Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

I'm touring the world after college:

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

I'm touring the world after college:

Old 04-01-09, 10:25 AM
  #1  
Bicycle Adventurer
Thread Starter
 
banjo_mole's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,514
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I'm touring the world after college:

Hello touring forum! I'm mainly a C&V fellow, and very much enjoy all things lugged, but for the last few years, I've had an idea brewing in my mind. But first, introductions!

My name is Nick, I am a college student and a jack-of-all trades. I cant stand to be still and do nothing, or the mundane-ness of daily life post-college. After I graduate, I've had this vague plan that I'm becomind more and more sure I want to do: I want to travel. I want to be self-sufficient, I want to see it all, and I don't want to regret wasting my youth in a cubicle.

My plan is currently quite vague. I live in Santa Maria, in southern California. My plan as is stands is this:

1. Spend my next few, final years in college building a touring bike.

2. Save money as a buffer, my current (quite arbitrary) number is $2,000.

3. Travel. I want to first ride through the United States, everywhere I can, seeing as much as possible. No time limit. Just riding, meandering like Woody Guthrie.

4. In my vague plans (I've been too scared to commit by concreting details until recently) I've planned on sustaining myself through tramp-esque labors- A "Will work for food/sleep/cash" sign seemed like a good idea, using a few of the $2K (see #2) only when utterly needed.

5. After riding through the States, return home to California, with a camera full to the brim with photographs, a journal full of stories, and the possibly quite amazing tale of the boy who left college and wandered like a hobo for a few years.

6. If it was fun, do it again, but by heading south through mexico and to Brazil, taking a boat to Portugal, and then traveling europe.

It's vague, but it's my plan.

I decided to post here for a few reasons, because I've had a lot of thoughts about this lately:

1. What are your thoughts on this plan? Anything stand out too obviously? (Please, let's not be rude)

2. Oh, I'm having trouble with step 1 already, "The Bike."


The bike:

I'm looking for lugged steel, not a Surly, I was thinking maybe a Woodrup, but I don't really know. I read somewhere that Reynolds isn't great for touring bikes, that its too light. Thoughts?

Generator systems- I'm going for self-sufficiency- a very nice dynamo sounds like a "must" to me. Suggestions here?

Sleeping bag/tent- Sleeping bad is a "must," I'll be able to find one that's appropriately light, warm, etc, but the question of a tent is daunting. A little "single person" tent for me, or a 4-man tent big enough for the bike and myself, for those days where the rainstorm really wants me to take the bike in with me?

Oh, then the other point- I'm 5'3", so I need little frames. This brings to question- 26" or 700C wheels? In my experience, 700C wheels are more road oriented, when I think 26", I think POS department store mountain bikes, and it seems like across the states/world, although 26" tires are readily availaible, most are going to be big knobby beasts, quite inappropriate for road touring.

I have lots more questions on this issue, but for now, would you all be willing to help me figure out exactly what I ought to do in terms of a touring bike? Frame, tire size, etc, all that's listed above...

-Nick
banjo_mole is offline  
Old 04-01-09, 10:54 AM
  #2  
Bicycle Adventurer
Thread Starter
 
banjo_mole's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,514
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Oh... my other question was whether or not a new 14-speed internal hub could be a good way to go, considering that they're low-maintainence and probably would work fantastically...

Anyway. I'm not a bikeforums noob, please toss a response my way when you can!
banjo_mole is offline  
Old 04-01-09, 11:01 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
cyclezealot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Fallbrook,Calif./Palau del Vidre, France
Posts: 13,230

Bikes: Klein QP, Fuji touring, Surly Cross Check, BCH City bike

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1485 Post(s)
Liked 73 Times in 64 Posts
Cool . Your priorities are right. I'd rather bike early in life as opposed to a goal of before one croaks.. It's easier when in the twenties.. While on tour, I Once met a couple who bought two new Bruce Gordon's for their world trek.. They had their world routing all lined up, except they could not figure how to get thru the "Stans," ... Think I'd try going thru south Siberia and China.. Bold adventure. Best of luck... Wish I could tag along.. They talked something about a laptop and solar cell and cell phone for those wilderness rides.
__________________
Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living










^ Since January 1, 2012
cyclezealot is offline  
Old 04-01-09, 11:03 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,215
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by banjo_mole
Hello touring forum! I'm mainly a C&V fellow, and very much enjoy all things lugged, but for the last few years, I've had an idea brewing in my mind. But first, introductions!

