Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-04-12, 07:20 PM   #1
northeaster
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Bikes: For touring - an old 90's mountain bike. For everyday, an old Huffy 10-speed converted to singlespeed.
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Minneapolis to Montana on Hwy 212

Hi all - this is my first post on Bike Forums. I am planning to ride from Minneapolis, MN to SE Montana this summer on US Highway 212. It's about 800 miles one way; 1600 miles round trip; I hope to do it in about 30 days. I plan to camp wherever I happen to be at the end of each day. This will be my first long tour although I have done some overnighters. Also, I don't have a car, so ride a lot in my daily life too. If anyone has ridden this route before I would be very grateful to hear your thoughts on it; or if you just have general advice that would be good too. Thanks!
northeaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-12, 07:57 PM   #2
Cyclebum 
Senior Member
 
Cyclebum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NE Tx
Bikes: Tour Easy, Linear USS, Lightening Thunderbolt, custom DF, Raleigh hybrid, Felt time trial
Posts: 2,768
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've toured in the general area, tho not Hwy 12. Looks like a great route to Montana. 12 should have a shoulder as it's a US highway. No big mountains to struggle over, tho lots of rollers. Note the dramatic difference when you leave Minnesota. SD highways were designed for cycling. Towns spaced just right all the way, thus no problem with water supply. And you can probably camp in their parks. You're gonna have a fine ride.

Having a senior moment, I looked at Hwy 12, not 212. Oh well, not much difference. Either would be a good ride. Towns seems a little scarcer on 212. I actually rode 212 aways in SE MT, 14 in SD, and 68 in MN, south of 212.
__________________
The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

Last edited by Cyclebum; 02-05-12 at 04:25 PM.
Cyclebum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-12, 12:51 PM   #3
tmcd
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Minnetrista, MN
Bikes: 1984 Fuji touring series IV
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wish I had some specific info to offer but I have not biked that route. I hope the city parks, police stations, and fairgrounds provide places to camp, or allow you access even if they're not set up for bike tourers. It seems to be hit or miss from my experience. Good luck!
tmcd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-12, 09:54 AM   #4
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 9,406
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 389 Post(s)
I imagine it can be pretty darn hot and shadeless that part of SD and MT. Also, there are probably some long stretches of nothing but open ranch/farm land that might not provide such good camping, especially if it's fenced off. You might want to plan on trying to find places in the towns you pass through.

And are you going to simply turn around and ride the same route back home? If so, and you have the time, consider turning NE and hooking up with Adventure Cycling's Northern Tier route which will take you near Minneapolis. They are coming out with a new routing this year to get around all the traffic caused by oil and gas exploration. I am pretty sure the new route goes through Bismark, ND.
indyfabz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-12, 02:18 PM   #5
Lake_Tom
Avoid trauma
 
Lake_Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Dirty old town
Bikes: 2001 Bianchi Eros (my baby), 1994 Trek 930, Raleigh Twenty Folding Bike (For Sale)
Posts: 155
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
State departments of transportation usually have traffic volume maps online somewhere.
You can open http://maps.google.com, and see the highways that you are ride on by dragging the "little yellow man" down to the route. Then you can see if there is a shoulder.
Lake_Tom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-12, 04:25 PM   #6
Cyclebum 
Senior Member
 
Cyclebum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NE Tx
Bikes: Tour Easy, Linear USS, Lightening Thunderbolt, custom DF, Raleigh hybrid, Felt time trial
Posts: 2,768
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake_Tom View Post
State departments of transportation usually have traffic volume maps online somewhere.
You can open http://maps.google.com, and see the highways that you are ride on by dragging the "little yellow man" down to the route. Then you can see if there is a shoulder.
Thanks dude. Had never noticed the 'little yellow man' and wouldn't have known what to do with him if I had.
__________________
The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me
Cyclebum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-12, 06:23 PM   #7
OldZephyr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern Minnesota
Bikes: 1985 Trek 720, 2010 CAAD9-6, mid-90s Trek 750 hybrid (winter bike)
Posts: 316
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake_Tom View Post
State departments of transportation usually have traffic volume maps online somewhere.
You can open http://maps.google.com, and see the highways that you are ride on by dragging the "little yellow man" down to the route. Then you can see if there is a shoulder.
Great advice. I find Google Street View to be enormously helpful in choosing routes.

