Can I join the tour?

Several people have already expressed an interest in joining sections of the ride.

If you’ve worked on JWST, or are currently working on JWST, and are interested in riding on part or all of the tour, send me an e-mail!

If you feel passionate about cycling and JWST, but have never worked on the project, contact me anyway. Who knows? You may end up spending the next year on the adventure of a lifetime!

Note: if you do end up riding with me, I will ask you to sign a waiver of liability.

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How can we contact you when you are on the tour?

I intend to have e-mail and cell phone contact throughout the tour. E-mail me at scott@jwstwbt.com

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Is NASA endorsing the JWST World Bicycle Tour?

No. In fact, NASA can’t endorse a private activity. (See the first paragraph and sections (b) and (c) of https://www.law.cornel.edu/cfr/text/5/2635.702.) However…many individuals at NASA have given me their wholehearted support. But their support comes from them as private citizens. The organization NASA does not endorse the JWST World Bicycle Tour. Some of the images used on this site come from the NASA photo gallery for JWST (used with permission).

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Are you accepting help from sponsors?

I have been offered a number of generous “in-kind” sponsorships from several individuals and corporations. (Please visit the SPONSOR section on this website for more details.) So far, I have not directly solicited money from individuals or corporations. But, if you would like to be the first I will graciously accept your generosity! All donors will be listed on the sponsor section of the site or, if you prefer, will be kept confidential. Significant sponsorships will be recognized on the official JWST World Bicycle Tour Bicycle jersey!

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How much does a world bicycle tour cost?

Bicycle touring does not have to be expensive. Here is a rough summary of the main budget items associated with the tour:

  • Equipment. I have most of what I need already, but have set aside $1000 for some maintenance and upgrades.
  • Day-to-day life. While cycle touring, a person can live like a king for $30 per day. I am budgeting $50. On a 1-year ride, that comes to about $18,000.
  • Air travel. This will be around $10,000.
  • Contingency. I am setting aside $5,000 to replace my bicycle and gear in the event that it is stolen.
  • Total: About $34,000.

As you can see, the cost of the trip is small compared to what it takes to sustain a mortgage, a family, retirement, medical care, etc. The overwhelming “expense” associated with this trip is time: a year without an income.

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Will you come talk to my college, school or group about JWST?

Yes! Take a look at the route section on the ride’s home page. If I am coming near your city, I will gladly stop and talk to you free of charge. Check out the link on the home page for booking a talk.

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How are you training for this ride?

Actually, I’m not really doing any training. Instead, I am concentrating on areas of my body that are likely to experience difficulty during the ride. I am developing strategies for preventing saddle sores and neck stiffness. I am cycling about 20 miles per day, which is a normal day for me.

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Isn’t this dangerous?

Riding a bicycle is inherently dangerous. However, I bicycle 10-15 miles a day anyway and in higher traffic conditions. I see the added risk of averaging 45 miles a day—but in significantly lighter traffic conditions—as somewhat of a wash.

The most dangerous part of this ride from a traffic perspective will be Istanbul, Turkey. There are about 20 million people in Istanbul, and the traffic is reputed to be almost unmanageable from a bike. I will have to deal with it when I get there! The most dangerous part of the trip from sources other than cars will be the South-Eastern part of the United States. This is based upon the experience of many cyclists who have undertaken similar journeys across this part of the USA. I know this sounds strange! But I have read about people who have cruised across Iran, but have had immense difficulty in the South-Eastern part of the USA.

This is my basic philosophy about the risk: Each of us only gets so many trips around the sun. So far, I have had 54 of them and, for the most part, I have been very blessed. I want to take one of these trips and spend it pursuing my heart’s desire. It’s worth the added risk.

Actually, my worst fears have nothing to do with traffic or bad people that I might meet along the way. In my view, the biggest risk that I face is that something will go wrong with my body, making it impossible for me to complete the journey. Then, after all of the planning, investment and changes I am making to my life—I will have to come back home as a failure. This is what I fear, but I am willing to take this risk as well.

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Where will you stay on the road?

In general, I intend to camp in public campgrounds or on private land. Hotels will be the exception. Actually, tent camping is my preference because it provides a level of familiarity in an otherwise constantly changing environment.

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What kind of a bicycle will you be riding?

When I talk about a year-long bike ride, most people imagine riding a high-tech, light-weight, carbon-fiber bicycle designed for speed and efficiency. Bicycle touring, however, requires equipment designed for comfort and durability, and NOT for speed. My touring bicycle was built by a mechanical engineer at Lockheed about 25 years ago, using the most durable components available at the time. Fully loaded, it weighs 80 pounds! Here are some specifics:

  • The frame is aluminum and was made by a fellow named Gary Kline. (Some years ago, Gary sold all of his technology and patents to Trek.)
  • The wheel hubs were built by Phil Woods of Menlo Park, CA. (Phil Woods hubs have been known to last for 50,000 miles. Mine have over 25,000 miles on them and have never been serviced or lubricated.)
  • The wheels are aluminum and boast 36 spokes each for added strength. I prefer 700/32 mm tires, since it is a standard in most countries.BicycleCloseup
  • I use a triple chain ring and 6 sprockets on the free wheel. This gives me a low-end of 20 gear-inches, which is better than most mountain bikes. The low end is particularly important for hill climbing. On the high end, I have 96 gear-inches which I rarely use.
  • The bike can accommodate 6 bags: 3 on the back and 3 on the front. Everything I will use for a year fits into those bags!

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