Cross-country 4500 mi road trip on a supermarket bike

Hello, I am a 26 yr old male with a Kent Roadtech 700c supermarket bike. I recently did a 800 mi road trip on mostly flat terrain and was disappointed in my performance. I covered ~115 mi a day, but my average speed was merely ~10 mi per hour. I have a long way to go, and a 4500 mi solo trip is coming up in 1.5 years.

I want to reach an average speed of 14-15 mi per hour during the 4500 mi long trip. And my goal is to bike 4500 mi in 45 days. I have a hectic work schedule, so can’t train extensively like a pro. Also, going clipless is a bad idea for me as per my doctor, because I toe out too much.

  1. How should I train in order to obtain the required physical fortitude to pull this speed and distance off?
  2. I typically run a marathon before such long bikepacking trips. Do you think this helps in improving my performance on bikepacking trips?
  3. The cross-country trip will have little elevation (average 20 ft per mile), and will likely occur somewhere in the months of Jun-Aug. My daily plan is to bike ~55 mi 6-10 am, do sightseeing 10-5 pm, then bike ~55 mi 4-8 pm and rest for the night. This will help me avoid the hot midday hours. Does this plan sound good? What else should I add to this?
  4. I know supermarket bikes suck, but it would be great if there is a way I could save thousands of dollars.


Wow that sounds like quite the endeavor! Tall task and would be tough just about for any cyclist. Let me see if I can try to give you some answers.

  1. You will need to have big aerobic engine. Just riding several days in a row you don’t need to worry so much about anaerobic power, but the ability to continually ride over and over. Sweet spot training can be great for you to complete. This is riding just below threshold. Also just doing training that replicates your goal. So on long weekends completing a few long training days in a row.

More on Sweet Spot Training:

  1. I never have my coached athletes run during the season to help their cycling. It actually has a reverse effect for most, especially those that are not use to it. It will though help your aerobic fitness, but the leg muscles used are different. Of course triathletes do both all the time. But for those who have a cycling goal I have them stick to cycling.

  2. If it were me I would prefer to get all the riding done first as opposed to riding twice a day. It would give you more time to focus on recovery, staying off your feet, eating, getting plenty of sleep, maybe a nap and etc. 100 miles a day for 45 days in a row is a huge endeavor!! There is no easy way around it. You could do all the riding at once but incorporate longer stops for breakfast, lunch, sightseeing, maybe a quick nap and etc. Again this is a personal preference and how I see it.

My Dad did the continental divide trail and he would do all his riding first and not split up. Seemed to work well for him and his friend. Those who race RAAM, race across America, hardly even stop or sleep while doing the whole trip in 8 days and I don’t recommend that. LOL.

  1. The problem with Supermarket bike is that chances over the course of 4500 miles you will have more mechanical issues with that will be tougher to fix. Also it will be slower and more uncomfortable over the course of a long ride.

You don’t need the best bike or top of the line. You could even find a nice used bike for a good bargain. You would be much better off in the long run.

Hope that helps! And good luck on your adventure!

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