My name is Nick, I am a college student and a jack-of-all trades. I cant stand to be still and do nothing, or the mundane-ness of daily life post-college. After I graduate, I've had this vague plan that I'm becomind more and more sure I want to do: I want to travel. I want to be self-sufficient, I want to see it all, and I don't want to regret wasting my youth in a cubicle.
Sounds good, I thought I would figure out where to go with my life after traveling and adventuring. I didn't have a clue, so I did some more traveling and adventuring. Now I'm broke.

My plan is currently quite vague. I live in Santa Maria, in southern California. My plan as is stands is this:

1. Spend my next few, final years in college building a touring bike.

2. Save money as a buffer, my current (quite arbitrary) number is $2,000.

3. Travel. I want to first ride through the United States, everywhere I can, seeing as much as possible. No time limit. Just riding, meandering like Woody Guthrie.

4. In my vague plans (I've been too scared to commit by concreting details until recently) I've planned on sustaining myself through tramp-esque labors- A "Will work for food/sleep/cash" sign seemed like a good idea, using a few of the $2K (see #2) only when utterly needed.

5. After riding through the States, return home to California, with a camera full to the brim with photographs, a journal full of stories, and the possibly quite amazing tale of the boy who left college and wandered like a hobo for a few years.

6. If it was fun, do it again, but by heading south through mexico and to Brazil, taking a boat to Portugal, and then traveling europe.

It's vague, but it's my plan.
1. Years seems a bit much, I mean, it's just a bicycle. Buy the thing complete, or buy components and stick them together.

2. $2000 can support the frugal lifestyle for a long time, just don't rack up any medical bills.

3. Most of the interior of the U.S.A is about the same in my opinion. Do the north in the summer obviously. Save Florida for winter.

4. Good luck. I met some a hobo 'Nam vet that did the same. It's tough times these days.

5. Already been done. See Into the Wild.

6. Countries and continents should be capitalized.

2.
I decided to post here for a few reasons, because I've had a lot of thoughts about this lately:

1. What are your thoughts on this plan? Anything stand out too obviously? (Please, let's not be rude)

2. Oh, I'm having trouble with step 1 already, "The Bike."


The bike:

I'm looking for lugged steel, not a Surly, I was thinking maybe a Woodrup, but I don't really know. I read somewhere that Reynolds isn't great for touring bikes, that its too light. Thoughts?

Generator systems- I'm going for self-sufficiency- a very nice dynamo sounds like a "must" to me. Suggestions here?

Sleeping bag/tent- Sleeping bad is a "must," I'll be able to find one that's appropriately light, warm, etc, but the question of a tent is daunting. A little "single person" tent for me, or a 4-man tent big enough for the bike and myself, for those days where the rainstorm really wants me to take the bike in with me?

Oh, then the other point- I'm 5'3", so I need little frames. This brings to question- 26" or 700C wheels? In my experience, 700C wheels are more road oriented, when I think 26", I think POS department store mountain bikes, and it seems like across the states/world, although 26" tires are readily availaible, most are going to be big knobby beasts, quite inappropriate for road touring.

I have lots more questions on this issue, but for now, would you all be willing to help me figure out exactly what I ought to do in terms of a touring bike? Frame, tire size, etc, all that's listed above...

-Nick
Skip the generator system unless you have plans on riding at night for some reason. A headlamp and rear light that takes the same batteries works fine in emergencies. You probably will need a headlamp regardless. AAAs can be found at any gas station across the country. Night riding is pretty dangerous in some areas because rural roads are full of drunk drivers. What else do you have that needs to run of a dynamo? You are still going to be in a civilized country, if you need to charge electronics, a wall outlet is much better.

Go for a 1 man tent. You will regret lugging a "house" around with you. Hardcore cycling tramps just toss a tarp over their bike (standing up) and sleep under that.

Lots of shorter people ride 700 wheels. You could try to find a 650 frame. I don't know who makes them these days. 26" slicks do exist though.
Dan The Man is offline  
Old 04-01-09, 11:33 AM
  #5  
rhm
multimodal commuter
 
rhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Posts: 19,808

Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...

