Author Topic: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling  (Read 6900 times)

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Offline pmac

Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2013, 10:03:28 am »
Jasmine, before you decide to set off on a cross-country tour with a 65 lb dog in a trailer, plus all of the other stuff you will need for your dog, camping, bike repairs, cooking, eating etc, you really need to do some fully loaded test rides to see if that is feasible for you.  Just ballparking it, my guess is that you would be towing 100+ lbs.  I think you are significantly underestimating the difficulty of towing the weight you are contemplating.  While touring I tow a farfarer trailer with about 40-45 lbs of gear and I consider that pretty heavy.  Maybe your dog can walk up the hills which would help you ALOT, although that make create a hazardous situation for you and/or your dog.  While  some people can carry/tow significant weight, a review of the many trip reports found on CGOAB indicates that most, but not all, people will do whatever they can to drop even 5 lbs from their carrying weight after just a couple of days on the road.  From the armchair, all bike tours take place on sunny days, going downhill with a tailwind.  While that sometimes happens, the general reality is bit different.  A few 2-3 day short tours with some hills and realistic mileage goals in the months leading up to your cross-country tour will go a long way to helping you understand what will actually work for you.     

Offline JasmineReeseII

Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2013, 10:39:47 am »
Thank you, Pmac. We are doing a couple of tours in March with rented equipment from my local bike shop. I guess I'll find out then what's doable and what's not.
Fiji and Jasmine Bike Across America = FiJaBAM

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2013, 05:31:16 am »
Good luck if you get underway. The advice you have read here is just about it. I would add there are lots of out-of-the-way places like country churches that have a water hose out back where you can get showered well at night. Perhaps you're not supposed to do that. I don't know. I have many times. John Nelson is right on with his advice; however, I  will not go without my Cytomax and a steady supply of it mailed forward. Also, I must have a beer occasionally.

It looks like I might be doing a transcon after this June 2013. Our times are out of sync. Depending on your route, you can carry only a very light blanket, and if on the ST you might get by with using it as a pillow. I will most likely do the ST. I prefer not to do it in summer, but that seems to be the hand that destiny is dealing me at the time.

Perhaps my next comment is out of line. I do not believe you should do any route hauling a 65-pound dog. The Atlantic coast is the only route for that because it is compartively level.

Any well made bike frame will get you there. Used ones are available for a song. $250.00 will put you in the way of all new components you need to add. Not top of the line but definitely functional. Probably $300.00 total, around 1 / 4 the price of a SLHT. I have been using the same old Raleigh frame for years on long, strenuous tours. No problem whatsoever. When it is time to go I get new pedals, bearings, wheels, tires, tubes, brake pads, chain, freewheel, spindle or cassette, maybe a deraileur. I get there just as quickly and efficiently as anyone on a $1200.00 bicycle. It's doable.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 06:11:37 am by Westinghouse »

Online PeteJack

Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2013, 10:28:09 am »
Good luck Jasmine with the dog business, that's a heck of a load, not to mention possible vet bills (if you can find one). There are posts on this site by people who wanted to take dogs, search them out. As for a bike, the LHT is a fine machine but it is a lot of money. In Kentucky I met a young bloke who had rode from Los Angeles on an old Schwinn he'd found at the side of the road. His rain gear was a black garbage back with holes for head and arms. He seemed happy enough. Whatever you end up using be sure it has good wheels, 36 spoke minimum, built by a reliable builder who knows how you are going to use them. Apart from broken spokes pretty much anything else that can go wrong you can fix yourself. Have you done a bike maintenance class? Some places: bike clubs, YMCA, LBSs possibly have them for free or cheap. (If you are really keen take a wheelbuilding class then you can save a lot of money on bombproof wheels by building your own and you'll have no fear of breaking a spoke. But that may be a bit much) It's good for your ego if you're fiddling with your bike and a passerby asks if you need help to be able to say "No thanks. I'm good"

I was going to sail round the wold when I got the ideal boat. I never did. If I'm honest with myself it was an excuse for not doing it. So get out there and do it with whatever you can scrounge up.

Offline DanE

Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2013, 12:03:33 pm »
Being young with no money and wanting to hit the road with your dog, sounds like Svein Tuft all over again to me. He did this very thing and ended up with several national championships and a medal at worlds.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/08/sports/othersports/08cycling.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Offline JasmineReeseII

Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2013, 01:16:18 pm »
Dan, that's a remarkable news article! He makes what I'm doing seem like child's play. lol

Howdy y'all!  I am successfully riding with my doggy after finding other people who are doing the same thing. I wasn't able to pack lightweight. After I created a website, I received a slew of donated equipment, including a tent and sleeping bag and stuff for my doggy. We leave officially April 15, 2013, but smaller tours have been wonderful. There is a long list of people who have toured the States and the World with dogs successfully. Please feel free to add my website and name to that list once I finish: http://fijabam.com/

BTW, there are many amazing trailers specifically made for hauling dogs. They are heavy duty and it almost feels like your dog isn't back there. I would recommend the Doggy Ride and te Cycletote.

Thank you!
Fiji and Jasmine Bike Across America = FiJaBAM

Offline e46rick

Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2013, 08:29:31 pm »
Being young with no money and wanting to hit the road with your dog, sounds like Svein Tuft all over again to me. He did this very thing and ended up with several national championships and a medal at worlds.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/08/sports/othersports/08cycling.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Thanks for that.
I knew of Tuft as a pro cyclist but I didn't know anything of his background.  Very interesting story.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2013, 11:46:23 am »
I saw your blog. Your post should read---Poor No More.

