Thanks for writing this as you saved me a fair bit of typing. My first reaction on reading the OP was incredulity. These guys don't own bikes, don't know what type to buy, don't currently ride and don't say what, if any, charity they are trying to assist. Amazing.
Not sure why that is amazing. I met lots of folks who were on long tours that they started as non cyclists especially on the Trans America. My two companions on the TA had almost no miles under their belt at the start and one was never a cyclist previous to the TA. They both did great. Being young and in generally good shape helps but even being older of somewhat sedentary doesn't mean someone can't start a coast to coast trip if they either train a bit of take it easy for the first 10 days to 2 weeks.