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Old 09-08-08, 12:31 PM   #1
mr bill
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your 2-3 month dream tour (or, give me ideas for my next one)

I'm thinking I want to take next summer off and go on tour again, and I'm looking for some ideas. I've got 2-3 months (could push to 4 if I were in a region that's relatively inexpensive for eating/lodging).

Anyway, I've already done the bulk of Europe, so I'm a little hesitant to try that again. Although, I do find the idea of hitting some of the portions I missed appealing (southern France and Germany, Scandanavia, western Ireland, the baltics).

My ideas so far have been crossing America, New Zealand (how's the weather in their winter?) and southeast asia and/or India.

Although I'm a little wary of solo touring in Asia or India considering the complete language barrier - anyone done it and found it to be an issue/not an issue?

what would you do if you had (may)june-august?
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Old 09-08-08, 12:37 PM   #2
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What's up Bill. 3 Months is a tour across america easy if you are prepared and steadfast. You can do it in as little as a month and half if you're actually touring with all of your stuff. If you're with a group staying in hotels not carrying anything less than a month.

I went about 1400 miles in a month and had a great time. I just packed camping stuff and had no real schedule to meet. I would love to do a NZ or India trip myself. Even South Africa. However for the time frame of May-August, the America tour is probably your best weather wise.

Enjoy Emensley
-Kev
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Old 09-08-08, 12:48 PM   #3
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Bill -

When you starting? When to end?
Maybe May 15th to August 15th?

An inexpensive tour of the American and Canadian Wests involves lots of public lands where it is free to camp - dozens of spectacular national parks - and generally nice weather. Hah! As if predicting weather in the West is any science.

If you start in the Bay Area you can catch Yosemite when the waterfalls are at their peak, cross Nevada before it gets hot, take in the canyon country of southern Utah, hike the Grand Canyon, then head on to the pueblos of northern New Mexico.

From there, just as the summer heat is hitting the lowlands, you can ride the Rockies from Colorado thru Wyoming and Montana into Canada and hit Banff and Jasper. There are a number of options after Jasper. You can cut south towards Vancouver thru the Thompson Valley and continue back towards San Fran along the Pacific Coast of Washington and Oregon. Or you can head out to Prince Rupert and up to Alaska or down to Vancouver Island.

By taking the Alaska, or BC ferries and/or Amtrak you can get back to the Bay Area or end you trip anywhere along the coast.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=1168&v=sF

I've done variations of this about a half dozen times.
The weather is generally good, but can range from icy to sizzling.
Time frame 10 weeks to 14 weeks,

Best - J
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Old 09-08-08, 02:11 PM   #4
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jamawani, not a bad idea at all.

For some more details, I'll be heading to law school in the fall, which means quitting my current job. Which means practically that I can start the trip whenever I want. 2-4 months just seems to me like about what i should be able to afford.

I did Europe solo and stealth camped when not in big cities. So that's pretty much what I was expecting to do most of the time wherever I go.
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Old 09-08-08, 03:37 PM   #5
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Touring in SE Asia is ridiculously cheap once you get there. I've toured there both with a friend as well as alone, though when I was alone, I sometimes rode with other cyclists I met. It's easy to meet other travelers in the guesthouses. As for language, I've biked in Laos, Thailand, & Malaysia (plus Singapore, but it's a tiny city-state). English is widely spoken in Malaysia, and bahasa malaysia is not a tonal language, so it's much easier than most SE Asian languages. Some English is spoken in Thailand and very little in Laos. I found a phrase book to be helpful. There's quite a bit of cultural interest if you plan wisely, and there's some pretty scenery in some regions (e.g. northern Thailand, northern Laos). Food is wonderful and inexpensive everywhere. There's no point bringing camping gear. Accommodations are cheap and mostly quite good. You would need to consider monsoon patterns, depending on where you want to go and when.
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Old 09-08-08, 03:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mr bill View Post
I'm thinking I want to take next summer off and go on tour again, and I'm looking for some ideas. I've got 2-3 months (could push to 4 if I were in a region that's relatively inexpensive for eating/lodging).

Anyway, I've already done the bulk of Europe, ?
I had 2-3 months. Hands down, I'd cross a continent. Either North America or Australia. Australia I think. June would be the end Fall. Vast expanses of nothing to cross. Could one do it w/o support? You'd have no Rocky Mtn range to cross.
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Old 09-08-08, 04:16 PM   #7
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Old 09-08-08, 05:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
Bill -

When you starting? When to end?
Maybe May 15th to August 15th?

