Rhino Cam 17: USA (San Francisco to Albuquerque)

Our ride across America has been relentless so far. We’ve been through some incredible country, but America is huge and the distances between places are enormous. A lot of people cycle across America but I don’t think many will have cycled our route so far. The terrain has been tough, the elements hostile at times and our schedule to get to Miami much more punishing than I imagined. Today is the first day off Anna and I have had in a month of cycling and we are both exhausted. So we’re going to take a break in Albuquerque and see what it has to offer aside from blue crystal.

We set off from San Francisco as a four but soon decided to split into two pairs as the 3000m climb up to Yosemite and the prospect of Death Valley in the midst of a Californian heatwave didn’t sound like much fun to Anna and I. So we left Johan and Reece to test their metal in some of Americas most challenging terrain and made our way south to make the crossing to Las Vegas via Bakersfield and the Mojave desert. You will see different accounts of our trip from Johan and I in the video, but below is a brief summary of the route Anna and I have taken.

Southern California was essentially wall to wall fruit production as we followed the San Joaquin river all the way to Bakersfield. A brief foray up into the mountains along the ‘Generals Highway’ left us in awe of some of the biggest trees in the world. Then we made our way across the Mojave desert to Las Vegas, which meant some long stints on the interstate, just to cover the distance from one watering hole to the next. Las Vegas was like another world and 24 hours of the bright lights, pool parties and casinos meant our wallets wanted to leave before our legs did. Next up were the spectacular south western states of Nevada, Utah and Arizona, which saw us cycle through the Valley of Fire, Virgin Canyon, Zion National Park and eventually onto the Grand Canyon where we met up with Johan and Reece again. We’re now back into the desert in New Mexico which seems to be a state that has very little in it aside from the oil industry and Albuquerque.

Currently our schedule to get to Miami is incredibly tight. We will need to average over 120km a day to make it to Miami in time and with some huge distances to cover across New Mexico and Texas to come it seems like an uphill battle. So we’re currently figuring out a plan to bring down the daily mileage, allow us to enjoy some of the country we’re going through and hopefully not end up completely exhausted again.

America has been so much tougher than I previously thought, but I think we’re getting to grips with her now and looking forward to the next leg of the journey. Onwards.