- You’re doing what??!!!! Why?
- Where do you sleep?
- What do you eat?
- Where do you go to the bathroom?
- How many miles do you ride in a day?
This is a hard question to answer. Really, I’d say it’s my calling; my passion. After my first short tour, I was hooked and craved more. I quit my job and spent two months on the road riding to Maine. From there things snowballed and here I am. Canada to Panama. To get a little more personal, this trip is an extension of a goal set years ago when, suffering from debilitating social anxiety that often left me unable to leave my house, I decided fear would no longer rule my life. I dedicated my life to breaking personal boundaries and limits. Bike touring took this to new levels. I learned more about myself on my two month trip to Maine than I’d learned in years at home. My self confidence “peaked.” And I learned about the world. About peoples and places I’d only ever dreamed of. I ride a bike to far away places because it makes me feel good; because it improves my life in unimaginable ways. I have a life-time to work and “settle down.” I want to live.
I sleep anywhere I can. Most nights this means in a tent alongside whatever road I’m riding when the sun goes down. I call it stealth camping. Others call it “guerrilla camping,” “bandit camping,” or “wild camping.” Good stealth camps are secluded beaches, inside watchtowers atop mountains, cemeteries, above waterfalls, and inside bomb shelters. The only limits are stealth and creativity. Bad stealth camps are on ant hills, in cemeteries next to sprinklers, on steep hillsides, and anywhere you get caught. I also sleep, with permisions of course, in firehalls, police stations (always by choice), municipal buildings, schools, churches, people yards, people houses, and, now that I’m out of the USA, in the occasional hostel or hotel.
I eat anything and in huge quantities. I cook most of my own meals on a small alcohol burning stove. This saves me a lot of money and improves moral allowing me to consume hot food every night. I use the stove to make coffee. I drink a lot of it these days. Typical dinners are: Macarroni and cheese, spaghetti, rice and beans, potatoes, and various stews. Sometimes I’ll get fancy and cook something crazy like egg plant parmigiana or just spice up the mac n’ cheese with real cheese or meat or tuna. Breakfast is occasionally eggs or oatmeal mixed with anything in my panniers. More often than not, I skip breakfast snacking along the way. I usually eat so much for dinner I can ride awhile without eating. A typical lunch is tortilla with hard-boiled egg, cheese, and hot sauce. I eat a lot of bread and fruit as often as I can find it.
Lets just say I always carry TP. In the US this was easy. I used restrooms in places like McDonald and Subway. In Mexico, usually in the bushes somewhere.
This depends on many factors, but I’m happy with 60. Some days, I don’t ride at all. Others I may only ride 20. My longest day ever was 125 miles in the flats of Indiana.