Well I guess this is actually happening, I may actually be stupid enough to cycle my way across America. New York to Los Angeles baby!
I set off on April 29th from Gatwick which is just under 3 months away, and I wanted to give you an insight into the type of planning which I’m having to do for the trip (It might even come in handy for anyone else mad enough to do it.) Anyone who’s lucky enough to know me will understand how much I don’t do planning but doing a trip like this requires a little forethought.
Flights and staying in America
I’ll be in the USA for 90 days. This is the maximum amount of time you can spend in the country without the need to apply for a travel visa (you still have to apply for ESTA regardless of how long you’re there for but this is all done electronically now so is fairly straightforward.) I have booked my flight to New York (£168 bargain through Iceland Express!) and need to purchase my outward bound flight before I leave so that I can prove I’m not going to be loitering in the states!
Travel and medical insurance is a must have. Even I’m not stupid enough to chance this. Healthcare costs in America are extortionate. As Brits we take free healthcare for granted but you don’t want to be caught with your pants down over there! Travel and medical insurance came in at £100 for a 3 month trip. It could have been a little cheaper but I paid extra so I don’t have to pay any excess if I do have to claim. Insurance was bought through “Insure my Trip” who search through insurance companies to get the right insurance for you, remember you probably need Travel AND Medical cover.
Planning a cycling route across America
I’m the type of person that wings it as much as I can but if you’re going to cycle over 4,500 miles you need a rough route. To figure out mine, I took a list of places I wanted to see and joined up the dots in a semi-logical order. Here’s a Google Map of my very rough route (it seems to take a while to load, be patient!). The main highlights are:
- New York City
- Washington DC
- Salt Lake City
- Try to avoid desert
- San Francisco
- Santa Cruz / Barbara
- Los Angeles
I had originally wanted to go up to Vancouver as there are some lovely people up there, but after much deliberation I’ve decided it just added too many miles, nearly an extra 2,000 so that’s going to be a separate adventure!
Stay tuned for the next blog post about planning the trip. It will involve getting my bike across the pond, the equipment I’ll be taking and all the little things which still need consideration before I leave!