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  1. #1
    Senior Member Gustaf's Avatar
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    East Bound N. Tier - Starting September - Too late?

    Hello, I might find my self with a lot of free time starting September. I live in Seattle and was thinking about heading eastbound on the northern tier. I was going to follow the N. Tier until the great lakes, and then take the Lake Erie Connector across to Buffalo and then finish in Boston.
    If i started in September, is that generally considered too late? I ride my bike a lot and am fit, so I would be making good time.

  2. #2
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Too late to beat the snow, do you mean?
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  3. #3
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gustaf View Post
    Hello, I might find my self with a lot of free time starting September. I live in Seattle and was thinking about heading eastbound on the northern tier. I was going to follow the N. Tier until the great lakes, and then take the Lake Erie Connector across to Buffalo and then finish in Boston.
    If i started in September, is that generally considered too late? I ride my bike a lot and am fit, so I would be making good time.
    Allowing two months, that puts you in Bahstahn MA in November. It can get pretty cold in NY and New England in November.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Gustaf's Avatar
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    A very rough calculation I put the trip around 3200 miles. I would be aiming for 80+ miles a day, so I would, in theory, be able to do the trip in under 2 months.

    To the other poster, yes I was concerned with potential snow/ice. Cold weather not so much.

  5. #5
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gustaf View Post
    A very rough calculation I put the trip around 3200 miles. I would be aiming for 80+ miles a day, so I would, in theory, be able to do the trip in under 2 months.

    To the other poster, yes I was concerned with potential snow/ice. Cold weather not so much.
    Snow starts as early as September in the Rockies, I understand. Folks, please correct me if I'm wrong.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Gustaf's Avatar
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    I think this is possibly true in the high rockies in Colorado. I have spend significant amount of time in Montana in September and its still quit pleasant in the day. which is where I would be crossing the rockies.

  7. #7
    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
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    Good question and some helpful responses so far. You need to think this one through. What are the conditions that, for you, define too late? When I traveled through the Rockies in June it was very cold in the mornings and we even experienced blizzard conditions at one point. I met several folks headed eastward who had soldiered on through a lot of snow when they started from the west coast in May. As long as you are prepared for it then go for it. I would think that you should expect to encounter some snow if you leave in September but probably not a lot. You should expect to begin a lot of mornings with 30 degree temperatures. Is that okay for you? I don't mind riding at 30 degrees as long as the sun is coming up and I have the promise of a warmer day on the way. Probably the most difficult condition would be several days of rain with temps in the high 30s and a lot of wind. Would that be okay for you? Personally, I would just call days like that "rest" days and sit it out. It all depends on what you like and can deal with on a long tour.
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  8. #8
    See You Down The Road
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    I'd say yes...

    there are no weather problems you haven't thought of already and the Rockies will be behind you within the first weeks....then you've just got falls chilly nights which you say your OK with

    The roads will be quieter to...

  9. #9
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gustaf View Post
    A very rough calculation I put the trip around 3200 miles. I would be aiming for 80+ miles a day, so I would, in theory, be able to do the trip in under 2 months.
    80 miles a day is very aggressive, especially since there is a good chance you will run into various kinds of inclement weather. You should also schedule rest days, maybe one a week or so.

    Rather than rush through it, I recommend you either pick a different route (e.g. Pacific coast), or go as far as you can on Northern Tier as you want at a reasonable pace. It isn't the destination that matters, it's what happens in between....

  10. #10
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Strike that, since you plan to be making excellent time, you may well be through Montana early enough. Just be prepared to bail out if it doesn't work out.
    Last edited by wrk101; 07-28-08 at 07:07 PM. Reason: changed mind

  11. #11
    www.Click-Stand.com tomn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gustaf View Post
    A very rough calculation I put the trip around 3200 miles.
    Hi Gustaf,

    Is it really that short? We are starting out on the Northern Tier in September as well, but are going to divide it up into thirds. Our goal this year is Minot, N.D. From Aberdeen, WA that should be 1700 miles. I would have put the entire cross country trip at close to 4500 miles! If there were a 3200 mile route I could cut out an entire year! Do let me know what you find out.

    Tom
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  12. #12
    Hooked on Touring
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    On my first x-country tour in 1987, I left from Astoria at the beginning of Sept.
    I was lucky - I had 40 days of sunshine, then snow in Lincoln, Nebraska.

    Since then I have encountered September snow in the Mountain West almost every year.
    This year had a very late spring and smells like an early fall.

    80 miles per day may be a little ambitious since the days get rapidly shorter in September.
    Also, you should always allow yourself leeway days - for weather, repairs, health and just enjoyment.
    Pushing to "catch up" is a recipe for a lousy trip and, possibly, an accident.

    My guess is that you could reach Boston in 7 to 8 weeks.
    That's averaging 75 miles per day with one day off (or two half days) per week.
    That's only 7 days, total, for bad weather - kinda close.
    But the window starts to close after that.

  13. #13
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    Thanks for this post.... I'm going to be heading out on this route around the 8th of August and sounds like some of my weather worries aren't really justified...except for the heat I suppose. I was originally thinking about a 75 miles per day average but have since cut that down to about 65 to allow smelling the roses a little more.

    Kyakdiver

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