Tourfat here. I finished my ~9000 bicycle tour across the United States three weeks ago, but I didn't have the time to post until now. All in all it was 9 months of travel and 3 months of slumming at different houses across the US.
Ask somebody who went from fat lazy bum to fat touring hobo anything.
I took 1500 pictures. Favorite states to bike through were Arizona and Montana. Worst states were Mississippi and Illinois.
did u ninja camp most nights?
how much money did you spend?
any close calls with skinwalkers?
did you pretty much just stay close to major highways to guide you on your path?
can i smell your seat?
Yes. I broke down (emotionally) once in Van Horn and got a motel room. Other than that was cowboy campin'.
No skinwalkers, just deer in rut. And a bobcat.
Pretty much stuck to major highway corridors, especially out West. On the eastern side I mixed it up with county highways and backroads fairly often.
Hard work and the human body's ability to adapt to repetitive motion.
It cost me about $6000 all told for equipment and expenses. I could definitely cut that down to around $4000 if I wasn't complete shit at this when I started.
Favorite part of the country was probably Mt. Shasta area in the California Cascades.
I went from 290 to 220 lbs. However, I was literally without any exercise when I started, so I don't know how much weight you'd lose if you already bike regularly.
Any part of the country in particular? This is the Imperial Valley in SoCal. Shit is too hot for the liberals to move in.
I just started riding again about a month ago and I'm already feeling pretty good. My wife is younger than me and of a normal weight and I can pretty easily run her down if I want.
Definitely want to go on a long trip.
Everybody who leaves the comfort of an air-conditioned golf cart in Palm Springs is a local reservation bloke
A classic rain camp setup in southern Virginia. Here I'm in the woods behind a Wal-Mart. I walked through the rain and bought a discount pumpkin roll in the middle of the night. It was great.
I envy you, friend. What kind of bike did you ride? How/where can I buy a quality road bike that will last me for under 600 bucks, is that feasible? Also, do you have any resources I can reference for servicing such a bike mytself? Thanks man! Grats on your journey!
Congrats! Last I heard you were in California, I was wondering how you were doing.
>How/where can I buy a quality road bike that will last me for under 600 bucks, is that feasible?
For 600 new you'll get a pretty basic bike, but you could get a really nice one used for the price. As long as you don't need the latest, not necessarily greatest technology. Try Craigslist and Ebay, also see if there are local bike forums.
For servicing your own bike, start with http://www.sheldonbrown.com/
I went through one drivetrain and 4 sets of tires. The switch to decent tires in El Paso drastically improved my tire mileage.
Not really. I know basic rim/tire repair and cable/brake adjustments, but I can't really do any work on the guts.
I rode a Trek 8.1 DS hybrid. I got it new for $480. The frame is solid and the drivetrain is decent, but the freewheel and tires aren't adequate for loaded touring. I follow the other anon's suggestion and look for a quality road bike used in your area. The most important factor is size - you can swap out anything else.
And a second for Sheldon Brown, There's wikihow articles for pretty much everything, too.
Sorry I hadn't kept /out/ up to date. Posting on 4chan from my phone is annoying.
>Sorry I hadn't kept /out/ up to date. Posting on 4chan from my phone is annoying.
No worries, it's better to experience things when you're traveling than to worry about staying in touch with a bunch of useless chan tards like us. I think you said you were staying at your brother's for a while so I wasn't worried, just thought you might have stayed there.
I couldn't have done it without you guys. Okay, I could've, but I probably would've done even more stupid shit at the beginning.
Nobody else on this board posts from a Windows Phone and has a plush cow. Pic related is from July 4th in the Sacramento Valley. I got wasted that night on this disgusting bilge I bought at a Grocery Outlet.
I started Sep. 9 and got back Sep 23. I actually stayed with folks close to 4 months, I suppose.
Considering that /out/ has maybe 30 people posting in the span of an hour, pretty fucking good. I can't wait to be called "The Second Coming of Ray Mears."
Timezones, man. It's all in the timezones.
Picture is from when I broke the bolt in my seatpost by being very fat. The bolt was a 7mm hex bolt which the nearby hardware stores and bicycle shops did not keep in stock. I had to buy an entirely new seatpost to get back on the road.
They are the shittiest. I have not replaced them. The right pedal is cracked, splintered, worn down, and bent down at an angle. I really should get new pedals.
