Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 31
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Czech Republic
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Across America 2014 - route suggestions

    Hi, I'm new to this place and I'm really glad that I found something like this. There seems to be many experienced travellers and thats why I want to ask you for your oppinion.

    I would like to go on tour across US, coast to coast this summer (Jul-Aug). I'm not familliar with North America at all (I'm from Czech Rep.) so I decided to find a route that has been ridden by other people before. The best I could find was TransAmerica ACA route (OR->VA)

    My question is: Would you suggest any alternatives, modifications, detours, etc. to the default route? My biggest interest is to see the most of the US, especially the nature (I'm not a "history/museum" type of guy, exceptions apply ).

    I prefer roads and bike trails, planning to make it as low-cost as possible (camping, cooking, etc.)

    I have done one smaller trip around Europe before (cca 3500km) and for navigation I used only my outdoor GPS with prepared routes (no paper maps, just some rather rough ones as a backup) so I guess I will do it the same way.

    Also, other suggestions, tips and ideas are very welcome

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    NE Ohio
    My Bikes
    1992 Serotta Colorado II,Co-Motion Speedster, Giant Escape Hybrid, 1977 Schwinn Super Le Tour
    Posts
    760
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My wife and I will be riding across the US this year and we are using the Lewis & Clark route which starts in St. Louis.
    I would suggest you look at the Adventure Cycling routes as their maps arequite good.

  3. #3
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,592
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The Trans America is a great route and gives a very good sampling of the US. Many deviations from the route are possible, but it is a great route as is. We did go our own way here and there, but on an impromptu basis. I suggest doing the same.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NE Tx
    My Bikes
    Tour Easy, Linear USS, Lightening Thunderbolt, custom DF, Raleigh hybrid, Felt time trial
    Posts
    2,634
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    To get the most for your epic tour, you can't beat the ACA Trans Am maps. Most of the planning is done for you with many notes about interesting stuff on route. You may save their cost by taking advantage of the overnighting suggestions.
    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

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    483
    Mentioned
    31 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I live on the very western end of the east- west one .. the linked route goes down the coast first,
    then Over the Cascades via Eugene..

    Louis and Clark Route heads upstream on the Columbia River valley .. to St. Louis MO.

    river gorge cut thru the Cascade mountain range as it was forming..

    Other routes you climb over that mountain range..
    (Way south its a lower rise but summer is dangerously hot to be riding .. 40C + is common.)

    the Jeffersonian Guys did it both ways, Of course.. BTW , the US West, It's bigger than you Think..

    And the basin and range is a lot of wide open horizons .. carry water by the 10's of Liters + .

    the tire dip in the Pacific at Sunset beach
    as bookends with an Atlantic tire dip on the other end is something Many Do.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 01-27-14 at 06:03 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Philly
    My Bikes
    IF SCJ SE, Surly LHT, BikeFriday NWT, Cannondale M300, Raleigh 700
    Posts
    3,972
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    The Trans America is a great route and gives a very good sampling of the US. Many deviations from the route are possible, but it is a great route as is. We did go our own way here and there, but on an impromptu basis. I suggest doing the same.
    +1, and what Cyclebum says. You will also likely run into other riding the route.

    Since you are not from these parts, I will add that, for camping, places like town/city parks are often free. U.S.F.S. campgrounds can also be low cost. State parks are probably next up on the cost ladder, although some can be cheaper for cyclists. Private campgrounds tend to be the most expensive, especially in the east. The ACA maps list the types of campgrounds, so they can help you save money as Cyclebum notes.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Czech Republic
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you all for fast replies! I'm definitely gonna look at the ACA maps

  8. #8
    Hooked on Touring
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,113
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ahoj Azurit -

    You do not say whether you are thinking about riding east-to-west or west-to-east. There have been many debates, but this year the West is extremely dry already - and by August there are likely to be many forest fires and, perhaps closed areas. (Maybe like the 1988 Yellowstone fires) It may be better to do west-to-east.

    Also, although the Transam is the most popular bike route and you are likely to meet up with other riders - it will be very hot for a person from the Czech Republic. In Kansas in July you will have temperatures every day hotter that the all-time record for Prague. July & August are not the best times to be riding through Kentucky, Missouri, and Kansas. Also, the Transam maps are expensive.

    If you are willing to do some homework, there are many, many other possibilities. Most state publish free online maps - often including bike maps and traffic volume maps. Here is one from South Dakota - http://www.sddot.com/transportation/...affic_2012.pdf
    As you can see, there are many blue and yellow choices.

