Bicycle touring duo Russ Roca and Laura Crawford are well into their Bromptom bike adventure. For Russ, whom I sat down with for a live interview back in August 2009, the trip has given him the opportunity to pick up a new skill — drawing.
Combined with his newly acquired power of the pen and his big ideas about bike touring, Russ put together the illustration above. Here’s more about it from Russ himself (emphasis mine):
“… We’re pretty average as far as touring cyclists, shooting for about 50 miles a day. Far enough to move through the landscape, but slow enough to do some fishing and eat some pie. Because of our limited distance per day and the massive amounts of calories we’re expending a day we eat a lot and require a place to overnight (camp, RV park, motel, etc.,).
I began thinking of how our spending habits would be different if we were driving. Take a 200 road trip. It would be easily accomplished within a day in an automobile. You’d probably stop for lunch, refill the gas tank along the way and get dinner and lodging at your final destination. You might pass a handful of small towns along the way, but since you’re moving so fast and not expending any calories, chances are you probably won’t stop unless you have to use the bathroom. Those small towns would just be a blur from inside your car.
Take that same 200 mile stretch and think of how a bike tourist would move through the landscape. If they’re 50-mile-a-day cyclists like us, they would require 4 nights of lodging or camping. Because we’re constantly burning calories, that same trip would require 12 meals or snacks in between (either cooked with food bought from local markets or meals at the local eateries). We would definitely stop in every town to refill water bottles, stock up on food, use the restroom and spend the night.”
With efforts well underway like the Adventure Cycling Association’s U.S. Bicycle Route System and Oregon’s State Scenic Bikeways program, small towns across America could become more bike-tourist friendly and begin to see the economic benefits of two-wheeled travel.
— Read more about “The Economics of Bike Touring” at PathLessPedaled.com.