Route 1: Trans-America Trail
“The classic route to cross America by bicycle,” says the Adventure Cycling Association of this mammoth 4,262-mile trail, which weaves through national parks, mountain passes, river valleys, historic Native American sites, snowy peaks, college towns and much, much more.
Consider this: the route can be ridden between May and September. The ACA recommends taking three months to complete it.
Don’t miss: so much to choose from here, but the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center is a pretty cool choice, with its life-size models and replica wagons.
Route 2: Glacier-Banff-Jasper
A 500-mile, two-country treat starting in Glacier, Montana and finishing in Jasper, Alberta. “There won’t be a lot of traffic on the roads,” promises the Huffington Post, “which will make the experience of enjoying clear blue lakes, massive glaciers, breathtaking waterfalls, colourful wildflowers and wildlife even more enjoyable.”
Consider this: Cycling Escapes suggests boxing off nine days to complete the tour.
Don’t miss: the route gives you the chance to ride the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road – “one of the all-time classic cycling routes”, says Cycling Escapes.
Route: Bicycle Route 66
It would be churlish of us not to include this most famous of routes in the US of A, which, of course, is on many a motorist’s bucket list. The bicycle route is slightly different to the automobile route and clocks in at just shy of 2,500 miles. Starting in Chicago and finishing in Santa Monica, it takes you through a rich array of landscapes, from open deserts to the Ozarks.
Consider this: the ACA recommends riding the route in the spring and to stock up on supplies for the longer desert stretches.
Don’t miss: the route’s bizarre but wonderful Muffler Men – huge fibreglass figures that are slowly but steadily disappearing…
Route 4: La Route Verte, Canada
The BBC called this “Canada’s greatest cycling trail” and we can see why: 2,500 miles of clearly marked, easy-to-follow cycle paths, trails and tracks that include directions to sites of interest. “The terrain and vistas vary immensely,” says National Geographic, “from calm stretches along the St. Lawrence River to mountain views in the Laurentides.” The Corridor des Cheminots along this route is pictured.
Consider this: visit La Route Verte or Velo Quebec to plan your route
Don’t miss: take a ferry from Baie-Sainte-Catherine to Tadoussac and enjoy a whale-spotting tour.