Author Topic: Planning to go Portland > EAST somewhere  (Read 597 times)

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Offline Alynx

Planning to go Portland > EAST somewhere
« on: July 29, 2018, 04:32:05 pm »
Hi there~!

I just signed up and on to this site and forum. I'm currently living near Portland, Oregon and wantin' to bike across country to the east coast somewheres. Where precisely, is TBD as I've a couple friends in different states that I wanna visit. Likely will be North Carolina.

I've always biked everywhere I live, never really considered it a joy of mine but rather a mode of point A -> B and back again. Some events in my life have led me  to the choice of biking across country not just as a recreation, but a general .... live life thing. I want to see the country and do it by my own power.

That all said, I'm very new to this notion of extreme distances. I've been in the process of paring things down for months anyways now, and saving money. so I'll be pouring my all into my bike once I purchase it (next week! Eeeee!) I've gotten support from the friends I've told my plan to and have been looking over the Adventure Cycling site for checklists of what is good to bring with and what's just excess.  My free time's to be spent at the apartment complex's gym on the exercise bike to practice long ride times and build up endurance AND I'm lookin' into bike maintenance classes to keep my babby goin'.

What are the realistic perils / needs / pros/cons of doing this? Mind you I'm generally a shuttered up hermit who just cringes at the notion of doing social things. .... But I love people, oddly enough. I just gotta find the right enthusiastic strange ones, I suppose.

ANYways. Any advice for someone looking to do such a feat for the first time? Wisdom? Where's the ideal places to pitch tent for sleep? Where/how to avoid bear maulings?

I look forward to adventuring (relatively)soon!

Offline PNWRider92

Re: Planning to go Portland > EAST somewhere
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2018, 07:12:24 pm »
Hi there~!

I just signed up and on to this site and forum. I'm currently living near Portland, Oregon and wantin' to bike across country to the east coast somewheres. Where precisely, is TBD as I've a couple friends in different states that I wanna visit. Likely will be North Carolina.

I've always biked everywhere I live, never really considered it a joy of mine but rather a mode of point A -> B and back again. Some events in my life have led me  to the choice of biking across country not just as a recreation, but a general .... live life thing. I want to see the country and do it by my own power.

That all said, I'm very new to this notion of extreme distances. I've been in the process of paring things down for months anyways now, and saving money. so I'll be pouring my all into my bike once I purchase it (next week! Eeeee!) I've gotten support from the friends I've told my plan to and have been looking over the Adventure Cycling site for checklists of what is good to bring with and what's just excess.  My free time's to be spent at the apartment complex's gym on the exercise bike to practice long ride times and build up endurance AND I'm lookin' into bike maintenance classes to keep my babby goin'.

What are the realistic perils / needs / pros/cons of doing this? Mind you I'm generally a shuttered up hermit who just cringes at the notion of doing social things. .... But I love people, oddly enough. I just gotta find the right enthusiastic strange ones, I suppose.

ANYways. Any advice for someone looking to do such a feat for the first time? Wisdom? Where's the ideal places to pitch tent for sleep? Where/how to avoid bear maulings?

I look forward to adventuring (relatively)soon!

Welcome to the forums Alynx! I worked at Nike and lived in Beaverton (170th & Elmonica) until relocating to Denver last November. In 2016 I did a ride for cancer awareness called Portland 2 Portland. I took the MAX downtown and started at Pioneer Courthouse Square and rode 5,177 miles to the City Center in Portland, Maine in 96 days (71 days of riding and 25 days off). It was also my first long distance tour.

I've posted a link below of my route. I zigzagged around to visit friends and speak at hospitals for my charity so it wasn't the most direct route.

My favorite thing about bike touring is seeing the country better than you see it in a car. It's relaxing to me. The people you meet along the way are great too. There's just something about a loaded touring bike that makes people want to talk to you.

With that said, it's not all fantastic. You'll have nasty headwinds on days, hills that never seem to end, idiot drivers etc. None of those are things that should scare you away though. I'd say a majority of the days I've been on the road (I've since done two more long distance tours) are beyond great! If you can survive those occasional crappy days you'll be fine.

As for where to sleep? Some campgrounds have a hiker/biker area so that's a good place to start. If you're following a ACA route many of the towns along the way will have hiker/biker campsites in city parks etc. I've often contacted churches and asked to camp on their property. They're usually okay with it or will at least tell you another church to contact. If I'm really in a pinch I've camped at police and fire stations or in city parks but those definitely aren't my go to places. 

