Author Topic: West to East coast tandem tour with hotels?  (Read 5579 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Melgar

Re: West to East coast tandem tour with hotels?
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2022, 05:40:44 pm »
Michael -

I don't know about y'all, but I am an ocean-to-ocean person when I ride cross-country.

Ocean-to-ocean is preferrable, but not required for us. If there is a better route that does not include an ocean-to-ocean start/finish, we'd do that, but generally we'd like to do ocean-to-ocean.


Which leaves a couple of options - cycling in January in Montana -
or choosing more out-of-the-way places where you are more likely to find lodging.

January in Montana for us Southern Californians is not an option. We, well really I, start to get pretty whiny when the thermometer drops below 60F.

More out of the way lodging options is not only a better option, it's our preference anyhow. We don't need or even really want to go through Yellowstone. We've been there several other times and love it, but neither the lodging nor the traffic are very appealing to us when we're biking there.


Do you have your passports?
Do you want 100% US of A or would you opt for some Ontario between Michigan and New York state?
Summer touring is just so much nicer in the Northern Tier - plus more & better Mom & Pop motels.
(You have heard about the aircraft carrier they built for the mosquitoes and black flies in Minnesota?)

We have passports and would love to ride in part in Canada. Our trip this past summer (BC - Los Angeles) included a brief (a mere 20-30 minutes) stint in Canada and we would love to see more of the country by bike since we've only seen it by car previously.

If there's a good route that avoids crowded National Parks, like spending some time in Canada, we'd love to get a look at those routes. Currently, the route I posted earlier is also looking like a possibility. I'm hoping to hear from some of the folks here to see if anyone has any thoughts on the route.

Start at Santa Monica Pier (Route 66 terminus)

Take Bicycle Route 66 to Marshfield, MO
Take TransAm Route to Doswell, VA
Take Atlantic Coast Route to Bridgeport, PA
Take Chicago to NYC Philadelphia Alternate to Brooklyn, NY

Finish in Brooklyn, NY


Again, thanks so much for all your extremely helpful thoughts on our journey. It's very much appreciated. And, thanks for the direct email. If you prefer I can contact you that way. Mine is megmtb(at)gmail(dot)com.

Michael

Offline jamawani

Re: West to East coast tandem tour with hotels?
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2022, 10:57:33 pm »
There is one unfortunate aspect of staying in motels / hotels on a tour.
You generally miss out on the truly empty almost by definition.
Because they don't have the traffic to support lodging in the few towns along the way.
AirBnB canhelp in that department, but AirBnBs also tend to be in the more popular places.
Sometimes the warp can have enough traffic to your cycling weft.
Also, sometimes there is the "Old Highway" often longer, hillier, and bumpier, but worth it.

Pic - Old Trail Road in northern Indiana.
There's the modern, very busy 4-lane US 30;
the much older, moderate traffic Lincoln Highway;
and the empty Old Trail Road which predates the Lincoln Highway.
Plus county seats along the way with motels.

Offline Melgar

Re: West to East coast tandem tour with hotels?
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2022, 11:42:03 pm »
There is one unfortunate aspect of staying in motels / hotels on a tour.
You generally miss out on the truly empty almost by definition.
Because they don't have the traffic to support lodging in the few towns along the way.
AirBnB canhelp in that department, but AirBnBs also tend to be in the more popular places.

Agreed that this is a problem with needing hotels/motels/AirBnB rather than camping, but the upsides of actual beds, hot showers, and private bathrooms are of sufficient import to our touring experience at this point in our lives that it's really not something we're willing to compromise on.

Camping definitely has upsides too, but the challenges have come to outweigh those upsides for us in recent years. On our BC to Los Angeles tour this past summer we stayed in hotels the whole way. And to be sure, we spent some unpleasant miles on busy, shoulderless highways, but we also spent a major part of our time on quiet back roads. I guess it's really all about where you want to compromise and where you don't.

Michael

Offline canalligators

Re: West to East coast tandem tour with hotels?
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2022, 06:47:05 pm »
One time, years ago, I investigated riding the Northern Tier using indoor accommodations.  There were few places where there were no motels, b&bs or hostels. Unless you’re set on the TransAm or some variant, you might look into that route. It’s also easier, though less interesting.

