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Old 08-24-09, 04:52 PM   #1
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Traveling to USA

Hello, Im new at this forum. I wish to travel along of the USA with my bike. What state do you recomend me to start with?, what is the best one for the cycling?

Thank you
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Old 08-24-09, 05:43 PM   #2
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Welcome. We can always use another bicyclist here.

hmmm..... I haven't experienced all of the states, of course. But I've looked over a number of them and I can make decent guesses about the others. Even then, I'd have a hard time recommending any particular place. I'd say that you could just about choose a region at random and have a pretty good time.

But maybe you could work with the conditions that you can or cannot tolerate. For instance, if you would have a hard time living with hot and humid conditions, then you would not want to visit practically anywhere east of the Rocky Mountains in summer. The south-west would be warm as well, but less muggy.

If you crave mountainous conditions, then perhaps Montana or western N. Dakota would be good. It might still be warm in the day, but it would cool down morning and evening. But I'd stay away from about October to May.

If I were to choose a season and place, then maybe I'd go with Ohio east of a line, roughly, from Cleveland to Columbus and south, sometime around late September through early November (but no later than that). You would find there, mostly, trim and pretty countryside, mostly pretty good roads and nice weather. The further east you go, the more mountainous it will become. If you crave long climbs, then that's nice. But the roads will get worse.

Most of Michigan will be similar. (Many of us consider it to be the most beautiful state) Southern Michigan, in particular, is excellent bicycling country. It rolls enough to be entertaining without working you to death. The difficulty will be with the roads, though. You'll find some roads that are just made for biking; good paved shoulders for instance. But many roads will be narrow with very fast motorists and blind dips and rises. Still, it's a good bicycle state on average.

If I thought about it, I could go on with other recommendations. But maybe that would take up too much space. You could choose almost anywhere east of the Mississippi River in autumn and do just fine, on average. Stay away from the mountainous areas, unless you want that sort of thing. September through early November is a good time in the North.. South of the Ohio River you might want to make it October through November and, perhaps, into early December.
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Old 08-24-09, 05:44 PM   #3
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What dates do you wish to travel? It makes a difference as to where you would want to be. How long do you intend to tour? Do you prefer a loop course or a point-to-point course? Are you going to camp or stay in motels? Will you have a support vehicle or not?

Does "along of the USA" mean a coast-to-coast route (Atlantic to Pacific or Pacific to Atlantic)? The Adventure Cycling Association produces many fine bicycle touring maps. You could very enjoyably follow any of them. They also conduct guided rides of many of these routes if you would prefer.

http://adventurecycling.org/routes/index.cfm

The USA is a very big place and there are many, many options. Give us some further idea of your preferences and we might be able to narrow it down a bit.
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Old 08-24-09, 09:44 PM   #4
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If this is to be your first time to cycle tour in the U.S., I'd highly recommend one of the routes covered by the ACA maps mentioned by John Nelson. They are specifically tailored to accommodate the needs of a cycle tourer.

As for where to tour, that's totally dependent on your interest. Interesting stuff to see and do everywhere in the US, but what you'll likely remember most are the people you'll meet.

As to when, all the southern states can be ridden in reasonable comfort in the winter. Western mountainous and northern states, summer. Middle states, late spring and early fall are best. You can consult a number of weather sites in the US for temp and rainfall ranges by the month. I use the weather site at www.MSN.com.

With more information about your plans and interest, it'd be easier to offer you more specific advice. Do a lot of research to ensure you get the best experience for your time, money, and effort. Journals about travels in all parts of the US and world can be found at www.crazyguyonabike.com.
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Old 08-25-09, 03:37 AM   #5
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Welcome. We can always use another bicyclist here.

hmmm..... I haven't experienced all of the states, of course. But I've looked over a number of them and I can make decent guesses about the others. Even then, I'd have a hard time recommending any particular place. I'd say that you could just about choose a region at random and have a pretty good time.

But maybe you could work with the conditions that you can or cannot tolerate. For instance, if you would have a hard time living with hot and humid conditions, then you would not want to visit practically anywhere east of the Rocky Mountains in summer. The south-west would be warm as well, but less muggy.

If you crave mountainous conditions, then perhaps Montana or western N. Dakota would be good. It might still be warm in the day, but it would cool down morning and evening. But I'd stay away from about October to May.

