May 24th, 2011


cross country

I'm really going to do it.

I've got a chance to ride my bike across the US, and I'm going to do it. I'm in shape, I have the time, and I have the money. These things might not all be true at once again. I'm leaving LA around June 12 and hope to arrive back in Boston five or six weeks later. I'm not going to camp, so it'll be a mix of cheap motels and couch surfing.

To that point, if you know anyone with a couch along the route (below) who can put me up, please do put us in touch.

I'll have at least rudimentary internet with me, and expect that Facebook will be my primary update mechanism. I'm looking at internet-connected GPS logging toys that let people watch my progress in real time, but I don't know if that's really going to work in the field (I'll post here with a link if it does).

I'm buying a new bike, since my current touring bike would probably not make it (and needs a ton of work, and doesn't fit me well anyway). I'll transfer a few of the nicer parts from that bike and then retire the frame (and all of the low-end parts, which is most of them). More about that in a separate post.

I'm mostly not riding an established "trail", because I want to spend time with friends, and none of my friends live along or really anywhere near any of the trails. I'm not currently planning to ride with anyone, so apart from Colorado (where I will most likely follow a trail) I expect it'll be a lot of time just me and the bike. I've been riding centuries to train and really enjoying them, so I'm really looking forward to this.

The route (all dates extremely tentative):
June 11: Pasadena-Santa Monica-Pasadena. 70 miles to get in the ceremonial wheel dip in the Pacific ocean. Live in Southern California and want to go on a nice long bike ride with me? This is a pretty good bet.
June 12-16: Pasadena-Flagstaff. Could cross the Colorado anywhere from Blythe to Boulder City. Possible overnights anywhere between Palm Springs and Las Vegas, or really anywhere in a pretty wide area.
June 17-19: Flagstaff-Durango. The obvious way is through Tuba City and Four Corners.
June 20-24: Durango-Denver. This bit has more cyclotouring resources available, but I'd still love to stay with folks in the mountains of Colorado if you or anyone you know lives there.
June 25-July 1: Denver-Iowa City. I might just have Nebraska covered, but I don't have anything lined up in Iowa so far.
July 2-6: Iowa City-Ann Arbor. I'm staying with family in Ann Arbor but could stop in Madison or Chicago (probably not both) and would love to visit folks in Wisconsin and Michigan.
July 7-9: Ann Arbor-Pittsburgh. Google suggests a brief dip into Canada followed by a ferry ride to Sandusky, and then two nights somewhere in Ohio.
July 10-11: Pittsburgh-Gaithersburg. Stopping in Bedford PA or Cumberland MD, perhaps?
July 12-16: Gaithersburg-Boston. Via family in Huntington, NY, and the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson ferry (yeah, I like ferries). Anyone know someplace I could stay in the Brandywine River valley in DE or southeastern PA, or anywhere in Connecticut?

Please feel free to forward pointers to this post. Woo-hoo!