Does it feel like a nuts idea to ride a bike across the USA? Yes, it is, but this crazy idea is going to give you the best bike tour experience, you had ever felt in your life. Coast to coast, thousands of miles, you are really taking a bold decision, but you are not alone.
Before you, many people have made the journey, and many like would be deciding about taking the decision. Search around you will find many souls like you, waiting for someone like you, to submerge in the world of wilderness, to enjoy the tent sleeping on the open roads.
It might require a bit more preparation and planning, especially if you are not American and a visitor seeking an epic bike travel experience, riding across the USA.
So, if you are in the planning stage of your cross-country bike riding tour, or the idea has just taken your mind, and making you save a date for that, this guide is going to help.
Choosing the right route makes you win the half battle. America is not a small country, it got so many routes to choose from, and some are better than others.
So, you choose your route with respect to the kind of route you want to ride and the terrain to experience.
Whatever route you choose, keep in mind, that don’t hit highways or roads full-packed of traffic. You would not be able to experience the true nature over there. Rather go with ACA-designed and recommended cycling bike routes.
ACA offers three coast-to-coast routes; you can go to their official website and check the route. They have three routes, TransAmerica Bike route, Northern Tier, and Southern tier. These are classic routes, and every year many top cyclists make their journey successful. But, some, experience riders now don’t like the above-mentioned routes due to more exposure to traffic.
You can choose from many others, or make your own route. For that, you have to go with some experienced riders, who have already traveled across the country successfully.
The second most important thing and the one most the beginner riders do not pay special attention to is the right season. So, you need to choose your route first, and then check the right season for that route. Because maybe the chosen route gets closed in the winter due to snowstorms or high-temperature ranges.
So, research the routes and find the most season to hit that route. Keep in mind, a full country bike riding tour is a months-long journey, maybe you start at the right time but could not make it to the end at the right time, so adjust accordingly, and give yourself a 20-30 days gap.
Prepare for the weather challenges:
Maybe you have chosen the route that is open for summer and ideal for the summer season. But, you can’t rely on the weather, you can experience unwanted showers, thunder, snowstorms, and extremely hot temperatures. So, get yourself prepared for any kind of extreme weather so that you do not suffer in the middle.
The minimum you can do is prepare a rain jacket, get warm layers and gloves, weatherproof camping, weatherproof bags, and things like that.
Don’t ever compromise on the quality of your gears. Don’t go with a sub-standard tent or jackets. Go with quality products that are rugged and you expect them last longer.
When the worst of the weather hit, don’t let yourself be exposed to the weather. Stay in your tent, or dig up a hole in the café, until the worst passes.
Cyclists are the most vulnerable persons on the road. You will have to be careful about you riding a bike alongside cars and other vehicles. Although the country has made much more progress than before but still, most people don’t read the road signs and think of the road as their undisputed purchased territory.
In countries such as Sudan, or Vietnam, there is still some respect for cyclists, unlike in America. So, there are a few things you have to be careful of.
Try to wear a helmet always, don’t try to hide behind the cars and pass the vehicles from the right. Be unmissable, and if possible, use high visibility flags and vests with reflective patches to help yourself be notified from a long distance.
Car drivers don’t have the patience to weight behind you, so don’t try to be in their way, or move slowly in front of them. If there is someone behind you waiting, let him pass before you. Or you will be passing in haste, and in that hurry, you may crash with something.
In my view, after your bike, the most important gear is your free-standing tent. It is the most critical point, and you should learn how to camp for the route you have chosen for your countryside tour. Well, you can’t just pitch your camp just anywhere, there can be varied options for camping with respect to the route you have chosen.
In some routes, you may have established campgrounds where you get access to every amenity such as bathrooms, showers, and like that. In some areas, there can be some primitive camping grounds, and if it is while camping in national forests you can camp there too.
If you don’t get any of the options, you may have to camp yourself. But, don’t camp without permission, take permission of the landlord, and get things rolled on after permission.
Biking coast to coast across America can be expensive if you don’t keep the budget down. The difference can be where you sleep, what you eat, and things like that.
For instance, if you are on a two-month trip, and spend every night in a budget-priced motel, you can easily spend $4000 on lodging, and $2000 for meals. It would be around $6000, again, there is nothing like a fixed budget, it is up to you, the scale of services you will hire, you will be spending at that ratio.