Fast America South

Fast America South is the southern version of our fast cross country tours. It is an aggressive and very challenging fully-supported 27-day coast-to-coast bicycle tour that travels from Costa Mesa, California to Savannah, Georgia. From the natural beauty of the southern Sierras and Rockies to the terrain and history of America’s deep south, each day is a unique adventure in itself.

Costa Mesa, CA to Albuquerque, NM

Fast America South departs from Costa Mesa, California. We will head over to the Southern California Coast at Newport Beach, dip our rear wheels in the Pacific Ocean and begin the trek across America. The route then heads inland and follows the Santa Ana River to the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. After a little climbing to get over the San Andreas Fault, we will be rewarded with a terrific ride down to the desert floor. We will then roll into Palm Springs for the first overnight. The next day includes substantial climbing up off the desert floor and cross Chiriaco Summit and continues east through the arid southern California desert just south of Joshua Tree National Park. The desert continues as the route crosses the Colorado River, the terrain flattens out and the landscape turns agricultural.

The terrain really becomes mountainous as we cycle up and over Yarnell Pass. Up again, we ride through the Prescott National Forest and down through the town of Prescott. Crossing the Prescott Valley, we tackle the toughest climb of the trip, Mingus Mountain. Get ready for a fast and wild descent back to the desert floor. On the other side of Jerome, the switchbacks straighten out and give way to a nice straight descent. The climbing isn’t over yet as the route winds up through the red rock town of Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. The ascent is intense but the views and vistas are worth every inch. The climbing ends for a while as we cycle through Flagstaff, gaze at Humphrey’s Peak (12,663’) and get a rewarding descent on the way down to Winslow, Arizona where the Eagles will help you “Take It Easy.”

Next we cross the rural western desert plains where the terrain ranges from flat to intermediate rolling as we gradually descend for a few days. The climbing begins again when we pass the four corners, cross into New Mexico and roll up and over the Continental Divide. We cycle through the Acoma and Laguna Indian Reservations, conquer 10-mile hill, and finally experience an exciting descent into Albuquerque proper to complete our 136 mile day. By the time you reach Albuquerque, you have more than earned your first day off to get a little R&R, explore the the city on your own, and get ready for one more day in the mountains.

Albuquerque, NM to Fort Smith, AR

The second leg begins with a climb over Glorieta Summit and roll down to Las Vegas, New Mexico. The western desert slowly gives way to the high plains as we spin eastward to Texas. Up until this point, both of America by Bicycle’s fast rides follow the same route. It is in Dalhart, TX that Fast America Ride heads up towards Kansas and Fast America South continues across the vast, gently rolling Texas Panhandle through Dumas, Texas, the site of the largest natural gas facility in the world. You'll ride along the immense Texas rangeland and sense what it must have been like to have breakfast from the back of a chuck wagon as you pass vistas where thousands of cowhands drove herds along the Chisholm Trail to railheads for shipments to eastern markets. Our next state is Oklahoma, once described by Will Rogers as, "The heart of America's existence."  The first stop will be Elk City, once a rest stop for cattlemen driving herds along the great western trail to Kansas. Like those cowhands, you will also spend long hours in the saddle to Chickasha and McAlester during two long days that aren’t flat by any means. In Oklahoma, the state that has more horses per person than any other state, rangeland will give way to farmland as you cross the Main Street of America, Route 66. Farmland will turn to beautiful mountain ranges as you enter eastern Oklahoma for your second well-deserved day off in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Fort Smith, AR to Savannah, GA

Arkansas offers gently rolling terrain as you ride along the Arkansas River Valley within sight of the Ozark Mountains and the Ozark National Forest. Once over the Arkansas River, the terrain becomes nearly dead flat as we ride across the basin of the Great Mississippi River. You will finally be in the east when you cross the Mississippi River at Helena, but you will definitely know you are in the south when you start to see kudzu (a voracious vine that covers everything in its path) and start to experience warm southern hospitality. Your first stop in the Deep South will be in Senatobia MS. After leaving Senatobia on your way to Aberdeen you will be on mostly quiet rural roads all the way to Georgia. But if you think the south is flat, you are in for an education. Although there are no mountains in Mississippi or Alabama, you'll have some of your most challenging climbing days before Georgia.

