Migratory Bicyling

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by tlnelsn, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. tlnelsn

    tlnelsn New Member

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    About ten years back, I really wanted to do a transcontinental (USA) ride by the time I turned 50. I wanted to do it as a milestone at my half century of life on this planet. The only real obstacle to this goal would have been a lack of vacation time or the impracticality of quiting my job at the time or not being financial independent enough to pull it off. Much has happened since then. A family medical crisis, a financial crisis, a job/career crisis, a marital crisis later, and I'm looking at a whole new lifestyle at 50. Realistically, I am not going to have a retirement in the conventional sense. So I've been thinking lately that it would be great to just get rid of all the stuff that's anchoring me down and set off on a migratory bicycling odyssey, starting with the contiguous states of the USA, a southern route in the winter, head north up one coast in the spring, a northern route in the summer and head south down the opposite coast in the fall. I could expand northward and southward and inward, following major rivers and continental divides. I would do odd jobs like window washing, yard work, light carpentry with borrowed tools to pay for essentials, as barter for food and shelter (a place to pitch a tent) along the way, keep some money in a bank so that I could use a debit card for emergency expenses, replace/upgrade gear, access enrichment resources and communicate by Internet with wifi at Starbucks and McDonalds or public libraries and use a cell phone, keeping in touch with family and loved ones, coordinating connections with others on the road. I would have time do volunteer work following disasters like oil spills and hurricanes or social relief work to provide food and shelter to others, coordinating with these opportunities over the Internet. Maybe I could even get paid for speaking to groups or writing a book. Then, South America (after I learn Spanish and maybe a little Portuguese), Europe, Asia and Africa. To me, this would be very fulfilling in my "retirement" years and I would probably be as healthy as ever. Fulfilling, yes, but is it too ambitious? Does anyone know of this kind of lifestyle being pursued before? Has anyone written about it? I haven't been able to find anything yet. Please reply.
     
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  2. tlnelsn

    tlnelsn New Member

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    I guess it takes a more rested mind, after the "edit" button has disappeared to find typos in the thread title. So, I hope I can fix it now in a reply, Re: Migratory Bicycling versus Migratory Bicyling.
     
  3. tlnelsn

    tlnelsn New Member

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    If this looks familiar to you, you may have read my previous post with a typo in the title. I couldn't fix it, so I decided to try again...

    About ten years back, I really wanted to do a transcontinental (USA) ride by the time I turned 50. I wanted to do it as a milestone at my half century of life on this planet. The only real obstacle to this goal would have been a lack of vacation time or the impracticality of quitting my job at the time or not being financial independent enough to pull it off. Much has happened since then. A family medical crisis, a financial crisis, a job/career crisis, a marital crisis later, and I'm looking at a whole new lifestyle at 50. Realistically, I am not going to have a retirement in the conventional sense. So I've been thinking lately that it would be great to just get rid of all the stuff that's anchoring me down and set off on a migratory bicycling odyssey, starting with the contiguous states of the USA, a southern route in the winter, head north up one coast in the spring, a northern route in the summer and head south down the opposite coast in the fall. I could expand northward and southward and inward, following major rivers and continental divides. I would do odd jobs like window washing, yard work, light carpentry with borrowed tools to pay for essentials, as barter for food and shelter (a place to pitch a tent) along the way, keep some money in a bank so that I could use a debit card for emergency expenses, replace/upgrade gear, access enrichment resources and communicate by Internet with wifi at Starbucks and McDonalds or public libraries and use a cell phone, keeping in touch with family and loved ones, coordinating connections with others on the road. I would have time do volunteer work following disasters like oil spills and hurricanes or social relief work to provide food and shelter to others, coordinating with these opportunities over the Internet. Maybe I would speak to groups or write a book. To me, this would be very fulfilling in my "retirement" years and I would probably be as healthy as ever. I am trying to find direction, models, possibly encouragement for this idea. Does anyone know of this kind of lifestyle being pursued before? Has anyone written about it? I haven't been able to find anything yet. Please reply.
     
