Although I failed at my first attempt to cycle across America, I did complete it in 2015. Here is an overview map of my 2015 coast to coast cycling journey. As you can see, I was cycling across the southern tier of America. This route is one of the shortest Pacific to Atlantic routes across the country, approximately 3,000 miles. Nevertheless, it offered a wide variety of terrain, vegetation, climate, and people.
While the mileage was challenging, it wasn’t about the miles or my speed. For me, it was about the experience. It was about being absorbed into new environments and experiencing the people, foods, and cultures. It was about traveling under my own power down roads to places that I’ve never been before.
In fact, after completing the journey, not one person has ever asked about my average speed. Yet, for some of the riders that I rode with, it was a race, a challenge to be the first one to complete the route each day. For others, I think they may have just wanted to get it done as quickly as possible so they could get out of the saddle. However, that was not the case for me. I tried to savor each and every mile. I wanted to observe and experience everything I could along the way. And to stop and take pictures so I could share the experience with others.
In retrospect, I did have a goal that seemed important to me at the time, but seems a bit foolish now. That was to pedal each and every inch of the way. While I did pedal EFI (Every F*@#ing Inch) of the route, so what? Would it have been any less of an experience or accomplishment if I had accepted a lift due to a break down or injury? I don’t think so.
So, don’t rush through the adventure of a lifetime. Remember to enjoy the journey, you may never have the opportunity to travel by this way again.