No mortgage… no wife… no kids… and now no job… what’s a guy living in South Florida to do? Jump on a bicycle and ride to Alaska of course. When I make it up there the plan is to head down to South America and then wherever the road takes me.

Latest route map: [full size]

Route Map

My journey has been in the planning stages for about a year now. It wasn’t until mid-2008 that the idea of actually making the journey on a bike started making sense. For me it’s the perfect way to travel. I can experience more than just the fleeting glimpse of scenery as I wiz past it in a car. I can also cover a lot of ground in one day so I won’t get bored (I’m very impatient when I travel). It also gives me a chance to meet and interact with the people living in the areas I’m traveling through. On my very few bicycle trips so far this interaction has been what I’ve remembered the most and what I most look forward to when I do end up leaving.

So once I decided how I was going to travel it was just a matter of figuring out what kind of bike I’d need and how I’d carry everything. Figuring out what I’d need was easy enough. I already had a lot of experience backpacking so hiking/camping gear was a cinch. The biggest problem for me is that I have a photography and computer obsession. Leaving without my Canon DSLR is unheard of. Being without a laptop ditto. How to bring all that along? And power everything? And keep it dry? And keep it from being pilfered? Carrying anything on a bike was a whole new experience for me. I’d never even heard of panniers a year ago. So I started reading… a lot. I finally settled on a great bike and, what I hope will be good bags to carry everything in. Powering and securing everything also took a lot of research but I think what I ended up with should do the trick.

Bicycle touring has it’s own set of complications vs. hiking that I had to consider. When I’m hiking, finding a place to sleep at night is simple. On a bike tour it’s not so easy. Should I bring a tent or a hammock? I love camping in both and on a long distance trip adequate shelter is critical. So I’m bringing both. In six months maybe I’ll find that the tent is fine by itself… or the hammock is. There’s also the matter of cars. I have zero experience riding a fully loaded bike (100 lbs of gear) on a busy road with no bike lane and in inclement weather.

So the trip begins on my birthday, 02/21/2009. I don’t know how long it will last or what I’ll encounter along the way but I can’t wait to start.

Scott

25 Responses to “Introduction”
  1. Good luck man,

    Looking forward to checking up on your adventures. Keep safe and enjoy life.

  2. willy chill says:

    good luck to you, but i think you should do a little more research before you head off.. 100lbs is much much to much to be carrying. generally 30-40lbs is about right. lay out everything you think you need and then get rid of most of it. you will end up mailing back one of your shelters VERY quickly. and leave the laptop at home. it’ll be good for you, and there’s libraries all over the country.

    as far as stealth camping, look for those fenced in electrical areas. you can often find spots along the edges of them to set up a tent or hammock and be fairly out of view.

    keep a journal!

  3. Charlotte says:

    Dear Scott
    Heard your story from my neighbor, cousin Nicole. I will add you to my prayer list and wish you good luck on your great adventure. I hope that you do leave some information from time to time about how things are going. I am looking forward to read all about your trip.
    charlotte

  4. ubrayj02 says:

    You should talk to this kid:

    http://www.bikingforobama.com/

    He just got done riding to see Obama from California to D.C. He had a pretty good media thing going, and got picked up in the news nationally and locally. Definitely something to make the trip into something bigger publicly.

  5. AK47blues says:

    you should check this guy out, too:

    http://www.bikopelli.com

  6. NC says:

    Make a blog with these guys
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/?o=3Tzut

    Look at getting a trailer, I use a Bob.
    http://go-cycle-touring.com/go-cycle-touring-bob-trailer.html

    You can haul a lot of gear, and it runs great.

    Get a good tent, you will be thankful at the end of the day.

    Good luck!

  7. John R says:

    Scott

    Man, that bike is loaded! Computer? I’ve pushed some loads uphill, but never anything like that.

    I’m now in my early 60s. I’ve taken a number of week-long and two month-long tours. I guarantee three things: First, you’ll find that bike touring is unlike other forms of travel and that people will respond to you differently. Some jerks will be even greater jerks than usual, but the vast majority who otherwise would have ignored you, will embrace you. Second, there will be days of sheer misery when you will be cursing and asking yourself what on earth you were thinking. Third, it will give you memories and stories to last a lifetime.

    in a fire a few years ago, we lost all our bikes, including a tandem. The financial turmoil, meant that I passed up the cross-country trip that my best biking buddy took, but with the insurance settlement, I had Peter White in NH, build me a new one with a Rivendell Atlantis frame. I’m admiring it as writing this, ignoring the snow and rain out my window and imagining being on the road again.

