FAQ’s

Seriously? You’re riding your bike across the country to teach? Are you nuts?

Possibly. But that’s never stopped us before! The bottom line is that there’s a need out there. Professionals are in dire need of workflow help (particularly when it comes to weddings), and most everyone else could use some pointers when it comes to learning how to use their camera to get better photos.

Our passion for teaching, travel, and a healthy/green lifestyle inspired us to take the show on the road to reach out to others in a fun and exciting way. (We’ll see how we feel about all that once we start our uphill climb over the mountains—ha!) :)

Hold up—the classes are FREE? What’s the deal? Is there a catch?

No catch. We just thought it’d be fun. And—we like fun. :) Besides, it made a really good excuse to jump on our bikes for a grand adventure!

Have you ever done anything like this before?

Teaching? Yes. Biking? No.

Khara’s been sharing with beginners through professionals for years. Her award winning teaching style, endless passion, and sense of humor have endeared her to an exponentially growing audience.

The Wickedly Fast Workflow class is something Khara’s been teaching in various formats to professionals for the past couple of years at industry events and conferences like WPPI, WPPI Road Trip, and SWPP (in London). We’re excited to take it on the road to rescue even more professionals from their workflow nightmares!

Biking, on the other hand, is something that’s entirely new to both of us. (Khara just learned how to fix a flat a few months ago!) We bought our bikes about a year ago, got our hands on some great maps, and are very much looking forward to hitting the road! (Neither of us have camped before either—so it’s safe to say we’re definitely diving in head first!)

Why are you calling it the [UN]tour?

Because this trip is truly [UN]conventional, [UN]expected, and we’re fairly certain it’s going to be[UN]believably awesome!

We’re hitting the road for this self-funded teaching adventure because 1) we’re [UN]deniably addicted to travel and love a good challenge  2) we’re [UN]doubtedly passionate about the things we’re teaching and 3) it’s truly [UN]like any other touring workshop we’ve ever heard of.

Choosing a name that could convey all these things was definitely not easy! We came up with all kinds of ideas that could’ve been awesome, except it seemed like everything we thought of spoke only to beginners or pros—but not both. And since we’re reaching out to both of these audiences, we wanted to keep things [UN]limited, so to speak. :)

Where did you get the idea for this whole thing anyway?

The idea first surfaced when Khara read Bart Yasso’s book My Life on the Run. In it, Bart talks about a number of exciting adventures, including a cross-country bicycle trip (though he does his trek in only a whopping 21 days!). After devouring the book, Khara started asking questions like, “Wouldn’t a cross-country bike trip be fun?” 

The next book she happened to read was Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, which also includes a cross-country bicycle trip. By then, I could tell there was little chance of turning back, so when a third book in a row (Chris Guillebeau’s The Art of Non-Conformity) mentioned a bicycle trip—it just seemed meant to be. So we checked our calendars and started making plans.

With Khara’s new book Your Camera Loves You: Learn to Love it Back being released in August, and the success of her popular Wickedly Fast Workflow Guide still in full swing, it sounded like the perfect excuse to hit the road and share the love—so here we are! :)

How far is it, really?

According to our maps, it’s roughly 3100 miles from San Diego, California to St. Augustine, Florida. We’ll be techno-connected in a way that will allow for near real-time updates to all kinds of info including how many days we’ve been on the road, how many miles we’ve ridden, and even how many flat tires we’ve had so far. Stay tuned to the site for all the need-to-know info!

How many miles will you be riding each day?

We’re planning to start out slowly with just 50 miles per day from San Diego to Phoenix. We’ll bump it up to 60-65 miles per day from Phoenix to Las Cruces, and from Las Cruces onward, we’ll need to maintain 75 miles per day to stay on schedule.

We’ve built time into the schedule for mechanical troubles and much needed rest, so hopefully our estimations will be on the generous side. (Seriously—fingers crossed!) There will be stretches on either side of cities like Austin where we’ll be riding nearly 800 miles with little rest and unpredictable weather—so wish us luck! (Comments and messages of encouragement will surely be welcomed!)

That’s crazy! How are you training for this?

