An Indian Going West. To Discover America.

Or at least a small part of it. One pedal stroke at a time.

At age 40, in the middle of raising venture funding for my second tech start-up, I had a massive heart attack. It’s a long story, but in essence, while I was lying on the cold OT table and wondering why they were trying to freeze me to death, my loved ones were waiting outside desperately hoping and praying that I make it through. Surprise: I did make it through.

In just a few days I will make it all the way through to 50. Bloody impressive, eh! And cycling across America is closest thing to a celebration I could plan. This is kind of a ‘teerth yatra’ (pilgrimage) for an old man. And hopefully along the way I will discover America. Or at least a part of it. Okay, seriously, at the minimum, I will discover if I have the legs and the mindset for long distance cycling.

The Plan – Cycle Across America

I plan to follow the Northern Tier of America cycling route and ride West to East — from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. About 4,240 miles (6,800 kms), according to the Adventure Cycling Association’s website.

If you have ridden the route  or are familiar with it and have some advice, insight, suggestion, please feel free to share it with me. Really. I am way out of my league here. Consider, for instance, that I have never camped in bear country and haven’t the faintest clue how to get the food onto a tree, and such. So yeah, feel free to dispense ‘gyan’ (wisdom).

If you live along the Northern Tier route and want to ride part of the way with me, or just catch up for coffee, give me a shout. If you are willing to host me for a night, I will graciously accept your hospitality. I wish I were an amazing Indian cook then I could have offered to cook up a fancy Indian meal for you, unfortunately I can only cook to save my life — Top Ramen is the best I can do. You can leave a comment on this post by scrolling to the bottom of this page or send me a private message here.

Start: Anacortes, Washington – July 17, 2017
End Location: Bar Harbor, Maine* – Aug 25, 2017
Distance: 4,240 miles / 6,800 kms *
*I am told that 5-6 weeks is not enough time to complete this journey, especial solo and self-supported. So the destination is flexible. I’ll end the trip wherever I am around August 25th.

The states I will pass through if I manage to complete the ride:

  1. Washington
  2. Idaho
  3. Montana
  4. North Dakota
  5. Minnesota
  6. Iowa
  7. Illinois
  8. Indiana
  9. Ohio
  10. New York
  11. New Hampshire
  12. Maine

The Route Map

Note: The map below is not the exact Northern Tier cycling route. It is just indicative of the route I might take. Suggestions for alternate route are welcome.

 

You can leave a comment on this post by scrolling to the bottom of this page or send me a private message by clicking here.

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44 comments

  • chiromitrachiro May 29, 2017   Reply →

    Hey AJ, I have driven this…BOL for this. I think you missed out on MA on I91

    • Ajay Jaiman May 29, 2017   Reply →

      Your are right Chiro. The official Northern Tier route does not dip down to MA but goes to ME. that is why Maine is listed and Massachusetts is not. I’ll fine tune the plan as I get more inputs. And thanks.

  • amit anand choudhary May 29, 2017   Reply →

    Best of luck sir.

    • Ajay Jaiman May 29, 2017   Reply →

      Thanks Amit

  • Anuj May 29, 2017   Reply →

    Amazing Ajay, wishing you all the very best for the 50 years ahead.

    • Ajay Jaiman May 29, 2017   Reply →

      Ha, ha. Thank you.

  • Saravanan May 29, 2017   Reply →

    Very many wishes for your great adventure! And, I don’t think you are old at all. From your past travelogues , especially cycling, I can swear that if I had even a fraction of what you have achieved, I will be happiest man. From my perspective,you are growing younger with every successive adventure..As a doctor,I know how a heart attack ,that too at 40 s can make a pschycolgical damage ,apart from physical one,but you have conquered it. You will definitely get through and expecting the travelogue at the earliest.

    • Ajay Jaiman May 29, 2017   Reply →

      That is so nice of you, Saravanan. Thanks.

  • Nitin Jain May 29, 2017   Reply →

    Superb Ajay. You are a rockstar. Are you doing it alone or with a gang ? All the best!

    • Ajay Jaiman May 29, 2017   Reply →

      Thanks, Nitin. As of now alone.

  • Jitendra Khatri May 29, 2017   Reply →

    Best of luck Ajay Ji. I came back to India few months back otherwise would have loved to host you in NY.

    • Ajay Jaiman May 29, 2017   Reply →

      Thanks Jitendra, I would have loved it too.

  • SHANTANU MUKHERJI May 29, 2017   Reply →

    All the best, Ajay. Have a great adventure.

