The open road, no set schedule, seeing the country at a slow pace, meeting people and learning their stories - these are all the things I think about when I think about touring by bicycle. Reading others' journals of their journeys across the country, even across continents makes me want to get out on two wheels and see what its all about.
Of course at this point I am in no position to do some of the epic rides I've read about. Between work and family commitments and the fact that my longest ride in the last 30 years has been a mere 22 miles, the likelihood of my touring is very low. At least for the near future. I think that will change, though.
My plan is to build up to longer rides and tours. I would love to be doing multi-day rides by the end of the year. I know it won't be as tough or as much of an accomplishment as what Bill Saint-Onge has done and plans on doing this year, but it will still be great! the journals on Crazy Guy On A Bike (CGOAB) are so inspiring!
I would love to take weekend or even week long "tours" using my home as a starting and ending point. Maybe do a ride from home, up to Reno or LA and back just to do it. Lots of thought and planning has to be done before I start my touring career, though. Not only do I have to get myself in shape physically, but i know I will need a trusty steed to ride and I don't have faith in my Diamondback for any real distance.
I would love to find a sturdy, dependable steel framed bike with beefy tires and strong wheels, able to haul 500 or 600 lbs and with a decent gearing. Oh and all of this for under $500. What do you think - is there such a beast out there? If not, there might be a business idea!