Is Long-Distance Touring an Elitist Activity for Rich Kids?
Seems to me there are an awful lot of trustafarians doing world tours. Who finances these trips? As a working person myself, it is clear that the average Joe can not stop working for a few years on end and certainly can't afford all this latest-of-the-latest, chique gear and bikes that run into 1000s and 1000s of dollars. So, my question begs an answer: is long-distance touring an elitist activity for rich kids?
Looking at most of the posts, I would say they worked for a living and took a leave of absence, or saved and cut out everything that did not get them to their goal, or like me: worked hard, retired, worked to build a tour kitty, planned, picked up equipment when possible, and went. How about celebrating their accomplishments and not being snarky? I don't care how someone got on the road, they are on the road.
Depends on what you mean by “rich”, if you live in the EU or USA you are rich if you compare to the average income in the whole world. With a few choices like smaller living, no car, and less shopping for pleasure you can save a significant portion of your salary even if you earn sub median wage. The actual bike touring can be done fairly cheap, You can tour for months for the same amount of money that is normal to spend on a one-week vacation in a tourist hotel. I don’t have any data on how big a portion of bike tourers are trust fund kids, but none of the ones I have met on my tours is…
some riders do seasonal work and then ride in the off-season. some of us are retired.
Becoming a FAQ. Life is not about carrying things with you. It is about carrying on, in spite of adversity. Well, determination won't buy you a tyre, and money won't buy you a spoon of water in the middle of a desert. This does not answer your question but may decrease the need for an answer.
Philosophy is fun, maybe Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev knows the answer!
to be Frank, I'm happy and pleasantly surprised that across cultures and countries, people are happy to host and feed strangers and often allow them to camp in their properties.
, that's true enough and gives some hope for universalism because governments sure ain't succeeding!
I would say definitely not going by who we meet on the road. Clearly, it's a big mix, and it's just great that people want to ride and explore no matter what their income. I'm 60 in a few weeks so I started planning my trip years ago. Tom and I finance it by having saved for years. Paid off the mortgage and so have a monthly rent, which covers us ok day to day if we wild camp a lot. We sold our, furniture, car and very old camper and used to money to buy our kit bikes etc. We know we will be broke when we head home but we are loving this life Debsandtom.com
Ok, so I have an acquaintance, who had her own marketing company. She did not travel by bike, but she hitchhiked. She sold her company for not some big fortune and took off alone for 4 years of hitchhiking from Zagreb, Croatia to Bora Bora! While on the road, she did various jobs, from working in amusement parks for kids to looking for gold in Australia... She managed to get a free ride with cars, helicopters, boats... bike is not expensive as well. It's all a matter of priorities. I met people touring the world on what seemed to be Pony bikes! Touring is cheap as you want it to be... I tour also and I am not rich, I can assure you.
Very few are fortunate to have inherited. Some have found a way to supplement their travels using social media. Some can work from anywhere in the world. Some have retired and have savings and pensions. Except for those who have retired. I think the majority of the others need to rejoin the rat race at some point. Even those who supplement themselves on social media will not earn enough to make a living out of it.
It is not about money, it is all about passion.
that's all very well, but you can't eat passion. Passion won't pay for you to put your stuff in storage while you're away, or for other unexpected expenses. It's a valid question.
stuff? I'm selling all of mine so that I can tour.
including your house? If I was going to do that I'd need to rent out my flat, hence I would need to put some stuff in storage, even if I had a severe purge of its contents.
, I got 8 truckloads of shite out of my farmhouse when I did the last "Cultural Revolution" style purge! It felt great!
Who needs a house ? and who needs a flat? When you live on the road you do not have all these utility bills to pay. And you can actually live this life on the road if you want to. It's all a matter of what you prioritize in life.
most people need somewhere to live. And unless you're planning to live hand to mouth on the road literally till you die (unlikely) burning all of your bridges isn't viable for most people. If I wanted to do a 12 or even 24-month trip I'll need something to come back to.
I have not burned my bridges . If I did that, then I would not be employed by multinational companies in travel and tourism.
lol you shouldn't be working for multinational
I am a globalised capitalist . Even if I look and act a bit like a hippie at times :)
....and you think that is a good thing?
I have no problems with that. Having lived and worked in 40 countries over the past year has not exactly made me a homeboy, or some guy living in the forest with a big dog. And I am cycling because it gives me joy. My lifestyle is not a political statement.
we kept our house and sold all our stuff. You quickly become aware of how much stuff you have and how much you actually need. It has freed us up to cycle and work all over the world. I do agree with the house. We might never go back to it, but it is nice to have a net to fall in.
