Author Topic: A desire to do a bicycle tour, but no motivation  (Read 2546 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline goblin2004

A desire to do a bicycle tour, but no motivation
« on: March 22, 2013, 04:17:06 pm »
To start off, I will have to say this. I have a dream of doing a bicycle tour around the US someday, just not sure how or when I would do it.

First of all, I am not in shape to ride long distances and in order to get into shape it will take me a lot of determination and motivation to do so.

Second, being a college student, I am not sure if I could afford it. Although, there might be a way to do it, I know I could do some research on being able to fund a bicycle tour.

Third, I am not comfortable with riding a standard diamond frame bicycle due to my weight. I would like to get a recumbent trike, which would be more comfortable to ride, just have the issues that people bring up about safety on the road with cars being able to see them.

Fourth, I know that my wife would support me with a decision to do a bicycle tour, it is just that she'd probably feel more at ease if there was a support vehicle, although, I think most of the fun it doing a bicycle tour would be the adventure itself and doing a self-supported tour would be more exciting and rewarding.

Fifth, also pertains to equipment, if I was to do a bicycle tour, I would definitely consider using some sort of trailer to haul gear with. The trailers I would probably use would be by chariot, http://www.chariotcarriers.com/en/US/Products/Sport-Series/Cougar/CT_10100928. The recumbent trike I would probably consider getting would be a XMR-cobra, http://www.kmxus.com/cobra.html.

Another thing that I would have to consider is what do most people that go on long cycling tours do when it comes to food. Is it good to take the food necessary for a weeks’ time, or would I just plan on purchasing food along the way?

I know that this is a lot to think about. Just wanted to get some good solid advice from those of you who have done a cross country cycling tour. Any advice would be great  Whether it be about the choice of equipment, gear that would be good to include, and the best possible routes to take that have the less traffic.

Just to let others know I live in Southern Utah, St. George area. 

I hope to post more as I can. I also will see about posting a picture of the bikes that I currently have, one is a 1998 Cannondale Mountainbike F2000 and the other is a Day 6 bike, recumbent style bike.  8)

« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 07:32:09 am by goblin2004 »

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: A desire to do a bicycle tour, but no motivation
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2013, 06:18:37 pm »
I'll be the cranky old fart.

Don't worry about it.

Don't do it until you want to.  It takes desire and drive.  There will be tough days when you don't think you can ride any more, and there may be days when you're just ready to roll over in you sleeping bag and forget the whole thing.

But if you're interested, keep reading about it.  If there's somebody near you who's done a long bike tour, go talk to them (most of us love to talk about it!).  Browse the current journals of people doing long tours, like the TransAm or Northern Tier -- there's links off the main AC page under bicycle travel bloggers, or you can surf crazyguy starting around the first of May.  Here's s hint: most travel blogs aren't worth it, but if you can find someone who observes and writes both well and regularly, it'll be fun to read about their trip.  (I haven't written a decent journal since my cross country trip, which is currently at http://pdlamb.wordpress.com)

Read through the how-to articles from the AC magazine.  If you want a supported tour, look at the van-supported tours AC offer (they're less expensive than most anybody else).

Don't sweat the equipment, much.  If you start to get really excited (and motivated), that's the time to start looking into equipment, routes, budget, schedules, etc.

But for right now, think of long-distance cycle touring as something that makes for pretty good reading.

Offline John Nelson

Re: A desire to do a bicycle tour, but no motivation
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013, 07:38:40 pm »
Although a long, epic trip is appealing, start with something small. If you need to lose weight and get into shape, then start on that tomorrow. Walk 90 minutes a day, every day without exception. Anybody can do it. If you lose some weight and get into shape, maybe the diamond frame will become practical again. But even if it doesn't, the visibility problems of recumbents are greatly overblown--it's possible to safely tour on a recumbent. Also, start riding now on whatever bike you currently have for as long as you can comfortably ride. It's more important to get some riding under your belt than to wait for the perfect bike.

Having said that, you don't have to be in great shape to tour. But I would at least get into good enough shape that you can do 20 miles at a time. You can start your tour anytime after that. Start with an overnighter. Then take a tour of several days.

You can tour on as little as $10 a day, plus equipment and transportation costs. If you start and finish from home, transportation costs can be zero. $10 a day, however, is pretty spartan, so try to put together enough for $20 a day if you don't think you can be that spartan. Set a goal. Save x dollars out of each paycheck into a touring fund.

I agree with you that there is more adventure on a self-supported tour. But maybe your wife can support you on your first few short tours, while you are building up strength and equipment.

Almost any equipment will work. Trike or recumbent bike or upright bike with trailer or panniers. Get whatever you like.

Buy food one day at a time. No need to carry more than one day's food except under very unusual circumstances.

Finally, a goal isn't really a goal without a date. Without a date, it will always be "someday." Pick a date in the future for a tour, and then make intermediate milestones of what it will take to get there.

Offline bogiesan

Re: A desire to do a bicycle tour, but no motivation
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2013, 11:31:45 pm »
Nonsense.
Would you attempt a marathon or ironman event without preparation and training?
Find a local bike club that advertsises "no drop rides." Contact the principal by email. RRide with them. Every week. Go to the post-ride burger fests or beer swills. Talk equipment. Spend some money on good gear but spend it wisely.
Start slow and build up to doing a couple of metric centuries or full century charity rides this summer. See if you can take it. See if you like it.
Then start training for next year's riding season in October by joining a gym and train with determination for a new goal: to do at least three centuries and to take a five-day, fully supported tour across your state.