Mentioned: 584 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1908 Post(s)
Liked 574 Times in 339 Posts
A cheap way to go, if you can find it, is an old steel MTB frame; then you have 26" wheels and all the clearance you want for any kind of tire, fenders, etc. With luck you can find one with horizontal drops, which are good if you want an internally geared hub; otherwise, vertical is fine.

Dynamo hub... don't get me wrong, I love 'em, have several; it's good not to need batteries, which are evil. The dynamo could be good for keeping a GPS charged. But you don't really need it.

I have a Rohloff hub on my touring tandem, and it's great for unexpected shifting, shifting while pedaling, etc. So I'm glad I have it on the tandem, esp since my stokers tend to be inexperienced riders. But for ordinary use, it would not be necessary.

Just out of college... touring around on a bike... no plans for graduate school... yep, kinda wish I'd done that! Take your time, consider staying a while every place you go, every time you meet someone cool.

And if you're not familiar with www.warmshowers.org, do check it out.
rhm is offline  
Old 04-01-09, 11:40 AM
  #6  
Lentement mais sûrement
 
Erick L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Montréal
Posts: 2,253
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 78 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Cool. I'd just get a stock Surly, or something cheaper since you have time to search, and keep the money for camping gear and the actual trip. I don't think you need a dynamo either.

A small 2-person tent is nice for a little wiggle room. No need for a bike garage.
Erick L is offline  
Old 04-01-09, 12:01 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,867
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1251 Post(s)
Liked 754 Times in 560 Posts
Have fun. It sounds like a great idea. I will warn you that it is hard to go back to "real life" after even a couple months on the road.

My best advice is that the bike is really not a big part of the equation. As long as it is reasonably suited to the task and fits well, the difference between a $5000 custom and a $600 touring bike is just about nil in how it affects the tour experience. It really isn't about the bike.

When it comes to gear less, smaller, and lighter is better. Definitely don't go for "a 4-man tent big enough for the bike and myself." Personally I think a very small tent or even a bivy is adequate. I leave my gear in the panniers on the bike at night. For me the only stuff that goes in the tent is what I need for the night and the clothes I will wear in the morning.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 04-01-09, 12:42 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
neilfein's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Highland Park, NJ, USA
Posts: 3,798

Bikes: "Hildy", a Novara Randonee touring bike; a 16-speed Bike Friday Tikit; and a Specialized Stumpjumper frame-based built-up MTB, now serving as the kid-carrier, grocery-getter.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Depending on where you are in CA, you may want to head over an an REI and check out the Novara Randonee. I've got the 2008 model and love it!

Edit: I'm 5'7" and the 47cm frame fits me. This is, unfortunately, the smallest frame they make.
__________________
Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

My bands:
neilfein is offline  
Old 04-01-09, 01:10 PM
  #9  
Punk Rock Lives
 
Roughstuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Throughout the west in a van, on my bike, and in the forest
Posts: 3,305

Bikes: Long Haul Trucker with BRIFTERS!

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 119 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 39 Posts
YIPPEEE! Touring the world!

It was sure fun when I did it. I wish ya all the luck in your 'buildup' in the USA.

roughstuff
Roughstuff is offline  
Old 04-01-09, 01:42 PM
  #10  
nun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,670

Bikes: Rivendell Quickbeam, Rivendell Rambouillet, Rivendell Atlantis, Circle A town bike, De Rosa Neo Primato, Cervelo RS, Specialized Diverge

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 180 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 40 Posts
Originally Posted by banjo_mole

The bike:

I'm looking for lugged steel, not a Surly, I was thinking maybe a Woodrup, but I don't really know. I read somewhere that Reynolds isn't great for touring bikes, that its too light. Thoughts?

Generator systems- I'm going for self-sufficiency- a very nice dynamo sounds like a "must" to me. Suggestions here?

Sleeping bag/tent- Sleeping bad is a "must," I'll be able to find one that's appropriately light, warm, etc, but the question of a tent is daunting. A little "single person" tent for me, or a 4-man tent big enough for the bike and myself, for those days where the rainstorm really wants me to take the bike in with me?

Oh, then the other point- I'm 5'3", so I need little frames. This brings to question- 26" or 700C wheels? In my experience, 700C wheels are more road oriented, when I think 26", I think POS department store mountain bikes, and it seems like across the states/world, although 26" tires are readily availaible, most are going to be big knobby beasts, quite inappropriate for road touring.

