Invisible to most drivers, there is a 26,000-mile network of long-distance bicycle trails criss-crossing the US. These mapped and designated routes offer travelers researched paths with plenty of information on nearest bike shops, profiles of difficulty, and indicated sleeping possibilities. It all started with Bikecentennial’s 1976 TransAm route, the first to cross the continental US, connecting Oregon and Virginia. Thousands still use this route, now overseen by the non-profit Adventure Cycling.
I once rode a bike across America using my own route (more adventure) but I have followed long sections of other Adventure Cycling routes. Their materials are well-worth the price; you will however have lots of companions — which many enjoy.
Adventure Cycling puts out a pretty good magazine for bicycle long-distance touring (a place to solicit travel companions), runs bike tours, has a decent catalog of touring paraphernalia, and continually pioneers new routes. The newest: the world’s longest mountain bike trail, runs 2,500 miles along the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. For that kind of amazingly rugged off-the-road trip (which only a few have completed in full), their maps (waterproof) and guides are essential.
Adventure Cycling Association
Adventure Cyclist Magazine
included in $40 membership to Adventure Cycling Association
Maps, Books, and Gear for the Adventure Cyclist