As for bears? I wouldn't worry about them unless you intend to cycle through Yellowstone or Glacier in the summer. Even then you can rent or buy bear spray and carry it in a cozy in one of your water bottle cages. The reality is that bears want nothing to do with you and wont bother you. Your chances of getting attacked are slim to none.

If you have any questions feel free to ask. There's a lot of seasoned tourist on this website :)

Best,

Ty

https://www.travellerspoint.com/member_map.cfm?user=Ty0604&tripid=893835
Instagram: Portland_2_Portland

Offline Patco

Re: Planning to go Portland > EAST somewhere
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2018, 08:16:34 pm »
Advice? Wisdom? I am not sure what follows is either, and as someone who uses a bike for transportation this may be old news, but some random thoughts...when travelling, don't pass up an opportunity to use a blue room...take advantage of all downhills. That advantage may be free-wheeling to take a break (although on long downhills, I still turn the cranks, slowly, so my legs don't forget their job) or to increase your average speed by bombing downhill, but regardless, I always consider downhills as free miles and a reward for the uphill...where possible, take the road less traveled so long as the services you need or seek are still available...when necessary because of the route, and where allowed, riding the shoulder of an Interstate is not terrible (definitely not the road less traveled) but it comes with the potential for small punctures from tiny steel wires from blown radials, and they are tough to find so as to patch, so carry at least one spare tube...speaking of spare tubes, on one trip I took two spares and within five days I was without a spare. Faulty valve stems were the culprit. I was unable to locate the sized tube needed in the town I found myself. Unusual, yes, but since then I take four spares. Extra weight and space but it helps ease my mind...eat before your are hungry and drink before you are thirsty, you do not want to bonk. I make it a point to eat something about every twenty minutes while riding to keep my energy levels up...do not lose focus when riding. Enjoy the sights and sounds but as soon as you lose focus you will hit that broken pavement or chuckhole or glass or whatever. So stay vigilant. Enjoy the journey and welcome to the bike tourist world.

Offline Alynx

Re: Planning to go Portland > EAST somewhere
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2018, 06:24:33 am »
Hi there~!

I just signed up and on to this site and forum. I'm currently living near Portland, Oregon and wantin' to bike across country to the east coast somewheres. Where precisely, is TBD as I've a couple friends in different states that I wanna visit. Likely will be North Carolina.

I've always biked everywhere I live, never really considered it a joy of mine but rather a mode of point A -> B and back again. Some events in my life have led me  to the choice of biking across country not just as a recreation, but a general .... live life thing. I want to see the country and do it by my own power.

That all said, I'm very new to this notion of extreme distances. I've been in the process of paring things down for months anyways now, and saving money. so I'll be pouring my all into my bike once I purchase it (next week! Eeeee!) I've gotten support from the friends I've told my plan to and have been looking over the Adventure Cycling site for checklists of what is good to bring with and what's just excess.  My free time's to be spent at the apartment complex's gym on the exercise bike to practice long ride times and build up endurance AND I'm lookin' into bike maintenance classes to keep my babby goin'.

What are the realistic perils / needs / pros/cons of doing this? Mind you I'm generally a shuttered up hermit who just cringes at the notion of doing social things. .... But I love people, oddly enough. I just gotta find the right enthusiastic strange ones, I suppose.

ANYways. Any advice for someone looking to do such a feat for the first time? Wisdom? Where's the ideal places to pitch tent for sleep? Where/how to avoid bear maulings?

I look forward to adventuring (relatively)soon!

Welcome to the forums Alynx! I worked at Nike and lived in Beaverton (170th & Elmonica) until relocating to Denver last November. In 2016 I did a ride for cancer awareness called Portland 2 Portland. I took the MAX downtown and started at Pioneer Courthouse Square and rode 5,177 miles to the City Center in Portland, Maine in 96 days (71 days of riding and 25 days off). It was also my first long distance tour.

I've posted a link below of my route. I zigzagged around to visit friends and speak at hospitals for my charity so it wasn't the most direct route.

My favorite thing about bike touring is seeing the country better than you see it in a car. It's relaxing to me. The people you meet along the way are great too. There's just something about a loaded touring bike that makes people want to talk to you.

