The Route.

Across North America. West coast to East.
The Route

The route I cycled to cross this vast continent was rewarding, challenging, inspiring and long! Starting in Astoria in Oregon, it wended its way via 11 states (including one Canadian province) to Portsmouth in New Hampshire, totalling 3695 miles. This was a fully supported journey, meaning I could focus on the cycling and landscape rather than logistics and baggage!

Section 1: Cycling Coast to Coast USA

I was full of trepidation (and a touch of jet lag) as I dipped the wheels of my bike in the Pacific Ocean on America’s west coast. Ahead of me lay thousands of miles.

The early riding days were physically tough. Cramp made itself known, as did the first real climb up to the base of Mt Hood. With the majestic Columbia River behind us it was like entering another world. Emerging from dense forest we were greeted by high desert land with outstanding vistas. With rewarding views of the Cascade Mountain Range spurring me on day after day, I soon felt at ease in the saddle, the miles falling away behind me.

Section 2: Rivers, deserts and mountains

With a rest day in Boise behind me, I cycled on from Idaho to Casper in Wyoming. Enjoying the lush farmland of the Snake River Plain, I marvelled at my now comfortable ride. Muscles adjusted, mentally feeling good, this was an incredibly rewarding section.  Crossing in to Wyoming I won’t forget the staggering views of the Snake River, beckoning me onwards. 

We also took in some height here. Along the Grand Tetons, and crossing the Continental Divide at 9658 feet, the views were awe-inspiring. The climb was rewarded with downhill exhilarating speed as we once again headed in to the desert.

Section 3: Grasslands, scale and bison

From Casper we moved through the middle section of the ride to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. My bike was the trusty steed, rather than a cowboy’s horse, but we were most definitely in the land of the Western Adventure. Making our way through dotted settlements, the sheer scale of this continent amazed me. 

Grasslands made way for mountains once more as we came face to face with the Black Hills. Sharing the journey with prairie dogs and bison, spying Mount Rushmore, and passing in to Badlands National Park are etched as memories from a rewarding section. I was in the arena of pleasure, with ‘ordeal’ a banished concept.

Section 4: Falls, lakes and bridges

Over half way, I embraced the sense of the homeward journey. We were now ‘in the east’, on the right side of this vast continent at least! My arena of pleasure dissipated pretty quickly. I felt every mile of this challenge in a way that I hadn’t anticipated: boredom. If I never see another corn field it will be too soon! It sapped my spirits and it was a test of mental endurance to keep going.

However, gradually populations bubbled, as did trees. As we came towards Lake Michigan, I was once again in love with every moment of this challenge. Crossing Blue Water Bridge in to Canada, I felt on top of the world.

Section 4 was rounded off with the majestic Niagara Falls. Feeling the power of these falls up close certainly got the heart pounding. But after days in the wilderness I wasn’t embracing the tourist element!

Section 5: The home stretch

Feeling somewhat euphoric from the thousands of miles behind me and a rest day at Niagara Falls, we were now nearly there. Dabbling in farmland again, this gave way to fantastic cycling up in to the Appalachians through to Vermont and Brattleboro, where I felt the weight of history. 

Rocking up in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, it was surreal to think that nearly 4000 miles were behind us. The challenge was done, rounded off with another wheel dip – this time in the Atlantic.

Embrace the challenge

I am no different to you. This challenge daunted me. At times I feared it would beat me. But I did it.  Find out more about what I learned from this challenge. What matters with a challenge is that it’s personal and that it takes you to the next step. Find out more about how I coach others to embrace their own challenge. 

Cycling Route

Day 0 Astoria, OR 30m

Day 1 St. Helens, OR 69m 

Day 2 Welches, OR 75m 

Day 3 KahNeeTa, OR 65m

Day 4 Prineville, OR 60m

Day 5 John Day, OR 117m

Day 6 Baker City, OR 81m

Day 7 Ontario, OR 83m

Day 8 Boise, ID 64m

Day 9 Boise, ID (REST DAY) 


Day 10 Mountain Home, ID 53m

Day 11 Twin Falls, ID 97m

Day 12 Burley, ID 39m 

Day 13 Pocatello, ID 82m

Day 14 Idaho Falls, ID 65m

Day 15 Jackson, WY 88m

Day 16 Dubois, WY 88m

Day 17 Riverton, WY 79m

Day 18 Casper, WY 120m

Day 19 Casper, WY (Rest Day) 


Day 20 Lusk, WY 106m

Day 21 Hot Springs, SD 92m 

Day 22 Rapid City, SD 75m

Day 23 Wall, SD 57m 

Day 24 Pierre, SD 117m 

Day 25 Chamberlain, SD 84m

Day 26 Mitchell, SD 71m 

Day 27 Sioux Falls, SD 72m 

Day 28 Sioux Falls, SD (Rest Day) 

Day 29 Worthington, MN 71m

Day 30 Mankato, MN 103m 

Day 31 Rochester, MN 100m 

Day 32 La Crosse, WI 91m

Day 33 Wisconsin Dells, WI 90m

Day 34 Fond du Lac, WI 83m

Day 35m Manitowoc, WI 56m

Day 36 Ludington, MI 7m

Day 37 Mount Pleasant, MI 113m

Day 38 Birch Run, MI 74m

Day 39 Port Huron, MI 87m

Day 40 London, Ontario 80m

Day 41 Brantford, Ontario 66m 

Day 42 Niagara Falls, NY 72m

Day 43 Niagara Falls, NY (REST DAY) 


Day 44 Henrietta, NY 82m

Day 45 Liverpool, NY 93m

Day 46 Little Falls, NY 78m

Day 47 Latham, NY 74m

Day 48 Brattleboro, VT 79m

Day 49 Manchester, NH 79m 

Day 50 Portsmouth, NH 60m


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© Coast2Coast USA 2019 San Chima

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