It’s a biker’s dream to traverse a continent on two wheels. But to do it you need to be prepared. You should be used to biking more than fifty miles a week.
It’s a biker’s dream to traverse a continent on two wheels. But to do it you need to be prepared. You should be used to biking more than fifty miles a week. After you are physically fit, think about whether you are going to stay in hotels or bring a sleeping bag and camp under the stars. Will you bike back home or head south into Latin America or buy a one way return plane ticket? Whatever you choose, your bike should be equipped with saddle bags or panniers to hold your goods.
Along with basic bike repair tools, you may want to bring LED bicycle lights for when you bike along those deserted lightless roads at night. If you want to track your distance, cycling computers are a good idea and if you’re going to leave your bike tied up outside while staying in cities, you may do well to invest in an Onguard bicycle lock. After you’ve bought all your bike supplies, think about the route.
You probably want to go the southern route, especially if you’re starting from up north – the downhill ride is easier. Just joshing. But seriously, it may be flatter, although hotter. Try to see as much of the country as you can on the way. The 27 American National Parks are sprawling and beautiful. Cuyahoga in Ohio, the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, Great Basin in Nevada, Arches and Monument Valley in Utah, the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest in Arizona and Kings Canyon in California are some of the ones you may want to visit on your grand tour of the country. Make sure to carry maps with you and plan your trip ahead of time so you can take the scenic (and flat) route. There’s nothing wrong with taking a detour or making a last-minute change to your route, but be prepared for the unexpected.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t visit cities along the way. You can plan to visit Interbike, the country’s largest biking convention, in Las Vegas in the middle of September. And once you reach the coast you can either turn around and take a different route back, or pack up your bike and put it on a plane. Have fun and take your time. The expanse of road ahead of you, the lack of people and the big sky will make this a journey you will never forget.