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First time, PA to CA ride with a dog

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First time, PA to CA ride with a dog

Old 05-15-19, 09:45 AM
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Thefencingman
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First time, PA to CA ride with a dog

Hey guys,

Riding across the U.S is on a bucket less list of ours and we don't have much experience in riding for a long time. So on the ride it's going to be my wife, my dog and I, riding from Pittsburgh PA (where we live now) to Southern CA (where we're originally from and going to move back). We plan to do the bike ride in a couple of years 2-3, so my question is what should we bring and what routes do you recommend for cross country rides for beginners and do you have a workout plan for us to get ready?
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Old 05-15-19, 09:53 AM
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Welcome to BF

Cross country for beginning cyclists = ambitious.
I would suggest working up to 4-5 hour rides with the dog trailer hooked on.
What kind of bikes do you have?

edit: There are several companies that plan and support cross country rides, I would search their routes for starters.

you might also post some questions in the Touring forum.
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Old 05-15-19, 09:58 AM
  #3  
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First, you may want to have this thread moved to the Touring sub-forum.

Next, although my hat's off to you, that's a pretty tall request from someone without any experience. I would definitely (immediately) start with some week long training rides. I had a group of friends that rode their bikes from Los Angeles to Portland and then to NY one summer. The thing they said they learned immediately is that they had packed way too much stuff. I think they weren't even a week into their ride and they sent a package of stuff home from the road. They realized they did not need 1/2 the stuff they took.

I would seriously start researching the subject not only here but on various other touring websites. You're asking some very big questions. Also, are you going to be camping or staying at hotels? Over the course of 2-3 years you're going to run into every kind of weather you can imagine and you should be ready for that eventuality.
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Old 05-15-19, 10:01 AM
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Old 05-15-19, 10:30 AM
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I've never done this, but does anyone think coast-to-coast (essentially) with a dog is a good idea, especially for beginners? How big is the dog? How would you carry the dog? Trailer?

I do think you need to take this to the touring forum--that seems like a huge issue and I'd want advice from someone who has done it.
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Old 05-15-19, 10:41 AM
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There are a myriad of routes from coast to coast so that can wait until later in the process.
Conditioning, expected time frame and budget all come into play.

Temper expectations. Day in and day out of riding can become mind numbingly boring. I know this first hand.

Sticking to roads is a heck of a lot different than doing something off road like the Tour Divide where you might hit a small town every day or so.
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Old 05-15-19, 10:49 AM
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I'll bite...

I would start here:

https://www.adventurecycling.org/
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Old 05-15-19, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
Over the course of 2-3 years you're going to run into every kind of weather you can imagine and you should be ready for that eventuality.
I think he means the trip is not going to take place until 2-3 years from now. (Assuming this is real.) At least I hope that's what he means. I crossed the country in 93 days, which is a moderate pace for the route I took. Doing that same route over a 2-3 year span would be mind numbing if not done in several legs with breaks back at home.
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Old 05-15-19, 11:02 AM
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Already OK with riding over those PA hills ? imagine doing that all day ..
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Old 05-15-19, 11:03 AM
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What's the dog's FTP? I assume he will be the stoker?
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Old 05-15-19, 11:09 AM
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My advice is that if your dog happens to pass away before your trip, don't replace it until after you complete your trip.
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Old 05-15-19, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I think he means the trip is not going to take place until 2-3 years from now. (Assuming this is real.) At least I hope that's what he means. I crossed the country in 93 days, which is a moderate pace for the route I took. Doing that same route over a 2-3 year span would be mind numbing if not done in several legs with breaks back at home.
I may have read that wrong. He probably means leaving in 2-3 years.

I just hope they do have 2-3 years to prep.
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Old 05-15-19, 11:54 AM
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My advice. Leave the dog at home or send it ahead.

Or travel with a SAG.
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Old 05-15-19, 12:01 PM
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Thank you for the tips. I've been told that I'm ambitious lol. What are the companies that plan and support cross country rides? we do have 2-3 years of prep. We're planning to stay in hotels along the way with very plan out route. Yes I'm thinking of a trailer and he's a medium size dog ( Shiba Inu to be exact ). Thanks again everyone!

Last edited by Thefencingman; 05-15-19 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 05-15-19, 12:25 PM
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For liability (and other) reasons, I highly doubt any company would allow you to bring a dog on an organized ride. (I have come across week long events that do not allow family and friends who tag along in RV to bring dogs.)

Liability issues aside, a supported motel trip with a dog could be problematic because not every hotel may allow dogs.

Done biting.

