Author Topic: Best Recommended Routes  (Read 69 times)

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Offline santiago11

Best Recommended Routes
« on: October 29, 2014, 03:08:47 pm »
Hey All,

A friend and I are going on a cross country bike trip next year and we are starting to plan things out from now. We are kind of new to the whole idea but we're ecstatic on the thought of the adventure that is ahead of us. We are planing on going from Tampa Florida to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming then to Seattle Washington then to San Diego California and then to the Grand Canyon in Arizona and then back to Tampa. We want to do this through a fully-loaded bicycle touring method (Bringing a tent, light cooking ware etc.)

We were curious to what specific routes you guys might recommend us to go on in our trip (the more scenic the better)? Also if there is any advise concerning anything you guys might think off please do not hesitate on sharing it!

Thank you all.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Best Recommended Routes
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2014, 03:49:01 pm »
Since it appears this might be your first tour, I would suggest taking the ACA routes.  You can take the Florida Connector to the Atlantic Coast to the TransAm.  Hang a left and go to Missoula.  Connect to the Great Parks North to Glacier National Park then onto the Northern Tier to Anacortes.  If you have time, do a tour around the San Juan islands.  Do the Pacific Coast or the Sierra Cascades (tougher) to where you connect with the Western Express (not going to San Diego).  Connect up with the Grand Canyon Connector (be sure to see Zion & Bryce NPs while in the area) to the Southern Tier.  Once you get to Pensacola, stay near the coast (off the Southern Tier) using Florida's many rail trails when available back to Tampa. 

One thing to seriously look into is the timing.  You are going quite far between Tampa and Seattle and then looping back and you want to be sure you do not get stuck in winter weather somewhere.  You did not say how many miles a day you would do (50-55 miles per day on AVERAGE is reasonable) so difficult to gauge your start date based on late fall weather.  You will need to get a good idea as to your starting date so you are not snowed on in Washington.  Be sure to buffer about 2 weeks in case of a early winter storm.

Enjoy the ride!

 
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline santiago11

Re: Best Recommended Routes
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2014, 06:31:18 pm »
Hello Mr. Nettles,

I want to thank you very much for your quick response on the routes and insights on the weather, that is something we will most definitely look at. If we do an average of approximately 60 miles per day how much time do you predict it can take? (Considering all the stops you suggested! :D)

Thank again!

Offline John Nettles

Re: Best Recommended Routes
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2014, 07:29:44 pm »
I am not overly familiar with the "snow dates" of the northwestern states so will let others give the dates.  From there, if you add up the various segments (each route has a break down of each segment) between Tampa and say Washington and take that number and divide by 55 (to cover the extra rest days in the NPs), you will get the numbers of days minimum you will have to start.

For instance, say the snow date is September 10th on average.  You would probably want to be out of the Washington mountains by September 1st in case of snow (or be prepared to hunker down in a good tent or motel until it warms back up).  Then say it takes 150 days to get from Tampa to Washington.  That would mean you would need to start approximately April 1st.  However, you then need to balance that out with arriving too early in Canon City, CO (case of the Colorado Rockies).  Not before June 1st for sure, probably more like June 15th.  You will definitely have snow at the passes but they should not be blocked.  It WILL be cold at night.

One thing to consider also is to reverse your route and/or starting from different locations, i.e. start from San Diego, May 15th and go clockwise.  You will just need to play with your speed, route, and weather (can you tolerate 30 degree nights?? to get something you can live with.

Happy Trails.
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John