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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Buffalo N.Y. to Chicago I.L. (Ride For Alex)

    Alex Hemline was a 17 year old senior at my school. (Clarence High School, Clarence, NY) He was a classmate and friend. He recently passed away. In memory of him, I'm trying to put together a fundraiser for his family. I will be riding solo, fixed gear, from Buffalo N.Y, To Chicago I.L. (over 500 miles) I've never done a ride this big before, but i know i can do it. I plan to get there in 3-4 days. I just kind of want some sort of guidance from anyone who has any sort of experience riding long distances. Anyone, with anything to say, would be helpful.
    Thanks,
    Johnny.

  2. #2
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    i applaud your efforts on behalf of your friend...

    i am old & not very fast so i do a lot of distance riding, all of it on my fixed bike, to make me feel like i am accomplishing something. i do a metric weekly, an imperial about 1x/mo & an occasional ultra(?) distance ride. a couple months ago i shot for 300 mi in 24 hrs, unsupported. i figured at a moderate 15 mph it left me 4 hrs of rest along the way to get the ride done in a day. sorry to admit that i bonked at 250 mi. i did not have a single drop of energy left & so it ended.

    will you have help? unless you plan on multiple cogs (or rings), your 1st concern should be getting your gearing right. after you have that handled, you need to plan for hydration, nutrition & rest.

    whether to do your 500 mi over 3 or 4 days is a big difference, so you need to make a decision there.

    i'm sure there are other considerations but my my last suggestion is to get started training - now. in fact...i am going to give my 300 mi ride another try, in the summer no less, so i am really piling on the miles right now myself.

    have fun & good luck...

  3. #3
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    Markaitch hit on something that's pretty damn important - gearing. Riding from Buffalo to Chicago will mean a lot of terrain changes. The gearing that lets you handle Pennsylvania will drive you crazy in Ohio. I would think a cog change or two would likely make the whole experience much more pleasant.

    It's also important to think about fuel. Food and sleep could make or break a trip like this.

    Where do you plan to sleep? Will you be couch surfing, sleeping in a tent, or making it a hell-ride and overnighting in ditches? If you're couch surfing make sure you have reliable contact with everyone you'll be staying with. If you bonk, get injured, or if your bike explodes in a ball of fire it will be useful to have someone to call. Some cash in your pocket for an emergency hotel room might not be a bad idea either (random Spring hail storms aren't fun to ride in).

    I tend to over prepare, so take this with a grain of salt. I would have a rack and a pair of panniers so I didn't have to carry anything on my back. Two decent sized panniers would give plenty of room for a day's worth of food, clothing, and the tools to take care of road repairs. If you're camping or hell-riding I'd seriously consider a solar-charger for your cell phone.

    Since you're planning on making this a fundraiser for the Hemline family, also consider contacting some places in towns along the route. Look up the local diner in Town X that you should be passing through mid-day and ask if they can donate a lunch to support the cause. The worst they can say is no, but you might spread more awareness of what you're doing and get some useful support out of it too.

    You might also consider cross-posting this in the Touring forum if you haven't already.
    If you only ride in nice weather you're missing a lot of fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tig View Post
    Had fun building up a bike... Check!
    Having fun riding... Check!
    The rest is just details.

  4. #4
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    @UrbanPrimitive, everything you said really helped as to planning things. i'm not exactly sure about everything. i was thinking of maybe just taking a small tent to camp out in, but with cash for motels if needed. as far as food, i think i'd bring like sandwiches or something, but money for a lot of other things on the way. i want to look more into the specific route id be taking, because i like the idea of calling the diner. Thanks for your help. also, would you suggest bringing like, 2 extra cogs for terrain changes? i still have A LOT of planning to do, which is why i kind of came here for help. i'm not exactly sure what i'll need. Food, clothes, tools, money, water, like.. idk hahahaha

  5. #5
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    i found this cog pack, ( State Bicycle Co. - Fixed Gear Cog Pack )
    would u suggest bringing a few of these and switch them out when necessary? I've never switched my gearing, so i guess i should add some weight and see how it feels. then i'll switch them out and see what'll be best for the overall run. there's a lot of stuff i need to take care of and figure out and plan, but i know i could 100-200 miles in one day. i should plan out a 100 mile circle to ride, and get used to doing that, then make it bigger. thanks for you're help! feel free to come back to me if you have any other suggestions or comments :P

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