So I've finally, after about a year of nagging, convinced my job to give me the two months off that I need to do this. I've always wanted to do a tour across the US, and I plan to go from San Diego to Boston. I've never done any kind of touring before, my longest bike ride ever was doing a 67 mile road race for the Tour De Tucson.
I picked San Diego to start from simply because I've never been there, and it seems like as good a starting location as any.
Ending up in Boston is more important, that's where all my family is. I currently live in Tucson, AZ and have been here for about 3.5 years. I haven't been home in about a year so I plan to surprise my family by basically showing up at their house on my bike
I plan to do this in August, which gives me another 8 months to train and get ready. I've already been training a bit by ditching my car and biking to work every day (10 miles each way, so about 100 miles a week)
So far my plan is hazy but consists of this:
I'd leave August 20th, and plan to ride about 70-80 miles a day. This should be a pretty leisurely pace but will get me there before it starts to turn cold in New England.
I plan to camp every night. No motels or hotels for me. I'll couch surf once or twice maybe.
Rather than mess with panniers, I think my best bet might be to use a trailer. I'm a big guy and would prefer to not have the bike handle all squirrely.
I currently own a 2008 Trek 7000 that I've been commuting to work on. There's nothing WRONG with it certainly, but it doesn't seem like the best choice for doing a cross country road trip. Right now the bike I'm looking at to replace it is a Trek 7.5 FX. My price ceiling for a new bike is 800 bucks, MAYBE 900 if there's some extremely compelling reason to spend the extra hundred. I'm also keeping an eye out for a Trek 520 on Craigslist or a local E-Bay auction, used I might be able to snag one for that price. I know Treks, which is why I'm looking at those, but if there's another brand in that price range that's more of a touring bike, I'm certainly open to ideas.
A few specific questions:
#1. Is there any kind of pre-done route for this? I would've thought San Diego to Boston would be pretty popular, but I haven't found another example of doing it yet. I don't think throwing the route in Google Maps and choosing the "Avoid Highways" option is my best bet here.
#2. What kind of budget should I have for this? I'm willing to sacrifice a LOT of comfort to save a few bucks, as I'm young and not exactly independently wealthy. So far my rough estimate is 800 for the bike, 300 for the flight to San Diego and back from Boston, 100 for a trailer, 150 to put fenders and other mods on the bike to get it touring-worthy, 700 for food along the way, 150 for a GPS unit, and 150 for a used Bike case to bring it on flights. So about 2500 bucks for the whole trip. That's just of course what I'd PLAN to spend, I'll have plenty for an emergency plane ticket home if I break my leg or whatever .
So yeah, please chime in with any thoughts, especially about that route. I do intend to read the "Touring 101" thread front to back as soon as possible, for ideas of course. The one thing I'll preemptively say is that I'm keenly aware making my first 100+ mile trip be a self-contained tour of the US is absolutely not the smartest thing to do, and I'm going to do it anyways. I might be miserable for parts of it, but I'll make it.