Across the US on a Laid Back Bike – 8800 Km in 6 Months
Which means of transport would you choose for adventure travelling across the entire US? Planes are too ordinary, cars aren’t anything new, motorcycles might be too dangerous, perhaps a train?
Erik Kok and Remko Burger from the Netherlands know better. They rode across the United States on laid back bikes! Their journey started in March 2012 in San Francisco and ended 6 months later in New York City. We had an opportunity to ask Erik Kok a few questions about this journey.
Endomondo: How did you come up with this idea?
Erik Kok: After our travel experience with laid back bikes in Australia, New Zealand, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands, we decided to go for something bigger and cycle from San Francisco to New York, with some zig-zagging in between.
Endo: You rode 8800 km in 6 months, what are some other interesting stats from your journey?
EK: Well, we stopped several times for about a week to relax, so we actually cycled for about 5 months. Normally we cycled about 4-6 hours a day, resulting in 60-140 km/day. Our longest climb was 4 hours straight, with an elevation of 1800 meters, our steepest was 14%.
Endo: Tell us about your choice of a bike.
EK: We used a recumbent bicycle because it’s so much more comfortable, especially on the longer stretches. It’s also a bit faster, but with all the baggage we took it slowly anyway, averaging about 20 km/h. Uphill is a bit harder on a recumbent, but the same principle applies, just take it slowly and you’ll get there. Downhill is way quicker, reaching a top speed of 90 km/h.
Endo: Why did you choose Endomondo and what do you like about our app?
EK: We tested Endomondo out last year while on a biking trip in our home country – the Netherlands. We figured we could track about six hours of cycling on one battery load, without using low-power mode but using our HTC Desire in airplane mode. Using a laptop for charging and some spare batteries allowed us to not miss a single mile.
We really enjoyed Endomondo. I like how it motivates you and how you can analyze your trips afterwards. It’s so easy just to hit start and stop.
Endo: What was the best moment of the whole trip?
EK: Best moment for me was riding into Zion National Park, after more then a month of riding through the desert, which was beautiful by the way. We finally saw some greenery and a nice flowing river. We stayed there for a couple of days and met all the locals, who greeted us with open arms and shared great stories.We went through Los Angeles, Las Vegas, countless National Parks, forests, and other great scenery. We got rained on, sunburned and frozen but always enjoyed the ride.
Endo: What did you struggle with?
EK: There are relatively many bike paths, but they sometimes lack proper signs, end with a fence or have a huge curb. It was often better to ride on the highway, but could also be a bit risky, especially after dark.
Endo: Any ideas or dreams for the next journey?
EK: We don’t have any upcoming plans for a big trip, but we would like to keep doing a yearly two-week trip through Europe. We are thinking about a trip to Denmark, or from Zurich (we already did Rotterdam – Zurich earlier) to Rome or whatever we feel like :)
Endo: Do you have a message for Endomondo users?
EK: Check out our website on http://www.laidbackcycling.com and maybe get inspired to go for a long distance ride yourself. You just need a bicycle and Endomondo. So go for it!