This guide to biking across the US provides you with all the tips you need. Learn how to plan for the experience of a lifetime.
Biking across the U.S. is, in itself, a great adventure. Unlike the comfortable road trip, you’ll have to challenge yourself and test your endurance. Moreover, you get to interact more with the locals and immerse yourself in beautiful places that might have been overlooked if traveling by car. It can be an excellent way to practice slow travel, as you’ll have to make frequent stops to take breaks, which will present you with opportunities to discover new places.
Exploring a city by bike is a great way to enjoy a different view of the landscape. Moreover, they are far more exciting than taking a bus, will help you stay fit, and save you some extra money by avoiding taking taxis. If you’re an environmental advocate, bikes are also an amazing way to pollute less.
Since you won’t be able to make many adjustments to your bike in the middle of the trip, it’s preferable to start with a comfortable bike. Try out a few different bikes and sizes before deciding on one the one you’ll be spending 6+ hours a day on – possibly for months.
Before you leave to bike across America, make sure you’re physically ready. You’ll get stronger during the trip, but it’s preferable to be in decent shape before you go. Start riding and exercising consistently at least a few weeks before you leave, but don’t go overboard. You don’t need to grow superhuman leg muscles if you’re planning a casual bike trip across America.
Regular yoga practice, according to many experienced tour riders, is an excellent way to strengthen core strength for climbing and staying in relatively immobile poses for long amounts of time which can help you build the endurance you’ll need for a trip across the country.
While experiencing the sights and “being one with yourself” are two of the most compelling reasons to bike across America, the flatlands of Nebraska or Kansas can only hold so much excitement, thus pedaling every day can grow tedious and might lead to an early end for your trip.
When commuting alone, many riders use the time to listen to an audiobook or learn a new language.
Remember that the United States has a diverse climate, from snow-capped mountains to sprawling forests and massive deserts, so you’ll need to dress accordingly depending on the region you’re traveling through. Luckily, biking across the country is a popular activity and there are resources to help you identify the best routes in every state.
The most critical factors of a successful, enjoyable bike ride across America are hydration (and restoring lost calories). Many cyclists delay taking a drink until they are thirsty, when they should be drinking at least 22 oz of water every hour on the road.
On a bike trip across America, tap water is plentiful. It’s common in churches, government facilities (such as fire stations), and public bathrooms. If you have a long-distance break, conserve water, but replenish your water often so you can keep drinking without fear of running out.
When it comes to biking across the US, there are some essentials that you must take with you. In this section, we’re going to mention the most important gear that you’ll need to bike across the US.
While every cyclist has a personal preference when it comes to bicycles, you just have to make sure that your bike has what it takes to undergo long-distance travel through different weather conditions. You should test the bike you want to take on the trip and ensure the wheels have a good road grip, and that the breaks are sturdy.
Additionally, you’re going to need a bike repair bag. It will certainly come in handy whenever your bike needs a tune-up.
Below is a handy list of the gear that will make your bike trip across the US a lot easier.
- LED wheel tires
- Front and rear lights
- Adjustable seat
- Adjustable bike mirrors
- Spare tubes
- Phone front frame
- Front and rear rack
- Bike repair tools
You should carry one to two days’ worth of food and water. This is because, throughout your trip, you can stop by small towns where you can restore food items and refill your water bottle, so you don’t want to carry so much that it will weigh you down on the road.
All of your clothing should be lightweight and breathable. It should be able to keep you dry and warm. Other than this, you should pack your clothes with practicality in mind. Since weather conditions will most certainly change you’ll need a variety of clothes to keep you comfortable. Adding a raincoat, cycling jerseys, T-shirts, underwear, socks, hiking shoes, cycling shoes, and cycling bib shorts will make for an ideal change of clothes on a trip like this.
While we’ve covered the basics, here are some of the essentials you’ll need to take with you on your trip.
- Navigation system
- First aid kit
- Survival kit
- Personal hygiene kit
It is important to keep road safety in mind on a trip like this as any long-term trip is likely to have its ups and downs. Fortunately, the US has excellent resources available in case you need help on the road and many bike routes are near densely populated areas. But being prepared is the best way to ensure that you’ll have a great time.