Frequently Asked Questions About The 2016 Bicycle Tour

By Michael Riscica / December 25, 2015

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Introduction To The 2016 Bicycle Tour Coast2Coast Across America!
Click Here to Visit The Next Page: Planning a Bicycle Tour

Millions of Bicycle Touring Questions

I can’t open my mouth and say anything about bike touring without triggering a million questions from everyone. I can visualize several of my family members making a list and getting in a line to start asking me questions. So even though many of the details of this trip are unknown, I will do my best at answering a few the questions that I know your probably have for me.


Before I answer any questions I also want to state that the biggest lesson I have consistently learned about bike touring is not focus energy on making too many hard plans, but focus the energy more on setting myself up for success. My philosophy is to leave space to allow for amazing things to happen, making too many plans negates amazing things from happening on a bike tour.  My inability get serious about making hard plans, tends to drive the question asking people nuts.

I’m just sayin…

Now lets get started answering some questions you may have.


What about your apartment and your dog Molly Riscica?

I don’t know yet. I have lived in the same building for 6 years now, it felt like home to me more then any other place that I have lived. I love where I live and want to keep living here after the trip is over.  I am going to find someone to stay with her while I’m gone. When the timing is right, I’m going to find one of my yoga friends who just broke up with her boyfriend and needs a dog to love and a place to live for the summer.

For 8 years, Molly and I haven’t been separated for more then about 2 weeks at a time, so taking this trip isn’t going to be easy for either of us.

boy and dog Riding a bicycle

I just know someone is itching to say… “MikeRiscica, Why don’t you take Molly along on the trip.” And that really isn’t an option or realistic. She is a 75 lb yellow lab and is turning 8 years old in March. Taking her along would be too dangerous for the both of us. She would be miserable anyways. She doesn’t ride bikes. She prefers to sleep for most of the day and she thrives on a very consistent routine, none of which exists on a bicycle tour.


What kind of bike are you riding on this trip??

I don’t know yet. I don’t own a touring bike.  I sold all my touring gear to college kid a few years ago who was getting to bicycle across America.

The Long Haul Trucker is a good bike and so is the Trek 520.  I kinda want to check out the REI Touring bike, but we’ll see.  I’m a bike snob so im sure I’ll find some good shit.

I need to figure that out and will probably write several blogposts about it.


What kind of bike are riding these days?

I have a trek hybrid that has a huge basket on the front. Its super cheezy. I sold all of my other fancy bicycles because I wasn’t riding them. I’m just not sentimental about bikes. I love buying, selling and trading them.  I used to get several new bikes a year.


Do you go by Mike or Michael?

Both. When I moved to the westcoast I started using Michael.

How do you say your last name?

Its pronounced Ri-seek-a


Which route are you riding?

I don’t know. Most likely I’ll ride a pieced together version of the Transam again. I’m not to worried about it and will mostly figure out the route at the last minute.


Truck on freeway

Are you going to ride your bike on the interstate?

Nope, I always ride some of the best roads in America. Roads that are incredibly beautiful and scenic. I always follow routes that take me through several towns a day. I always  meet a ton of people each time I get a new town.

Illustration of a mountain road in the summer

Illustration of a mountain road in the summer

Riding on the interstates isn’t realistic or fun. However I did ride about 10 miles on route 80 in Wyoming during the 2005 ride. This happened because the transam had no other option for getting around the mountain.

10 miles on the interstate is ok, but im not taking this bike tour to hang out on interstates. Infact I’m not even a fan of staying in towns that have an interstate running through them.

A three toed sloth hanging by three legs on a branch of a tropical plant with one arm hanging down and looking at the camera.

A three toed sloth hanging by three legs on a branch of a tropical plant with one arm hanging down and looking at the camera.

Why don’t you ride somewhere more exotic and exciting like Europe or South America? America is lame and you have already don’t this before.

I don’t know. Yeah, eventually I would like to. At the moment I get much more excited thinking about cycling across the US again.

What direction will you ride?

At the end of May I will be in Philadelphia to attend the American Institute of Architects National Convention.  After that party is over my plan was to head down to Virginia and start cycling west back to Oregon.

Blowing cloud in blue color

Blowing cloud in blue color

What?!? Everyone knows the weather travels from the west to the east. Why aren’t you cycling from the west coast back to the east coast?  That seems to make the most sense.

No! I completely disagree.

I have riden more then 10,000 miles of self supported bicycle tours and have learned that yes maybe at 30,000 feet in the sky the weather moves in that direction and this could affect an airplane traveling 500 mph.

