Coast 2 coast in the U.S. of A part.1


First off lets start with some music.

The idea I had for this trip began with the tour from Scotland to Denmark that I did last year. I like the whole sensation of the ride and from the experience I got from the short trip, and wanted a bit more. The thoughts went towards the states, most of my life was brought up around america and I wanted to know if this was how it was/is really like.

Planning the tour was a bit long, I would have to plan the route, get a bike and make sure that it could handle the ordeal, getting everything that was needed for the trip, such as camping and biking equipment and lastly my body trained to go the long 90 days of cycling.

The route was kind of easy, I just used google maps and put two city names in the search box, set the vehicle to a push bike and voila a route. I did not do a lot of research on what was the best route or that sort, but more what I wanted to see in the states and those cities were mainly, N.Y, Washington DC, Pittsburgh(I am a steelers fan), Chicago, Denver, Yellowstone, Salt lake city, The grand canyon in Utah, the Death valley, L.A. and last and not least San Francisco.

While planing for the trip I talk to some friends and was given the idea to do it for a cause. I did not have to look for long because my grandmother had past away from suffering Alzheimer and my half sisters father was going through the “early” stages of Alzheimer, speaking in a timespan of about 3 years. I looked around and found Alzscot and got in to contact with them.

Day 1-4, June 17-20th (The first days) – N.Y.C. to Hardy St, Levittown.

Soon after arrival, and going through security and getting my bag and bike, I got myself a ticket to the subway. What I know about the subway is mainly from movies and YouTube clips, I did expect it to be an eventful experience, but I did not expect it to be that eventful.

Thank you subway you made my night that much better.

I spend two nights in N.Y. city to get used to the jet lag, getting all the equipment for the bike and to see a bit of the big apple. After some sleep and two days of cycling up and downs the great streets of the city, to which I can say, not the best city in terms of cycling infrastructure, but it is the BEST city that I’ve cycled in, cycling through the sea of cars, busses and potholes gives me another sense of freedom and excitement. I got my bike set up and got ready for the beginning of my tour.

The day was a bit cloudy and rain was expected, and rain it did just after I left from the harbor at the World Financial Center to Liberty Harbor($7) and got 4.8km/3miles out the rain started. As soon as I got out of the city and before I got into the suburbs of New Jersey, I got my self on to the interstate and played a single game of frogger.

After about 30 miles I found my way into a park somewhere in New Jersey, the people that were there we just having a BBQ for friends and family. I ask if they had some food I could buy, and soon enough I got water, soda and chicken wings, thank you to The jokers wild motorcycle club.

When the sun started to set I had a bit of a problem to find a place to set up my tent for the night, as I were still in a well populated area, I chose to ride into a side road and found myself a building with lights on, I knocked on the door, told them what I was doing, and soon enough I was greeted with pizza and beer. I talked with those that were there and it turned out to be a VFW – Veterans of Foreign Wars.


Weather : Light rain/ shower / light rain / dry / rain and thunderstorm • Temp 25-30°c/77-86°f not too hot.
Distance  125km/78mi • Time on the bike 10h • Rest 2h – (First day of riding) • Drank 4L • 2 bugs in my eye

Day 5, June 21 (Not Glasgow Skotland) – Hardy St, Levittown to Glasgow Pines, Newark.

On this day I got a late start and my body was just getting used to the heat and the humidity, this day went by without any hitch except for when I was trying to find a place to set up camp. The late start led me to a position where I was still in a well crowded area. When I found my way to Glasgow Pines I thought that there would be a nice place to set up camp, because of the wooded area or a backyard but yet I could not find any spot until later on the night.


Weather : Nice and sunny • Temp 30°c/86°f – it’s getting hot.
Distance  109km/68mi • Time on the bike 9h • Rest 2h • Drank 4L

Day 6, June 22 (Why are there so many hills) – Glasgow Pines, Newark to Beltsville.

I looked forward to this day, because I would finally get into the city of the Fresh Prince of Belair, well at least the start of the intro song.

