JOEY'S BICYCLE TOUR - FAQs
Nothing is a better conversation piece than a touring bike loaded down for the long haul. Thousands of people have approached me over the years to ask a few questions about the bike and my travels. Here is a collection of those questions.
Q: Where do you stay at night?
A: Mostly in campgrounds because they are cheap. Sometimes in hotels if there are no other options or if they are inexpensive. In some areas of the country, campgrounds may be twenty dollars a night and hotels in the same area will be twenty-five bucks a night. No brainer...I stay in the hotel.
Q: What do you eat?
A: Food from groceries and restaurants like everybody else.
Q: What do you do when it rains?
A: I put on my rain jacket. I have rain pants too but it is usually to hot to wear them while riding. All of my bike clothes are made of fancy synthetic materials that do not hold water and dry very quickly. No cotton. Cotton never dries and keeps you wet and cold.
If the weather is really horrible, I duck into a hotel until it improves.
Q: What happens when dogs chase you?
A: Most times I just outrun them. Dogs lose interest quickly once I am out of their territory which usually is in sight of the porch they sleep on all day. If I get caught off guard I drown them with water from my water bottle. I have used an electronic device called a Doggie DazerDoggie Dazer
KII Enterprises made by KII Enterprises. It emits a sound that humans can't hear but hurts the dog's ears temporarily. When I hit them with the Dazzer all I can hear is the sound of their toenails on the cement as they try to stop.
Q: Do you ride on the Interstate Highways?
A: Not often. Riding on Interstates is noisy, dusty, and boring. It's also illegal in most states. I biked on I-80 near Rawlins, Wyoming for fifteen miles because there was not another road for a hundred miles in any direction. I also biked on I-15 near Dillon, Montana for about five miles due to laziness. It is legal to bicycle on Interstate Highways in Montana and Wyoming so long as there is no alternative road.
Most of my routes use old state highways and county roads exclusively. All of those roads that are lightly traveled because some more recently built Interstate Highway now carries most of the traffic. Western states developed Interstate highways before they built a network of secondary roads, so Interstates are sometimes the only paved alternative.
Q: How far do you ride in a day?
A: That depends on terrain, wind, services (or lack of services), and how I feel. My longest day was 150 miles. My average is 60 miles. I am not ashamed to bike 20 miles a day along the beach or other scenic/cheap areas. My shortest day riding was 5 miles near San Diego on the Pacific Coast.
Q: Ever had any trouble? Anybody ever tried to rob you?
A: No one has ever tried to rob me. The only trouble I ever have is motorists intentionally cutting it close when passing me, or yelling in my ear as they go by, or sometimes throwing stuff out the window. I think that I probably look like a penniless homeless person to most people. On most of my trips, I guess I was homeless except for a storage locker back home. Also, I try to finish my day before blue collar "Miller Time" which is about 3 P.M. weekdays. That probably eliminates a world of trouble.
Q: How many flat tires have you gotten so far?
A: Normally, the answer is none. I average one flat tire every 5000 miles.
Q: How do you get so much time off from work?
(This is my favorite question)
A: I quit.
Q: Are you rich? Where do you get the money so you can quit your job for six months? (Or as a cowboy in Eastern Colorado put it: "Whadaya do fer beans boy?")
(This is my second favorite question)
A: I don't smoke, I don't drink alcohol, coffee, tea, or sodas, I don't own a car, and I don't have any children. I also don't watch TV or have any need for an expensive "entertainment" system. Basically, I live well below my means. I can easily take 6 months off every two years with an average salary of 25K.
Q: How long have you been out?
A: I don't get asked this very often, however, it's the best question to ask a cross-country cyclist in my opinion. If I could only ask one question, this would be the one that I would ask.
Q: What would you do if you got sick?
A: Go to a doctor.
Q: Why can't you be like NORMAL people?
A: Don't you mean, why can't I be like ORDINARY people?