Your lifestyle IS a political statement, whether you like it or not. That is, taking into account the definition (valid though not generalized) of politics as anything you do or say that changes the behaviour of others. It can be a speech (like politicians on TV, or a conversation with a stranger in a park or cafe), it can be an action, like a protest or demonstration in the streets, or casting a vote at election time, or also riding your bike, showing others how it can be done, maybe encouraging them even without words to think (and act, hopefully) on the "Oh, maybe I can also do that!" So, yes, I see my FB posts and my bike riding as "political."
Most activists want the world to be only political . And that is regardless of whether they scream their Sieg Heil for the extreme right or the extreme left. They like to paint a picture of "You are either with us or against us". Some of us just get along, regardless of our differences. It's called social intelligence.
Nothing IS or ISN'T only. In so far as you don't want to feel that your lifestyle has any effect, it doesn't, in your head. That's the ISN'T part, the other part, what IS, still exists. Or turn it the other way around. It doesn't matter. In the end, the "universe(s)" doesn't care, what we do or don't do is "relatively" irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Beyond politics there are x number of other aspects, of course, I was only addressing that one as you used the word "political" and (I) wanted to elucidate for others (not necessarily for you) the extent (spread) of the context/meaning/words.
I'm a freelancer, I tour between jobs..my bike is from 1989 -- steel rides forever! The components are not so expensive...
I've been touring off and on for years. I get a lot of "You're so lucky with your travels" thing from friends/family and the like. but taking a year or so off to travel is not just the year travelling, you also have to take a year off saving, not going out, eating cheaper meals, and saying no to friends for that weekend away while saving is all part of the trip. Am I lucky to live in a 1st world country, I am indeed. Save save save spend return and save save save. Repeat. I chose years ago not to get married have kids and go down that road, never regretted. Next trip next year South America.....better get saving :-) I work as a cycle courier by the way so not a rich chap at all.
Society seems to try and dictate how we conduct our lives and how we think from the moment we are born to when we curl up our toes. The majority of those we have met on the road don’t abide by the ‘normal’ rules and live life as they like, and nearly all do not come from a privileged upbringing by first-world standards. They just get out there and tour without allowing the ‘what if’ fears to get in the way…..what if it’s too hard, what if I run out of money, what if I don’t get a job when I finish my ride, what if I can’t afford the best bike and gear, what if my family and friends don’t agree with what I am doing. I cannot recall anyone asking us how we can afford to travel for so long without working, nor have we asked anyone. It just doesn’t seem to matter as long as we are all doing what we really want to and are happy and content with our lot in life, which is what I feel is most important. Whatever your circumstances there is always a way to go on tour, whether for two weeks or two years. A bit off the track of this discussion I know, but what the hell, I’m a contented, not-so-wealthy cycle tourist
, that is a really nice way of explaining it! Maybe I was just feeling bitchy when I asked! Cycle on!
Beat and Hippy movement combined with hitchhiking and New Age in a post-modern world! lol! Independence!
I don't believe you were "bitchy". It's a very good question.
Rich kids go overland touring in vehicles. Bicycles are for the poor people 🤣🚲
Nice answers all, so it is kinda the old global hitchhiking thingie gone more independent with its own transport! Sounds nice
That guy really knows how to stir the pot!
, nope, think about it, many people made great points......
yes, observing the many interesting replies is what led me to compliment you in this way. 🙂
, lol, must be my understanding of "stir the pot". All the answers were epic and most informative of a whole range of situations. Possibly, "Wanderlust" is the central motivation... Thanks!
after your initial reaction I went to look up "stir the pot", a phrase I have probably never previously emitted in my life but must have absorbed long ago. Definitions that I found online were mostly more negative than what I intended. Maybe the connotation has changed since I first absorbed the phrase half a century ago, or maybe I just got it wrong. Anyway as I see it, your stirring brought up some very interesting morsels in the stew so far, and maybe we'll see even more.
, no worries......all good!
