Brian’s Cross-USA Bicycle Tour
Frequently Asked Questions
How far will you be riding each day?
I plan to cover about 60-70 miles a day on average. To many experienced cyclists, it doesn’t sound like a lot, but there are additional considerations: carrying my own gear, allowing for time to stop to see the sights, having occasional rest days. That means the trip will take about two months. There is a supported tour group that does a Los Angeles to Boston ride in one month, but that’s back to back 100+ mile days with only one rest day and little time for sightseeing, so that doesn’t interest me.
What will you be doing with all your stuff?
I will be taking everything I need with me on the bike. I will not have a support vehicle. My gear list is here. I have customized it somewhat for this tour.
How will you be sending e-mail updates from the road?
I will likely compose e-mails at night using a Palm Pilot and a portable keyboard. Then I can send them during the day using an acoustic coupler based modem. More information is available here - except I won’t be using the “BikeBrain” and the rechargeable batteries - AAA alkalines will work fine if I’m not using BikeBrain all day.
Why are you starting in Seattle and not Los Angeles/Orange County?
I don’t want to be riding through the deserts of the southwest in June! Also, I like having a route that takes me through Montana, Yellowstone in Wyoming, and the Black Hills of South Dakota.
>Is it safe cycling out there?
There’s a common perception that because a cyclist is “exposed” that it’s much more dangerous compared to being “protected” in a metal cage in a car. However, risk is not just a function of severity, but a function of severity and probability. For example, the number one fear in most people’s minds – getting rear ended by a car (high severity) – very, very rarely occurs (really, really low probability). As a result (I’ll spare you all the statistics), cycling is much safer than people perceive. I know that just saying that isn’t going to make some people feel better about it, but I will say that I have over 20,000 miles cycling experience in many types of traffic and weather situations.
This is not to say that there is no danger at all. Of course, I’d be safer if I just stayed home and watched TV for a couple of months, but that’s not the point.