Sunday, August 15, 2010

Family on Bikes

It doesn't really have a connection to Florida that I know of, but this week's edition of Parade has a story about a family of four biking from Alaska down the Pan American Highway to Argentina. Hooray for the Vogels!

I'm a pretty good planner. I can make a savings plan and save up for a new TV or a new car, and I think I'm doing o.k. saving for retirement, but I can't really imagine all the preparation that must go into planning a 2 - 3 year bicycle journey through winter, summer, rainy seasons, desert heat, mountain snows, and the possibility of hurricane winds.

Into Thick Air: Biking to the Bellybutton of Six ContinentsThe Vogels have documented their trip from beginning to current day and their photo page really helped me better understand the level of planning required.  From the Getting Ready section:
We spent a whole year preparing for this journey. In addition to simply planning where we would go, we had to fix up the house for a renter, get our finances in order, get all our equipment together, and do a gazillion other things!
Thinking about planning your own cross-continent bicycle journey?  How about a Florida to Alaska trek?  If you think the Vogels might know a thing or two about good bicycles suited for the journey, you might want to check out Novara Randonee.  They go for about $850-$900.

The Vogels have an entire section on their website covering financing an extended trip.  Based on their experiences, plan to spend about $70,000 for a three year bicycle trip.  Of course, if you're not willing to "rough it", that figure will likely increase tremendously.

I've enjoyed reading the blog about the family travels.  Here's one of my favorite articles: Life Doesn't Come with a Moneyback Guarantee. I look forward to following them for the rest of the trip through Bolivia and southward. 

Want to read about a bicycle tour of six continents? Try Into Thick Air by Jim Malusa.

With my knee surgeries, bicycling is out of the question for me, but a Florida to Alaska motorcycle trip is definitely in my future.

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