Author Topic: Novice coming to America !  (Read 11838 times)

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Offline Westinghouse

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2010, 04:44:24 pm »
Always always keep your valuables on your person if not locked in a hotel safe. A money belt is fine but not while cycling, but if the belt is soft and your money is in a plastic to keep it dry, it might be OK. Keep the good stuff in the handlebar bag. When you get off to go in, lock your bike no matter how secure you perceive it to be, and take the handlebar bag with you. You will be able to judge for yourself if you are in an area where a grab and run theft might occur. If you have an expensive bicycle, someone is more likely to try and grab it than if it is a cheaper model. There are those who grab and run with unlocked bikes and they know exactly what makes of bicycles are worth their risks and whiles to purloin. Be security conscious.

Offline leicrao1

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2010, 01:46:07 pm »
Hi Tim

Don't know if you are still reading this thread. I am from Leicester and have just done LA to NY with my brother-in-law, also from the UK. If you are interested in advice from the particular perspective of a UK person who had never cycled in the USA before then please say so and I can start typing.

Richard

Offline tim in wales

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2010, 02:29:59 pm »
Hi Richard,

yes I am still reading this thread - there's been some fantastic advice (I think), and I am taking note of it all.

Any more advice suggestions welcome,

tim in (a wet ryder cup) wales

Offline tonythomson

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2010, 12:13:51 pm »
Tim best to keep quiet about the Ryder Cup at the moment  ;)
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline leicrao1

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #34 on: October 05, 2010, 11:14:23 am »
The aim of our trip was to cover the distance quickly. We did LA to NY in 29 days stopping in motels and having no rest days. The time factor meant camping, or carrying extra equipment, was out of the question, so it was motels all the way in a fairly straight line planned using Google maps. I would agree with whoever said that sticking to ACA routes will mean you meet more cyclists. But it depends on whether this is important to you.

Crime: We felt safer than if cycling through Leicester after dark. Maybe some of this is a false sense of security, maybe it was our route through small-town America, I don't know. But there was a complete absence of that irritating anti-social behaviour that blights the UK (youths hanging around on the streets looking to abuse passers-by, children drunk in parks etc). The exception was North Las Vegas, and after dark in Newark New Jersey. The latter made Peckham resemble a sleepy village. My perception (and I may be wrong) is that crime in the US is much more concentrated in particular areas of towns, whereas in the UK you can just as easily get mugged in the good and bad parts of town. My advice would be route around major urban centres unless you have detailed local knowledge. We did that around Indianapolis and Columbus and it seemed to work well

Kit: Be completely comfortable with your equipment. Get all your kit together three months before you go and be sure you can carry it comfortably and ride some distance with it. Don't think you have to train 100 miles a day in preparation. Your fitness and conditioning will come. But don't make the mistake my brother-in-law did of buying a brand new bike and setting off from LA having only done about 10 miles on it previously. Take your own bike rather than buy one there. We flew Virgin and it is free to take it with you, and they are really flexible.

Route: We had the wind behind us for about 27 of the 29 days although to be fair it was never more than 5-10mph in any direction. Maybe we were lucky. However, the couple of days we rode into 10mph winds were noticeably more difficult and far less enjoyable, so I would defend West to East every time.

I've typed enough. Will add some more latrer.

Richard

Offline tim in wales

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #35 on: October 08, 2010, 06:30:09 pm »
This might be another silly question - to the experienced bikers at least - but what do you wear on your feet ?

Speciailised bike shoes ?...or what ?

Offline tonythomson

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #36 on: October 09, 2010, 04:49:29 am »
Oh Tim - now you've started something off, many discussions on here about footwear from sandals to all sorts of specialist shoes.
Me I wear cross trainers no cleats but toe clips.  Why - firstly I have big feet and manufacturers don't see me as a very profitable group. But mainly because I don't want to carry 2 pair of shoes around, although cycling shoes are much better these days at being able to walk in them.  Not that I've tried cos they aint big enough.

I also like to walk once off the bike for the day and explore where I am and just feels comfortable with cross trainers.
Let the discussion begin.  ;)
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Online staehpj1

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #37 on: October 09, 2010, 01:35:07 pm »
This might be another silly question - to the experienced bikers at least - but what do you wear on your feet ?

