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Bike tour of the U.S.! Any advice?

Travel Forums North America Bike tour of the U.S.! Any advice?

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1. Posted by ToBeInspired (Budding Member, 5 posts) 5 Nov '13 22:53

I plan on spending a year touring the u.s. on a bicycle. I want to try to minimize my costs as much as possible for the purpose of a blog. I plan on living out of an Osprey Talon 44L during that time.

What are some items, that I can buy beforehand, that'll help save space and be useful on my trip?

Here's my rules (for the blog):
1) Only start with $100. Can get more by working along the way.
2) Cannot pay for living quarters. Can sleep outside (national parks, waterfalls, caves), a friends place, an airport, etc.
3) Must meet at least one person a day, averaged, during trip.
4) Cannot stay in one city longer than a month.
5) Must visit 50 different cities before 2015.
6) Have to visit every state except Hawaii and Alaska.
7) Must release blog content at least twice a week.

Not even sure entirely what gear I should bring, but I want to consolidate whenever I can. Having things that are smaller in size, but serve multiple purposes.

Any useful sites for sleeping outdoors, couch surfing, multi-purpose tools, etc. would be very helpful.

Thank You,
Kyle

2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru, 3534 posts) 5 Nov '13 23:37

Kyle,
I suggest you buy quick dry clothes. 2 pair of underwear, 2 pair of socks, 2 t-shirts. Wash everything before bed and you have clean, dry clothes in the am. Convertible pants are also shorts when you need them. Join 'couchsurfing' if have not already. Post your blog on TP so we can track your adventure. Give me a shout when you are going to hit Vegas. I can put you up for a few days. Good luck.

3. Posted by madpoet (Respected Member, 410 posts) 6 Nov '13 00:23

What I learned from a week-long bike trip:

A padded seat is not a luxury.
Two water bottles, not one.
Get a bigger tent, that you can sit up in. It's worth the extra weight.
A foam pad under your sleeping bag makes a big difference.
If you see a sign that says, "No gas for 60 miles" it probably means no anything for 60 miles, so make sure you have enough food and water to last a whole day.

$100 won't get you far, even if you are couchsurfing. And a lot of parks have entrance/camping fees (at least they do in Canada). I'd recommend starting with at least $500.

Have a great trip!

4. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator, 1865 posts) 6 Nov '13 07:09

I've posted the following before (back in late July 2013)--but will post it here again since travelers come to the US thinking we do things just like like do in their country;--which we don't.

"Just so you are aware, the US employs something called e-verify to ensure that employers here hire only those who are actually legally allowed to work.

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=75bce2e261405110VgnVCM1000004718190aRCRD&vgnextchannel=75bce2e261405110VgnVCM1000004718190aRCRD

The penalty for noncompliance is a minimum of $10,000 per instance--oh, and anyone who reports someone else can get up to 25% of that amount as a reward. So, as you can imagine, the number of illegals getting "part-time work" has gone way down.

Also, you will be required to provide an I-9 form the minute you are offered a job. This will also be checked against the immigration database, and you will be deported if you try to break the rules (and not be allowed to return to the US again).

http://www.uscis.gov/i-9

If you are coming to the US and planning to "work under the table", just forget it. It is no longer possible under the new rules and stronger enforcement methods."

5. Posted by ToBeInspired (Budding Member, 5 posts) 6 Nov '13 07:20

I'm a U.S. citizen. I had a 50K a year job working at a Ritz Cartlon. I'm a 22 male, Caucasian who just lives an adventurous life. I also have a GREAT set of references ranging from the head of a department for a Fortune 12 to EVERY single boss I've ever had. My resume gets me jobs pretty quickly -- I have 14.

Ya, I'll put my blog up here too. I need to update all my profiles on these sites. I didn't find out about these until I started booking my international travel this year. There's a few forums I haven't filled out all my information to yet.

The $100 is pretty much my food budget starting off. I'm going to have to start off with a way to make some money from the get-go. I'll be biking to wherever I can find some quick short time work.

Ya, I need to sign up for Couch Surfing. I'll do that when I edit my profiles. I also need to look into a good tent.

Thanks, vegasmike. I might take you up on that offer. Vegas is definitely a major stop on the list.

6. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1545 posts) 6 Nov '13 12:42

Have you ever been on a long bike trip?

Cheers,
Terry

7. Posted by ToBeInspired (Budding Member, 5 posts) 6 Nov '13 13:08

I do 10-50 miles biking a day, but that's it. I have a Trek 4100, but I may upgrade it before I go. I'll be taking breaks, so my legs will get used to it. I'm used to hiking 12-20 hour days on hard terrain though. I'm going to have to stop and take rests here and there, but I don't mind how long it takes honestly.

8. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1545 posts) 6 Nov '13 13:23

My first suggestion would be to lose the backpack - that doesn't work on a bicycle, period - and start researching long distance biking websites. There's an absolute avalanche of great advice for bike touring, it's not an exotic endeavour, countless people do it so it's very easy to research and do properly.

I also think you've ignored the biggest logistical issue, that being weather and mileage verses needing to work to pay for this. To cover all 48 states during the appropriate seasons when it's possible to bike plus still needing to stop and work plus accomplish it all before 2015 is not realistic unless you sit down with a map and really start to get your head around it.

It's easy to write down a list of must-do's, it's a lot harder to decide on logistics that will make the list a reality.

Good luck and have fun.

Cheers
Terry

9. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator, 1865 posts) 9 Nov '13 08:19

Sorry for not checking out your nationality before making my post. I'm used to responding mostly to Europeans or Indians on this message board, so naturally I made a wrong assumption before checking things out.

Hope you enjoy your bike trip;--and let us know how it goes when you are all done.

Post 10 was removed by a moderator