Early on I passed up most bike shops. We had what we needed. Then, the quest for the perfect seat began; I needed more spare tubes and patch kits, and the great rim tape fiasco began and was resolved. Saw a lot of bike shops:

White Fish, Montana

Glacier Cyclery

Great people. Bought electrolyte solution. Wanted more; couldn’t justify.

Sportsman & Ski Haus

Bought a Specialized e-bike for Emmy so she could join the ride and some tubes. The ebike was a kick. Emmy could pass me on the hills so mercifully rode in “eco” mode. Later, Jay, Ellie, and Susie all gave it a whirl. Emmy used the ebike as a transition to the Kona Rove ST and road the hard way for two thirds of the trip riding 20 to 42 miles each day.

Was totally surprised to find an incredibly knowledgeable and helpful bike department manager in a general sporting goods store. Great support.

Little Falls, Minnesota

Touright Bicycle Shop in Little Falls

Great owners. David has ridden across the US horizontally and vertically (E-W and N-S). Just bought patch kits and tubes.

Iron River, Michigan

Bikes and More

Bought every tube and patch kit they had: one of each. Mostly, a place that did repairs on snowmobiles and ATVs, but provided bikes for the local kids.

Escanaba, Michigan (UPM)

Mr. Bike

Bought a sleaveless Upper Peninsula of Michigan jersey and new gloves for Emmy. Bought rim tape and patch kit for me.Earned some Shot Blocks as a premium.Wish I needed more stuff, but couldn’t justify.

Cheboygan, Michigan

City Bike Shop

Great support from the owner on the first attempt to cure the rim tape fiasco. Valiant effort; still more to do. Bought a very cool hat.

City Bike hat

Alpena, Michigan

Harborside Cycle and Sport

Made a more serious effort at the rim tape problem. Worked on the back wheel, but needed additional owner repairs on the front wheel.

Bay City, Michigan

I think we went to Jack’s Bike Shop where I bought some patches.

Rochester, New York

Park Avenue Bike Shop

Mounted 2 different seats on a trainer so I could try before I bought. Bought the Specialized Henge in 155mm width. Saved my butt for quite a few miles—until Middlebury, VT.

Old Forge, New York

Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company

Bought a new pump (pivot bolt fell out of the handle of my much loved Topeak Mini).

Inlet, New York

Pedals and Petals

Yes, it’s a bike shop and a florist shop. The concept preceded the name. Bought a bike seat (meh!—not their fault, I picked it out—it’s a great shop) and new bike shorts. Charming old building. Did not buy floral arrangement for handlebars. Missed opportunity.

Pedals and petals

Middlebury, Vermont

Frog Hollow Bikes

Great place. Very high end. Great helpful owner who mounted 2 different seats on a trainer so I could try before I bought.

Next to awesome coffee shop and bakery. One stop shopping, so to speak.

Bought the winning bike seat: Fabric Scoop Flat!

Fabric Scoop Flat saddle

Rochester, Vermont

Green Mountain Bicycles

Only in Vermont: an old house converted into a bike shop. Stuff in every room, the basement, outside.

The cool thing was I walked in and heard a guy talking about Port Townsend, WA. Turns out Zak lives there. His dad owns this shop in Vermont and Zak comes out to work during the summer. He builds custom frames in Port Townsend. The Saturday following my stop they were celebrating 30 years in business with a pizza party for the whole town.

Green mountain bicycles

Southwest Harbor, Maine

Southwest Cycle

Arranged to ship 2 bikes (Popeye and Olive Oil) back to Seattle using Bikeflight.com. Great owners. Bought a bike there 5 years ago that I named “Bronco”.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop

After the ride was over, I bought a new seat (the search will never end) and new gloves. Huge selection; lots of high end stuff; excellent service section.

Specialized power saddle

Seattle, WA

And back home, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention where it all started:

Montlake Bicycle Shop

This is where I bought the Volagi Viaje steel bike—named “Archie”—that I rode across America. I got a pre-ride checkup for Archie and bought a bunch of spare parts that I gratefully did not need. Water bottle with 3,950 miles on it:

Water bottle and bike