I have lived this lifestyle since I was 19. And I am 52 now, making it 33 years that I have lived as a vagabond, only paused a few times, when falling in love with a girl for a while. I have never had any kids with the girls I have known though. Never had a mortgage. Never owned a car, or had a driver's license for that matter. I do not have a fat pension to support me and make me able to sit down in the country club with all the other old guys when I am old and grey one day. But I don't care. I have always fared fine. Even in times with little money. And I am a native of Denmark, where you get a little government pension, regardless of what you have earned during your life. My lifestyle has actually become a lot easier in recent years, with the internet and remote working, making things easier for modern vagabonds. So I run my own little tour leader business from my laptop. A job that also flies me around the world for free. And then I take my bike and my hiking boots with me and live the free life on the road, once the job is finished. I work roughly 125 days a year as an international tour leader. And that easily finances 240 days of holidaying as a tour cyclist and a hiker. That is of course because I live cheap when I am on my own. But at least I have a job that gives me mostly 4-star hotels to stay in during work. So I get my comfort about one-third of the year. Tomorrow I will be flying to Istanbul by the way, for a 5-day tour leading job. Life is great like this :)
, sounds like a great arrangement you have going. Would you mind saying for which tour company you work? I'm quite curious. Thanks in advance.
I am a freelancer, so I do not work for a specific company . Today I am flying to Istanbul for 5 days with a Danish business delegation for instance. That 5-day job is one specific contract. I have this job through a major Danish tour operator. I mostly work with major tour operators who deal with a +50 clientele, who wants to explore but do so in comfort. Being a native Dane, I work quite a bit with Danish-speaking clients, as we are not that many international tour leaders who have that language. But it's all connected. I will be working with a Turkish business partner this week as well, who will take care of most logistics for me. It looks to me as if you are from the US Joe. That is one market I do not deal that much with, as the business structure of US tour operators is different than in most other countries. US-based companies tend to hire fewer freelancers.
, yes I am in the US. Thanks for explaining those details. I have done a few, short bike tires in the US, but would like to ride some longer tours across the globe. I'm starting to look at the Eurovelo routes but may begin by doing an organized week or 2 trips with a tour company. I wish you the best for your continued adventures. "god rejse, min ven"
Thanks . I also work for companies that do cycling tours, by the way. Again, they will mostly hire me to take Danish-speaking tourists, as most local guides typically speak only the major languages. I have worked for 3 winter seasons in Sri Lanka for instance, as a cycling guide.
, may I contact you in the future if I have questions about some areas? I'm sure you are full of great knowledge from all of those adventures.
You are most welcome to do that . I also have some info on where I have been on www.travellingclaus.com
I do see lots of posts with high-end gear, but I also see a lot of budget-friendly ideas.
Worry less about others and focus on your own affairs
My partner and I left to cycle around the world, but got grounded on the first leg due to Covid and now have postponed it. We still managed to fly to the other side of the planet and ride 11,000km, so it's still been great. All the time people say things like "I wish I could do what you're doing." We're both working class, don't have a "trust fund" and basically sacrificed everything and kissed goodbye to our lives as we knew them so that we could travel. Said goodbye to our family, friends and comfortable existence. We saved everything we could and sold all of our possessions. For the next two years, we'll be saving 50% of our income, so that we can spend as long touring as possible. Definitely around the world and probably more. So, as I see it, it's not that those people "can't" do what we're doing, it's more that they "won't" and do you blame them? Anyone can do it, but what are you willing to do for it?
No. Set aside your assumptions. Make different choices.
Starting an unlimited ride (beginning in Canada). I'm 59. Stopped working. I have no pension just my savings (at one point I will have money from my government pension). I sold everything. Have 3 kids but they are now on their own. I'm single. I feel lucky to be able to start this bike ride. But it is also a matter of being able to dive into this type of life, with all the unknown associated with it. Not for the insecure. Money helps but too much of it would be "too easy". In the end, it is not a matter of money. It's what you want to do.
Depends on how you live. $1/day in some countries can go a long way.
In a rich country it's possible, in a poor it's not... simple. with my salary, I'm bearly living a "normal life"
Ed Pratt, famous for uni-cycling around the world in 40 months, spent ~28,000 USD. This averages to 700$ per month. Cheaper than what a lot of people pay for rent. If you subtract some of his costs like gear replacement, all his camera and video equipment, and health insurance, you get a total of ~20,000$. This averages to a cost of 506$/month. Very cheap in my opinion 🤷♂️
I travelled 30 winters. I travel 6 months out of the year. I never spend more than $700 a month. I could even do it on less.
tips? I just returned from my first tour in South Africa, where stuff is quite cheap and just managed this but I'd like to be able to do it in more expensive countries.
