If you ever have the urge to bike over a thousand miles (or at least see what it looks like), this cool, interactive map has you covered. It outlines a bike route from Chicago to the Big Apple, covering all kinds of terrain. The route, put together by Adventure Cycling, features a four-map set that details the pathway and two alternate routes that pass through Philadelphia. The map lets you zoom in on the various scenic places and see what some are called, or if you’d prefer, you can zoom out to take in the magnificent breadth of the journey. See for yourself below!
Biking offers an opportunity for intimate correspondence between man and the American landscape, bringing the rider closer to the earth than a car would, yet covering more ground than walking ever could. And what a landscape it is—in between the two large metropolises, you might find yourself sailing through Indiana’s Amish country, or the Great Lakes, or the Catskills. Countless smaller attractions will no doubt line the way, from decrepit houses to historic railroad tracks to dense forests.
One group of thirteen riders who started on June 6th, 2017 took 23 days, including three rest days. The first week of the tour takes you through quaint country roads through Ohio and Indianapolis. The second week moves into Pennsylvania and the hills of southern Ohio, ending at Pittsburgh. The third mostly stays on Pennsylvania Route V, taking you through the Appalachians. The fourth week moves through New Jersey to New York, along the Hudson River to the final destination at Battery Park.
This route will take you past rivers, straight through the Heartland and up into the Appalachians, all the way to New York City. It’ll take you past things that nobody could predict—little diners glowing in the middle of nowhere, abandoned houses sinking into the earth, mossy valleys veiled in shadow, and industrial towns and water towers. All the strange, often forgotten blemishes and jewels of the American landscape.
You could see the International Circus Hall of Fame, the world’s largest basket, and so much more without doing a drop of research. The maps detail every twist and turn, even highlighting services and destinations to stop at along the way. The cartographers suggest that riders embark between early April and late August, or from September to mid-October for an autumn trip. If you want to really go for it and traverse the entire country, you can add on Adventure Cycling’s Route 66 bike tour from Los Angeles to Chicago, to the Chicago to New York route.
American cross-country trips are truly the stuff of legend. From Jack Kerouac‘s On the Road to Robert Pirsig’s cult philosophy classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to Simone de Beauvoir‘s America Day by Day. If you can swing the journey, you’ll be joining a long tradition of artists, dreamers, and adventurers who have made their way from sea to shining sea.
Biking would make the experience truly unique. Just imagine it: the wind in your hair, endless miles of open road ahead and behind you. Lungs burning, leaves in your hair, the crunch of the gravel below as you wheel over rough dirt roads in a backwoods coal mining town, air that smells like smoke and lake water. Fireflies in the early evening, bats and stars filling the night sky, the motels and cafes populated by strange characters. The sun rising and setting rhythmically in the massive skies. All as you pedal on, wheeling through mountains and rainstorms, until you finally see the lights of New York City, glittering in the distance.
For more, check out 10 Routes For NYC Bikers to Know (5 to Use, 5 to Avoid) and Top 10 Tips For Biking in NYC