2015 ACross THE usa Bicycle Trip
by Roger S Nelson
At the end of January I boxed up my bike and flew to San Diego with my gear. At the airport there, I unboxed my bike and put it back together, loaded up, and rode away to Chula Vista, a suburb a little south. There I met Richard Godbold and on February 1, we proceded to ride our bikes across America, from San Diego, California to St. Augustine, Florida, the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.
Part 1 - San Diego to Uvalde
Jan 30 - Friday - flew to San Diego (from McAllen, Tx, where I spend the winter). Rode to Chula Vista and stayed in a Motel 6.
Jan 31 - Saturday - dipped my rear wheel in the Pacific Ocean
Feb 1 - Sunday The biggest climbs of the trip are right at the start. Stop for lunch in Alpine. Go thru cleveland Nat Forest. Camped by road just before entering I-8. 37 miles
Feb 2 - Richard blew a tire, didn't have spare. Rode back to El Cajon to get him new tires. 38 mles. Camped again in same place.
Feb 3 - Went to Pine Valley Inn. 12 miles
Feb 4 - Rode to Boulevard and Jacumba. Camped in village park. 38 miles Shipped some gear back home.
Feb 5 - Rode 10 miles on I-8 with 6% down grade, a GoPro moment, if only I had one. Stopped at bike shop in El Centro, moteled in Brawley (which is below sea level) 60 miles
Feb 6 - stopped at Glamis, saw the sand dunes 60 miles camped off road about 8 miles before Palo Verdi.
Feb 7 - to Ripley (believe it or not) Ran into Richard (literally) in Palo Verdi. Amicably parted company with Richard at the Colorado River, the Calfornia-Arizona border. Took I-10 to Quartzite and moteled there. 60 miles
Feb 8 - Sunday, stopped in Hope, endless road US-60, camped at Coyote Flats bar and grill. 83 miles.
Feb 9 - Rode to Wickenburg and then toward Phoenix. Stayed with DeVito's in Litchfield Park.
Feb 10 - Stayed at Lynn Tomerlin's house in Tempe, bought new bike shoes
Feb 11 - camped in Superior at village park. 73 miles
Feb 12 - Steep climbs and mountain tunnel. Stayed in BelAire Motel in Globe. 23 miles
Feb 13 - to Peridot and Bylas, throught San Carlos Apache Indian reservation. Tented a little east of Ft. Thomas in a farmer's field. 60 miles
Feb 14 - to Pima, Three Way, and Thatcher/Safford. Stayed in motel in Duncan.
Feb 15 - Sunday service at Church of Chrst in Duncan. Crossed into New Mexico, stayed in Lordsburg
Feb 16 - crossed the Contintal Divide at 4585 feet on I-10. and went through Deming. Rode all the way to Las Cruces, 120 miles today, with a good tailwnd. Stayed at Motel 6.
Feb 17 - crossed the Rio Grande (Rio Sand) and into Texas. 40 miles, in El Paso, stayed with friends. 40 miles
Feb 18 - Passed Clint and roads were better. Moteled in Fort Hancock. No hot water in motel. 67 miles.
Feb 19 - Went through Sierra Blanca to Van Horn, riding on I-10 again. Entered the Central Time Zone. Stayed in Motel 6
Feb 20 - to Valentine, Marfa, and stayed in motel in Alpine, mule deer in town. 100 miles.
Feb 21 - to Marathon and Sanderson. Camped in village park. 84 miles
Feb 22 - Sunday. Went through Dryden to Langtry, camped behind abandoned building, motel closed, restaurant closed.
Feb 23 - to cold to ride. Ice on tent from a little freezing rain last night. Motel and restaurant opened, stayed in Motel. Visited the Judge Roy Bean museum. 0 miles
Feb 24 - crossed the Pecos River, stayed in Comstock 30 miles. Nice motel.
Feb 25 - to Del Rio, camped in Brackettville town park. 65 miles
Feb 26 - to Uvalde Amber Sky Motel. 40 miles.
Feb 27 - cold and rainy, did not ride. Stayed 2nd night in Amber Sky motel. 0 miles
Two Week Break
This break was not part of the plan, but bad weather made it necessary.
Feb 28 - Took the Bus back to McAllen. I was not prepared to ride with temperatures in the 30s and rain. I left my bike at the motel in Uvalde and with plans to either come back in two weeks to finsh the trip or to pick up the bike and contnue in the fall.
Mar 13 - While in McAllen, I not only submitted my income taxes, but also approved the book I've been writing, The Silver Stiletto. A two week self-supported bike trip like this one is the primary settng.
Mar 14 - took the bus back to Uvalde and got my bike. Stayed at Amber Sky. Weather greatly improved, 40 degrees warmer and sunny.
Part 2 - Uvalde to St. Augustine
Mar 15 - Sunday - church at Sabinal United Methodist church. Stopped at McDonalds in Hondo, and a guy asked me about my bike trip. When I told him he was so impressed, he bought my dinner. To Castroville. Tented in Koenig Park near the Medina River. 59 miles.
