Bicycle Routes Across America
Bicycle Route Maps
Cycling across the south
As you plan your bike ride across America, you have to decide how far you want to ride and over what kind of terrain. The shortest routes start or finish in San Diego, California. Looking at a map, you will see that San Diego is east of Reno, NV. Adventure Cycling's southern most route goes east to St. Augustine, Florida for a total of 3110 miles. A bicycle touring company starts a little north of San Diego, traveling to Savannah, Georgia for a total of 2912 miles.
Cycling Across the Central US
Bicycling across the central portion of the United States perhaps offers the most routes. Distances vary widely. One of the shorter, well researched routes is The Race Across America , an endurance cycling event, begins in Oceanside, CA just north of San Diego and ends 3000 miles later in at City Dock Annapolis, Maryland. While you may not be interested in racing across America, their maps are worth a look. Crossing 12 states and climbing 175,000 feet, they are well researched and tested for bicycle use. You can also import the GPS way points to use with your Garmin Edge or other cycling friendly GPS unit. The 2019 race begins June 11. The pre-race materials include route proflies with climbing totals as well as driving directions.
Compare the RAAM distance to the much longer Adventure Cycling Transamerica route which terminates after 4262 miles.
Bicycle Across the Northern StatesHere too you will find several options. I found a listing for a trip from Astoria, Oregon to Portsmouth, New Hampshire totaling 3629 miles. This trip ferries across Lake Michigan. Adventure Cycling's northern route begins in the far northwestern tip of the contiguous United States in Anacortes, Washington, travels to the south of Lake Michigan, ending further north in Bar Harbor, Maine, for a total ride of 4322 miles. On the RAAM site you will also find their route climbing chart. I have driven part of their route across southern Colorado. Knowing the elevation changes could be helpful in your bicycle trip planning. U.S. Bicycle Route System
U.S. Bicycle Route System
Many routes currently exist, including Route 76. Route 76 officially exists in Virginia, Kentucky and Illinois. Route 76 is signed in western Kentucky.
National Bicycle Corridor Plan
Adventure Cycling Association is on the task force of AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) "charged with developing a national corridor-level plan and designation system that transportation agencies can utilize for the development of bicycle routes." Over 13,000 miles are ridable in the USBR sysyem. You can find more information and download maps here: U.S. Bicycle Corridor Plan Map
Adventure Cycling Association Routes
Adventure Cycling Association has a great collection of detailed maps for bicycling across the USA. Their tag line is "America's bicycle travel experts." They now have cycling maps covering more than 41,399 miles. Their oldest and most used route is the TransAmerica. This set of maps covers from Astoria, Oregon to Yorktown, Virginia a distance of 4252 miles. In the early 1990s I rode parts of this route in Kentucky and Virginia. The route uses many secondary roads, avoiding busier roads most of the time. Adventure Cycling releases regular updates with information on camping sites, motels, where to get food and other important services. As a member you will receive a discount on your purchase of maps and cyclo-touring equipment.Adventure Cycling Association is nonprofit with a mission to "inspire people of all ages to travel by bicycle for fitness, fun, and self-discovery." If you've been a cyclist for a long time, you may remember them as BikeCentennial. Here are links to their bicycle maps. TransAmerica bicycle route maps
Northern TierAdventure Cycling's route across the northern United States is the "Northern Tier." This route is from Anacortes, Washington to Bar Harbor, Maine. This is the longest route at 4322 miles. Two sections of the map will be changing for 2012 because of changes in traffic to Minot, ND due to oil drilling activity. This route stays near our border with Canada. I will be riding this route starting in May 2012. You can follow me progress on my blog at this site: Bike Across USA Blog We are looking forward to seeing Glacier National Park and ending with a ride up Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. Note that Adventure Cycling says the two revised map sections will be available in late April. Northern Tier bicycle maps
Adventure Cycling's shortest route across the USA is the Southern Tier Route from San Diego, California to St. Augustine, Florida Southern Tier Route This is a ride of 3110 miles. If you have a GPS device, Adventure Cycling can provide GPS waypoints. You need a GPS device with upload and download capability. Here is a link to their page with more detailed information. GPS information for bicycle routes
North to South Tours Aross the USA
When I began this site more than a decade ago, I was thinking about coast-to-coast rides. In 2012 I gave a speech at my local Toastmasters Club about my plan for a ride from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. In 2014 I rode from Canada to Mexico along the Pacific Coast. Still I didn[t change the routes talked about on this page. In 2018 I bikepacked a portion of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route starting at the Canadian border at Roosville, Montana. The GDMBR as it is called, zig-zags across the continental divide as it heads south toward the Mexican border at Antelope Wells, New Mexica.
My current plan is to add more about the GDMBR, bikepacking and other routes starting in April 2019.
Bicycling in IllinoisIf your bicycle travels take you through Illinois, you may find the resoures, rides and map links for Illinois useful. Bicycling in Illinois
St. Louis Area TrailsIf your bicycle across America trip goes through the St. Louis, Missouri area, you may find the resources of Great Rivers Greenway useful. Their website includes a map with bicycle trail locations and types. Here is the link to their bicycle trails and bikeways map: Great Rivers Greenway
Contact me with suggested routes