This picture is near Big Timber, MT. The Great Plains start in earnest.
I did not ride the GAP, unfortunately. The map doesn't show it, but I cut west from northern New Jersey into eastern Appalachia, going south through Gettysburg to Charlottesville, VA. I actually really enjoyed the Mid-Atlantic states. Northern Virginia was country club-ish, but the southern Virginia forests were great.
15-20 through the Northeast.
30 through the Mid-Atlantic.
40 through the Deep South.
50 through TEXAS.
65 through the Southwest.
2 month break in Central California.
35 through NorCal.
50 through the Pacific Northwest.
65 through the Midwest.
Picture is Mr. Readumlots. Seriously. They named this high as fuck bear Mr. Readumlots. He remains perpetually KRUNK outside some public library in the Northwest.
>biking on the 1
i've been run off the road and almost killed on the 1 in a truck. i couldn't imagine it on a bike. but once you get past malibu traffic is calmer and it is gorgeous so that would be cool.
Shit, not used to namefagging. I accidentally posted on /a/ as "Tourfat."
I took the 101 from Paso Robles until I had to cut west to Monterey. Then I went over to Sacramento and followed the 5 corridor all the way through Oregon into Centralia, WA.
You are the man, really. Spending one year /out/ is not for everyone.
Now as far as questions go:
1-did you meet qts?
2- did you had sex?
3-did you come across dangerous shit other than riding?
4- did you had any weapon for protection?
yeah those are some nice states. Arizona must have been tough. easy to die of dehydration there. Driving through open highways with mesas and cacti on either side is something else though. Montana is a really pretty mountain state as well. New England I think is best experienced in fall and that's one of my favourites. Florida was far and away my most hated of states.
Do I have a picture for you!
Worst water was in Bowdle, SD. I think.
1. Sure, but very few. qts don't always go for the fat, homeless-smelling types.
3. The most dangerous shit was dehydration in the Imperial Valley and Illinois drivers.
4. Naught but a trusty Mora.
I went through Arizona in February, so the weather didn't get above 90 the entire time.
I rode through western Massachusetts in the fall, and it was gorgeous, but I wasn't an experienced enough rider to to appreciate hilly Appalachia.
There's a reason I took Florida off the itinerary.
Jesus lad that's incredible.
Simply stunning as well to think you can spend ~9 months cycling and still barely have seen half of what the states have to offer.
Have you got any more touring plans? There's a whole world on offer. Come to Europe.
I don't know why I'd do oh Europe, but is definitely like to do something like this again. I'm thinking that my next adventure should be boating the Yellowstone River. I can't swim and I can't paddle, but it sounds like fun.
Picture is a beautiful mermaid on the California coast.
What a majestic creature.
What time of year was that? I thought cali was supposed to be sunny and beautiful.
The boating thing sounds pretty good. You can cross most the US like that, and if you start in yellowstone with the goal of hitting sea via the mississippi you get to cross a bunch of states you missed out on by bike.
>I can do 40 miles in a short riding day. I could probably hit 60 if I wanted.
its not really hard to tour all day, its just boring as fuck sometimes.
im 160 lbs and ive done 120km in about 10 hours, i could easily kick it up to 150 if i purely biked the entire day, but after 100km my legs are pretty much jello. my bike had about 50 lbs of camping gear on it as well.
That was early June near Monterey, CA. The Big Sur - and the Central Coast at large - is notoriously foggy from all the seawater. Picture to the left is from "THE ONE," Cali's coastal highway.
MSS is great shit. That bag probably saved my life during the winter. How waterproof is that tarp?
Pretty much. I got my bachelor's degree and then worked for 2 years to save up money. I quit my job and told Uncle Sam to hold my student bills. Now I've gotta' start paying back that compound interest.
I met lots of nice folks. The best folks were a South Carolina family that pretty much railroaded me into attending their family reunion/Christmas dinner. It was a great time.
Not yet. I still haven't conquered all of the US.
In remote places? Pretty much never. In Massachusetts and Illinois? All the fucking time. Illinois truck drivers would literally run oncoming traffic off the road because they wanted to pass me on a two-lane highway.
That makes me really happy. /out/ gave me a lot of good advice when I started, so I want to give a little back.
I was raised in Detroit and I live in Dearborn. I'm more scared of frogs than anything else.
