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  1. #1
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    Question Fixed Gear: Buffalo NY to Chicago Il (Ride For Alex)

    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 within 5-7 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.

    A friend of mine recently passed away. In memory of him, I'm trying to put together a fundraiser for his family.
    Last edited by Johnny Gowen; 01-11-2014 at 02:05 PM.

  2. #2
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    How big a ride have you done? Using reasonably bike-friendly roads between those cities, the distance will be closer to 600 miles than 500, so even in 4 days it's more than 140 miles a day -- a big challenge on a multi-geared bike with a light load. On a fixed gear, carrying supplies (or do you have a support driver?) it's huge, for anyone but a very experienced long distance rider. I know there are no mountains on that route, but there will be wind, and at times you'll be very over-geared.

    This might be doable, but not without a lot of planning and some support, and very probably not in that time frame -- 7 or 8 days would still be a challenge.

    By the way, it's not considered good forum etiquette to post the same question in multiple sub-forums, and it reduces the usefulness of the answers, because people may respond in one place not knowing what someone has already posted in another.
    Eppur si muove.

  3. #3
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    riding to Chicago

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Gowen View Post
    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.
    Dear Johnny. That's quite an amazing and ambitious undertaking. And the reason for doing it inspiring. I'm also planning a ride to Chicago sometime this spring/summer myself from buffalo. But just for the fun of it. I don't think 3 or 4 days is a possibility for me but I do plan on possibly 5 or 6. Maybe if were leaving around the same time I could hook up with you for the first link of your ride. Good luck in your endeavor. I'm a 56 year old man who just loves riding and staying in shape.

  4. #4
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    Ahhh, Buffalo riders!! I'm actually from the Silver Creek/Dunkirk area, but moved out of WNY in 1982!! Love that area, but way too cold for these 54 year old bones!!

    I couldn't imagine pedaling a single speed bike close to 600 miles in 4-5 days. It's very commendable wanting to do a charity ride for your friend, but I think you need to take the weather and terrain into consideration as well. I know it can be very windy, with gusts of wind coming in off the Great Lakes. The weather can also be cold and blustery, even in the spring. In summer, the days could be dark and cloudy too. You'd have to have enough clothing for pretty much the warm, cold, and rain, assuming you're not thinking of doing this in winter, which I would never attempt to do.

    A single speed bike is going to create challenges physically, especially if you're carrying your gear on your bike. There could be some stretches of rolling hills though WNY, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and even into Illinois. That, coupled with weight, will not work in your favor for a single speed bike. You'd be expending a lot of energy. You'd be much better off with a multiple speed steel bike, like a Surly.

    You might, at best, accomplish 50-75 miles a day tops with gear loading you down.

    Then, you need to figure out sleeping and eating arrangements.

    It could cost you quite a bit to complete your ride.

    Do you plan on pedaling back, or having alternate transportation bringing you back?

    A lot of things to think about and consider.

  5. #5
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    This is not a single speed bike by any means and I ride the bike trail which from what I've seen is fairly flat most of the way. It is not my friend but I was answering a young mans post. I rode around 3000 miles last summer so I don't think 500 miles in 5 or 6 days is a difficult feat. But I'm always up for a challenge. The sense of accomplishment will be rewarding and I'm scheduling transportation for the return back. But thank you for the concern and the information. Happy holidays!!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaneroyale View Post
    This is not a single speed bike by any means and I ride the bike trail which from what I've seen is fairly flat most of the way. It is not my friend but I was answering a young mans post. I rode around 3000 miles last summer so I don't think 500 miles in 5 or 6 days is a difficult feat. But I'm always up for a challenge. The sense of accomplishment will be rewarding and I'm scheduling transportation for the return back. But thank you for the concern and the information. Happy holidays!!!
    Well, that's commendable anyway for your benefit!! Enjoy the ride!! Merry Christmas!!

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    As has been said before, that is an inspiring and ambitious undertaking. I ride both geared and fixed and have found that over short, moderately flat distances, I am just as fast on my fixed as on my geared bike. I can't imagine that to be the case over 600 miles while carrying all the necessary gear.

    A good place to start thinking about this would be to strap 50-100 pounds of stuff on you and your bike (fill a bunch of 1 gallon milk jugs with water, among other things) and ride everywhere like that for the next few weeks. Every day of the next several weekends do 50 miles out and back from your house (with the weight). See how that feels and if your bike can take it, and go from there.

  8. #8
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    This is all good info. Thank you for your support. I'll tell ya I run around all spring and summer with a group of 20 some things and every Sunday there's a ride that starts at midnight and consists of hitting every 7-11 in the city and buying and drinking all there beer. Which means carrying an 18 pack in your backpack. Lol. Its hardcore but they make me feel young and give me a good workout. Usually a 50 - 60 mile drunken adventure all over the city. As well as my 60 miles back and forth to work every week and numerous excursions I'm really feeling good about doing this. I'm planning a couple stops like at cedar point. I love roller coasters. And riding in the rain is an amazing and favorite experience. Only sleeping in motels if necessary but planning sleeping under the stars. Wish me luck. I'm taking intense spinning classes while the snow covers the streets. But if its clear and above 40, I'm on the bike!

  9. #9
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    Let's do it this spring/summer! We should find a way to stay in contact...

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