I am planning a 1000 mile ride from Myrtle Beach, SC to Greenfield, MA next month. This will be my first bike tour, and I need to do it pretty cheap.
A little background info: I'm 26, I'm in pretty good shape physically. I hiked the Long Trail end to end earlier this year, so I already have a good set of lightweight camping gear. I'm going to stealth camp/couch surf the whole way, so no camping expenses. I have a camping stove and will use it often. I'm thinking I'll be able to spend about $20 a day, with a couple hundred saved for emergency gear/repairs along the way. Excluding this last month I haven't ridden a bike in 8 years or so.
I decided I was going to do this, and started snooping around for a cheap bike. I bought an older cannondale aluminum framed road bike for $10 from a friend of a friend. I haven't a clue what model it is, but in riding it this last month I think it will do the job. I bought 2 tubes and a chain. Had a friend help me adjust the derailers and brakes.
I figure if I can average 11mph for a minimum of 3 hours a day I can do this in under a month. I've started riding daily, and have gone 40 miles on 2 occasions, without too much trouble. I am truly determined to do this, but I could use some expert advice I need to purchase everything else I will need for this trip for $200-$300, preferably less, as every dollar I spend comes out of my daily riding expenses.
1. Tires - I can tell this bike was sitting for a while, the rubber is pretty dry. What do you folks recommend?
2. Panniers/Trailer - I'm not set on either, although it appears panniers will be more economical. It seems to me that most pannier sets will be to small for me, I used to carring a 3600ci pack, but I could get my camping gear in less that 2000ci easily. I'm perfectly happy dirtbagging it on this ride, and if i can get really cheap panniers that aren't waterproof, I have no problem wrapping them in garbage bags.
3. Maps - Are these Adventure Cycling maps really worth 78.00? I had planned on using some atlas pages, along with some google maps, and I have someone I can call practically 24/7 to look up directions for me.
4. Cycling apparel - My local bike shop has far too much to comprehend. How much of this is a necessity? I allready have polypro shirts, and I bought a columbia wind/water proof jacket and pants at a thrift store. Do I really need cycling shoes? I am also planning to buy more clothing as I get further north.(It can get pretty cold in New England in December.)
5. Tool Kit - I allready have a multi-tool that fits every nut and screw on the bike(came with the bike)
. I figure I need a patch kit and a pump at the least.
So, my question is, if you had only $300 to buy these things how would you do it? Did I miss any essential piece?
Thanks for your help,