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Riding The USA- New and Beginner Rider... Hoping To Learn!

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Riding The USA- New and Beginner Rider... Hoping To Learn!

Hi everyone! I am new to this site, and I am new to bicycle touring- I have yet to begin, I am 31, currently residing in Ohio, and I am really nervous, and a bit confused. I am on disability, and I have found that most of the equipment used for bike touring is extremely expensive. I used to hop freight trains and hitch around the USA, so I know a bit about traveling and such- but this is all new to me. I am trying to learn what the best and cheapest racks and panniers would be, and I am currently starting with investing in a folding bike- Im crossing my fingers on hopefully winning one on Ebay at this very

I would love any advice on starting my tour- my plan is to start from here, in Zanesville OH, ride to Columbus, and then make my way down to FL and then across the US, working my way west, since it will be winter. I plan to elude TX (got some problems with the law there lol), possibly risk taking a bus to Austin where my friends are, or take a bus through, and then reach the other side. My plan is to hit up the FL Keys, then NOLA, then AZ to visit my mother, then CA, up to OR, WA, and up through Montana, all the way back to NYC. (I plan to eventually settle there.) I am going to take my time, and see what happens along the way- I am enthralled by this website, as during my previous travels, I ran into many bicycle and walking travelers, and I never thought I would be able to do it...

I need a plan to lose some weight and gain physical strength while getting ready for my trip. I plan to leave in two-three months, and I am 25 lbs overweight... and would love to figure out a way to incorporate my bicycle into the plans. Right now I have two beach cruisers- one rare and one crappy Huffy that I love.. lol.. and do not intend on using these bikes obviously to tour, but for now they are fun. I would love ANY advice- gear, training, places along the way- and also, maybe a ride buddy :) Its always fun, but traveling alone gets boring after awhile . Hope to meet some of you soon!

My friends and family think I am crazy- I guess they always have. But I have to do what makes me happy :)


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Some tips around diet...

Hi Meg,
I am disabled, and watch my diet also.
My diet might do the trick....
Take care,
Best wishes,

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Your upcoming tour.....

Hi Meg. I think what you're doing is great. Best of luck and stop by for a night's stay when you
get to our neck of the woods. Just a thought- don't worry about the law, and cycle thru Texas without
a second thought. Cops do not care at all about cyclers, and won't stop you for any reason I can
think of (unless you are in an accident, or rob a bank on your bike). To them you are a non-threat.
Other thoughts- Some folks use folding bikes for touring (see the "Circus Bears" tour here on WS for
a look at touring with Bike Fridays). I wouldn't. Not a big enough frame to keep from being "jittery"
on the road. You can pick up a touring frame from Nashbar for around a hundred bucks and build up a very
tour-friendly bike around that frame fairly cheaply. Use scavenged parts from other yard sale bikes.
Tires- DO NOT SKIMP ON TIRES!!! Buy some Schwalbe touring tires (Marathon Plus) and cut your flats by 90%
Anyway- again, good luck. Jerry in Benson, Az.

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Wishing you well...

A folding bike? I wouldn't.
Consider the value of a CLWB recumbent for a long ride like you are planning instead. A hybrid or modified mountain bike may also prove more durable and comfortable for the long haul.
Blackburn and Orleib have popular accessories for a reason.
I think advertising on the web that you are a disabled woman, mostly traveling alone, on an openly vulnerable mode of transport, through vast areas, can set you up for trouble.

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bike co-op can help ya go with a steel luged frame ask for them to size it. i am on a tour so e-mail me

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touring equipment and weight loss

1) I don't think you should skimp on panniers. I did my first tour last year and spent a lot of time researching and physically looking at a broad array of panniers, particularly lower costing ones. In the end I bought the Ortlieb BikePacker Plus from Wayne at (this was a fabulous decision, Wayne has the best prices, extremely helpful guy, and I love my Ortliebs). I've continued to use at least one of them on my almost daily rides since I did my first tour last year.

2) Regarding weight loss, I'm a pro: I've discarded 156 unwanted pounds through a program called IGNITE ( that promotes a healthy immune system, proper nutrition, and clean natural sources of energy and gentle but effective body detoxification. I'm 62 (twice your age) and feel better than I did when I was 30. I still have about 45 lbs to get rid but have become an incredible athlete. Pretty amazing when I think that just a few years ago I struggled to step from the street to the curb and literally cried in pain going up a flight of stairs - now I think nothing of cycling 50 miles in a day with some significant hills and heat.

3) You haven't said why you are on disability - and mention a problem with the law in Texas - hmmm - I would probably clarify that if you want to be hosted by warmshowers folks.

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How close are you to finding a bike for your trip? I am going from texas to florida and then from there to virginia and then across the u.s.a. to san francisco. wanna ride with me? I too am new at this but I am gonna do it. Let me know by email or call me.

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