Anyone know what happened to Fatcamper? There was some fat dude who posted about getting into backbacking a year ago. Did he ever make it outside?
Picture illustrates California's bizarre fetish with posting signs and regulations no every conceivable substance.
Anon I'll be doing a 3 days trip with my bicycle and I'm counting do near 100miles. The problem is I don't ride for more than one year and I'll have to carry my backpack on my back since I don't have any support on my bike. How fucked am I?
I really, REALLY wanted to do that. However, I made several promises to meet relatives in Decorah, IA, Crown Point, IN, and Cincinnati. Sometime in the future I plan on biking to Ironwood, MI to make up for it.
Sometimes you just have to bite the salami, brother. You could get a baby trailer for your bike instead of a backpack. I've seen plenty that just on the rear fork.
Picture is the most exciting thing in Midland, TX. There is nothing but oil in Midland.
I'm assuming that's to protect against theft. If I recall copper wiring runs a premium as raw material, so I'm betting they've had problems with people stealing their wire to sell it thinking it was worth something.
Perhaps so. California also demands that supermarkets have posted signs on the front entrances that the supermarket sells PRODUCTS KNOWN TO THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA TO CAUSE CANCER.
I really hope you get the opportunity to do it. I had to give up on getting a career for 3 years to pull this off, but I'm really glad I did.
Picture is one of the many SAY NO TO METH artwork in Western Montana. Few are of this quality.
You went through the exact wrong part of Texas. Nothing out there but cacti, cows, pumpjacks and Mexicans.
Next time, come through the Deep East in fall or late spring. It’s beautiful here. Avoid during the summer, though. If you pedal fast enough to avoid the mosquitoes, you'll catch fire.
I cannot believe you did that insane tour on that wide-assed MTB flat bar. I'd be dying for more and narrower hand positions in like a day. and those fucking pedals, jesus christ.
hats off to you, sir.
Congrats!!! and totally envious. I've recently started up biking after a long retirement. Old Fat Bastard with a bad back here can get 46 miles in 4 hours on a Trek Shift 4 before my foot goes numb. When did you come through PA? I see tour bikers of all sorts all the time on SR5 (BicyclePA Route Z).
Damn, I picked a good time to return to /out/! Tourfat, I remember coming here back in Feb/March when I was planning my RTW trip, and reading your posts, I fucking loved them. I remember you mentioning how many spokes you were going through. I'm really happy to hear that you finished!
Post pics of legs (no homo)
I'm interviewing to be a pipefitter. In ten years I hope to move out to Montana on the oil rigs.
How small are we talking? Good Thunder, MN, Pievna, MT, and Luna Pier, MI are cute towns.
That was partly the point. I didn't want to go through the urban centers of Texas. Too many oilfields near Midland, though.
I did a lot of handlebar push-ups to try to keep my shoulders from going numb.
I went through PA twice, once in late September along the Erie coast, and again in early November from Allentown to Gettysburg.
Switching to a cassette hub solved all of my spoke problems.
I'll get working on that photo for you.
This photo is captioned, "Tourfat Crossing the Delaware."
>MSS is great shit. That bag probably saved my life during the winter. How waterproof is that tarp?
its a milspec poncho tarp, only used it during light-medium rain but it does the job well.
Nope, doesn't really appeal to me.
No crashes or wipeouts, thank God. I had a couple of VEEEERY close calls with vehicles at some points. Most of them were not my fault. I never broke an axle, though after 4500 miles I was damn near splitting my rear rim in two.
I ate homemade burritos, bananas, dogs and beans, sunflower seeds, and any high calorie protein/carb product I could get on the cheap. Canned ravioli was also a favorite for a while.
It really depended on the region, but I tried to keep about 4000-5000 calories in my bags any given time west of the Mississippi. I also kept an "emergency" tin of toffee peanuts (~2000 calories) buried in my bags for 5500 miles.
Filled up at water fountains and other public access locations when possible. I'd also get bottled water if I needed to temporarily stock up on fluids (like in Western Texas). I've got a LifeStraw which occasionally saw use with river water in the Cascades.
The Cleveland cops saw me camping in a city park (not my smartest move), but they let me sleep nearby as long as I left before 4 AM. Other than that, cops only really came up to me when locals reported me for looking vaguely homeless.
