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Looking for advice for first long bike ride - 1800 miles

Old 02-29-20, 06:46 AM
  #1  
OKRevyve
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Looking for advice for first long bike ride - 1800 miles

Hello! I知 new to this forum, I thought I壇 join since this is new to me. Long story short, I am riding my road bike 9/1/20 from Bourne, Ma to Broken Arrow, OK to bring awareness to PTSD and Veteran suicide. About 1812-1857 miles. I have never done anything like this before. (Yes I am training right now lol) I知 also mapping my route and whatnot. I知 kind of looking for advice on a couple things. I have a couple friends that will be my support vehicle (an RV - so we will save on nightly accommodations as well as save money on food by not eating out every night) so, any general advice for a first timer taking such a long bike trip? I tried to use Strava and it just wasn稚 liking my trip so it never pulls anything up so I quit that idea. I want to be able to map out where I値l be stopping exactly. I have a general idea of the areas I will be stopping. But if there is an easy way to properly map out locations and stopping points I壇 love to hear them! I may just be thinking into it to much and there痴 no easier way lol. If I知 doing all I need to do so be it lol. I guess I知 open to hear anything from experienced riders about planning a trip like this. Not so much concerned about the physical, (well I am but I知 training and have been training for that lol!) more looking for help on the logistics of it all. Thank you so much for any help!
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Old 02-29-20, 07:19 AM
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Welcome to the forum. And hope your ride goes well. I've never used it for a bike trip of this length, but you might want to try Google Maps as a start anyway. Select biking, set your start and destination and it will generate a route. I did it on my phone and here's the high-level screen shot. My first though is the first portion doesn't seem like the shortest route.

It generated turn by turn directions, but can't guarantee every leg is suitable for cyclists, but maybe it would be a start. Best of luck. Keep us posted.

P.S. The yellow exclamation point on this view means your destination is in a different time zone. Within the list of route segments an "!" What have other meaningd.

Last edited by bobwysiwyg; 02-29-20 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 02-29-20, 08:45 AM
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I'm not an experienced tourer but I don't think I would try to plan every days end point as you are bound to encounter varying conditions. If a downpour starts mid-day, will you want to keep pushing on? Strong winds that slow you down? Just seems like whatever you plan, you're likely to end up modifying it as you go and since you have an RV as a support vehicle you can stop wherever.

You may also want to consider doing the route in the opposite direction to take advantage of the prevailing winds.
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Old 02-29-20, 09:06 AM
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https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/
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Old 02-29-20, 09:45 AM
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RideWithGPS.com is a better route planner than Strava
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Old 02-29-20, 10:02 AM
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Aw that’s awesome thank you!
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Old 02-29-20, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
I'm not an experienced tourer but I don't think I would try to plan every days end point as you are bound to encounter varying conditions. If a downpour starts mid-day, will you want to keep pushing on? Strong winds that slow you down? Just seems like whatever you plan, you're likely to end up modifying it as you go and since you have an RV as a support vehicle you can stop wherever.

You may also want to consider doing the route in the opposite direction to take advantage of the prevailing winds.

VERY TRUE 😁 thank you!
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Old 02-29-20, 10:22 AM
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6 days 6 hours?? WTF For a robot who doesn't sleep. LOL Avg. 12.1 mph.
I doubt a girl could do this in 30 days.
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Old 02-29-20, 10:26 AM
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Also try Komoot.com. Have a handy feature which splits longer tours into sections based on fitness and terrain. Have multiple map types to select as well

Review route with Strava heatmaps to see if your selected road is commonality used by cyclists.
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Old 02-29-20, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by velopig View Post
Also try Komoot.com. Have a handy feature which splits longer tours into sections based on fitness and terrain. Have multiple map types to select as well

Review route with Strava heatmaps to see if your selected road is commonality used by cyclists.

thank you! I had no idea what else to use! I appreciate it
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Old 02-29-20, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
I'm not an experienced tourer but I don't think I would try to plan every days end point as you are bound to encounter varying conditions. If a downpour starts mid-day, will you want to keep pushing on? Strong winds that slow you down? Just seems like whatever you plan, you're likely to end up modifying it as you go and since you have an RV as a support vehicle you can stop wherever.

You may also want to consider doing the route in the opposite direction to take advantage of the prevailing winds.
OKRevyve, I think Ogsarg has a good point here. I did the Transamerica Trail in 1981. We used (mostly) the route printed in the map books (how quaint!), but we'd decide every morning where we hoped to stop, based on weather, fitness, site seeing, etc. So we used the route but tailored the stops to suit us. It's great that you have a support van.