I have lots more questions on this issue, but for now, would you all be willing to help me figure out exactly what I ought to do in terms of a touring bike? Frame, tire size, etc, all that's listed above...

-Nick
1] Woodrup is an interesting idea also check out Mercian cycles if you like british bikes, although the obvious choice for you might be a Rivendell Atlantis. It's lugged and can be adapted for long distance road riding to full expedition tours.

https://www.pbase.com/canyonlands/image/71800411
https://www.rivbike.com/products/list...product=50-038

2] I don't really see the need for generator hubs, they are expensive and heavy, when there are so many bright and long lasting lights that work on AA or AAA batteries. Just carry spare batteries.

3] For sleeping bags you can't beat Western Mountaineering. Light and warm. They tend to run small, but as you are 5'3" you should be fine. If you don't like feeling confined in a bag you might check out sleeping quilts too.

https://www.jacksrbetter.com
https://www.nunatakusa.com/

As for tents I don't think you can do better than

https://www.tarptent.com

Decide whether you want single or double walled.

4] At 5'3" 26" wheels are the way to go. You can get good road in 26" as well as knobblies

https://sheldonbrown.com/harris/tires/559.html
nun is offline  
Old 04-01-09, 04:24 PM
  #11  
eternalvoyage
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,256
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by banjo_mole
...Oh, then the other point- I'm 5'3", so I need little frames. This brings to question- 26" or 700C wheels? In my experience, 700C wheels are more road oriented, when I think 26", I think POS department store mountain bikes, and it seems like across the states/world, although 26" tires are readily availaible, most are going to be big knobby beasts, quite inappropriate for road touring.

I have lots more questions on this issue, but for now, would you all be willing to help me figure out exactly what I ought to do in terms of a touring bike? Frame, tire size, etc, all that's listed above...

-Nick
26" (559mm) wheels are probably a much better choice for you. Rivendell explain on their site why they recommend touring bikes with 26" wheels for anyone under 5'8". There are other discussions about this that can also be found on the web.

There are high-pressure slicks available for 559mm rims.

There are also various tires with smooth center sections and some tread on the sides.

There are touring tires made by Schwalbe and others.

There are old mountain bike frames (and newer ones as well) that are plenty strong.

If you are set on lugs, you might look at some of the vintage Treks (900 series for example), or Miyatas (Ridge Runner and Ridge Runner SE would be good), among others.

Suggestion: get some strong, quality racks that are mounted properly. They are worth having, especially for longterm, extended touring.

Last edited by Niles H.; 04-01-09 at 05:31 PM.
Niles H. is offline  
Old 04-01-09, 05:13 PM
  #12  
Professional Fuss-Budget
 
Bacciagalupe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,494
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 14 Posts
At the risk of sounding pessimistic, chances are pretty good that you won't get a job after graduation anyway. Might as well go on tour.

Unfortunately that also means fewer opportunities for pick-up work. The US economy is hurting pretty badly, especially in CA, Midwest, FL. I wouldn't rely on that as a source of income, especially since staying in one place means spending money to stay there. WWOOF might be an option for a combo of experience, a travel goal, and room & board. Assuming you don't mind getting exploited by farmers.

If I was looking to stretch my funds as far as possible -- hopefully without succumbing to "Budgetitis" -- I'd go to SE Asia, buy an MTB bike out there, and stay in the guest houses. No need to buy or carry camping gear (it's really not done, guest houses are insanely cheap).

Otherwise I don't think you need to spend more than $1100 or so on a complete touring bike, and can likely get a fully touring-capable bike for less. I wouldn't get a snazzy frame, you're just going to pound the daylights out of it anyway. And you can always put whatever parts survive onto a new frame when you're done.
Bacciagalupe is offline  
Old 04-01-09, 05:55 PM
  #13  
eternalvoyage
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,256
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by banjo_mole
...I cant stand to be still and do nothing, or the mundane-ness of daily life post-college. After I graduate, I've had this vague plan that I'm becomind more and more sure I want to do: I want to travel. I want to be self-sufficient, I want to see it all, and I don't want to regret wasting my youth in a cubicle.

My plan is currently quite vague. I live in Santa Maria, in southern California. My plan as is stands is this:

1. Spend my next few, final years in college building a touring bike.

2. Save money as a buffer, my current (quite arbitrary) number is $2,000.

3. Travel. I want to first ride through the United States, everywhere I can, seeing as much as possible. No time limit. Just riding, meandering like Woody Guthrie.

