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  1. Default Suggestions Road Trip NY To Cali on Bicycle

    Hey everyone. I just finished my first year of college so i figured instead of getting a job this summer i would instead do something a little bit more interesting. While thinking, I thought how about a road trip from my home in New York to somewhere warm and beautiful in California. However I would be doing this on my bicycle.

    Now this is where i need help. I am horrible at planning trips like these so I would like to ask if anyone could give me a specific route from New York City to California. If you can also include in the route some interesting places i would be able to see on the way.

    One last thing I am hoping the trip could be in the budget of $1000 max.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Really ?

    Wow ! that's some challenge, how much thought and research have you put in so far ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    How long have you been training for, and how many miles a day do you think you can travel for every day, and over what period of time do you want to achieve it. I don't think anyone could give you one specific route as there are many options and you would have to do some research with a mapping program for the most efficient route with a bicycle and what you might want to see along the way. Now I know nothing of long distance cycling but if you were to accomplish your trip in 3 months [which would be some achievement I'd say] your $85 a week budget doesn't look to hot ! If you plan on camping you will have a load of equipment slowing you down as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default facing reality

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There are two major obsticles you are going to have to overcome:

    The first is planning. On one hand, you are claiming that you are really bad at planning, but on the other hand, you want to do a trip that will require an extensive amount of planning - far more than a normal roadtrip. You are going to have to pick a route that meets the desires that you have in terms of places that interest you, but you are also going to have to pick a route that will also fit within your own skill level when it comes to a bicycle. You'll likely want to keep an eye on things like elevation, but you also need to decide if you just want to travel on 2 lane highways or if you're going to try to find dedicated bike routes for much of your trip. These are the sorts of things you'll have to do for yourself, and no one else is going to be able to do this work for you. Certainly, sites like this can offer tips and suggestions, but finding the specific route, for example, is one of those things that you need to do as part of planning the foundation for this trip.

    The other big problem is money. $1000 is an extremely small amount of money for a trip of this size. Assuming you average 40 miles a day, that would put on the road for 75 days. I'm guessing that's probably a pretty optimistic goal, but even if that was something you could do, you'd have only $13 a day for this trip. That's barely enough money to eat, especially when you'll need extra calories for this kind of trip, and doesn't leave any money at all left for even basic campsites or a truck stop shower!

    I'm sorry to tell you that you've got a whole lot of work ahead of you, and you probably need to save up 3 to 4 times more money than you're currently planning if you actually want to take this dream and make it a reality.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default getting home

    One more thing that I hadn't considered, presumably you're going to have to get home when this trip is done. That's going to cost you a couple hundred dollars alone in airfare, plus I'm sure you'll pay more to have the bike shipped home (and if you are going to do this, you'll need a bike that is a good enough quality that you'll want to keep it when it is done). If you also have to include that in your $1000 budget, your serious budget issues become even more problematic.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Biking America

    I agree that your budget isn't going to work for a trip of this scope. You may want to consider a regional bike trip instead.

    And, yeah, a bike trip takes special planning. This site has some good information. Note, the webmaster took 4 years to plan his trip. Also check out the Adventure Cycling Association.

    If you do a search for "bike across America" and similar search terms, you'll find numerous websites where people have done this that might give you some good tips.

    But, yeah, first thing is you need to save more money.

  6. Default

    With your budget I would recommend going up to Vermont, Maine, or down to the Carolina's even. If you are not a serious rider then I wouldn't recommend going more than a state or so away from home. Where do you plan on sleeping/showering? Camping would require lots of equipment plus your essentials such as clothes, toiletries, water, food, etc.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Long trip

    How experienced are you in this type of trip - for instance, have you taken any several day trips by bicycle before?

    That budget is very low, and I think you might be better served by taking a trip around your home state or the New England area to be able to fit better within your budget. This might be the best training of all for a larger trip in the future.

    You might also want to check out this website for some other tips on biking long distances, including some of the dangers.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Lovettsville, VA/DC Metro Area


    I would have to agree with everyone else - you'll need a much larger budget - at least a couple thousand more. Stay regional and you might have better luck. One other thing you need to consider for a trip like this is the weather and climates you'll be traveling through. You'll have absolutely no protection from the weather on a bike and will likely travel through many different climates which will put more of a stress on your body. You would need to have an extra thousand or so set aside in addition to your regular travel budget for if you get sick or injured. Unfortunately there is a greater chance of that on a bike since a lot of drivers don't pay as much attention as they should and in return bikers end up hurt. Also, keep in mind that you can't depend on your cell phone if something does happen - there are still areas with out any service, a lot of people take for granted that they have one. I'm not saying you shouldn't do the trip, you just need a much larger budget and be aware of what can happen during it and have a back-up plan in case something does happen.

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