Author Topic: Cross Country Route Choice  (Read 2611 times)

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Offline chipg

Cross Country Route Choice
« on: April 06, 2007, 12:48:10 am »
My friend and I want to ride across the country in the summer of 2008. We cannot decide between the Northern Tier route or the Trans-America route. Any suggestions?


Offline Fred Hiltz

Cross Country Route Choice
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2007, 09:25:39 am »
Flip a coin. I do not mean to be flippant here. Given nothing about your preferences, dates, experience, desired start/end points, or anything else; how can we help you? If you want stories of "how I like the xxx route," you can find thousands of them at

Browse this forum for relevant posts. Note the kinds of questions that get good answers. They are usually quite specific.


Offline Peaks

Cross Country Route Choice
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2007, 06:02:32 pm »
We faced the same quandry.  

Trans-America route is the oldest ACA route, and is the most popular.  

Northern Tier is less ridden.  

If in doubt, then read some of the on line journals, and maybe that will help you decide.  

Offline litespeed

Cross Country Route Choice
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2007, 07:15:31 pm »
As usual, I beat the drums for US14. You could take the trans-am or enjoy the tailwinds in the Colombia River gorge as far as Yellowstone, see the sights there then pick up US14. This will take you over the Big Horn Mts. (A fearsome climb, I'll admit), The Black Hills (Mt. Rushmore, etc.) and The Badlands.
Then cross Minnesota and Wisconsin to Manitowoc where you take the ferry to Ludington, MI. Bike across Michigan and into Ontario at Port Huron, across southern Ontario to Buffalo , NY. There you could pick up New York bike route 5 or do the Erie Canal Trail.
However, if you do the Northern Tier You have the advantage of being able to jog north and take in Jasper and Banff Parks, arguably the most spectacular scenery on earth.
If you do either one of these, don't forget your passport.

Offline chipg

Cross Country Route Choice
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2007, 12:48:50 am »
Sorry, I guess I was a little vague...
  My friend and I our high schoolers, so we would have to go in the summer (our school would get out in early June, and we would probably have to make it across country by late August). We live in Oregon, so we plan to go west to east. One idea we have is going from Washington to Washington. We are also both really into history, so any historical sites would be awesome. Is the northern tier much cooler than the trans-america one?

Thank you,

Offline Fred Hiltz

Cross Country Route Choice
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2007, 08:01:50 am »
Hi Seth,

Either one is certainly in range for your time frame. Both routes have plenty of historic sites, many of which appear on the back of the ACA maps. You are smart to plan for some visits, even some side trips. We seem to remember those much more fondly than "I averaged 82 miles a day."

NT summer temperatures average about 5 degrees cooler than TA, but of course on any given day... The NOAA web site has a wealth of temperature and wind statistics. Here is one of their good pages.