An inexpensive tour of the American and Canadian Wests involves lots of public lands where it is free to camp - dozens of spectacular national parks - and generally nice weather. Hah! As if predicting weather in the West is any science.

If you start in the Bay Area you can catch Yosemite when the waterfalls are at their peak, cross Nevada before it gets hot, take in the canyon country of southern Utah, hike the Grand Canyon, then head on to the pueblos of northern New Mexico.

From there, just as the summer heat is hitting the lowlands, you can ride the Rockies from Colorado thru Wyoming and Montana into Canada and hit Banff and Jasper. There are a number of options after Jasper. You can cut south towards Vancouver thru the Thompson Valley and continue back towards San Fran along the Pacific Coast of Washington and Oregon. Or you can head out to Prince Rupert and up to Alaska or down to Vancouver Island.

By taking the Alaska, or BC ferries and/or Amtrak you can get back to the Bay Area or end you trip anywhere along the coast.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=1168&v=sF

I've done variations of this about a half dozen times.
The weather is generally good, but can range from icy to sizzling.
Time frame 10 weeks to 14 weeks,

Best - J
That sounds like an excellent route. I may have to borrow the idea for a future trip. Thanks.
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Old 09-08-08, 06:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mr bill View Post
My ideas so far have been crossing America, New Zealand (how's the weather in their winter?) and southeast asia and/or India.

Although I'm a little wary of solo touring in Asia or India considering the complete language barrier - anyone done it and found it to be an issue/not an issue?

what would you do if you had (may)june-august?
I've done US, New Zealand, India and Thailand. My two cents is that it depends on what type of trip you want. I would also consult climate charts for Asia:

India: I cycled through Southern India in January/February. May might be the hottest month in the south. I didn't find language to be a big issue. The thing to realize is that there are multiple states with many different languages. So in the south english will be second language for some of the more educated. Hindi might be more prevalent in the north. I carried with me a notebook and paper since even if I was speaking English, my American accent could make me difficult to understand. India can be a full sensory experience and some long term travelers either like it or at some point get overloaded. So depending on if this is the experience you want, India could be an excellent choice.

Southeast Asia: I've only seen Thailand and Malaysia (and planning a short Vietnam trip in November). Travel was quite a bit easier and fairly relaxed. Prices were quite reasonable. Language issues not a concern where I traveled. Less of a challenge than India, but still plenty to see.

New Zealand: I've only cycled across the North Island in December. There is a lot to see packed in a relatively small space. Easy travel.

Australia: I spent eight months going around the perimeter of Australia. The winter is best time to visit the north. During a May to August timeframe you could go across a large part of outback. Fairly relaxed cycling with not huge variety (though multiple interesting pieces in the Top End).

US/Canada: I've done both. I would probably put in special note for the Alaska Highway and northern Alaska/Yukon areas. Great rugged touring. Crossing the US - reasonable time to do this, though you'll want to avoid swinging too far south into Southwestern deserts. Lots of open spaces in the west and good chance to see variety across Midwest and East. Easy travel.

So it depends a little what type of trip you'd like to do. If I were looking for a somewhat relaxed, still interesting ride I'd bias towards Northern Australia. If I were looking for more extreme/exotic/challenging I'd bias towards India. Still exciting but easier travel I'd pick Southeast Asia over India.
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Old 09-09-08, 07:59 AM   #10
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I'm thinking I want to take next summer off and go on tour again, and I'm looking for some ideas. I've got 2-3 months (could push to 4 if I were in a region that's relatively inexpensive for eating/lodging).

Anyway, I've already done the bulk of Europe, so I'm a little hesitant to try that again. Although, I do find the idea of hitting some of the portions I missed appealing (southern France and Germany, Scandanavia, western Ireland, the baltics).

My ideas so far have been crossing America, New Zealand (how's the weather in their winter?) and southeast asia and/or India.

Although I'm a little wary of solo touring in Asia or India considering the complete language barrier - anyone done it and found it to be an issue/not an issue?

what would you do if you had (may)june-august?
My three month dream tour is cycling across Canada.

I cycled New Zealand in their spring, and it was cold and wet. It was, however, an El Nino year.

I toured in India, and language wasn't a problem. The heat, pollution, noise, and crazy drivers were. Monsoon season starts in May.

