Where will we ride, and what is the schedule?
Our route follows a relatively new route with more rails-to-trails sections, fewer interactions with cars and less climbing than other traditional routes across the country. The journey starts in Seattle, Washington state, and will end on the East coast at Washington D.C. Along the way, we’ll be focusing on passing through Anabaptist communities, and on communities that are impacted by climate change in different ways.
The map below shows our current route plans, click here to explore the route in more detail. (Route subject to some changes yet)
What do I need in order to ride?
You don’t need to have done long-distance trips already; many people who do trip such as this have not done multi-day trips in the past. But, you do need to be in shape and dedicated to the physical and social challenges of riding 4000 miles with a group!
You need a bicycle and gear. You are responsible for getting those items, but we can give you advice, and will be checking with all participants to make sure they are adequately prepared.
You don’t need to carry your equipment such as camping gear and clothes. This is a van-supported trip – we will have a van which will take gear between stopping points, and will provide support for any needs such as bicycle breakdowns.
You need to have the time availability. Exact dates are to be determined, but will be from mid or late May through July, so it will take approximately 2 months.
Can I participate if I don’t want to ride the entire journey?
Yes. We’re planning to have events along the way where riders can join for the day. This is a chance to talk with those riding the entire route, to learn what they’ve been hearing and experience. In addition, we may have certain sections, such as at the beginning and end, where riders can join for multiple days. Check back for details.
How much does it cost?
Exact costs are still to be determined, but we estimate around $1200-1500 per person for lodging and food for the trip. We will keep costs for lodging and food to a minimum by camping, staying in churches, and cooking as a group. We hope to secure funds to provide ‘scholarships’ to students that can offset these costs; we should know by the end of the year whether these will be available. Costs to acquire an adequate bike and camping gear will vary, each participant will be acquiring that gear on their own.
Can I get college credit for this trip?
If you’re a college student, we can work with on you on options so that you might be able to earn college credit through an independent study. Contact us to talk about this.
Who is leading the trip?
Joanna Friesen will ride with participants for the entirety of the trip. She is currently a coach at EMU, (triathlon, cross country, and track), a seminary student at EMU (graduating in May 2021), and has a history of bike touring (including a cross-country trip in 2017). She will provide coaching and training support leading up to the trip, and work with participants in team and community building before and during the trip.
David Landis will facilitate planning and ride with participants for portions of the trip. David, an EMU grad (2004), has led and completed numerous cross-country and long-distance bike tours, including Bike Movement, a cross-USA trip facilitating conversations across Mennonite communities. David is the founder of Village to Village Press, specializing in publishing guidebooks and developing trails worldwide for community based adventure tourism, including the TransVirginia Bike Route, a gravel bikepacking route across Virginia, the Jesus Trail, a trek across the Galilee, and provided resources for many Camino routes in Europe. He lives in Harrisonburg with his wife and three children.