This summer we will ride across the US, following the Trans America Trail route starting in Astoria, OR and ending in Yorktown, VA. Our journey starts June 15th and we plan to finish August 15th.
Distance: 6.807 km (4.230 mi)
Number of states: 10 (Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colarado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Virginia)
Duration: 60 days
Temperature: From freezing to crazy hot. We are used to the cold but not the heat.
When telling people about our plan the reaction is usually a mix of amazement and bewilderment. The first comment is usually along the lines of “WOW” or “you are crazy” and the followed up with a question “why?”.
The answer to that question isn’t entirely clear to us. We have often discussed why we are doing this and whether we are out of our minds. A few reasons we can think of:
- We love a challenge and an adventure. This is our own Everest!
- We live in Iceland where the weather is often miserable so we love to ride in the sun.
- We are relatively healthy which is not something we can take for granted.
- The Icelandic krona is strong so a trip at this time makes economical sense.
- We are both fortunate enough that our employment enables us to take a longer-than-usual vacation.
- We would like to set an example to our children so that they can see that anything is possible and that people need to chase their dreams.
What scares us the most?
Our friends and family tend to fear the worst and ask questions many questions such as ‘aren’t you afraid of the traffic’, ‘what about bears’, ‘isn’t it going to be too hot’, ‘Americans are gun-slinging crazy-people, will you carry a gun?’, ‘isn’t the distance way to great?’, etc.
The following is what we are most concerned about, in this order.
- Headwinds. Nothing is more demoralizing to cyclists than headwinds.
- Temperature and humidity. Not being used to high temperature and humidity in Iceland this is probably our biggest unknown. How will we cope?
- Steep climbs. With headwinds. In the rain. In traffic. This is our Icelandic reality.
- Cars. We will do our best to be visible (blinking lights, reflective warning triangle, reflective clothes, etc) so hopefully the drivers will take notice and share the road.
- Dogs. We love dogs but apparently in some areas along the route there are dogs that don’t appreciate bikers and there are stories of bikers being chased and snarled at.
- Bears. Bears are big and have big teeth. Hopefully they will not view us as food.
What do we look forward to the most?
- Tailwind – a lot of it, especially going uphill.
- The sun
- Eating lots of food. Burning 3.000-5.000 calories per day makes it possible to eat everything we want!
- People. A big part of any adventure is meeting new and interesting people. Both other travelers and locals. Hopefully we get to meet interesting people with different viewpoints and backgrounds.
- Landscape. Beaches, mountains, trees, flowers, hills, roads, lakes, rivers, creeks, forrests, wildlife, acres, towns, etc.