    • Ajay Jaiman May 30, 2017   Reply →

      Thanks Shantanu

  • Kurien Philip May 30, 2017   Reply →

    All the best Ajay. With so many adventures under your belt, you’ll be fine. A fine choice of an adventure for your 50! Ride on!

    • Ajay Jaiman May 30, 2017   Reply →

      Thanks Kurien.

  • Sabari May 30, 2017   Reply →

    Truly inspiring! All the best!

    • Ajay Jaiman May 30, 2017   Reply →

      Thanks Sabari.

  • Arminder Thind May 30, 2017   Reply →

    All the Best Ajay!!

    • Ajay Jaiman May 30, 2017   Reply →

      Thank you, Arminder.

  • manasarvind May 30, 2017   Reply →

    This is super awesome! You probably will finish it in 6 weeks… or may fancy something enough to not bother about the other coast. Any which way this already sounds like a great journey. All the best! will be keenly following your trip. 🙂

    • Ajay Jaiman May 30, 2017   Reply →

      Thank you. I have a sense that I might try to stick to the plan meticulously in the beginning. After a couple of weeks I might start thinking of myself a veteran, and will calm down. And will allow life to happen to me. Or not. Who knows how this will turn out. Maybe that is why it qualifies as an adventure :). Will keep you posted.

  • Good luck Ajay! Wish you a safe ride.

    • Ajay Jaiman May 30, 2017   Reply →

      Thanks, Anamika.

  • Sandeep Bansal May 30, 2017   Reply →

    Good Luck Ajay, all the very best for the trip. I’ve got the reverse route on my bucket list, hopefully sometime in the next decade 🙂

    • Ajay Jaiman May 31, 2017   Reply →

      Awesome. Hopefully we will get to ride together for a bit and talk about this and more. Cheers!

  • Ruchi May 31, 2017   Reply →

    Way to go Ajay!! Happy Pedalling and live up every moment of this experience ?

    • Ajay Jaiman May 31, 2017   Reply →

      Thank you, Ruchi.

  • Saurabh Singh June 1, 2017   Reply →

    #JhakaasStuff Ajay, this journey has all possible ingredients to make it epic. Wish you health and strength to pull it off as planned….and may safe riding spirits be with you throughout. Will eagerly wait for BBS session “Bike Beer and Story” … Cheers !!

    • Ajay Jaiman June 1, 2017   Reply →

      Thank you, Saurabh. Looking forward to it.

  • Madhukar June 1, 2017   Reply →

    That’s the way to live Ajay… All my best wishes… Madhukar (1981 batch, BPS)

    • Ajay Jaiman June 9, 2017   Reply →

      Thank you

  • DevP June 24, 2017   Reply →

    Well AJ all the best Sir.. I too had a MI a month back and reading through your blog is somehow dwelling up of the grit and determination..Keep going !!!

    • Ajay Jaiman July 25, 2017   Reply →

      Thank you. All the best, and take care!

  • Kumar Sambandan July 18, 2017   Reply →

    Ajay! It was wonderful meeting you in Detroit! Truly admirable effort you are undertakung but seeing all where you have travelled this will be a very rewarding experience!
    Best wishes for your Theerth Yatra” cekebrating your 50th.

    Prayers and Best wishes for all success and experience in your adventurous journey, both external and internal!

    • Ajay Jaiman July 25, 2017   Reply →

      Thank you. It was a pleasure meeting you too.

  • Padmini Smetacek July 18, 2017   Reply →

    Fantastic! All the very best, Ajay!

    • Ajay Jaiman July 25, 2017   Reply →

      Thank you

  • Aditya Vats July 18, 2017   Reply →

    Thts the way to go Adventurous Ajay bro. All the Best Wishes on your US East2West Mission, where you should also come across lot of interesting stories of the immigrants moving on their individual E2W missions. Wishing you a safe and pleasant journey.

    • Ajay Jaiman July 25, 2017   Reply →

      Thank you

  • Dilip Gogoi July 19, 2017   Reply →

    Salute your spirit Ajay. Happy cycling across America and stay safe. Keep sharing your travllog.
    All the best.

    • Ajay Jaiman July 25, 2017   Reply →

      Thank you

  • Mridul August 5, 2017   Reply →

    Best of Luck Ajay ! Bring back a lot of memories and stories to share. Regards Mridul

    • Ajay Jaiman September 8, 2017   Reply →

      Thank you

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