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Old 03-05-14, 10:16 AM   #1
harpix42
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Touring across america

Hello,

I'm a 25 year old doctor from england and looking to take a break from my career by cycling down the east coast for charity with one of my colleagues.

We aim to start our trip in September 2014 and we have absolutely no idea where to start. Our rough plan is to cycle from portland to miami over two to three months.

Has anyone planned a trip like this before that could perhaps offer us some pointers on where to start?

Any help or advice would be much appreciated,
James
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Old 03-05-14, 10:27 AM   #2
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You may want to look at The East Coast Greenway. I've incorporated parts of it into some of my tours. It is a mixed bag and disjointed in sections but its good for ideas.

I recently posted this to another thread you may want to look at.

Here's a map of the east coast northern section that I did on my NJ to Newfoundland tour

Here's a map of the east coast southern section that I did on my SC to Key West tour

Here's a map of a tour that I did when I was about your age. It connects the two through the Appalachian Mountains.


EDIT NOTE: My routes do have portions that are on unpaved roads, although not single track mountain bike trails, they may be on dirt and/or gravel.

Last edited by BigAura; 03-06-14 at 06:22 AM. Reason: unpaved road warning
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Old 03-05-14, 10:41 AM   #3
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Adventure Cycling has an Atlantic Coast route: http://www.adventurecycling.org/rout...tlantic-coast/

While I haven't ridden that route, I've ridden parts of three other AC routes. In all cases, the maps provided good routes on (mostly) low-traffic roads, with valuable information on services along the way. You might want to pick up state maps at visitor centers as you go for more information on sights to see along / near the route.
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Old 03-05-14, 12:09 PM   #4
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Hi James,

You say "cycling down the east coast" and then mention "Oregon to Miami" those are different routes. north to south or west to east?

I recommend checking out - http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/ lots of info here. you might even find riding companions.

another helpful tool is https://www.warmshowers.org/ and https://www.couchsurfing.org/ for places to stay and to meet new nice local folk.

Here is one journal of many you can find on CrazyGuy - http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=8086&v=Ob
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Old 03-05-14, 12:14 PM   #5
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You say "cycling down the east coast" and then mention
Quote:
"Oregon to Miami"
those are different routes. north to south or west to east?
couple guys from Sweden did that after leaving here , down the coast, turn left in SoCal
then ride the southern tier.

they came thru town In November .. started in Anchorage AK..

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-06-14 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 03-05-14, 12:30 PM   #6
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Wouldn't one assume Portland, Maine when reading "cycling down the east coast"? (Although in 3 months you could do Portland, Oregon to Miami --and have an amazing journey)
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Old 03-05-14, 01:02 PM   #7
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Hi James,

You say "cycling down the east coast" and then mention "Oregon to Miami"
Where did you get that? He wrote "Portland to Miami" There is a Portland, ME. It's been around longer than Portland, OR.

James: The Adventure Cycling Route linked to might be useful to you. Their maps show the locations of campgrounds, motels, bike shops, etc. The section from Port Jervis, NY down to Lambertville, NJ is quite nice. I have ridden it the last two years during three day tours and regularly ride shorter portions of it. Even getting into the area around Philadelphia is decent assuming you don't ride it during rush hour on a weekday. Back in '99 I rode the entire portion between Bar Harbor, ME and Philadelphia. It was nice, but I realize things have changed, including the route in places. Still, looking at it I am sure it is quitre pleasant in many areas.

I would be wary of following the East Coast Greenway in places. For example, it only exists in theory in most of Pennsylvania. The vast majority of it through Pennsylvania is on-road and incorporates some pretty busy roads through some less than friendly (and industrial) places, like Chester and Marcus Hook, PA.
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Old 03-05-14, 05:51 PM   #8
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a september start in Portland, Me. is a good choice. you should have primo weather. as mentioned the ACA east coast route goes through Portland, Me. and ends, or at least used to, in Jacksonville, FL., so it would be a good starting point.

i did it from south to north starting in the very early spring of '96. it's a good route. people say to take the alternate route through the Outer Banks of N.C. i didn't, but wasn't disappointed...

you should have a great time. good luck.
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Old 03-05-14, 06:22 PM   #9
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Yeah. Adventure Cycling Association maps. Lots of local info, no route planning needed, might save their cost in overnighting options.

