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5 Tips For Biking Across America

You have boldly committed to biking across America and already have most, if not all of your cycling plans cemented. You have plenty of cycling experience, planned your route, know what you'll be bringing along, etc.

Yet a part of you is worried that you forgot to prepare for something unseen. After all, you've never done this before. Below is a video and article detailing five tips that may be helpful to you.

#1 Rural Seemed Safer Than Urban - Rural equals less cars and relaxed roads. Generally speaking, people in rural and small town areas might be more friendly and willing to help you if you need it. This is completely my opinion, but I felt less safe in cities with road safety and the potential for crime.

#2 Sunday Mornings - Saturday and Sunday mornings are great times for cycling, as the morning rush hour won't be happening. Also, many local commercial truckers are not on the roads on weekends. If possible, I suggest doing your best to time your rides through cities during these days.

#3 Loose Dogs - Sadly, not all pet owners are responsible, and you may have an encounter with a dangerous or intimidating loose dog. It isn't funny when an unleashed dog races toward the street and chases a cyclist. I suggest carrying pepper spray, mace or your weapon(s) of choice to defend yourself in sticky situations.

#4 Have a Researcher - The advent of smartphones might make obtaining information easier, but I suggest having a real "on call" person to research anything you need to know while on the road. A researcher could be helpful with identifying campgrounds, lodging, bike shops or other services that would be otherwise difficult to research during your trip.

#5 Extra Gloves That Cover Your Fingers - I must make a clarification about what I said in the video. I did not learn about this during my bike trip across America. This is my input based on my experiences cycling in Colorado. I don't care how warm it supposedly is, if you're riding fast in the mountains and the weather cools or rains (as it often does), the wind chill can be brutal on your fingers. If your route travels anywhere that could be potentially cold, you'll probably be glad you carried that extra pair.

-Video and article by Steve Garufi, an avid cyclist and writer in Buena Vista, Colorado. He biked across America in 2008 and his trip journal can be read here: Steve's Bike Across America Trip. His Twitter page: @SteveGarufi. Facebook: Steve Garufi's Page

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