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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 07-09-11, 07:22 AM   #1
donquixote17
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What's the best tour in North America?

I just finished a Pacific Coast tour from the Canadian border to the Mexican border and it was awesome. The route was on the coast for most of the ride, which was very cool. There was amazing scenery, lots of neat little towns, several big cities, and tons of other touring cyclists. The only thing I would change is that I would not stay inland at Olympia, but I would head west to the Olympia mountains, which looked awesome from a distance. I still loved it, but I've never done another tour, so I have nothing to compare it to. So what is your favorite tour you've done in North America (preferably between 1,000 and 3,000mi)?

I need some ideas for my next tour!
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Old 07-09-11, 07:25 AM   #2
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You could do a loop in BC and Alberta ... perhaps a lengthier variation of the Rocky Mountain 1200K route. You could start and end in Vancouver and perhaps take a little side trip out to Drumheller area.


We're also considering a tour that might start in Montreal and do a sort of a lap of the Maritimes.

Last edited by Machka; 07-09-11 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 07-09-11, 12:10 PM   #3
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There are so many great choices but my favorte began in Jasper NP in Alberta, Canada and head South on the Icefield Parkway through Banff NP with side trips to the many smaller parks along the way. At Banff join the Divide Ride (Great Divide Mountain Bike Route) and follow that route all the way to the Mexican border in New Mexico. Distance 3500-4000 miles depending on side trips. Can be done in sections. Great variety of scenery, weather and terrain. Off pavement capable bike and rider skills needed along with self contained backcountry camping skills. Just wonderful

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Old 07-09-11, 12:28 PM   #4
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My favorite is probably the Pacific Coast ride, but I just finished riding up the Columbia River, and that is great as well.
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Old 07-09-11, 12:32 PM   #5
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Wouldn't the best tour be the one you are doing now?
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Old 07-09-11, 05:13 PM   #6
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The Pacific Coast is definitely good, and I particularly like part between Astoria and Santa Barbara.

Otherwise, I've been partial to trips on the "edges", e.g.
- Haines, AK to Skagway, AK loop
- The Canadian Maritimes including along Bay of Fundy (both sides), Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the road across Newfoundland.
- The coast of Maine, particularly from Bangor onwards and getting of US 1.
- The Alaska Highway or parts of Dempster and Dalton Highways.

I haven't done it yet, but high on my list are the Trans-Labrador Highway, particularly now that the gravel continues to Red Bay and also the Gaspe Peninsula.

Away from the edges, I'm also partial to the wide open spaces of the western deserts (in appropriate season), e.g. a nice loop through southern Utah. There is something about watching those vistas expand and slowly change that I still find fascinating.
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Old 07-09-11, 06:41 PM   #7
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donquixote17, This year I am pretty well locked into day tours. I know it doesn't sound like much, but it's pretty amazing the difference between driving a car and then riding a bicycle (or a motorcycle) in the same areas. I pack up a nice lunch and just 'explore'. I've also partially rerun some of the routes I've ridden centurys on. There is so much more to see than pavement when a mileage or speed goal isn't involved.

For a ~1K mile tour I have a New England route in my head involving Connecticut (my other state), Block Island, mainland RI, on to Nova Scotia and return to Connecticut.

Brad
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Old 07-09-11, 08:27 PM   #8
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Isn't this kind of like asking what the best looking woman is on the Swedish Bikini Team?

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Old 07-09-11, 08:45 PM   #9
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Isn't this kind of like asking what the best looking woman is on the Swedish Bikini Team?
I have to disagree. Every one of these girls is scary looking.

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Wouldn't the best tour be the one you are doing now?
Right on.
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Old 07-10-11, 09:34 AM   #10
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Yeah, the one you're on now. But for planning purposes, the ACA Transam if you're non native and after a 3000 mile dose of the US at its best.
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Old 07-10-11, 01:10 PM   #11
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There must be hundreds of potentially brilliant North American tours. I can only speak authoritatively of the one I have just done, a 2500 mile loop starting and finishing in Toronto and going out through Ontario and Quebec, crossing the St Lawrence by ferry to the Gaspe peninsula, circumnavigating that then coming back to Toronto via New England, upstate New York and Niagara. Fantastic.
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