Mar 16 - Ate at Jimmy Johns in San Antonio. Later I stopped for a snack at McDonalds and the counter lady asked about my bike. I told her and she was so impressed, she paid for my food. I couln't believe it. Went be Universal City and Randolph Air Force base. Camped in a field off TX-78 49 miles.
Mar 17 - Misty rain. When I got to Shertz I was soaked and ready to call it a day. Stopped at Jack in the Box for breakfast. Then went to Motel 6, but they wouldn't let me check in until 3pm. Went back to Jack in the Box and waited. The weather broke and I started out again. Stopped In Luling, I stopped at Dairy Queen, St Patrick's Day, had a grasshopper, green and fitting for the day. Continued to Waelder and camped behind the Baptist church. 64 miles.
Mar 18 - Rained most of the night. Had breadfast at the Mexican restaurant in town. Stopped in Flatonia for lunch, and took 609 to La Grange and then Round Top, which is a huge flea market and antique area. Tented in a feild outsde of Carmino. 58 miles.
Mar 19 - Stopped in Brenham for lunch. Crossed the Brazos River. Had a flat tire. My rear tire was far from worn out, but I put a new tire on anyway. Best Westerned in Navasota. 48 miles.
Mar 20 - First day of Spring. Fog. Rain. Rode to Montgomery and then Conroe. Super 8 was full, so I rode on. Camped in a park in Cut and Shoot. 48 miles.
Mar 21 - rainy weather. Made it 17 miles to Cleveland. Camped at Best Western. Rained all day and all night. Ground is saturated.
Mar 22- Sunday, stopped at First Baptist Church in Batson. They took up an offering for me to help my on my way. $110. I'm amazed. Rode to Beaumont and had to ask for a ride across the river. There is only one bridge in town, and it's on I-10, and there's road constructon. Traffic is heavy, and it just wasn't safe for me to bike across. Stopped at a gas station and offered a guy with a pick-up truck $20 to give me a lift across the river. He refused the $20 but gave me the ride. Continued riding to Vidor and stopped at Pine Forest Baptist church for evening worship. Camped in their mediation garden behind the church.
Mar 23 - Crossed the Sabine River into Louisiana. Stopped at a McDonald's in DeQuincy, and camped in a city park.
Mar 24 - Got a good sleep, but in the morning a policeman came and asked me to leave. Took a break in Eunice. In Opelousas and met a guy on a bike, Vince. I asked him about a motel and ended up staying with him at the Lighthouse Mission instead. 48 miles.
Mar 25 - Slept good, up at 6am, chapel at 7am, on the road at 8am. I donated the $110 from the Batson church to the Mission.Crossed the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, and I'm still in Louisiana. It seems like when you cross that river you should be in another state. Stayed at 10 Flags Inn.
Mar 26 - Rain threatening. Rode 40 miles to Hammond and checked in at Super 8. Had 3rd flat this trip. Ate at Cracker Barrel.
Mar 27 - Rode to Covington and Bogalusa and crossed the Pearl River and into Mississippi. Poached a campsite in Poplarville. 75 miles.
Mar 28 - went through DeSoto National Forest. Rode to Lucedale and stayed at the Western Inn. 59 miles.
Mar 29 - Palm Sunday - went to Baptist church. Crossed into Alabama. Stayed at Super 8 just outside Mobile.
Mar 30 - Muddled my way through Mobile Alabama. Stayed in Spanish Fort at Lakeshore Motel. 23 miles for the day. Was very tired, coughing. Allerges were really getting me down this week. Had my 4th flat tire, front this time.
Mar 31 - Through Robertsdale and Ensley. Crossed into Florida (and took a short side trip into Georgia) Stayed in Milton. 65 miles.
Apr 1 - April Fools Day. took a break in Holt, moteled in De Funiak Springs. Antihistimines really helped. Weather was perfect. Enjoyed the ride.
Apr 2 - Lunch in Bonifay. rode past Marianna. 58 miles.
Apr 3 - Crossed the Apalachacola River and into the Eastern Time zone. Stayed in Midway. 60 miles.
Apr 4 - Got turned around near Monticello, rode 10 miles backward on my route. Florda is growing on me. Rode to Greenville, and then Madison. Stayed at Days Inn. 93 miles. Felt really good today.
Apr 5 - Easter Sunday, went to First Baptist Church in Lee. Crossed the Suwanee River. Made it to Wellborn. Stopped at the Baptist Church for the evening servce. Service cancelled. Camped behind the church next to a ball diamond. Slept well.
Apr 6 - stopped for pizza at Hungry Howies in Butler Lake. Rode to Starke and stayed at the Red Carpet Inn.
Apr 7 - stopped for a bite in Green Cove Springs. Made it to St. Augustine. Visited the Fountain of Youth. Stayed in Knghts Inn. 55 miles.
Apr 8 - Had offcial picture taken at the boat ramp. Went to Jacksonville with my cousin Marcia.
Apr 9 - Left my bike with cousn Marcia, and took the Greyhound bus back to McAllen.
Apr 10 - made in back to McAllen.
In all I rode 2800 miles in about 7 weeks of riding plus a 2 week break. I averaged a little over 50 miles a day, my longest day 120 miles, and there was at least one day I didn't ride because of cold.