On October 11, 2015, at around 4:30 pm, I crossed the Potomac River on the Arlington Memorial Bridge and, suddenly, stood amongst a sea of people. Droves of tourists enjoyed the pleasant fall weather, taking in the attractions along the National Mall in Washington, DC. Unbeknownst to the crowd around me, I had just completed an adventure I had dreamed about for years: cycling across the United States.
After my first bike tour from San Francisco to Los Angeles along the Pacific Coast Bike Route, the idea was born about three years prior. A break from work, a sabbatical of sorts, time to readjust my life and priorities, allowed me to chase after this other big adventure to cross the entire country on two wheels.
First, my route took me north to Oregon, where I connected with the TransAmerica Trail in Florence. Eastbound from that point onwards, I crossed the Cascades and made it to Missoula, Montana, via Idaho. In Wyoming, cycling through Yellowstone National Park was the first big highlight of the trip, before reaching the highest point of the tour, Hoosier Pass, in Colorado. From Pueblo, I went straight east, through the plains of Kansas and then experienced the Katy Trail in Missouri, all the way into St. Louis.
In Evansville, Indiana, I reconnected with one of my former teachers from college before moving on to Kentucky and Virginia and the Appalachians‘ unforgiving grades. In Yorktown, VA, the TransAmerica Trail’s terminus, I dipped my front wheel into the water, having officially completed the crossing. The final dash took me up the East Coast and through history-laden country, before concluding my ride just south of the White House in the capital of the United States.
I kept a blog and maintained a website about this cycling journey titled Highways & Backstreets, where interested parties can find a lot more information about this adventure.