    One thing about saving money. You can camp for free - wild camp - in the West on BLM and forest service lands outside of regular campgrounds. (But NOT national park lands) Small towns - less than 1000 - are usually better for letting you camp for free in the park. Also, small town churches are often very nice. (Usually the name of the pastor is on the sign in front)

    ťastnou cestu! - - J

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Philly
    My Bikes
    IF SCJ SE, Surly LHT, BikeFriday NWT, Cannondale M300, Raleigh 700
    Posts
    3,972
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
    There have been many debates, but this year the West is extremely dry already - and by August there are likely to be many forest fires and, perhaps closed areas. (Maybe like the 1988 Yellowstone fires) It may be better to do west-to-east.
    Funny. I was thinking about that last night when I saw a map of a portion of the west and Pacific northwest on some evening news show that showed the areas affected by drought and the lack of snow. My jaw dropped a bit. So many places where there should be snow have been relatively dry.

  10. #10
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    N. KY
    Posts
    2,650
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you ride the TransAmerica route, here are some places to see:

    Since you mentioned Jack Daniels: The Kentucky Bourbon Trail includes tours of 8 large bourbon whiskey distilleries, and 8 small craft distilleries. A couple of them are right on the TransAmerica routes, at Bardstown, and near Springfield and Harrodburg. ( It's not an actual trail, it's a map with directions to drive to each site.)


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The tour passes through Damascus, Virginia: The Virginia Creeper Trail is a converted railroad trail, with a crushed rock and dirt surface. The halfway point is at Damascus. From there, it climbs 1500 feet/450 meters in 17 miles/27 km to the end of the trail, following a mountain stream for most of the ride. The return ride all downhill! Most riders use wider tires than a road bike's tires. There's also a paid shuttle service, driving your bike to the top, to ride downhill, but it's much more interesting to bike up instead.

    Creeper Trail





    Last edited by rm -rf; 01-25-14 at 04:19 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Lou Skannon's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    74
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    us20.JPG

    If you don't want spend on maps; just follow US Highway 20. All the way from Newport, Oregon to Boston, Mass. 3365 miles or 5415 km. Coast to coast on the same road.
    Last edited by Lou Skannon; 01-27-14 at 04:42 PM.

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    483
    Mentioned
    31 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Or 30, from Astoria to Atlantic City NJ.

  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Czech Republic
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi guys!
    well, until now i thought ACA TransAm was a sure thing for me, but after the high temperature warnings in southern states (especially when i plan to go mid-Jul -> mid-Sep) I'm not so sure...
    I knew it will probably be hot in there but I really have no true experience with riding in these conditions.

    So I guess next week (after my finals are over) I'll have to do some homework and try to look at other possibilities.

    The new plan is:
    1) Plan route coast-coast (probably starting and ending in big city because of easier air transport from/to Europe)
    2) Visit as many US natural wonders (+ other US "must see" like maybe D.C., NY,...) along the way
    3) Make the trip doable in 90 or less days minus some reserve (limited by max non-visa stay in US)
    4) Try to find as many bike-friendly trails along the way (something like this)
    5) Rather avoid hot/deserty areas???

    About some of your comments:

    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
    You do not say whether you are thinking about riding east-to-west or west-to-east.
    I was originally planning west->east. I heard it is somewhat easier due to wind or something?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
    Also, the Transam maps are expensive
    Yeah, I know. I just have no idea what the content of the map actually is? A map with highlighted trail? With itinerary? Text guide? Also is the "additional content" gonna help me that much? I'm used to use a GPS so ...

    Quote Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
    Since you mentioned Jack Daniels: The Kentucky Bourbon Trail includes tours of 8 large bourbon whiskey distilleries, and 8 small craft distilleries.
    Nice, if I will eventually ride through that area it is a nice spot for a day off =)

    Well, I will post my ideas after I do some research (soon I hope, need to buy plane tickets in advance)

    Thank you so much for your support
    Azurit
    Last edited by Azurit; 01-28-14 at 04:43 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3,012
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Azurit View Post
    I would like to go on tour across US, coast to coast this summer (Jul-Aug)...