Adios.
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Old 05-15-19, 12:40 PM
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One thing to consider is that pulling a trailer means a much wider space you need pavement for. You'll want to plan a route on roads that have some decent shoulder space to ride in but realistically you're likely to be forced onto roads with little or no shoulder and you'll be in traffic. That means you'll be at greater risk to be hit and you'll be holding up traffic. Just in general, being in the road with cars (and maybe trucks) flying by at 60+ is unnerving and may be very frightening for your dog. Personally I would not do a long tour with a trailer just for that reason.

If you really want to do this, I'd start riding right away and doing some long days in the saddle with just you and your wife. When you're feeling strong enough, start taking the dog with you to see how they handle varying conditions and long days of riding. If/when you're ready do a short tour for a few days and see how that goes. Don't forget to carry water and food for the dog. Essentially just work yourself up to where you will have a much better idea of how it will be going cross country. If you get to that point, then start planning a route.
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Old 05-15-19, 12:50 PM
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Old 05-15-19, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Thefencingman View Post
Thank you for the tips. I've been told that I'm ambitious lol. What are the companies that plan and support cross country rides? we do have 2-3 years of prep. We're planning to stay in hotels along the way with very plan out route. Yes I'm thinking of a trailer and he's a medium size dog ( Shiba Inu to be exact ). Thanks again everyone!
Definitely listen to @indyfabz as he knows as much or more about this as anyone in the forums. If you're serious about taking the dog with you (and I think you probably shouldn't be), you should probably buy the trailer now and try some rides of varying length with him. Do some weekend credit card camping, for example. Riding for many hours in what's really a cage bouncing around on a road seems like something that could really stress a dog, and I imagine some of them tolerate it better than others.

As well as the concerns @indyfabz raised, one thing you might want to think about is how far you might be from the nearest vet if the dog gets sick or hurt in the big western states. There's an awful lot of big empty you're going to have to ride through out there.
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Old 05-15-19, 01:24 PM
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I recommend you rethink your plans to move back to SoCal. I personally can't wait to get out. Too many people, too much traffic, too-high housing costs, etc., etc., ad nauseum. I can't wait 'til Kalifornia is a vision in my rear-view mirror, and there will be no coming back. I've been here 64 years. Its good times are L-O-N-G gone.
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Old 05-15-19, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Jon T View Post
I recommend you rethink your plans to move back to SoCal. I personally can't wait to get out. Too many people, too much traffic, too-high housing costs, etc., etc., ad nauseum. I can't wait 'til Kalifornia is a vision in my rear-view mirror, and there will be no coming back. I've been here 64 years. Its good times are L-O-N-G gone.
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Pittsburgh has a lot to offer. Low cost of living, low population density, geologically stable, plenty of water, no severe weather. OK weather does suck but it is just annoying, nothing dangerous.

My cousin moved to CA. Moved back in less than a year. Way too expensive for one.

Go on your tour but return back here.
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Old 05-15-19, 05:16 PM
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For some information on traveling with a dog, check out crazyguyonabike.com and search (upper right) for "touring with dog" there are several sources there including this one: https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...c_id=6195&v=10

There are many people who take off on a long tour without any experience but I suspect you will be better served to take several short trips first, even just a 2 day overnighter to get a feel for how your equipment measures up and how your dog will handle riding along with you.

On the ACA site check out their Touring 101 for a good starting point: https://www.adventurecycling.org/blog/bike-touring-101/

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Old 05-15-19, 10:41 PM
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I'm always concerned about heat, wind and sun exposure to a dog. Please discuss this with your vet before taking the dog.
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Old 05-16-19, 02:36 PM
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Last year on the Oregon coast I ran across a guy on a recumbent pulling two trailers - one for the dog and one for all his stuff. I guess it worked for him, but it did not look like any fun to me. The roadway was wide where I saw him, but Hwy 1 gets narrow, very narrow. FWIW, the dog seemed oblivious to what was going on - it just laid down on its trailer and seemed content to wait for the ground to stop moving.
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Old 05-16-19, 09:23 PM
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I think it's feasible esp without the weight/volume of camping/cooking gear. Nowadays many motels accept dogs & there are several bike trailers designed for dogs. As others note one would need practice runs to see if dog & riders are OK. OTOH if one has friends/relatives that could puppy-sit it might be easier on everyone. Trailer + dog is ~40-50 lb alone.
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Old 05-18-19, 06:34 PM
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A single-wheel trailer like a B.O.B. is no wider than a normal bicycle, so much narrower than a two wheeled trailer but I do not know how well your dog would fit in it. I've toured with a B.O.B. and it works well enough but if you are touring self-supported then you will be pulling the trailer with the dog in it and probably carrying four panniers and handlebar bag on the bike for your own stuff. That's a lot of weight to power along.

Train, train, train. I did some looong tours many years ago and, while I still know what it takes to tour, I was mistaken in thinking I could just get on the bike three years ago and ride across the U.S.
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