After 14 months riding bikes around North America, the “Roaming Robos” share their #vanlife essentials
September 4, 2017
In 2016, Jon and Pam Robichaud, 39, rented out their home in Boulder, Colorado, and hit the road in a tricked-out Mercedes Sprinter. For 14 months, the “Roaming Robos” drove and rode their way around North America. Here are their tips on how to have the ultimate road trip.
Bicycling: What was the original inspiration for the trip?
Pam: I have to tell you about 2013—it was a crazy year for us. We were at the finish line of the Boston Marathon [when the bombs went off]. We were fine, but it shook us up. Then in July, Jon got hit by a car while he was riding his bike. He recovered, but that experience left the lasting impression that life is short and fragile. On top of that, we were in the throes of fertility treatment, but ultimately were not successful. We came out of that saying, “OK, we’re not going to be parents. What do we do with our lives?” Van life was born from an appreciation for the crap that can go down in life and being psyched to get through it all.
How did you decide your schedule?
Jon: It was a mixture of “figure it out as you go” and “plan every stop.” Alaska would be the 50th state I’d visited. So, we started by planning how to get there and the best time of year.
P: Then we just drew a clockwise circle around North America.
How much did cycling inspire the itinerary?
P: We set this trip up to be cycling-centric, understanding that we’d use two wheels to explore wherever we went. We’re big believers that you haven’t seen a place until you’ve ridden around it….
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