Back in the 1980s, the United States started work on bike paths that would go across the entire country. Yes, the entire country. Except it was never brought to fruitition, which means you’d have to Forrest Gump it if you actually wanted to make the trek from New York to LA.
The U.S. Bicycle System began with plans for paths going from Maine to Florida, and from Virginia to Oregon. With the dwindling power of the bicycle phenomenon, the idea faded away and the paths were never finished. However, with the popularity of bikes coming back into transportation (thank you gas prices and environmental awareness) the need for these paths is actually becoming more realistic.
The Association of American State Highway and Transportation Officials have approved bike routes to continue on with the production of these paths, with six new routes throughout Maine, Alaska, Michigan and New Hampshire. Over time there could be criss-cross paths throughout the entire country so you can get wherever you want on a bike. No, really. Wherever you want, even if it’s Topeka to Dallas.
Imagine taking a weekend bike trip to the closest amusement park with your friends, and instead of carpooling and spending 6 hours in the car arguing over who’s turn it is to drive and who gets to sleep, you’re all riding your bikes and enjoying the outdoors instead.
Imagine getting there and not having to fill up a tank of gas once.
Obviously many riders would have to condition themselves to handle a state-to-state ride, but with a group of friends who are comfortable biking for long distances, this could be a great way to head out somewhere new for a weekend vacation.
I bet this would cut down on road rage, too. You can’t get mad when you’re on a bike in nice weather.
I always told myself if I ever became homeless (I’m a writer, the thought has crossed my mind), I would move to Los Angeles and live on Venice Beach. Then I wondered how I would get there because it’s not like a homeless person can afford a plane ticket, and I probably wouldn’t have a car, so this sounds like it’s the perfect solution. Except for, you know, the whole homeless thing.
Check the official website for a full map and information on progress within each state.
What do you think? Would you take a ride on the bike path once it’s complete? How far would you be willing to go?