There’s always a million reasons why you shouldn’t do something, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not worth doing.
Regardless of where in the world you’re from, there’s really no denying that America is an inimitable, crazily fascinating country. While there is certainly nothing wrong with traveling through the states while looking out of a window, slowly migrating through the country on the top of a bike offers some truly unique experiences.
Biking across the United States is an awesome adventure, a chance to test your physical endurance, and an educational experience like no other. You already knew this, and that’s probably why you searched for this website. You probably also think that there are some huge (possibly insurmountable) obstacles between you and this trip, so, before you close your tabs, let me provide you with some reassurance:
You are not too old or out of shape
The basic litmus test to determine whether or not you are physically capable of completing an adventure cycling trip across the country is very easy. Can you ride a bike for more than 5 minutes without falling off? If your answer is yes, then you’re a plausible candidate. Riding your bike across the country is probably 80% mental and only 20% physical. Moreover, the physical aspect can be much more aptly described as long rather than intense. At any given moment on the trip, you are simply biking, just the same as you would to the grocery store. Obviously, I’m not saying you should pack your bags, hit the road tomorrow morning, and keep going till you reach the coast. Yes, you will need to do some training, but with the proper rest and pacing, it really is just one step ahead of the other.
You are not too Busy
Admittedly, this may be the hardest barrier to overcome. It’s difficult to gain traction with the idea of quitting your job so you can ride a bicycle across the country (however I would personally recommend it in many circumstances). If you are pressed for time, there is always the option of splitting the trip up into 2-3 legs which you can complete at different times. You may also want to look into the possibility of a group tour, which may go at a faster pace, and allow you to take days off riding in a van. You could also shorten the distance you decide to travel. Who says San Diego to Houston isn’t “coast to coast?…”
You are most definitely not too Poor
Think about what you spend money on when you travel. For most people, I’m willing to bet that the three items which account for most of the spending are transportation, accommodations, and food. Well… when you supply your own transportation, you more or less completely eliminate that cost. Even when you include the costs of maintenance and repair, bike travel is still extremely cheap (I’ve found it to be about 8.7 cents per mile, compared to 56.7 cents for driving). Of course this may vary depending on your bike and the quality of replacement parts you buy. Accommodations can be very cheap and even free in several cases. If you purchase the bulk of your meals from grocery stores, you can keep the food cost down as well. All things considered, if you include the price of a bike, maintenance, accommodations, food, plane ticket back, gear, and EVERYTHING else, I claim it is very plausible to do a cross country bike trip for well under $2000. For a comprehensive breakdown of the cost the bike Across America, click here. Assuming it takes you around 2 months to finish the trip, that’s $1000 per month. That may seem like a lot, but there’s probably a pretty good chance you spend almost that much money just sitting around at home for a month… With a little saving, biking across America is actually quite the affordable trip.
What are you waiting for? If you want to bike across America, then you should bike across America.