I got a early start because I actually thought that Washington D.C. would be the end destination, my friend had helped me out with a place to stay and I was eager to see the white house, but I had not foresee that there would be some roadblocks on the way. The route that I chose went through Perryville, but I did not know that it is was a bridge with toll booths, it would be around 20mi to bike around it. I searched around for assistance and came across a policemen who helped me out getting a cab to get across the bridge, apart from the tollway I did not have more roadblocks all the way to Philadelphia.

As soon as I got in to town and had a pizza I continued towards the inner city to see the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and of cause walk up the steps with the iconic scene of Rocky IV, but lets face it the museum is much much better.

And then this hipster popped up

When getting around 24km/15mi from D.C. there were both hills and road construction, so I decided to find a place to sleep, I knocked on 2 doors and got a no, I rode around for a bit and saw two guys talking outside and proceeded to ask them and told them what I was doing. One of the guys talked to his wife and I got the approval, she gave me some food, mint tea and allowed me to take a shower which was great after 10 hours of cycling.

Weather : You are my sunshine my only sunshine • Temp 34°c/93°f – if hot as hell is a legitimate weather prognosis then this was it
Distance  141.6km/88mi • Time on the bike 10.30h • Rest 2.30h  Drank 8L • 1 bug in the eye

Day 7, June 23 (Break day) – Beltsville to Washington D.C.

This day was a break day so I took my time packing and enjoyed breakfast that my host had provided and got my self going at about 11pm which was a big mistake, the sun was just beginning to bake down at this hour and would be at it’s hottest when I was on my bike, lesson learned.


Since I was set up with a place to stay by my friend, I was looking forward to sleeping on a foor inside a house again. My hosts were super nice and awesome bunch of people. After I got my a small tour of the house, I took off to have a tour around D.C.

I was a bit surprised to see how small the Whitehouse was, it is not as big as I’ve seen on images and movies, and frankly not that impressive, but I would like to think that the inside of the house looks awsome. From my own point of view I liked the Lincoln memorial and the Washington Monument better, tough I kind of wish I had more time to go around the city and check out the museums, the only place I got into after cycling around the the grounds of the Whitehouse was the portrait gallery.

Up in the air is the Whitehouse and on the ground The Washington monument.

Soon after I got out of the Portrait gallery I was greeted with hail fire and brimstone, that’s was what it seem like at that point. It was a small summer storm that came and went quick, and it gave me the chance to get a shower before getting back to the place where I was staying, and of course as nice as my hosts were, I was greeted with a great meal.

Weather : Why is the sun so shiny • Temp 36°c/96.8°f – hot as hell times 2, if I were a steak I would be well done
Distance  19km/12mi • Time on the bike 1.30h • Rest 30min  Drank 4L

Day 8, June 24 (Along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath) –  Washington D.C. to Williamsport – Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath.

The day started out great no rain and not too hot, the road had wide shoulders which later turned into a cycling path near the towpath. The towpath on this day were still wet and had plenty of potholes here and there from storm that went through the previous day, so I could not cycle that fast and plus the path was not paved so I was just enjoying the ride while avoiding the various puddles here and there.

I were on the path for 20-30 mi and it got me a bit annoyed from not being able to go as fast because of the puddles and that the path was gravel all the way. I decided to get out of there and head for the road and face the hills instead, it had to be said that the path has a very slight grade of 1% from D.C. to Pittsburgh so one can choose to travel slow and easy through a scenic view or go faster on the road with tons of hills and views of endless farmland.

My muscles was still under development, so I had a bit of a hard time going up and down the hills, even had a hard time climbing from 500ft to 1100ft. Soon after getting into Williamsport I found a place a couple of miles from the town where I could camp, it was free of course.

*Link to the C&O towpath

Weather : hot enough • Temp 71-82°f/22-28°c
Distance  130km/81mi • Time on the bike 6.43h • Rest 60min  Drank 7L

Day 9, June 25 (The small mountain route and Peter Sandholt from RAAM) – Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath(Williamsport ) to Cumberland (Allegheny trail)

At the beginning of the day, the weather already look a bit suspicious, like it could rain in a couple of hours, though I continued for a bit on the path and when it started to rain I took of from the path a got on to the road from that moment on the rain never stopped. A norther thing I did not expect from going of the path was. that I had to go through the Appalachian Mountains.

