* * * anyone interested in biking CROSS COUNTRY? * * *

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  • * * * anyone interested in biking CROSS COUNTRY? * * *
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Anonymous's picture

anyone interested in biking cross country this summer (start july/august) with me? new york city to san francisco. i figure 3 months oughta do it. this is how i came up with this number: 3000 miles / 100 miles/day = 30 days. but it's not feasible to do a century every day for 30 days. so, i 1/2 the miles/day and that puts us out at 60 days: 50 miles per day is do-able. then, i added on another 30 days so we can rest, stop to smell the roses, go into national parks, enjoy the ride. i wanted to enjoy the country side, not race across the country. looking at some sites that offer cross country trips, their estimated time is also 90 days.

if you can't take all this time out, maybe you can do 1/3-1/2 of the country with me and i find someone else to do the other 1/2-2/3 of the country.

a little about me - 36 year old asian female. tired of my computer job. want adventure. i've driven across country (sf-ny), now it's time to bike the reverse route. i consider myself in okay shape. last year i did a sprint-triathlon and a century. i plan on doing the montauk century this year. i'm currently in the c-sig riding/training group. i'm easy to get along with.

a little about you - age and sex doesn't matter. as long as you are easy going and want to explore the country. common sense and a knowledge how to pitch a tent is desireable.

regarding sleeping - i was thinking we'd camp to save money. but at the same time, let's treat ourselves to a motel/bed and breakfast here and there, too. i imagine we'd still need camping gear b/c there might be those days when we can't make it that next town/motel, right?

please email or reply to this thread if you are interested or know someone who is. thanks and have a good day.

Anonymous's picture
Uncle Paulie (not verified)
Would love to, but I am not ready yet

I have the same itch as you, but don't see myself doing that trip for a couple of years.

Physically, I don't know if I could make the trip now. My goal is to bike to Massachusetts by the end of the summer, so I've a number of 2-4 day trips scheduled over the summer, mostly to see how my legs hold up doing 60-80 miles a day over the span of several days.

Further, I've never toured with gear, so the trips will include full gear and camping equipment. I figured staying upstate and on LI would be far enough away to gain experience but close enough that I can bail and take the train home if I need to.

FWIW, I wanted to do the Montauk Century again this year, but for a number of reason, I'm not. What I do plan on doing is riding out east on another weekend, camping, the returning either the the next or the following day.

If you have any interest in shorter trips closer to home starting in mid-May, let me know


Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)
Much more sane approach

"Almost 15 years ago (damn, this makes me feel old!), I had that same itch but fortunately, I had the present of mind to try some shorter tours first. You are right to test it out with some shorter multi-day camping trips as shake-down trips.

Because in my case, I found out I hated it!

First, I totally dislike riding with camping gears. The bike doesn't handle as crisply as usual, can't be thrown around as usual, climbs slower, brakes slower... etc.

Second, once I setup camp, I didn't feel like leaving. Breaking camp and packing is just boring after repeating for the 3 time! There's always one more local loop I could do, while leaving the bulky camping gear at the campground, before moving on.

Third, I totally misjudged the average milage I could comfortably covered. Carrying camping gear slows one down. So does having to break camp and pack up each morning. There's not much daylight left to ""smell the roses"". While physically not much more challenging, mentally, it's much tougher.

Turned out, I prefer to set up a base camp and explore the surrounging area unloaded. Eventually, I went one step further: bed down at some nice B&B and just RIDE. Not bulky camping gear, no big deal if it rains, hot shower and comfy bed!

After all those discouraging words, there're LOTS of people who enjoy this kind of riding. I ran into a few who did it several times! When I lived in San Francisco, I frequently bumped into people training to ride across country, usually going west to east. It's much rarer to find people going east west. Starting from New York, you guys/gals are at a disadvantage.

Do those ""shake down"" trip with whoever you plan to cross country with. It may turn out your table manner really get on your buddy's nerve.

Last, if I were ever to do it (x-c), I would seek out a frame with lower bottom bracket than today's typical race-oriented frames. Camping gear had gotten a lot lighter in the 15 years time. Still, all that gear makes the bike rides like a Sears Special!


Anonymous's picture
<a href="http://www.OhReallyOreilly.com">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
Sounds nice

If I could convince my employer to sponsor me, I'd jump at the opportunity. I'd rent a Winnebago for the rest of the family and even rename my bicycle Charley.

One thing to consider is traveling from West to East as your more likely to encounter tailwinds in that direction and you climb the Rockies earlier in the trip. In fact, that's what RAAM (Race Across America) does.

Anonymous's picture
sizzler (not verified)
A great test ride...
Anonymous's picture
tiem travel (not verified)

a few things:
there will be more head wind going west.
If you are not use to carrying gear, 100 miles a day is a bit much.
Be lucky if you average 12 miles an hour.
It will wear on you more than you think.
Rainy days can totally TOTALLY suck, everything will get wet.
perhaps start with a shorter trip, a week or 2 and a few 100 miles.
that will also give yourself time to dial in all your gear.

Anonymous's picture
Michael (not verified)
x country

dont listen to all these people, riding cross country is an amazing experience! you will not regret it.

A few quick pointers:
If possible, try to find a touring bike that has braze ons for racks and panniers for carrying gear. Cannondales are great, even if you have to buy one, it is worth the money if you can afford it. You dont want to try to attach panniers to a racing bike. mtn bikes and hybrids will slow you down also.

