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USA road trip on 2 wheels. Advice sought from Britain.

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USA road trip on 2 wheels. Advice sought from Britain.

Old 11-29-14, 04:33 PM
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Fata morgana
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USA road trip on 2 wheels. Advice sought from Britain.

Hi.

I am toying with an extended trip to the USA, from GB, in early 2015 and really have yet to make any headway into what I need in terms of visas (US Consulate) and where best to be riding both from the outset but also, where to head for!

I completed a similar ride in / around Britain this year, 6 months around the isle, some 5,000 miles, stopping off at places when I felt like it and quite frankly it was a delight, and so I think the USA might throw up some similar gems.

Britain is pretty simple to ride around, in terms of planning where to go, nowhere is more than 70 miles from the sea after all (seriously), and being an island roughly 50% the size if Texas it's not complicated to fathom out a route. Clockwise or anticlockwise is the pressing question.

Can anyone recommend any reading material, books, web sites and a perhaps logical start point in the south (?) for late January - working my way north as I am not in the mood for winter riding nor anything above 40 degrees either?

I do not have to be home anytime in 2015, so the trip can last 1+yrs.

Thank you in anticipation.
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Old 11-29-14, 04:52 PM
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If you want to stay longer than 90 days you'll have to apply for a B2 visa. A good place to look for US touring information is

America's Bicycle Travel Experts | Adventure Cycling Association

they have lots of routes. Also look on

crazyguyonabike.com: Bicycle Touring: A place for bicycle tourists and their journals
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Old 11-29-14, 05:05 PM
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I live on The pacific coast , a good number of cyclists start in Vancouver Or Victoria British Columbia and ride south ,
<the sea on your right , in a drive on the right side of the road country.> headed south..

Ive Been to Europe and the British Isles a few times .. and you will find in the western half of the US where the opposite is true

Hundreds of Miles between anything but sagebrush

And fields of one crop.

The Canadien Maritimes are worth seeing and some of the US National Parks , as wellas the Canadien as well as the colorado Rockies .

You can find Maps to download by writing to each states departments of transportation

Oregon has a Map specifically for riding this states section of the coast By Bike.

Perhaps you can start in the SE, Florida Nd take a route across the southern states

though some places in AZ & NM still get chilly because of the altitude at the continental divide.



Multiple entry is Possible .. you may also dip north across the canadien border and then get another tourist visa When you cross south again

but Im not an authority the internet has those resources.

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-30-14 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 11-29-14, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post

Multiple entry is Possible .. you may also dip north across the canadien border and then get another tourist visa When you cross south again
This post gives the false impression that by crossing the Canadian border (or Mexican border, or a trip to a Caribbean country), that that would automatically reset the clock and you can stay for another 90 days. That is not true, although a kindly border agent might re-admit you and give you 90 more days. I wouldn't count on it, however. You can have multiple entries between the USA/Canada/Mexico under the USA Visa-Waiver Program, but only within the 90 period following your initial entry into the USA. A Central American country is the closest destination to the U.S. which would re-set the 90 day clock.

Also, the terminology above is incorrect. If you're a UK citizen, you can generally enter the U.S. as part of the "Visa-waiver Program" for up to 90 days. In other words, you do not need a visa and you will not be given a "visa" when you enter by air or by land border. More than 90 days, and you need a B-2 Visa as nun correctly said.

B-2 Visa (Holiday Visa) | Embassy of the United States

As for where to bike in January, my own opinion is that except for Hawaii, the areas of the U.S. which have decent weather for biking during the winter aren't the parts of the country which offer the best touring possibilities. Lowland Arizona is probably the best of the lot. Florida has generally a lousy reputation as a touring destination.
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Old 11-29-14, 05:33 PM
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The ACA maps. Gems for touring cyclists, especially non-natives. If you're a camper, they may save you as much on overnighting fees as they cost. Be aware of http://www.warmshowers.org. You do gotta join, have a permanent address, and be willing to host touring cyclists in the UK, at some point in time.

With a year to tour the US, you can see most of what's worth seeing as long as you keep moving. Cities not to miss: NYC, Washington, Las Vegas, New Orleans. Oh. St Augustine, Fl...camp at the state park, get up in time for the sunrise.

Last edited by Cyclebum; 11-30-14 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 11-30-14, 08:41 AM
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I've heard of people getting 6-month visas to bike in the States, but not for one-year plus, but you can always try. You will have to go to the embassy/consulate in person to get the documents. As to a route, it depends how far you plan to ride.

