I'll be very cold. Zero degree bag, windproof fleece, and lobster claws!
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Old 11-21-08, 01:50 AM
  #70  
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Dear Ryan,

I've much enjoyed the replies you've generated with your notion to ride across the country in the winter in 45 days. Everyone is right: you're too inexperienced, with not enough time. With the exception of commuting, riding a bicycle is not a good way to get anywhere fast.

But you should still try (using the recommended Southern Tier route), because you're unlikely to die, and more likely to have a trip you'll never forget. Just stay off the busy roads, and don't ride at night. Vehicles are the primary threat. The weather will not be pleasant much of the time, but if you're freezing to death, just stick out your thumb and hitch. People are remarkably generous when they see a frozen young man on the roadside. Amtrak roughly parallels much of the route, so you might bring a copy of the timetable for the Sunset Limited. (It runs only three days a week).

The trick will be maintaining your personal urge to keep moving. You will likely not be able to ride the entire distance. But you might, and there's no reason to feel bad about hitching through a snowstorm in New Mexico (where the route takes you above 6000 feet). You'll just meet more people. (Come to think of it, that high elevation stretch of New Mexico holds few Obama supporteres, so you'll be an exotic addition to the local fauna).

Of course, you should heed the sage advice from others, about lights and stuff. Don't bring a computer or sat phone - in fact, I recommend no phone. For 45 days you would do well to have just yourself, a notebook, and, if you like, a little camera for memories. Start slow. Many a trip has been made miserable by a novice blowing out their knees on day 1 or 2. After a week you'll be ready for big miles.

So: get moving. Get out of town. And say hello to Mr. Obama.

Yours,
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Old 11-21-08, 06:12 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
I have got to agree. I have lived in that weather all of my life and if it gets below 40 I really don't want to get out and ride. I can't imagine being out all day, riding in the dark part of the way in 20 degrees. Not sure about DC but we have been getting wet snow here. That is the worst of all. In fact it is miserable just to be outside in that stuff.
True that people who live in very temperate climates are often cold weather wimps, but he isn't going anywhere all that cold. I live a 60 miles or so north of DC and have never felt the need for a balaclava, eye wear other than what I use year round, or gloves beyond just some long fingered bicycling gloves. Shoes big enough to wear thick socks without pinching are important though. It will be cold at night in the desert, but again not all that cold. It wouldn't be surprising if the coldest temp he saw the whole trip was 20 F and it is very likely he will not see 0 F.

A decent sleeping bag is critical though and I would probably carry one rated at 0F. But cold weather clothing just means putting on tights and multiple jerseys with a windbreaker or rain jacket over if needed. Rain pants over it the tights in camp or if is really cold. I can be pretty comfortable down to 20F and even a bit below with summer touring clothes layered up like that.

This isn't an arctic expedition. It is just a trip with the possibility of some cold weather.
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Old 11-21-08, 06:21 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
Here is the budget for the ride, as posted on Ryan's website (the page where he solicits donations).

Note to Ryan: you might reconsider some of these items -- might you, for example, make do with a less expensive camera?

Equipment list:
  1. Touriing bike $1000
  2. Canon 5D Mark III camera and equipment, $4500
  3. Bike accessories, upkeep/unexpected expenses, $1000
  4. Clothing/Apparel to keep me warm in the winter weather, $300.
  5. Hotel fees, nourishment: $2000
  6. Web design and maintenance $1500
  7. Apparel, supporting T-Shirts, buttons, stickers: $1500
  8. Satellite phone: $500
Sat phone? Why?

$4500 Camera? I paid for my whole TA including airfare and all expenses, a DSLR, the bike, the racks, the panniers, the sleeping bag, and a lot of other stuff for a lot less than $4500 and I was not on a tight budget.

I could ride across the country 5-10 times on that budget! A poor college student ought to be thinking in terms of $3K tops for the whole deal!

I am losing respect for our young adventurer. Regardless of that the offer still stands to put you (the OP) up, but I an 60 miles north of DC.

Last edited by staehpj1; 11-21-08 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 11-21-08, 06:24 AM
  #73  
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Ryan,
If you haven't left by now your grand idea is toast. Unless of course you come up with a fully supported plan. Do you know anyone with a van willing to drive along for the trip?
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Old 11-21-08, 06:39 AM
  #74  
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I did checkout the web site, and that's what is posted. I agree, some of these items seem extravagant -granted Ryan has some background as a photographer (but then surely he already has a camera he could use?) so I know photographers get very picky about equipment. I also agree a sat phone just seems excessive -a cheap pay as you go phone could suffice, though I do realize reception might not be possible everywhere. I also wonder if you can do without "Apparel, supporting T-Shirts, buttons, stickers" for $1500. Over $12,000 for this venture does seem an awful lot to me.

Anyway, I know some other posters have already injected in some undertones of political critique -I prefer to keep it on the cycling topic. Taking on the issue of asking for donations, I personally don't like this -but then again Ryan isn't forcing you to donate is he? I seem to recall there was a similar post with someone else recently soliciting for funds to keep them touring on their website -again, nothing wrong with it, just not something I personally like or care for, nor will I be donating to for that matter.

Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
Here is the budget for the ride, as posted on Ryan's website (the page where he solicits donations).

Note to Ryan: you might reconsider some of these items -- might you, for example, make do with a less expensive camera?

Equipment list:
  1. Touriing bike $1000
  2. Canon 5D Mark III camera and equipment, $4500
  3. Bike accessories, upkeep/unexpected expenses, $1000
  4. Clothing/Apparel to keep me warm in the winter weather, $300.
  5. Hotel fees, nourishment: $2000
  6. Web design and maintenance $1500
  7. Apparel, supporting T-Shirts, buttons, stickers: $1500
  8. Satellite phone: $500
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Old 11-21-08, 06:54 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
Here is the budget for the ride, as posted on Ryan's website (the page where he solicits donations).

Note to Ryan: you might reconsider some of these items -- might you, for example, make do with a less expensive camera?

Equipment list:
  1. Touriing bike $1000
  2. Canon 5D Mark III camera and equipment, $4500
  3. Bike accessories, upkeep/unexpected expenses, $1000
  4. Clothing/Apparel to keep me warm in the winter weather, $300.
  5. Hotel fees, nourishment: $2000
  6. Web design and maintenance $1500
  7. Apparel, supporting T-Shirts, buttons, stickers: $1500
  8. Satellite phone: $500
Hmm, a bailout package. Just who is being bailed out here?
 

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