My employment ended about a month and a half ago, and soon after, I got the bright idea to use the time for an extended vacation. I've always wanted to go cross country and have enjoyed cycling. If I can muster the willpower, I'll be doing both in a few weeks as I cycle cross country.
Yesterday I finally purchased the most important piece of equipment (after scouring ebay, local bike shops, and craigslist religiously since i made my decision to go through with this); My road bike. I toyed around with various setups (cyclocross, modifying my hybrid with drop bars, using a racing bike with trailer) and materials (steel, aluminum, CF, mix) and I ultimately went with used carbon fiber road bike since it provided the best mix of weight and cost (you can find a lot of used road bikes, but given how new most cyclocross bikes are, they still to be commanding a much higher resale).
The bike was outfitted and ready to go for touring. It had racks for front and rear panniers, had low gearing for touring, and had really solid components (shimano 105 equivalent). It also had the basic accessories like clip pedals, water bottle holders, gel racing seat and air pump. The whole setup was $450 which was a pretty good deal. It was about 1/4 the cost of most new bikes with similar setups. I just ordered pedals (clipless one side, flat on the other in the event my shoe brackets break), some mountain bike shoes (can be used on and off the bike), a bike computer, and iphone bike mount.
The bike itself is a mid 90's Trek 2120 ZX carbon fiber frame with aluminum forks (the opposite of most modern setups). The last owner had taken really good care of it. After riding my Bianci Cortina (a hybrid with a fat tube alminum frame, I can really appreciate a good road bike). Though the tires have a much higher PSI, the ride is way more smooth than my hybrid. The gel saddle and carbon frame do a good job of taking out the bumps in the road and making it a comfortable ride. The inline shifters are also a big upgrade over the downtube shifters on my last few vintage road bikes.
Here are the specs.
I've been accumulating bike clothing for the last few weeks. Now, that I have a bike I need to get panniers and some tools (I also bought a BOB Yak trailer last week for $100). All said, I think I will only have about $1000-$1250 invested in gear and clothing. I already had camping accessories from my adventures last fall. With those, the total setup would be closer to $1500. Still, not bad for being fully prepared for a multi month trip. I'll detail more on what gear I am using once I am closer to departure.
Right now, I would love to be training and putting some miles on my new bike, but here in CT it's in the 30's and a little breezy (it's 75 back in South Carolina!). Needless to day, I won't be doing any training until I am back at home.
I will be there in about a week which will give me some time to spend with my family. During this time I will be training and trying out different setups (panniers, trailers, tires, ect) to see which works best. I also plan on doing a small tour around my native state of South Carolina before I start my full trek.