Check out Adventure Cycling (formerly Bikecentennial), they have maps and gear for self supported long distance cycling trips, they also run reasonably priced trips if you dont want to deal with the planning or want some company. There are other groups that also sponsor reasonable x-country trips if you search the web.

The idea that winds blow west to east is BS and an urban myth. (it actually is true to some extent but it is not enough to favor going west to east). East west is the way to go. who wants to ride all the way cross country and end up in NJ? All the best scenery and climbing is in the west and you can ride you way into shape starting east and be in top shape to enjoy the rockies etc when you get there. When my wife and I rode x country, we met tons of people who believed this nonsense and regretted suffering through the cascades and rockies because they werent in shape and were dissapointed about having nothing to look forward to when they came east. If you can, start in NY and head west. Will you have windy days? sure, but so will you if you go the other way.

We also met people who did credit card bike touring, no camping or cooking gear, all hotels and restaurants. If you dont like camping or dont want to carry your gear, that is the way to go. You can always do both, which is what we did, dont feel like camping in the rain? stay in a motel. be flexible. the nice thing about cycling is that you are in contact with the world and have alternatives, unlike long distance hiking in the woods for days at a time.

We averaged 85 miles per day without killing ourselves. some days it was 45 some days 120, depending on terrain, wind, general malaise etc. remember, you have all day to get to where you are going. even if you ride 10 mph, if you ride from 8 am to noon and 2 to 5, that is 70 miles.
If you get sick of riding, hop on a bus/train/plane to help move you along and refresh and then start again. I it sucks, come home, no big deal.

Cycling across the country is an amazing way to see the country and meet people. You will not be disappointed if you try, you will only be disappointed if you let naysayers tell you why not to do it.
Feel free to contact me offline.

Anonymous's picture
<a href="http://www.OhReallyOreilly.com">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
urban myth

"Who wrote in this thread that she should not do the ride?!?

The idea that winds blow west to east is BS and an urban myth. (it actually is true to some extent but it is not enough to favor going west to east). East west is the way to go. who wants to ride all the way cross country and end up in NJ?

Then why does RAAM ride from West to East and incidentally finish in NJ? Or for that matter why is it significantly faster traveling by plane to NYC from Tokyo than the other way around?

Yeah, it must be an urban myth. Let us know for sure the next time you ride in the other direction.




If you do not think western winds are significant and NJ makes for boring cycling, you obviously have not tried a ride like this:


or this


Anonymous's picture
DvB (not verified)

Thanks for those links on the jetstream. Next time I'm riding in the upper reaches of the Earth's troposphere, I'll be sure to insist on a west-east route.

For most of my rides on the SURFACE of the Earth, I've found much pleasure in not really caring which direction I'm headed. But that's just me.

Just curious: Is it better to ride from California to Japan, or vice-versa?


Anonymous's picture
<a href="http://www.OhReallyOreilly.com">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)

"If wind is significant for a jet plane, then it certainly is true for a cyclist riding day-in-day-out. Or is it that your position is wind resistance for cycling isn't really a concern?

For starters try reading the links more closely, like ""US Current Surface Winds"" as well as read the remaining links I provided before you blow more wind. Or better yet do your own research and maybe you will have something remotely interesting to write."

Anonymous's picture
DvB (not verified)
[please delete]

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Anonymous's picture
Walter Lindsay (not verified)

Ever hear of the Santa Ana winds or the Chinook winds- easterly local wind systems?

Anonymous's picture
Walter Lindsay (not verified)

oops! easterly and westerly local wind systems

Anonymous's picture
X-Country Cyclist (not verified)
DO it

20 years ago I did a cross country bike trip and it was one of the best things I ever did. I was unable to find anyone to do it with, so did it solo and had no problems (however, I was a mid-20s male, not a woman - although I am not sure it would have mattered). Went from NY to Florida, across the Southern states and Texas (Texas is endless!) to San Diego and up the coast to San Francisco. The only real problem I had was adjusting, as a suspicious New Yorker, to the overwhelming hospitality I received. People bought me meals, suggested routes, even gave me a place to stay (and no, there was nothing illicit in their offers). A fantastic experience. To save money, I often found a place to sleep hidden by the road. Or asked at a church if I could sleep behind the building (they usually let me stay inside). If the weather was miserable, I would treat myself to a cheap hotel (the hot water and a roof made even a Motel 6 seem like a Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton).

In terms of winds, I won't comment on the NOAA weather reports. From NY to San Diego, I don't remember the winds being consistently from the west. Or east. I do, however, remember that the wind on the west coast went from North to South almost every day. At times, it got depressing going against the wind almost every day and only the beautiful scenery kept me going.

My mileage ranged from 40 to 140 per day with a medium heavy gear load including a tent and sleeping bag (but no cooking equipment -- too heavy and at the end of the day I was often too tired to cook). WHen you get up at dawn (very easy if you are sleeping outside) you can get in a lot of miles before lunch. But I strongly agree with your idea that it is not a race -- when I found a nice place, I hung around for a day. Or two. Or three.

While it is presumptious of me, perhaps, to suggest that a woman do the trip solo as I did (pls don't flame me for sexism, NYCC members), I strongly urge you to do the trip. You won't regret it!

Anonymous's picture
audra (not verified)

I did a 2 week 700 mile solo tour last spring.
Sad to say, I was THE ONLY woman out there, while I met a lot of really nice men, I met no women at all.
And I had no problems alone.

Anonymous's picture
Jay (not verified)
see my article in April, 2006 NYCC Bull

"if you don't have it, try ""archives"" in a few weeks or I'll send you a copy."

cycling trips