But on ground it’s a completely different story to a bicycle traveling 10 mph. Wind is whipping around in all different directions and there is often little rhyme or reason to the direction the wind is blowing.

One thing you can definitely count on is that if you start on the west, every morning you will be cycling towards the sun.  I wrote a whole blogpost about this many years ago which I need to dig up and find.

bike friends

Can I ride across the country with you Michael Riscica?


I honestly just want to take another trip by myself. I love Jamie and chuck and 2007 was an amazing ride. But riding solo vs riding with other people is a completely different experience. Interactions with locals are different. There are more moving parts to break. Decision making can be difficult.

I have zero interest in ever getting into the business of escorting people across the country on a bicycle.

When I bike tour, I like to carry my own gear, sleep in weird places, go long stretches of time with no showers, eat dinner at 7-11’s, talk to tons of strangers and regularly put myself in awkward and uncomfortable situations. Cycling across America sounds glamorous and it really isn’t at all. Its stupid. You really don’t want to join me.

Having said that there will be a few key people joining me for this bike tour for short periods of time or making guest appearances. None of those details have been worked out or discussed while being sober.

Business Man Displaying a Spread of Cash in Vintage Light

Business Man Displaying a Spread of Cash in Vintage Light

What about money? Can you afford to take this time off?  

I don’t know.  Like I said in the other, I’m not waiting any longer. I also don’t think I’m really taking any time off.

I currently earn most of my money from my architecture blog, a book I wrote, a program I created around the architecture registration exam and a variety of other ways.  I have 1 builder whom I am currently working with but because im taking off for an entire summer, I am not soliciting for any big architecture projects which would interfere with this trip. All the work im doing on Young Architect will keep trucking along as it has and I don’t see it being affected by this bike tour.


Whats up with the ads on the website?

If im going to do this trip I need to monetize this bike touring site somehow. For now im gonna mess around with advertising and investigate other ways to monetize the site until I have my own product to sell.  I do want to write a short book about how to take a bike tour. But right now I’m just working hard at getting this website up and running

Bad website

Mike, did you know that your website needs a lot of work and your videos would be much better if you do x,y and z?

I know.

I am an Architect, not a web designer or IT Genius. This website will be a constant work in progress and I will never stop fine tuning it.   My other website Young Architect definitely wasn’t built in a day and is far from being perfect.

I expect this website and videos to get better the more I work on it. It would be nice fully polished site, but that would take me forever and I think its more important to get the website up and running and dial it in later. .

What is the official name of this trip?

I don’t know yet.

I have been calling it 2016 Bike Tour.  The trip isn’t really alive yet. This is the first few posts. The bike trip will start to come alive the more I post and talk about it and ideally when I officially leave to start cycling it may be called something else.

Multi-ethinic arms outstretched to ask questions.

Multi-ethinic arms outstretched to ask questions.

Why aren’t you using crazyguyonabike for this years bike journal? Isnt that the gold standard for bicycle journals?

Yes, you are correct. It is.

I’m not using them because I know how to build my own websites and already have the entire infrastructure from my other website Each month I pay tons of money for hosting, tools and services to help me with youngarchitect. It wouldn’t make sense to not start using that stuff.

Several months ago I spoke to Neil and told him I am going to build my own bike site and move my old journals onto the new site. He didn’t like the idea and asked that if I post my journals somewhere else then I should remove them from crazyguy. And I don’t blame him. So I did and then he deleted my account. No hard feelings. I still think Neil Gunton is a good guy

I love crazyguyonabike and just discovering that site changed my life, But I really want my own website and domain. There are very few options with customizing it, it completely ignores social media and it looks like it hasn’t been refreshed since 1995.  At this point in my life I know too much about the internet to not build my own website, even if its not perfect.

gold standard 

Michael Riscica, don’t you realize that all the success of your former bike touring journals was directly related to the fact that Crazyguyonabike has a built in community of bike touring enthusiasts reading bike journals all day long.  What makes you think you can get people to read this journal the same way they did on the old ones?

Yes I agree. You are correct.

But I’m not convinced crazyguyonthebike is the only place the bike touring community hangs out. It’s a big one, but definitely not the only place.

I hope to believe with Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, and jumping through a variety of different hoops that I could get more traffic to the new site without crazyguyonabike. I did this with Young Architect and it’s a ton of work, but I think I could do it and even faster then when I did it for Young Architect.

I also think the triple tiered approach to release the blog in written, video and audio formats will drastically help reach a larger audience. This bike tour will be all over Facebook, Instagram, twitter and Youtube.

I have one last comment about the bike touring community.