I backpacked in Asia, and language wasn't a problem, although you can get more off the beaten path on a bike. You can always get by with sign language. And Asia is cheap.
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Old 09-09-08, 09:09 AM   #11
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What's up Bill. 3 Months is a tour across america easy if you are prepared and steadfast. You can do it in as little as a month and half if you're actually touring with all of your stuff. If you're with a group staying in hotels not carrying anything less than a month.

I went about 1400 miles in a month and had a great time. I just packed camping stuff and had no real schedule to meet. I would love to do a NZ or India trip myself. Even South Africa. However for the time frame of May-August, the America tour is probably your best weather wise.

Enjoy Emensley
-Kev
I guess it depends on the pace and the route, but...
Crossing the US via the most commonly used routes is something like 4244 miles or a bit more. That is a lot more than I would want to do in a month even supported.

If you would like to be able to follow a well planned out route that has all of the options for services listed and easy to follow maps and turn by turn directions, then one of the Adventure Cycling routes might be for you. We had a wonderful time on the Trans America. We didn't take rest days much (one to go WW rafting and one for an injury) and pushed pretty hard most days. We took 73 days to finish, but took a very easy pace in the beginning and trained as we went. The availability of city parks and other free or cheap places to camp keeps the cost way down.

I would also consider the Northern Tier. I have no experience with it but people have said good things about it.

The Southern Tier is shorter and should be done in cooler weather.

To sample the routes a bit, look at some journals on www.crazyguyonabike.com

If you want to get off of the beaten path a bit more, jamawani is probably the one to listen to.
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Old 09-10-08, 12:53 AM   #12
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Hi,

think of Japan. Daily costs are low. 50% of the US.

Thomas
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Old 09-10-08, 12:57 AM   #13
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If I had three months I would be riding across Canada... gotta see my own country from coast to coast before I go and see any others.
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Old 09-10-08, 02:20 AM   #14
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My experience is limited to Europe, but if I had 2-3 months, I would seriously consider starting at far north as I could in Norway and riding as far as I could to Spain.

Or Mongolia.
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Old 09-10-08, 05:48 PM   #15
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Go to Japan, its awesome for touring. I was only there two weeks, and I could have stayed for 2 months easily. Only tough thing is the language barrier.

I'm probably taking 6 weeks or so next summer to bike from Vancouver to LA. I have been meaning to explore more of the pacific northwest for awhile. Amazing scenery.
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Old 09-10-08, 06:41 PM   #16
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We just cycled down to the US from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska and it's been a great trip - three months to the day!! We especially enjoyed the ARctic tundra way up north and the Alaska Highway through northern BC - absolutely spectacular!! If you ride faster than we do (just about anyone would ride faster than us - we proudly wear the badge of 'World's Slowest Cyclists") you could very easily get just about anywhere int he USA from Alaska in a good summer.
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Old 09-11-08, 03:55 AM   #17
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I think people have summed it up pretty well already, but I'll just add to the NZ topic.

You probably wouldn't find yourself in 6 feet of snow like you might in parts of the US/Canada in Winter, but you wouldn't enjoy it. You would get a frost most nights, cold driving rain, and some minor snow. This would be worse in the South Island, but the Desert Road through the centre of the North Island also closes a lot in those months due to snow storms. Up towards Auckland, they don't get snow or frosts, but it still gets miserably cold.

You might get pleasant conditions in NZ into May, but probably April is the latest you would want to be cycling, and even then you'd be taking a gamble that the weather wouldn't turn.
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Old 09-11-08, 08:56 PM   #18
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We just cycled down to the US from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska and it's been a great trip - three months to the day!! We especially enjoyed the ARctic tundra way up north and the Alaska Highway through northern BC - absolutely spectacular!! If you ride faster than we do (just about anyone would ride faster than us - we proudly wear the badge of 'World's Slowest Cyclists") you could very easily get just about anywhere int he USA from Alaska in a good summer.
One word:

ALASKA

You can figuire out the rest.
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Old 09-12-08, 10:26 AM   #19
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One word:

ALASKA

You can figuire out the rest.
Aye. I'm strongly leaning that way. One thing i've thought of. Some friends of mine will be getting together late June. Would it be possible to get from alaska to seattle in that time frame? how early would be too early for cycling in alaska?
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Old 09-12-08, 11:23 AM   #20
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