Just this week, I (Denise) was asked (and answered) all of these questions about our upcoming trip! So in case you’re curious…
Are you really riding across America on a bicycle?
Yes, yes we are, Lord willing!
How many miles is it?
How long will that take?
We have planned for three months, which includes travel time to San Diego and from St. Augustine. We anticipate actual riding time to be around 2 months.
How many miles will you ride a day?
We plan to average around 60 miles a day.
Who is going?
Jim, Denise, and Abi will be cycling and Josh is also going as our support.
Do you have your route planned?
Yes, we are generally following Adventure Cycling Association’s Southern Tier Route from San Diego, CA to St. Augustine, FL. We will travel thru Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. We might take a slight detour to include Georgia, as well!
Is that a trail?
Not specifically, but rather a combination of trails, bike lanes, and ‘bicycle friendly roads.’
Are there mountains?
We will have to cross the Sierra-Nevada and Rocky Mountain ranges (although by taking the Southern Tier, their elevations are not as high or as steep as further north). In addition, even the “hills” of Texas are big by Hoosier flat land standards!
Where will you spend nights?
We will be sleeping in a travel trailer. Gracious friends have offered to let us borrow their camper, Nathan has given us the use of his truck, and Joshua will be our SAG.
What is a SAG?
The military uses the acronym SAG for ‘Supplies and Gear,’ I’ve also seen that it stands for ‘Support and Gear.’ Either way, Josh will be filling that role. He will drive the truck and trailer which eliminates the need for us to carry all of our gear on the bikes—about 50 pounds for each bike and potentially a bike trailer. Not only will that make riding so much easier, but we won’t have to be concerned about the logistics of reaching the next spot that has services for food, water, and shelter. Plus, we will be able to have extra amenities like home cooked meals, showers, comfortable sleeping arrangements, books and games to relax with in the evenings, etc. In addition, if we run into mechanical, health, or weather issues we will have nearby help available. And above all, we’ll have Josh with us!
So will you carry anything on your bikes?
We (Jim and Denise) always carry a bag that has bike tools, spare tubes, a small first aid kit, a bike lock, and snacks for any ride we do. In addition, we carry cell phones, dog repellent, and the bike is equipped with front and back bicycle lights, a cycling computer that has gps and preprogrammed maps, and four water bottles. For this trip, we will also add a paper map of each day and potentially another bag for carrying extra clothing layers, water, or food, as needed. Abi plans to add a waterproof bag that will safely carry her camera on her bike (she also has the water bottles, lights, cycling computer, cell phone, etc.—although does not typically ride with tools or tubes!
How are you training?
Continuing to ride using an indoor bicycle trainer or riding outside when the roads are clear of snow and ice and core strengthening exercises. Abi uses Zwift as an added incentive for indoor riding. Because we live in Indiana and it is winter, it will be hard to get a lot of miles on the bike, but we have ridden a lot this past year. We’re somewhat hopeful that our muscles will still be there—if not, after a week or two of the trip, we’ll be back in shape! 😳
Are you crazy??