I see more tourists from England and Ireland and Germany in the US than from any other place. England grew rich off its colonial lands and resources which is why its citizens make the most of any country in Europe. Eastern and southern Europe, which didn't have colonies are still very poor and bike with the bare minimum. Americans, like England, are rich due to the plundering of native land and their resources. They travel everywhere. We do need more equality not just among bikers but travellers in general.
Interesting take but let's remember Portugal, Spain, and even Italy to a lesser degree had plenty of colonies. Otherwise, I think your points are most valid
What a very interesting take on why some (cycle)tourists are better off and travel more than others. I have a friend who is from a British Empire colony and he always complained that life has not treated him fairly and he never got the opportunity to make something of himself. His bike and gear always looked beaten up and he didn’t have too much to travel on, but travel around, be it locally, he certainly did. I always thought his circumstances were because he was bone lazy, preferred collecting the dole (unemployment benefit) rather than working and wouldn’t know an opportunity to better himself if it fell out of the sky and landed on his face. I really need to call him tonight and tell him it’s because New Zealand was colonised around 1840 by the Brits. He’s going to be awfully relieved that he can legitimately place the blame for his tough existence squarely on the shoulders of those damn plunders who followed Captain James Cooks, the English explorer who ‘discovered’ that beautiful country in 1769.
, I don't quite know what we would call the countries between the western European ones and Russia. Buffer zones between successive empires from both the west and the east?
Yes, however, it was the British who through the slave trade and colonialism became a world power. Germany and Ireland also profited immensely from these exploits. Their citizens enjoy travel and a high standard of living because capitalism depends heavily on the continual exploitation of poor countries. I don't want to sound political but racism is what made these countries filthy rich.
We should call them Neutral zones where NATO can't place its missiles.
, actually, think about it, doesn't matter where they are as they can reach everywhere from everywhere so a few hundred km closer or further surely makes no difference?
oh wow! How about the colonization done by the ancient Romans? Please address that scourge also. When does your preaching, er, speaking tour launch? Asking for a colleague.
It's called freedom of speech. Use it or lose it.
used it. Romans raped and plundered, and got rich. As well as the Muslims into Spain.
, preaching to the choir here! While I would describe my preferred approach as "exploratory cycling", moseying around in nice environments, etc., I also have a strong penchant for "political cycling"! lol! Nice to meet you!
It does make a difference. We don't need our missiles on Russia's border because it puts us closer to war with them.
, yes I know that, I was referring to the range! Unfortunately, western citizens as a whole, especially the USA mainstream, are so brainwashed that they are all there supporting this last effort and NATO war! Choose your distraction from the collapse of an era, the war with Ukraine of the DEPP/Heard debacle! I think we should cycle on and watch the demise of the waning empire from the saddle!
That was back then this is now.
not even close! All the bike tourists I met, including myself, had jobs and saved money and went on their tours. why are you asking this question? I only did one tour in Asia and it cost about $15 a day. Others train themselves how to work online. there are many options. I travelled 30 winters, doing seasonal work in North American winters. you are looking at it with a glass half empty attitude, whereas the world travellers are looking at it with a glass half full attitude.
I used to have everything... now I have nothing... I'm so much happier...I'm physically and mentally stronger and it's all down to Bike touring full time.. once you've got a kit it's food only you need. I'm 60. I full-time... done it 6 years after a brain haemorrhage while out riding along a canal and fell in the water and nearly drowned... what I'm saying is get out there do it you don't need a slot. Good luck with finding your way👍🏴
It’s an interesting question you ask the way your post is presented in English on FB it reads like you have an “axe to grind” or worse still feel intimidated by people who have worked hard to achieve the greatest resource (time). I suspect you don’t mean it to. But it could be seen as possibly divisive and not really in the spirit of how any of us find others when we’re out there, doing our thing. It matters not to me what/how/who does it, nor how they financed it. Just that they are doing it.
Wasn't intentional and I too am one who has spent a life doing things I wanted, mostly! Like epic travel, seriously hitching on different continents, etc
I think in some respects it's important to acknowledge the need for an "axe to grind," to actually get it out and grind it, and then use it! Most people shy away from the concept of "revolution" as it's been given "bad press," like the words "radical" (simply going to the root of a problem) or "anarchy" (simply having a populace that is so well educated that state power is no longer necessary). Instead, they are used as fear-mongering dialectical tools, such terms. We need a revolution (meaning simply a 180-degree, more or less, LOL) turn in our direction. And the "axe" we take to the task can be on many levels. Of course, some privileged parties, the elite, will object to anyone cutting their precious chains, the bonding elements of the socio-political-economic infrastructure they so much benefit from, but that is a given. As Krishnamurti said, "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society," or something like that.
