From MN to West Coast? (1 Viewer)

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I'm considering bike-touring from Twin cities, MN to the west coast (most likely Seattle, WA.) I've never bike toured before, but I'm sick of GreyHound's bullshit. ::banghead::
Right now, I don't have any gear. I don't even have a bike, but I have a lot of time to gather what I need, if I decide to go through with this. I'm going to get a bike anyway, so I can get around the Twin Cities while I'm here.

I know a lot about bike touring as it is, but i made this post to ask for suggestions and advice outside of the standard national guidebook. What would useful to know for biking between MN and Washington? ::nurse::

(I don't know if this goes in destinations or bike touring. Sorry if I fucked it up.)
 
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SlankyLanky

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deffinetly get a bike before you even consider going cross country on one. make god damn sure you are comfortable with the frame/handlebars/brake/gear system of said bike. i made the mistake of the "oh ill just wing it on this bike i just got for free and itll all be fine". it wasnt. it was a fucking nightmare and one of the worst travel experiences ive had thus far.

diy saddle bags are made pretty easily but consider buying, borrowing or stealing some nice panniers that are water proof and are a good size, again this all depends on yer body weight/height. imo there is no real all around best pannier. a light weight tent is a must (again this is based on experience and my personal opinion) because as a tarp works well for hitch hiking and hopping trains, a tent after peddling for up to 8 hours or more a day is a hell of a nice thing to look forward to not having to deal with weather. and between MN and WA yer looking at alot of rain.

being in decent shape is a huge plus, although honestly im not in the best shape and i dont think it hindered me too badly, just made my trip longer then expected (that and my bike).

you will want comfortable clothes but not alot of them. weight really adds up and even a few extra pounds in yer saddle bags can feel like yer pulling a house after a few hours of riding.

again, LEARN YER BIKE! how to take it apart completly and put it back together is a huuuuge deal, because something will break or go wrong and if you dont know how to deal with it you could be shit outta luck in the middle of nowhere without a bike shop for towns and towns away. alot of the midwest isnt exactly the best place to find bicycle parts.

plan yer route and try to stick to it. this is also important because alot of roads/highways arnt bicycle friendly and you may find yerself having to turn back to take another path because theres just nowhere for you to even moderetly safely ride on.

alot of folks may not like this, but imo its not a good idea to rely on flying a sign/spanging as a means of income or food only because usually the best times ti do them is when youll want to be on yer bike not standing on a corner. dumpstering can of course be hit or miss so again its not worth ti to rely on that as a sole means of food since ideally youll want to be moving not home bumming around a town waiting for the pizza place to throw out their food.
 
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