My Cross-America Bicycle Tour in Numbers

transamerica ride by the numbers

58 data points from my summer-long bike tour on the TransAmerica Route

People often ask for numbers. The most common questions from curious bystanders in convenience stores and parking lots were:

“How far are you going?”

“How long have you been doing this?”

“How far do you usually ride in a day?”

Numbers help us picture otherwise unimaginable things. They help tell the story. So I’ve taken everything I quantified during my trip, made a big spreadsheet, and then pulled the stats. 

TransAmerica bicycle route by the numbers

The Ride

Most of my ride data came from my Garmin, which I would then sync to my Strava account. It’s imperfect, as there were times that I would forget to start recording the ride until a mile or two in, or forget to pause or unpause it during out-of-the-saddle breaks. 

Grand totals 

  • 4,455 miles         Total mileage
  • 208,061 ft            Total climb (that’s about 39.4 vertical miles)
  • 75 days                  Total days
  • 67 day                    Riding days
  •  8 days                   Rest days (or off-route days)
  • 399.8 hours        Total moving time spent on the bike (that’s about 16.6 days)

Transamerica route map


  • 65.3 miles             Average mileage per riding day
  • 3,090.3 ft              Average climb per riding day
  • 5 hrs 43 min        Average moving time per day
  • 11.1 MPH               Miles per hour while on the bike


  • 98.3 miles            Highest mileage in a day (on Day 65, the final stretch of Kentucky)
  • 7,201 ft                  Highest climb in a day (also on Day 65)
  • 8 hrs, 55 min      Longest day in the saddle (Day 65 for the win)
  • 38.4 MPH             Fastest speed I reached during the tour

Illinois state border sign

Great states

  • 673 miles         Distance in Oregon (longest state)
  • 152 miles         Distance in Illinois (shortest state)
  • 37,655 ft           Vertical climbing in Virginia (most climbing)
  • 6,827 ft             Vertical climbing in Kansas (least climbing)
  • 12 days               Time spent in Oregon (longest stay)
  • 2 days                Time spent in Illinois (shortest stay)

Miscellaneous outdoor adventure stats

  • 10                        States crossed
  • 6                          Hot springs visited
  • 2                          National parks visited
  •                         State parks visited
  •                          Mountain summited on foot (Long’s Peak, 14,259 feet)

hotel in Jackson, Montana

Touring Style and Costs

Along my trip, I met cyclists across the whole spectrum of style. One couple was staying in hotels every night of the trip. A few people didn’t even pack stoves — they were eating out the whole way. On the other end, there are folks who like to camp as much as possible (especially at free sites) and cook almost all their own food. 

I was somewhat of a “mid-range” cyclist. Here’s how my lodging and dining looked. I logged all my lodging, but I didn’t track or document the food very well (too busy eating it), so the dining numbers are rough estimates. 


  • 27 nights             Tented camping
  • 11 nights              Warmshowers hosts (2 nights camping in hosts’ yards)
  •   8 nights             Churches that shelter cyclists
  •  11 nights             Hotels (private lodging)
  •   7 nights             Hostel nights (shared lodging)
  •   9 nights             Other (mentionables: a fire station, a rec center, a park shelter, and home)
  • $675                      Total lodging spend
  • $   9                        Average spend per night on lodging

a top restaurant meal on my ride


  •   20                       Meals cooked on my camp stove (rough estimate)
  •   70                       Restaurant meals (approximately once per day)
  • 130                       Other: leftovers, prepared foods from stores, etc. 
  • 8 oz                      Amount of stove gas I used (about 1 tank)


  • $1,800                Total trip spend (approximate, not including travel to and from)
  • $     24                 Average daily spend (approximate)

fundraising for GDSF

Fundraising  for Children’s Hospital and GDSF

This year, I participated in the Courage Classic charity ride to benefit Children’s Hospital Colorado and the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. You can read about my motives and ties to this cause here

When I hit the first 1,000 miles of my trip, I set my fundraising goal at $1,000. I’m thrilled to report that I exceeded my goal. Huge thanks to all my generous donors. Here are the numbers:

  • $1,030               Total raised
  •  15                      Total donors
  • $68.66               Average per donor

ozark hillclimbing

Health and Fitness Stats

I’ve never felt healthier and stronger than I did during this ride. It’s hard to quantify what this ride did for my sense of power and wellbeing, but I did gather a few stats. 

