Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Mount Vernon, Illinois
It's a 14 and 1/2 hour, by car, trip from Chicago to New Orleans. By bike you can add some time to that. How much? Depends on how long you can stay in the saddle. Given you haven't been on a long ride like this you may want to allow for more frequent/longer stops. The longest I've been on my bike, on the road, at one time was 17 hours.
As for what you need to bring it all depends on how long you are staying, where you are staying, etc.... A few necessities though - Loaded up mp3 player, small tool kit, small air pump, 2 pair sunglasses and 2 pair of night glasses, helmet for those pesky helmet law states, sunscreen, plug in phone and mp3 charger, and rain gear.
Also, if you don't have a contact in your phone that is labeled ICE you need to do so. The ICE stands for "in case of emergency" and that's the first contact most paramedics look for when looking through a person's phone that they are working on.
I'm a light packer so I'm sure others will chime in. You will be coming right through Mt. Vernon, IL, which is where I live, and it'd be cool to see you guys go by. Heck, I might even ride a bit with you all if that would be ok. Enjoy your ride.
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Ride safe, Gary