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Messages - roadrunner

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Hi Jan,

Welcome to the U.S. I hope you are enjoying Chicago.  The city has many miles of bike paths you could ride to prepare for your September tour.

Your planned tour route from Glacier Park to Salt Lake City will be a wonderful tour.  I don't think you could pick a more scenic route.  I bicycled almost the same route (from Missula, Montana, to Salt Lake City in 1996 with two friends).  We followed Adventure Cycling's TransAmerica route from Missoula, southeast to Yellowstone and Grand Teton parks.  Sections 4 and 5 of Adventure Cycling's TransAmerica Bicycle Trail maps show that route and provide much useful information.  From Grand Teton park, we generally followed highway US-89 to Salt Lake City.  We averaged about 55 miles a day, taking 17 days for the tour, including some short-distance days for sight-seeing.

The route between Missoula and Dillon, Montana, includes about 4 mountain passes with long, but not extremely-steep, climbs, followed by many miles of downhill coasting.   There are no significant mountains past Dillon.  The entire route has spectacular scenery -- the beautiful Bitterroot Valley south of Missoula,  "Big Sky" country en route to Yellowstone, the wonders of Yellowstone Park and grandure of the Teton Mountains, and wide open spaces in Utah.

The entire route has little traffic, even Yellowstone Park, since you will be there after the summer tourist season.  Weather-wise, daytime temperatures should be pleasant and evenings cool, with frost likely.  Be prepared for both warm and chilly riding weather.  You can get average daily high and low temperatures by month for towns along the route from  

I have a journal (pre-internet, typed) of our tour which I could mail you if you're interested.  Just let me know your mailing address.

If you do the tour, you will have a wonderful ride and see parts of the U.S. much different from Chicago and Illinois.

Yes, Jan, Route 89 is a paved highway.  It really isn't a mountain route.  Most of the terrain along the route is rolling. Where there is climbing, it is generally long, gradual grades, rather than steep mountain climbing.  The highest climb I recall is getting to the Grand Canyon.



A route which provides spectacular scenery, little traffic, few tourists, and good weather in September is highway US-89 from Yellowstone National Park to Flagstaff, Arizona.  The route passes through or near Yellowstone, Grand Teaton, Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Grand Canyon National Parks and many other scenic areas.

The only large city on the route is Salt Lake City, Utah, otherwise most of the route is through fairly remote areas and small towns.  It would give you a real feel for the western U.S.

The north end of Route 89 is at the Canadian border near Waterton-Glacier Park and Glacier National Park, however it's a long way from there to Yellowstone.  You could fly into Bozeman, Montana, to begin at Yellowstone.  

September is the ideal time to ride in most of the U.S., including Route 89.  Nights would likely be chilly in Yellowstone and Teaton parks, but the weather is normally mild further south.  Traffic and park visitation is light in September, because schools are in session.

I've cylced the route and enjoyed it greatly.  The April 2007 issue of National Geographic Adventure magazine has an article on driving Route 89, which describes the road and places along it.  The article is available on the magazine's website.

If you'd want to ride futher, you could continue to Phoenix or Tucson, Arizona.  The Mexican border is about 100 km south of Tucson.

General Discussion / Which way is the wind blowing?
« on: March 27, 2006, 12:03:58 am »
For some reason,clicking on the link to windroses in the previous message results in an error message page.  Typing "windrose" in the search keyword block on that page will provide a page with a link to the windroses.

General Discussion / Which way is the wind blowing?
« on: March 26, 2006, 11:57:10 pm »
Windroses are graphical plots of average wind direction and velocity at specified locations.  The plots show the percent of time winds are from each direction and also the wind speed by percent of time.  The following website,, provides windroses for sites in every state by month.

General Discussion / Where are you touring to 2006
« on: January 09, 2006, 10:42:58 pm »
A modification of the America Discovery Trail between Annapolis, Maryland, and the Mississippi River, following the C&O Canal and Greater Allegheny Passage from Washington, D.C. to Pittsburgh, then across Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois (also on canal paths).  Almost 600 miles of the total 1,100 miles will be on canal paths or rail trails.

General Discussion / Good cycle tour for a preganant woman
« on: November 04, 2004, 03:39:10 am »
Southeast Arizona is a popular winter touring area that would seem to fit your desires.  The weather is good for riding (highs in the 60s-70s, lows in the 30s-40s).  There are scenic mountain ranges, but ranges are scattered, with the highways in valleys between the mountains, so the riding is fairly level.  A common tour route which takes about a week begins in Tucson and goes through Benson, Tombstone, Bisbee, Sierra Vista, Sonoita, Nogales, and back to Tucson.  The terrain is mostly high desert, and the area has many historic sites (Indian, Spanish, Mexican, and Old West).  Towns are generally about 30 miles apart. The route includes some interstate riding, which is legal in Arizona, but light-traffic frontage roads cover much of what looks like interstate riding on a map.  Beginning and ending in Phoenix and doing the same route adds about another week.  If you'd like more information, e-mail me at

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