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Old 03-06-05, 11:20 AM   #1
Travelinguyrt
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Touring USA, west 2 east

I'd like to hear from anyone who has ridden the northern W-E route, specifically about how long the ride lasted. I have July and August open and am curious if 2 months is long enuf...Not interested in the southern route have driven that sev times and its flat utterly boring from PS Ca, to Austin,Tx, have no desire to ride that part. Has to start somewhere at the Pacific Ocean, can end anywhere in the NE or western NY state
Camping mostly, moderate daily ride lengths, I don't ride fast,but comfortably
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Old 03-06-05, 12:31 PM   #2
denisegoldberg
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There are a number of journals on crazyguyonabike.com from folks who have toured west to east. One that might answer your question is Two Laid Back Stillmanns from Seattle to Boston - they took 56 days to cross the country using a northern route.
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Old 03-06-05, 01:13 PM   #3
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RT -

Unfortunately the Northern Tier has lots and lots of Great Plains mileage - plus a lot of pretty flat Midwest miles in northern Ill, Ind, and Ohio. Two ways to cut down on the Northern Tier length. 1) - Cut across Lake Michigan (Manitowoc) and Lake Erie on ferries - that means a little of southern Ontario if that is morally acceptable. 2) Cut off the New England portion by heading down the ATA Trails from Pittsburgh to DC, across northern Penna to the Delaware Gap and the Jersey shore, or down thru the Berkshires to eastern Connecticut and Block Island, R.I.

The western part of the Northern Tier is super. Make sure to head out to the San Juan Islands and camp on the west side beach on San Juan itself. All the way to Glacier NP is super - but they don't route you thru the Yaak Valley anymore - you should do it. After Glacier - rather than ride a zillion miles in the Great Plains, consider heading southeast to Yellowstone, cutting across northern Wyoming to Devil's Tower and the Black Hills - that would keep you in cooler and more scenic areas. My guess is that it would take about a month to get to S. Dak's Badlands.

If you have only two months - is that 9 weeks? - 8 weeks? - less? - then you really might consider taking the Allegheny Route & C&O to DC. August sucks in the east, but this route is entirely off-road - lots of shade - alongside the Youghiogheny and Potomac Rivers. You can end your trip at Point Lookout, Maryland and take a ferry out to Smith Island in Chesapeake Bay to get a good bookend - kinda like the ferry out to the San Juan Islands at the start of the trip.

Drop me a line - johnegan(at)vcn.com

Best - J
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Old 03-06-05, 04:03 PM   #4
Roughstuff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelinguyrt
I'd like to hear from anyone who has ridden the northern W-E route, specifically about how long the ride lasted. I have July and August open and am curious if 2 months is long enuf...Not interested in the southern route have driven that sev times and its flat utterly boring from PS Ca, to Austin,Tx, have no desire to ride that part. Has to start somewhere at the Pacific Ocean, can end anywhere in the NE or western NY state
Camping mostly, moderate daily ride lengths, I don't ride fast,but comfortably
Many of the otherletters have been helpful but i thought i'd add a few comments. First, because the way the rockies and appalachians trend, the further north you stay, the further apart the two ranges become. I am doing the northern route myself this summer (95% sure) and will kiss the rockies goodbye at Helena Montana, basically; and not hit really hilly terrain again for many, many weeks. I want to do it that way, actually; from my touring experience, it is flat tablelands that are really unique geologically. I don't think i'll get bored in the lake and forest regions of upper Minnesota/Wisconsin/Michigan!

I do agree though that with 'only' two months, rather than ride hell-for-leather across the US you might be best off to use ferries around the great lake regions. You'll hit the hill regions again in west central NY State and it'll be a bumpy ride from there on.


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Old 03-06-05, 04:34 PM   #5
Michel Gagnon
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Where do you live ?

One very popular option in Canada (where a large number of people live in the middle of the country) is to ride from Vancouver to Ontario or Québec (i.e. home) one year and do the Eastern part another year.
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Old 03-06-05, 09:00 PM   #6
Travelinguyrt
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I live in So. Florida
Have done Vancouver to Banff, and as a kid did the circuit round Lake Ontario, NY State-Montreal-Toronto-Niagara Falls, spent a summer In Quebec City studing french at Laval Univ and did a lot of riding in the St Lawrence Valley,(long time ago). Really want to ride over the western mtns and thru Montana
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Old 03-06-05, 11:42 PM   #7
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I did the A/C Lewis and Clark from Astoria to Bozeman, then my own routing playing connect the dots - Yellowstone, Devil's Tower, straight east, Prarie du Chien, Milwaukee, cross Lake M. on the ferry, south thru Mich. to Ind., Ohio, PA, New Jersey. I took 250 mile ride by car (to avoid a windstorm and make it to my Aunt's house for a family gathering), spent one week at the Devil's Tower climbing, and half a week in Milwaukee with my aunt.

9 1/2 weeks. 3400 miles ridden. averaged 60 miles per day, august 1 - Oct 13 2004. mostly solo, mostly camping. Took a rest day every 5-10 days.

The west / mountains were fabulous. Pensylvania and NJ were great. Wisconsin was very pleasant. The middle... well... less fabulous.

PM me if you want any more info.

Anna
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