Cycling in the United States

wq-lgflag.gif Capital: Washington
Currency: US Dollar
Population: 303.8 million
Food: Burgers and apple pie
Drink: Weak beer, good wine

The United States is a vast country, with an unparalleled range of landscapes to explore by bicycle.

Within its borders you’ll find mountains, deserts, glaciers and open plains, plenty of wildlife (including bears) and all of this is backed by a rich history. On your bike, you can trace the stories and heritage of the American Indians who first settled this land and the pioneers and gold prospectors who came later.

Rough RoadThe climate is also wide ranging, so while  summer is the best time to see much of the country, you can find somewhere nice to ride your bike throughout the year.

Doing your research is key to an enjoyable cycling experience. Plan a route that avoids bigger cities and focuses instead on the quiet back roads.

Overwhelmed? There are few better places to start than with the 38,000 miles of low-traffic routes mapped out by the Adventure Cycling Association. Among their classic routes to follow, cycling the Pacific coastline or doing the TransAmerica from Oregon to Virginia are two very popular choices. Then there’s great cycling in individual states like California and Idaho.

You can also read our route notes for cycling from San Francisco to Edmonton.

Wherever you go, don’t forget to consider how much time you have. Distances are vast so if you only have a few weeks it’s better to explore one or two states rather than run yourself ragged.

Border bureaucracy will also require some advance planning. Look into what you need to do 2-3 months before you go.

Here are some answers to common questions about cycling in the United States:

  1. Do I need a visa? Can I include Canada and Mexico in my trip?
  2. Will the bears swallow me whole while I’m camping? Can I cycle faster than a cougar?
  3. How much  money do I need to bike tour in the United States?


  1. Doug W
    17th August 2011 at 8:08 am #

    Really got to update that “weak beer” comment. Sure, if you only buy the cheapest stuff you can, then it’s a true statement. But every major city has dozens of craft brewers these days. Even our little town of 4000 people has an award winning brewery. And nearly all of them sell to local grocery stores. These days you can find everything from a ultra hoppy IPA to a hefeweizen to oatmeal stout to a grand cru or more in most grocery stores too.

    • lucas
      2nd March 2014 at 7:21 am #

      Average beer in USA IS weak comparing to the average beer in Europe. Plus, real beer shouldn’t be made with rice and other cheap crap that many US beers are made from. In my opinion the best /local/ beers in US are from Canada lol. Budweiser is Chinese. Heineken is one of the most popular real beers in US. Wake up guys…we may have good wines, but regular/national brands beer SUCKS!

  2. BrewsLee
    27th June 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Great website! But you’re drinking the wrong beer in the U.S.

    In 2008 the Smithsonian Magazine stated: “The best beers in the world today are being made in the US.”

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