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Plan Your Bike Road Trip
So you want to take a road trip adventure on a bicycle. Maybe you're not a cyclist you just want a great adventure like us. You could just get up buy a bike and go. But most of us need some what of a plan before we leave. This section of our site is something we put together to try to help others plan their very own cycling adventure. Whether you want a cross country trip or a shorter trip we hope this section helps you.
Bicycle Equipment
  • Bikes Giant FCR (2)
  • Rear racks (2)
  • Panniers (2 sets)
  • Water bottle/cages (3)
  • Headlights (2)
  • Odometer (1)
  • Saddle Bag under rear of seat (2)
  • Camelbak stlye pak w/ bladder (2)
  • Triangle Bag (1)
  • Gps handlebar mount (1)
  • Handlebar mount mirror (1)
  • Eyeglass mount mirror (1)
  • Helmet mount mirror (1)
  • Blinking tale/safty light (2)
  • Camera mount (1)
  • Bike Locks (3)
Clothing
Jonathan
  • Pants (2, 1 riding, 1 pr jeans)
  • Board Shorts (2)
  • Padded Cycle Shorts (2)
  • Socks (4, 2 long, 2 short)
  • Underwear (2)
  • Soccer Slides (1)
  • Bike shoes w/ clamps (1)
  • Short sleeve shirt (2)
  • Long sleeve shirt (2)
  • Sleeveless shirts (1)
  • Button Up (1)
  • Bike Helmet (1)
  • Bike Gloves (1)
  • Warm gloves (1)
  • Hat (1)
  • Sunglasses (2, 1 dark, 1 light)
  • Toboggan (1)
  • Hoodie (1)
  • Legwarmers (i cut off sleeves from a long sleeve shirt)(1 pr)
  • Shoe Covers (1)
  • Rain jacket (1)
  • Poncho (1)
Ashley
  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • Bike shorts
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Soccer slides
  • Short sleeve shirts
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Nice shirt
  • Bike shoes w/ clamps (1)
  • Bike Helmet (1)
  • Swim suit (2)
  • Bike gloves (1)
  • Warm gloves (1)
  • Rain jacket (1)
  • Shoe Covers
  • Leggins
  • Sunglasses (2, 1 dark, 1 clear)
  • Bandana
  • Poncho
One of the biggest things you will have to consider is what equipment you will need and how you will carry it. If you are a supported rider this may not be that big of a deal, just have your supporters carry it for you. If you are self supported it will be a little harder. You have two options (that I know of). Option 1: have a trailer hooked to your bike. This to me sounds like it would make riding quite a bit harder. But i'm sure you can put a good amount of eqipment on it. We're doing Option 2: riding with panniers. We have rear cargo racks which sit right above the back tire. Ashley is using a Topeak Explorer bike rack (about $30 on amazon). I am using a Topeak rack which is designed for a Babysitter child seat which I found at Goodwill for $3.00. If its good enough for a baby it should be good enough for gear. Our clothing and gear will go inside the panniers which secure to the side of these racks. I am using a set of Axiom Champlain panniers. Ashley is using a set of Topeak pannier Dry Bags. We will also carry a backpack which we can sit on top of the rack and panniers. This is a list of the equipment we will be taking on our trip:

Camping Equipment
  • 2-3 person tent (1)
  • Sleeping bag (2)
  • Small camping stove (1)
  • Matches/lighter
  • First Aid Kit (1)
  • Nylon Rope (1)
  • Flashlight (1)
  • Headlamp (1)
  • Tarp (1)
  • Blanket (1)
  • Dry Sacks (4 Lg, 4 Md, 4 Sm)
  • Sewing Kit(1)
  • Knife (2)
  • Pot (1)
  • Silverwear (2 ea. fork, spoon)
  • Bungee (6, for extra)
  • Duct Tape (1)
  • Can Opener
  • Trashbags (3)
  • Zipties
  • Ziplock bags
  • Safty Pins
Toiletries
Both of Us
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towel (1)
  • Toothbrush (2)
  • Tooth Paste (1)
  • Mouth Wash
  • Floss
  • Deodorant (1)
  • Fingernail Clippers
  • Hair/Bodywash
  • Face Wash
  • Sun Screen
  • Bug Spray
  • Razor
  • Shaving cream
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Shammy Butter
  • Lotion
  • Tweezers
Ashley (Gotta Stay girly!)
  • Make up (as little as possible)
  • Face Lotion
  • Neck/eye cream
  • Q-tips
  • Cotton balls
  • File
  • Clear nail polish
Extras
For Repairs*
  • Wallet
  • ID
  • Camera
  • GPS
  • Cell Phone
  • Pepper Spray
  • Chargers for Electronics
  • Extra Batteries
  • Maps of Each State
  • Tripod
  • Extra Tire (1)
  • Extra Tubes (2)
  • Chain/gear lube
  • Extra Spokes (2)
  • Tools (1 bike tool, Co2 pump with tools on it, extra allen wrench)
*We bought matching bikes with the same size wheel so our tires, tubes and spokes are interchangable
Food (The Most Important)
  • Instant Oatmeal Packets
  • Trail Mix
  • Nuts
  • Protein/Breakfast Bars
  • Protein Powder
  • Dried Fruit
  • Apples
  • Grahm Crackers
  • Dry Cereal
  • Canned Chicken
  • Canned Pasta
  • Peanut Butter
  • Bread
  • Tortillias
  • Cheese (block)
  • Spaghetti
  • Spaghetti Sauce

