I've always harbored an ambition to ride across the U.S., but I thought I might have to quit my job to do so. My company just implemented eight-week sabbaticals though, so maybe I won't have to! I'm considering doing it next year, and I'd like some advice from people who've done a similar trip.
I'm in my late 30s, and a relatively experienced, middle of the pack endurance athlete. I've been averaging about 2000 miles a year. I did 3500 in 2011, when I was training for the Ironman.
I'd like to go from New York City, where I live, to San Francisco, where I have family.
I know 8 weeks is a pretty short time to cross the U.S. by bicycle, but I may be able to tack on as many as 4 weeks of vacation on to that. But I don't want to waste all my vacation, so maybe my time limit should be 10 weeks.
My questions are:
1) Is 10 weeks enough?
2) If so, what kind of time window should I plan for? Late spring, mid-summer, or late summer? My ideal route would be NYC to SF.
3) When should I start training? I had planned to devote fall to a run training cycle, and I still haven't asked for the time yet, so the later the better.
A little more information: I'd probably do credit card touring (staying in hotels night to night), since I'd want to reduce the weight of camping gear and because I don't have a lot of camping experience.
I'd love to rope in visits to friends in Chicago and Minneapolis, and maybe even the RAGBRAI
in Iowa, but I know that would be a bit crazy unrealistic.
I've been doing some of own investigating. I've read a bunch of blogs by people who've done similar trips, picked up the books, "Across America By Bicycle" and "The Complete Book of Long Distance Cycling," and started to read up on the Transcontinental Trail. Anything else I should consider?