Author Topic: Novice coming to America !  (Read 11837 times)

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Offline tim in wales

Novice coming to America !
« on: June 19, 2010, 06:10:22 am »
Hi - I am a novice cyclist, hoping to tour East to West coast next spring (2011). Starting in Maine - I am in the early stages of planning the trip.

I don't really have a timescale, just want to see a lot more of the USA, and a bike seems a fun way to do it.

Can you reccomend a good bike ?, a good bike shop ? price to aim at ?   ..probably in the Portland or Standish area.  I will need other bits and pieces etc too - clothes, carrier etc.  What is the advised amount of clothes etc to carry?

I don't have any definite plans for overnighting - could be hotel or tent...is tent a good idea ?...type of tent ?

Is it safe to cycle alone ?

Any suggestions welcome.

Offline tim in wales

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2010, 06:11:40 am »
I really need a bike Guru to advise me on everything !

Offline Galloper

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2010, 08:08:05 am »
Top Tips.

1   Join the CTC in the UK, lots of information available on their web site and you get good discounts from various stores.

2   Get a decent lightweight tent, Check out Cotswold Outdoor, reckon to pay about £200 for a decent one, camping is a lot cheaper but it's a good idea to treat yourself to a motel every now and again, costs will depend on where you are, some areas are cheaper than others, Motel 6 is pretty good.

3   Wait until September/October for the sales to buy bike and cycling clothing.   Have a look at Wiggle and Chain Reaction websites for kit.   

4   In my experience cycle touring is pretty safe, I've never felt insecure at any time.   Have a look at the companions wanted board if you feel you might like company

5   If buying a bike in the USA, I'd recommend the Surly Long Haul Trucker

6   I find a couple of cycling tops, a couple of technical Ts and comfortable pair of shorts with a padded liner.   I prefer baggies as they have pockets but a lof of people prefer lycra.   I'd recommend a set of Gore Bikewear pac lite waterproofs and gloves.   Helmet, of course, and also a cycling cap.

Lots more advice on other sites, don't get too hung up on the kit, just go and have fun :)

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2010, 08:12:03 am »
You are at the right place, Tim. Start with the Adventure Cycling web site, especially the How To Department and the archive of excellent articles from the magazine on all aspects of bike touring. Search these forums for topics of special interest. (To search all of them, use the search box on the main page that lists the forums. To search just one, use the search box on that forum's list of topics.)

You will probably find every question answered here, but do write to raise any particular thoughts that remain.

Cycling on tour is no more risky than cycling at home. Ride responsibly, wear a helmet, use a mirror, and keep your eye on the traffic.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy this huge country with all of us.

Fred

Offline John Nelson

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2010, 08:56:03 am »
Solo is safe. In my opinion, solo is preferable unless you have a 100% compatible partner. Don't get a partner just to have one. You're never alone anyway.  The country is full of great people, and you'll meet more of them if you're solo.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2010, 01:52:21 am »
I think the most important thing to do is to find a way to take several short shake down tours before you start the long one in a year.  You can thereby test tents, stoves, bikes, trailers or panniers, etc (including yourself).  Go for it and have fun.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline tim in wales

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2010, 04:00:42 pm »
Thanks everyone for your tips...some great suggestions and advice.

Any more  ?...keep them coming.... 8)

Offline raybo

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2010, 09:46:28 am »
Check out biketouringtips.com.  It has hundreds of bike touring tips.
Visit the on-line bike touring archive at www.biketouringtips.com

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2010, 08:23:16 pm »
You can google for bike shops in Portland, but it helps to have local knowledge because there are bike shops and then there are bike shops. You have good advice here. Read books on the subjects of bicycles and bicycle touring. Take safety seriously. Don't ignore it. And you are right. It is an excellent way to see your world. Good luck. You should be safe. Don't invite any bears for dinner in camp and you should be perfectly all right.

Offline tim in wales

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2010, 05:17:25 am »
 Another security question - how do most bikers carry their valuables ?

- money, credit cards, cell phone etc?


....money belt....panniier....pocket...under your hat !!... ??????

I can imagine valuables in a pannier could disappear in a flash if you turned your back for a second in the wrong place. 

Offline Galloper

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2010, 04:54:47 pm »
I prefer mountain biking type shorts so have pockets for most of the essentials.   Anything else is kept in a bar bag which comes off the bike with me.


As to going to the wrong place - Don't go there (copyright Tommy Cooper - Ahem! )

Offline tonythomson

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2010, 07:09:00 am »
Bar bag comes off easy and take all your valuables with you.
In all my trips no one has ever touched my bike or taken anything from it while in USA.

If you ever get anywhere near Southampton let me know and we could meet up an go over your trip.

I'm back in UK next week.

You'll love it over here.

Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

marriemb

  • Guest
Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2010, 06:42:39 am »
it is safe during day but not during evening hours

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2010, 07:52:27 am »
it is safe during day but not during evening hours
What is unsafe in the evening? Southampton? America? Inquiring minds want to know.

Fred

Online staehpj1

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2010, 10:33:48 am »
it is safe during day but not during evening hours
What is unsafe in the evening? Southampton? America? Inquiring minds want to know.

Fred
I am puzzled by that one as well.  Hopefully marriemb will elaborate.