Author Topic: Paying for the trip?  (Read 6977 times)

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Paying for the trip?
« on: October 13, 2013, 10:04:54 pm »
Hi everyone,
I am curious what do adventure cyclists do for work that lets you pay for long trips? Are there teachers with the summer off?  Contractors who can close up shop for a few months here and there? Retired?
Best Neil

Offline John Nelson

Re: Paying for the trip?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2013, 10:54:58 pm »
Have you seen this thread which asks a very similar question five days ago?

You will also get this question from time to time while you're out on tour.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2013, 10:56:51 pm by John Nelson »


Re: Paying for the trip?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2013, 10:59:54 pm »
Yes I saw the thread. However, no one in the thread actually said what they did for a job title/ description One respondent said he was onhis way to early retirement. Also the thread concluded with the OP asking about careers in the bike industry. I did not want to hijack his thread but did want to see an answer to the question. So I repeat, what do serious bike travelers do for jobs?

Offline John Nelson

Re: Paying for the trip?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2013, 11:30:36 pm »
I would guess you'll find pretty much everything. Certainly I have met a lot of teachers out there in the summer. And of course a lot of retired people. And many students who have just graduated and are taking an opportunity between school and work. You also see a lot of people in high-turnover professions (e.g., telemarketers, nurses, retail, hospitality, fast food, child care, accountants, consultants, sales, delivery drivers) who have quit their prior job and plan to look for a new job when their tour ends. And you see a lot of people who were laid off and are seizing the opportunity. Others are long-term travelers, who live very frugally and manage to stretch a small pot of money out for a long time.

A lot of the explanations, however, are simpler: they are lawyers, doctors, engineers, people in business, financial analysts, scientists, cubical workers, etc. who are simply taking a break from their jobs. If self-employed, they have arranged with others to cover for them, or if employed by others, they have asked for and been granted an extended time off.


  • Guest
Re: Paying for the trip?
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2013, 10:16:28 am »
Well....When I did ACA's Northern Tier group tour, there were three people who had just finished undergrad or grad school, one who was going to be a senior in undergrad, a special ed teacher, four retired fellows (one had been an engineer and another a CHiP) and two people, inlcuding myself, who were unemployed. Prior to the trip, I was practicing law in-house with a large corporation. My unemployment was the result of a corporate acquisition that required regulatory approval. That process, along with implementation, took a long time. I had a good 18 months advance notice that I would likely be losing my job. During that time, I saved up as much as I could. Ended up taking three long tours, among other things. Being able to flop with my mom when I wasn't travelling helped with the financial end. Now that I have been working for some time, my trips are limited to 10-14 days or less including travel to and from the start/finish.

As for our leaders (there ended up being three), one was ex-Navy and did something with computers on what sounded like a consulting basis, one was a retired CIA and one, I believe, was an independent electrician.

Offline rondickinson

Re: Paying for the trip?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2013, 09:50:15 am »
My son and I are planning on doing the TranAm next summer.  He is a senior in college and will have one semester to finish.  He says, "Dad it's my last free summer and I have been working all through school, how about we ride our bikes across the US".  For me I'm mid 50's and own a business that is slower in the summer.  Plus I have increased my staff and worked on processes and delegation to where I can leave as long as I have some electronics for communication.  It's a bucket list item for me, and I'm at the stage where I can fund the trip.  The way we are doing it is not cheap.  New TI bikes, bags and lightweight gear.  We will camp and cook some of our own food, but plan a hotel once or twice a week and eat some in restaurants.   Set up cost have been over $10,000 for two of us, and I wil probably spend that or less during the trip.  You can do it cheaper, I'm just fortunate to be able to fund the cost and don't think I will regret the bonding time and accomplishment.  You never know how much life any of us has left.


Re: Paying for the trip?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2013, 09:34:31 pm »
Hi John, Indyfabz and Ron,
Thank you all for your replies. It is fascinating to hear the different paths people took to get out on the road. Your responses definitely give me some things to think about. Also, Indyfabz, I hope you have found work again.

Offline BikeFreak

Re: Paying for the trip?
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2013, 03:06:27 am »
I'm a mechanical engineer with a PhD in materials science. I'm from Europe/Denmark where 6 weeks of holiday pr year is the standard. This might seem tempting to many of you, but we pay at least 50% income taxes and our VAT is 25%.

My touring experiences started in college/university when using regular summer holidays for biking across US. I think we had 10 weeks of holiday or so.

At the moment I hold a "normal" job and somehow manage to compress and expand holidays/working hours etc and still be able to do long trips.

When biking, I spend on average 20-30 dollars pr day, food being the cheapest part of the daily spendings.



  • Guest
Re: Paying for the trip?
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2013, 11:36:02 am »
Also, Indyfabz, I hope you have found work again.

Thanks. As luck would have it, I got by old job back exactly two years after I left.

Offline darren.pinkham

Re: Paying for the trip?
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2013, 12:11:12 pm »
I have a trip planned for next summer that will take 3 months. I don't have much experience but I have planned my bike ride between 2 jobs. I realize this doesn't help that much but it's just something to think about. Also if you ask your old boss to lay you off due to lack of work then you can collect unemployment while biking as long as you don't leave the country. Just an idea not sure if it would really work.
Safe journeys

Offline WonderMonkey

Re: Paying for the trip?
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2013, 10:28:47 pm »
Neil -> I am transitioning from the corporate world into running my own business which will allow me more time to tour.  And once it gets going touring may even help build it.