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  1. #1
    Typical Leftist cyclerevolution's Avatar
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    Off the Beaten Path... (and Hello!)

    Hello,

    First of all I'd like to introduce myself. My name's Dave. I'm a 22 year old Canadian from Montreal (Quebec) and I'm just wrapping up my university experience (law school). I'm somewhat hesitant to dive into the working world, as I'm considerably younger than most of my fellow graduates, and I'm looking for an adventure. I've been a lifetime lover of cycling and the outdoors, and I can't think of a better way to travel that meshes with my personal views. So here I am.

    Second, I'd like to say this forum is quite a resource. I've been lurking for some time, searching old posts and have a fairly good idea of equipment needs, financing, medical insurance and hazards (i.e. dogs). So thanks folks! The only thing missing is... well, I'll explain.

    Okay, and here's the "plan". I will like work for a year, living like a monk, and save up a nice chunk of cash - looking at $15000. After that, the adventure begins. I've looked at ACA and I understand that it is a great resource, but I'm looking to do a couple things that aren't quite part of that package:
    - WWOOF along the way (organic farming),
    - Visit lots of National Parks and/or interesting sites,
    - Explore some cool towns,
    - And more...

    These things would make me leave the ACA routes fairly regularly. Also, I am by no means looking for a quick route across. I plan to cycle as long as the wallet holds - probably wintering on a farm or interesting community - maybe from May 2008 to August/September 2009. I would like to winter in California, Arizona or New Mexico - so the plan would be for me to get down there slowly... approximately like this:
    - Leaving, hopefully, May 1.
    - South to Virginia (I'd like to take the C&O Trail too, so maybe I'd go South-West to Penn, and then take it to Richmond - I've got family there)
    - West... would like to see both Apps and Ozarks, then cut north at Colorado to check out Yellow.
    - Cut through Rockies.
    - Make my way south again... Sierras? Yeah.
    - Cut through Yosemite.
    - Make my way, somehow, to South-West tip of Grand Canyon, cycle through.
    - After that... get to my winter destination (probably by mid-late October)
    - Next Spring... cut down the Western coast, explore!
    - Then I'm not sure, probably tour Western Canada a bit - farm again, tree plant, who knows...

    Anyhow. I guess I'm just looking for feedback, and if anyone has any good info on routes through the above mentioned areas, or places that would be really great to check it out in those general (read: very general) areas.

    Also, perhaps I'm over-shooting the mark. I really don't know. I've never toured before and I would need to map it all out - just looking for ideas. The word for this trip is: flexibility. Before I start my work life, I want to take advantage of some freedom.

    And yup, when it comes down to the details - I'll likely post some more detailed questions in the regional forums. This is more of a brainstorming session.

    For the curious: I'm thinking of getting a decent frame, not sure which yet, and build it up, maybe splurge on Peter White wheels and definitely good racks. The rest... we shall see.

    Thanks!

    Dave

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Welcome to the touring forum!

    I can't offer any real advice, except:

    You might want to get your feet wet first before going for the BIG plunge. (You never know, touring may not be your cup of tea.)

    Be prepared for a life-changing experience. After your trip, you may decide to re-evaluate your priorities (and career choice )

  3. #3
    Typical Leftist cyclerevolution's Avatar
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    Don't worry, I've thought about that already. I do plan on getting in a quick tour sometime next summer, but it may not happen. Worst comes to worst on my big tour, I turn around and go home. Granted, I am stubborn.

  4. #4
    This user is a pipebomb brotherdan's Avatar
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    Sounds like an awesome plan. I wouldn't worry too much about mapping out your route ahead of time. If you have a whole year to be on the road, you'll have plenty of time to make routing decisions as you go along. Just get a general idea of where you'd like to go and wing it from there.

    Alas, I've never toured in any of the areas that you mentioned. I hope to get to most of them in the future though.
    Bikes belong in the motor city

  5. #5
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    OK, Dave, do anything you like but were I you, I'd do one thing and one thing ONLY first - pass the bar. After that you'd have the leasure to plan vacations. But remember that making a living is the top of the list and that it doesn't matter how old you are if you go into things like patent law or run the law library for a firm for awhile. About the only case where age makes an impact is courtroom proceedings and you'll probably not want to do that anyway. It sucks. And you shouldn't take a job as a DA without having a lot of experience with private law so that you know the OTHER side first. DA's that go direct from school to Prosecution generally don't have much in the way of understanding. It becomes a game to see how many convictions they can get instead of how the laws should be enforced.

  6. #6
    Typical Leftist cyclerevolution's Avatar
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    Hi Tom - I've given that issue a whole lot of thought, and have come down on the side of waiting. I'm not even certain about pursuing law, and if I do it will almost certainly be pursuing social justice work with community groups... the field is not quite the same as law firms or Department of Justice work.

    And a note re: Quebec bar, if you're not familiar with it (and maybe you are)... it is quite different that US bars. You go to bar school for several months full-time, then take a test, then article for 6 months. So it is a much longer process, hence my reason not to go immediately. Also you have a refresher course on the "letter of the law" during bar school...

    Anyhow, I am much more interested in law-related work than law itself, and I need some time first.

    And yes brotherdan, I am already fairly excited thinking about this trip, and a large part will be improvised.

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