After discovering that I was actually very serious about doing a tour to celebrate my being cancer free for 20 years my wife asked that I wait till 2018 which will be my 25th anniversary of being cancer free. Her reasons for it make a lot of sense as doing it next year means she will likely be pregnant and not feeling like spending long hours in the car. Additionally, my daughter will be old enough to ride many of the days with me. The thing that actually sold me on it though is my wife offering to drive sag for me. I'd previously thought that they'd probably just fly ahead to where I'd be but she apparently spent a lot of her childhood travelling the country in an rv and thinks the kids will have a good time doing it too.
So I'll essentially be doing the Trans-Am but leave from Manteo, NC (celebrating our anniversary where we got married) and travelling to Santa Cruz, CA (where I was living when we met). From there we'll turn north and ride up to Ocean Shores, WA (possibly not staying on 101 the whole way as I'm aware of the winds but there are some good spots I do want to see like the lost highway). The reason for my not going the Trans-Am route to Portland and heading onto the Western Express from Pueblo is because my wife's argument that if she's driving sag then she gets a say in where we go is totally valid.
The plan for now is to buy or borrow a used camper van / rv and then return/sell it when we're done. We'd rent but we think it will be cheaper just to buy one and then sell it when we're done. The rentals seem incredibly expensive.
So this leaves me with a few things that I'm wondering...
First, my plan is to have my wife drive sag and essentially drive ahead and do her own thing with however many kids aren't riding. There are a few must see places on the way that we'll be going to such as the Grand Canyon. I've read threads with people talking about leapfrogging but my thinking is that as long as she's within about 120 miles of where I'm at she can scout out where to stay for the night, take the kids to whichever fun things she'd like to do, and we'll get together in the afternoon to unwind, have fun, eat, and sleep. Infact, I'm totally okay with her driving ahead and my sleeping overnight in a bivvy if she doesn't feel like coming back although in reality the chances of that are probably pretty low. Does her driving sag like that sound like it could work to y'all? Any thoughts on what to watch out for?
If my wife is driving sag and I'm able to fix most bike problems with my mobile bike fixing kit (she'll have my TS-2.2, work stand, and a variety of parts and stuff) what're the chances of finding people to go with? (She'd prefer I (or 'we' if my daughter rides too) go with more than just ourselves. Any suggestions on how to find people to go with?
What do you think the minimum fitness level for anyone going should be? I'm not concerned about myself as I can do 50 miles, not feel tired, and do the same thing the next day. After about 4 days of it I do benefit from an easy day but it's not something that kills me. I'm more concerned about making sure that anyone that goes with me is able to make it whether they're my daughter or someone else that wants to go.
I have a lot of mountains here by my house that I ride often. What sort of elevation gain should I be looking to train on? On my longer rides I'm often doing 3-4k of gain with grades averaging 10% (when there are grades) but certainly a number of 14-22% spots depending on the route.
Prior to the 2018 trip, I plan to do some tours on the east coast so that we have worked out what works and what doesn't work. I'm thinking about something like from MD to GA. Do you have any suggestions for multi-day trips from MD?
Are there any methods for budgeting that work to plan for long tours? I figure that you probably eat more but how much more I don't know at this time.
Finally, any thoughts on how to get a camper van or rv for cheap?