Suggestions for a VERY long distance ride?

I was recently inspired by this story of this man who road coast-to-coast across America. I want to do something similar, but a bit shorter distance. I know many of you will think I’m too young and I’m making a big decision without thinking it through, but I’ve been considering it for a long time and the story of that man just made me think about it again. I’ve talked it over with my parents. I really believe I know what I’m doing.

I plan on doing this ride in the summer in 2010. That’s a year and a half away, and it will give me enough time to train and plan my route. By that time I will be 18 and graduated from high school, so I can take some time to do this. My current plan is to ride from the California-Mexico border to the Washington-Canada border. That can change, though.

I’ve done some math and if I take a 15-30 minute break every 1 hour and 45 minutes, riding for 6-8 hours a day, averaging 13.5-14 MPH (my average), I can make it in approximately 20-25 days. If I include a few days when I might not ide or might ride much less, I might be looking at 4-5 weeks. The trip will be around 1,600 miles, less than half the distance form coast to coast.

I’m looking for any sugestions anyone can give me. What to bring, how much money to bring, what areas or roads to avoid, anything you can give me.

Of course things do change and I’m not 100% sure about this ride, yet. Right now I’m about 92.71% set on it.

If you live on the west coast and you want me to meet you somewhere during my adventure, let me know! I’d be even happier if you wanted to ride a small section of it with me. If you live in southern California or the nearby area and you’re feeling as crazy and adventurous as me, join me for the whole ride!

Just to be clear, I’m not doing this for attention or to prove to myself that I can do it. I’m doing it just for fun. It will surely be an amazing, life-changing experience.

Once again, I’m looking for suggestions. Any tips are welcome, even encouragement!

P.S. to anyone like John Foss who know knows a ton about unicycling: will I be setting an age record if I complete this? Has anyone else my age (at that time it will be 18) gone this far?

Very cool idea, I don’t have any suggestions but I would love to ride along with you.

If you pass through northern california near the oregon borderer I’ll definetly ride with you to washington.

Why start by the Oregon border? Won’t you still be here in SoCal?

No I’m going to college in the north next year. But I might come down for the summer so maybe I will do the whole ride with you. I have the book about the guy who rode across the u.s. on a 24" so I’ll have to read it to get some tips. How do you plan on getting back? Airplane or riding?

What college? My sister is at Monterey bay. About getting back, my uncle lives in Seattle so I’ll probably spend a day or two with him (I’m sure you’d be able to stay, too) and my mom/dad can drive up to pick me up. By that time I’ll have a license, too. It costs too much to ship a 36" uni, so flying isn’t really an option. I think it would be really awesome if you could come along!

I’m gonna be going to Humboldt state university so hopefully you come right along the coast. The real scary part I suppose would be heading through L.A alone. But hopefully you can find a route through safe neighborhoods. If we do actually plan to go through with this, I’m sure we could have a few days before hand to meet up and set up a secure route.

I’m almost doing the same thing this summer. Niagara Falls to Montreal (and maybe back) FTW! Almost 800km each way.
But yeah, I’ve been talking to “Unicycle” Max about it and he’s been helping with suggestions. Make sure you’re route is planned and be well prepared. Not sure what else I can say at this point until the ride gets closer or done with. I’ll tell you how mine goes. :slight_smile:

  • Jay

Wobbling Wally Watts

If you haven’t read it before, you should read the story of Wobbling Wally Watts. It’s pretty inspirational and it shows going beyond the water is possible. I’m not that daring and I would prefer to ride around in my own country too.

Well then, I didn’t know someone had already done a Trans-Canada unitrip. I still have much to learn about unicycling history. A Trans-Canada is something I had in mind to do a few years from now. I have been very inspired by this man recently: His ride was on two wheels, but a very inspirational journey.

I plan on following the coast of California as much as I can to try to stay cool during the summer. Then when I’m getting closer to Washington I might move inland to stay away from the very cold weather along the beaches. Washington apparently has a pretty hot desert towards the east side of it and if the weather is really cold I might try to stay close to that. It all depends on the roads and the weather, though.

