Here’s a short interview with Bicycle Touring Pro reader, Clayton Campbell, after he recently completed a 90-day self-supported cycle tour in the southern portion of the United States.
Where did you go during your bicycle tour and how many days were you on the road?
I landed at the Miami, Florida airport and rode my loaded ’84 KHS tourer to New Mexico into what I believe was Westerly winds. I used the Northerly Atlantic coastline roads then hit old Highway 90 as a rough guide mostly riding along the Gulf region. I was on the road for a little more than 90 days. Being basically a camp oriented cyclist, I tended to camp whenever and wherever I chose. I do prefer a leisurely morning coffee as a ritual start-up to begin the day.
What was your biggest fear when planning or preparing for your trip by bike? And how exactly did you overcome that fear?
My fear was robbers or things that go bump in the night. I overcame that fear by using foam ear plugs, which were very helpful. I also found that choosing concealed sleep areas were very important and that river areas provided the best camp options. In civilized locations, I liked camping around radio transmitter towers as they seemed the safest and cleanest areas that were always well maintained.
What was the thing you liked most about your bicycle touring experience?
I enjoyed the open freedom of movement, unrestricted travel in any direction I choose.
What was the thing you liked LEAST about your bicycle touring experience?
The least liked experience were the people I met and how they viewed cyclists as second class citizens that were always looking for a handout. I feel there is a general disrespect for those who are homeless.
What is one thing you learned from your bicycle tour?
Good food, rest and a positive attitude can overcome many difficulties.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone planning his or her first bicycle tour?
Just do it!