With that said, it's not all fantastic. You'll have nasty headwinds on days, hills that never seem to end, idiot drivers etc. None of those are things that should scare you away though. I'd say a majority of the days I've been on the road (I've since done two more long distance tours) are beyond great! If you can survive those occasional crappy days you'll be fine.

As for where to sleep? Some campgrounds have a hiker/biker area so that's a good place to start. If you're following a ACA route many of the towns along the way will have hiker/biker campsites in city parks etc. I've often contacted churches and asked to camp on their property. They're usually okay with it or will at least tell you another church to contact. If I'm really in a pinch I've camped at police and fire stations or in city parks but those definitely aren't my go to places. 

As for bears? I wouldn't worry about them unless you intend to cycle through Yellowstone or Glacier in the summer. Even then you can rent or buy bear spray and carry it in a cozy in one of your water bottle cages. The reality is that bears want nothing to do with you and wont bother you. Your chances of getting attacked are slim to none.

If you have any questions feel free to ask. There's a lot of seasoned tourist on this website :)

Best,

Ty

https://www.travellerspoint.com/member_map.cfm?user=Ty0604&tripid=893835


Hello! Sorry for the long delay but THANK you for this! I honestly live extremely close to the same area in Beaverton haha! I'm excited for the ups and downs of the journey and will give your link a gander for sure! Thank you so much! :>

Offline jamawani

Re: Planning to go Portland > EAST somewhere
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2018, 08:50:31 am »
Welcome Alanx -

Cross-country bike touring is a bad habit than can become addictive - - Warning!
I started out the door 30 years ago and haven't stopped since.
Been X-USA six times and up to Alaska and the Yukon another six.
Just warning you.

All the question you ask have a range of answers. You can get good input here.
Most importantly, what is it that you want and how do you want to tour?
I know that sometimes even knowing what questions to ask is difficult.

First, when do you plan on touring cross-country.
My first tour was a fall tour - doable, but tougher in late fall with short days and poorer weather.
Most people take 2 to 3 months to ride cross-country with May thru Sept the best months.

It may work better to flip directions - esp. if riding from Oregon to N.C.
Have you experienced the joys of August heat & humidity in the South? While riding?
West to east I might wait until after July 4th and get to N.C. in Sept.
East to west from N.C., it's nice to start in mid May getting to Oregon in late July / Aug.

You don't have to be an Olympic cyclist to ride cross-country.
Sure, it doesn't hurt to train and be in shape, but you will develop your touring legs.
Give yourself enough time - esp. in the first week or two of the ride.
As few as 30-40 miles per day to start will soon be 60-70. Probably a few 80+ later on.

Why hurry? If you are in a rush - - drive or take a plane.
Give yourself time to explore the little towns, the mountains, and the rivers.
Reasonable daily mileage means you will be able to find better camping and visit Warmshowers hosts.

Your tour can be whatever you make it. - Jama

In fact,

Offline litespeed

Re: Planning to go Portland > EAST somewhere
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2018, 10:35:17 pm »
Leaving from Portland means you will be getting the great tailwinds along the Columbia river for the first 100-200 miles - a fine start for your tour. Then on to Missoula (Adventure Cycling HQ), Yellowstone & Jackson Hole and Rapid City (Mt. Rushmore). You can follow US14 most of the way to Manitowoc or Milwaukee for one of the ferries across Lake Michigan or cut south of Chicago.

I usually camp at KOA's (Get the free directory) or state parks. Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan often have campsites in town parks.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2018, 10:36:57 pm by litespeed »

Online hikerjer

Re: Planning to go Portland > EAST somewhere
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2018, 10:29:30 pm »
Just remember that a cross country ride is nothing but a lot of short rides strung together. You'll be fine.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2018, 12:52:04 am by hikerjer »

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Planning to go Portland > EAST somewhere
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2018, 02:24:52 am »
If you do not use campgrounds, stealth sites are always to be found. If you want really nice stealth sites, you may have to spend some time looking. You can most always find something. I would not sleep out in a city. I have crossed the US many times by bicycle, N to S, E to W, S to N, and have done many shorter tours of a few weeks or 8 days. I also cycled the UK, western Europe, eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and China. I stealth camped mostly. I mostly used an 8 by 10 or 10 by 12 polyethylene camouflage tarp, tent poles, and line. Even in winter it is good for the ST with a good sleeping bag.