20 March 2008

Why Cycle Across America

I was first introduced to the concept of cycling across America about 16 months ago when I spoke to a guy at work who was leaving Lehman Brothers to spend a year skiing and then biking across the states. At that time I was just starting to ride to work from Stratford, doing about 12 miles a day and had no idea of the scale of a cross-continent trip.

3 months later I had to put my daily commute on hold having been knocked off my bike on the way home, breaking my right arm in several places and fracturing my left arm a few times. After plenty of physiotherapy and far too many train journeys to work for my liking, I got back on the bike in February 2007 and started my new commute from Earlsfield to the City which made for a 15 mile round trip.

During the summer I heard from one of the guys at work about one of his friends in the US who was cycling from Chicago to Seattle and started reading his blog every day as he pedalled through Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington.

This got me thinking about the possibility of taking on a similar challenge myself as I was coming up to 5 years in the same job and was ready for a break, so I started increasing my daily ride to work from 15 miles to 25 miles then upto 30 miles each day, whilst I pondered the practicality of an 18 stone chubster cycling 4250 often mountainous (as shown below) miles across a different continent.

Topographical Map of the TransAmerica Trail

Well, as the presence of this site suggests, a sense of adventure trumped pragmatism and cardio-vascular reality, and I am now just over 3 weeks away from dipping my rear pedal into the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia and setting off for the West Coast via Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Oregon.

9 comments:

Steven said...

Sounds fantastic, Andy! Looking forward to hearing and seeing more of this over the next few months!

Alan said...

For once, you will be glad to be going downhill fast!

Louise Tolman said...

Wow - this'll be the trip of a lifetime. Really inspirational, especially since the last time I saw you you'd just had a barney with a JCB! At least you won't have to put up with London traffic... Good luck!

Matthew Benkert said...

Good luck Andy!!! Get ready for the ride of your life, and if you change course and end up in Chicago you got a place to crash.

Carl said...

Looks like you've got all the working tools you'll ever need here ;)

Will definitely visit justgiving later this month. Good luck mate - it'll be interesting reading your progress on the blog.

Anonymous said...

Andy, I pray God will bless you and guide you on your journey. Oh the beauty you'll encounter son, take it in and look up<3

frank11456 said...

Hello there i leave for America in a few days time to try and complete the southern tier ride from San Diego to Jacksonville any advice would be appreciated

Andy said...

Hey Frank. Check out the Tips for Future Riders or mail me on the front page address and will help if I can.

Alan said...

Frank,
I'm Andy's father and live in San Diego.If you need any help here, you can contact me through him. Have a great ride.