Author Topic: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022  (Read 321 times)

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Offline Joey_Bai

Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« on: September 18, 2021, 12:46:47 pm »
I'm a graduate student in Providence, RI, graduating next May. What's a better way to celebrate graduation than biking across the country? I'm planning on ridding the Northern Tier early June and finish before September (about 50 miles a day with some rest days). I know it's still super early but is there anyone who are interested in ridding together?
« Last Edit: September 18, 2021, 01:04:41 pm by Joey_Bai »

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2021, 07:44:46 am »
No, not me. You will find the northern tier route very good for cycling. I did 2600 miles of it in 1987, west to east. I flew to Seattle from Florida to avoid the head winds I hear about. There were some strong following winds. How strong? Like tearing along at 30 mph and going over hills and rises hardly needing to pedal. I would say the winds were 40 mph, maybe stronger at times. That did not go on for a long time, but I would not have wanted to go against it. You most likely will not need cold weather gear till after the foot hills, out west. You will be climbing a long time, sweating hard, and going into high altitude cold. Use breathable fabric for your jacket and pants. If not, you will be soaked, cold, with no way to dry and get warm.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2021, 02:27:58 pm »
I would not be too concerned about headwinds you will encounter them in either direction. Ironically, the jetstream is west to east but the predominate ground level winds (based on studies found on NOAA.GOV - sorry did not save the links) show winds coming FROM the South East, so blowing from Florida towards Washington State.

I can tell you that wind direction changes. I know every time I ride into a head wind and turn around so does the head wind.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline John Nelson

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2021, 04:15:58 pm »
When I did the Northern Tier, some days I had horrendous headwinds and some days I had strong tailwinds, but more days than not were relatively calm.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2021, 07:17:57 am »
Winds are probably a wash as far as direction of travel on the NT or at least most likely not the sole reason to go one way or the other.  They are a bit bigger factor for the Trans America because it aligns closer with the winds in the plains, but still not a huge reason to choose direction of travel.

One reason I tend to pick one direction over the other is that I like to start on the opposite coast from where I live.  That way you get air travel out of the way up front.  It is hard to know exactly when you will finish, but you know when you will start.  It is a hassle to hit an exact date for a flight home or to change a ticket.  Also starting a few thousand miles from home makes for a bit more automatic commitment.  A flexible schedule is a joy.

Offline ray b

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2021, 04:39:05 pm »
To address your question - you might not find a suitable riding partner before you leave, or realize after a few days (if not weeks), that your chosen riding partner is not compatible.

As noted in other posts throughout the forum, don't be a afraid to ride by yourself. After years of touring, most of us old guys only run solo - no compromises necessary: no audience to watch us struggle, no pressure to keep up, no disagreement on how much garlic is needed in the spaghetti sauce.... Coming out of graduate school, you might appreciate the autonomy.

Although slightly fewer riders head east to west - due in part to the folklore and myths of the prevailing surface winds noted by all above - you'll still run consistently into fellow riders and potential for at least transient riding partners all along the way, especially if you are camping.

Don't sweat the little stuff and have fun.
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline jwrushman

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2021, 08:04:30 pm »
If you're still looking for riders in April, May, please re-post this.  I did the NT in 2019 but may be interested in joining you for a week. 

Are you going to do the NT as-is, or start in Rhode Island?  Cutting across Ontario and Michigan, or going south through Ohio and Michigan?  Camping?

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2021, 09:43:21 am »
It might be more fun to start in the west and ride home.  That's what I did for my first tour.  Rode from Seattle up to Mt. Vernon, took the NT to Bar Harbor then rode home to my front door in Philly.