Author Topic: A Monkey Wrench...  (Read 1788 times)

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Offline popeyespal

A Monkey Wrench...
« on: December 15, 2010, 11:45:52 am »
So. On and off, I've been thinking about this kind of a trip for a few years now. It's only been within the last few months that I've really started planning and training. I want to do a perimeter trip around the USA.

Here's the basic idea. I would leave Boston at some date between April 15th and 30th, 2011 and follow the Atlantic Coastal Route as laid out by ACA. (Already have the maps.) Get to Key West. Southern Tier to arrive in Pheonix. Get to Las Vegas. Arrive in San Diego and go up PCH to Vancouver. At this point make a decision and either return to Boston via Northern Tier/Great Lakes OR ride to my family home of Anchorage, AK. and then across Canada to Boston.

I have 14 months give or take and I planned on covering 80 miles a day with riding about 6-8 hours a day 6 days a week. If I round way down and say that I ride 350 days out of the 14 months that gives me a total of 28k miles. Plenty I think.

I planned on stealth camping 90% percent of the time and then utilizing Warmshowers.org, Couchsurfing.org and hostels for the nights indoors. I think I can do this trip on an average of $15-20 per day. I have a brand new Surly Long Haul Trucker and I want to carry panniers...no trailer for me.

Recently I have been getting a lot of feedback from friends and others that say I may want to rethink my route and timing. I've been told that I would be doing the two crossings at exactly the opposite times that I should. I've also been told that going north on the PCH is insane.

I HAVE TO... Start and end in Boston...arrive in Key West, Pheonix, Las Vegas and Seattle. Everything thing else, including departure date, is open to debate.

What would you do?

« Last Edit: December 30, 2010, 04:46:40 pm by popeyespal »

Offline staehpj1

Re: A Monkey Wrench...
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2010, 01:00:14 pm »
I looked into doing a perimeter tour starting and ending in Baltimore, Md.    My conclusion was that the only way to go was counterclockwise.

Check out these old threads:
http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=4203.0
http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=4314.0

Offline whittierider

Re: A Monkey Wrench...
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2010, 01:20:26 pm »
Yes.  Go counterclockwise.  In the southwest, the winds will be against you, but all the more going up the Pacific coast.  The wind will keep trying to blow you south.  I've been out there climbing at 28mph going down the coast, because of the wind.  I'd hate to have to be trying to go the other direction in it for weeks.  The departments of transportation know that cyclists normally ride south on the Pacific coast, have have made the southbound side of the road more accommodating too.

Offline knolltop

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Re: A Monkey Wrench...
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2010, 05:32:31 pm »
Yes.  Go counterclockwise.  In the southwest, the winds will be against you, but all the more going up the Pacific coast.  The wind will keep trying to blow you south.  I've been out there climbing at 28mph going down the coast, because of the wind.  I'd hate to have to be trying to go the other direction in it for weeks.  The departments of transportation know that cyclists normally ride south on the Pacific coast, have have made the southbound side of the road more accommodating too.
+1000!  PCH s-->n is suicide ... wind & road condition.  Souther Tier in summer sounds like suicide.
+-+ Michael +-+

Offline valygrl

Re: A Monkey Wrench...
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2010, 06:29:17 pm »
Yep, I also vote for going the other way.

Offline indyfabz

Re: A Monkey Wrench...
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2010, 02:05:29 pm »
When would be the earliest I could depart Boston that would guarantee warm enough weather to stealth camp across the Northern Tier?

Not sure I understand the relationship between temperature and stealth camping as opposed to camping in established camprgounds and camping areas (e.g., city parks).

In any event, if you ar leaving Boston in early April and following the NT proper, you could very well encounter cold nights in the Adirondaks.  For example, the average nightly low in April for Lake George is around freezing.  Further west, Dunkirk, NY is 37.

Offline popeyespal

Re: A Monkey Wrench...
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2010, 10:22:30 am »
After much further research and many good notes from all of you I have completely scrapped my route planning and am going to go counter-clockwise. The biggest swaying factor? EVERYONE seems to think that going north on the PCH is just asking for a horrible trip. I can't find a single blog from someone who has done it S-N that wasn't filled with horror stories about traffic and wind.

The average temps across the Northern Tier seem to indicate I should probably put off the start from Boston until at least mid-May.

Now I have one final question. I MUST hit Seattle, Las Vegas and Phoenix. Seattle obviously isn't a routing concern. But what is the best way to head down the PCH and cut over to Las Vegas and Phoenix?
« Last Edit: December 30, 2010, 04:51:44 pm by popeyespal »

Offline popeyespal

Re: A Monkey Wrench...
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2010, 10:25:25 am »

Not sure I understand the relationship between temperature and stealth camping as opposed to camping in established camprgounds and camping areas (e.g., city parks).

No difference at all. Why would there be? It's just that I will be stealth camping so that is the way I refer to it.

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: A Monkey Wrench...
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2010, 03:54:20 pm »
There is an indirect relation in the Northeast, where most of the forest is deciduous. No concealing leaves until early or late May, depending on latitude and altitude. You need to push a lot further in to be out of sight from the highway.

Fred