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Cross Country Challenge

Summary

Cross Country challange 3

The Cross Country Challenge is a terrific 52 days coast to coast bicycle ride. For anyone who has ever dreamed of (hard cycling) crossing America by bike but didn't want to do it alone, this is the ride for you!

Road bike
52 days
6177 km / 3838 mi
$ 10,650.-
  • This is a Ride/Event, a tour with 20-40 participants.
  • Experienced cycling guides, luggage transport and support van.
  • Snacks, drinks and fresh fruit during the day.
  • Five non-cycling days.
  • Good motels and hotels.
  • High discount when booking a triple room.
  • It is also possible to do sections of this tour, see Cross Country Challenge section 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6.
  • Night before and after the tour not included.

Gallery

Details

Type
Road bike
Duration
52 days
Level
Easy = untrained, normal physical condition
Moderate = regular cyclist, good condition
Challenging = experienced, well trained
Challenging
Support
Guided = with cycling guide(s) - support van
Self Guided = individual - directions+maps
Guided
Daily distance
120-140 km / 75-87 mi
Total distance
6177 km / 3838 mi
Lodging
Deluxe = 4-5 star hotel or excellent B&B
Basic = 1-2 star hotel/motel or B&B
Camping = tent, sports hall or campus
Basic hotel, half board
Luggage transport
Daily luggage transfers
Bicycle
Not included
Dates
01 Jun 2019 - 23 Jul 2019
Start
San Francisco (13.00)
Finish
Portsmouth (16.00)
Airport at start
San Francisco Int. Airport (SFO)
Airport at finish
Portsmouth International (PSM)

Prices

Price per person
The tour price per person
$ 10,650.-
Single supplement
If you travel alone a single supplement is charged. With some group tours you can avoid a single supplement by sharing a room with another rider.
$ 2,600.-

Itinerary

The Cross Country Challenge will cycle through some of the most beautiful and scenic areas in America. The tour begins with a climb over the ridge from the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. After the ceremonial wheel dip, you head over the Golden Gate Bridge and ride through the golden colored hills just south of Napa Valley.
You will then ride through California’s farmlands and then begin the climb into the Sierra Mountains. After a stop on the shores of Folsom Lake, the route heads up into Auburn for the night. Sleep well because the next day we climb up over Donner Pass with views of Donner Lake surrounded by the snow-capped Sierras and an exhilarating descent down into Truckee. Riding along the top of Lake Tahoe, we cross into Nevada and head towards an 8.5 mile climb up Mount Rose. Overlooks provide a spectacular look at the Sierras and Lake Tahoe. Once on the summit, it’s downhill into Sparks and the high desert in bloom.
You will ride through wide open vistas with distant mountains and sage covered ranch lands. Enjoy the best breakfast on the tour at the Cowpoke Cafe. Then on to Winnemucca and then the eastern border of Nevada, and then into Utah, across the Bonneville Salt Flats and to the first, well-earned day-off in Salt Lake City.

The second leg of Cross Country Challenge goes south out of Salt Lake City towards Provo with views of the peaks of the Wasatch Mountains. Head east out of Provo into the Spanish Fork Canyon and up to the top of Soldier Summit. The green hills that flank the road are slowly replaced by red, craggy cliffs as we descend into Price.
After a night in the town of Green River, you’ll head east along the Book Cliffs. The rolling terrain and wide open high desert vistas with hills and mesas will accompany you into Colorado all the way down to Montrose. Out of Montrose, the route climbs for 12 miles up to the top of Cerro Summit followed by a stunning descent into Cimarron. Pause for a few minutes here to grab some well earned pie at the Pleasant Valley General Store, then burn those extra calories as you head back up again for a few good climbs on your way to Gunnison.
You will ride up over high hills, through tall craggy canyons, and along mountain lakes that reflect the hills to either side. From Gunnison, it’s time to tackle the Continental Divide and the highest point of the tour. The route heads up to the top of Monarch Pass at 11,312’. Celebrate the summit and then get ready for over 20 miles of non-technical downhill into Salida. The last day of this leg heads west along the Arkansas River through Big Horn Sheep Canyon. You will experience more stunning scenery on terrain that is mostly downhill. Riding through Canon City, the vista opens to rolling high plains as we head into Pueblo for our second day off on the tour.

