Author Topic: Oregon to Los Angeles and Gear Questions  (Read 4288 times)

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Offline David85

Oregon to Los Angeles and Gear Questions
« on: November 23, 2009, 09:30:41 am »
I recently rode my bike to San Diego from Orange County and was now wanting to step it up a notch.  On my last ride I was ill-equipped and ill-prepared (150 dollar bike from Target, wore a backpack-ouch, didn't bring enough money)  But I made it!  Not wanting to repeat mistakes of the past, I have come up with a few questions. 

I obviously need a new bike to replace my 150 dollar one.  I'm assuming I have to spend between 500 to 1000 bucks.  And I heard you need to be sized for them.  Does anyone have recommendations on types of bikes?  Also as far as panniers vs. trailers, which do you recommend for a long ride.  And on my last ride I just rode in shorts and a t-shirt.  Do biker shorts really make a difference or are they even necessary?  For camping does anyone have any light weight suggestions?

Lastly and probably most importantly, is Oregon to Los Angeles perhaps too much?  Is there anything I should take into consideration?  I plan on doing it in three weeks.

Oh, and also, where can I get one of those ACA maps?

Offline whittierider

Re: Oregon to Los Angeles and Gear Questions
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2009, 03:16:30 pm »
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I recently rode my bike to San Diego from Orange County and was now wanting to step it up a notch.  On my last ride I was ill-equipped and ill-prepared (150 dollar bike from Target, wore a backpack-ouch, didn't bring enough money)  But I made it!
That's a very nice sub-one-day ride.  You might want money for lunch and then money to take the early-afternoon train back.  I've done it many times with just a seat bag for the tire levers, spare tube, patch kit, mini pump, wallet, cleat covers, and a few allen wrenches.

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I obviously need a new bike to replace my 150 dollar one.  I'm assuming I have to spend between 500 to 1000 bucks.  And I heard you need to be sized for them.  Does anyone have recommendations on types of bikes?
http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/buyersguide.cfm

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Also as far as panniers vs. trailers, which do you recommend for a long ride.
and
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For camping does anyone have any light weight suggestions?
I'm no expert on this one but I understand the equipment has gotten much lighter in recent years.  The general concensus seems to be that the trailer is overkill and more people prefer panniers than the trailer.  One of the related discussions here is at http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=4977.0 .  Be sure to read all three pages of it.

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And on my last ride I just rode in shorts and a t-shirt.  Do biker shorts really make a difference or are they even necessary?
Let's put it this way-- they're not for style.  Yes, they are very functional.  Saddleburn is caused by sitting on seams and wrinkles as you move slightly back and forth tens of thousands of times.  Cycling shorts are tight to avoid the wrinkles, and have the pad to keep you from sitting on seams.  Wearing underwear with them partly defeats their purpose.  The jerseys are functional too, being snug to avoid unnecessary wind resistance and having the pockets in the back so you don't bump the contents with your thighs.  A long zipper gives variable cooling.  (My jersey zipper comes down only for climbs.)  You'll want cycling shoes with cleats too, so you can use a better balance of muscles and higher cadence for less fatigue and for more power when you need it.  Gloves have at least three functions I can think of offhand too.

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Lastly and probably most importantly, is Oregon to Los Angeles perhaps too much?  Is there anything I should take into consideration?  I plan on doing it in three weeks.
It sounds like you're trying to go from a good paper airplane to flying a sophisticated fighter jet all in one step.  Hopefully you mean you plan to take three weeks to do it, not start in three weeks.  Do an overnighter, then a three-day ride.  Take time to do a lot of reading.  I wouldn't do it at this time of year with the short, cold days and a lot more chance of rain, but that's just me.

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Oh, and also, where can I get one of those ACA maps?
http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/index.cfm and http://www.adventurecycling.org/store/index.cfm/category/15/pacific-coast-route.cfm
« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 03:32:53 pm by jsieber »

Offline David85

Re: Oregon to Los Angeles and Gear Questions
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2009, 09:49:44 pm »
That is awesome advice!  Thanks a lot!

  And no, I'm not leaving in 3 weeks.  I'm gonna do it in june-ish when it heats up a bit more.  I plan for the trip to last 3 weeks. 

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Oregon to Los Angeles and Gear Questions
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2009, 12:11:03 am »
I did it June-July, from Olympia, WA to Santa Monica in 20 days, 72 mpd average.  I agree you should take some shorter trial run weekenders, etc.  The answers given above are excellent, although I'd consider a trailer.  I much prefer it, and have tried both ways over 30 years.  There have been many forum discussions on this issue on this site.  It all ends up being a matter of balancing advantages, disadvantages, and each to his own.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline mikedirectory2

Re: Oregon to Los Angeles and Gear Questions
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2009, 07:55:36 pm »
I am dying to go to Oregon, is it beautiful?
May the skies be blue and the road be flat... Happy Riding.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Oregon to Los Angeles and Gear Questions
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2009, 11:54:32 pm »
Yes, many parts are beautiful.  The west is wetter than the east part, which contains a lot of high desert.  The Cascades Mountains run N to S all the way down the state.  As with all beautiful places, in my mind, the best way to explore it is on a bike!  Check it out.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline staehpj1

Re: Oregon to Los Angeles and Gear Questions
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2009, 07:14:48 am »
I am dying to go to Oregon, is it beautiful?
It was our favorite state on the Trans America with very good and varied scenery, good roads, generally great touring.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Oregon to Los Angeles and Gear Questions
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2009, 09:34:31 pm »
You can spend $500.00 to $1000.00 on a touring bike if you want to. There are excellent used bikes for sale. Some are extremely cheap considering how much use you can get out of them. Get a good frame for $25.00. It is possible to do this. It takes looking around but it can be done. You can change all moving components for about $150.00 to $200.00 at the low end. It is all about tube angles, fit, weight, and a strong frame. I have a frame that came out of the 1980s, I believe. I just change components when I want to do a long tour.

I have seen some pretty good bikes for cheap at thrift stores, e.g., a $350.00 Fuji touring bike for about $25.00, a mid range Trek at a Goodwill store for about $40.00, and a nice hybrid for $75.00. None of these were department store bikes.

Cycling shorts and quality cycling shoes make quite a difference. Good cycling shoes are important for long tours. If I had to get shoes or shorts but not both , I would opt for the shoes. Get shoes that are suitable for walking because some cycling shoes are for cycling only. On long tours you will stop frequently. If you are ok with sitting at curbside and benchside for changing into walking shoes whenever you stop for refreshments, you can get any kind of good cycling shoes.