Hello good people! My name is Will Roberts, I need your help with a(n) project/adventure that, when completed, will undoubtedly be one of my proudest milestones. This summer, I am going to attempt my first self-contained cross country bicycle tour. I'll be starting in my hometown of Vero Beach, Florida and heading dead across the U.S. to Vancouver, British Columbia. From Vancouver, I will head south to Portland, Oregon to begin my graduate education in urban and regional planning, focusing on non-motorized transportation and urban design. I will travel around 5,000 miles and be immersed in the vast diversity of natural and cultural Americana.
An estimated 120 days on the road requires a fair amount of cash allotted to food, emergencies, repairs, etc. I am already loaded up with all the super expensive specific gear one needs to successfully complete this trip. The one thing I really need, and simply cannot afford before the trip, is a good quality camera for film and photos along the way. I would love to be able to share the experience and document this trip, not just for loved ones, but to encourage anyone to travel by bicycle and/or simply experience this country. It would also be great to have the opportunity to edit together presentations and films to share with peers and colleagues in the planning field. Basically, this expedition can be soooooo much better with a contribution from YOU!
My goal is to achieve a greater insight into the national context of bicycle infrastructure and behavior. This kind of experience will be invaluable in my studies and the future work in designing more healthy and livable communities. Being able to engage and build momentum for bicycle infrastructure requires interest through sharing experiences like the one I'm about to have. Please help me share this with you.
My Tumblr site/blog thing will act as a gallery, trip log, and a journal of fascinating things I encounter and learn while on the road. The site will also be a place where I hope to create a dialog and a clearing-house of ideas related to bicycle travel and non-motorized transportation issues and experiences. I will be filming, photographing, and posting throughout my journey.
What I Need & What You Get
To lower costs, more wholly assimilate into the local environs, and commit to a truly unique adventure, I will be camping throughout the span of the journey. Cyclo-camping, or bike-packing, is the cheapest form of travel but there are still many many many costs in getting prepared and while on the trip. I understand the economic landscape isn't what it once was but any support will be massively appreciated.
Because I’d like to get people involved in my journey and invested, not just financially, but with an interest and understanding of what I’m doing, I've added some perks for those who support my adventure. (Perks found to right)
Some people may be asking, "800 dollars!?!?!?! What the hell? I got an old Kodak, cost 20, and it works fine" (said in country accent). That may be true, but to make it worthwhile I need a camera body that is ruggedly built to withstand moisture and dust and also with the capacity for low-light shooting, 1080i video, and interchangeable lenses; all while being as compact and light as possible. I have a few in mind, and the value I'm asking is for the body only of these cameras (these sites keep less of the money if my goal is reached, so it makes sense to be conservative).
If I have surpassed my goal and you have the capacity to give, please do. I will still need two lenses, memory cards, and a tripod to make this a success. Basically the more beautiful people, like yourself, that give, the more creative, cool stuff I'm able to accomplish.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you aren't able to contribute financially, there are, of course, many instruments that one can implement to help me with this project. A huge asset would be for you to share this on your social media outlets and beg any wealthy friends you may have to contribute. I could also always use encouraging thoughts, cool ideas for the trip, or interesting places to visit along the route. If you live somewhere near our route or know some people who do, maybe we could pop by for a warm shower and a cold drink. Anything helps!
Since graduating from the University of South Florida in 2011, I have acquired diverse experience within the environmental field ranging from: organizing benthic marine invertebrate collections for FWS, doing threatened and endangered species surveys and web design for the USFWS, writing PYTHON scripts and original algorithms for the National Map project with the USGS, lobbying congress in the urban jungles of DC, traversing canyons and conducting electroshock fish surveys in the high desert of eastern Oregon, and planning and staffing high-dollar fundraising events in Seattle.
I recently returned from a three month stint in India where I worked to create sustainable transportation guidance documents for the Indian Ministry of Urban Development and the World Bank. While in India I also interned for an intentional community sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization and the Central Government of India as "…a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity."
After traveling India, preparing for graduate school, and realizing the immanency of a long term career I feel a need to have one more big blowout adventure. Something that's rewarding due to the holistic challenge inherent to the task. I've been stretching my personal comfort zone little by little with each new experience and move. Now, I am in a place where I'm ready to test myself emotionally and physically farther than I've thought possible.
This trip is sure to contain some of the most painful, joyous, and eye-opening experiences of my life and I hope you will join me in the adventure and support its development and actualization.
Thank You and Stay Gold!