How to Tell if You’re Ready for an Epic Cycling Adventure

Ken Whittaker with a flute of champaign celebrating his epic adventure cycling coast to coast across the United States
Day 52 – Ken Whittaker

When I originally posted Coast 2 Coast – Cycle Across America, I didn’t include any details about my physical training for cycling across the United States. Even though I was not a young man, I had just signed up for Social Security a few days before leaving on my journey, I didn’t follow a training plan for the epic 3,000 mile cycling adventure.

There was never any doubt in my mind that I could complete the journey. I knew I was ready. Even though I was working a 10 hour-a-day job with a long commute prior to starting my cycling adventure, I still found the time to ride at least 4-5 times a week, every week, week after week. I would ride about 10 miles a day after work on a relatively flat course, riding my single speed bike. On my days off I would ride longer more difficult routes riding my multispeed bike. That’s it. That as my training.

When you look at the numbers, 3,000 miles over 52 days, I averaged 60 miles a day cycling across the United States. But I rarely rode 60 miles while training. I found that distance wasn’t as important to my preparation as consistently riding.

The key to my success was that I rode almost every day. I could feel the improvement every time I got on my bike.

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, riding everyday not only prepared me for the physical challenge but it prepared me for the mental challenge as well. Although it is seldomly talked about, the mental challenge can be more difficult than the physical challenge. During my journey across the country, I realized that having the determination to get up and ride again day after day was a real challenge for me. It was especially challenging for me on cold, windy or rainy days. So, if you are preparing for an epic cycling adventure, the key to success is consistently riding every day beforehand. It is just that simple!

Map of the coast-to-coast route across the United States
Coast-to-coast bicycle route across the United States

Related Posts:

Coast 2 Coast – Cycle Across America

Preparation – Cycle Across America

Ken Whittaker