Lael Wilcox and Nicholas Carman on the Arizona Trail in 2013. Photo by Nicholas Carman.
The chorus to the JJ Cale song “Homeless Man” goes, “I’m not a homeless man/I’m a gypsy by trade/And I’m traveling this land/I’m not a homeless man.” It is the source from which Nicholas Carman’s blog Gypsy by Trade draws its name–an appropriate umbrella for the journals and photographs of a man who spends about half of each year exploring the world by bike.
Nicholas and his partner Lael Wilcox have toured on and off road through Europe, Canada, across the United States, on routes like the Great Divide and Kokopelli, and plenty more. They’ve structured their lives around travel, spending winters working and summers on the road. Nicholas answered my questions by email from Anchorage, Alaska where he’s currently working seven days a week at a bike shop, saving up for the next adventure. In this interview, he discusses his foray into extended bike touring, his favorite trips around the world, how he and Lael make their travel work, his evolution of thought about bike touring gear, and much more.