4. In my vague plans (I've been too scared to commit by concreting details until recently) I've planned on sustaining myself through tramp-esque labors- A "Will work for food/sleep/cash" sign seemed like a good idea, using a few of the $2K (see #2) only when utterly needed.

5. After riding through the States, return home to California, with a camera full to the brim with photographs, a journal full of stories, and the possibly quite amazing tale of the boy who left college and wandered like a hobo for a few years.

6. If it was fun, do it again, but by heading south through mexico and to Brazil, taking a boat to Portugal, and then traveling europe.

It's vague, but it's my plan.

I decided to post here for a few reasons, because I've had a lot of thoughts about this lately:

1. What are your thoughts on this plan? Anything stand out too obviously? (Please, let's not be rude)

2. Oh, I'm having trouble with step 1 already, "The Bike."


The bike:

I'm looking for lugged steel, not a Surly, I was thinking maybe a Woodrup, but I don't really know. I read somewhere that Reynolds isn't great for touring bikes, that its too light. Thoughts?

Generator systems- I'm going for self-sufficiency- a very nice dynamo sounds like a "must" to me. Suggestions here?

Sleeping bag/tent- Sleeping bad is a "must," I'll be able to find one that's appropriately light, warm, etc, but the question of a tent is daunting. A little "single person" tent for me, or a 4-man tent big enough for the bike and myself, for those days where the rainstorm really wants me to take the bike in with me?

Oh, then the other point- I'm 5'3", so I need little frames. This brings to question- 26" or 700C wheels? In my experience, 700C wheels are more road oriented, when I think 26", I think POS department store mountain bikes, and it seems like across the states/world, although 26" tires are readily availaible, most are going to be big knobby beasts, quite inappropriate for road touring.

I have lots more questions on this issue, but for now, would you all be willing to help me figure out exactly what I ought to do in terms of a touring bike? Frame, tire size, etc, all that's listed above...

-Nick
Sounds like a plan. A few responses: (a) It is an untrue set of choices if you are thinking in terms of (1) something mundane, or (2) bike touring. Bike touring is one of many non-mundane options. (I'm not saying you should or shouldn't choose it or something else -- just pointing out that constructing false sets of choices can be something of a fallacy.)

(b) It sounds to me as if you are getting caught up in the labyrinth of unnecessarily expensive, exotic, or high-tech gear. You don't have to do it that way. Internal hubs are unnecessary, and have their own disadvantages. Same with any number of other items. (If you swallow too much of the hype and marketing, you can easily get caught in a lot of unnecessary, confused-and-confusing, expensive, time-consuming desires and BS.)

(c) It need not take years to set up a bike. If you get the right person to set it up for you, and teach you the essentials of what you should know about it, you can set it up in less than a month.

Even if you do it all yourself, you would still be able to do it in a shorter period of time, if you wish to do so. It is not (or need not be) all that complicated. If you want to explore many avenues and options, and take your time about it all, that's also possibility; but it is not a necessity.

(d) If you have the time and inclination, I would suggest finding a good tutor -- maybe a mechanic at a local shop, or a local touring enthusiast or bike enthusiast -- who can show you how to choose, build, and maintain the bike properly.

(e) A high-end vintage mountain bike in good condition is a viable option, and it can save you a lot of money. If you shop around, and you know what to look for and what to avoid, these bikes can be found.

Last edited by Niles H.; 04-01-09 at 06:45 PM.
Niles H. is offline  
Old 04-01-09, 06:29 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Newspaperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 2,206
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by banjo_mole
My plan is currently quite vague. I live in Santa Maria, in southern California. My plan as is stands is this:

1. Spend my next few, final years in college building a touring bike.

2. Save money as a buffer, my current (quite arbitrary) number is $2,000.

3. Travel. I want to first ride through the United States, everywhere I can, seeing as much as possible. No time limit. Just riding, meandering like Woody Guthrie.

4. In my vague plans (I've been too scared to commit by concreting details until recently) I've planned on sustaining myself through tramp-esque labors- A "Will work for food/sleep/cash" sign seemed like a good idea, using a few of the $2K (see #2) only when utterly needed.

5. After riding through the States, return home to California, with a camera full to the brim with photographs, a journal full of stories, and the possibly quite amazing tale of the boy who left college and wandered like a hobo for a few years.

