So I'm looking to ride from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine this summer. I might have a riding partner, I might not and I'd ride the northern route. My question is, what are the odds of someone with no touring experience, but plenty of riding and camping experience, making the trip across the country alone? I'm a competent cyclist and I backpaked in my youth. I'll have about an $800 month budget, and I can handle long stretches, without companionship, with no trouble. I'd leave around early August and I would bring a tent, hamock, or bivvy sack (trying to keep it light, open to suggestions), sleeping bag, 2 days of riding clothes, and one day of normal clothes, give or take. I'm hoping to stealth camp more often than not. I'm a bike mechanic by trade and would bring enough tools/parts for basic repair and maintainence. I'd plan to have food for each day and would expect to hit a grocery store every 150-200 miles, but i probably wouldn't have a stove (should I bring a stove?, I love coffee). I'm already training for a 100 mile off-road ride in July (12 hour ride time), so my fitness would be great... I'm already riding 200+ miles a week and it'll only increase as summer approaches. What are my odds? Keep in mind I'm talking of odds of survival, not comfort, I can handle 24 hours without food, assuming I have water... would I make it to Maine alive? without some psycho nut job messing with me?
Which brings me to my next question. while I'm not a gun person at all, I understand their effectiveness in protection and I have plenty of gun happy friends to show me the ropes., if I went for 2 months, or so, across the country alone, would it be in my best interest to get a gun and learn how to use it? Is it that dangerous to ride alone without some sort of protection? I'm looking for the real odds that I'd make alive, not just odds that I would be comfortable and not messed with in a non life threatening kind of way.