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Route planning

Old 11-07-15, 09:20 AM
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Route planning

Gulf coast central Florida to Portland, Oregon via Tetons, Yellowstone, Snake River country in Idaho, north to Lewiston, Idaho and west along the Columbia River.
Getting out of Florida doesn't seem too bad but, how best to traverse a diagonal to Wyoming? I'm not seeing many bicycle friendly routes.
Any suggestions?
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Old 11-07-15, 10:09 AM
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Monsieur Ph -

Zee problem with going diagonally across the Great Plains is that there are very few diagonal roads -
And those few that do exist usually have heavy truck traffic.

I would do most of my diagonalizing before or after.
Also, when are you planning on doing this?
Because May and early June can still be winter in the Rockies.

If you are going earlier - consider the TransAm route from Pueblo, CO to Yellowstone.
If later, think about the Katy Trail across part of Missouri -
then swinging around Kansasas City and up the Missouri Valley -
then across central Nebraska via Hwy 2 to US 20.

The first route would mean riding thru Mississippi and Arkansas.
The second would require cutting north thru Alabama and Land between the Lakes.
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Old 11-07-15, 10:29 AM
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Leave out of Florida late May early June, believe Rockies etc. will be fairly cleared by July-August. You mention US 20, aren't bicycles not allowed on Interstate Routes? Thank you for replying.
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Old 11-07-15, 10:44 AM
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Paper Maps .. You can Go to a University and they have Map Libraries. Part of the GEOGRAPHY department resources ..

Each State Department of transportation will also Publish Maps .. Oregon has a Bike Map for the state, and another just for the Coast Route.

US 20 is not an interstate route.. Those start with I
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Old 11-07-15, 10:49 AM
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Have you looked at Google maps suggestion? Denver to Jackson makes a nice diagonal...
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Old 11-07-15, 11:05 AM
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I'd probably look at joining the Trans America at Pueblo or maybe even further east. If you like ACA routes and don't insist on the most direct route you could use the ST to the Underground Railroad, to the TA.
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Old 11-07-15, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
US 20 is not an interstate route.. Those start with I
I'll add that I like using US highways a lot of the time. Some of them are really nice riding, at least for someone like me who would rather most a lot of the little county back roads.
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Old 11-07-15, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Phlupy
Leave out of Florida late May early June, believe Rockies etc. will be fairly cleared by July-August. You mention US 20, aren't bicycles not allowed on Interstate Routes? Thank you for replying.
My wife and I rode from Newport, Oregon to Boston on US Highway 20. It does turn to Interstate in some areas but was not a problem. It is the longest contiguous, coast-to-coast highway in the country. It is a great route, and cyclist are still a rarity on it (I consider this a good thing).

Highways 26, 20, 30 and I84 all go through an 84 mile stretch in Idaho. It is the only road going east and west in that part of the state. Not a problem!

Last edited by Doug64; 11-07-15 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 11-07-15, 11:54 AM
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+1, If the only stretch of road for miles is one that has Co Opted the only Right of way .. Then Bikes are usually Admitted on the shoulder .

Watch Out, Look Behind you at the Off Ramps.
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Old 11-07-15, 12:06 PM
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Had a fairly miserable ride between Casper and Gillette WY this summer. The WY state bicycle map said nothing about all of the oil service truck traffic. Fracking is not good for bicycles.
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Old 11-07-15, 10:40 PM
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Ph -

Guessing from what you have posted that you are fairly new to touring.
In the West, you can ride on most Interstates outside of metro areas - - but why?
Also US highways in the West often have low to moderate traffic and good shoulders.
US highways in the East tend to be riskier - some OK, many not.

<<<>>>

Working back from the west coast -

Biking west thru the Columbia Gorge will be brutal - killer headwinds.
That's why all the windsurfers flock to Hood River.
I would strongly urge you to consider either US 12 over White Pass (WA 410 over Chinook Pass even more stunning)
Or US 26 thru central Oregon (mostly the TransAm route)

If Lewiston, ID is a must, then I would suggest heading up to Missoula then west on US 12.
If not, then central Idaho via Stanley and the Sawtooth Mtns to Ontario, OR and US 26.