The Deep South doesn't get any deeper than in Alabama. Here cotton is king, the confederacy was born, and Jefferson Davis’s birthday is a holiday. If there’s a football coach fired or hired at the University of Alabama or Auburn, it takes up entire newscasts for 5 days...it might even preempt programming in prime time for a week! Your first taste of Bama will be a challenging climbing day and you'll finish by riding right through the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Although there are no significant individual climbs you will have one of the most challenging total elevation gain days as you ride to Prattville AL. On your last day in Alabama, you'll ride through Tuskegee, the home of the Tuskegee Airmen, and the campus of Tuskegee University. You will overnight in Columbus Georgia right next to the beautiful Chattahoochee River, a short walk from the historic downtown and the beautiful Riverfront. As you explore the area, you will realize you are nearing the end of your great journey. The next day you will depart Columbus on the river bike trail into Fort Benning. You will ride by the sniper school, Ranger training area, and heavy armor firing range. If you are lucky, there may be a demonstration going on as you pass by...just don't ride down range. The day into Perry, Georgia is relatively short so you may want to take a side trip to Andersonville, the site of the infamous Confederate Civil War concentration camp. All across Georgia you will see reminders of the Civil War as monuments, battlefields, and cemeteries recall the ravages of war, while white-pillared mansions tell a story of prosperity brought by cotton and river commerce. The terrain will start to level out as you near the coast. After your last night on the road in Vidalia Georgia, the sweet onion capital of the south, your emotions will be mixed as you prepare for your last day into Savannah. The terrain will be flat and gets even flatter as you ride to the tour’s final destination, and dip your wheels into the Atlantic Ocean at Tybee Island.

Join Us!

Register online for the ride of a lifetime. Make your commitment today. Then start your training and get ready for a bicycle ride you will never forget. Remember once you arrive at the ride start city, let America by Bicycle take care of all the details. You just ride your bike everyday and explore America. Get ready for real cycling adventure. Plan your cycling calendar now and don't miss the training window. America by Bicycle offers this tour every other year. Be sure to sign up in time for 2018 or you’ll have to wait until 2020!

You will need to show us you are training and physically ready for the challenge. Plan to ride an organized local century ride (higher mileage events are encouraged) no later than one month from the start of the event. Upon completion, send America by Bicycle a copy of your entry form and timecard.  If the event does not time or have an official timer, get a representative of the host organization to sign your enrollment form with your time. All participants must be able to complete a century in 6 hours riding time. If you cannot confirm your ability, you may not be allowed to participate on this event. Don’t hesitate calling the Ride Director with any questions.

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Trip Details

START / FINISH
Costa Mesa, CA to Savannah, GA

DAYS
27 days

DATES
2017
Join us in 2018!

2018
Saturday April 21 to Friday May 18

ITINERARY / MILEAGE
Day 0
Costa Mesa, CA         0

Day 1
Palm Springs, CA    116

Day 2
Blythe, CA              134

Day 3
Wickenburg, AZ      115

Day 4
Cottonwood, AZ     103

Day 5
Winslow, AZ           107

Day 6
Gallup, NM             134

Day 7
Albuquerque, NM   136

Day 8 - Rest Day
Albuquerque, NM      0

Day 9
Las Vegas, NM       137

Day 10
Tucumcari, NM       109

Day 11
Dalhart, TX              95

Day 12
Pampa, TX              112

Day 13
Elk City, OK            102 

Day 14
Chickasha, OK       119

Day 15
McAlester, OK        144

Day 16
Fort Smith, AR        105

Day 17 - Rest Day
Fort Smith, AR           0

Day 18
Conway, AR           122

Day 19
Brinkley, AR            102

Day 20
Senatobia, MS         112

Day 21
Aberdeen, MS        138

Day 22
Tuscaloosa, AL       110

Day 23
Prattville, AL            114

Day 24
Columbus, GA         113

Day 25
Perry, GA                 96

Day 26
Vidalia, GA             101

Day 27
Savannah, GA         104

TOTAL MILEAGE
2880

DAILY MILEAGE
Average: 115+ per day

MEALS
Breakfast and lunch included for all days except for 2 rest days. Dinner is not included.

2018 Prices
$5500 (Triple)
$6850 (Double)
$8200 (Single)

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