If I were to choose a season and place, then maybe I'd go with Ohio east of a line, roughly, from Cleveland to Columbus and south, sometime around late September through early November (but no later than that). You would find there, mostly, trim and pretty countryside, mostly pretty good roads and nice weather. The further east you go, the more mountainous it will become. If you crave long climbs, then that's nice. But the roads will get worse.

Most of Michigan will be similar. (Many of us consider it to be the most beautiful state) Southern Michigan, in particular, is excellent bicycling country. It rolls enough to be entertaining without working you to death. The difficulty will be with the roads, though. You'll find some roads that are just made for biking; good paved shoulders for instance. But many roads will be narrow with very fast motorists and blind dips and rises. Still, it's a good bicycle state on average.

If I thought about it, I could go on with other recommendations. But maybe that would take up too much space. You could choose almost anywhere east of the Mississippi River in autumn and do just fine, on average. Stay away from the mountainous areas, unless you want that sort of thing. September through early November is a good time in the North.. South of the Ohio River you might want to make it October through November and, perhaps, into early December.

Thank you very much, excellent response. The weather conditions do not matter. I want to visit the most beautiful, then, I choose to michigan?
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Old 08-25-09, 03:40 AM   #6
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What dates do you wish to travel? It makes a difference as to where you would want to be. How long do you intend to tour? Do you prefer a loop course or a point-to-point course? Are you going to camp or stay in motels? Will you have a support vehicle or not?

Does "along of the USA" mean a coast-to-coast route (Atlantic to Pacific or Pacific to Atlantic)? The Adventure Cycling Association produces many fine bicycle touring maps. You could very enjoyably follow any of them. They also conduct guided rides of many of these routes if you would prefer.

http://adventurecycling.org/routes/index.cfm

The USA is a very big place and there are many, many options. Give us some further idea of your preferences and we might be able to narrow it down a bit.



I intend to spend a few months traveling. I want to sleep in camps. How is the route from coast to coast?

Thank you very much for your answer
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Old 08-25-09, 05:04 AM   #7
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A lot depends on your preferences. I like Oregon (especially the western part), Colorado (again the western part), Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and New Mexico (the northeastern part) the best of the states I have ridden so far. Some of the states in the East are nice too, but I am a bit jaded with regards to them since I have lived there my whole life. Many other states are beautiful in their own particular way.

I advise looking at the various Adventure Cycling routes. The coast to coast routes would give you a good sampling of the whole country. The Trans America is a great route, and while I have not done it the Northern Tier sounds great too. If you want to go early or late in the season, you might want to do the Southern Tier, although I think it may be less ideal as a way of sampling the whole country.

The Pacific Coast is another good option, but while extremely beautiful it is less diverse. A good option might be a loop including the Pacific Coast and the not yet released Sierra Cascades Bicycle Route (I think it is supposed to be ready for the 2010 season). This loop is high of my wish list!
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Old 08-25-09, 06:32 AM   #8
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Michigan would be a good choice, no doubt about that. But there are plenty of others, too.

Michigan is fine if you like a north-temperate, rural scene. But understand that you won't find anything like New York or Los Angeles there. You'll want to stay out of Michigan's cities. They are dying a rotten death right now. No fun to be had there.

(to the Michiganders; forgive me. I'm not bashing. I'm a native who loves MI. And I might well choose it as the most beautiful state. But for a foreign visitor I simply can't recommend Detroit over NY, LA, Chicago, etc.)
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Old 08-25-09, 06:49 AM   #9
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Michigan would be a good choice, no doubt about that. But there are plenty of others, too.

Michigan is fine if you like a north-temperate, rural scene. But understand that you won't find anything like New York or Los Angeles there. You'll want to stay out of Michigan's cities. They are dying a rotten death right now. No fun to be had there.

(to the Michiganders; forgive me. I'm not bashing. I'm a native who loves MI. And I might well choose it as the most beautiful state. But for a foreign visitor I simply can't recommend Detroit over NY, LA, Chicago, etc.)
I tend to not consider the cities in a state when planning a tour since I mostly avoid larger cities. I perhaps wrongly tend to assume that others do similarly.
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Old 08-25-09, 09:02 AM   #10
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Hola Oscar, Bienvenidos!

Arizona is full of natural beauty- canyons and mountains. Can be very lonely though- the population is not very large- great for camping and feeling alone though. Its good for fall, some winter, and spring cycling. too hot in summer most places.

