« on: October 07, 2013, 02:27:04 am »
I managed to ride across USA 2 times in approx 30 days. I typically average at 125 mi/day because I follow the ACA routes.
Here are my comments:
1. 30 days is tight and you will constantly think about the time you have left. You will constantly think about your plane ticket which probably is already booked and paid for. I, on the contrary had buffer time at the end and was more relaxed: At the end I was just lucky that I made it within 30 days. I would not like that sort of stress.
2. Your biggest obstacle will be strong head winds. On bad days you will maybe only be able to do 30 mi. You might have several of these days. It just means that you need to have some 150-170 mi/days later on.
3. Another obstacle is the terrain. ACA routes preferably take you through very scenic but hilly and demanding roads. If you stick to large highways, they are made for heavy truck traffic: These roads are leveled out as much as possible and will drastically increase your daily mileage.
4. Do not count on cooking yourself. At the end of each day you will be so exhausted that you don't have energy for cooking - you just want to sleep. Besides that, you will be cooking in complete darkness.
5. If you are blessed with a good riding day (sunshine, tail wind, comfortable temperature) go as long as you can (that might be 200 mi/day) - because the next morning things might have changed awful.
6. I myself am blessed with a "special" body: Without any long distance training (except 2x5 mi commuting each day) I can pull off the first 125 mi on day 1 without any problem. Don't get discouraged by people saying you cannot smell the roses. Just go out and do it.
7. Routing: The Ozarks in Missouri are very hilly and annoying if you want to go fast. Likewise, the hills in Kentucky and Virginia are very demanding and will reduced your daily average. I would stick to the Northern Tier as much as possible (avoiding the Ozarks) and slip over the Appalaichians at a convenient place to reach DC. Reason: The strech from Cut Bank, MT to Buffalo, NY will be almost flat. And the temperatures will never be annoyingly hot.
8. Bike: You need a quality bike. A simple break down in the middle of nowhere can set you back many days. You need the best possible bike with the best possible tires. My impression is, that staying on large roads in the emergency lane (right hand side of rumble strip) there will be a lot of debris, litter, nails and all sorts of things that might result in flat tires.