Author Topic: Northern Tier Alternate  (Read 4015 times)

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Offline bbarrettx

Northern Tier Alternate
« on: June 18, 2016, 02:42:06 pm »
I rode the TransAm in 1987 when I was 21 and my daughter and I are exploring a XC tour for next summer as a 30th anniversary trip. We have a friend who lives close to Stanley, ID who we plan to visit along the way and plan to finish on the NJ Shore. Because of the ID visit we'll start on the TransAm and veer off once in ID to get to Stanley in the Sawtooths. From Stanley we'll find our way to the Lewis and Clark and then Northern Tier to Great Lakes and Lake Erie Connector and from Niagara work our way down to the Finger Lakes and across southern NY on one of the state bike routes and then eventually into northern NJ. This route is very preliminary and I've done no research. If anyone has any insights into any of these sections it would be helpful. Thanks in advance. Cheers.


Offline dkoloko

Re: Northern Tier Alternate
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2016, 07:48:06 am »
Official NY state bike route may follow busy roads; direct, but not most enjoyable or safest. Avoid Rt 17.

Offline bbarrettx

Re: Northern Tier Alternate
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2016, 12:49:25 pm »
Looks like the PA option is highway 6. Any thoughts on that vs the NY route.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Northern Tier Alternate
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2016, 06:32:27 pm »
I advise, in general, avoid main roads. If you travel through the Allegheny Mountains, you will have lots of hills to climb.

Offline jcostanz

Re: Northern Tier Alternate
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2016, 06:48:49 pm »
A slightly longer route but flatter would be to follow the Erie Canal to Albany and then follow the Hudson River south.  The finger lakes area is often very hilly with steep inclines, especially around Ithaca.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Northern Tier Alternate
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2016, 08:34:30 pm »
A slightly longer route but flatter would be to follow the Erie Canal to Albany and then follow the Hudson River south.  The finger lakes area is often very hilly with steep inclines, especially around Ithaca.

If you can get yourself south of the steep inclines in the Finger Lakes, which I have bicycled, and angle southeast, to the general area of Rt 209, you will have glorious downhills, and I think a more satisfying route than following the Hudson River south. If you decide to follow the Hudson River south, avoid Rt 9W.

Offline zzzz

Re: Northern Tier Alternate
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2016, 09:08:16 am »
I live north of Philly and for many years I had a track car I used to run at Watkins Glen (Finger Lakes) and I would drive up there 5-10 times a year and I would always take 6 unless I was running really late. It's a pretty road to drive but I would be reluctant to ride it.

If you take it, on the plus side you won't have a bunch of turns to map out and I remember it having a shoulder most of the way. On the other hand it carries a lot of traffic, many of them trucks, and everybody will be going 70+. As far as topography, it's lots of rollers but you will have that everywhere. It's probably safely ridable but that doesn't mean it will be pleasant.

I find that whole area of the Pa northern tier/NY southern tier quite lovely, especially the Finger Lakes. There would be some work involved but it's an area thats been populated for a long time and there is quite a network of small roads so I think you would be best off getting state road maps w traffic counts and working out something for yourself. Get it loaded on a GPS device to give you turn by turn directions and you won't feel like 100% of your time is consumed with following the route.

Best of luck.

pm




Offline bbarrettx

Re: Northern Tier Alternate
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2016, 11:46:45 am »
Thanks for all of your suggestions. I'm guessing that the fracking ban in NY State could mean less heavy vehicles than PA. Looks like we'll find our way to Ithaca and continue southeast to the headwaters of the Delaware River.

Offline canalligators

Re: Northern Tier Alternate
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2016, 12:08:04 pm »
Regarding the Finger Lakes and hills, it's generally flat between the lakes.  They transition from very gentle rolling across the north to some real hills across the south. Getting out of Ithaca or Watkins Glen requires some climbing. Generally, going north-south is much easier than east-west, the glacierscarved the land with north-south grooves.  Bike 14 is flat to rolling and very scenic.  As long as you're not opposed to a moderate amount of climbing, the Finger Lakes have some really fine riding.

The Albany alternative is a good choice too. Bike 5 to Albany, most of which is good riding. Then Bike 9 can get you to northern NJ. Bike 9 is a decent ride, mostly going east of the Hudson. I agree that you shouldn't take 9W all the way from Albany.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Northern Tier Alternate
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2016, 07:18:54 am »
Thanks for all of your suggestions. I'm guessing that the fracking ban in NY State could mean less heavy vehicles than PA. Looks like we'll find our way to Ithaca and continue southeast to the headwaters of the Delaware River.

Got back from touring in MT yesterday and just saw this....

Reaching the shore in north and central NJ can be tricky in places. Send me a private message if you might be interested in passing through Philly and heading to the S. Jersey shore. A few years ago I did a nice trip from Warren, OH to my home in Philly, and I ride to the S. Jersey shore fairly frequently.  One convenient aspect of ending at the S. Jersey shore is that you can then ride to Atlantic City and take the train (with your bikes) back to Philly for transportation options back home. Also, the route down the Delaware from Port Jervis, NY to Lambertville, NJ is really nice. From there, it's easy to get to Philly.