  4. tlnelsn

    tlnelsn New Member

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    I'm abandoning this thread, having posted a new thread under a corrected title: Migratory Bicycling: Second Act?
     
  5. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    I don't know of any books or anything about this subject. It does not sound like a lifestyle that I would want to get into. I think your expenses would be greater than what you could earn by doing odd jobs, especially in this economic climate. If you are anything like me, you do not look or smell really employable after a summer ride until you have had a chance to hit the shower. I have found that on the road there are few places for showering or doing much more cleaning up other than washing your hands. As far as being as healthy as ever, don't count on it as you start to get on in age. Bicycling does not prevent degenerative or age related conditions such as arthritis or enlarged prostate. But if this is the way you want to go, then the best of luck to you.
     
  6. GrumpyGex

    GrumpyGex New Member

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    Google and/or YouTube "bicycle touring". I think it'll give you some good visual of what it should be like, and it should give you some leads to books that have been published about it. Some videos show hints that people might find a way to get some kind of sponsorship? I don't know how hard or easy that would be, though.

    But yeah, there's people out there that do that sort of thing. And some of the write books about it when they're done. It's seems more of a lifestyle than a fly-by-night endeavor. Come to think of it I saw a video of a married couple that's been on the road for several years. They wrote a book while on the road, had it published, and that's how they fund their trip. So the info is out there.

    Some bike companies make special bikes that are specifically for touring, too. They can ride with a heavier load and have more options for mounting racks,panniers,bottles,pumps. I saw one that even had a couple spare spokes mounted on a chainstay for emergencies.

    Good luck, Chief.
     
  7. cyberlegend1994

    cyberlegend1994 Moderator

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    Threads merged.
     
  8. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Like kdelong said, this is tough time to do something like that. Given that unemployment is so high and that it's not an employers market, i.e. they can get away with paying lower wages, I think you'd have to expect odd jobs to pay less than they normally would. If I were you, I'd make sure, before starting on such an endeavor, that I had enough funds in reserve to cover the whole trip. That is, assume you won't be able to barter much or make much doing odd jobs.

    You certainly won't be able to barter medical care, so have to make sure you've got coverage for that.

    Have you considered doing such a trip as a fundraiser for a cause? Of course, you couldn't use raised funds to pay for your own expenses, but the fundraising aspect might open more doors when it comes to finding lodging, eating, and etc.
     
  9. tlnelsn

    tlnelsn New Member

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    Good points. Fundraising is a great one. I want to establish some kind of network that would tap resources and connect with causes, especially involving volunteer work that a migratory bicyclist could be involved in. Also, connect with housing and work for income.
     
  10. tlnelsn

    tlnelsn New Member

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    If you recall anything more specific about that couple that might ID them or help with a search, please get back to me. Thanks for your response.
     
  11. tlnelsn

    tlnelsn New Member

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    I'm looking at establishing a network, using the internet, targeting short term services and developing contacts along the way. Should be able to keep expenses down with some bartering if using a network. I would focus on healthy living, organic food sources, holistic healthcare. I don't expect to do this until I'm 70, but the 55 to 65 range should be do-able. Thanks for your comments.
     
  12. tlnelsn

    tlnelsn New Member

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    Someone I was riding with on a century told me about a couple touring the world who wrote a book titlted "10,000 Miles from Nowhere". That could be it.
     
  13. tlnelsn

    tlnelsn New Member

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    I came across a website for a network of cycling tour hosts. It is www.warmshowers.org. Check it out.
     
  14. tlnelsn

    tlnelsn New Member

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    Three recent intercontinental or global treks by bicyclist couples: Ward and Jacky Budweg, http://www.fromthebenchesoftheworld.com/; Eric and Christie Nelson, http://mankatofreepress.com/local/x583214172/Mankatoans-bicycle-journey-comes-full-circle and Sandy and Ron Slaughter, Tandem Times: A Bicycle Journey Around the World, Odyssey to the Limits. See book review or buy book, http://www.amazon.com/Tandem-Times-Bicycle-Journey-Odyssey/product-reviews/0965023206/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1.
     
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