My (super weird) bike setup

I covered in my last article, How Does a Broke Person Travel, how one can travel on an extreme budget, however, I did not cover how one obtains a vehicle for traveling. You can walk, of course, in which case the only real investment you’d need to put in would be high quality hiking boots. I chose to use a bicycle, which requires a few additional things. You need tools and spare parts, as well as pannier bags or a trailer unless you plan on carrying a backpack on your ride. You can use any bike you’d like, but a touring bike is a definite plus, and I chanced upon an amazing deal at my local bike co-op, BICAS.


I spent a couple hundred bucks on this, which is great considering that most touring bikes cost up to a thousand dollars or more. The wheels and the inner tubes are secondhand from BICAS, as is the back rack, bottle holders, and handlebar tape. The total sum of every bike accessory I got there most likely doesn’t even total $30. Try finding just one good tire for that price. The front rack was from Amazon, as were my Sunrace friction shifters. I switched from STI brake lever shifters to friction shifters because they are WAAAAYYY cheaper (the set of two cost $12), and are incredibly simple comparatively. My rear shifter is actually broken in half from a wipe-out, so I have electrical tape holding it together. Still shifts like a dream!


As you can see, it’s not an aesthetically pleasing setup, but it does work. The top bars are crowded by the shifting cables a bit, but I mostly stay on the outside near the hoods anyway so they don’t bother me much. This angle also gives a great look at the state of my bar tape. Being that I am broke, I’ve had to improvise this setup for the most part based on what I could afford. Both the handlebar tape and the electrical tape holding it on has had several lives, enduring the hard abuse I’ve subjected it to as I’ve changed my setup time and time again. Here’s a closer look: WP_20170329_16_04_49_Pro It certainly looks like it could fall apart at any moment, but it’s perfectly comfortable.

So you can probably see that being poor doesn’t stop me from getting what I need to go on an adventure. After all, if you argue for your limitations, they’re yours. Aside from that, when you live on less, it helps you to exercise your creativity and resourcefulness. I’ve run into many obstacles along the way, but I always find my way through, almost like magic. Just when I think all hope is lost, a solution makes itself clear. This isn’t magic, though, it’s human nature. We thrive on challenge, we excel at problem-solving, and we are made to see and use patterns to our advantage. I believe that immersing yourself in nature and living a life of adventure will unlock these features in your mind, because it is what you, I, and every other person on this Earth is made for. These miraculous abilities have become stifled and dulled in our modern society, however the positive side to this is that it took hundreds, if not thousands, of years to stifle these qualities in humans collectively. Individually, you can reawaken these qualities in yourself in just a minute, by going outside and communing with nature.


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