6. If it was fun, do it again, but by heading south through mexico and to Brazil, taking a boat to Portugal, and then traveling europe.

It's vague, but it's my plan.
I like your plan except for No. 4. The sign will put you in the same category as the panhandlers and beggars you sometimes see. Save up a bit more money and you won't need to resort to that level. Besides, you'll meet a lot of generous, kind people on your trip — people who want to meet you and show you some amazing hospitality.
Newspaperguy is offline  
Old 04-01-09, 08:44 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Cyclebum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NE Tx
Posts: 2,766

Bikes: Tour Easy, Linear USS, Lightening Thunderbolt, custom DF, Raleigh hybrid, Felt time trial

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You'll have a blast planning for this. It'll be half the fun.

If you haven't already done so, find yourself a small, inexpensive bicycle, and do a lot of riding. A lot! You'll learn about yourself and about bicycles.

As another observed, this really isn't about the bicycle. The bicycle is just a means to an end. Don't get hung up with the idea that you've got to spend a lot of money or time getting a touring bike. It's just a frame with a bunch of components. Shimano mid level are just fine. Fit is First. Saddle to pedal, saddle to handle bar, standover.

Investigate and consider using a trailer instead of, or in addition to, panniers. I've seen a couple of guys bumming around the country on cheap hybrids pulling Wal-Mart trailers. I've also seen ppl riding expensive touring bikes pulling Bob's. Whatever you can afford will get the job done.

You can get yourself a degree in survival by making contact with the homeless population. You could do this through a charity. If you don't come on too strong, and are willing to just hang out, they can teach you a lot about seeing the world on the cheap. They don't need or want your help, just your friendship and understanding.

Do some short tours. Two or three days at first. Very important. Ride, camp, meet people. Lots of fun.

Head over the www.crazyguyonabike.com. A site dedicated to cycle touring and full of interesting journals and information. The current 'featured journal' by Douglas Coulter is a look at touring from the prospective of a man long down on his luck facing his personal demons. Unique and interesting.

Wish you the best with this plan. You can make it work.
Cyclebum is offline  
Old 04-01-09, 08:52 PM
  #16  
BEHOLD! THE MANTICORE!
 
rotharpunc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: 54914
Posts: 1,796
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
hey Nick, what are you doing over here? get back to C&V were you belong!

I've been thinking of going on a long tour, too. Only I'm out of college, running a moderately successful home based enterprise, and am bored to death.

+1 on 26". Because of your height, and because you can find tubes even at backwoods hardware stores.

Another thing I learned during my crusty bike punk days was no bright flashy colors. Matte colors are best. Sometimes you want to just crash somewhere for the night, and its nice to be able to easily hide your bike on the side of the road.

One man tent is all you need. I had a really cool tent that would collapse into a rectangle which was small enough to fit behind a rear pannier. Cover the bike with a tarp, I've even used garbage bags I conned out of a mcdonlds clerk taped together.

I'm looking for a touring bike right now, thats actually why I popped in here, but as usual nothing new really appeals to me. I think its time to start searching out an old Trek or something.
rotharpunc is offline  
Old 04-01-09, 09:09 PM
  #17  
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 52,152

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 141 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3203 Post(s)
Liked 596 Times in 329 Posts
Originally Posted by banjo_mole
My name is Nick, I am a college student and a jack-of-all trades. I cant stand to be still and do nothing, or the mundane-ness of daily life post-college. After I graduate, I've had this vague plan that I'm becomind more and more sure I want to do: I want to travel. I want to be self-sufficient, I want to see it all, and I don't want to regret wasting my youth in a cubicle.

My plan is currently quite vague. I live in Santa Maria, in southern California. My plan as is stands is this:

1. Spend my next few, final years in college building a touring bike.

2. Save money as a buffer, my current (quite arbitrary) number is $2,000.

3. Travel. I want to first ride through the United States, everywhere I can, seeing as much as possible. No time limit. Just riding, meandering like Woody Guthrie.

4. In my vague plans (I've been too scared to commit by concreting details until recently) I've planned on sustaining myself through tramp-esque labors- A "Will work for food/sleep/cash" sign seemed like a good idea, using a few of the $2K (see #2) only when utterly needed.
1. So ... you've still got several years till you're done college? What program are you in there? Have you given some thought as to the employability of your degree in other countries? If not, now would be the time to do some research and think about it. If you really do want to travel the WORLD, you may need to work in other countries to support yourself. You may have your age on your side, but if you have education or skills which can be used in other countries, all the better ... especially as you get older.

