Bikepacking on the Trans American Bicycle Trail

Beitrag vom:12. February 2024

Once across America

Overview map of America with bikepacking tour marked.

A man, a bicycle, 8371 kilometres and 71000 metres in altitude. For Tom de Coene, the bikepacking tour from the west coast to the east coast of the USA was a unique adventure. Equipped with SKS products, the Belgian student cycled the Trans American Bicycle Trail last year and came back with a suitcase full of special experiences. 

Tom de Coene on his bike, equipped with bikepacking bags from SKS GERMANY

Since the US visa was only valid for 90 days, he had to complete the route in 84 days. However, he first cycled from Portland airport to Astoria, “to dip his tyres into the Pacific Ocean.” He then cycled the 6408-kilometre-long Trans Bicycle Trail across the states. 

Fascinating nature up close 

“Every day I experienced how beautiful nature was. The sunsets, the colourful birds, the variety of vegetation…” In the Grand Teton National Park, he met a grizzly bear, mined for gold and silver in Colorado and visited the longest cave in the world. The adventurer spent the night in shelters, churches and fire stations, camping in parks and sometimes on campsites. 

Close-up of SKS bottle and bag before sunset.

Tom de Coene had an unintended confrontation with the cops in Kentucky: “I was handcuffed there because I entered a private campsite without a reservation. Meanwhile, they rummaged through all my bike equipment in the search of banned substances and weapons.”

A godsend

Finding a legal place to camp wasn’t to be the only challenge for Tom: Street dogs that followed him, overnight thunderstorms and heavy traffic on the highways, where he felt small and powerless with his bike. “But the biggest killjoy was the heat,” recalls the 23-year-old. “I was cycling in temperatures of up to 42 degrees. It felt like a godsend on the exceptional circumstances that it rained.” 

Bicycle equipped with SKS bags in front of a tent.

Only a few times did he feel lonely. He often met nice people who spontaneously offered him a bottle of water or a place to sleep. “I had fantastic and inspiring encounters that positively influenced my view of the world.” 

Reliable companions

The waterproof SKS bags were reliable companions on his journey to store snacks, clothing and tools. “The CAGE SHIFTER+ adapter for mounting a pump and spare inner tube on the bike was also particularly practical,” explains the bikepacking expert and adds: “I love all SKS products because I can simply rely on them.”

Road reflecting the sunset