foolmetwiceLife has been kinda a bummer for a while so Ive decided to drop everything and bike to Maine before I decided what I'm gonna do w/ my life. My mom and grandpa did this ride back in the day but not in a postition to consult with them about it so I'm turning to newschoolers for advice. If anybody's done bike trips of similar length, any tips on gear, navigation, what to bring and what to leave, how to find free camping, showers, how to make a road bike more comfortable, n bike touring in general would be much appreciated.
I've had a friend who biked across the US and was planning on doing it again until a knee injury. I recall asking her a few things about what she'd do differently and this is what she said:
1. Bike fit is the most important part. You're going to be spending hours a day on your bike, you want to be comfortable. Go see a professional fitter, don't skimp out. Tell them about your plan and they will base the fit around you with that in mind.
2. Learn basic mechanics. If your chain breaks, a shifting cable snaps, or even if you get a basic flat, you want to know how to fix it, or at least jerry-rig it so you can get somewhere you can get help. I cannot stress this enough as you will be so far from anyone you know, and you will have no immediate relief available. That being said, AAA apparently will pick up bikers and take them to the nearest shop (not sure how the pricing works for mileage, probably depends on your membership).
3. Be prepared for everything and anything but do not overpack. Try to consolidate by using multi-purpose items.
There is a bike-packing thread somewhere on NS about a guy and his wife/GF who are bike-packing across Asia(?), he posts occasionally. See what he suggests for gear specifics.