Follow me and ten other cyclists this fall as we make our way across the Southern Tier of the United States. Our cross-country tour will begin in Southern California and take us across mountains, deserts, the expanse of Texas and continue through three states in the deep south before we finally reach our goal where land turns to sea on the Atlantic Coast of Florida.
When our tour has ended, I’m sure I’ll always look back on the day we departed from the sunny beaches of San Diego; how we enjoyed the beauty of progressive Austin, Texas; the day we spent soaking in the cajun charm of New Orleans and the euphoria of pedaling through historic St. Augustine, Florida to our final destination – the swaying palms and sandy beaches of the Atlantic Ocean.
But, if my past bike tour experience has taught me anything, what will dwarf all that will be the people we met along the way. Those complete strangers who offered smiles and words of encouragement, provided a cold drink on a hot autumn afternoon, shared shelter in the midst of a torrential storm or asked if we needed a ride to the next town if our bikes break down. It’s the people, always the people, who make journeys like this exceptionally unforgettable.
Dates: September 24 to November 20, 2021
Start Location: San Diego, California
End Location: St. Augustine, Florida
Miles / Kilometers: 3,160 mi / 5,085 km
Riding Days: 51
Layover Days: 8
Longest Single Ride: 101 mi / 162 km on Day 40 in Western Louisiana
Average Daily Miles / Kilometers: 62 mi / 100 km
Accommodations: Camping / Indoor
Elevation High Point: 8,228 feet/ 2,508 meters