For mapping, I have used Ride with GPS, but not for such a long route. I checked out your ride, all the big hills are before you get out of Mass.!
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Old 02-29-20, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by BCDrums View Post
OKRevyve, I think Ogsarg has a good point here. I did the Transamerica Trail in 1981. We used (mostly) the route printed in the map books (how quaint!), but we'd decide every morning where we hoped to stop, based on weather, fitness, site seeing, etc. So we used the route but tailored the stops to suit us. It's great that you have a support van.

For mapping, I have used Ride with GPS, but not for such a long route. I checked out your ride, all the big hills are before you get out of Mass.!
haha I know! Thank goodness 😂
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Old 02-29-20, 11:06 AM
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Be aware that Google Maps in Bicycling mode will often divert you many miles out of your way in order to connect with some existing bicycle trail/path. Also, some of the other suggest applications posted upthread will also show elevation profiles which might very well come in handy choosing a route with less steep hills.

Good luck.

Cheers
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Old 02-29-20, 11:17 AM
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Supported tours tend to schedule 60-75 miles per day. And don't forget to schedule a few down-days. There will be some unpleasant riding days in September. I'd definitely recommend heading to the flatlands of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois rather than deliberately following a shorter but hillier route.
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Old 02-29-20, 11:24 AM
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I have been using WikiCamps for my tours. It doesn't map a ride out for you, but it uses the maps from Google, which you can download to your phone and use even when you have no signal. I never saw the need for constant turn by turn directions while bicycling, since I have plenty of time to make a turn. The GPS worked with the maps even with no cell signal.

I originally planned on using the app simply for finding campgrounds, but ended up using it to plan routes as well. I am a paper map kind of person. I used the app similarly and loved it. It showed where I was, and I could zoom in and pick small county roads if I wanted. Since you are using an RV, it will work well to pick your campgrounds.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...psusa&hl=en_US
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Old 02-29-20, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
6 days 6 hours?? WTF For a robot who doesn't sleep. LOL Avg. 12.1 mph.
I doubt a girl could do this in 30 days.
Couldn't agree more on the time anyway. Doubt I could do in 60. I'm old and slow.
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Old 02-29-20, 02:27 PM
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most state DOT's as well as major metro areas will have bicycle maps.
https://www.dot.state.oh.us/Divisions...Bike%20Map.pdf

https://city.milwaukee.gov/ImageLibr...pSouthSide.pdf
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Old 02-29-20, 04:07 PM
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The Adventure Cycling Association makes maps designed for touring cyclists, which may be helpful for your planning purposes. The maps show the best route for cycling, they show where there are stops for food, lodging, etc, and they have charts that show the elevation profile of the route, so you know what you're getting into each day. I'm not able to post links yet, but if you search for Adventure Cycling Association, you'll find their web site. Sometimes their maps are also sold at places like REI, although typically stores only have the maps for the immediate area.

The Adventure Cycling maps are arranged in sets, and each set of maps has a different color on the route overview map. You won't need any of the complete map sets, since no single set covers your entire route. However, you could buy individual maps from some of the sets, to help plan parts of your route. For example, Map #3 from the Route 66 series would probably be helpful for planning the last part of your route into OK.
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Old 02-29-20, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
6 days 6 hours?? WTF For a robot who doesn't sleep. LOL Avg. 12.1 mph.
I doubt a girl could do this in 30 days.
No girl could? What an ignorant thing to say. Amanda Coker would probably have issue with such a statement.
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Old 02-29-20, 04:18 PM
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Make sure your bike is in order well before the trip. Have it tuned and replace parts at least a month or so in advance so you can get out and ride things and get it checked over one last time if needed (especially if replacing cables). Also bring some spares like tubes and maybe a tire or two, a chain, brake pads and a cable or two might not be a bad idea especially since you have a support vehicle. Take tools and lubricants and cleaners as well. No need to worry as much about weight since the SAG wagon can carry it all.

Wear good cycling clothing that is clean each day and try and keep your downstairs area clean as well. Riding dirty can cause or exacerbate saddle sores. What you might consider is 3 bib shorts so you have one to wear, one to wash and a backup in case the washed pair isn't dry when you need it. I like bibs vs. just regular shorts as it stays in place better and there are some nicer women's specific designs which help aid in bathroom stops but a bike short will work as well. Also having arm/leg warmers/coolers can be handy for chillier morning or evening rides so you don't need to carry bulky clothes.

Also find a good chamois cream. I prefer the Bike Glide from Body Glide as it is like a deodorant stick so it is easy to apply and less messy than creams but you do what is best for you. Remember if you do a non stick based one apply with clean hands.

