Preparation Rule # 1: Ask others who have done it!
As I prepare to bike across America, I receive advice and guidance from other BAMers. Of course, they all tend to counterask the most important question.
ARE YOU REALLY READY TO DO THIS?
From there, more specific questions come, and I can’t help but feel like a suspect in the interrogation room. I appreciate the questions because they help me put my realistic and idealistic goals into separate brackets. While a plethora of people just got up one day and said, “I’m going to bike across the Earth,” and they did it with no cash, supporters or quality equipment, that doesn’t mean I have the means and capability to do the same. Not to mention, I also have a dog–who is like a child to me–to think about. So, I respond to those questions with seriousness.
“Are you ready for a bike across USA ride? You’ve got experience? You’ve done some multi-day touring?”
I don’t know. I have been cycling, and doing as much as possible to prepare myself: bootcamp, outdoor cycling, indoor cycling, jogging, training Fiji, reaching out to potential sponsors for funding and more. However, I think the only way to really know if I’m ready is when I set off on the road in April. No, I have never done multi-day touring.
Also, keep in mind, I am starting off as a chubby girl. I am doing this to lose weight and challenge myself. I know how difficult it will be, but I love challenges. Pulling my weight, plus Fiji and my equipment will test my physical and mental resolve. I’m scared of that, but I’m more afraid of what will happen if I give up, if I don’t reach my goals and if I don’t transform myself and spend the rest of my 20s in good health. Fiji, on the other hand, still dodges cameras when I want to take her picture. I can tell you without a doubt that biking across America will be the most nerve-wracking, exciting and downright new experience for my spoiled little princess.
“Do you have the funding to do the entire trip?”
Nope. And that’s that.“
If you don’t have the money, what will you do? Credit card? Camp for free instead of motels?”
I said that’s that! Ok, really–I plan on living like a vagabond and camping, using Warmshowers and staying with friends when I come across them. I am in debt–the repercussions of college. However, if I waited to pay off all my student debt to take this adventure, I’d be 80. Frugal living, a cut-throat spending plan for food, resupply, shelter and emergencies must be put into action. No fast food for me, but that goes without saying. I’m trying to do subtraction when it comes to my fat, not addition.
Why have you decided to take Fiji with you?
She’s my best pal. How many dogs can say they had a walk that lasted three to four months? None because dogs can’t talk. hehehe
Is there anyone else who will be joining you for part or all of the ride?
Yes. Thanks to Adventure Cycling, I have found some riding buddies for parts of my trip. I will be solo on the Pacific Coast and part of the Atlantic Coast.
How old are you?
24 years old.
Where were you on the night of the murder?