I have been planning and re-planning, aiming for the best possible route for my wishes and needs as I head out on the biggest adventure of my life. For a while I was thinking of leaving earlier and cycling the northern tier (more or less), but am now back to the original starting date of late August (27th) in San Francisco. The first plan was to pedal down the coast to San Diego, and then follow the southern tier with a few changes, but the more I've done my research, and the more I've considered the places I want to visit, this is the route I have finally set my mind on: San Francisco - LA (along the coast), then onwards to Flagstaff, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Amarillo, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Chicago, Toledo, Pittsburgh, and finishing in New York.
Here are maps:
I've based the route on the one outlined in the book Cycling Across North America by Lou and Shannon Christian; a retired couple who, during three months, cycled it in the mid 90's. They averaged 50 miles/day and stayed only in motels or with friends. I intend to cycle longer than that, and won't mind camping some too, but I like the idea of having the motel option throughout my journey. Of course, a lot may have happened during the ten years that passed since the Christians pedaled the route, so if you have any advice on places that should be avoided or should not be missed along the way, please let me know?