Those who have gone before me...
I have been using some of my free time to read the journals of dozens of other bikers who have biked the same route I am taking. It is very interesting hearing about the different hills, overnight stops, chasing dogs, and suggested "this and thats."
I will be keeping my journal on this page also. I suspect I will type everything out into my Notepad and than copy and paste directly to this page and add photos secondly. Depending on how well and frequent I will have internet access, of course.
If you would like to read other people's journals that have bicycled the Trans American Bicycle Trail before, you can follow the link here:
JOURNALS OF PAST RIDERS:
One of the helpful resources I have looked over has been the averages of other riders. Average cost per day, average flat tires, average times camping, average age, average time it took for the event, etc. The most important averages for me have been the days, cost, and weight of gear. See below...
In my past fundraising letters, I have been able to pinpoint that I would need to see my income increase by an extra $600 per month if I was to hit the mark of these possible daily averages. $600 per month is about $30 extra per day. Since between 1/3 and nearly 1/2 of my meals per day are already purchased in the form of dehydrated, freeze dried meals, this will (should) reduce my daily costs by 1/3. This is good news. I am still targeting that increase of $30 per day to be able to sleep at night. I know God will provide but I'm still anxious, naturally. If you would like to sponsor me a few days or more, please write me directly. $30 per day X 90 days = $2,700 for the entire 3 month trip.
The average amount of days that "normal bikers" take to cross the USA is 61 to 100. For me, I MUST finish by August 2nd so that I do not have to change my return ticket from Norfolk, VA to Manila, Philippines. When I consider 1 day off per week, and packing days at the end, that gives me 74 biking (working) days. Knowing myself, how I am not normally an average anything (haha), I wouldn't be a bit surprised if I finish between 60-70 days. If this is true, I will have more time for resting, making, editing, and uploading videos, etc. I hope this is true. I do not want to be so rushed.
You can see in the graph above that the average gear weight is 41 to 50 lbs. If I could get under 50 lbs, it would be an absolute miracle. I am already at 70 lbs and I like everything I have. I would not be surprised if I am closer to 75.
I have a few options:
1) Really strip my supplies down to try to get to 50.
2) Bring my 75 lbs, as is, and see how it goes. I can always ship things ahead to my finish line and bring back to the Philippines at the end of the trip. This is so easy to do.
One of the advantages of staying under 50 lbs is weight restrictions on the airplane. If I can stay under 50 lbs, I will be able to bypass the $100 overweight fee.
Another advantage of staying in the 50 lb range is that it gives me room, and space, to ADD weight later also. I have been training with 70 lbs so dropping to 50 will be a treat.
One of the disadvantages of staying at 50 lbs is that I will not be able to bring some of the things I really like. This is probably my hardest problem solver: deciding what to leave behind. As soon as I get home (after April 13th), this is one of the first things I will review.
Have you seen the video of how I packed for my last four day trip a few months ago? It's pretty cool. Watch below...
Meanwhile, I am teaching in a Youth With a Mission Discipleship Training School in Dumaguete City, Negros, Philippines. When I get home I will continue to progress with my preparations. If you are interested in giving towards my $30 a day ($600) a month goal, and you have Paypal, you can give via the link below:
On the move,