When I’ve climbed the first mountain, I remembered that on the road it said 1 of 5, so I gathered my thoughts and hoped for the best. I climbed so slow that mosquitoes and flies would be able to sit on me and drew my blood or bug the hell out of me while inching upwards and through the rain. Eventually the rain turned into a storm and everything just came down at once I’m talking hard rain and hail, I put on my helmet made sure everything was good to go and blew through the storm. On the decent of the fifth mountain, I looked over to the opposite lane and I saw I cyclist with a team of men and a car, and on that car I saw a danish flag, and realized that the Race across america was going just thought that it was worth mentioning, after a bit of searching on the net I found out that the racers name is Peter Sandholt and he got a third place in the race, so congrats to him.

The rain finally stopped after the fifth mountain range and I got into the town of Cumberland, by that time it was getting a bit late so I went on to find the trail which had now turned into Allegheny trail. I went along the trail and thought that there would be a campsite along it, but sadly it never came so I just put up my bivy in a shrub just a bit out side of town.

*Link to the Allegheny trail

Weather : From good to Worse, it was good in the morning and it turned stormy in the late aternoon • Temp N/A
Distance  127km/79mi • Time on the bike 7.30h • Rest 60min  Drank 8L

Day 10, June 26 (Highlands of the U.S. of A) – Cumberland (Allegheny trail) to  Dravo Cemetery, Buena Vista

On this day I looked forward to going through the 3,300 ft called the Big Savage Tunnel and on this day I will be at the highest elevation point(2,392 ft) on the trail(it has to be said, at that time it was very high to me). And that meant that I would go down hill all the way to Pittsburgh, I was super ecstatic.

Since the path is mainly grit and sand and it had rained a bit during the night time, the path was slightly soft so it was a bit harder to get some speed going. During the ride in the morning I thought that, as soon as I could I would go off the path, and the best exit of the path would be at the highest elevation point. Once I’ve gotten that point of the trail, I had a second look on the map to be sure and would have to take it under consideration that it was more hillier roads, and that it would be worth the time saved. And god… it was hilly, and it never stopped at some moments I had second and third thoughts of going back to the path, but I kept calm and continued.

Just about 20 miles from my destination the hills changed in my favour, there would be stretches of 2-3 miles with 6% decline down hill, so much that I finally got up to 40 mph. When I finally got to the campsite I started to realise how beaten my body was, that all I had in my mind was eating and sleeping. There were already other people at the site and it did not seem like they we super keen on shearing the space under the pavilion even though they told me that it would rain heavily during the night, another spot there was occupied by a homeless guy who was not at all up for shearing, which annoyed me since that there was plenty of space for the both of us. I drifted here and there around the camp ground and basically gave up and went back with the group of people, ate my meal that consist of müslig bars and nut mix, brushed my teeth and slept like a big baby. Though not quite because 100m/300ft from the campsite a train would come by every second hour blowing their horn on and off for 2-3 minutes, just what every tired camper needs for a great night sleep.

Weather : Cloudy and a bit of sun here and there, it cleared up during the day and a whole lot of rain during the night • Temp 71-82°f/22-28°c
Distance  144km/90mi • Time on the bike 8h • Rest 1.30h  Drank 8L/1.7Gal  4 bugs in the eye

Day 11, June 27 (Reverend Phillip Battle) – Dravo Cemetery, Buena Vista to Pittsburgh

My alarm went off 3-4 times after snoozing it, I did not want to get up because of the rain, but eventually I had to get up and face the rain head on. I got my gear together and took off about noon’ish I managed to get soaked and after that the sun was on most of the day.

On this day I had not plan to stay in Pittsburgh, but I was really beaten and wanted a place to crash, I tried couch surfing and got a hold of someone during the day, but as soon as I asked for the address he stopped the conversation and left me stuck in Pittsburgh city at the Greyhound bus station, which by the way is one of the worst companies when speaking of customer service, but that’s another story. I was there looking for Wi-Fi to tried and contact my girlfriend. I told her what had happened and that I felt lost and did not know what to do, there was no hostel there nor was there a park in which I could set up my tent and lastly I did not have enough time to get out of the city to find a camp spot.