I also gathered some numbers on my dear bicycle, Blucifer, who performed amazingly well throughout the ride. By the end of the ride, we were both finely tuned athletic machines.

touring bike weight


  • 60 – 70 lbs      Blucifer’s weight range, loaded
  • 22 lbs               Blucifer’s weight, unloaded
  • 7 years             Blucifer’s age
  •                         Number of flat tires
  •                         Number of professional tune-ups en-route
  •                         Number of mechanical problems

Cynthia Ord


  • 99 – 102 lbs       My weight range during the ride
  • 5 ft 6 in              My height
  • 35 years            My age
  • 91,456                Total calories burned
  • 1,365                   Average calories burned per riding day
  • 1                            Number of health problems (I caught a bad chest cold)

Little Miss Bike Tour blogging

Little Miss Bike Tour

A big part of my journey was the documenting of it online. Blogging and writing is my creative outlet. Crafting these posts struck joy and deepened my experience of travel. 

I also enjoyed the social media side of it. When I was at the lowest points of the ride, it was the voices of encouragement from online that helped power me through it. 

Building a niche “influencer brand” from scratch was an experiment I’ve been wanting to do for awhile, for both personal and professional reasons. I’d call it a success. And it’s not over yet! 

Website visitors (June 1 – Sept 1, 2019)



Enjoy the ride bicycle art


There are so many things I wish I could have counted along the way, but were either uncountable in their multitude or simply unquantifiable. In a world of perfect data, I know I’d be blown away by the total of:

  • Road angels and kindnesses from strangers
  • Small towns passed through or stopped in
  • Words of encouragement and affirmation 
  • Laughs shared with other cyclists on similar journeys
  • Songs sung along to on the road
  • Hills pedaled up and flown down
  • Bug bites of every shape and size
  • Slices of pie

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  • Reply
    September 3, 2019 at 7:23 am

    Fantastic stats! I should do this, when I cycle down to Melbourne next month. How cool is it to say that it’s now next month, rather than ‘a couple of months time’, etc? 🙂

  • Reply
    Steve R AKA Old TA rider
    September 3, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    So, in the middle of the tour during your Denver layover you “rested” by climbing Longs??!! You are an animal! Nice list of various stats, though I do question whether your daily calories burned is accurate. I would have estimated quite a bit higher.
    Now back home to Colorado, eh. Be prepared for several weeks of re-entry weirdness and still having a huge-eat-everything-that-isn’t-nailed-down appetite.
    Well done.

    • Reply
      September 10, 2019 at 11:42 pm

      Yeah, several people have commented that the calorie count seems low. Granted, I’m a size XS person in good shape, but still … I don’t think anyone is THAT fuel-efficient! I tried to replace more calories than what Strava was estimating, to be sure.

    • Reply
      Gerald Vandezande
      January 24, 2021 at 11:03 pm

      That was an amazing trip, something I have always wanted to do? What was your general plan in plotting your route? Would you be willing to share yours?

  • Reply
    September 3, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    thats just amazing. Thank you so much for sharing and doing that trip.

    • Reply
      June 29, 2020 at 3:34 am

      I really enjoyed reading about your trip. I’m planning a similar trip June 2021 when I retire. Could I ask you a few questions?

      • Reply
        June 29, 2020 at 4:16 pm

        Sure! I just emailed you =)

  • Reply
    Ted Twyman
    September 3, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    Thank you for the great information!

  • Reply
    September 4, 2019 at 8:59 am

    “I’ve never felt healthier and stronger than I did during this ride. It’s hard to quantify what this ride did for my sense of power and wellbeing, but I did gather a few stats. “

    This is so right ! I was fortunate enough to experience this feeling on a 2 month tour round France. It’s hard to describe, almost like a new body, new mind state of being. When you arrive there it feels wonderful !
    Brilliant blog ! Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      September 10, 2019 at 11:40 pm

      It’s also a great feeling that I can look to bike touring as my “healthy place” and “best self” in case I’m in a huge rut some day and need to find a way out of it. I hope others can find the same!

  • Reply
    September 8, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Been following this from the start. Well done. Going to try the same in reverse myself next year. Your kit list and highlights have been super helpful in helping me plan. Thanks so much. Hope real life isn’t too much of a challenge 🙂

    • Reply
      September 10, 2019 at 11:38 pm

      Thanks Katy! I tried to make this the blog I wish I had found during those early dreaming and planning stages. Keep on dreaming and planning =)

  • Reply
    Karles van Zwam
    March 6, 2020 at 11:07 pm

    Hi, love reading your story. I was a solo Dutch biker in 1987, at age 27. It was so great to meet all those nice and friendly people on route. I camped mostly, drove from Oregon coast to San Franciso, in 9 weeks, 3 resting days: about 4700 miles .The Rockies were the greatest, , as i see now.