Minnesota does have traffic count maps for each county as well as a statewide map: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/traffic/d...l/volumes.html

South Dakota has a statewide traffic count map: http://www.sddot.com/pe/data/Docs/tr...affic_2010.pdf

I try to avoid routes with an AADT (average annual daily traffic) count of more than 1000 vehicles a day unless there's a good shoulder. Under 500 usually is bliss.

Looking at US212 in Minnesota, the AADT is over 3000 for quite a distance out of the Twin Cities. In fact, it generally doesn't get below 1000 until you reach Redfield, SD. So, I'd suggest taking something like the Luce Line Trail west out of the Twin Cities to avoid the heaviest traffic, and then when you get to its end, use town and county roads to head west until even the "main" highways like US 212 are lightly travelled (west of the Missouri River there isn't a lot of traffic in South Dakota on US 212).

There are lots of options. The Minnesota link above includes links to county highway maps which show you which roads are paved. Or, you can use Google Street View.

It takes more time to work out a trip this way, but there are huge benefits. It's safer, prettier, and a lot more fun!
OldZephyr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-12, 06:31 PM   #8
gpsblake
Walmart bike rider
 
gpsblake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: South Carolina
Bikes:
Posts: 1,888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
I just used google street view for US 212 at random locations... Does not have a shoulder on some of the views, has a small one on some other views, but I suspect it's light traffic for the most part. Also many parts on street view didn't show a single tree with the land fenced off on both sides. As others have said, you can camp at most town parks.

As far as towns spaced apart on US 212, that's not completely true, there's a huge section in Western South Dakota that has zero towns, a 76 mile stretch between Faith, SD and Newell, SD

Examples include: http://maps.google.com/?ll=44.768091...2,42.25,,0,0.1 - no trees, land fenced off on both sides etc....

Does look like a good route, but expect a lot of winds due to the lack of trees, although most of the winds in the praries tend to blow north to south or south to north so crosswinds will be your challenge.
gpsblake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-12, 08:51 PM   #9
reed523
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Perkins, Oklahoma
Bikes: A few
Posts: 237
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you are interested in going off route a touch, a look through part of my journal as we rode through the area. We crossed 212 in or near Madison MN and stayed a little south of it through most of south dakota. This link picks up the journal as we entered MN. http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...id=225614&v=Az

Would be happy to answer any specific questions. Traffic was a non-issue on our route.
reed523 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-12, 10:10 AM   #10
EriktheFish
Silly Party Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: NH
Bikes: Rans Stratus XP
Posts: 345
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
Thanks dude. Had never noticed the 'little yellow man' and wouldn't have known what to do with him if I had.
Holy Cow, I've noticed that "yellow man" for a long time and thought it was just a meaningless symbol. Even when you mouse over him there is no pop up explainer, he just leans to the right a bit. Knowing this before would have saved us from some horrible gravel roads that google maps sent us on in MN with their "bicycle routing" button. Thank you so much for mentioning it Lake_Tom!!!
EriktheFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-12, 12:58 PM   #11
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 9,406
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 389 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by EriktheFish View Post
Holy Cow, I've noticed that "yellow man" for a long time and thought it was just a meaningless symbol. Even when you mouse over him there is no pop up explainer, he just leans to the right a bit. Knowing this before would have saved us from some horrible gravel roads that google maps sent us on in MN with their "bicycle routing" button. Thank you so much for mentioning it Lake_Tom!!!
Note that not all roads are viewable in Street View. Seems unlikely that the gravel roads you got are shown on Street View. Move the little man over a road. If it turns blue it's viewable. If not and you try to leave the man on the road, he'll simply return to his resting place.

Last summer we did a loop in MT. I used Google Maps to plan our route into and out of Butte. Leaving Butte I picked the bucolic sounding Blue Bird Trail, thinking it must be a recreation trail. But it wasn't available on Street View. Turened out to be horrible. I think it may have been a cattle trail at one point. We had to walk in places.
indyfabz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-12, 03:52 PM   #12
Lake_Tom
Avoid trauma
 
Lake_Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Dirty old town
Bikes: 2001 Bianchi Eros (my baby), 1994 Trek 930, Raleigh Twenty Folding Bike (For Sale)
Posts: 155
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
"They hoisted me on their shoulders and carried me out of the room!
Even though I wasn't ready to leave yet" -- Steven Colbert
Lake_Tom is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:34 AM.