You could start in southern California in March or so, and ride the southern tier, then head up north to Virginia to start off on the TransAmerica. Stop when you get to the rockies and spend a lot of time biking around there, maybe move up into Canada and ride Alberta and BC for a few weeks, and then head west back to the Pacific and head back down toward San Diego.

Time, budget, riding distances, accommodation choices are all up to you, but remember, towns are always far further apart than they are in Europe. You can't just stop at a pub for breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, second lunch and then dinner.
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Old 11-30-14, 09:01 AM
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USA road trip on 2 wheels. Advice sought from Britain.

As cyclebum says, start off with the ACA routes, check out historical weather (wunderground for example) and go from there.

As to visa and entry into the USA, apply in good time. At the border a return flight ticket, letter of return to employment in the UK, proof of health insurance, and a bank statement with proof of funds and credit limit on a credit card, will help to prove your intent of staying just as a tourist.

Last edited by imi; 11-30-14 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 11-30-14, 09:19 AM
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Best site for campgrounds I've found. Even list all rest areas under the 'Drivers' tab. World of traverler's info in this site.
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Old 11-30-14, 09:25 AM
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Several years back, I drove down to Alice, Texas to do a bike ride around Christmas. That's in far south Texas. The day of the ride, it was 80 degrees F/27 degrees C, and the ride involved lots of sweating. The next morning, it was 40 degrees F/4 degrees C with a hard wind blowing. The point being, that even parts of the country that allow lots of wintertime cycling also can have very variable weather. Here in the Dallas area, we generally ride year-round, but that can involve some cold rides, too.

If you've never been in the country, it would be worthwhile to visit for a shorter time and get a feel for what some of it is like. Some places are so crowded it can be hard to find good cycling routes, some places are so desolate, it can be hard to find supplies or water.
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Old 11-30-14, 12:30 PM
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Avoid the northern part of the country during winter.

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Old 12-03-14, 06:07 PM
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I think route advice depends on what you want to see. Cities or wilderness? Humid or arid? High mileage days or short jumps between towns?

I'm from the West, so I only know the West, but there's a lot to see East of the Mississippi too. Southern Arizona and New Mexico would be good in winter/early spring. Moving North into Southern Utah and Colorado in spring would be pretty nice, and Northern California through Oregon and Washington would be pretty amazing in summer. Northern Idaho is awesome, as is Montana.

I wouldn't really know what cities to suggest. Really, with a year+ you could see a lot of the country. You could ask yourself the same question, Clockwise, or anticlockwise?
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Old 12-03-14, 07:02 PM
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Always travel West to East or North to South unless you like fighting headwinds
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Old 12-04-14, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
Always travel West to East or North to South unless you like fighting headwinds
Depends on the time of year and/or part of the country. For example, the prevailing surface winds on the midwest part of the Trans Am in July are out of the SE. Had plenty of headwinds on the NT going west to east. Lots of headwind heading east and south during a week long ride in ND.
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Old 12-04-14, 08:21 AM
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What do you mean by "early in 2015"? If you are talking January or February, lots of luck with the weather. The weather in the US is much more extreme than Great Britain, with wider swings in temperature and severe weather (tornadoes, thunderstorms, hail, blizzards, hurricanes, etc.) Even in the Deep South, winter cold fronts can bring surprisingly chilly temperatures as well as sleet and snow. The days are also short. The weather starts warming up in March, but cold fronts can still cause chilly, windy weather in the South. If you wait until spring, the Southern Tier (see ACA routes linked above) is the shortest route across the USA and the weather should be much more manageable.
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Old 12-04-14, 08:39 AM
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Do you have a 'bucket list' of things you want to see? That would help people plot some kind of route for you or throw out some meaningful suggestions.

For example, do you want to visit Vegas, Napa, Yosemite, or are you looking for mountains, coastal, lakes...etc.

For a Brit, the USA is kinda like 10 countries rolled into one. Give us some clues on what you want to see.
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Old 12-04-14, 09:50 AM
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By 40 degrees, you mean centigrade?
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Old 12-04-14, 11:48 AM
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i recommend doing the southern tier ACA route. it is an easy cross country route, you can see the desert which is not in the UK, and you'll go through the South and to California, the two extremes of the USA.
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