Speciailised bike shoes ?...or what ?
I like the lower end of the Sidi line of MTB shoes with SPD cleats.  My current pair are the Sidi Giau.  They are much cheaper and much less "space alien" looking than the Dominators.  In my case I use the Mega model (for wide feet).

Offline leicrao1

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #38 on: October 10, 2010, 12:48:50 pm »
Never got on with cleats, personally. The textbooks say they are more efficient. Perhaps they are for racing, but for long distance touring, I just need to be able to adjust the position of my feet with more freedom. I didn't want to carry two pairs of shoes also.

Offline Shane

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #39 on: October 11, 2010, 04:02:52 pm »
This might be another silly question - to the experienced bikers at least - but what do you wear on your feet ?

Speciailised bike shoes ?...or what ?

If you've got comfy shoes wear them.......dont worry about hipe, efficency and all that bollox, stick to what keeps your feet happy and dont try something new at the last minute....

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #40 on: October 11, 2010, 10:41:49 pm »
Cleated shoes are wonderful for long distance touring, but not absolutely necessary. We could go on for days about the pros and cons of cleated shoes. I carry only sandals as my other pair of footwear. One tour I only had my cycling sandals, no other shoes and did fine once past the mountain cold.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #41 on: October 13, 2010, 05:19:04 am »
I use cannondale, non-cleated, cycling shoes. What a big difference between them and running shoes for pedaling efficiciently, especially on those long and short uphill grinds. If you go the distance, get the shoes designed for it. They do make a significant difference. They are good for walking too. Cannondale wants about $80.00. In my opinion they are worth it, and I have done tens of thousands of miles of worldwide bicycle touring. All the reports on clip-in shoes I have read and heard were positive. As for cleated, toe-clip, shoes they are good too. The point is this. If you are going to pedal a loaded touring bicycle across the continent, get the best equipment you can afford. It is designed to maximize your efficiency and comfort on the road, and it works.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #42 on: October 14, 2010, 05:43:01 am »
Tim, you should be safe  just about anywhere. There are certain areas of large cities you might want to avoid unless you are in a tank. I have cycled all over the USA, well, not ALL over, but quite a bit. I have not encountered the first crime such as theft, robbery, assault, battery, and that sort of thing. All that and worse is going on, yes, but the touring cyclist is not likely at all to be bothered by it. I would advise using cycling maps. I assure you it can make a difference which roads you use. Some roads are as close to ideal for cycling as you can get. Others, especially at rush hour, can be roads from hell with noise, no shoulders, pollution, and mad-dash traffic.
Do not expect the same network of hostels as in the U.K. They are here and comparatively few and far between. The west coast will give you a good choice of cheap hiker-biker campsites. ACA's northern tier route is mapped coast to coast. Get the maps. Pay attention
to details. I would not tell anyone what touring bike to get. I am still using my old one and it works just fine. This past winter I cycled from coastal Florida to San Diego, CA in 55 days total with 43 days actually on the road. The frame may be old but it's efficient enough, and I am 60. I would recommend using Continental Travel Contact tires. Rotate when you are half finished with the trip, and one set should take you all the way across. Don't skimp on carrying patches and glue and tire levers. Don't go anywhere without a pump. This is not to say bad things cannot happen. They can. I have been in some incidents, but I have not been harmed.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #43 on: October 18, 2010, 12:31:36 pm »
I use cannondale, non-cleated, cycling shoes.

Hi Westinghouse,very interested in finding more about these but can't track down on internet - can you point the way or be more specific on model please.
Many thanks
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #44 on: October 18, 2010, 02:25:16 pm »
I got them at Alan's bicycle shop in Vero Beach, Florida. They are black. That's about all I know. The soles are thick and rigid giving excellent pedalling efficiency.
I am out of country and not around Vero these days. Email the shop and they may be able to tell you more if they haven't sold them all and forgotten about these shoes.

2020 Commerce Ave
Vero Beach, FL 32960-3412
(772) 562-2453

www.alansbicyclecenter.com/