One Epic Tour: Seeing the U.S. from Two Wheels

August 4, 2015

Day fifteen of Jared's tour.

What started as a simple commute to work has turned into a passion for Jared Griffin. In the five years since he began cycling to work, Jared has gone from a short spin every day to a long-term, epic tour of the U.S. After leaving his job of 21 years he set out on the Northern Tier to Bar Harbor, Maine. Along his eighty-day journey from Minneapolis, MN, he made side trips to Adventure Cycling’s Leadership Training Course in Indiana and the Finger Lakes Loop Tour in New York for a grand total of 3401 miles. “This was my first interaction with the organization and I was impressed. It was a great class where I had the opportunity to meet twenty-five other bicycle tourers and learn from them.”

The whole group from the Indiana Leadership Training Course. 

Jared’s Journey:

  • Average Daily Mileage: 50-75 miles.
  • Longest Day: 105 miles from Lesterville, MO to Cape Girardeau, MO.

“I was seriously done with the Ozarks. Like, I will do whatever it takes to get out.”

  • Best Chocolate Milkshake: Rochester Cafe in Rochester, VT.
  • Most Chocolate Shakes Consumed in One Day: 3.

“This does not need justification.”

  • Best Day Riding: Ashtabula, OH to Dunkirk, NY.

“Started at 65 degrees in the morning, rode along lake Erie with a slight tail wind on a decent road with light traffic.”

  • Best Meal: Mahi Mahi Tacos with Pineapple Mango Chutney at the Fresh Cut in Madison, IN.

“Seriously, if you are in the area check them out!”

  • Lesson Learned: “It’s not a problem until it’s a problem. Weather men are frequently wrong. Road closures don’t necessarily apply to bicycles. Since I have all the basic needs with me (food, water, shelter, and clothing) and some basic survival skills, I just deal with the problems when they are imminent. It is a more common occurrence to get a thumbs up, words of encouragement, or a friendly toot of the horn [from drivers].”
Jared enjoys his ride on the Leadership Training Course in Indiana. 

Jared is now on Part II of his journey. From Bar Harbor, he headed south along the Atlantic Coast route to St. Augustine, Florida. This added 2113 miles to his tour. From St. Augustine, he will head west along the Southern Tier, then north on the Pacific Coast route to his brother’s place in Los Angeles, California.


Photos provided by Jared Griffin. 


ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team— Paul, Mandy, Emma, Mike, and Arlen — tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, helping you bring your cycling dreams to fruition. Check out our 2018 Guided Tours today!


BRUCE ENGELHARDT September 2, 2015, 3:36 PM

Had the good fortune to ride with Jared on Finger Lakes tour. He is an accomplished cyclist and infectiously happy! Great article Jared - you are inspiring.

Gary Wiseley September 1, 2015, 8:20 AM

Jared, sounds like an epic adventure. I retire in May of 2016 and my son and I are planning on the Trans America route next year. I am so excited, been planning on this for over 30 years. Have to get us signed up soon. Maybe we will see you some day on the trail. Gary

Pat Haertel August 7, 2015, 9:30 AM

Wow - What an adventure! I look forward to further posts.

Aunt Dodie August 6, 2015, 3:47 PM

What an adventure! I'm impressed. Enjoying following your trip

Wanda Storie August 6, 2015, 11:18 AM

What a great experience! I love reading your posts and following your trip. Stay safe! (from a mom's perspective!) and have fun!

Jenna Nordstrom August 5, 2015, 7:24 PM

I knew you would do it. You do everything with focus, passion and perserverence. Way to go! We are living the adventure through your updates... don't keep us waiting too long to hear from you again

Phil Fisher August 5, 2015, 4:03 PM

Jared, Sounds like a great adventure. Enjoy the experience! Stay safe and watch stop for any softball games you see. (Your dad put me up to that one!)

MJ Engelsma August 5, 2015, 3:37 PM


Awesome! I hope you are having a great adventure. You deserve it!

Ellen Griffin August 5, 2015, 12:22 PM

Glad to read about your journey- and keep us posted of your adventures! You are seeing some beautiful parts of the country. Just last fall we enjoyed our drive through Ashtabula, and I think St. Augustine is such a beautiful city on the ocean.

Phil Griffin August 4, 2015, 9:27 PM

Glad to hear that you are still having a great adventure and I agree that you never need to justify ice cream in any form.

Susan Enlow August 4, 2015, 4:13 PM

Congratulations Jared and keep riding. Love the publicity - and the 'best of' notes!

Todd Young August 4, 2015, 2:10 PM

Congratulation Jared. Sounds like a great journey. I look forward to future posts.

My wife and I are planning to do the Trans American route next year. New bikes are purchased and bags are ready. Just need to take the leap of faith and quit my job in the spring.

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