From Sea to Shining Sea
Biking In The USA
The United States of America – land of the free, home of rock n’ roll, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and (more importantly) some of the best biking routes around.
So what do you need to know if you’re planning on taking a trip over the Atlantic and seeing what the US of A has to offer?
You can hire a bike stateside but if you want to make sure you share your once in a lifetime trip with your own machine it’s easy to arrange shipping. Getting your bike sent via air is quick and reliable, but US airlines class bikes as dangerous goods and often refuse to carry them. It’s possible to get around this by getting your bike delivered into Canada so check this out. The website Horizons Unlimited has loads of information about the practicalities and is well worth a visit for full details.
Be aware of the wildlife – North America is not like the UK and there a few critters you should keep an eye out for when biking through its vast wildernesses. Crashing into an elk or a bison will quickly cut short your trip and, if you’re camping out, be aware of bears and set up your campsite accordingly (make sure all food is bagged up and hung high up a nearby tree).
Be prepared! North America is a huge continent with a wide variety of different climates and terrain. From the muggy swamps of Florida to temperate New England forests and dusty Nevadan deserts to ancient Californian redwood groves a trip across the US is a real adventure. Make sure you have all the gear you might need – bring waterproofs, plenty of hydration, maps, insect repellent, sunscreen and anything else you think you might need.
Why not keep a log of your trip? You’ll regret not taking pictures and scribbling down your stories and anecdotes when you look back in years to come – and with good quality digital cameras so cheap nowadays, there really is no excuse.
Bring camping equipment. American highway motels are justifiably famous, but remember America is a big country and it’s more than likely you’ll be heading off-road (especially if you’re heading along one of the famous biking routes such as the TransAmerican trail).