1. And also ... if you've got several years left, take 3 weeks or a month each summer to tour. While I've been in University, I have worked in the summers till the beginning of August, and then hit the road throughout the month of August. Maybe start by doing some local touring this coming summer. Then next summer, go to another country to tour. If you're under 30, some countries will allow you to get a Working Visa to work there for a limited time. Australia is one of those countries. I believe you can work there for a year if you're under 30 ... lots of kids do that, and usually get jobs on the harvest trail working in the orchards. Other countries have similar options. Do some research and see if you can go to another country to work during your summers. You can take the weekends/days off to do some travelling and touring.

1. And also ... if you've got several years left, check into your school's student exchange program and see if you can do a semester or a year in another country. It will be a great experience! And you'll be able to travel around to see and experience things.

2. You're planning to save money as a student? You must have a great summer and weekend job!! If that's the case, wonderful ... but I'd aim to save more than $2000 if you really want to travel the world. If, however, you have any sort of loan helping you through school, pay the loan off first. Set off on your travels debt free.

3. Start travelling through the US this coming summer. But don't limit yourself to the US. Go to other countries ... you'll get a whole different perspective on things.

4. Look into working for the summers in other countries while you're still in college ... especially check into farm/harvest-type of work.

----------------------------------------------------
Here's an example of the type of thing I'm talking about:
https://www.swap.ca/
https://www.workingoverseas.com/
https://www.statravel.com.au/cps/rde/...k-overseas.htm

Note: I am NOT endorsing any of these sites, I have no experience with them, but if I were young enough to be able to take advantage of a "Working Holiday" I would certainly look into organizations like these and others. Your college should have a lot of info on this sort of thing too.

Last edited by Machka; 04-01-09 at 09:33 PM.
Machka is offline  
Old 04-02-09, 12:16 AM
  #18  
Bicycle Adventurer
Thread Starter
 
banjo_mole's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,514
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Oh my, I've got a lot of replying to do! (And a paper to write, but this is much more exciting.)

First, I'd like to clarify that I wouldn't be using a generator hub, I'm talking old-fashioned bottle generator, they actually do make some decent ones, like the Busch and Miller's...

Another clarification- The two years to build a bike up is, more accurately, two years of saving cash and buying componets, a frame, some brakes, bars, etc. With my pathetic level of pay I figure I could comfortably have all the racks/panniers/componets together, without a rush.

As far as a frame goes, I'm definitely leaning towards a Woodrup Touring frame. It's got the lugs and a classy feel, without the $2,000 price tag of a Rivendell bike. (Although that definitely depends on the currency exchange rate at any given point)

I honestly haven't given much thought to racks, or what brands work best.

People have definitely been steering away from a large tent, which seems like sound advice, although I don't like the idea of leaving a frame (especially loaded panniers) outside while I sleep indoors, I imagine having my bicycle/pannier contents stolen while I dozed away would be unbearable... And disastrous besides...

I've already done a few short tours on a road bike, and I enjoyed these very much, I think over the summer I'm going to try and ride back to my hometown some 700 miles away in Arizona, however, the prospect of crossing the desert is certainly a little bit daunting.

I'm feeling too lazy to actually quote, but above it has been said the bicycle is the means to an end, and I've realized that I have indeed been far too fussy about that. However, it strikes me that if I'm going to be spending a very long time on the road with a bicycle, I'd best have something well-suited.

And you've all convinced me to go with 26" tires, however, I'm going to try and avoid the extraordinarily wide sizes, I'm leaning towards 1 1/2" to 1 3/4" width tires at most.

I do have an old MTB frame sitting around, but it's a Mongoose, not the best thing, and it's pretty clunky besides.

I currently don't own a decent sleeping bag. Best bang for the buck? Suggestions?

As for the "will work for" sign, I suppose that with the current climate, it may not be the best way to go. How then, to stay clean?

Oh, and I did try to access www.warmshowers.org, but it wouldn't let me.

