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 18 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)|
|Distance||2553 km / 1586 mi|
|Elevation gain||23700 m / 77758 ft|
|Riding time||137 hours over 26 days|
|Daily extremes||132 km / 82 mi (Apr 18), 1567 m / 5141 ft (Apr 16)|
|Nights||55% camping, 19% friends, 16% hotel, 3% hostel, 7% other1|
|Pacific to Atlantic (Santa Monica to Bar Harbor)|
|Distance||8367 km / 5199 mi|
|Elevation gain||61089 m / 200423 ft|
|Riding time||449 hours over 82 days (includes 6 fun days2)|
|Lowest point||Desert Beach, CA (-77 m / -252 ft)|
|Highest point||Monarch Pass, CO (3448 m / 11312 ft)|
|Daily extremes||169 km / 105 mi (Jun 18), 2113 m / 6934 ft (May 19)|
|Nights||48% camping, 20% hotel, 14% hostel, 12% friend, 6% other|
|Atlantic to Pacific (Bar Harbor to Seattle)|
|Distance||7750 km / 4800 mi (estimate)|
|Elevation gain||50000 m / 164000 ft (estimate)|
|Riding time||66 days (estimate)|
|Lowest point||Bar Harbor, ME (0 m / 0 ft)|
|Highest point||Togwotee Pass, WY (2919 m / 9577 ft)|
(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 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 » Custer
Month 7+: Cross the Northern Rockies and return to Seattle. Custer (Mt. Rushmore National Memorial) » Grand Teton National Park » Yellowstone National Park » Missoula » North Cascades National Park » Seattle
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.
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.
The eastward journey begins as I cross the desert and climb into the Rockies until my next extended rest stop in Moab.
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.
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.
I ride north along the coast toward Bar Harbor, Maine.
At Bar Harbor I turn back and head west through central Canada.
I keep riding west, taking a ferry to Manitoulin Island, crossing the International Bridge in Sault Ste. Marie, riding through the Upper Penisula of Michigan and forests of Wisconsin, and finally crossing the prairies of Minnesota and South Dakota. I end the month in scenic Badlands and Black Hills.
The road takes me back into the Rockies, as I ride along the continetal divide through Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and the Idaho / Montana border. At last I return to Seattle.