The hours varied, but I'd say 6-8 hours daily.
Nope. I believe that's a North Dakota thing? I've been there before and enjoyed a nickel coffee.
Dammit. Let me try to fish up an inventory that I posted to /out/ some months ago.
Of course. Shit always goes wrong, but since I didn't have a clue what I was doing when I started, it's kinda' hard to tell.
I would've invested in a cassette hub and superior quality tires the FIRST time my wheels went to hell. I never would've bought the tent . Also, I never would've spent half the trip stopping in fast food shops to charge my stuff. Public libraries are far superior.
Picture is Snoqualmie Waterfall in western Washington.
No, but good Midwestern folk can't always tell the difference between a traveler eating lunch at a park and the homeless man who sleeps in the park.
Because I used the tent twice before sending it back home. The set-up and take-down was a hassle and it was less waterproof than a couple of $8 hardware tarps. The only time I really wanted it was for mosquito season in California.
It's a nice place. My cousins live there, so I stop by every once in a while. Plenty of great places to hobo camp in that area.
Picture is the coastline of Cleveland, the only place where I got "caught" camping.
wow! thats going to be a thing of legend for your family/friends, good job!
seeming as you traveled for so long did you start to notice any medical irritations or equipment related annoyances (surely you have enough xp to point out the pros/cons of equipment) how did you resolve these?
Could you tell us about some things that went wrong? I am curiouse.
how many tires did you go through? tubes? how did you keep your shit inflated?
how much cash money did you bring?
man i really want to do a fat guy bike challenge myself. like take a week off work and see how far i can push myself.
i'm like 280 lbs so i imagine my biking endurance is shit, especially carrying 20 pounds of stuff.
Shasta. I grew up in Red Bluff.
Congrats, man; it's long been a dream of mine to ride a bike across the US. Hadn't thought about making it both ways.
Of course, I also want to play Tarzan in a movie...
>i'm like 280 lbs so i imagine my biking endurance is shit, especially carrying 20 pounds of stuff.
Meh, I'm fat and I ride a bike a lot, it's not so bad and you build endurance the more you ride, just take it easy the first week or two. You need some nice low gears for the hills is all. Haven't done a big long Tourfat style camping tour since I was thin, but I do weekend trips and I haven't died yet.
As for inflation on the road, Zefal HP-X or Topeak Morph.
>Also, I never would've spent half the trip stopping in fast food shops to charge my stuff. Public libraries are far superior.
If you do this again, would you consider a dynamo hub, or solar panels on your bags?
OP you still in thread?
What gear did you take with you? From the pic of your bike it looks like you kept it light. Ive been thinking of doing a cross country hike in a couple of years and was just wanted input on gear from someone who has actually done what you've done.
Well done tourfat! I posted advice in your initial threads about stuff like travellingtwo and have followed a few of your later threads. I'm really happy and proud for you and dub thee sir tourbro!
May the wind be at your back and the slope be downward sir tourbro, you are an example to us all!
Shame you didn't go Highway 200 in Montana. It looks like you went along 90 for much of the trip?
If you do it again, I would recommend 200 to 87 to 89 through montana and Glacier National Park. Then Highway 2 through Idaho and Washington. Then cross at a Ferry in the Sound and take the 101 all the way from Port Townsend to Southern California.
Youre a fookin legend Tourfat. I'm very envious of your dedication. All my life all I've wanted to do was go on an adventure like that. Anxiously awaiting your item list, I might see if I can do something like what you did
Sorry I was away, guys. I went up to spend a few days near Portage Lake, MI.
15F in Pennsylvania and 9F in Atlanta, Georgia. I dealt with it by layering clothes, getting some cheap polar fleece throws, and tenting under some reflective mylar. It wasn't very fun.
I developed carpal tunnel symptoms after the first day, and on /out/'s advice I got bar ends, but the symptoms faded after a week or so. The new bicycle seat I got in Mt. Shasta caused greater crotch irritation, but I just ignored the rashes.
Nope. Didn't have any reason to fish the few times I camped close enough to fishable bodies of water.
Why are the archives dead why are they dead FUUUUUCK
I'd like to do a bicycle trip of Michigan end to end. I also want to boat the entire Yellowstone River.
My rear rim popped spokes like Snoop Dogg. I eventually invested in a decent cassette hub.