If they take you through Portsmouth, NH, good. A destination itself. Least it was for us. Be sure and check www.warmshowers.org for overnighting.
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Old 03-05-14, 10:52 PM   #10
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Hey James,
maybe not exactly what you are looking for, but a great cycling blog. One of your fellow countrymen, or in this case lady, spent 6 months in the US cycling in all 50 states! We were honored to host her one evening.
Check out her blog: http://www.thebigfive-o.com/#
one concern about your timing. Starting in September, you are going to want to stay south. Here in the central part of the country, we can get some cold weather the end of October/first of November.
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Old 03-06-14, 06:34 AM   #11
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I would be wary of following the East Coast Greenway in places.
+1. I do agree that it is sketchy in every sense of the word and should be used with caution.
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Old 03-06-14, 08:36 AM   #12
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Where did you get that? He wrote "Portland to Miami"
And titled the thread "Touring across America". Peace.
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Old 03-06-14, 08:57 AM   #13
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And titled the thread "Touring across America". Peace.
Yes, but the OP did not write "Oregon to Miami" as claimed. He wrote "Portland to Miami," hence my query as to why he was quoted as having written "Oregon to Miami."
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Old 03-06-14, 10:33 AM   #14
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September is prime time for New England. I rode from NH to VA last year following occasional sections of the Atlantic Coast Route starting on September 3. Weather was superb. It took me 2 weeks to get to VA from northern NH. I'm about 70 miles from Portland ME. It is a pleasant city and easy to get to by bus with your bikes should you fly into Boston, or just take a connecting flight on to Portland.

http://www.concordcoachlines.com/ima...gle%20page.pdf
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Old 03-06-14, 10:50 AM   #15
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And titled the thread "Touring across America". Peace.
Across does not have to be E-W or W-E. What would you call travel from N-S or S-N? Up to Down? Maybe 'Down the east coast?' In reality there is no Up or Down in space, so just because convention places North at the top of a map does not signify 'up' just as South is not really 'down', so along the coast is the more correct term. Technically, 'up' would be the direction perpendicular to the earth surface. What about if he rode from North Dakota to Texas? What would you call that???

Enough semantics... He is coming to the US to ride a bike from Point A to Point B. That's all that matters.

Enjoy the ride!
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Old 03-06-14, 07:06 PM   #16
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Across does not have to be E-W or W-E. What would you call travel from N-S or S-N? Up to Down? Maybe 'Down the east coast?' In reality there is no Up or Down in space, so just because convention places North at the top of a map does not signify 'up' just as South is not really 'down', so along the coast is the more correct term. Technically, 'up' would be the direction perpendicular to the earth surface. What about if he rode from North Dakota to Texas? What would you call that???
^^^ Why I tour alone.
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Old 03-06-14, 07:15 PM   #17
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Both were named after this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isle_of_Portland
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Old 03-06-14, 07:22 PM   #18
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... I'm about 70 miles from Portland ME. It is a pleasant city and easy to get to by bus with your bikes should you fly into Boston, or just take a connecting flight on to Portland.

http://www.concordcoachlines.com/ima...gle%20page.pdf
Amtrak Rail service is also available from Boston to Portland, ME:

http://www.amtrakdowneaster.com/
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Old 03-06-14, 08:59 PM   #19
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Amtrak Rail service is also available from Boston to Portland, ME:

http://www.amtrakdowneaster.com/
I didn't include that suggestion for the following reason. The Concord Coach Lines bus picks up directly at Logan Airport and goes right to Portland with a stop at Boston's South Station. The Downeaster to Portland is boarded at North Station with possible "roll on" bike service but no checked baggage service. They'd be stranded there between stations unless they put the bikes together and ride over and use the "roll on" service. Might as well stay on the same bus all the way to Portland with no transfers. This, of course, is assuming that James and colleague are indeed flying into Boston.

A fun way to start a trip from Portland ME, see the coast and also connect to ACA routes would be to take the Casco Bay Lines cruise boat from Portland Harbor north to Bailey Island which is connected back to the mainland by road. At Brunswick you're on the Northern Tier/Atlantic Coast Route without having to find a route out of Portland. Yes, this would add a day or two to the trip and if you study the maps you can also connect directly from Portland. Some of the buses continue from Portland on to Brunswick also.

http://www.concordcoachlines.com/ind...cle-on-the-bus

Dang! Looks like the Bailey Island cruise ends on Sept 1.

http://www.cascobaylines.com/schedul...land-schedule/

Last edited by BobG; 03-07-14 at 12:04 PM. Reason: add link
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Old 03-06-14, 09:50 PM   #20
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^^^ Why I tour alone.
You left out the part about 'enough about semantics'.

I also prefer to ride/tour alone. That way I have only myself to blame. Better that way...
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Old 03-07-14, 06:40 AM   #21
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I suggest to ride across the country by any of the routes instead of along one coast and if you do just the coast then the Pacific coast is more bike friendly with low cost campgrounds and more scenic than the East coast.
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Old 03-10-14, 08:56 AM   #22
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Thanks to everyone who replied here, you've all been brilliant. Sorry about the confusion i caused with portland. As some of you guessed, i meant Portland, Maine. I'm going to work through all the links and info over the coming weeks. Looks very useful.

Thanks again,
James
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