From much of what we’ve read, the only way to train for riding your bike 8 hours per day for weeks at a time—is to get on your bike and ride 8 hours per day for weeks at a time. Because of this, we’re considering the 9 days it will take us to ride from San Diego to Phoenix to be our warm-up and training period. The elevation climb starts right outside of San Diego and gets pretty intense pretty fast (check out the elevation map for this stretch and you’ll see what I mean—pretty scary!). To help with this, we’re training at home with a combination of running, biking, and other cardio work before we take off, but much of our conditioning will likely be gained on the road as we go.

How’d you come up with your route?

Since we’ll be on the road from October through December, it made sense to go with a southern route for weather reasons. We initially planned to map it out ourselves, but then we discovered the awesome folks over at the Adventure Cycling Association. They have a vast collection of detailed routes stretching all across the country, complete with local campsite, grocery store, and bike shop information along the way. Thankfully, they had a southern route that was perfectly in-line with what we were looking for, making our route choice a total no-brainer.

Where will you be sleeping along the way?

Though we plan to stay in hotels in the cities where we’ll be teaching (for the benefit of class attendees who will [UN]doubedtly appreciate our access to modern showers), on most nights—we’ll be camping.

Who’s coming with you? Is someone going to carry your gear?

It’ll just be the two of us, carrying our own gear/clothes in panniers on the back of our bikes. We’ve always considered ourselves light travelers, but this will take it to a whole new level!

Where can I check out more of Khara’s work?

Khara loves visitors! Drop by her website/blog and say hello any time! :)

Who built this rockin’ website?

It was built by yours truly with help from some great designers including:

  • Jeremie Memming (logo design)
  • Randy Teet of DodgeAndBlur.com (photographic scenery compositing)

Though I’m always eager to help Khara with photography when she needs me, my first loves are front-end design and development. You can check out more of my work at EmirPlicanic.com

How do I register for the classes?

Click the register button below, pick your city, and join us for a good time!

Register

7 Comments

  1. Pingback: Breaking News: The [UN]tour Is Officially Happening! » Nebraska Wedding Photographer | KaBloom Studios

  2. Pat Mc Mahon

    Really liked your post on youtube “The UNtour: Packing for a Bicycle Tour”..I’m off to the Himalayas this Aug on my first real adventure cycling trip for a month. Teaming up with 4 others whom I’ve never met and hoping for a trip of a lifetime.

    Keep up the cycling and teaching.

    Pat.

    Ireland

    • plicanic

      Hey Pat! That sounds like an awesome trip! Thanks for stopping by… I’m glad to hear that the video helped. :) We wish you the best in the Himalayas!

  3. Mike Benigni

    Thanks for the awesome video on packing the panniers. I;m planning the same trip in spring of 2014. -mike

  4. Ran across your video on Youtube about packing a bike, and it was great! Done lots of bike touring in the past, but it’s always great to learn from others. Thanks so much for posting it. We are planning a cross country bike tour for this spring-summer 2013. It is a long time dream of ours, and after 28 years of marriage, and with my 50th birthday coming up, we thought this would be a great time to GO! We are cycling from Portland (OR) to Portland (ME). We live right here in the Portland OR area. We are calling it the P2P13 tour… Hoping to keep a blog, but have to learn how, first! Thanks so much for your cheerful blogs and wonderful pics. They are inspiring! Hope you are still cycling!
    Bettina and Tino Ferraro

  5. Van

    Hey! I stumbled across your video on Youtube and it lead me to this awesome site. I’m planning for a trip of my own and was wondering how you were able to incorporate a map-tracking feature to your website? Did you have a GPS device that you uploaded points to as you went? Would love to know more! Thank you and great job!

    • Khara — the UNtour

      So sorry for this delayed response… I just found this comment in my inbox…

      My husband is a developer and he created an app that pinged google maps for us every 15 minutes using our cell phone. (Which we kept charged with a solar panel.)

      I think we have videos on both if you want more info. I know there are apps out there that will track you, but sadly, I can’t remember their names. :(

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2 classes, 8 cities, 3100 miles, and—a pair of bicycles.

Professional photographer Khara Plicanic and her husband Emir proudly completed a coast-to-coast bicycle tour (from California to Florida!) on a mission to educate and inspire everyone with a camera. This is their story.

 Start Date: 10/17/2011

 End Date: 12/21/2011