My seat post clamp bolt snapped. No one had a 7mm hex bolt in the entire town, so I bought a new seat post.
My seat snapped 30 miles from Mt. Shasta. I had to rig it against the tension of my sleeping bag straps.
My phone died from the cold in New Jersey, so I got lost for 20 miles.
Picture is the No Fuck Ducks on a paved recreation path in Tempe, AZ. I rode right between them.
Trek 8.1 DS hybrid.
Started with vanilla tires, upgraded to Hardcase and Armadillos in El Paso/Las Cruces.
Went through 4 sets of tires and probably 20-30 tubes. I used a Topeak Morph to inflate my stuff.
I didn't keep much cash on me, but I had around $4000 in the bank when I started the trip. I ended up using around $5000 total.
Phone is a Nokia Lumia 1020. Camera is great, battery pack extends the life, but Windows phones are limited in app variety.
>grew up in Red Bluff
I-I'm so sorry.
I, uh, what? Road fairy?
>posting a personal picture on 4chan
I don't actually have a good before and after comparison shot. I'll see what I can scrounge.
I actually loved the Montana plains. US 12 from Miles City to Pievna was gorgeous. And a pain in the ass.
It's better than Pecos.
I actually did this. It didn't work that well.
What? I returned to the glorious Midwest, where we have a very reasonable population density.
I rode with about 70lbs of gear. I had a gear bag, a food and water bag, and two "cloth" bags. I'll write up a full list later, but here's a short rundown for things to keep in mind.
- LOTS OF SOCKS
- Don't let your dry stuff touch your wet stuff
- Waterproofing saves lives.
- A handy tarp is handy.
I liked it! The library and park were very nice. Chehalis is a pretty name, too. Unfortunately, I rode through opposite the STP bike ride. I hate bicyclists.
I followed the interstates in the interest of time and town accessibility. I really did want to ride through Glacier National Park, though.
Pretty much. I never got rid of the blue tarps, though. Being able to waterproof a 6x8 section of ground in three minutes is a godsend.
Picture is some Shadow of the Colossus shit from eastern Ohio.
Amazing stuff man!
I am embarking on a 6k miles solo bike trip and your post is inspirational
>Why are the archives dead
Blame r9k I guess, though not really. Recent happenings caused server overload and the guy who ran moe got fed up and an hero'd the site.
New desustorage doesn't have an /out/ archive either so I guess a paste bin would have to be set up or something.
I'm planning to do some less extensive hiking through the south on foot, what would you recommend changing from your kit?
>I never got rid of the blue tarps, though
True enough, they're so cheap too. Anyway you'd do well to document your journey in detail somehow. There's that current lesser tourfat getting publicity at the moment because he sucks so bad at it, maybe you could coattail him?
Alright, here's the packlist:
4 Ortlieb panniers, 2 handlebar bags
Polar fleece jacket
Polar fleece running pants
14 pairs of socks
2 cotton-poly blend T-shirts
2 poly T-shirts
2 cotton long-sleeve shirts
1 light button-down shirt (for church and not looking like a hobo)
2 "active" shorts
1 carpenter shorts (for church and not looking like a hobo)
4 pairs of boxer briefs
3 liters of water storage
32 oz water bottle
1 tiny backpacker stove with Piezo lighter
1 canister of petro/gas fluid
1 20oz folding aluminum cup
1 LifeStraw branded water filter
1 can of emergency toffee peanuts
1 mini bicycle pump
1 seatpost-mounted toolkit
1 30-piece patch kit
2 heavy-duty tire levers
2 spare tubes
1 bottle lube
1 chain and gear brush
4 tent pegs
50ft of paracord
20 plastics ties
2 9ft cam straps
1 bottle DEET spray
1 folding saw
1 MORA BRAND MORA
1 Intermediate MSS bag
1 MSS bivy
1 compression sack
1 waterproof bag
2 brown 6x8 hardware tarps
1 OD half-shelter/tarp
1 chigger net
1 bottle discount Excedrin
1 AM/FM/WB crank radio
1 pair of sunglasses
1 tub of petroleum jelly
1 Plushy the Travel Cow
Thanks, and good luck! What's your general route?
You won't need or want most of the tools. You could probably get by with the folding saw and paracord. You probably don't need as much clothing, especially if you do laundry more often. Bring a tarp, though. Tarps are great.
