At the event, I will be distributing information about our “Ride the Nation!” plan and inviting fellow BMX and biking enthusiasts to check out our website and blog. I will also be collecting names and addresses of fellow BMXers willing to host us as we pass through their home area. Camping in their back yards will not only provide a safe and affordable alternative to public campgrounds, but hopefully a rewarding evening of exchanging experiences and stories.
Here is our current bike trip route plan:
April 20: 28 miles Home to Tampa BMX, (68 miles to next race)
April 22-24: Sarasota, FL National race (136 miles to next race)
April 29-May 1: West Palm Beach, FL National race (786 miles to next race) (YIKES!)
May 13-15: Clemmons, NC National race (510 miles to next race)
May 27-29: Pottstown, PA National race (162 miles to next race)
June 10-12: New Paltz, NY National race (406 miles to next race)
July 8-10: Pittsburgh, PA National race (325 miles to next race)
July 29-31: Waterford, MI National race (429 miles to next race)(2850+ total)
Sept. 1-5: Louisville, KY Grand National race (852 miles to home)
In addition, we plan to stop at NBL tracks along our route.
When one looks at the details of any big undertaking too closely, one might think it’s impossible to do. We have spent almost a year figuring out the logistics of this endeavor. We’ve examined most all the implications it will have on us and how we plan to deal with them, including:
1) Leaving our home unattended for 5 months: We plan to rent out our current home on a short term rental basis. We’ll utilize our camper until we find a suitable project property upon our return in September. (we’ve been rehabbing properties for 15 years).
2) Keeping our vehicles safe: Our oldest daughter will be home from college from May to August and has graciously offered to drive one of our vehicles regularly. The only glitch is that she’ll be staying in Jersey so one of us will need to drive our Vdub there and fly back prior to the start of the trip. (logistics, logistics … ) Our diesel pickup truck, will go into storage with our camper.
3) Living without the traditional paycheck: Although a good portion of our monthly income comes from rentals, leases and loans we hold on properties, we’ll give up the paycheck from Frankenbutt’s part time bike mechanic job, which has helped us buy parts and gear at or near cost. We hope to offset the loss of income by not needing to buy gas, clothes or all the other miscellaneous stuff we tend to accumulate in day to day life. (I wonder what unforeseen factor will throw a wrench in that theory!)
4) Paying for expenses on the road: We need the support of the BMX community, our families and friends in order to manage our expenses on the road. Besides our regular monthly bills, our 2 largest road expenses will be camping and food. At an average of $20-35/night, public campgrounds could cost about $1000 per month. Besides camping in BMXers’ yards, we hope tracks will waive our camping fees and/or provide some meals. One or both of us will be glad to help out at the track. I’ve been a volunteer scorer since we first joined the NBL in 2002 and my husband has assisted with maintaining many a track. In addition, we hope to secure advertisers on our website and maybe even a few sponsors. (Interested? Email me: email@example.com)
5) Changes in eating style: Not only must we purchase food in smaller, lightweight, transportable (more expensive) portions … we also need to give up anything that requires refrigeration. I’ll be reigning in my diet soda addiction and we’ll need to design meal plans that don’t need milk, eggs, fresh meats or bread. None of those will hold up well in pannier bags down bumpy roads in warm weather.
6) Dealing with fatigue and injuries: Fatigue is inevitable and we hope we’ve built enough “down” time into our trip plan to offset that. We can only hope that by riding smart and listening to our bodies, we’ll prevent injuries. Otherwise, we’ll deal with each as they come along, trying to keep a level head and draw on the first aid we know. We will also keep in mind that this is a trip, not a race. We will put safety first and adjust our route and schedule if need be.
7) Getting lost: We hope that a bicycling specific GPS unit will guard against this but we have not purchased one yet. The one that would best serve our needs costs upwards of $500, money that I’d prefer to keep in our reserve fund. Although my Blackberry has a bike specific google maps app, it is not designed to withstand the rigors of bike riding, weather, dust and … what else? Locusts?? I figure we have a month to make a decision and test out whatever avenue we decide to take on this one.
8) … and the list goes on: I suppose we’ll handle whatever this trip brings much as we’ve handled our lives to this point. We’ll keep a good sense of humor, let the small stuff roll off us and remember that as long as we’re together, we’ll be O.K.
More later; Til then, Feel free to weigh in with your shock, support, doubts, wisdom and your own biking experiences. You can post a comment or email us, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miles ridden so far: 0