GGo to your local library and check out everything they have on the topic of bicycle touring and buy some books. Obtain bike route maps for you location. Look for a 40-60 mile trip you can make on your own that ends at a comfortable motel. Have a nice shower, Get up, have a nice breakfast, return.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline goblin2004

Re: A desire to do a bicycle tour, but no motivation
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2013, 12:30:53 pm »
Thanks for the great feedback and information. I will need to do what I can to lose weight and then work on doing longer rides near where I live. I have included a couple pictures of the bikes I have.  8)

Here are pictures of the two bike I have.

Day 6 Bicycle - More comfortable to ride.



Cannondale F2000 - I use to ride this a lot more in previous years.

« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 07:34:06 am by goblin2004 »

Offline goblin2004

Re: A desire to do a bicycle tour, but no motivation
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2013, 04:39:57 pm »
I finally figured out how to load pictures, so I was able post pictures of my bikes.  8)

Offline tonythomson

Re: A desire to do a bicycle tour, but no motivation
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 10:42:02 am »
Hi Goblin,  I'm not meaning to be mean but is all this indecision and questions really masking anxiety about doing an extended tour?  I have toured endlessly and admit that before every trip I have considerable doubts as to whether I can do it? The answer is get on your bike and give it your best shot.

However, before you do that planning is the key.  Know what distance you can ride comfortable in a day and plan within that, this will ensure you enjoy it and are ready to go again the next day. Don't be too ambitious to start with as you need to succeed because anything less will put you off forever.  Don't listen to anyone telling you what they can do in a day etc this is your trip solely for you.

I'd stick to one of your existing bikes and spend some money on tyres and having it tuned up.
If you are worried about food, don't there aren't too many places that are so remote as to the need for carrying days of supplies.  The main thing is water and not getting dehydrated.  I generally carry some nuts & dried fruit to snack on in case I get caught out, no one will starve to miss a meal occasionally.

Go for it BUT be warned cycle touring is addictive.  And have fun.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline Rob Brown

Re: A desire to do a bicycle tour, but no motivation
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 11:12:57 am »
look at the bike ride as a form of exercise, 10 miles a day cycling will turn into 20 miles a day, 20 miles a day will turn into 30 and so on


Offline freightbike

Re: A desire to do a bicycle tour, but no motivation
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 12:03:20 pm »
Consider going on a multi day supported trip like one of the many week long regional rides. I would recommend rides like CANDISC or GRABRAWR. They are opportunities to experience riding long distance with helpfull people and many have sag support so if you break down physically or mechanically, you can get a ride to the finish of that days stage. I agree with the others that you have to start out slowly and work your way up to longer and longer trips. When the bug bites you for adventure out on the open road, nothing will get in your way.
May the wind at your back always smell like home.
                  MORG

Offline goblin2004

Re: A desire to do a bicycle tour, but no motivation
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2013, 08:00:31 am »
look at the bike ride as a form of exercise, 10 miles a day cycling will turn into 20 miles a day, 20 miles a day will turn into 30 and so on

Thanks for all the great tips and advice.

I'll have to continue to follow this topic and gather all the great information from those that have offered suggestions and ideas, so that when I eventually do take the plunge and do a cycling tour I will know what I need to do.

For now, it will be getting use to riding again.  I do like the idea of for this. Setting daily mileage goals will help me focus on what I want to accomplish. I really want to work up to being able to ride longer distances and by starting small, may just be what I need to do. I think a good goal to work towards is to ride from St. George to Zion's National Park and back in a day. That would be a total of 88 miles round trip. If I could do that, it would be a great goal.

I would definitely use one of the current bikes that I have, and as time and money permits, would go with a recumbent trike. Here is a picture of one I would consider purchasing. It is made by KMX Carts.



It is a great trike. I think something like this coupled with a good trailer, would be a great asset for any touring enthusiast. Here is a picture of a particular trailer that would be great for hauling supplies on a cycling tour.  It is made by chariot, which I think are great trailers that are well built.



With all this, I think it is best to say, I have some great motivation to help me focus on getting into shape and obtaining my goal of eventually doing a cycle tour.  8)
« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 10:39:04 am by goblin2004 »

Offline indyfabz

Re: A desire to do a bicycle tour, but no motivation
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2013, 09:49:21 am »
That tailer would be terrible for a bike trip. It's a jogging carriage designed to be pushed and carry a child. The swivel front wheels alone would be a nightmare. And how would you attach it to the bike?

Offline goblin2004

Re: A desire to do a bicycle tour, but no motivation
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2013, 11:01:05 am »
That tailer would be terrible for a bike trip. It's a jogging carriage designed to be pushed and carry a child. The swivel front wheels alone would be a nightmare. And how would you attach it to the bike?

Obviously, you probably haven't looked at the website for the trailers,

Check out the many features on the website. http://www.chariotcarriers.com/en/US/Products/Sport-Series/Cougar/Cougar-2-Red hope it will help you realize why I would like the trailer.  8)

Offline goblin2004

Re: A desire to do a bicycle tour, but no motivation
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2013, 11:03:04 am »
I am sure there are other trailer available, I still need to figure that out. It will be awhile before I event get one and even do a tour. Until then, I will still be searching.  8)

Offline goblin2004

Re: A desire to do a bicycle tour, but no motivation
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2013, 11:22:12 am »
Here is a bike trailer, that may also work too. Here is the website. http://www.croozerdesigns.com/croozer_cargo.html. Like I said in my previous post, I am not sure which type of trailer would be best.  8)

Offline goblin2004

Re: A desire to do a bicycle tour, but no motivation
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2013, 09:02:12 pm »
If and when I ever do decide to do a bicycle tour, I think that have a trailer would be great to use. This appears to be a well built trailer. I treally haven't heard of the brand of name before until I googled bike trailer.  Does anyone know about bike trailers?  Please let me know. Thanks.  8)