The high plains are featured in the next leg of the tour. You will head out of Pueblo CO for two back-to-back century days that cross the border into Kansas. The rolling hills give way to the flat Kansas prairie. The name Kansas is derived from the Sioux word meaning “people of the south wind.” If all goes well, you will spend most of your time riding east to northeast with a wind primarily coming out of the south to southwest. You will spend a night in Dodge City where you can take in a shootout and the Long Branch Variety Show featuring Miss Kitty and her Can-Can dancers. All across Kansas, distant silos mark the next town and if you imagine them painted green with a little glitter, you just might discover the inspiration for Emerald City. After riding by several stockyards, with all the livestock sites, sounds, and smells, you will cross the halfway point of the Cross Country Challenge. East of Topeka the ride travels through the Flint Hills. Hills in Kansas? Absolutely! You will spend a day riding through one of the last great swaths of tall grass prairie in the US. Crossing the Missouri River, we head north through a taste of Missouri hills yet to come and into Saint Joseph for our third day off.

Heading into Missouri, you will quickly discover that any ideas you might have about the midwest being flat are completely wrong. Across the lush rural landscape, you will be challenged to many hill repeats, not exceptionally long or steep hills but plenty to keep the legs and heart pumping. Riding through an area aptly named Thousand Hill State Park will give you a very clear picture of this idea. You then head down into the valley and across the mighty Mississippi River into the Land of Lincoln. Illinois’ terrain becomes slightly flatter and the midwestern farmland stretches out in front of you for miles. The browns of the west are replaced with the green fields of corn and soybeans. You will stop in Springfield but not before riding right by the state capitol building. Through Illinois, the route heads into Indiana. The farmland gives way as we ride into Indianapolis. Before heading to the hotel, you will have the chance to ride in the (unofficial) AbB Time Trial on the Major Taylor Velodrome, visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and ride along the White River through downtown Indianapolis.

This next leg is a quick one. You will cover nearly 500 miles in 5 days. After a well deserved rest day the ride continues across the state of Indiana and through the town of Knightstown where the movie Hoosiers was filmed. You next will cross from the plains of Indiana into Ohio farmland. The terrain rolls a little more, especially on our day into Wooster, once again disproving the myth of the completely flat midwestern terrain.The rural beauty of the day gives way to larger towns as you overnight in the well known auto manufacturing communities of Marysville (Honda Motors) and Youngstown (General Motors). The route heads north to Lake Erie, the smallest of the five Great Lakes but the largest body of water we have seen since dipping your wheels in the Pacific. Continuing east along the lake, you’ll ride through some of Ohio’s and Pennsylvania’s wine country on your way into the city of Erie. You will stay in the heart of downtown, with great restaurants and the lakeshore within short walking distance. This is a great way to spend your fifth, final, and well-deserved rest day on your journey across the US.

The final leg of Cross Country Challenge continues along the shores of Lake Erie and through some of Pennsylvania’s and New York’s Great Lakes’ vineyards. Riding away from the lake, the route heads through rolling farmland just north of the Finger Lakes. You eventually pick up the Erie Canal and follow it to the Mohawk River through Liverpool, Little Falls, and along the Hudson River into Latham, just north of Albany. You’ll get back into more serious climbing as you ride through part of the Appalachian Mountain range out of New York, across Vermont, and into New Hampshire. You climb to the top of Hogback Mountain and enjoy a sweeping view of three New England states.
One night in Brattleboro and it’s time to cross the Connecticut River into the 13th and final official state, New Hampshire. With the major climbs complete, you will still get to enjoy the roller coaster hills of New England through many small towns. The last day you ride from Manchester down to the New Hampshire seacoast. The celebration would not be complete without the official police escort with flashing lights and sirens on the way to Wallis Sands Beach where your group will perform the obligatory wheel dip in the Atlantic Ocean. The crossing is complete. But you can add a few more miles to your legs and add one more state to your list. Heading into Portsmouth, you’ll have the opportunity to cross the Piscataqua River and ride into Maine. Congratulations! You have just finished nearly 3900 miles on the Cross Country Challenge!

Map & Routes

Map
Satellite

Bicycle

You ride this tour on your own bicycle.
  • You will receive more information about how to fly your bicycle to the U.S. after the booking of your tour.
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