The first male coast-to-coast bike trip was completed in 1884 by a British man named Thomas Stevens who left San Francisco on April 22nd 1884 (foreshadowing Earth Day?), riding a penny-farthing bike with a big front wheel and a tiny back wheel. He biked 3,700 miles across wagon trails, canal towpaths and public roads, arriving in Boston on August 4th, 1884. In his bike bag he carried only a spare shirt, a pair of socks and a rain slicker that doubled as a sleeping bag.
Twelve years later, a lady named Margaret Valentine Le Long biked from Chicago to San Francisco in two months, mostly following railroad tracks. She carried a pistol in her Spartan packings. Not cross-country, but impressive all the same.