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Overland Bicycle Travel Overlanding questions for two wheels, no motor!
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Old 9 Jan 2010
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get any bike, and go. go somewhere for a week. then a month. then a year. etc.

you don't need to plan anything, as long as you are just travelling and don't have any notion of an end-point. if you're setting your brain thinking you're heading to russia, then do a bit of planning and sort the visas. otherwise just get on the boat away from this rancid island and go.

have a look at (ie buy) Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook by Stephen Lord.

1. Visa's, including a general route of country's that I want to go through

normally a lot easier than you think, but worth checking in advance

2. Some type of routine, ie 1 night every 10 in a hotel or real campsite, as you say, complete wild would make some hygiene problems and what not.

if you want routine, get a job. the minimum routine you have to do is wake up, pack, ride, eat, sleep, wake up.... for hygiene, some tar soap and get yourself into the nearest river.

3. How much weight I could carry on a bike,

less is better. you have to tour to know what you can leave behind. rear racks are about 25 kg, front about 10 kg. the more weight the more likely you'll pop spokes. remember carrying food and water weight a lot.

4. Keeping in contact and mapping, I assume it would be hard keeping people updated with my movement, it would limit the possibility of GPS and such, unless I can get an alternator powered by peddling.

GPS? why bother? on a cycle you don't really go fast enough to go that far out of the way. and 'out of the way' might be the best place you go. use maps.

5. Do I have the balls!

dunno, do you?
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Old 15 Jan 2010
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IF you really want to do it then you will soon find out if you have the balls selling up all your unwanted goods to start with will make you closer to realising the adventure and either drive it forward or make you rethink, i personally are not good at forward planning how would i know if i would need a visa for somwhere or when unless i new to the day /week id be arriving (easier with petrol power) Do europe first then build on the trip as you learn BUT go for it ROB
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Old 15 Jan 2010
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How about buying a cheap motorbike...

My last mountain bike cost £1200... my current travel motorcycle cost £1500 !!!
1994 XR650L
2001 NX650 Dominator.

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Ushuaia - Colombia 2007/8
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Old 16 Jan 2010
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Go for it, life's too short. $50 a day on a push bike, no way, on our trip on two motorbikes we spend £50 a day in total with plenty of hostel type accomodation included, no rough camping. Only extras were shipping, flights and visas.

Hope to see you on the road one day.
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Old 21 Feb 2010
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I did exactly what you did in July 2008. I sold my BMW R1150GS and all of my possessions and bought a bike and have been on the road ever since. I'm currently in Chiang Mai, Thailand and I've had a great trip so far. I love motorbiking but I couldn't justify spending my savings on petrol, repairs, spares etc and the less money I spend, the longer I'm on the road.

I got my fix of motorbikes when I was in India though as friends gave me a loan of a 350cc & 500cc Enfields when I was there and I went to Leh (Himalayas).

You can read about my trip here: Bicycle Touring: Acoustic Motorbike - A bicycle journey around this small blue planet

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Old 4 Mar 2010
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Overland Bicycle Travel

As have many others reading this thread, I've done some touring via bicycle. A number of years ago I did the U.S. northern route on a mt. bike w/cheap panniers. Seattle to Boston in two months averaging $15 a day. Most small towns are more than happy to let you camp in the local park for free. Just talk to local law enforcement upon arrival. Sometimes they'll even keep an eye out for anyone looking to "borrow" anything from your bike overnight.

During summer, in the U.S., many small towns have swimming pools where parents send their kids to play while they work. I use these for their free showers. I also would stop at campgrounds, not to camp, but to take a quick shower (pay) and do laundry, work on bike etc...

Start out with a general plan and some decent maps and just go. After a few weeks you'll gain confidence in yourself and get stronger. At this point you'll feel comfortable varying from your plan - it's here that you'll become truly free.

That's the cool thing about touring by bike - there's so little to worry about. Cost to fix bike is low. If bike is stolen or trashed, new ones are cheap compared to motorcycles. Don't think you need a custom touring bike to do big tours. I have one and actually prefer the old mt. bike over the $$$ bike any day.

Bikes are way easier to fly with you if you have to. You travel so slowly you really experience the land and people around you. Plus, most non cyclists feel sorry for you for riding so far on such a heavy bike. Your vulnerability creates an interesting dynamic where the locals treat you like family. This is especially true if you go solo.
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Old 13 Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by tedmagnum View Post
How about buying a cheap motorbike...

My last mountain bike cost £1200... my current travel motorcycle cost £1500 !!!
erm, you don't have to put fuel into a bicycle (saving £2000 per continent?).. and £1200 for a bicycle ?!? excuse me, but you spend £1200 on a bicycle but only £1500 on a motorcycle ?

either 1) you were had, 2) you are a bicycle snob or 3) you are a motorcycle fool

I assume £1200 buys you a new mountain bike of your choice, and £1500 buys a second hand bike of variable history?
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Old 18 Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by pbekkerh View Post
.... Also crazy guy on a bike site.
+1 for this site. LOADS of inspirational journals from people who have done exactly what you are asking about ala "push" bike.

There is plenty on this site too.

Plenty of good advice in this thread alone.

Go for it.
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Old 19 Mar 2010
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Take a Seat | Catch up | STV Player

Good film of Alaska - Argentina by push bike for those interested (a tandem though...)

My little Vid: India/Pakistan

Suzuki DR650 SE: Ride it like ya stole it. Oh, somebody just did...
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Old 24 Aug 2012
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Did you ever go for it then Cysne
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Old 13 Jan 2014
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So did you do it?
Or do you still wanna do it?
If you want company; i'm up for it!
I have no money though. only like.. 1000€ or so. i can get a little more if i find a effin job.
but i plan on mostly catch my poultry in the wild. do some containerskipping and rely on hospitality!
let me know bro
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Old 29 Jan 2014
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We're in Africa (Gambia) at the moment. We pedalled most of the way from northern Spain on a tandem (www.thespokeandwords.wordpress.com). Also did a 7000km ride round Europe a few years ago. Cost about £11 per person per day all inclusive, self sufficient on cooking and staying in the tent, sometimes wild camping.

Plenty of people do this type of thing. Google it and keep dreaming/researching. That's how most interesting things start to happen.

Sent from my GT-S5830 using Tapatalk 2
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Old 30 Jan 2014
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Had the pleasure of meeting DuBruyn on his Australia leg. He did exactly what you're thinking: business wasn't going anywhere so sold up started peddling.
Having a charity in mind always helps with finding sponsors etc.

Have a read of their story: Around 7 Continents

DuBruyn's travel blog has some nice info on preparation etc. if you haven't left yet
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Old 2 Mar 2014
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Old 26 Mar 2014
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A pushbike has some distinct advantages.

1) Easy to repair.
2) No carnet!!!
3) No fuel other than food
4) Can be taken on planes, buses and trains, often for free.
5) Inexpensive
6) Abandon-able (less expensive and.... no carnet!)
7) Ecological
8) Easier border crossings (no customs documents)
9) No vehicle registration issues
10) No insurance issues
11) Can almost always be taken into hotel rooms.
12) You can go places other vehicles cannot (Angkor Wat Mountain Biking Photo Below)
13) In the same way that motorcycles allow a better connection with the average person than car/truck travel, a bike encourages and even greater connection with the average person.

We've done both motorcycle and bike travel, and enjoy both. The bikes we used in Southeast Asia were purchased at thrift stores in the U.S. My bike cost $29 and Amanda's was $14.99. 1980s mountain bikes are the perfect expedition touring machines.

Latin America & Africa by Volkswagen | Southeast Asia by Bicycle | India by Royal Enfield (ugh!)
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