« on: March 07, 2007, 12:12:07 am »
We planned to ride Portland, OR to Portland, ME last summer, but ended up riding from Portland, OR to Albany, NY because our son started graduate school in Albany last year. We also needed to stop in the Chicago area to go to my neice's wedding, so that influenced our route. We road the Lewis and Clark route to Sioux City, IA and rode with RAGBRAI across Iowa and used the Illinois bike maps and local knowledge from my sister to get to the Northern Tier, then at Palmyra, NY we used New York state bicycle maps to ride the rest of the Erie Canal to Albany. Here are some comments about our trip.
1. We rode on the Washington side of the Columbia River gorge because we did not want to ride those 30 or so miles on Interstate 84. The services on that north side are just fine and there was plenty to see and do, but we did not like the road. There were a lot of trucks and not a lot of shoulder. My husband really wanted to stop in Walla Walla because he felt it wasn't safe, but the rest of the trip the roads were better.
2. We sampled many, many bakeries along the way and our favorite was in Dayton, WA.
3. Our favorite town was Lewistown, MT. Everyone was extremely friendly.
4. If you get a chance, eat breakfast at the award winning Kozy Korner Kafe in Winnett, MT. Just remember looks aren't everything. The food and the owners are great.
5. Our favorite state was New York. We loved riding the Erie Canal. We had 700-23 tires on our road bikes and had no trouble riding the crushed limestone paths.
6. There are good and bad parts of getting off the Adventure Cycling maps. You don't have as good an idea about the services, but the people are more impressed with what you are doing and really want to talk to you, sometimes to the point you need to just walk away to get going.
7. Our least favorite part was the Cleveland area. It is where I grew up (I live in Oregon now) and I was looking forward to this section, but the roads on the west side were full of pot holes in the bicycle lanes and there was a lot of traffic in the city. The roads on the east side were in need of repair also.