Not at all. My dad was a builder, and my mum a cook. I'd worked from 18 until 42 before I have done my first extended tour (London to Cape Town). I luckily bought my house in 1995/6, the bottom of the 90's financial depression, so managed to buy it super cheap, paid off 8 years later. When I travel I long-term rent the house out, which pays for the tour, I've now done three extended tours.
Cyclists make choices, over the last 15 years I have taken approximately 3 years off from the 9-5 world-to-go cycle touring. I'm very much a working-class bloke who decided to broaden his outlook while travelling the world on my bicycle.
I am retired and my pension is not high on an EU level, but enough, that I can save some money. Before the pandemic, I also worked in addition to my pension. I have been hitchhiking, used buses, trains etc and in Canada and USA, I had a cheap, very rusty Dodge van, with which I wild camped for the most. Last year I started cycling - for environmental reasons. I got the bike as a present for my youngest son and his wife. I had just moved to a better apartment than I had before when I decided to go to COP26. By that, I didn't have savings. Fortunately, there are a lot of wonderful hosts out there, where I could stay during my trip. I ate as cheap as possible most of the time and was very lucky as well because ca. 95% of my hosts invited me for both dinner och breakfast. A lot offered me to send lunch with me as well - which I always said no to, but once (my host had already spread sandwiches). Sometimes I didn't find a host and I tried to stay at hostels. Unfortunately, there were no hostels everywhere. I could afford to stay at cheap hotels because of my wonderful hosts. If you want to know more, you can read my blog: https://dorotheeinternational.blog ... and no, I never had a lot of money. I brought up my four children most of the time as a single mother and didn't have a well-paid job.
I love the idea and would love to see a SAFE group that would offer a shower, lawn for a tent or a spare room. An Airbnb for cyclists... There may already be such a thing? I know couch surfing happens in the US, but I question the validity and safety. As a professional, it would be nice to leave from your home and travel with the reassurance of travel points without spending a fortune.
oh my goodness. Thank you. I may sell everything and be a homeless cyclist by August. 🤷🏼♀️
have you heard of Warmshowers?
Yes, Angel, Warmshowers. It's safe but you should still check out the profiles of those potential hosts (like they will check out yours) and maybe screen out the empty or sketchy profiles, focus on the ones that are more sincere/complete, and read the feedback/references left by previous hosts/guests. For a while, Covid had an effect on WS as well but hopefully, things will be getting back to normal soon!
Working hard and saving money
I know the people of Ginestar... Low Ebre
Depending on how many nights per month you camp for free vs pay for accommodations, you can live like a king on $600 bucks a month, less than most people pay just for rent so they can go to work and come home tired and miserable and go to sleep.
Although I am not a cyclist I would love to offer accommodation to singles. at a very modest price or in exchange for accommodation as I would like a European holiday and single supplements make the price of a holiday prohibitive. currently cycling across Africa, your comments.
Many of us work remotely while we ride. It's possible to earn an income at the same time. Or make trades. Or stay in a free bed. Or volunteer. Or work while we travel. Or save and make sacrifices. There are lots of ways besides inheriting money.
The average Joes and Janes have children, a large tv screen, a car, and like to spend money…. Edit: Rich elites kids would do it by car/jet etc
When I was doing my world touring, I worked seasonally and saved money by eating cheap, very cheap rent, and didn't own a car. Saved around 10 grand each year for a 6-month trip and came home penniless, but back to my seasonal job. I had cheap bikes, secondhand stuff and creativity with packing and McGyvering. My trips themselves were very cheap. It's more than possible to shoestring a bike trip. The cheapest way to travel. Some people have money and can afford nice things and time off. But why be bitter about it? I don't get it. Doing a world bike trip is a pretty rad way to spend an inheritance. Many people do less with more.
I started with weekends. You can get a great 90's trekking bike for under $150.00. Tent, sleeping bag, non-cotton clothes... don't forget an umbrella...
