|The Cross Country Challenge is a scenic and challenging fully supported 52 day bicycle tour from San Francisco, California to Portsmouth, NH. This great adventure will average 80 miles per day for 3,796 miles and have five interesting and diverse off days along the way. From the natural beauty of the Sierras to spectacular river crossings like the Arkansas, Missouri and Mississippi, each day is a unique adventure in itself.
|The Cross Country Challenge will depart the city by the bay, San Francisco. We'll dip our wheels in the Pacific at Golden Gate State Beach and begin the trek Across America. Over the Golden Gate Bridge, we'll head around the bay to the north. We'll pass the University of California at Davis, cross the Sacramento River and spend the night in the state capital of Sacramento. Next we'll follow the American River to Auburn, in the foothills of the Sierras. We'll have a few days of mountainous climbing that will take us over Donner Pass and into Truckee. Then we'll cycle past Lake Tahoe, over Rose Mountain and down into Reno. The Nevada desert calls as we roll up off the desert floor and continue through the Nevada Badlands. The high desert plan slowly gives way to the Rudy Mountains. We will roll up and over eastern Nevada and then stretch our legs for that final push across the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah and cycle into Salt Lake City for our first day off. Time for a little sightseeing.
|Departing Salt Lake City, we stay on the high plain before we head up into the Wasatch Mountains. The desert sections of Utah are extremely desolate and beautiful. We will pass the "Book Cliffs" and cycle just north of Arches National Park and Moab. The terrain will become mountainous again as we near Colorado. The climbing can get intense at times, but as you conquer the ascents, you will be rewarded with fantastic beauty, outstanding views and terrific downhill runs. Next, you'll tackle Monarch Pass. At 11,312', it is not only the highest peak we will transverse, but it's also the Continental Divide. From there, it's a nice long downhill ride to Salida. The wild ride continues as we pick up the Arkansas River, follow it out of the Rockies, onto the high rolling plains, and ultimately over to Pueblo for our second day off. Another day to catch up on the local sights, clean the bike and take a break.
|From Pueblo, we'll stretch out our legs for back to back centuries that will push us across the border into Kansas. The slow gently roll gives way to extremely flat Kansas Prairie. We'll pass through small western towns, and you'll soon discover how the west was won. Eastern Kansas picks up and rolls again as we enter the Missouri River Valley. Before you know it, we have rolled past the 1/2 way mark and into Topeka, Kansas. One more day will take us across the Missouri River, into St. Joseph and our third day off. Take some time to explore St. Joseph, the home of the Pony Express.
|With another day off under our belt, we'll begin the roll through Missouri. This state will really get your attention with its rural beauty, Amish charm and extreme roller coaster terrain. After we roll down into the Mississippi River Valley, cross the Mississippi River, the east is at hand. We'll stretch out our legs again and hit the town Abe Lincoln made famous, Springfield, Illinois. The terrain settles down and the wheat fields turn to corn as we spin across Illinois and into Indiana. The farmland gives way to big city as we arrive in Indianapolis and our fourth day off. You'll get a chance to see Indianapolis Motor Speedway, take a lap on the Major Taylor Velodrome and see the sights.
|The next leg is a fast one. Out of Indianapolis, we'll spin through a number of small Indiana towns. The plains of Indiana give way to rolling Ohio farmland. The centuries come and go as we zig zag and roll past family farms and small town America. Now the route heads North, up to the great Lake of Erie, and then we'll continue east and follow the south shore as we cross into Pennsylvania. We will arrive in Erie for our fifth and final day off. The overnight motel is in the heart of downtown, you'll be able to walk right down to the lake.
|Our final leg in the Cross Country Challenge will take us across upper New York State through rolling farm country just north of the Finger Lakes Region. Then, we'll pick up the Erie Canal and following it off and on through Syracuse, Little Falls and Troy. Next, we climb across the Appalachian Mountain Range into Massachusetts. We'll ride the meandering roads across Massachusetts, and cross the border into New Hampshire. The final day, we'll roll right down to the ocean on the New Hampshire seacoast and dip our front wheel in the Atlantic Ocean. With a optional side trip into Maine, you'll get to add another state to your list of cycling conquests. The Cross Country Challenge is a grand adventure by bicycle, brought to you by the experts in long distance bicycle touring, America by Bicycle. Stop dreaming! Come ride with us!!
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Last Updated: 9 Nov 04
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