Author Topic: Northern Tier - N. Dakota  (Read 2870 times)

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Offline SFCampbell

Northern Tier - N. Dakota
« on: June 25, 2016, 01:27:10 am »
We have a group planning to ride the Northern Tier route later this summer, and we've noted that there are times in western North Dakota that the route goes on I-94.  I assume that this has been researched and that riding the shoulder of the Interstate in these places is better than any alternative routes to the north.  Can anyone tell me more about what to expect and whether there are any alternatives that make sense?

Offline John Nelson

Re: Northern Tier - N. Dakota
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2016, 09:38:43 am »
There is about 50 miles of Interstate riding in five segments, spread over three days. Some of it has rumble strips that you have to work to avoid. Yes, it's not very nice, but it's a very small part of your trip. You'll survive it just fine.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Northern Tier - N. Dakota
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2016, 12:31:02 pm »
Also, the average annual daily traffic (AADT) is less than 10,000 vehicles per day.  With 4 lanes of traffic and a full shoulder (granted ruble strips in places), it is not horrible.  Yes, a quiet tree-shaded 500 AADT road with a 3' shoulder meandering along a clear river would be better but none exist in that area.  Unless you are willing to do gravel roads, there is not very many decent alternatives.  Enjoy the ride!

Offline jamawani

Re: Northern Tier - N. Dakota
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2016, 02:08:52 pm »
I think Highway 200 is a much nicer crossing of North Dakota.

From Sidney, Montana, you can take Hwy 23/68 to a back entrance of Theodore Roosevelt N.P.
(It involves about 8 miles of unpaved riding)
Then US 85/ Hwy 200 south which has much less traffic because of the drop in oil & gas development and with shoulders.
Then Hwy 200 straight east across the state. This road has fairly low traffic counts and county seats and services scattered along the way.
(The Hwy 1806 option above Halliday is quieter, still.)
It also traverses two of the finest historic/park locations in North Dakota - TRNP and the Mandan-Hidatsa villages.
I believe the latter to be one of the most important sites in the northern Great Plains.
There's Knife River NHS with visible lodge rings and a recreated earth lodge -
And there is the Fort Mandan site near Washburn.

Here's the ND DOT 2014 Traffic Count Map -
https://www.dot.nd.gov/docs/maps/traffic/trafficstate_2014.pdf

Note - Oil & gas traffic in western ND has dropped by about half.


Offline ggwbikemt

Re: Northern Tier - N. Dakota
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2016, 03:05:34 am »
HWY 200 in western North Dakota has road construction taking place in 2 areas which will make biking less desirable. One is Montana state line to US 85, the other is US 85 east to ND 22.  In eastern North Dakota, ND 200 also construction where it is co-located with US 52 west of Carrington.