    This past weekend, my wife and I conducted a ritual we’ve done every five years or so. We sit down over bagels and write out on napkins, our priority lists of the adventures the next few years. Our lists are now on the fridge and mine includes “on more bike tour,” (as in big).

    So stumbling across your site on your first day, I wish you well, fair winds, and safe travels. And happy birthday!

  8. Uncle Dave says:

    Way to go Scott. Keep pedaling your ass off. I will be in Montana the month of October, so if you are there about that time we’ll get together.
    Be careful!!
    Uncle Dave

  9. Ed Bartra says:

    What’s up man, I was checking out the site today. Nice job, still can’t believe you are doing it. Hope you are having fun, I’ll be watching.

  10. Dennis B says:

    Scott what a great life adventure you are on. My only wish is that you keep save and have a great time. Its not every day one can do this, so soak it up my friend. I will definitely keep my eyes to your site (is this a free account complements of Ghostway jk) and post comments from time to time.

    Take care,

    Dennis B.

  11. Velko Hristov says:

    Hey Scott,
    You probably don’t remember me(from HW) but I’d like to tell you that you’re officially my hero now :D Good luck and favorable winds! You’re definitely having an adventure that other people only dream of…

  12. cousin Gary says:

    Hey,

    Glad to see your still doing good! keep it up wish I could join you.

  13. Mahender says:

    Hello Scott,

    Good luck with your adventures ..

    -Mahender

  14. Uncle Dave says:

    Never mind. Senile Uncle found it.

  15. Oris says:

    Scott, in case you didn’t know, the Garmin 60CSx can use Energizer lithium batteries for much longer life. I learned this while browsing the internet and found that many of our troops in the middle east have their own same personal device and they figured it out. Neither the device nor the instructions told me that lithium could be used

  16. andy says:

    I’m glad your still kicking!! sorry i haven’t chatted at you sooned…I made it back to oreogn safe and am finally working…my next trip will be???? who know..i track you later scott…be safe and I’ll pray for you…Later andy , bend oregon

  17. Kaushik says:

    This is the coolest thing that anyone who I’ve personally known has done! Excellent!

    Computer? Well, knowing you it has linux on it so it’s pretty light right?

    Look forward to reading more

    k

  18. andy b says:

    hey scott!! Hope your doing well…I’m good..I’m writing to tell you a couple of freind’s of mine from the deschutes brewery are leaving today for a 2.5 year ride, starting in new zealand and up through asia then fly to the east coast and ride back to bend oregon ..You all are an insperation to us riders out there…I can’t wait for my next riding adventure..Stay safe and have a GREAT NEW YEAR!!!…Andy……bend oregon

  19. Robert Flynn says:

    Hey Scott! Just wanted to give you a shoutout on PowerCylce.net… !!!Happy Birthday!!! One year on the road!! Simply Amazing. Thank you for sharing all the details of your trip. You are an inspiration.

  20. Wendy Barclay says:

    Scott – Hope you had a great birthday. You have had an incredible year! Good luck as you continue on your journey.

  21. andy bend oregon says:

    happy new year to ya scott.. looking good still. feel better and stay away from the beaver feever……All the best of luck to u….I pray for safe return to your home…..Andy in bend oregon…

  22. scott says:

    Hey Andy! I finally kicked this flu thing and and will be hitting the road tomorrow (for sure this time). Hope things are good with you. Happy New Year!

  23. Jhonny says:

    Me alegra mucho el haber conocido a una persona la cual los retos y nuevas experiencias no le son ajenas muy aparte el haber apoyado un poco en su viaje y orientacion ajja aunque para eso creo que estaba tu GPS, fue que al transcurrir por el distrito de tauca, lugar donde me encuentro trabajando me hiciste recordar lo que habia olvidado y te deseo mucho exito en tu travesia gracias amigo scott Mullin.

  24. tom benham jr says:

    I didn’t know if you got the last email but congratulations on your venture. Very impressive

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