Generally, I prefer the western states, and the rocky mountains. Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, Oregon.... Northern california, as I think these are the most dramatic...
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Old 08-25-09, 09:58 AM   #11
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If you crave mountainous conditions, then perhaps Montana or western N. Dakota would be good.
Did you perhaps mean western SOUTH Dakota?

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Most of Michigan will be similar. (Many of us consider it to be the most beautiful state)
Many of us? How about "virtually none of us". At first I thought you were joking, but it seems clear you're not. Anyway, if this had been a joke, I would have expected something like "most of us consider New Jersey or Texas to be our most beautiful states".

Look, Michigan may be a perfectly pleasant place for a tour, but it's nowhere near the top of the list of states I would recommend to a foreign cyclist coming here for the first time. My own suggestions for Oscar would be the Rockies if he likes mountains, the Pacific coast if he likes coastline. As for individual states that I consider to be the overall best for touring, I would include Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, and Vermont. Yeah, I like mountains and coastlines. Also Iowa, if you intend to take part in RAGBRAI.
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Old 08-25-09, 10:07 AM   #12
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Many of us? How about "virtually none of us". At first I thought you were joking, but it seems clear you're not. Anyway, if this had been a joke, I would have expected something like "most of us consider New Jersey or Texas to be our most beautiful states".
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but yeah it wouldn't make my top five (or ten or twenty).

BTW: Despite all of the jokes, New Jersey is actually a very nice state to ride in. I go to a century ride there every year and it is probably my favorite of all the centuries I have done. Still I wouldn't personally call it one of the five most beautiful states, but someone might. Ditto for Texas, I know folks who prefer to ride there above just about any where.
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Old 08-25-09, 10:16 AM   #13
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ummm I'm not sure oabout the statement...

everywhere East of the Rockies is humid...

I live in Nebraska and 20% is really high humidity... get it straight any place that is near a river or ocean or large body of water has humidity...

Texas is east of the Rockies as is New Mexico
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Old 08-25-09, 10:22 AM   #14
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Traveling to USA

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Michigan would be a good choice, no doubt about that. But there are plenty of others, too.

Michigan is fine if you like a north-temperate, rural scene. But understand that you won't find anything like New York or Los Angeles there. You'll want to stay out of Michigan's cities. They are dying a rotten death right now. No fun to be had there.

(to the Michiganders; forgive me. I'm not bashing. I'm a native who loves MI. And I might well choose it as the most beautiful state. But for a foreign visitor I simply can't recommend Detroit over NY, LA, Chicago, etc.)
I'm a native Michigander, and just this morning I replied to a thread on the Great Lakes Regional Forum, "Thinking of vacationing Great Lakes/MI next summer. Ideas?":

Thinking of vacationing Great Lakes/MI next summer. Ideas?

I appreciate your comments, and perhaps you should reply to that thread, but I think I honestly would recommend to a first time visitor to this country another region. Much to my surprise, nobody has recommended New England. . Beautiful backroads, villages with town greens, stone walls, exciting yet compact cities; the place where America began. I think the Virginia and Washington DC area offers a lot too.

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Welcome. We can always use another bicyclist here...

If I were to choose a season and place, then maybe I'd go with Ohio east of a line, roughly, from Cleveland to Columbus and south, sometime around late September through early November (but no later than that). You would find there, mostly, trim and pretty countryside, mostly pretty good roads and nice weather. The further east you go, the more mountainous it will become. If you crave long climbs, then that's nice. But the roads will get worse...
Ohio!!!???

I'll leave the recommendation out west to the westerners; they are usually the majority opinion. BTW, I'm always amused at these requests to recommend somewhere to cycle in this country. Nobody in my experience has ever replied to my request to post where they decided to go, after being supplied with such eager suggestions.
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Old 08-25-09, 10:25 AM   #15
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The part of NJ where the Appalachian Trail goes through is very pretty, I will acknowledge. I've biked and hiked there. But the rest of the state is hideous, with a mind-boggling blend of urban blight, concrete, and toxic waste sites. Thankfully, it's small, which is more than I can say for Texas.
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Old 08-25-09, 10:27 AM   #16
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I think it's impossible to respond to the OP without knowing what time of year he's thinking about visiting.

Seattle would be *great* place to start a tour in the summer.
It would be a depressing place to start a tour in the winter.