Is he lighter than me?
On /out/? On the Internet? On TV news? Do you have a link?
>sucks so bad
We all sucked a little at the start.
I'm not sure I care enough to invest the effort.
Picture is Pecos, TX. Past here you climb 2000 feet out of the Permian Basin, leaving oil country behind.
I am not a rich man. I wore one pair of socks a day and laundered once every two weeks. The number of shirts was in response to a variety of climes and an attempt to mitigate odor in public places.
Picture is some cemetery near Gordonsville, VA.
I used baby wipes. Lots of baby wipes. Occasionally I had access to a shower or a creek clean enough to bathe in, but day to day cleaning was done with baby wipes. As for laundry, I just went to laundromats when I got into town.
The largest and most numerous oilfields I passed through were along the I-20 corridor in Central Texas. I never saw any drilling being done, though.
The guy sucked so bad that he got international news and a free bike out of the deal. Just saying that you could coattail him by giving him tips on just completing the trip that he's failing at.
$6000! That seems like a lot if you only spent one night in a hotel. Does that include bike cost? Were you eating caviar and drinking champagne the entire time?
How about just expenses? I already have camping gear, a nice touring bike and panniers, i just need a front rack and bags.
congrats btw, that's quite an accomplishment.
$6000 doesn't seem high considering he needs enough food to ride ~32 miles a day while weighing 290 lb, none of which can be bought in bulk because he'd be carrying far too much weight
Nice job, dude. Good to see someone from Michigan pull this off.
$6000 for 12 months. That is $500 a month for all his food, his supplies, spare bike parts. 16 bucks a day for food, when you cant really buy in bulk due to storage and cooking needs, PLUS getting everything else you need with that money, is a pretty good deal.
What the fuck. What is he even going to spend that money on?
I tried not to ride at night, though I enjoyed riding in the early morning. Around two weeks into the trip I got used to sleeping outdoors and ever after I woke up with dawn.
That includes about $1000 of initial costs, including bicycle, panniers, tent, etc. It cost me about $5000 for the 12 months on the road. $4000 of that was spent on the first 5200 miles. The last $1000 was spent on the last 3500 miles.
When I started out I was shitty at pretty much everything. I ate a fast food places a lot because I didn't realize I could charge my phone in libraries. I spent a metric fuckton on wheel replacement and repairs because for the first 2000 miles I didn't want to invest in better quality equipment. I estimate that I spent at least $300 on getting rear rim spoke/alignment work.
>>:::TOURFAT TOP TIP:::<<
Invest in your rims and tires.
>>:::TOURFAT TOP TIP:::<<
I used it maybe 4 times, primarily to heat a pan of beans on a cold, miserable night. I don't know how long the gas would last since I never ran out.
I never ate food that required water to cook. I did eat some "steam in the bag" items dry, though.
Picture is from when I pulled a muscle in my foot and spent the day and night at Nickel Plate Beach in Ohio.
>I never ate food that required water to cook
How much did you spend on food and where?
How much do you think could be carried on foot? I know there was some testing done by the military and they concluded there was about a 40lb limit before shit started getting fucked but how many days of food do you think could be carried?
Congrats, you're one of the few people to actually pull this off.
1. Were you, at any point, bored to death?
2. Do you have any stories to tell?
3. What is the biggest thing you got out of your journey?
>What the fuck. What is he even going to spend that money on?
Exactly. You could get a suck on that delicious titty by offering up a hot tip to tourfail. If you're looking for an angle, contact some reporters, say huffpost or some shit and tell them that you've just succeeded where tourfail sucked and you're here to save the day.
Sieze the moment, you did something that's admirable so get the news out IRL.
It's uncommon to traverse the US but it has been done plenty before. Nothing will really happen except he'll sound bitter and fatty will continue to be a retarded shit and get cash. Life is full of unfair things, no reason to dwell on it.
When I first started I probably spent around $12 a day in large part due to eating at fast food shops. I eventually cut my daily food cost down to around $6.
Depends on what you carry. Unless you're really away from civilization for a long time, I wouldn't bother carrying more than 5 days of food at a time. At an average of 1500 calories a pound and 3500 daily calorie intake, you're looking at 11-12 lbs of food. That's 5 2.5lb summer sausages. Can you fit that with everything else?