    My question is: Would you suggest any alternatives, modifications, detours, etc. to the default route? My biggest interest is to see the most of the US, especially the nature (I'm not a "history/museum" type of guyI prefer roads and bike trails, planning to make it as low-cost as possible (camping, cooking, etc.)
    Just a few minutes ago, I posted our cross-country routing experience to another Touring Forum thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    In 1977 when we cycled across the country, we originally were going to go from Los Angeles to Boston, and had to be there in eight weeks. We had a large USA road map to give us a general direction, and then acquired a state highway map at each state as we crossed into it, for day-to-day directions. It became a standing joke that whenever we got off the bikes, to rest, to eat, and at the end of the day we would bring the map and pore over it to plot the next few miles.

    Somewhere in Colorado, we decided we were not making enough time, so we veered our course to Washington, DC, and arrived with a few days to spare to tour the city, and then take a train to Boston.
    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    ...the tire dip in the Pacific at Sunset beach
    as bookends with an Atlantic tire dip on the other end is something Many Do.
    We took a vial of Pacific seawater across the country, with the intention to dump it into the Atlantic; I dont think we did that finis to the trip yet.

  15. #15
    Senior Member boomhauer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    148
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If this is your one shot at an American West experience I would recomend Highway 50 across the state of Nevada. Camping is free and everywhere. Wild horses if you are very lucky.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Philly
    My Bikes
    IF SCJ SE, Surly LHT, BikeFriday NWT, Cannondale M300, Raleigh 700
    Posts
    3,972
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Or 30, from Astoria to Atlantic City NJ.

    Except that there are parts of U.S. 30 in PA (and probably other places) that you do not want to ride on most times of the day if self preservation is an important concern. And there is at least one part that you may not ride on since it is combined with I-76.

  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    483
    Mentioned
    31 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I flew to other people's countries for My Long Bike Tours..

    Now, I can see US 30 from my door ..

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Philly
    My Bikes
    IF SCJ SE, Surly LHT, BikeFriday NWT, Cannondale M300, Raleigh 700
    Posts
    3,972
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Azurit View Post
    Yeah, I know. I just have no idea what the content of the map actually is? A map with highlighted trail? With itinerary? Text guide? Also is the "additional content" gonna help me that much? I'm used to use a GPS so ...
    Here is a sample of part of a map and a complete description of what they contain:

    http://www.adventurecycling.org/rout.../map-features/

    Some of them have profiles in hilly/mountainous regions. You can also download GPS waypoints for free.

    The content is very useful for finding things like food/water and camping. The types of camground are listed. E.g, private, town/city park, U.S.F.S., BLM, state park, etc. From that, you can get a pretty good idea of the relaive cost of each place and potentially save yourself money and effort.

  19. #19
    Hooked on Touring
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,113
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Azurit View Post
    Nice, if I will eventually ride through that area it is a nice spot for a day off =)
    Well, I will post my ideas after I do some research (soon I hope, need to buy plane tickets in advance)
    Azu -

    Have you read Willa Cather's "My Antonia"? In English or in Czech?
    If not, then it should be a book for you to read while you ride across the Great Plains.

    Speaking of which - have you heard about the ZCBJ? Zapadni Ceska Bratrska Jednota
    More Czechs settled in Nebraska than anywhere else - although few now speak Czech 100 years later.
    Verdigre, Nebraska could be on your route - it would make an ideal half-way point.
    You could eat kolachi at the bakery and they would treat you like a king - I'll bet.

    About flying to the west coast and leaving from the east coast - -
    You may want to buy a round-trip ticket via New York -
    Then fly one-way from New York to Seattle or Portland.
    That will probably be much cheaper than two one-way tickets.
    Delta flies non-stop from Prague in the summer.
    May have cheaper flights out of Frankfurt if someone can drive you there.

    And are you shipping your bicycle or buying one here?

    <<<>>>

    You can plan an incredible trip without buying ACA maps.
    Most states have bicycle guides online - plus you can get free state maps once there.
    I might suggest Seattle to New York -
    You can start with a ferry ride in Puget Sound with the Space Needle and Mount Rainier -
    And end with a ferry ride across New York harbor with the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline.

    In between you can include many fabulous national parks and monuments -
    Like Mount St Helens, Mount Rainier, Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton,
    Devil's Tower, Mount Rushmore, Badlands, Lewis & Clark, Indiana Dunes,
    the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Trail, and all the monuments in Washington, DC.

    I would encourage you to allow yourself at least a day or two in your starting city.
    Seattle is the headquarters of REI - which would be a great place to purchase any last-minute stuff.
    I would also encourage you to go all the way out to the Pacific Ocean and see the waves.
    Harbors are nice - - but the ocean is the real deal.

