I'm planning a self-contained coast to coast ride next summer. My younger brother and I are planning on taking Adventure Cycling's Western Express Route to the Transamerica Trail starting in late May or early June. Neither of us have ever toured before, but we’re pretty athletic, have lots of backpacking experience, some decent mountain biking experience, and 9 months till we start which I feel should be enough time to pick up a few necessary skills.
Additionally, I'm an undergraduate college student and my little brother is in high school, so as you can imagine, we don't have tons of cash. We’re looking to do to this trip right, but also keep the costs down as much as possible.
We currently possess some lower end vintage road bikes, which are absolutely not suited for cross country travel. But we may be able to pick up some racks and panniers and do a few 2 or 3 day rides throughout our home state of Arizona to get used to touring. It might just be better to just get our hands on 2 touring bikes and begin getting to know them as soon as possible though…
Anyway, my question to you is this. If you were in my position now, and trying to make this dream ride a reality what would you do? Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated.
P.S. We’re doing this ride in an effort to raise money for a Children’s Hospital, which just so happened to have saved my life a few years back. It’s a very long story which we can save for another time. Just wanted to mention that in case anyone has advice for ride sponsorship, donated gear ect.