Recently, I had the privilege of riding with of the most down to earth riders I have ever met: Scottie Scholz. I first heard about him eavesdropping on other riders at group rides. “Did you hear what’s he’s doing? Do you think he’ll make it?” All this buzz in was about something that Scottie was attempting, something quite incredible.

my mission: to travel through 48 states in 6 months by bicycle. i’ll be taking sundays off but averaging 100 to 160 miles a day (regardless of weather) throughout the week.

What really sets this quest apart from every other long distance ride is the minimalist spirit that Scottie lives by. Most coast to coast rides involve large support teams with vehicles and hotels supporting you at every leg. Scottie seemed to be only relying on his legs, a $5 a day budget, and the compassion of others.

The first week seemed so hopeful, everyone on the Los Angeles Fixed community eager to support him with places to stay and people they knew along his path. In the end Scottie’s ride got cut short (April 1st – 7th). due to mechanical failures. But when speaking with him the Saturday he returned, he seemed so upbeat and ready to try again that you think he had already accomplished his goal.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when touring by bike.

1. Be safe – Wear a helmet (duh). But there’s so much more than just that. Plan your route to take advantage of smaller roads with fewer cars. Keep your eyes out for motorists that aren’t paying attention. And always be aware of the cars around you.

2. Bring spare parts – Scottie’s spiral downward started from something as simple as a broken chain and ended up with a long heavy walk down the interstate. It’s also important to bring the necessary tools and have a basic mechanical understanding of your bike. I’ve heard plenty of people packing all the right gear only to realize they can’t service their bike because they’re missing the proper tool.

3. It’s not a race – Planning on getting to your nephew’s Bat Mitzvah by a certain time? Maybe the bike isn’t your best bet. The bike is a great way to go on roads less traveled and stop at places you normally wouldn’t even consider. However if you’re on a time constraint or schedule, you might not want to go this route.

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