    My guess is that a trip such as the one above will take about 10 weeks - 70 days.
    Give yourself 2 or 3 days for the start and finish makes 75 days.
    That gives you two weeks to play on the east coast before flying back.

    Jama

    PS - In the mountain West, especially early in the morning, the sky is the color of azurite.
    (Photo - Going to the Sun Road in Glacier NP)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by jamawani; 01-29-14 at 04:35 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Rwc5830's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Harlingen, TX Warmshowers Host
    My Bikes
    Fuji, Specialized, Surly
    Posts
    434
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Azurit, whichever route you take look into www.warmshowers.org. There are a lot of people who can host you and/or allow you to camp on their property. Sign up for free. I'm a warmshowers host but you would not want to ride in my area in the summer if you think Kansas, etc is hot...

    I get cyclists in the winter going in/out of Mexico. But you're welcome to ride down my way! I've hosted cyclists from Turkey, Poland, Holland, South Korea, Canada, Italy, Australia, England, New Zealand, and Mexico and of course the USA....

    Have fun and be safe.
    Cycling is an addiction that is worth having; let's go!! South TX Randos www.rgvrandos.org

  21. #21
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Czech Republic
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi guys! Sorry for the long pause, I've been busy lately because of college, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
    Speaking of which - have you heard about the ZCBJ? Zapadni Ceska Bratrska Jednota
    More Czechs settled in Nebraska than anywhere else - although few now speak Czech 100 years later.
    Yeah, I heard of Czech communities in US but didn't know much about them, thanks for the tip.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
    And are you shipping your bicycle or buying one here?
    I was thinking about it and decided, that despite the trouble and costs of taking the bike on the plane, I'll take it with me.
    But I'm still willing to change my mind if you suggest better alternative.
    One of the downsides is that I'll probably have to store my bike somewhere if I finish early and want to make bike-free trips in DC, NY, etc. I can't imagine riding with all the stuff around the city.
    Speaking of which - Have you ever dealt with such a problem? I guess I'll just try to leave it at someone's place (It will probably be a matter of trusting that person/instituion enough to leave it there) and hope for the best.


    ------
    ------

    At the moment, after reading all your suggestions, I'm leaning more towards the northern route (OR, WY, SD, IN, ...) suggested by Jama. But nothing is final yet! I guess it is impossible to visit everything US has to offer in 90 days coast-to-coast on bike, especially in the west. If I go north, I'll probably miss some really great places like LA, SF, Sequoia NP, Grand Canyon or Arches :'( . Maybe I'll come back someday later (or when I'm old and gray =) ).

    Again, your suggestions for which places to visit along the way are very welcome!
    You guys are much greater help than I hoped, Thanks =)

    I'll try to post my rough travel plan as soon as possible (want to buy plane tickets by the end of the month)

    Azurit

  22. #22
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Czech Republic
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Rwc5830 View Post
    Azurit, whichever route you take look into www.warmshowers.org. There are a lot of people who can host you and/or allow you to camp on their property. Sign up for free. I'm a warmshowers host but you would not want to ride in my area in the summer if you think Kansas, etc is hot...
    I have been looking into it and definitelly gonna sign up =)
    About the hot weather - I don't really have any idea how hot it is down there but I looking at some google streetview pictures it doesn't seem like the most enjoyable place for several hour bike ride =D . But maybe I'm totally wrong
    Last edited by Azurit; 02-16-14 at 03:58 PM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    441
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A lot of tourists cross the US from North to South along the Pacific Coast. It has by far the most campgrounds with special, cheap "hike and bike" sites, and most of them you'll probably share with other tourists going the same way, if you like company. It doesn't go through the big national parks, except Redwood, but if you have time, you can take Amtrak and its connector bus from Southern California right into the Yosemite Valley and hike 'n' bike at the backpackers campground.

  24. #24
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Winchester. vA
    Posts
    23
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm American, wife Czech. We live in winchester VA. We will start our tour across the states in July ( Starting on C&O canal trail, following Ohio, then Missouri River.

    if you are in northern Virginia and would like a place to sleep, you are welcome.
    We like the Delorme gazetteer maps ( ale moc penze).
    Čau, Paul.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    City of Brotherly Love
    My Bikes
    Raleigh Companion, Nashbar Touring, Novara DiVano, Trek FX 7.1, Giant Upland
    Posts
    1,083
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Have you looked into getting a B-2 visa? It looks costly but at least you won't have to worry that a border agent won't believe your plans. http://prague.usembassy.gov/

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •