Hello all! A friend and I have decided that we are determined to ride cross country this summer. Neither of us has any touring experience...I have been told that while you can adapt other bikes to act as touring bikes, it will never be quite the same. I would love to get a touring bike, but as a poor college student, I want to make sure it is necessary. thanks for the help!
There are few sports that require specialized equipment, like, oh, skydiving. Bicycle touring is not one of them. Ride the bike you have. But it would be foolish not to know ahead of time that your bike is up to the task.
Make a list of your questions. Don't just post them here randomly, use the search function. Once you start your research, you will find links to dozens of touring blogs and hundreds of touring discussions. Read and download all of ACA's free information. Hit your local library for their collection of bicycle touring books. Devour them. Check off your questions as they get answsered.
Make a list of your needs, wants, and desires. For instance, you NEED a dependable tent but you do NOT need a folding camp table. You need to be able to make sound decisions that will fuel your engine with good nutritional foods but you do not need a fully equipped camp kitchen. You need some maps but you do not a cockpit loaded with electronics. You need to know how to make basic field repairs to your bike and camping gear but you do not need a 20 pound spare parts and tool kit.
People have been riding their bicycles all over the world for a really long time. There is an endless supply of knowledge available to you. I envy your determination. Don't let anything stand in your way of chasing this dream.
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