All things being equal, and no other good opportunities presenting themselves, it is thus my intention to get on my bike as soon possible, and return as late as can be arranged. Early May to late August: two wheels, laptop, and wherever the two do take me.

So where do I want them to take me?

Let’s get a rough idea of the options available to me. Let’s say I average 40 miles per day – factoring in such things as rest stops, sick days, breakdowns, days spent Here or There, a leisurely pace across the country. 40 miles per day, times 115 days, is 4600 miles.

60 miles per day. I’ve biked that before, in barely five hours. That would give me a summer total of 6900 miles.

80 miles per day. A good average – that’s 13 miles per hour and 6 hours’ biking per day. Thoroughly possible. Summer total? 9200 miles.

A century per day. That’s 8 hours of straight riding at leisurely speeds, or 6-7 at a competitive sprint. I am unsure whether, at this point, I’d be able to bike a century in a day. Maybe after a week of riding. Maybe after a month – probably. You get better, you build muscle, you (I) lose weight. A century per day – which is good, but not at all exceptional, for a country-crossing effort – yields 11,500 potential miles biked.

Call those the bookends. 4600 to 11500, with a realistic average being (I’m guessing) around 8-9k.

That’s a lot of horizon-coming-closer. 


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