Stay hydrated and keep in mind plain water is not useful hydration having some sort of electrolyte mix like Nuun or Camelbak Elixir or Coco Hydro is helpful to replenish everything you lose. I typically do one bottle of plain water and one bottle for drink mix and with a good bottle (Camelback Podium or Specialized Purist) they won't hold onto flavors as well so you can rinse and be ok.

Eat well and keep in mind sometimes when cycling it can be hard to put some stuff down so easier to swallow stuff can be helpful. SIS Go ISO gels are great and don't require water to put down but things like GU or chews from Clif or ProBar are excellent as well. Though real food is nice as well especially when you are stopped and have time to relax a little. Test all this stuff out before you go and see what works best for you.

Baby wipes are useful for a ton of things but especially great when access to showers is limited or you need to clean up real quick. They can also help remove grease from hands.

If you are not riding with cycling shoes that is fine just make sure you have something with a nice stiff sole that gives your foot good support. Soft shoes are not ideal for cycling.
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Old 02-29-20, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
6 days 6 hours?? WTF For a robot who doesn't sleep. LOL Avg. 12.1 mph.
I doubt a girl could do this in 30 days.
That's averaging 60 a day. 5-6 hours of riding each day is all. A healthy and conditioned cyclist, regardless of gender, can do that.
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Old 02-29-20, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
6 days 6 hours?? WTF For a robot who doesn't sleep. LOL Avg. 12.1 mph.
I doubt a girl could do this in 30 days.
If OKRevyve can do this, I'm sure you can do this too, Gordie. Don't doubt yourself. We women have to support each other. I'm sure you can learn from her.
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Old 02-29-20, 10:01 PM
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It is important to have a rough idea how far YOU can ride each day to begin with. You will derive that distance over time from your training. Then you can look at route planning.

When I begin planning long rides I use an estimated 100km's/day if fully loaded and 200km's/day if riding light on my endurance bike, as you could with support. I can do those numbers day after day for a stretch. Your numbers may be different.

With that data in mind, I begin looking at the map in terms of 100 or 200km jumps to see what services will be available each day. In your case the primary goal is going to be seeing where you can park an RV each night, or speaking engagements if you plan to do those. In my case it's where I can camp and maybe get a shower.

Then I can flex my plans if, for example, a nicer spot is a little nearer or further afield, so I wind up with some longer and some shorter days overall.

Once I get a rough idea of my major day end stops, I look a little closer at each segment to see what is contained within those jumps as far as lunch stops, rest breaks, stores etc...

But it all begins with knowing what your daily average distance will be. Going off someone else's metrics won't help you necessarily. Go out, with the bike and gear you will carry each day, and see how far you can ride comfortably (as in being able to repeat the next day and the next...). Over time you can increase that distance by building endurance and getting more comfortable on the bike.

Good luck with your goal. In 2016 I did a ride across Western Canada to raise awareness about Dementia and it was a very good experience. I learned a lot and met a lot of really nice people.
https://wecanride2016.weebly.com/blog

Last edited by Happy Feet; 02-29-20 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 02-29-20, 11:14 PM
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I have done a few tours .... I can second the suggestion of Google maps,. On my last tour, one guy was responsible for checking the next day's planned route to make sure it didn't include dirt roads, closed roads, highways, etc. which don't always show up as such on every map app.

Most riders can easily do five hours morning, five hours evening at 10 mph if they are at all comfortable on their bikes---100-mile days, if the weather holds. I'd plan for less (after all, you can stop anywhere you can pull off the road, and have a shower, a hot meal, and a bed ... what a luxury. Good plan! (and good friends.)) That way you can stop and sight-see or whatever, if you choose to.

Also ... call local papers and TV stations along the way and let them know you will be coming. You could get a lot of press and TV interviews, and raise even more awareness. You might even get stuff like school kids coming out to the side of the road to greet you as you pedal by ... great for the cause. Maybe make a website, send a standard email to schools along the way saying you would be willing to talk to kids about PTSD ...... and another standard email for TV stations and newspapers. If there are local veterans groups ... they might come out and do a short ride-along or something, .... ways to generate more attention for the cause.

If you have scheduled interviews, those will necessarily determine your schedule, but in most cases only a day in advance.

As long as you can ride your bike comfortably for five or six hours at a time (or two segments of three-four hours) you can cover all kinds of ground and not even wear yourself out.

Great idea, great cause. I hope things go exactly as they should.
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Old 03-01-20, 09:03 AM
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