Thank you all for the sound advice, I will continute to reply as time allows,

Nick
banjo_mole is offline  
Old 04-02-09, 12:23 AM
  #19  
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 52,152

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 141 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3203 Post(s)
Liked 596 Times in 329 Posts
Originally Posted by banjo_mole
I've already done a few short tours on a road bike, and I enjoyed these very much, I think over the summer I'm going to try and ride back to my hometown some 700 miles away in Arizona, however, the prospect of crossing the desert is certainly a little bit daunting.
If you really want to tour the world, as your subject line says, you'll be travelling a lot more than 700 miles, and will most likely encounter deserts. You might as well get experience now to find out if this is really what you want to do.

As for the "Will Work For Food" thing ....... look for harvest work, temp work, manual labour work, etc. before you go. Don't just beg for work, actively seek options which will allow you to be mobile.
Machka is offline  
Old 04-02-09, 12:24 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,570
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by banjo_mole
I'm looking for lugged steel, not a Surly...
You're off to a good start.
mijome07 is offline  
Old 04-02-09, 05:49 AM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,215
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by rotharpunc
Another thing I learned during my crusty bike punk days was no bright flashy colors. Matte colors are best. Sometimes you want to just crash somewhere for the night, and its nice to be able to easily hide your bike on the side of the road..
Please don't ride in dark camouflaged colours. It makes you invisible to drivers. Have a bright jacket with some reflectors. Reflectors on the heels of your shoes or back of pedals are good because they bounce up and down as you pedal. If you don't mind looking safety conscious, wear a visi-vest. Bright things can be packed away if you want to be inconspicuous at night.

Last summer I toured down to San Diego, across the California/Arizona desert and across the US on a road bike + $500 or so of camping/touring gear. You don't absolutely need a tourer. Yes, the low desert is hot. Just carry a lot of water and ride less between noon and sunset. Terrible things can only happen if you run out of water... or salts. Those little Gatorade packets were handy. High desert is no problem. It even gets cold at night.

Last edited by Dan The Man; 04-02-09 at 05:55 AM.
Dan The Man is offline  
Old 04-02-09, 06:29 AM
  #22  
nun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,670

Bikes: Rivendell Quickbeam, Rivendell Rambouillet, Rivendell Atlantis, Circle A town bike, De Rosa Neo Primato, Cervelo RS, Specialized Diverge

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 180 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 40 Posts
I'm not convinced about your approach to lighting using a tyre driven generator as modern battery systems are so good.

Where did you come up with Woodrup? They are a small Yorkshire firm.....The Stelvio touring frame will set you back $1500 and you still have to include shipping and import costs. Mercian is the biggest of these boutique UK firms and worth a look, but also check out US manufacturers too. Lugged is a bit specialized so you will pay more than a TIG welded frame. I'd look on ebay as well.
nun is offline  
Old 04-02-09, 06:36 AM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,215
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I agree. All generators are an energy suck on your speed but hub generators are the most efficient energy suck. A tire generator is unnecessary unless you need to slow yourself down so you can enjoy the view. You still haven't explained the logic behind why you want to use one.

2 AA batteries will give you the same amount of light as countless hours of pushing on that wheel. Most of the energy you put into a tire generator is being turned into friction heat, only a tiny fraction actually goes to your light. You need to have a headlamp for camping anyways, so use that for emergency night riding.
Dan The Man is offline  
Old 04-02-09, 07:01 AM
  #24  
Tinkerer since 1980
 
TheBrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: London
Posts: 922

Bikes: Coppi racer, Old school BMX, some random a fixed wheel convertion

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Stay local for your frame. I'd get a custom British bike if I had the money, but I'm British and live in England. Keep the craftsmen close to home in business, there are a lot of good American frame builders use one of them plus it will be easier to go to get fitted, which is half of the custom experience.
TheBrick is offline  
Old 04-02-09, 08:37 AM
  #25  
Professional Fuss-Budget
 
Bacciagalupe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,494
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 14 Posts
Bike theft on tour isn't a big problem. It's an issue in cities, but you won't be camping there anyway. Get the best chain / lock you can be bothered to carry. You can also get something like this cable lock with an alarm, though that seems a bit extreme to me.

However, I will say that the small chance of getting your bike stolen, or the slightly higher probability of some sort of damage, is a good reason to treat your touring bike as an eminently replaceable commodity. Losing the bike isn't a disaster if you can replace it without too much trouble.
Bacciagalupe is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.