After some talking and after her calming me down, I managed to find a church on my phone and thought the I would give it a try. I went there hoping to meet some people and maybe be lucky enough to get a space at the church or whatever comes along. Outside were some people talking one of them was Phillip Battle, a reverend of New Light Temple Baptist Church. He told me that the place was only for veterans only.  We talked a back and forth for a while and told him my story, as it turned out he had done kind of the same thing going from country to country during the time he was stationed in Europe, by train and bike and that he had some help from the folks here in Europe, he told be that he would be happy to help me out with my journey as well.

So Phillip gave me permission to camp up at the back of his church, and he gave me a contact number and told me to call if anything came up, plus he was kind enough to offer me his help through out my trip.

Weather : Rainy till the afternoon and a bit of sun • Temp 23°c/72°f
Distance  40km/25mi • Time on the bike 2.30h • Rest 30min  Drank 2L

Day 12, June 28 (Crossroads Christian Church) – Pittsburgh to  Wintersvillle

Again on this day I was a bit out of shape, I got up late and had a late start and it did not help that I had to start with a “big” climb out of Pittsburgh, at that point climbing 3-400ft was a lot, in retrospect I am happy that I started out in the east coast, the roads here were much lower in altitude than of those on the west coast.

I called Phillip to say thanks and that I would be keeping in touch on the way. Before leaving the city I looked up some churches as well, Phillip had told me that I would have a good chance of one housing me if I knew where I was going to end up and if I called early enough, tough he did warn me that it was a holiday week and that I might have a hard time finding a place. The first church that I called told me that it might not be a possibility because of their facility, and that I had to call the pastor for approval. All other places that I called on that day was either not open or not available.

So on this day it kind of looked gloomy from the start,  and the weather did not look like it was going to brighten, and on top of that, I had used my cell phone so much that it was just about to go out and I could not charge it up with my solar panel because of the weather, and lastly as a icing on the cake, the hills turned into mountains, but as the day progress, the weather had turned for the better and so did my mood. My phone could finally charge and at about 7pm I gave the only church(the first that I called) a call and talk to the pastor(Jeff). I told him a bit of my story and my location. I am not a believer, but thank god he said yes.

I finally made it to the church(crossroads christian church) I met up with Jeff, his son and daughter he showed me the place that I would be sleeping in, which I kind of regret that I did not take a picture of. The place was a classroom for children from ages of 5-10 I think and it was filled with props of construction. My first impression of the church, and I think that I would still have the same thoughts if I were there again, that thought was… WOW. Simply an amazing place, it was diffidently not a typical church. And there was air condition, I had not slept in a place with air condition for 9 days nor slept inside, I was so happy that I started to cry and jumping for joy.

Weather : Cloudy/rainy/sunshine/rain/then it cleared up, which was greatly appreciated • Temp 22°c/71°f
Distance  82km/51mi • Time on the bike 8h • Rest 2min  Drank 5L

Day 13, June 29 (Keith and Squeeky) – Wintersville to Wooster

I had said to the pastor the previous night the I would be up early and be on my way, but again on this morning my body did not seem to be in sync with my mind*.

The pastor and I got to talk for some time about his mission in Thailand, living in the USA, bikes etc. more people started showing up as the morning went by and I was “kind of” about to leave, the pastor asked if I wanted breakfast and of course breakfast other than peanut butter would be much appreciated. After the nice breakfast and a coffee, Jeff asked if I took a donation at which I assumed was for ALZscot but he wanted to make a personal donation, that I gladly excepted, at that point I was strap on cash because I’ve exceeded my budget of $10-20 per day.

Most of the day went by without manny glitches and bumps, even through the thunder storm, just until I hit my end destination(Wooster) I had not call ahead here and thought the I would be out of town my night fall, so camping would be tricky. I rode 4 mile aside of the city area when the night started to set in, I came by what looked like a car repair shop with a big grassy area where there was a tent and a camper set-up, and thought I would give it a try. There were several door on the building and only one seem like there would be someone I could speak too. A man(Keith) open, I introduced my self and he said that he did not own the place but he did not see a problem why I could not set up a tent there, but that if it were better I could crash on his couch, and voila. I had a couch and a warm place to sleep and did not have to set up my bivy.

