Igor Tolkov

US Tour · Mt. Rainier · Everest Base Camp · Oregon Coast · Yakima · Taiwan

Around the US

Between spring and fall of 2019 I plan to cycle around the US(+Canada). The trip from Seattle to the East Coast and back will pass through 33 states and four provinces, as well as 19 US national parks. So far, I've biked ··· and climbed ···. The route can be roughly divided into three parts, as follows:

Pacific Coast (Seattle to Santa Monica)
Distance2553 km
Elevation gain23700 m
Riding time137 hours over 26 days
Daily extremes132 km (Apr 18), 1567 m (Apr 16)
Nights55% camping, 19% friends, 16% hotel, 3% hostel, 7% other1

Pacific to Atlantic (Santa Monica to Bar Harbor)
Distance8367 km
Elevation gain61089 m
Riding time449 hours over 82 days (includes 6 fun days2)
Lowest pointDesert Beach, CA (-77 m)
Highest pointMonarch Pass, CO (3448 m)
Daily extremes169 km (Jun 18), 2000 m (May 19)
Nights48% camping, 20% hotel, 14% hostel, 12% friend, 6% other

Atlantic to Pacific (Bar Harbor to Seattle)
Distance8000 km (estimate)
Elevation gain40500 m (estimate)
Riding time72 days (estimate)
Lowest pointBar Harbor, ME (0 m)
Highest pointTogwotee Pass, WY (2944 m)

(1) I don't like to stay with WarmShowers because it's too much of a cognitive load for me to send out stay requests, then stay at someone else's house, and it usually doesn't work out anyway. I prefer to camp or stay at a hostel instead. But this does make the trip more expensive: an average hotel night costs me $90, while an average hostel night costs $30, and an average camping night costs $15 (organized campground) or $0 (dispersed camping).

(2) I don't just ride. The distance / elevation totals in this page include some hiking, too, as well as a few out-and-back rides. The days when I start and end at the same place are what I call "fun days".

Month by Month

Month 1: Ride down the Pacific Coast and visit the Dutch town of Solvang. Seattle » Redwood National Park » San Francisco » Solvang » Los Angeles

Month 2: Cross the desert and experience America's monuments. Los Angeles » Joshua Tree National Park » Grand Canyon National Park » Zion National Park » Bryce Canyon National Park » Capitol Reef National Park » Moab

Month 3: Continue riding through the Rocky Mountains, crossing the continental divide. Then descend via the plains of Kansas and Nebraska. Moab (Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park) » Black Canyon National Park » Monarch Pass (Continental Divide, 3447 m) » Iowa City » Chicago

Month 4: Visit friends in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Chicago » Indiana Dunes National Park » Ann Arbor » Cleveland » Cuyahoga Valley National Park » Washington, DC » New York

Month 5: Ride up the Atlantic Coast to Bar Harbor. Then turn back West through Maine, into Canada, and along the St. Lawrence River. New York » Boston » Bar Harbor (Acadia National Park) » Quebec » Montreal » Ottawa » Toronto

Month 6: Cross Upper Michigan and the Northern Plains. Toronto » Bruce Peninsula National Park » Duluth » Badlands National Park » Rapid City

Month 7: Ride up the Northern Rockies. Rapid City (Wind Cave National Park, Mt. Rushmore National Memorial) » Grand Teton National Park » Yellowstone National Park » Glacier National Park » Banff National Park » Jasper National Park

Month 8: Return to Seattle. Jasper National Park » Whistler » Seattle

The tour as I envisioned it before I left - parts of the route have since changed

Of course, I don't really know right now how long this will take me, or whether I can finsh this at all. Only time will tell.

Month 1, Pacific Coast

This is an abbreviated Pacific Coast tour, starting from Seattle (instead of Vancouver / Victoria) and ending in Los Angeles (instead of Tijuana). I took a few days' break in San Jose.

Month 2, Deserts and Canyons

The eastward journey begins as I cross the desert and climb into the Rockies until my next extended rest stop in Moab.

Month 3, Continental Divide and the Great Plains

From Moab, I make my way to and over Monarch Pass in Colorado, crossing the Continental Divide at 3447 m, then descending to Colorado Springs.

After a few days' rest in Colorado Springs, I begin the 11-day eastward push to Iowa City. I have to get there on time to visit a college friend. From Iowa City, it's three days to Chicago.

Month 4, Northeast US

The tour slows down here again, as I focus more on sightseeing in the Northeastern US, traveling the rest of the way from Chicago to Washington, DC and New York.

Month 5, New England, New France

I ride north along the coast toward Bar Harbor, Maine.

At Bar Harbor I turn back and head west through central Canada.

Month 6, The Journey West

I keep riding west.