Looking forward to hearing back from you when this is over. I’d appreciate any advice you will have after your ride.

If anyone lives in Oregon and Washington, I would love to know what to expect in summer months. Information such as how the weather is in certain places would be very helpful.

Have a credit card and substantially over pay your last bill before going on the trip effectively raising your spending limit. It is also nice having them owe you when your bill is due in the middle of your ride and you are out of state with no way to pay it off…

As for age I think that right after grad is the perfect time to do a trip like this. I thought of biking across Canada after my grad but nobody would go with me so I worked at a summer camp instead.

Ride North to South instead of South to North; that way it’s all downhill.

And you might try to connect with Lars Claussen for some tips. He has ridden Washington to Mexico and may have some tips on roads to take, or avoid. Check out

Sounds like a great journey. Good for you thinking big…

Summers in The Portland area are around the mid-50’s to Low-70’s F and usually dry but sometimes can get pretty wet. I’ve been planning a ride through the 48 consecutive states since Freshman year of High school, I’ve debated extending the trip through most of Canada and Mexico as well but it’s all dependent on what I feel up to when i finally get the money to do it all. I’m thinking going by myself, but it’d be nice if I could get a friend to come along and trail me the whole way, Maybe a few riders join me for at least parts of it. I feel like this ride is a long way off for me though.

I might have to try that. It sounds like a pretty good idea.

I’ll try to contact him. He must have some pointers. Thank you for the idea.

I might be passing right by Portland. Maybe you’ll be up for joining me for a few miles while I’m in the area?

Are you planning on setting up a ride where you pass through all 48? That sounds like it will be an intense one. When that time comes, let me know. I might go through a few states with you. :wink:

Yeah, I’d like to ride through all the states I can reach without a boat haha. Which would make adding canada to my ride make sense. I’d love to Join up with you if you passed through or near Portland. I’ve been making a list of cities I want to go through on my trip for the last 4 years, when I finally have the time and money to do this trip it will be amazing! I’ve been thinking about riding to NAUCC this year as a warm up for my trip haha.

If you are planning on riding anywhere near Ashland (in Oregon about 15 miles north of California along I-5) shoot me an email. I’ll ride with your a day or two and we could put you up on your way through. Who knows maybe my daughter will join us for a little bit.
Summers can get pretty hot here though. The coast has milder weather but the routes are much more limited. Highway 101 is narrow, twisty twiny and dangerous.
Are you thinking of packing your own camping gear, having a support car or a bottomless credit card?
Reminds me of the summer when I was 20 and hiked 700 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. It will be a life-changing coming-of-age journey. Go for it.


If you ride to NAUCC from Portland, you’d achieved a goal beyond what I am planning right now. And you say that would be a warm up? These things do take a ton of planning and a lot of money.

I’ll try to plan something where I can hit Portland and Ashland. It seems to be right where I plan on passing through, so I’ll try to do that. Thanks for the weather tip, too. That’s just the kind of information I’m looking for. I am planning on bringing a lightweight tent and a bit of camping gear, but hopefully I won’t need to camp out too much. If someone does the whole ride with me, we can split the weight of the gear since we’ll be using the same stuff.

That’s what I’m expecting it to be. I couldn’t really think of that term, so I’m glad you reminded me of it.


yeah, I don’t think it will take more than 3-400$ to ride to NAUCC if I do it right, and of course it’s a warm up, riding through all the states I can get to by land and through canada then it’s going to be a MUCH longer distance than going to NAUCC

Yeah, it will definitely be a warm up. The trip to NAUCC will be approximately 1800 miles. The shortest route hitting all 48 states is 7,008 miles.

Good luck.

If you average 14 MPH and you ride 7 hours a day without missing a day you are looking at close to 2 1/2 months of riding. 71 days to be exact. 7 hours a day is pretty extreme, too.