    If you like touring, excitement en meeting nice people and country, consider TAT.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    What an awesome read! Good job on your journey across the USA..

  • Reply
    Al Galletly
    May 17, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    I’m clearly a late-comer to your page and to the wonderful account of your x-country ride. First of all, congratulations. And thanks for posting your wonderful journal. I did my first x-country (solo) in 1993 … shortly after I retired. Then I led a group of 20 people on a southern tier ride in 1999. Seems like only yesterday, the memories of both rides are still so vivid. That said, I recently turned 83. (I think my x-country days are over … duh!) But I still cheer on anyone who make these amazing x-country rides. All the best.

  • Reply
    Kiara Ashanti
    July 16, 2020 at 2:03 am

    I’m thinking about doing this. I just found about about the Great American Trail a few weeks ago and now the idea is stuck in my mind. If you were sending a text msg back to your old self what 3 things would you tell yourself to do differently?

  • Reply
    Deepak Shrestha
    October 28, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    Fantastic. I am planning this trip for 2023 when I retire.

  • Reply
    January 14, 2021 at 12:41 am

    Hi! I am so inspired by your ride!! I would love to ask you a few questions as I’m planning my own ride; could I email you?

  • Reply
    Russell Oswald
    January 17, 2021 at 4:57 am

    Truly an inspiration. I am about to retire and am planning this ride. My thoughts on progress have been close to what you are showing (50-70 miles per day). I am planning on the going east to west though. Please let me know if we could exchange a few emails so I can get some of my open ends addressed.
    Thank you for sharing all of this.

  • Reply
    lee thomas
    January 27, 2021 at 5:30 am

    amazing achievement……would love to know more.

  • Reply
    shawn kendrick
    April 30, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    Fantastic information and a job well done. I plan on taking this journey next May, traveling west to east. Any interested travelers heading out around that date, I would be interested in traveling together. I am going to celebrate my 60th somewhere along this journey and the more the merrier.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Cynthia, great video documentary & I love the stats! 🙂
    I am planning the West to East route this year and will be travelling from Scotland, UK, covid allowing. I have a few questions too! Perhaps I could email you.

    • Reply
      December 4, 2022 at 2:38 am

      I saw your short clip on your trip. It was very interesting. A young lady traveling across america on bicycle. The dad in me says “Are you crazy?” But seriously, I’m glad everything went well and you are alright. If you go again you should probably go with a friend. God Bless.

  • Reply
    ariel peretz
    March 17, 2022 at 5:14 am

    Any dangerous animals wildlife along the trip?
    advice please

  • Reply
    Carl Foote
    May 11, 2022 at 1:17 pm

    YouTube Algorithm led me to your wonderful short video. Loved it all. I have just finished reading this great webpage and truly appreciate all the work you put into it. I will be leaving 5.21.22 on my own TransAm ride, MagicalMemoryTour2022. A solo ride commemorating my first trip 50 years ago and raising funds for the Cure Alzheimers Fund. #MagicalMemoryTour2022.

    Hope all is well with you and your biking adventure continues.

  • Reply
    Tim Schultz
    October 22, 2022 at 12:58 pm

    Hi Cynthia,
    Very impressed with your riding accomplishments and your skills in documenting everything. I would love to communicate with you, as I had a few questions about my first cross country trip. Would it be ok to e-mail you?
    Tim S.

  • Reply
    Al Galletly
    April 9, 2023 at 7:07 pm

    Quick question … now that this trip is of yours is pretty much “ancient history,” what are you thoughts on doing yet another x-country bike ride …?… just one more … just for the hell-of-it. I did my first x-country ride (solo) in 1993 … then in 1999, I organized a group of 20 riders and led the group on my second x-country ride. Loved both … for totally different reasons. I’m now (dare I say it) 85 years old, and in my heart-of-hearts, I would hop on my bike tomorrow and set out on another l-o-n-g ride. I’m still physically fit for an “old poop” … still cycle occasionally, but nothing over 20 miles). But, that said, the urge is still there … still strong … can’t get it out of my head. Would love to know if you still have that same feeling.

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