Posted by: rustymccain | May 14, 2011

Say again…You’re doing what?

Usually, when we have told people that we are riding our bikes across the United States, the first question is, “Do you have a Harley?” When they grasp the fact that we are actually pedaling, the next hurdle is to comprehend that we are actually pedaling about 3800 miles. Usually a statement is the next order of business. “You are insane.” “You are nuts.” “You are crazy” have been the most used, but all others trend to the same sentiment. When asked how long it is going to take us, the answer is eight weeks. I asked for this time off at my work a year and a half ago and that is all the time I can take. Therefore, we have to be finished in eight weeks. That means we have to average a little under 70 miles a day. For those who think that might be a bit much, not to worry, we have built-in 1 rest day! Actually, we hope to “earn” a few more rest days along the way by riding a little extra on other days. While we will average 70, some days will be more, some less. For instance, there is a day in Utah when we have to go 126 miles. The reason is that there is nothing between our starting and finishing point. Nothing. No gas stations, no homes….nothing. I think I have found a gas station a few miles off our route on that day so it is not as daunting as I first thought.

If you are keeping score at home, the basic route is one that has been mapped out by the Adventure Cycling Association. We are following their Western Express Route and then joining up with the Trans-America route to finish. The highlights are as follows:

My younger brother (in spirit) Cliff and his wife Jamie have graciously offered to host us before we start. This really takes a lot of pressure off us and we are grateful to have them there. Besides, any time spent with them is well spent. We will stay with them in Sonoma for a couple of days while we prepare to start. Our start will be just past the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, where we will dip our toe in the Pacific. We will then go up toward Sacramento, and on toward Lake Tahoe. Near Tahoe we will turn southeast to ride across the deserts of Nevada and Utah. We will then cross Southern Colorado, areas we have both ridden before. This is a beautiful part of the ride. We’ll be going through Telluride and Gunnison and will cross our highest peak, Monarch Pass, which tops out at a little under 12,000 feet. When we get to Pueblo, we head due east for about 1,000 miles of flatlands in Kansas and Missouri. We cross the mighty Mississippi, go through southern Illinois and head into Kentucky. The closest we come to Nashville is crossing I-65 about 2 hours north. We head to Dukes of Hazard country then turn south and almost come into Tennessee at its most northeast point. From there we go up the Shenandoah Valley and then turn east again to go above Richmond and on toward the coast. Right now our plan is to touch the Atlantic at Yorktown, Virginia. While some might say this is technically Chesapeake Bay, it is the Atlantic to us. Don’t argue. We have a day-to-day calendar that I might post before we leave. That way, anyone who wants to come ride with us for a few days can do so. The calendar will certainly be subject to change as will our route. If we get a little behind, I understand that they make other kinds of bikes we could switch to. Did I already mention Harley Davidson?


  1. Good Luck guys!!!!! Have fun and blog away so I can follow you. How many Clif shots does it take to ride 3800 miles?

    Cliff Adlerz

  2. I have stored your site in my Favs so I can check it daily. Go get ’em guys!

  3. Thanks Bill. Thanks Cliff. It’s just pedlin….

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