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General Discussion / Re: Tandem on the Northern Tier
« Last post by John Nelson on July 24, 2015, 11:57:15 am »
I don't think the tandem makes much difference. But the tandem is a good choice for a couple, especially if they have different ability levels.

But just out of curiosity, why did you choose the Northern Tier? Have you already done the TransAm (which I consider a far better route)?
Routes / Re: Missoula, Mt. to Bear Tooth Hwy.
« Last post by indyfabz on July 24, 2015, 11:51:25 am »
While I certainly defer to the experts, if you don't mind some "dirt" you could head east from Missoula to Rock Creek Rd. Not sure if there are through frontage roads all the way. We rode I-90 for about 3 miles from the start/end of Rock Creek Rd. to Clinton. Take Rock Creek for about 40 miles and hang a left towards Phillipsburg. From there, take MT 1 to Anaconda. Crackerville Rd. will take you to an I-90 interchange (No. 211), but you can follow frontage roads (Bossard, crossing under I-90 to Wild Horse Meadow and then Nissler, some portions are unpaved) all the way to a trail that takes you into the center of Butte. From Butte you can take Continental Drive to MT 2 over Pipestone Pass (not as hard going west to east) and continue east to Whitehall, which would hook you up with the L&C route. There is camping along Rock Creek, in Phillipsburg, Georgetown Lake, Anaconda and Butte.

Subsequently made this:

I have ridden all the roads at least once (some of them twice) in the opposite direction except the miles between 157 and the end. The on-line map does not show a through frontage road between Clinton and Rock Creek, but maybe it's wrong. IIRC, the forst 10 miles of Rock Creek are paved then it turns to dirt until you cross the creek for the second time and make the climb over the ridge to Phillipsburg, where there is a nice motel/campground on W. Broadway just of MT 1. Grocery store across the street and a short walk into the center of town. In Butte the route takes you by the Hotel Finlen. It's a nice place to stay if you want to stop in town for the night. A room in the kitchy motor lodge portion won't break the bank. Get a first floor room and roll your bikes in. There is a KOA in town, but it didn't look nice and it's right next to the interstate on Kaw Ave. As you can see, Pipestone Pass is very gradual. The descent should be fun. I had a head wind both times I climbed it in the opposite direction. The shoulder is somewhat small but the traffic was minimal. Heading east, I suspect it might be busiest in the late afternoon/evening with people leaving Butte.

Let me know if you would like more details.
Routes / Re: Missoula, Mt. to Bear Tooth Hwy.
« Last post by CMajernik on July 24, 2015, 10:00:16 am »
ACA's Lewis & Clark #8 map shows routing between Three Forks (west of Bozeman) and Columbus (where you would head SE to reach Red Lodge). It keeps cyclists off I-90 as much as possible but there still are places where you have to ride on it. And there are roads between Missoula and Three Forks to stay off it but again you'll do some riding on it. We don't have that portion mapped on any of our routes. If you can get a Montana state map and stop in our office I can point out routing.

We are open weekdays from 8 - 5. Please let me know ahead of time if you need help.

General Discussion / Re: Tandem on the Northern Tier
« Last post by Pat Lamb on July 24, 2015, 09:46:57 am »
Not me, but I did meet a couple headed east on a tandem.  They were credit-card touring, and the wife had made motel reservations all the way across the country.  IIRC they were riding about 80 miles per day, which she said was easy because of the light load (this was after they'd completed the Washington passes).  They planned to finish and fly home to Seattle within two months.
General Discussion / Tandem on the Northern Tier
« Last post by brad on July 23, 2015, 10:55:53 pm »
Anyone else taken a tandem on the Northern Tier? Looking to make a cross country tour next summer with my wife.
Routes / Re: Northern Tier - Whitefish to Libby, Montana via Rt 2?
« Last post by mbattisti on July 23, 2015, 09:11:39 pm »
my wife and I took rt 2 from kalispell to Libby the summer of 2010 on a loaded tandem.  We had no troubles. some logging trucks but they were very well behaved.  If I remember correctly, after the rail trail there was long, gradual climb with a nice convenient store at the top.  We camped at lovely Logan State Park (46 miles from Kalispell) where loons serenaded us at night.  On the next day's ride, we hoped to find some breakfast at the hamlet of "Happy's Inn",  but were disappointed to find only a poorly stocked excuse for a convenient store.  It was another 43 miles of no services to Libby.   We did have a moose and calf cross the road in front of us on the way!
Routes / Missoula, Mt. to Bear Tooth Hwy.
« Last post by scooper on July 23, 2015, 07:44:46 pm »
I am trying to come up with a Plan B since the fires in Glacier are happening. We are thinking to start in Missoula & go to Red Lodge & climb Beartooth Hwy. into Yellowstone. Anybody know a route that will keep me off the Interstate?
Thanks for any help.
Mid-Atlantic / Re: Atlantic Coast section 3 Map 30 Delta
« Last post by cycling girl on July 23, 2015, 06:13:03 pm »
Give her a call. She's listed in the American Adventure Cycling maps under Stonewall Inn at Delta. She doesn't have a web page.
General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« Last post by staehpj1 on July 23, 2015, 05:11:49 pm »
It's a personal call, but to me the notion of riding coast to coast would be greatly diminished if you break it down into a bunch of chunks.  If I wasn't doing it all in one go or maybe two, I'd be way more inclined to cherry pick a bit location-wise and just pick nice places to ride.

Again, a personal call, but I really liked the Pacific Coast a lot, especially Oregon and Northern California.  Enough so that I will do it again, probably more than once.  I was less crazy about Washington myself, but riding out of your home town would be nice.  I'd definitely choose the Pacific Coast over the section of the NT that you are considering unless going coast to coast is a really big deal for you even if done in a bunch of chunks.

I have not done the NT myself, since when I wanted to go coast to coast I chose the TA over the NT and later the ST (in the winter).
General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« Last post by John Nelson on July 23, 2015, 03:36:52 pm »
Well, North Dakota isn't the most exciting place to ride. But if you want to tick off coast-to-coast, I suppose you better continue where you left off. Once you get to Minnesota, the riding will get better.

Having done both the Northern Tier and the Pacific Coast, I would rate the Pacific Coast much more highly. Is there more traffic in Los Angeles than in Gackle, ND? Yes. Is the scenery better on the Pacific Coast? Yes. You can't get to Los Angeles in three weeks anyway.

In three weeks, you can probably get from Vancouver to San Francisco. Fly home from San Francisco. There won't be any traffic problems on that route and it's logistically pretty simple for you. That's what I'd recommend. You've already done the best part of the Northern Tier anyway.
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