I am an experienced cyclist. I once did a 4500 mile tour over many hills and mountains carrying 60-70 pounds of gear. It was extremely difficult at times. When you get into long steep climbs you will see. Perhaps you are being underestimated because you are a woman. Who knows. You might take those hills easily. In my general estimation, having no knowledge of your physical capabilities, I would say it is too much weight for the Transam. Can it be done? Yes it can be done carrying 90 to 100 pounds of gear. However, there is a difference between a nice, reasonably easy, transcontinental cycling tour, and a grueling, difficult, grinding, laborious, tendon-tearing task. Perhaps you can do it. You must be the judge of your own abilities. I would not want to grind that kind of weight over all those hills. That is a very hilly route. The Atlantic route is really better suited for that kind of a load. Take the stock front chain rings and put them away. Get smaller chain rings.

This is  my opinion. I wish you the best on your journey.

Offline habanero

Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2013, 01:40:07 pm »
I've done my share of touring including the Lewis & Clark and the Transam.  My question is whether this forum is the proper place to be asking for monetary donations for a personal tour.  In this particular case, perhaps another loan or help from family and friends would be more appropriate!

Offline JasmineReeseII

Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2013, 03:49:03 pm »
@Habanero, I'm sorry, but where did I ask for a monetary donation? I asked for used equipment that I could buy or equipment that could be donated for free. That's not monetary. Also, that was not the base point for my post; I actually needed advice about lightweight cycling and how I could budget optimally. Please don't be so quick to judge a post without reading the details.

P.S. And although I am biking for the Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation, many generous people have donated equipment to me as opposed to money. Whether it's a personal tour or whatever, that's their prerogative to do that. And I am so happy to them for making my dreams come true. Not everyone has the means to save up for a tour and I don't mind using worn or used equipment. I am glad people thought about me, dusted off their unused equipment and let me have it. That's thoughtful. But once again, that's not what my original post was about.

Thank you.
Fiji and Jasmine Bike Across America = FiJaBAM

Offline JasmineReeseII

Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2013, 03:55:00 pm »
@Westinghouse, Thank you for your advice. I am actually looking at State Maps to see how I can get to San Francisco without too much struggle. If the going gets tough, I'll have to suck it up. I am going to take my time.

I did do a route in Missouri a few months back that was mostly hills. It took me several hours because I had to keep getting off my bike and walking up the hills. And that was unloaded. I've since built up the stamina for those hills.

Sometimes you just gotta try in life and if it doesn't work out, at least you can say you tried it.
Fiji and Jasmine Bike Across America = FiJaBAM

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2013, 05:15:42 pm »
Starting in the west you may need rain gear and cool weather gear for the mountains. You could encounter snow in the higher elevations west of Denver. Once below Denver mail your cold weather gear. Keep the minimum necessary. Many people will not use a tarp. However, a silnylon tarp is the lightest. Don't buy one. Make one. Instructions are on you tube. The taivek raingear can be had for very cheap and it's breathable. The next lightest shelter is a polytarp. I have used one in summer and winter. No complaints except the bugs. Mosquito coils or bug juice works. The good thing about the poly tarp is you can throw it over yourself and your gear in a sudden downpour and it will keep you dry, to an extent. I am not sure about a several hours long torrential downpour. Nylon bleeds through where it touches. A string tied between trees and some lightweight aluminum tent pegs from Wally World and you are ready for camp. Wally's also has a blue, closed cell, foam pad for about $7.00. It works just fine. You must use good cycling shoes. Those are a must for those hills and that kind of a load.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 04:14:07 am by Westinghouse »

Offline JasmineReeseII

Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2013, 05:27:53 pm »
Starting in the west you may need rain gear and cool weather gear for the mountains. You could encounter snow in the higher elevations west of Denver. Once below Denver mail your cold weather gear. Keep the minimum necessary. Many people will not use a tarp. However, a silnylon tarp is the lightest. Don't buy one. Make one. Instructions are on you tube. The taivek raingear can be had for very cheap and it's breathable. The next lightest shelter is a polytarp. I have used one in summer and winter. No complaints except the bugs. Mosquito coils or bug juice works. The good thing about the poly tarp is you can throw it over yourself and your gear in a sudden downpour and it will keep you dry, to an extent. I am not sure about a several hours long torrential downpour. Nylon bleeds through where it touches. A string tied between trees and some lightweight aluminum tent pegs from Wally Word and you are ready for camp. Wally's also has a blue, closed cell, foam pad for about $7.00. It works just fine. You must use good cycling shoes. Those are a must for those hills and that kind of a load.

I'm actually starting in NYC and headed East. I've planned my route down to Virginia, but based on previous advice, I wonder if I should steer clear of the TransAm or rough it and be a bad mamajama by the time I reach San Francisco, and go down to San Diego.  :)  I probably want to avoid it for my first long distance tour. Is East to West worse than West to East?
Fiji and Jasmine Bike Across America = FiJaBAM

Offline John Nelson

Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2013, 07:38:37 pm »
based on previous advice, I wonder if I should steer clear of the TransAm...Is East to West worse than West to East?
Steer clear of the TransAm? Whatever for?

Early starting dates favor beginning in the East.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« Reply #29 on: March 30, 2013, 04:25:20 am »
Going east to west on the TA will put you into some serious hill climbing within a few days. BIKE 30 pounds. Dog 65. Trailer 8? All gear 25-30. That's 130 pounds. You maybe 130. 260 pounds. That's a lot of weight to go over steep hills day after day, week after week. My advice is to stay on the AC route. Don't let me dissuade you from the Transam. I am just giving you what I think is good advice. Set a realistic goal. Maybe you can do the transam easily enough with all that weight. I don't know. I am making generalizations based on my own experiences, and based on the experiences of other cyclists whose journals I have been reading for several years. Most people mail things home after they are on the road for a while. Just saying. Keep us posted. I am interested in finding out how matters proceed for you.