New Shoes for the Big Ride across America

cycling shoe
cycling shoe

The Summer Cycling Shoes I picked for the Big Ride Across America

As I get ready for the Big Ride across America, I am going through all of my equipment and assembling the stuff I  already have to see how much things weigh and what needs replaced or updated.  As an avid cyclist, I have been riding for many years, so, a lot of my gear is outdated.   One of the most important pieces of gear needed is a good pair of summer cycling shoes.  I have already returned two pair of Pearl Izumi shoes as they were about 2-3 sizes too small.  I found these Terra Vent shoes in a listing for Men’s Cycling Shoes  and they fit perfectly.  They are like a sneaker with a stiff sole that has two mesh internal ventilation ports.  The shoe is designed like a sandal with lots of open spaces and mesh ports for air flow.   The upper part of the shoe has the look/feel of a mesh water shoe or sandal.   They look like they will be very cool this summer.   Can’t wait to spin in them tomorrow.

Terra Vent Shoes have a nice stiff sold with optional plate that can be removed for your clipless pedals or SPD cleats. Next, I venture into the realm of choosing clipless pedals.  Here is a cool buyers guide to clipless pedal systems.

Getting ready to ride…new stuff

The Big Ride Across America – 3300 miles

Countdown.  Today is March 10 and we leave for Seattle on June 14th.  Just three months to get our body’s into shape and get our affairs in order.   I have been training 4-5 days/week for a mere 30 to 45 minutes all winter long.  This week,  I made up my mind I need to step up the training to about double the intensity.  I signed up for a Spinning class four nights a week and whew, that is kicking my butt already.

Today we got our tent, which will be our home for many nights while on our cross country adventure. We bought the Northface kaiju 6  which we saw earlier this year at the Outdoor Retailer show.   This tent is roomy and lightweight.  We liked it because it has an awesome extra porch space outside the tent.  This extra space is ideal for our bags.  The tent is big enough to stand upright at about 6 foot in the center.  It is really roomy and has extra mesh shelves you can hang on the inside to dry out your stuff.   Since it will be the two of us, and they carry the bag for us from point to point in a truck, we thought we would indulge in a roomy space.  If we had to carry this tent on our bikes each day, of course we would have gone lightweight 2 man tent.   I’ll keep you posted on how this works out on our bike ride.

Home on the Road
This is the tent we selected for the 2014 bike ride across America. It is a 6 man tent –  19 pounds

Sun Protection for Bicycle Rides

As I get ready to ride my bike across the country, one of the concerns we all have is how to deal with the daily doses of sunshine.  While most of us love being outside all day in the glorious sun…it can build up when you are riding every day, all day.  This can create damaging exposures.  As I plan for this long ride.  I am thinking about all the products that exist to protect from the sun.  Most people just gob-on the sunscreen, which is chemical based and then naturally absorbed into the body as such.  As a society, we don’t currently know the full effects of long term usage of heavy doses of sunscreen, I am one who would prefer to go chemical free.   So, I am thinking long sleeves and white arm warmers for the upper body.


For my neck and ears, I am thinking about this do rag. to wear under my helmet.  I have gotten some really bad sunburns on the back of my neck under the helmet and I am hoping this do rag will solve that because it has a back flap that comes down behind the neck.  It also doubles as a sweat band.  Image

What to wear for cross country bike ride?

To ride across the country in the middle of summer…what should I wear?  We have lots of choices of fabrics and garments.  See Norm below with our stockpile of high performance fabrics… and all we need to do is create.  Now that I have just five more months to get ready.  I am thinking that I want our clothes to be high visibility, lots of 3m reflective and long sleeves to protect from the sun.   For shorts, I think we will use the elite chamois pads as they are my new favorites.  Since we will need to ride 85  miles each day, I am going to need a high quality chamois pad. 


The Big Ride – 2014 – Seattle, WA to Washington, DC

The Big Ride
Start:   Seattle, WA
Finish:  Washington, DC

Start Date: June 16, 2014
Finish Date: August 2, 2014
Total Number of Days: 48
Number of Riding Days: 40
Number of Rest Days:  8
Total Approximate Miles:  3,300
Average Miles per Riding Day:  83

Number of Riders:  40

States Visited: 12

The Big Ride
Washington to Washington