It was either the Mexicans or the mountains.
1. Sure, mainly in Mississippi and South Dakota.
2. Eh, some?
3. There's is no "finding yourself." Also that I hate most people on bicycles.
So went through and read all of his material. See, even if I wanted to ride that gravytrain, I couldn't. I'm obese, but not pitifully obese (according to American standards). I have no broken love life. I didn't fuck up my life. There's no "story" to my trip; I just did the damn thing. I don't begrudge the guy any of his fundraising success, and I really hope he makes it all the way.
He ain't gonna lose more than 120lbs, though. Certainly not with all the free dinners.
Tourfat, pictured at the day he left.
I look like a small-time thug. It's probably why people called the cops on me in Ohio. Here's the only "after" picture I have.
Ball busting aside you are looking way better, plan on keeping the weight off?
>11-12 lbs of food
Should be manageable, especially if I bring along peanut butter and sesame oil.
How important was the GPS to you?
But it isn't. It's a canvas hat built somewhat like a fedora. The indents on the side happened after days of FURIOUS TIPPING. It has the sweat of 9000 miles in soaked into the brim.
I hope to keep the weight off. I'm trying to get job where I can bike 5-10 miles to work daily. I'm bad at the whole "intentional exercise" gambit.
I rarely used the GPS. My smartphone worked well enough and didn't require batteries to use. My primary use for the GPS came during the winter going through Appalachia. My phone would often die from the cold in the morning, so I used the GPS to get me to a nearby town or highway. I never figured out how to upload more detailed maps.
Picture is from some island in the San Jose/Sacramento delta.
I commend the guy for even leaving the house at that size. I can't imagine trying to bike tour at 560 lbs. It must be miserable...
I really don't know what he was thinking with using a shit dual suspension Walmart bike though.
>>grew up in Red Bluff
>I-I'm so sorry.
Nah, it's a good place to be FROM!
Don't feel too sorry for me...I've lived in Maui for the past 27 years...Riding is kinda limited and dangerous.
>Waterproofing saves lives
This is important. I've taken to carrying one of these sol bivvies so if worse turns to worse I have some sort of waterproof shelter. Eg powerful driving rain, sleeping bag soaked etc.
I did a lot of bike touring without GPS before I got a GPS. Used a map + compass + cycle computer (measure distance to next turn on map, check odometer at crossroad to see if it's the right turn). Had a handlebar bag with map sleeve on top. Occasionally asked locals (memorable quote: "they've moved the river since your map was made, you have to take this road instead").
Thanks, what kind of maps did you use and how accurate are they? I'm thinking of bringing a US atlas but I never moved more than 50 miles outside of my hometown and outside of those only hiked trails so don't know much of navigating.
I'm Canadian, I've toured in Australia and New Zealand as well but never in the US so I don't know what's available there.
In Canada I got good local road maps showing all the backroads from MapArt (which also covers the US) but most places only sell the local maps and maybe adjacent ones if you're lucky, so I also got a provincial road atlas for planning. Government topo maps are also good.
In Australia I discovered the Australian Automobile Association offices had some pretty good local maps and if I flashed my Canadian Automobile Association card I got them for free, When I ran out of map I'd hit up the next AAA office. But that was in the mid-90s, not sure how it is now. Also that was the map that got the "they moved the river" comment.
For day/weekend trips I've printed out Google Maps but that's a lot of pages to cover a longer tour..
Ah, forgot there is a sizable /int/ population here. Wasthinking about getting an atlas but now I think about it there are topographic maps the US Forestry Service has that I could probably get for free if I ask around, not like mountains and valley's move that often.
Would definitely check up with locals and Google so I don't McCandless myself and get trapped.
For someone planning a Charleston to L.A. (and maybe farther) trip, can you expand on your comment that it cost $1000 for the last 3500 miles?
Is that pure food? How much fun did you have? Did you stop for a beer or go to Disney Land?
Just want to add that I was 50/50 on the idea until I read about you, now I'm inspired to get out there and make it happen like you did.
It cost about $1000 for all of my expenses, including two new rear rims (the first was a dud), two new tires. and a new bicycle seat. By that part of the trip I had all of my basic supplies down, I was going about 50 miles daily, and I knew what I was doing and where I was going.