MY GIant in China cost about 200... very nice ride
I'm a poor guy in East Africa, I earn about $4000 a year. I decided to never get kids and I have never married, I live a minimalist life and I spend less than $2500 a year to survive at home... What's the deal? I often save until I reach $2000 and I go travel for about 4 months at ago... I'm a minibus driver so I can find my job any time I return home... I started loving bicycle tours mainly because it's the cheapest way to see the world and I have cycled around countries of East Africa and southern Africa... Most people who think I do this because I'm rich they're actually far richer than I dream to be... My advice to anyone; forego some expenses and substitute them for travel... It's possible to tour for 6 months straight at least once every 2-3 years
I can host you one day you pass by Nakuru Kenya
thanks for the offer and I will definitely inform you in advance... Sometime around November, I'm riding to Malindi from Kampala... I just saw your post too about your 6000km ride and I guarantee to host you in Kampala my home... I look forward to meeting a fellow East African
If you don't have obligations, mortgages etc, then it is easier. Own less, save more. Don't own a car, live in a small apartment (rent or buy, sell later). I have thought to myself that I should just go on a world tour and be on the road until I die or money runs out, in which case I can also die. But so far I have voluntary obligations to my family to not disappear and alas I work. I would advise against a bike that costs 1000s of money. You can travel on supermarket bikes also, and find replacements easily around the world.
Hi , I like your comment. Obviously, going on a long bike trip may seem expensive and just for rich kids. But I'd like to give you a slightly different perspective. For context, I've been riding my bike for almost 10 months. Is it expensive? Not that much, especially if it's part of a lifestyle choice. Indeed, I sold everything. I don't have a car, an apartment, or furniture anymore... Everything I own is with me, at all times on my bike. I allowed myself a few plane tickets, but frankly, never for as much as it cost me to keep an apartment in Quebec City... That too has a cost! But besides the very low cost of living that I have now, like others, I have organized my life to make it work. I have my own business, I work from anywhere, I earn my money in American dollars and I spend it in Mexican pesos. There are tons of ways to make money online or leverage currencies, but your way of looking at things is typically that of an... employee! In your world, the only way to make money is to exchange time for a salary. This means working in one place and therefore needing an apartment and everything that comes with it. Have you ever wondered how many hours a week you have to work just to pay for your apartment? That has a cost too... Anyway, I don't want to moralize, I'm sure you understand the principle: lowering your cost of living and increasing your income is the classic recipe for making a living. Now, if you're curious, I can show you a business model that allows you to live your life the way you want, whether it's on your bike or otherwise! Just drop me a line in the comments and I'll give you access to training that explains how it works in detail. It's free, so it won't increase your cost of living ;-) I hope it gives you some insight. I wish you good success. See you soon!
...while your assessment of me is incorrect, I would be delighted to hear about your idea. Thanks.
I didn't quit my job, didn't sell my house or pay up my mortgage, didn't have to say goodbye or take into account my family's "feeling," didn't have to get rid of a bunch of possessions, simply because I had none of the above. As for the bike, rarely have I spent more than 200 or so EUR on a single bike, often just 100 EUR or even less! Sometimes more, sometimes I've resold it when finished or donated them. And they work perfectly fine! So, for the past 11 years, I've done about 38 countries, some 48.000 km, working (language sessions via Skype, translations via email) and cycling at the same time. Sometimes I stay in one place for 3 weeks or even 3 months. My budget for many years used to be some 360 EUR/month. Now it's more like 400-500 EUR/month, including some flights (mostly over oceans as they are tough on bikes!) and including accommodation, food, bikes, everything. I do a modest, sometimes great amount of wild/stealth camping, sometimes hostels and a cheap hotel, sometimes I rent a cheap room. I do receive now (at 63) a minimum pension from the USA (just under $500/month), fortunately, because Covid would have made my life impossible (or simply forced me to scramble for other or more work). If you maintain a modest/frugal lifestyle and don't give in to the consumerist pressures of society, it's possible to live well on very little. Don't waste, recycle or make things last. I have just one pair of pants and one pair of shoes. I rarely eat at restaurants. Would the national/global economy collapse if everybody lived as I do? Yes, maybe, as consumption would plummet, jobs would disappear, etc, etc, but after a while, the economy would adjust to us to our lifestyles, as it should be and not the other way around!
Actually, the fact is that there are as many ways to ride bikes (and to finance both the rides and the bikes) as there are people....and bikes!
Regarding possessions and "wealth," we are increasingly shifting to a society where it's not as important (or "in") to OWN the thing as to have ACCESS to it. We see this in many manifestations of the so-called "share economy," such as Uber, Warmshowers, coliving/coworking spaces, rentals, etc.
I was over 40 when started. Not much of a kid anymore. Change thinking, get rid of things you don't need and it turns out you can live on a few hundred USD a month.
Some people need a whole bag/case just for their shoes and toiletries!