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FAQ

I’m still at the stage where I enjoy answering people’s questions about this trip. But something tells me that at some point the novelty may wear off… With that in mind, here’s a few of the questions people often ask me and something that resembles what I say in response (assuming they caught me in a chatty mood!)

  • Where are you starting from?

Yorktown, Virginia (East Coast!)

  • Where are you finishing?

Astoria, Oregon (West Coast – not far from Portland)

  • How many miles will you ride each day?

My overall plan is to average about 70 miles a day. The first couple of weeks will be less than this as I ease into the trip. There may well be stretches through Kansas etc where I power on through and do more miles as it will be flat and (relatively) boring. No offence, Kansas!

  • Who are you going with?

As none of my friends had the neccessary combination of i) desire, ii) availability and iii) finances, I ended up advertising on the ‘Companions Wanted’ section of adventurecycling.org‘s website. I got a really good response from a number of folk. Patrick, a student from California, is planning to cycle the whole route with me (unless we get sick of each other) and Demi, a student from Winsconsin, is hoping to join us near St Louis, Missouri, for the second half of the trip. At the time of writing there are also various other possible companions ‘in the picture’. And if you’re planning to be cycling the TransAmerica route around about that time, do get in touch! My general policy is ‘the more the merrier’.

  • How long will it take you?

If I averaged 70 miles a day, it would take about 60 days. But that’s with no rest days at all – which is ludicrous. My flights are 90 days apart so it had better not take longer than that! So somewhere between 60 and 90. Let the sweepstake begin!

  • So what will you do when you get to the end?

Hopefully I’ll have a few of my 90 days still left when I reach Astoria. If so, I fully intend to relax and just enjoy the West Coast. Probably sans bike!

  • Where will you stay each night?

I’m carrying my camping equipment and I’m expecting to camp most nights with the odd night in a motel for those days when everything else has gone wrong and you just need a proper bed for the night. Often you can camp for free in ‘city parks’, or otherwise find a free place to spend the night, courtesy of countless kind-hearted locals (so I’m told).

  • What are you doing about your job?

They’ve given me a sabbatical! I’m starting back at work in mid-August following my return. But lets not dwell on that…

  • How can you afford to take 3 months off work?!

Er… oh yeah! Good point. Hmmm….

  • Are you going to cook your own food or eat out?

One thing’s for certain: I ain’t gonna starve! There’s no shortage of cheap diners all along the route so I’m planning to mainly make use of those. This saves me carrying cooking equipment and attempting to buy, store, prepare and cook a balanced meal at the end of a hard day’s cycle. Eating out should also provide a useful way of meeting people as cafes and bars are usually the social hubs of rural America.

  • So are you buying a bike out there?

No, no, no! Its dead easy to put your bike on a plane as oversized luggage, and there’s so much preparation and ‘riding-in’ to be done on a bike before you could take it on a tour that the only sensible approach is to take your bike with you.

  • I live on the TransAmerica route. Can I offer you any hospitality?

Absolutely! Just contact me :-)

  • How can I keep up-to-date with your progress?

Firstly, by checking for updates to this blog. I’ll also be tweeting – although obviously the tweets will form the ‘abridged’ version of my escapades!

Still got questions? Ask them in the comments below!

6 Responses to “FAQ”

  1. Charles says:

    Hi Graham,
    Your link to http://www.adventurecycling.org'/ has a “‘”

    Best wishes
    Charles

  2. Chris Dymond (UK) says:

    Hi Graham,

    Loving the blog, the humour and especially the photo’s. We’re family friends of Patrick Stracey and following your progress with interest from here in the UK. Bit of a cyclist myself, but not up to crossing the USA! Good luck for the rest of the trip.

    Chris

  3. Rodney says:

    Did you ever get the “here’s where I’ve been” GPS/Google maps thing working?

    • Graham says:

      Yes and no. It works, but I decided not to use it as I wanted to save my iPhone battery for other tasks. I did get a Google Latitude plugin working though so I can update where I currently am.

  4. Cat says:

    Why has no one asked you the WHY? question? Surely that’s got to be a major motivational necessity at bad moments?

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