Granted, I didn't have a lot of "fun." I bought alcohol on July 4th, but that was pretty much it. My greatest "non-essential" spending probably went towards chocolate milk a few times a week.
Realistically, if you know what you're doing and you don't have to replace too much shit, $10 a day is probably reasonable.
Worst was probably two/three hours in northern New Jersey. There wasn't a lot of population, a number of the highways had detours, and it was freezing cold. I basically just went due south until I saw advertisements for a McDonald's (about 25 miles later).
Nashbar. Apparently I put it on wrong. The back rack is on incorrectly as well. I'm really kinda' shitty at this whole thing.
Picture is the view of Monterey Bay near where I stayed with my brother for two months.
Let me just add that the first 2500 miles cost me $2500. Always prepare to be shittier than you expect.
Picture is more Monterey Bay.
Thanks for the words, I know that I can try to budget 10/day, but random shit comes up and all that. I'll probably add 300-500 to any estimates to be on the safe side.
One more question I have is on Bivy sleeping, I'm going to start with that as my default. How hard was it to find a place to camp for the night?
It sounds like you stayed on public beaches, and in cities?
Were you afraid someone might take your stuff while you slept or that the police would arrest you?
Pretty much never.
The best spots to sleep are unmarked forests, under bridges, and the unfenced outskirts of small towns. Finding a place to camp can be pretty stressful the first week you do it, but you'll get better at it. Use satellite maps to scout out possible locations, avoid residential areas, and remember that small town parks often don't have a police presence.
The only time I worried about theft is when I slept near Sacramento. The homeless population is significant, though generally friendly.
9/10 times the police don't want to bother with you. If you've followed the general rules about staying out of sight, keeping tidy, and avoiding clearly owned property, the coppers usually won't want to bother with you. Even if they do break up your camp they won't arrest you (unless you are doing something obviously illegal or are wasted). Keep calm, sound cheerful, comply readily, and ask if there's anywhere nearby to camp. You're probably less safe with a homeowner than the popo.
Picture is some shop in New York.
In the U.S. if you are following the Interstates closely like tourfat did, Nearly every state has a rest stop/Tourist information center pretty close to the border, and nearly every one supplies free state maps for that state, and occasionally surrounding states as well. I drove across the U.S. a few years back and picked up maps that way.
not OP, but I would recommend scouting your route for Bureau of Land Management land or National Forest Service Land as often as you can. Because you can legally Disperse Camp on those lands as long as you follow the rules (No fires without a permit, must clean everything up, must camp at least 100 yards away from any stream, river etc., and dispersed camping is NOT allowed in the vicinity of developed recreation areas such as campgrounds, picnic areas, or trailheads.) Follow those rules and you can camp pretty much anywhere on BLM and USDA/Forest Service Land. It is really handy.
>tfw almost no public land in Texas
I mean , with the amount of it there is a good chance I won't run into anyone if I do stealth camp but fuck getting a bullet in my ass for playing hobo.
Don't forget to ask around at police stations and public libraries if you can't find a travel/welcome center.
I used 7-8 GB a month on a basic AT&T 10 GB plan. Most of my data usage came from /a/nimu related activities.
Look for bridges and highway flood drain tunnels. I call the low bridge over a Texas gulch a "hobo hotel." Picture related.
70lb luggage + 240lb Tourfat = broken rims
I did gain air a few times when hitting a bump at >40mph, though.
This is Lake Shasta. It's purdy.
All for the group and the 219 meetup. Not OP but I live in La Porte bit west of there.
Haha, MS and IL were worse than West TX? I half can't believe it.
Cool story, cool trip.
I have those same panniers but they're (obnoxious) orange. They're heavy, but durable and definitely waterproof.
That is F*ing awesome. Have to wonder why you'd go back to Woostah after all that though.
Cape here now
Hudson to Woostah to Southbridge to Belchertown to Chesterfield to Northampton to The Cape.
Don't think I could even survive that bike ride, never mind the country.
Coming from a guy who just drove around the country for the past 6 months and lived MUCH more luxuriously on the road than you (cheap motels, tent camping, bars, good food, etc.), I cannot tell you how proud I am of you. What an incredible accomplishment! Definitely monitoring this thread and I appreciate all of the info and how responsive you're being. Saw a ton of bikers out in OR and CA, maybe one of them was you! Take it easy man and enjoy whatever your next endeavor might be!