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Chelsea and I have now been cycling for some time. We do get a lot of questions, and we’ve answered the most common ones here. Check for updates as we get into Mexico, as things have already changed for us over the last two years.

1. Where are you going?

We’re cycling the coastlines of the US, Mexico, and Central and South America. When we finish in Venezuela, we’ll be we’ll be returning by way of cycling the Caribbean Islands.

2. Where???

We cycled and hitch-biked up the east coast of the US from Key West FL to Bar Harbor ME, and then we flew over to Seattle where we hung out for a month. We flew down to Los Angeles and spent a month in Santa Ynez, CA (above Santa Barbara), riding and waiting to get our old bikes sold and buy new ones. From Santa Barbara we cycled to Mission Viejo, CA before heading back to Delray Beach for more cleanup and organizing. We took a bus from there to New Orleans, and we cycled our way from New Orleans through Louisiana and Texas.

We’ll cross the border at Brownsville, Texas and head into Mexico. From there we are cycling the coastlines of Mexico, and Central and South America. When we finish in Venezuela, we will hop over to Aruba and Curacao, and then cycle the Caribbean Islands, including Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Cuba. We’ll finish in the Bahamas before heading home to Florida.

3. Where did you start?

We started in Key West FL at the southernmost point of the US.

4. How long will that take you?

We think about ten years. However, we are giving our adventures priority over daily mileage, and if we see something really fun, we’ll stay and enjoy it. We’ve already spent some months in several different spots, and at this writing, we are back in Florida writing a book and getting ready for seven years south of the border.

5. How many of you are there?

Two of us. Yep, that’s all. Just the two of us.

6. Are you related?

Yes, we are. We are a mom and daughter.

7. Whose idea was this?

It was Rosemary’s idea. Rosemary is always the one who comes up with the crazy ideas, but Chelsea loves the adventure and is always a willing co-adventurer. Chelsea claims that it was “the responsible adult’s idea”.

8. How can you afford to do that?

We are still asking ourselves that question…it’s been a real roller coaster.

9. Are you independently wealthy?

No, we are definitely not independently wealthy, nor do we have a trust fund. We are working our way through our trip, and we are getting donations of cash and some product donations. People also lend us a helping hand with meals and places to stay. We also hope people use the affiliates we have on our website, as we get a small commission for each purchase. See our Financing the Journey section.

10. What kind of work do you do?

We had a contract to work on a start-up website, but the funding on that disappeared. We are working to get articles written for publication, and to sell photographs. We’re also planning several books on how to do this kind of adventure.

11. How do you work on the road?

Both of us have our laptops with us and both of the laptops are wireless enabled. Rosemary had a Verizon Wireless Internet card, which we recently canceled in preparation for going into Mexico, but she did upgrade her wireless card to the latest speed and strength. We get connected whenever we can, and we’ve been very lucky to stay in homes that have wireless.

Conditions on the road are usually pretty primitive. Café mochas, food and air conditioning are highly desirable accompaniments to our hours of work, but are unfortunately pretty infrequent. We use electricity at restaurants, cafes, or in campgrounds.

12. Are you writing a book on this?

Yes. Rosemary is now writing a book on our US adventures, answering the most common questions we get and telling some of our favorite stories. She’s also putting together materials for a how-to book. We are writing and posting journal entries recording our activities as often as we can and we’ll use those for information for the book. We’ll be writing more books when we are in Mexico and beyond.

13. Where do you stay?

The first part of our trip in the US we stayed primarily at campgrounds. When we have friends in the area we stay with them, and many times we’ve had strangers take us into their homes for a night or two (or longer!). A few times so far we have stayed in a hotel at a discount, and we have stayed in trailers and RVs several times.

The part of the trip from New Orleans though Louisiana was very different. We used to find homes to stay in; we had any number of strangers offer to take us in; we’ve had referrals in nearby towns from our hosts. In a year and a half we spent only one night in a hotel and several nights in a campground.

14. How many miles do you do each day?

We try to do 50 miles a day but that really depends on the heat, hills, wind, and how tired we are. It also depends on where the good campgrounds are. We often go only about 20-30 miles a day.

15. Aren’t you afraid on the road – afraid of the cars?

Not really. Life is a risk everywhere. We pay close attention when we ride, particularly in urban areas and areas with a lot of traffic. We find that cars pull really wide for us, for the most part, because we are hauling really brightly colored trailers, and we don’t look like just a bike with luggage attached. We have bright orange flags on the trailers, and there are two of us, so that helps, too – we are highly visible. Another thing we’ve been told by drivers who have passed us is that people connect our Burley trailers to the trailers that carry children, and that makes them super-conscious of us. Whatever drivers may think about cyclists, they rarely want to kill an innocent baby.

16. How fast do you go, and how much are you carrying?

We are only averaging about 8-10 miles an hour because we are carrying about 70 lbs each in our trailers.

17. Why are you doing this? Variations of this question are, “Are you doing this for a cause?” “Is somebody sick or dying?”

We are doing it purely for the adventure, for the fun, for the exploration and learning, to celebrate life. We aren’t doing it for any cause. We do hope to inspire people to get out and have more fun in every day, and to do something they’ve been dreaming about doing, no matter how big or small.

18. Do you have any sponsors?

No. Not yet. But we’d love to find some.

19. Are you married? (A follow-up question is, “Do you have boyfriends?)

Nope. Neither of us is married. Nope, no boyfriends either. We haven’t found anyone with the same willingness that we’ve got to go adventuring.

20. Have you ever done anything like this before?

Yes, we have, but not exactly like this. In the summer of 2006 we cycled across the US, 4280 miles, from St. Augustine FL to San Francisco CA. On that trip we had Alex, Rosemary’s son and Chelsea’s brother, driving a van and meeting us at the end of the day. And we thought that trip was tough!

21. How do you guys get along? Is it hard?

We like each other really well, so that helps a lot, and we have worked together for a lot of years now, so that also helps. We’ve already figured out a lot of things about how to get along. And we made a big commitment to have fun on this trip, no matter what, so when we get cranky, we figure out what’s causing it and solve the underlying problem. When we do argue, it’s always over soon.

22. How long did you plan for this?

About four months. We’d already had the experience of cycling across the US so things were really fresh in our minds, and we are used to working in a virtual office, so we figured if we got the basics ready for the first leg of the trip, we could solve things as we go. Besides, we figured we already had most of what we needed, and we knew we could add the rest as we need it.

23. How long did you train?

We didn’t. We just went on our favorite bike rides, either 12 or 23 miles a day, almost every day. That’s it. We knew that we would get in shape as we rode, so we didn’t put any expectations on ourselves to do much the first week or so. And it helps that we started in Key West, which is flat, flat, flat.