Total Miles: 4250
Rider: Jeffrey Ritter; 18 years old, Financial Consultant, Member.
Summary: It was a fantastic experience to travel at approximately 15 miles per hour and see the entire United States from coast to coast. Great people along the way and what an accomplishment it was. I still have the route map hanging in my office at work. ; Commercial Trip
How did ACA Help? The group's name, "The Cafe Coasters". We had a good tour leader and the routes were well organized and mapped out. We even had a theme song.
Health Issues: I didn't have any health issues, but our group was selected to participate in a study to determine the effects of such a long distance ride. We got a baseline set of stats in Eugene, Or and then again in Virginia.
Motivation: I was planning on doing it with a friend, but he cancelled out on me. I had bicycle camped 4-5 times prior to this adventure and just thought at age 18, I was a freshman at Ohio State University and had no other responsibilities. The timing seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Most Challenging Aspect:The most challenging part of the trip was the camping every night, setting up tents, making our own meals, etc. Looking back though, that was part of the overall reward
Favorite Experience: There wasn't just one favorite experience, but I will say staying over night in the funeral home in Kansas was a bit creepy. Also, crossing the Mississippi River on the ferry boat was really cool.
Least Favorite: My least favorite experience was when we lost a ride one week from the end due to a scalding water burn she experienced at camp one evening.
Tips: Plan ahead and have the right equipment. I didn't know any better and my bike was equiped with sew up tires and that is what I rode across America. Have a minimum of 500 miles of training in before undergoing such a trip. I was ready and felt great, but others didn't have such a good experience.
Date Entered: Oct, 2006
Photo by Dennis Coello