Well, this is it guys! I'm finally doing it!! I'm so excited!
This whole trip came about as a result returning to the US from 2 years of living (and being jailed) in China, quitting my job, and not wanting to fly to New York. I first thought to take a bus to NY from SD...but that was almost as expensive as flying, then the idea of biking halfway and taking a train at Chicago, but finally, I decided to do the full trip on bike (and maybe a boat or two across the great lakes). I will be starting from Sioux Falls, SD with a final destination to my parent's house in Rock Tavern, NY.
I have just purchased a 2006 Bianchi Volpe this bike for this tour: http://www.bianchiusa.com/06_volpe.html
I have never toured before and I will be going alone (unless someone wants to join!) but will be hopefully meeting up with my father at Niagara Falls to bike the Erie Canal (http://www.spatialwebhost.com/cyclingtheeriecanal/) and then down south through the Hudson valley. (http://www.roberts-1.com/bikehudson/r/map/index.htm).
This is a rough Google maps route of my trip:
Link to google map
I'll be leaving from Sioux Falls on August 18th or 19th and hope to arrive in Rock Tavern, NY within 30 days of first taking off. I'm planning on doing mostly camping. This summer, I've only had a bike for transportation. I've taken a weekend trip (120 miles in 2 days) and several after work trips (25-35 miles). My goal is about 65-75 miles a day.
What do you all think of the route? I was wondering if i could get a ferry across the great lakes all the way from the western shore of lake Michigan to the eastern shore of lake Huron/Georgian bay. This is kinda cheating...but time might be a bit of an issue. I am also unsure about how to plan the exact routes and where i'll be stopping/eating/sleeping each day. - Do you plan out each day so you know where you can camp, or do you just stop when tired and camp wherever?
I'm also not finished getting all my gear...can someone recommended some good inexpensive panniers? Can I substitute panniers with a bungeed-on backpack?