Cristy Falcone, Bike for Honduras

Want to learn how to raise money for your favorite charity by traveling across a continent on a bicycle?Long-time Students Helping Honduras support Cristy Falcone biked 2,200 miles through Europe for SHH. On her daring expedition from Oslo to Paris, she got lost, stuck in rain storms, slept in her tent, and faced gear malfunction. At one point, she crashed and injured herself badly.
Cristy Falcone pedaled 50 miles (5-7 hours) nearly every single day for the cause.
Learn how she physically trained herself, learned to fix & maintain her bicycle, got the right equipment, packed, stayed fueled, slept, and built up her fundraising platform. Get an understanding of where your mind will be before, during, and after such an epic feat.
Check out Cristy Falcone’s Bike For Honduras.

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Show Notes & Summary for Cristy Falcone

  • Ever since Cristy Falcone was a little girl, she wanted to go places on a bicycle with a sleeping bag
  • According to Cristy, I was an enthusiastic and energetic guy back in college
  • She had done one previous grand tour, going 1,800 miles from Seattle to San Diego
  • Her touring pace is about 12 miles an hour
  • Her plan was to do 45-50 miles per day!
  • Scandinavia was the hardest part of the trip for Cristy
  • She used the Kona Sutra touring bike
  • You must use a touring bike that puts your body in a comfortable position
  • Most touring bicycles cost $500+
  • She worked at Bike Works , a bicycle shop in Fredericksburg during her senior year in college where she learned the basics of bicycle maintenance
  • At the least you should know how to change your tires, fix a flat tire, adjust your brakes, adjust de-railers, and fix your gears
  • You can get panniers and strap them on the sides of your bicycles to store your stuff
  • Backpacks are not recommended because it makes your back sweat
  • She carried 25-30lbs of gear (food, water, sleeping bag, tent)
  • She went on an unsupported tour where she had to carry all her stuff with her!
  • “You basically carry your life with you.”
  • Cycling maps are essential
  • GPS systems for bicycles can cost $400-$500!!
  • She set up a Facebook page and coordinate a Fundaround page with Colette Eustace
  • She had to face her fears while fundraising
  • Her dad gave out fundraising flyers and gave them out at his work
  • She was moved by her father’s gesture
  • You need friends and family to support you while on a grand tour
  • She posted photos and updates during her grand tour
  • Leading up to the trip, she was scared, nervous, excited, anxious
  • “The first day was totally ridiculous.”
  • To fly a bike, you have to take it apart and stuff it into a box
  • On the first day, it poured rain and everything got soaking wet
  • They had to dry everything overnight on a campsite!
  • Advice: Put all your stuff in trash bags inside your panniers
  • In Scandinavia, she saw lots of farmland, coastal sea, beautiful scenery
  • She ate a lot of picnic food to stay fueled, and also fish in Scandinavia
  • She ate a lot of sausage in Germany
  • France has great fruit
  • She stayed in hostels sometimes, the cheapest ones in Europe cost about 20 Euros per night
  • She camped out in random places
  • Her two biggest threats were bike accidents and men
  • Her then boyfriend went along with her for the first month
  • She met other cycle tourists and would ride along with them sometimes
  • Europe has very developed and organized bicycle routes
  • She regrets not having a gadget to listen to podcasts during the tour
  • “You can work a lot of things out, alone on a bike.”
  • She loves bicycle touring but got homesick
  • Her brakes kept failing on her during the expedition for an unknown reason
  • She got sun burn and saddle sores
  • In Basil, Cristy got into a serious accident and got badly injured
  • Her bicycle tires got stuck in a trolly track and she crashed in slow motion
  • She had to sit down and cry in the shade for a little while : (
  • She got a beer afterwards to recover
  • She could barely make it on the bicycle the next day
  • She ended up sleeping (“nestling”) in her tent in a random community garden!
  • The owners of the garden plot caught her and Cristy was terrified hearing them rustle around and speaking in German
  • The German family took her in like a little child, feeding Cristy and even gave her coffee and pastry
  • Her rain gear was not adequate
  • Scandinavia has a strong wind going against you
  • It gets very hot in the summer in France
  • She’s injury-prone and has scoliosis, but avoided any major injuries
  • She rode 5-7 hours per day on average
  • She had to end her trip in Paris and not in Spain as planned because her visa expired
  • At the end, she felt sadness, relief, homesick
  • She had to stop putting up photo updates because of a potential stalker
  • “I can’t wait until my next tour.”
  • After the trip, she slept a LOT but didn’t eat too much
  • European coffee is very strong and bold
  • You’ll be scared every step of the way. But you should do it anyways.”
  • “I was scared during the entire phase of the process.”
  • Before the trip, Cristy was working on a farm and at some odd jobs
  • Her dream is to work in biotech and live on a homestead