After settling, Keith and I sheared our stories, mine were much less interesting than his in many ways. He was a veteran of the vietnam war, lived there at the garage with his cat(Squeeky) where he did some garden work and other jobs form time to time, just enough to get by. At this point of my trip I had my thoughts on how many veterans I would run into and in what kind of life they had prior and after the war, what ever war they had been in.

*18/09/15 as of this moment of writing I just realised that I did not have a break day until I would reach Chicago which is about 9 days of riding, so that was why my body was more or less tired.

Weather : Sunny/rainy/thunder stormy and again clody • Temp 29°c/84°f
Distance  138km/86mi • Time on the bike 9.52h • Rest 1.30  Drank 8L

Day 14-15, June 30 – August 1 (First and secound night in a mission) – Wooster to  Findlay & Findlay to  Ft. Wayne

Keith had said to me that he wanted to take me a place called nickles bakery, to get bread and pastry and some breakfast for a couple of bucks, after our breakfast I thanked him and said goodbye to Sqeeky and headed out.

This would be the first day of my ride that the road would be as flat as a pancake, so flat that after a 100 miles felt like 70 miles. Though the scenery was mainly farmland I never got bored and it was a good change from the climbs, and it also meant that I had more time to enjoy the ride, this was also the first time that I made a truck blow the air horn, that just created a nostalgic sensation and at the same time lifted my spirits.

I informed reverend Phillip Battle that I would end up in Findlay OH, and ask him lend me a helping hand with a place to stay. We exchanged some messages during the day and he ended up getting me a space in the Findlay City Mission, though technically I was not homeless but the people that ran the mission were kind enough to give me one of the extra spaces. I was surprised to be greeted with a none friendly welcome, which could either have been because I took a space form one or that was just how things were there. We had to go through the rules, I had to store some of my gear in a locker for safety, they had to have a copy of my passport and I had to sign some papers, but I did understand that it was for their and my safety, at that point though my mine was in another world, since I was totally knackered. Not even have enough energy meant that, went directly to bed.

The next morning I woke up from the alarm and a call over the speakers at the mission that I’ve overslept, and should pack my gear and get out of asap, and so I did. After packing up my gear I went to have a small coffee just to have a shot of caffeine to start the day, and head towards Ft. Wayne, just as the day before not much could be said about the ride.

Again on this day I had asked the reverend for help, Philip had again on this night arranged a space for me at a mission The Rescue Mission in Ft. Wayne, knowing what to expect I prepared my self for the same kind of treatment and wow what a surprise. After exchanging conversations with different staff members and people living at the mission, a warm welcoming were just a what I needed, it lifted my sprites and I had the energy to walk around talk to some folks and take a shower, a shower that could not be more appropriate after 9 days, yup 9 days of cycling without a shower.

Weather : Sunshine and only sunshine both days • Temp 27°c/80.6°f
Distance  161 – 137km/100mi – 85.6mi • Time on the bike 10h-7h• Rest 1.30h  both days  Drank 7-6L

That was it for part 1, part 2 is up real soon.


5 thoughts on “Coast 2 coast in the U.S. of A part.1

  1. Hi Amorn,

    Just checking up on you ! Lorna and I hope your trip from Yuma was a success and you didn’t have any serious problems in the “oven” you had to ride through. Drop us line when you have a chance…we’ve been concerned about you. Jean at the Yuma Visitor Bureau:)


    1. Hi, yes I did make it through eventually 🙂 I camped up just 7 miles outside Yuma, close to the highway on that day. The next day and I biked for 43 hours straight to San Bernardino, I just wanted to make it out of the heat. The Salton sea at night was the most incredible sight I’ve ever seen. Thank you for all your help, the alt tablets did me really well and i still have the water mix with electrolytes with me back here in Glasgow.


  2. …hey bud! I tried sending you a video today on a couple of phone numbers I had. Send me a note and let me know how we can stay in touch. I’ll save the video so I can send it to you personally…me and Adam still speak of you fondly when we talk about our trip to the Tetons…


    1. Hi Peter,

      I wrote you back on your mail, don’t know if you got it? we can keep in touch through email 🙂

      Peace to you and yours


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