What’s the Hardest Part About Biking Across the Country?

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Today we biked a short distance, 58 miles, relatively flat, and finished before the heat of the day; yet it was one of the hardest days we’ve biked, mentally. Below is an overview of our hardest conditions and moments. I think the hardest moments physically end up being some of the best moments mentally as, once we finish them, we know how strong we are and what we’re truly capable of. The moments that are hard mentally are usually not as intensely hard physically as the most physically challenging moments.

Thankfully we usually only experience 2-4 of these hard conditions at once.

Hardest Conditions

  • Headwinds
  • Unpaved roads
  • Badly paved roads
  • Badly paved roads with tons of debris we must keep trying to avoid
  • Getting flat tires on roads like the above
  • Steep hills
  • Steep hills that come with no warning
  • High elevation – Georgia through Austin, TX was basically all at sea level and now since Austin we’ve climbed almost 5,000 feet
  • No shoulder
  • Too narrow a shoulder
  • A shoulder with a rumble strip
  • The heat of the day
  • Humidity
  • No clouds
  • No shade
  • No rest stops
  • Aggressive, rude drivers
  • Horrible smells, from worst to least horrible – road kill, industrial plants, tar, gas, rotting grass, skunks
  • I would say a torrential down pour but we haven’t experienced one – we’ve experienced heavy rain but it was fine

Hardest Moments

  • Our first day, starting at 4:13 p.m. (the heat of the day in Georgia) and finishing around 10:30 p.m.
  • Riding 10 miles on an wet, quicksand-like unpaved road in Louisiana
  • Riding 4 miles on an elevated highway with no shoulder in Louisiana
  • Riding 70+ miles on unpaved/badly paved roads leaving New Orleans and heading toward Opelousas
  • Riding on a steep narrow bridge with no shoulder leaving Baton Rouge
  • Riding in the hill country of Texas during the heat of the day after getting sick from being overheated and feeling slightly delirious
  • Riding 20 miles for nearly 3 hours on badly paved roads with high elevation and strong head winds in New Mexico having not eaten enough food, feeling too hot to eat, without any rest stops around, and having no cold water (our water gets hot by the last couple hours of the day)
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3 thoughts on “What’s the Hardest Part About Biking Across the Country?

  1. I dislike the fact that you had to endure all this. But did like your post. I know about being delirious in the heat while biking. But all the rest. Wow. You are amazing. Brave and your mental game is solid steel.

    Like

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