Next you should consider what route you want to take. We based our decision on what we wanted to see. For instance we've never seen the Grand Canyon, our route will take us by it. A few things to consider when deciding your route are:

  • What do you want to see?
  • How long do you want to be gone?
  • Why are you riding? (for the scenery or just to say you did it?)
  • You're riding skills (do you want to pedal up a huge mountain the first day)
  • Time of year (I personally wouldn't want to go a northern route in the winter)
  • Where do you plan on sleeping?

The first decision you will have to make when you start planning your trip is who you want to go with. Do you want to do a solo ride? or do you want company on your ride. Its a long trip and being by yourself would get pretty lonely. For this this decision was really easy. But who should you take. Consider these things:
  • Who could take off long enough to do the journy
  • How many people do you want to ride with
  • Who would be around your fitness level and could keep up
  • Who could you stand being around 24/7
  • Who could stand being around you 24/7
  • Who would want the same out of the trip as you do (if you want to take your time and sight see it wouldn't be good to ride with someone who just wants to make it across as fast as possible)
One thing too you should consider is why do you want to ride? Do you just love cycling? Do you want an adventure? Do you want to see the country? Or are you raising money for a certain cause? We are riding because we want an adventure of a lifetime. A story to tell the kids. We decided however that we want to try our best to help others along the way, so we teamed up with Push America to try to raise money and awareness for individuals with severe disabilities. Why do you want to ride?
Where in the world are you going to sleep on this great adventure?? This all depends on your budget and you're sense of adventure. Now it would be nice to stay in a hotel everynight. For us, however, that's not going to happen. We just won't be able to afford it. So what other options do you have?
Camping! Take a tent with you. There are campgrounds all over the country that you could stay at. Most campgrounds charge a fee to camp but it is very small compared to hotels. I'd much rather pay $15 to put up a tent each night than $50 or $60 to stay in a hotel. There are also free campgrounds through out the country. Call ahead and plan your route to make sure you hit these camp grounds. Illegal camping is another option. Pull off the side of the road and camp. Make sure you're out of the way of motorist. It's probably best to stay out of site so that others don't know where you are. Also, this is what we will end up doing, try talking to people you meet. Maybe they will let you set your tent up in their yard.
Hostels. These are another cheap way to sleep. Hostels are becoming more and more popular in the United States. These are great ways to lay back and relax as well as meeting other travelers.
Couchsurfing. This is a network of travelers set up to give other travelers a cheap place to stay. Google it. Its pretty neat.
Probably the best way to get a good night's rest is finding someone you know along your route. Do you have out of town friends or relatives? Hit them up for a place to stay. Or get your friends from home to meet you out on your journey and stay in their hotel with them. It would be a nice taste of home on your long journey.

Are you fit enough to do your trip? How many miles do you plan on riding a day? Some cyclist ride almost 200 miles in one day. Us, we're starting off at about 60 to 80 the first day. Neither one of us are hardcore cyclist. Since we're leaving in March, the weather hasn't been too great for practice. Also, 6 weeks before our start date, Ashley had a little spill off of her bike and broke her hand which kept us from training as much as we should have. We did, however, manage to make it in the gym for a little cardio to keep us in decent shape. Nothing compares to actually riding though. It is also hard to fit miles in when you have other things to do during the day. This is a list of the little bit of training we were able to do:

  • Nov 26: 27.6 mi.
  • Nov 27: 10.5 mi.
  • Dec 6: 27.8 mi.
  • Dec 7: 23.7 mi.
  • Dec 9: 18.7 mi.
  • Dec 16: 33 mi.
  • Jan 26: 27 mi.
  • Jan 28: 50 mi.
  • Feb 12: 30 mi.