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Hello everyone,

I am pretty new to road biking and I'm not sure if I've jumped into the deep end of the pool...... I recently signed up for a charity ride that will go from Providence, RI to Seattle, WA spanning approx. 4,000 miles. Do you have any suggestions on how to prepare for this ride, what to do while on the road, basically ANY tips and suggestions??? I plan to buy a Specialized Roubaix for this occasion as it seems that the Zertz inserts in the seat stays, fork, and post will be beneficial. I've never worn cycling apparel every day for two months before and I'm a bit worried about comfort, especially being in the saddle all day long. Please feel free to share any tips, suggestions, or recommendations that would help me out!!!

Much thanks in advance!!!
 

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for training advise check out UMCA at www.ultracycling.org, RUSA www.rusa.org and PAC tour websites. RUSA organizes local long distance rides-brevets, I'd suggest to contact local brevet administrator. In some places there're organized training groups, they ride 2-3 centuries a week. Also AIDS rides have training groups, worth checking good luck.
 

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Train a little, ride into it

You're going to be on the bike day after day, so you really can ride into shape. Get some miles in before hand, and take at least on 50 mile ride. Your average distance for this tour is going to be around 65 miles per day, and you'll have all day to do it. The key thing is to prevent overuse injuries and chafing. The most typical overuse injury would be caused by riding in too big a gear, so keep your cadence high and work on getting it even higher. The chafing/saddle sore issue is best dealt with by having clean shorts every day, keeping yourself as dry and well-ventilated as possible when off the bike, washing yourself well every day, not sitting around in wet shorts, and having shorts that you've used and liked (don't start the trip with new shorts!). Many have success with some sort of anti-chafing cream (bag balm/udder cream is popular, as are special bike preparations), but most people don't use it/need it. If you do get a saddle sore, which would not be surprising, a little antibiotic cream will most likely clear it up quickly.
 

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Jimney Christmas!

OK, then. What's the name of this charity ride? I live in the Providence area, and you've piqued my interest.

-owmynads

cheetos316 said:
Hello everyone,

I am pretty new to road biking and I'm not sure if I've jumped into the deep end of the pool...... I recently signed up for a charity ride that will go from Providence, RI to Seattle, WA spanning approx. 4,000 miles. Do you have any suggestions on how to prepare for this ride, what to do while on the road, basically ANY tips and suggestions??? I plan to buy a Specialized Roubaix for this occasion as it seems that the Zertz inserts in the seat stays, fork, and post will be beneficial. I've never worn cycling apparel every day for two months before and I'm a bit worried about comfort, especially being in the saddle all day long. Please feel free to share any tips, suggestions, or recommendations that would help me out!!!

Much thanks in advance!!!
 

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First of all it ain't all that long a ride each day.

The distances that you can ride in a day are pretty amazing once you realize that you have all day to do it. 10 hours at 10mph is 100 miles and going 10 mph is not hard at all.

Now it is true that the trip is fairly long but I believe that the current record for bicycling across the US is about a week. My point is that you shouldn't worry too much about the ride being harder than you can deal with-it is actually pretty easy if you have a month or more to do it with a bit of support.

Training is a good idea, ride as much as you can before the trip on the bike you plan to use. If possible try a few rides with alll the gear you plan to carry just to get used to it. On trips like this by the second week even the folks that barely trained are doing fine since they have ridden themselves into shape. Training just makes the first 2 weeks a lot nicer for you.

Don't worry too much about the bike itself. Get something with a triple crankset and the lowest gears the shop will put on. I would suggest getting a bike with a steel frame and fork for comfort and reliability but the bike ain't that big of a deal. If you get something that goes and stops you will be allright.

A good attitude is the best thing you can bring to a cross country ride.

Have fun and good luck.
 

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Advice--always heed Kerry Irons and MB1

Getting advice from an internet forum is dicey at best. On this forum you can't go wrong with fitness and nutrition advice from Kerry. MB1 has more experience and knowledge about riding and practical equipment and accessories than anyone I've ever encountered. I've taken advice from both over the last 18 months and now ride farther in all weather with more comfort than before and have significantly improved my overall health.

One thing I picked up from MB1 is that fenders are great things. It's a real shame that more bikes don't have them. On this long trip you'll encounter foul weather and fenders will help you a lot.
 

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More thoughts.

On a ride that long something is always going to go wrong-if you let it. When things get tough you can treat it as a disaster or an adventure. Disasters are awful, adventures are fun, so I say have fun.

Learn to fix the simple things on your bike. Flats are going to happen, your chain will need lubing often, and brakes and gears will loosen with use. If you learn how to deal with these before your trip they will only be minor adjustments. If you have to learn on the trip it is going to be tough to deal with.

The more you know before the trip the better off you will be. On the other hand lots of born fools have made it across the US without much difficulty relying on the kindness of strangers. I would much rather have people rely on me than the other way around.
 

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This looks like a lot of fun! I wish I could just up and take off for a summer and ride the bike. Take advantage of it while you can!

There's been some good advice stated already. Another thing you will want to think about before it's too late is gearing. I didn't see where the route takes you, but in any case you will encounter mountains at some point. You will difinitely want a triple chainring.

There are some real cuties going on this trip, but all the guys seem to look like Lance Armstrong!
 
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