You're not really riding your bikes all the way, are you?
Yes. We are riding our bikes from one BMX national race to the next all the way from April 20th to September 5th. No, they are not BMX bikes; we are riding combination touring/mountain bikes. We will tow the Beast's BMX race bike. So, we'll have 4 bikes and 3 riders.
How do you know you can ride that far?
We don't know that we can. We know that we can ride from home to our first stop at Tampa BMX. And we know we can get up the next day and ride the same distance or a little more, little less, depending on where our next stop is. So, I guess this is a case of "one day at a time". If you ask me if I think I can ride 3000+ miles, I'd most likely think I couldn't. But if I break that down into one hundred 30 mile trips, I'm pretty sure we can do that.
Who's driving your support vehicle?
Support Vehicle? We will not have a support vehicle. This is not a high end luxury tour through wine country or the Swiss Alps. It's a budget minded but scenic tour determined by the locations of the national races and local NBL BMX tracks from Florida to Kentucky.
Well, if you don't have a support vehicle, who's going to carry your stuff?
We will be carrying all of our clothes, food, cooking supplies, sleeping bags, tent, tools, etc on our bikes via pannier bags that mount saddle style on racks over our rear bike wheels. We'll also have a single wheel trailer that will carry a few small flat items under Coco's soft side kennel.
With riding that many miles, how is your dog going to run that far?
Coco, our French Bulldog, will not be running behind us; she'll be riding inside her well-ventilated dog crate that mounts inside the frame of our bike trailer. Whenever we stop for water and snack breaks (which we typically do every 60-90 minutes), she'll come out of her "house on the go" for exercise, snacks and water. She'll also have extended exercise times during our lunch hour and we'll search out dog parks for her to have some interactive play with other dogs. Although she's only about one foot tall, she loves playing with big dogs.
How will you get there if you can't take interstates?
I was surprised by the number of people who have asked this question. I'm also puzzled by the response to our answer. Basically, we've explained that we will be utilizing back roads, county roads, bike routes and paths. Twice people have said, "if you don't use the interstate, that'll take so long." Considering we are travelling for 4+ months, what's one more day or two, right?
Why is your ride taking so long? I've heard of people who ride from coast to coast in less than 2 months?
This trip is not a race and is not about setting or breaking records. We will be following a pre-determined route and schedule that will require some 60+ mile days and other 20 or less mile days. We'll also spend some rest day without riding at all, to refresh our bodies and minds. We won't be taking any unnecessary risks or riding with serious injuries. Safety is most important, followed by personal happiness, too.
Are you going to stay in Hotels or your RV?
Well, actually neither. Most of the time, we'll camp in a small 7'x7' tent. We'll attempt to stay at affordable state park campgrounds but will consider the most available campground along our route as the day grows longer and we long for rest. Cost is the major reason for choosing tent camping although we plan to treat ourselves to a hotel room whenever possible or for special occassions like the Beast's birthday or reaching a milestone in the trip.
How will you keep your food cold?
We actually plan not to consume food that needs to be refrigerated after opening. We are planning meals that consist of "just add water" preparation and adding protein via vacuum sealed pouches of chicken or tuna. We'll also add protein into our diets via peanut butter and other "sports bars".
How are you going to carry enough food for the whole trip?
We will only actually carry about 3 days worth of breakfast, dinner and snacks at any given time. Since we'll be passing through small towns with grocery stores, we'll restock as we need to, preferably towards the end of our riding day to keep carrying weight down. We'll also most likely eat lunch out to save the time of breaking out cooking gear and making a meal. Once we get to a campsite, we'll prepare our evening meal, leaving our cooking utensils out until the morning meal, then repack them for that day's ride.
Who's paying for your bike trip?
So far, we are doing this ride self-funded. We have some product and service sponsors but as of now, every road expense we'll have will be paid from our own pockets.
Where can I make a donation?
Because we are not a non-profit organization and because our desire to promote BMX is not actually a charity, we are not asking for financial donations. However, if you should offer to make or buy us a meal when we see you along our route, I doubt we'd turn you down. Meals will be our greatest expense, followed by camping.
Are you crazy?
More later; until then feel free to weigh in with your thoughts about our ride and your own questions; good advice is always welcome, too!
Miles ridden so far: 0 (training miles don't count)