Last edited by BengeBoy; 08-25-09 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 08-25-09, 10:29 AM   #17
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The part of NJ where the Appalachian Trail goes through is very pretty, I will acknowledge. I've biked and hiked there. But the rest of the state is hideous, with a mind-boggling blend of urban blight, concrete, and toxic waste sites. Thankfully, it's small, which is more than I can say for Texas.
The Pine Barrens are nice as well, and there is lovely farm country even in much of eastern New Jersey. Again not in my top 5 list or even close, but it is actually pretty nice depending on where you go.
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Old 08-25-09, 10:29 AM   #18
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Hola Oscar, Bienvenidos!

Arizona is full of natural beauty- canyons and mountains. Can be very lonely though- the population is not very large- great for camping and feeling alone though. Its good for fall, some winter, and spring cycling. too hot in summer most places.

Generally, I prefer the western states, and the rocky mountains. Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, Oregon.... Northern california, as I think these are the most dramatic...
+1
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Old 08-25-09, 10:58 AM   #19
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The Pine Barrens are nice as well, and there is lovely farm country even in much of eastern New Jersey. Again not in my top 5 list or even close, but it is actually pretty nice depending on where you go.
Ugh, I was just in eastern Jersey and the Pine Barrens (for a funeral). Hopefully that's the last time I ever have to go there. Sorry, it wouldn't make my top 45 states. I don't care if that kills any chance I had of them naming a NJ Turnpike rest stop after me.
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Old 08-25-09, 11:45 AM   #20
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Ugh, I was just in eastern Jersey and the Pine Barrens (for a funeral). Hopefully that's the last time I ever have to go there. Sorry, it wouldn't make my top 45 states. I don't care if that kills any chance I had of them naming a NJ Turnpike rest stop after me.
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Old 08-25-09, 02:34 PM   #21
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Pick any of the ACA routes. You cannot go wrong. The ACA maps will keep you off of the worst roads and out of the largest cities. Once you do that, all of the U.S. is beautiful in its own way. Follow the seasonal guidelines given for each route.
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Old 08-25-09, 06:38 PM   #22
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This notion of a "best" state for touring seems a bit strange without knowing time of year or Oscar's preferences. The analogous situation would be to ask if there is a "best" country in Europe to tour. A Spainard might think the answer is obviously Spain, but I'm sure others would disagree.

With that said, I have cycled in all 50 states and my personal preferences include:

Winter: Florida, Southern California and Hawaii have all been nice places for a winter getaway.
Spring: Texas Hill country, southern Utah and across the southern USA before it gets too hot.
Summer: Alaska, Pacific Northwest, Mountain States, Wisconsin and Maine.
Fall: New England.
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Old 08-25-09, 06:56 PM   #23
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Thank you very much, excellent response. The weather conditions do not matter. I want to visit the most beautiful, then, I choose to michigan?
Yikes!!!! No offense to my friends from Michigan but there are many better choices including Pennsylvania where I am from. But if I had to choose one place it would probably be the west coat of California.

  1. It is beautiful.
  2. It is hard to get lost.
  3. The weather is great.
  4. There are plenty of places to camp, stay in hotel, eat etc.
  5. The food is delicious.
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Old 08-26-09, 10:08 AM   #24
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Yikes!!!! No offense to my friends from Michigan but there are many better choices including Pennsylvania where I am from. But if I had to choose one place it would probably be the west coat of California.

  1. It is beautiful.
  2. It is hard to get lost.
  3. The weather is great.
  4. There are plenty of places to camp, stay in hotel, eat etc.
  5. The food is delicious.

, I see that there are many beautiful sites in the U.S. but ... still not clear to me where to go, all you give good reasons for different places.

thanks for the help
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Old 08-26-09, 10:09 AM   #25
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This notion of a "best" state for touring seems a bit strange without knowing time of year or Oscar's preferences. The analogous situation would be to ask if there is a "best" country in Europe to tour. A Spainard might think the answer is obviously Spain, but I'm sure others would disagree.

With that said, I have cycled in all 50 states and my personal preferences include:

Winter: Florida, Southern California and Hawaii have all been nice places for a winter getaway.
Spring: Texas Hill country, southern Utah and across the southern USA before it gets too hot.
Summer: Alaska, Pacific Northwest, Mountain States, Wisconsin and Maine.
Fall: New England.


an exciting list, but very long, I choose a site, I know it's hard to choose
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