I wasn't too sure what forum to put this in, but this one seemed the most appropriate candidate. This thread will be asking quite a few questions, so I thank anyone in advance for helping me.
I've been talking with a local charity that distributes food and shelter to homeless and impoverished people, and we've come up with a bit of an idea, but it is going to take months of planning and plenty of help from experienced bicyclists.
Since many people around are always looking to help charities but don't know how, we were thinking of going around and asking for pledges. They can pledge a certain amount of money per mile that I bike.
There's a bit of a snag, though: I have never toured on a bike. I don't know how to rig a bike with a backpack, I have no idea what kind of bike to buy (my current one is a very old racing bike, and ones before that were Wal-Mart bought mountain bikes), what to pack, etc.
Before I get down to the questions, let me give some background.
About a year ago I completely quit smoking and got back into shape. My lungs are healed (I had the habit for 5 years), and I'm happy about it. I weigh 200 pounds, I do cardio 2 hours a day and bike ten miles, I jog, and I hit the gym a couple times a week to squat and work on my upper and lower (with special emphasis on my legs). I'm a vegetarian, but I mainly eat brown rice (plenty of protein and vitamins), and I take One-A-Day Maximum vitamins. I also don't drink soda and I stay away from junk food.
-What additional training should I do?
-What bike should I get? Price?
-How do I rig up a bike with supplies?
-What do I bring with me?
-What should I expect on a-possibly-cross country tour?
-What sort of gadgets help (security, etc.)?
-What are the basics of touring?
-Am I out of my mind for thinking about this?
Again, thank you guys for any and all help. I'm sure in my convictions that I want to do this, and I hope it's a possibility.