Author Topic: My Idea  (Read 3420 times)

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Offline ColoradoJamis

My Idea
« on: February 27, 2010, 10:43:16 pm »
So Im currently 22, about to graduate from Colorado State University. I am an Ultra Runner! :) So Im sort of crazy to begin with..when I got the idea in my head that biking across the country would be a fantastic idea. I won't undertake this feat for another year, I do understand planning takes time. I had some questions for people..hopefully you can answer them!

1)What route is the best to take beginning in the summer
2)How long can I expect (on average) to cross the country
3)Any idea on costs?
4) Can I pitch a tent anywhere or do I have to be in a campground..

Anything that would be helpful! Im pretty good as far as gear is concerned..I have a great Jamis bike, I'd need a little tag along carrier for my stuff and clothing..

Being a woman..its a littler never wracking to want to go across the country solo..there are some weird people out there..any bad experiences?

Thanks!

Offline johnsondasw

Re: My Idea
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2010, 11:25:43 pm »
1) There are several good routes.  The Trans America and Northern Tier are the most commonly used summer routes.  Southern tier would be very hot.
2) On average, 2-3 months.
3) Cost depends on whether you intend to camp or "credit card" it.  I assume you'll camp since you asked about camping.  Campgrounds vary from about $5/ night up to about $20/ night. Most tourers occassionally use a motel to excape bad weather or just for a break and some creature comforts, laundry, etc.  Food is cheap if you prepare it yourself, much more of you eat out a lot.
4) I have "commando" camped many times.  You must be very sure you're out of sight of roads, houses, etc.

The weird people thing is a rarity in bike touring.  In 30 years, I've only had to deal with it once, but I'm not a single woman.  There were four of us guys the time we had a minor scare.  You can always try to get a partner.  This site has a section for that.

It would be a good idea to check out other tourers' experiences.  There are several web sites for this.  The best known one is "Crazy guy on a bike". Google it for exact address.

 
May the wind be at your back!

Offline ColoradoJamis

Re: My Idea
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2010, 11:33:30 pm »
Thanks so much!! Thats super helpful!!

Offline Galloper

Re: My Idea
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2010, 07:30:38 am »
I recommend reading any of Josie Dew's books on her cycling adventures.   She's ridden most places, includia ride across America and will give you a lot of laughs and a lot of useful advice.

Have fun

Offline staehpj1

Re: My Idea
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2010, 10:38:44 am »
What do you want this trip to be?  What I would recommend is dependent on that.  For you, is it about a fast crossing, enjoying the scenery, meeting the people, something else?

Assuming a fast crossing isn't your primary goal, the Trans America route is awesome.  We met mostly friendly, kind, and generous people and saw lots of beautiful scenery.  The state parks are generally cheap and very nice most places.  In many places you will be able to camp for free in town parks, church yards, and other similar locations.  If you use the AC maps they will have lots of free places to stay listed and in most small towns just asking around will turn up others.  We only resorted to expensive campgrounds a couple times staying for free at least half the time.

On the TA you will meet other tourists and will be able to camp or ride with them some of the time if you want to.

Interestingly, we found that if you are an experienced camper and use an AC route, not much planning is required.  Get your gear together, get the maps, find your way to the starting point and start riding.  If you are not an experienced camper then some time spend figuring out what gear you need and how to use it is needed.

I would suggest reading some journals on the Crazy Guy on a Bike site  (http://www.crazyguyonabike.com).  I think our 2007 Trans America journal (http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/staehling2007) is a good one for someone planning their first long distance tour to read since it is the story of three first timers.

Good luck on your trip.

Offline mucknort

Re: My Idea
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2010, 09:15:27 pm »
I would suggest reading some journals on the Crazy Guy on a Bike site...

...and here's a cross country journey journal written by a single woman rider:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=RrzKj&doc_id=1386&v=11j

Offline valygrl

Re: My Idea
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2010, 11:37:15 am »
I'm in Boulder & I've done some solo (and not solo) touring. 

If you want to go for a ride & pick my brain some time, gimme a shout. 


Offline Westinghouse

Re: My Idea
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2010, 05:46:09 pm »
I am 60 and just did the southern tier in 55 days total with several days delay because of rain and extreme weather. The TA and NT take longer. More miles. More hills. The pacific coast is best for summer. Generally, usually coastal temps are cool and the scenery is great. Lots of hills but a runner can handle it.
The NT is cool at higher elevations and hotter than hell back down lower. The east coast is moderate in summer and takes not long. I did it in twenty days in 1990. Use only high quality tires and rims.

Offline ColoradoJamis

Re: My Idea
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2010, 09:03:19 pm »
Well Im not in the best biking shape currently, better at running Ultras..but I would love to take you up on that offer!

Offline valygrl

Re: My Idea
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2010, 05:34:49 pm »
Sent you an email to the one in your profile, it's from a yahoo address so check yer spam box if you don't see it. :)

Offline scott.laughlin

Re: My Idea
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2010, 09:11:19 am »
So Im currently 22, about to graduate from Colorado State University. I am an Ultra Runner! :) So Im sort of crazy to begin with..when I got the idea in my head that biking across the country would be a fantastic idea. I won't undertake this feat for another year, I do understand planning takes time. I had some questions for people..hopefully you can answer them!

1)What route is the best to take beginning in the summer
2)How long can I expect (on average) to cross the country
3)Any idea on costs?
4) Can I pitch a tent anywhere or do I have to be in a campground..

Anything that would be helpful! Im pretty good as far as gear is concerned..I have a great Jamis bike, I'd need a little tag along carrier for my stuff and clothing..

Being a woman..its a littler never wracking to want to go across the country solo..there are some weird people out there..any bad experiences?

Thanks!

Don't do it alone.

Offline staehpj1

Re: My Idea
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2010, 12:12:20 pm »
Don't do it alone.
I won't advise whether you should or shouldn't beyond saying that the young women that I have met who did an XC tour alone would disagree with Scott's advice.  If you can go with someone that can be a plus, but realize that a good portion of groups of two or more typically split up at some point any way.  You have to be really compatible or really committed to staying together to make it work.

Offline mucknort

Re: My Idea
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2010, 12:57:52 pm »
Here's another woman going most of the way alone on a round the U.S. trip:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=RrzKj&doc_id=5131&v=z4

Offline John Nelson

Re: My Idea
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2010, 10:22:16 pm »
Don't do it alone.
the young women that I have met who did an XC tour alone would disagree with Scott's advice.

But their mothers would all agree with it.  :)

I'm with Pete. You'll be fine either way.

Offline JMilyko

Re: My Idea
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2010, 08:22:04 am »
This article (though perhaps a little dated) might be a good way to offer some perspective to worried friends and family:

Why My Mom (and yours) Should Not Worry About Our Bike Tours http://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/display_resource.cfm?file=momworry.pdf

.Jennifer.
*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Jennifer H. Milyko
Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205
www.adventurecycling.org

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