A few of the questions I’ve been asked by friends and family concerning the trip
- Where did this idea come from? Well, I’ve been really into cycling for a long time but the idea really started to form in my head after my grandma gave me the book A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins. The book is about a guy who becomes afflicted with a terminal case of wanderlust and decides to set out on a journey to, you guessed it, walk across America. I want to do the same but, like, the sensible way: with my bicycle 🙂
- But, why?! The short answer is because I can. The long answer can be found here.
- Where will you sleep? The vast majority of the time I intend to find a place to pitch my tent, whether that be in a campground, park (with permission of course) or just wild camping in the woods. Alternatively I will rely on the kindness of strangers using the Warmshowers network, a community of long distance cycling enthusiasts that open their homes (and showers!) to road weary travelers. Check out their website, it’s pretty cool. Lastly, in extreme situations, I will find a cheap motel.
- How will you stay clean? Well most modern campgrounds have some sort of shower facility. If I stay with someone through Warmshowers then I’ll get to use a real one. Being the small town country boy that I am, another option is to just hop in a lake or stream and wash myself the way nature intended (with environmentally friendly soap of course). If all else fails, well, most of my cycling clothes are made from wool which is naturally anti-microbial and doesn’t stink if I have to wear it twice.
- So what are you going to eat? I will be cooking most of my food myself with my little camp stove. That means I will need to stop at grocery stores every other day or so to get supplies. I imagine my meals will be lots of pasta and rice since it’s easy to cook in one pot and also easy to spice up and make tasty! I’m a halfway decent chef so I think I’ll be quite able and up to the task of keeping my gas tank full of fuel.
- Aren’t you afraid of robbers/thugs/murderers/bears/sharks/lawyers?! Well I think most people vastly overestimate the dangers that exist in the good ol’ US of A. Or anywhere in the world, really. I’ve been to cities all over the world and I’ve yet to have an experience that made me seriously fear for my life. Like I’ve definitely had some rough encounters but nothing that has made me reassess what the actual fuck I’m doing there. Almost every person you meet is going to be nice, there are assholes sprinkled throughout every population, but most are just trying their best to be a good person. At least that’s my opinion 😉
- How will you carry everything? I have a bicycle specifically designed for long distance touring (Novara Randonee from REI) and it has a a rack over both wheels that I will be able to attach 4 waterproof panniers to, 2 on each wheel for a total carrying capacity of 65 liters. If I don’t get too crazy with my packing list then this should be plenty of space for all my gear plus about 2 or 3 days worth of food and water. Speaking of water, I imagine I’ll be drinking lots and lots of it. Lucky for me there is space on my frame for 3 water bottle cages which should keep me hydrated between stretches of road without a place to top them off. Plus a bottle stashed in my pack for emergencies.