Hey guys and gals, my name is Edward. I am 21 yrs old. I am a degenerate poker player who quit his job while completely broke to chase a girl from Seattle to Kansas. I discovered that she is very violent, and I ended up in jail after attempting to defend myself. Once my legal trouble was settled I had no choice but to beg my parents for a flight ticket and come home.
Now I am home at my parents house and I want to run away from this entire situation. I previously was living in Seattle dealing cards at a small casino. Now I shudder at the thought of going back to work for casinos. They are infiltrated with the most incoherent low-life's I have ever witnessed.
My plan is to gather some clothes, food, and sleeping supplies and hop on my bicycle and head to Reno, NV(approx. 570 miles). I would like to find some work in Reno and a place to stay for awhile. Although my spirits are bright and I maintain a positive attitude I must say my situation is on the brink of desperation(admittedly, by choice).
Anyways.. I came here to ask for advice. I am not an experienced bicycle rider. I bought a Marin Muirwoods a few years ago and have gone on some short rides, but I have very little bicycle knowledge. I came here to ask what you all think I should know to be as prepared as possible. Things such as what to bring, what route to take, where I can camp out safely, etc. would be very helpful. If anyone has an empty couch or shower along my way I may be able to offer some sort of labor or be greatly indebted.
Last edited by degenbiken3wb; 08-05-11 at 06:19 PM.
2014 Pivot Mach 5.7 MTB, 2009 Chris Boedeker custom, 1988 Tommasini Prestige, 2007 Bill Davidson custom; 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper
A couple of short tips:
1. You can learn lots about touring from 3 places: the touring forum here, a touring-focused site called www.crazyguyonabike.com; and the Adventure Cycling Association's website. Honestly, almost any question that you can think of has been asked and answered in those 3 places so I would advise you to spend *at least* a few days digging deep into the archives of those 3 sites before re-asking the questions. You will definitely have question, just wait until you plow through the basics and then you can zero in on anything you need to know.
2. In terms of routes, you can check out the Adventure Cycling Associations route maps. Their route called the Sierra Cascades Route gets very close to Reno. You could hop on that route pretty close to Seattle and take it all the way until you get close to Reno. If you want some time on the coast, though, you could catch the Adventure Cycling Associations Pacific Coast route until you get down to the Oregon Coast, then pick one of several good ways across the state of Oregon to catch the Sierra Cascades route down to Reno.
In terms of what to bring -- there are good packing lists at the Adventure Cycling sites and most folks who write journals at crazyguyonabike.com show their own packing lists. One thing that is most common among new tourists is that they often end up getting rid of extra stuff after they start because they are over-prepared and over-packed. If you take off before the weather starts to cool down you shouldn't have to carry a lot of heavy gear.
I guess I would add -- don't over-think it. If your bike is well maintained and in good shape it will make a 600-mile tour without a lot of stress. Make sure your wheels are true and in good shape before you take off, because dealing with broken spokes or trying to scrounge up new wheels in the boonies would be one of the harder things to deal with on the road. Try to scrape up a little cash to take with you for emergencies. Having a little extra money in your pocket for emergencies is easier than being prepared for *every* emergency that might take place before you leave.
One more thing -- try to do a short "practice" tour before you take off. Even if you just do an overnight tour -- ride 30 miles to a local campground, unpack, set up camp, and head home the next day, you will learn a lot.