First: I'm planning a solo trip, I don't need a companion! But everything in life is better with a friend. : )
ME: 24, chill, high-carb vegan, drug free. My biggest addition to the trip is my new YAK bob trailer. I'll haul all of my gear, the tent and foodstuffs, and will be able to haul some of your stuff too if needed.
You: Any age, chill, vegan, and respectful. Meaning if you aren't drug-free, don't ask me to join you. Or to carry it in my trailer! :P
You'll need a bike, extra tubes, a bag/blanket, a water bottle, some good road clothes.. and that's it! (and perhaps your own food supply, but more on that down below)
I'll be riding a cruddy old mountainbike, a TREK 800sport, equipped with the trailer and a few essentials:
Tent for us to sleep in; sleeping bag; camp stove + stainless pot; water filter & bottles; rice + beans + noodles. A extra pair of clothes and shoes, and rain gear. Bike parts.
Not intending to travel highways for pollution concerns. I'm not into breathing car exhaust all day long.
I've done this a few times before, with $0.00, but hiking instead of biking. This isn't new territory for me.
Have fun. Meet new people. Stay carbed up. See new things. Do some Youtube videos.
Explore organic farms. Meetups and fruitlucks. Great outdoors and fresh air.
No strict schedule. No strict course.
My only requirement is I will need to stop in populated areas every 3-5 days so I can spange a few dollars to stock up on rice and potatoes.
If this is out of your comfort zone, that's fine. I've done this quite a few times before, and it doesn't take me long. If you have your own $$$ to eat for the trip, good on you!
If not: I can teach you how to spange and dive. But ideally we will be stopping at organic farms and offering work for food exchange. A little trickier over-winter.. but spring will come in no time! : )
We won't starve, or beg like the homeless. I'm a positive carbed up vegan.
My way of spanging = politely talking to people and asking for a few dollar donations.
Not looking sickly and down on myself trying to score change for pity. No way! We make friends and friends help us out. No worries.
Documenting everything on Youtube videos is key. We show our channel to people, and they get a chance to help fund our fun, and be a part of our journey!
IDK. I'm in Central Illinois right now, and I'll be leaving before it snows!
So before December for sure. I can ride out and meet you wherever, and we can start our journey from there.
It will be the trip of a lifetime. Don't hesitate to reply!
Ask me as many questions as you want! I'm so excited!! :D
This sounds like an awesome time! I have a mountain bike as well, but... Monday I will be getting a road bike; you can cover much more ground that way. Have you considered getting one?
Yeah I have thought about road bikes, a lot.
My main focus is being able to handle a loaded cargo trailer, and that limits me to only steel framed (cromoly) touring specific road bikes. Touring specific because the frame has to be super strong so as not to wobble, flex, and bend under so much weight. (loaded racks+ trailer) A typical road bike frame, even if all cromoly, will do all these things. There are a few out there that won't, even not being labeled 'Touring', but they are few and far between.
And then.. finding a used road bike in my size, 28in standover or lower, is incredibly rare. The top tube clearance has to sit lower than the tire itself, being 700c.
They exist, certainly.. but finding one used (affordable) has proven impossible.
Also, not every road in the US is paved, especially since I am going to avoid highways as much as possible. Exhaust fumes are very serious, containing heavy metals and toxic chemicals.
Taking a typical road bike with road slick tires in areas unpaved, or even off-road is impossible under weight. Spokes will snap and rims will buckle.
Outfitting a road bike with double-walled, thicker rims and some mountain tires is a real option. Only if I can find a road bike in my size. (48cm, 17in or under)
And finally, the biggest difference between a road bike and a mountain bike: gearing.
When touring with a lot of cargo, gearing needs to be the tuned in the opposite direction of a road bike.. it needs to be lower.
I need super low granny gears in order to get the bike going after it's been stopped, or to go up-hill at all. My bike+ trailer will be loaded with roughly an additional 90lbs of gear.
I'm not wealthy, or have any savings.. this isn't a credit-card tour for me, where a road bike is completely acceptable. Instead I will carry everything I need, my shelter and kitchen.. my food and water.
Doing so on a road bike would require a Touring bike, my size, and would put me back a minimum of $1000+ added components like better rims and tires, that I just don't have a way to get! :X
The best option for me is a steel framed mountain bike, 26" tires that can handle pot-holes and bumps and off-road conditions.
You are totally right, a road bike can cover much more ground!
But I'm in no rush, and there are too many obstacles to overcome to make it work for my needs.. when taking an old mountain bike covers them all. : )
Oh and update to my post:
I just bought $180 worth of professional cycling clothes. I road 50miles just the other day and needed carbs, so I stood outside the grocery store and asked everyone for 2 dollars. 10minutes later I had $8 and I went in and bought a big bag of oranges.. smashed them down then rode back home. People were more generous and open to chatting than ever. Wearing full cycling gear made me really look the part. It disarmed anyone's suspicions that I was just some kind of hustler looking for drug money or something silly.
Also: I just got approved for Illinois Food Stamps. That's $189 supplemental food money each month. Spent very wisely (mostly rice+beans) it can fully cover a single persons caloric needs.
Going on this trip technically makes me homeless, so finding aid like food stamps and other things won't be difficult in any state traveled. It just takes navigating the right channels, which I know how to do and can help anyone interested.
The idea in the forefront is to stop and offer aid to organic farmers, though. However when this isn't possible due to season or location, other options do exist!