From what I have learned from my previous bike journals, I’m not completely convinced that the bike touring community is a proper representation of who my true audience is. I have gotten emails and met sooooooo many people reading my journals who do not fit the demographic of middle age male crazy guy bicycle enthusiast. Lots of these people don’t even ride bikes and know nothing about bike touring before stumbling across my blog.

So I guess im basically saying while I agree with that statement for my old journals, in 2016 I am pretty confident that I can find my audience without the built in crazyguyonabike community.

How will you get all this work done? Especially when you are riding a bike every day?

I don’t know.

I’ll need to build a team. I am constantly hiring people to help with young architect on websites like They help me with fixing the website, helping me with graphics, proofreading my posts, doing repeatitive tasks and all types of tasks I think up.  I can leverage some of those existing relationships to help me with this project.

But I will need to build a team and I don’t quite know how or what that looks like yet.  If your interested in being a part of my team send me an email at

Camping gear collage isolated on white background depicting a thermos, coffee pot, frying pan sitting on stove, hat, bags of camping equipment, stainless steel mug, pot sitting on stove, blue flashlight, GPS, walkie talkie, pot, Swiss army knife, compass, blue water bottle, black binoculars, chair, yellow flashlight, black flashlight, magnesium fire starter, backpack, hiking boots and sleeping bag.

Camping gear collage isolated on white background depicting a thermos, coffee pot, frying pan sitting on stove, hat, bags of camping equipment, stainless steel mug, pot sitting on stove, blue flashlight, GPS, walkie talkie, pot, Swiss army knife, compass, blue water bottle, black binoculars, chair, yellow flashlight, black flashlight, magnesium fire starter, backpack, hiking boots and sleeping bag.

What kind of: tent, trailer, pannier, rain jacket, bike tires, shoes, chain lube, helmet mirror, thermarest, camera, cell phone, laptop, bike rack, kickstand, cycling jersey, sunscreen, tripod, sleeping bag, cellphone service, blah blah blah ….will you use on this bike tour?

I don’t know.

What will happen to Young Architect when you are bicycling across america?

Nothing will change. I will keep posting new blog posts. I will most likely build a huge queue of posts before I leave. I only post on YA once a week and send out a weekly newsletter to its subscribers.


What’s up with the robot?!?   Whats his name anyway?

His name is Dude.

Dude Robot!

I love that Robot, this will be his 3rd time across America with me. I wrote a whole other blogpost about him that I haven’t posted yet.


Why is there an image in the sidebar of the website that says your apart of the top 50 bike touring journals?

Good question. About 6 months when I was uploading the 2005 I found this list and I applied for the next time they ran the test and I ironically made the list!!! I had no web traffic, readers or search engine traffic and I think I came in dead last place, but I still made the list.

So im proudly displaying my badge of honor. It’s a great list, I encourage you to click that link and check out some of the other blogs that are on that list. Be careful its addictive.


Where is the Team Northern Tier Journal?   I want to read it.

I haven’t uploaded it onto this site. Its ready to go, I figuring out how to get it uploaded right now, Im in the process of hiring someone to help me with that. I hope to have the complete TNT Journal up on here in a few weeks. It’s coming don’t worry.

Are you going to post weekly and write a weekly newsletter for the bike site?

I don’t know how often I will be posting yet. I wasn’t planning on writing a personalized newsletter. The email subscription for the bike site is set up so it sends an automated email each time I publish a new post.  I may change this somewhere down the road. My priority up to now has been to get this trip and site launched and dial it all in later.

How can I help you? What can I do to support you?

The best think you can do is follow me on social media. Like and share my social media posts, watch my videos, leave me comments or jokes, tell me how smart and handsome I am, subscribe to my email list and tell all your friends that they should start following along.

That’s all.

What else????

I can’t think of anymore questions. If you have any questions that I need to answer please comment on this blog page below and I will make another question video.

Click Here to Visit The Table of Contents
Click Here to Visit Previous Page: 
Introduction To The 2016 Bicycle Tour Coast2Coast Across America!
Click Here to Visit The Next Page: Planning a Bicycle Tour


About the author

Michael Riscica

Hey, I’m Michael Riscica and I live in Portland, Oregon with my Labrador Retriever. When I’m off the bike, I make my living as a Licensed Architect and also write a architecture blog at

I took my first bike tour in 2003 when I rode from Boston to New York City, and at that time I learned about cycling across America. My life was forever changed. I have successfully ridden and blogged about Coast2Coast bike rides during the summers of 2005, 2007and now 2016.

Thanks for following along. I would love to connect with you on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Linked In! Also check out my new project Young Architect Gear, designing architecturally themed gifts and products.

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