Willow Pass on the central Idaho route

If you pick up the TransAm near Pittsburg, KS you can follow it all the way to Yellowstone.
It has a big diagonal in Colorado and Wyoming in the high country -
Plus, you will run into a lot of other cyclists.

The Missouri/Nebraska option would require more homework.

Here are examples of state AADT (Average Annuak Daily Traffic) maps for KS & NE:
(Under 1000 is nice, over 2500 starts getting iffy, over 5000 dangerous without shoulders)

https://www.ksdot.org/Assets/wwwksdo...ts/count14.pdf
https://www.transportation.nebraska.g...-current-2.pdf
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Old 11-07-15, 10:53 PM
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Not sure if it'll help but I planned my own route from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine leaving April 30, 2016. If you use Google Maps and select the "bike" icon it'll give you the best roads for such. I'm using Lolo Pass between Kooskia, ID and Missoula, MT and then headed to West Yellowstone, WY down through Yellowstone NP and Grand Teton NP to Jackson Hole, WY following a route which will eventually take me to Crawford, NE.

Perhaps a similar route for you would work in reverse.
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Old 11-08-15, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Ty0604
I'm using Lolo Pass between Kooskia, ID and Missoula, MT
As you know, you have to go off route a bit at the junction of U.S. 12 and U.S. 93 to get into Missoula. This summer, construction started on what is called the M2L Trail. It will connect Missoula and Lolo. It's not scheduled to open until June of next year, but maybe you will get lucky. It would be nice to have since the stretch of U.S. 93 north of Lolo, which is where the existing trail to Hamilton ends, can get quite busy. Here is a news piece:

Ground broken on long awaited Missoula 2 Lolo bike trail

The trail south from Lolo to Hamilton is really nice. Great views of the mountains. I highly recommend it as even that parallel stretch of U.S. 93 can get very busy at times. I was riding the trail last year on the first day of a loop tour out of Missoula and came upon the scene of a horrible vehicle accident during morning rush. It looked like someone tried to make a turn across traffic and caused a head-on collision.

Send me a PM is you will be following ACA's route south from Missoula to Twin Bridges and would like some info re: options and services. I have done that section twice since 2011, and I may be back there next June. I can also give you a beautiful alternative between Jackson, MT and Twin Bridges, MT.
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Old 11-08-15, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
As you know, you have to go off route a bit at the junction of U.S. 12 and U.S. 93 to get into Missoula. This summer, construction started on what is called the M2L Trail. It will connect Missoula and Lolo. It's not scheduled to open until June of next year, but maybe you will get lucky. It would be nice to have since the stretch of U.S. 93 north of Lolo, which is where the existing trail to Hamilton ends, can get quite busy. Here is a news piece:

Ground broken on long awaited Missoula 2 Lolo bike trail

The trail south from Lolo to Hamilton is really nice. Great views of the mountains. I highly recommend it as even that parallel stretch of U.S. 93 can get very busy at times. I was riding the trail last year on the first day of a loop tour out of Missoula and came upon the scene of a horrible vehicle accident during morning rush. It looked like someone tried to make a turn across traffic and caused a head-on collision.

Send me a PM is you will be following ACA's route south from Missoula to Twin Bridges and would like some info re: options and services. I have done that section twice since 2011, and I may be back there next June. I can also give you a beautiful alternative between Jackson, MT and Twin Bridges, MT.
I was not aware of the construction on the M2L trail actually. No one mentioned it when I sent my planned route to ACA. Where between Kooskia and Missoula (as in how how is the junction from Kooskia?) will I have to detour and how long is the detour? Can you give me a little more information? I'm not sure where Hamilton is. Would you recommend I take another pass? I need to end up in Missoula either way due to having a host set up through ACA.

