This summer starting in May 2018 around the third or fourth week (official start date pending) I intend to head out across America on my touring bike. I have a Sun Seeker EZ-Sport CX recumbent and a B.O.B Yak trailer.
I have lots of experience with long distance trips spending as long as 5.5 months in some cases. I recently, in summer 2017, completed a through hike along the Appalachian Trail. I started in Georgia and hiked northbound to Maine. I walked roughly a total of 2500 miles combined on and off trail.
I have also achieved many other long distance hikes all across America. Trails such as the Pacific Crest Trail through the Cascade Mountains in 2012 and the North Country Trail through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Along with many smaller trails.
Above photo is me on the PCT…
I have been a cross country mountain bike rider for as long as I can remember. And I used to do some hardcore flatland BMX trick riding back in the day as well before I got hurt. Simply put I love biking and hiking!
I should inform everyone at this point that I am also physically disabled due to an Army accident back in 2001. I broke my back in a few places and I have some nerve damage from that. I also have a brain injury from the same incident that caused me to have partial empty Sella syndrome, Parkinson disease, and migraines. But I basically have it all under control and there is nothing for anyone to fear. I am well taken covered by the Veterans Hospital.
I am currently working on planning out my route to ride my bike across America. I have come down to three options I think will work but I am not opposed to looking at other routes. So if you have any tips or suggestions.
Route choice number one is the, American Discovery Trail, lower section. It is 5057 miles give or take, depending on my start point. I want to start from Pittsburgh PA about 45 minutes south from where I live.
My second route choice is the, Bicycle Route 66. It is basically the old highway route 66 made famous by TV and movies. This route takes you from Chicago Illinois to Santa Monica California. Depending on route it is around 2,248 miles long.
My third route choice is the, Mississippi River Trail. It is a 2,500 mile long bike trail going from Itasca Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.
I intend to start out slow around 30-50 miles per day for the first 10 days to introduce my muscles to the new routine. Then increase to 50-60 miles for a short while as I build strength. I hope to reach around 75 miles a day average for the trip. I do realize there will be days I will go more or less then my average goal due to services needed such as shelter, food, water, weather, etc… I have also been working out at the local YMCA to prepare over winter.
See my other blog on my work out routine: https://fixedbydoc.com/2017/12/15/how-i-am-prepping-for-my-4500-mile-bicycle-trip-from-san-francisco-ca-to-washington-dc-summer-2018/
I have purchased all the gear I will need for the trip and have a few backup plans arranged with my wife who will be providing support from home. I am taking minimum gear due to my experience I have gained from past trips. I do expect to buy many tires and inner tubes along the way too.
I will attempt to post weekly updates as I go along onto my website fixedbydoc.com and possibly on my YouTube channel FixedByDoc OffGrid and twitter account @fixedbydoc. I have a Galaxy Tablet 8 inch with cellular and WiFi. My bike will be equipped with 2-3 cameras, one forward facing, one rear facing, and one for everything else. I also plan to bring my weather monitor with anemometer to add some additional information to my blogs about the trip. Another piece of equipment will be my Magellan Cyclo 505 Bicycle GPS. I have used it quite a bit this winter and it seems to do the job nicely. Don’t worry I will be purchasing a set of trail maps too once I have settled on my route choice.
I will be bringing along a small tent, air mat, water filter, several water bottles, mess kit, camp stove, a few clothing items, a battery power pack, first aid kit, and some rain gear as well.
I am hoping to find someone who would like to ride with me for this adventure. You would of course need your own bike, gear, and be able to pay your own way. I can only provide companionship for the trip. Regardless if anyone comes along or not, I have every intention to go it alone if need be. I understand it may be short notice and not everyone can just up and go on this sort of trip.
Maybe this year the weather will behave a bit better for my cross country bike trip than it did last year for my cross country hike 😉