I also prefer using their 4 point harness system over the shoulder/waist strap system. It works great while on the bike and when you're off the bike hiking around towns and/or woods and while you're wearing a small backpack. Just a thought.
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Your advice reminds me of something. People win the lottery about everyday. You apparently would recommend the lottery as a retirement method and a way to accumulate wealth for a living. Of course people who know how the world works, would not recommend the lottery as a financial strategy. Lottery and waking up tomorrow and riding across the US with no experience. Pretty similar to me.
I think that level of determination to finish is the primary predictor of success. Resourcefulness comes next. Some experience with packing for and living with their gear on some form of extended travel (backpacking, canoe camping, etc.) is quite helpful, but not absolutely necessary. Bicycling experience comes in at a distant fourth in my estimation.
BTW, even among those who tried a big first tour and failed to finish many probably had a positive experience. What is the big danger, that they might have to pack up and go home without reaching the other coast? That is not exactly the end of the world.
I have been hanging around this forum for a little while as I plan a cross-country bike trip with a couple friends. We are planning on going from Savanna to San Francisco this summer. This trip is going to be a charity ride. We are new to this so we are looking for all the help we can get.
With our route we are planning on hitting the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and a few other locations. Do any of you have any suggestions about this route?
We do not have bikes. Because this is a fundraiser and we are college students we do not have a lot of money to spend on bikes. We are trying to not spend over $800 on a bike but preferably less. Do you have any tips for getting a good bike in our price range? What would you recommend for a cheap touring bike, or would you recommend that we try a different type of bike. Could we get a hybrid or mountain bike to work well for this trip? We also heard that you could take a normal road bike if you pulled a trailer. Is that true? We could probably get a nice used road bike for cheap.
If a couple of the guys were to get mountain bikes while the others had touring or road bikes would the mountain bikes be able to keep up? Would it take a lot more work to stay with them or with smooth tires could they ride with the road bikes just fine?
Have any of you done a fundraiser trip where you were able to partner with a LBS and they provided gear for you? We are hoping that we can get some good deals because it is a fundraiser but we are wondering what we should expect.
If you have any other tips or comments that would be awesome too. We are getting really excited about this trip but there is a lot to figure out. This forum has already been a lot of help and I am sure that I will be seeking more advice in the future.
...I'd suggest you postpone your cross country ride for a few years. Buy a road bike now. Ride it for a half dozen years. Ride 5,000-10,000 miles a year for the next half dozen years. Learn about bicycling. Then ride across the country....
Thanks for writing this as you saved me a fair bit of typing. My first reaction on reading the OP was incredulity. These guys don't own bikes, don't know what type to buy, don't currently ride and don't say what, if any, charity they are trying to assist. Amazing.
Sometimes yes, sometimes no, mostly yes outside of large cities and mostly no within large cities.
Wild camping can often mean your water supply is a stream or a tank.
You might want to carry an active, pump-style water filter, some purification tablets and maybe a gravity filter system.
You drink the local water at your peril, not necessarily because of micro-organisms, although there's a huge risk to making life miserable for two or three weeks or your tour very short, but to help remove trace elements your digestive system has never encountered. The tablets will only work on organisms. Boiling water does not remove trace contaminants.
You can research the cleanliness and sanitation level of municipal water supplies on the interwebs, just takes a bit of looking.
Hi guys, next April I will be buying my Surly LHT and will do some overnight and long weekend Touring next Summer. I plan on Touring the US in 2015(I'm in Canada)I'm not sure what I'll be spending each day. I will camp and use Warmshowers alot, but is $20-$30 per day for food acceptable? How long could I go with around $10,000? Would that last a year? Or perhaps see the US for 6 Months then go to Europe for a few Months?
Thank you for all of your input. I have signed up and if you are ever traveling on the plains of Eastern New Mexico and need a warm shower, soft bed and a cold beer please give me a shout. Thanks to all.