I'm actually not following the ACA route at all and my route doesn't take me through Twin Bridges. My Montana route is as follows...

Missoula ---> Drummond
Drummond ---> Butte
Butte ---> Bozeman
Bozeman ---> Big Sky
Big Sky ---> West Yellowstone
West Yellowstone ---> Moran, Wyoming
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Old 11-08-15, 04:15 PM
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Okay, since no one else is mentioning it.

Your first obstacle...getting across the Mississippi River...where? That's the first thing you have to decide upon. There aren't that many bridges across the MS River. That setup up your route for you. go to ridewithgps and point and click on your start point in FL and then decided where you want to cross the MS. From the just start point and clicking your way from destination to destination. You can click on Cycling(lower right side of the screen) to have it route you on bike trail or you can click on Driving and it will avoid bike trails. It's easy once you decide where you want to cross the MS River.
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Old 11-08-15, 04:24 PM
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https://www.strava.com/routes/new

You are welcome
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Old 11-08-15, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by bikenh
Okay, since no one else is mentioning it.

Your first obstacle...getting across the Mississippi River...where? That's the first thing you have to decide upon. There aren't that many bridges across the MS River. That setup up your route for you. go to ridewithgps and point and click on your start point in FL and then decided where you want to cross the MS. From the just start point and clicking your way from destination to destination. You can click on Cycling(lower right side of the screen) to have it route you on bike trail or you can click on Driving and it will avoid bike trails. It's easy once you decide where you want to cross the MS River.
There's a lot of bridges actually and where they aren't bridges there's often a ferry close by. I did something similar planning my trip. Except I used Google Maps and the bike icon and went city by city. It too will give you the bike trails where they exist etc!
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Old 11-09-15, 01:00 AM
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Missoula to W. Yellowstone -
Via Butte has a lot of Interstate riding.
Via Hwy 200 - Ovando, Lincoln, Helena, Townsend - way better

Birdseye Road into Helena is really nice
US 287 south of Helena is busy, but now has shoulders
The secondary road (paved) on the east side of Canyon Ferry Lake is way nicer.

US 191 south of Bozeman into W. Yellowstone is stunning, but has high traffic.
If you cut east from Townsend on US 12 to US 89, you can enter the park at Gardiner.
US 89 north of Livingston has very light traffic.
South of Livingston you can take the back road thru Pray.

Another option out of Bozeman is to take the dirt Bear Creek Road southeast
And cut over to the Upper Yellowstone Valley.
Usually pretty good hardpack - only 700-foot climb.
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Old 11-09-15, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Ty0604
I was not aware of the construction on the M2L trail actually. No one mentioned it when I sent my planned route to ACA. Where between Kooskia and Missoula (as in how how is the junction from Kooskia?) will I have to detour and how long is the detour? Can you give me a little more information? I'm not sure where Hamilton is. Would you recommend I take another pass? I need to end up in Missoula either way due to having a host set up through ACA.

I'm actually not following the ACA route at all and my route doesn't take me through Twin Bridges. My Montana route is as follows...

Missoula ---> Drummond
Drummond ---> Butte
Butte ---> Bozeman
Bozeman ---> Big Sky
Big Sky ---> West Yellowstone
West Yellowstone ---> Moran, Wyoming
I will send you a PM.
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Old 11-09-15, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
I will send you a PM.
I got it and I tried to reply but apparently you have to have 50 forum post to reply to a message. I was at 44 so I'm finding a few to reply to to get to 50 so I can reply to your PM.
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Old 11-16-15, 07:56 AM
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Define ACA please. Several great responses. Thank you
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Old 11-16-15, 08:03 AM
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America's Bicycle Travel Experts | Adventure Cycling Association
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Old 11-16-15, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Phlupy
Getting out of Florida doesn't seem too bad but, how best to traverse a diagonal to Wyoming?
amtrak or greyhound -----> omaha or kansas city.
spend more time in more scenic part of the country.
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