Note this info is old, using the old route across North Dakota.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: West to East coast tandem tour with hotels?
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2022, 08:35:53 am »

Take Atlantic Coast Route to Bridgeport, PA
Take Chicago to NYC Philadelphia Alternate to Brooklyn, NY

Finish in Brooklyn, NY[/i][/b][/color]
Another option is to stay on the Atlantic Coast route to New Hope, PA/Lambertville, NJ.  There are indoor accommodations there, but they will not be cheap.  From there, our bike club has a route to Brooklyn via the Goethels Bridge to Staten Island then the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan.  Much of the way from the Manhattan dock to the Brooklyn Bridge is on a path, and the Brooklyn Bridge now has a dedicated bike lane that used to be a car lane.  As a result, I am not sure if you can still ride a bike on the pedestrian section.  Great views, but it can be a hairy experience due to tourist crowds.  There is a funky, bike-friendly hotel maybe a half mile from the base of the Brooklyn side of the bridge.  That's where our yearly club ride ends for showers.  It is within walking distance from the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights, which offers one hell of an urban view.  You can even see "Lady Liberty" off in the distance.  B' Heights is a great place to walk around and gawk at the really cool dwellings.  ("The Cosby Show" was set there.)   And the surrounding areas like Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill have lots of places to eat and drink.

New Hope to Brooklyn via this route might be a bit far to make in one day (IIRC, it's about 90 miles), but you should have no trouble finding indoor accommodations in N. Jersey.  For example, the route passes through Kenilworth.  There is a decent looking motel only a short distance from the route.  Send me a PM if interested.  I have some of it mapped out on RWGPS and should be able to do the same with the rest.  (The route recently changed some closer to the end to replace a somewhat hairy section.)

Offline HobbesOnTour

Re: West to East coast tandem tour with hotels?
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2022, 12:34:16 pm »
Have you considered making up your own route?

As I see it you would like to go coast to coast (ish) with accommodation being a big limiter and weather a secondary one. It appears that none of the "big three" ACA routes suit these limiters so why not sit down and figure out the places you'd like to visit and figure out how to join them up?
A good planner like https://cycle.travel/map would be very useful (other options are available).

Unless you are limited on time or budget or involved in a race is there nothing to be said for taking a more meandering route?

Unless you're an "every inch of the way" cyclist there is always the possibility of shipping/transporting the bike across sections or areas, no?

There are lots of places to ride your bike other than pre-existing, official routes.

Offline Melgar

Re: West to East coast tandem tour with hotels?
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2022, 08:32:07 pm »
Have you considered making up your own route?

That's pretty much our plan at this point.

A good planner like https://cycle.travel/map would be very useful (other options are available).

I've been using Cycle Travel and Ride With GPS as the main route planners, but would be interested to hear if you or others have used other tools that they particularly like.

Unless you are limited on time or budget or involved in a race is there nothing to be said for taking a more meandering route?

Agreed, although when I strung a route together that inslcuded some of the places where we thought it'd be fun to visit, I ended up with a route that well exceeded 5,000 miles. It's funny how all those places looks so close together on a tiny little map! We're trying not to do much more than 4,000 miles. We're not limited on time per se, but the longer the route, the more challenging it becomes to deal with major season/weather changes. And of course costs keep going up too.

Unless you're an "every inch of the way" cyclist there is always the possibility of shipping/transporting the bike across sections or areas, no?

Because we're using a tandem without couplers, this isn't an easy option. Buses and trains don't generally allow tandem bikes. And shipping of a tandem is a challenge to find the resources needed to get that done and often quite cost-prohibitive too.

But thanks for your advice. It's much appreciated.

Michael

Offline jamawani

Re: West to East coast tandem tour with hotels?
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2022, 09:16:34 pm »
Have y'all cycled Going to the Sun Road?
It would take some planning, but it is truly worth it.
Also, Many Glacier - where the hiking is sublime.


Offline zzzz

Re: West to East coast tandem tour with hotels?
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2022, 10:37:43 pm »
Hi:

I’ve done seven 30-35 day tours of 25-3700 miles and spent every night except 2 in a hotel.

Which brings me to my first point, after my first tour I started to take a super light tent and bag w me on all subsequent tours My stuff is < 5 lbs but when you have a really long day between hotels and the wind is up, having that Insurence is great, even if you don’t use it.

2) I passed thru w Yellowstone in the middle of September, I think I remember someone said there’s 2k hotel rooms in town. When I first got into town every room was booked. I did manage to get a last minute cancellation.

3) jamawani is the go to guy on routing and I would take him up on his offer to help but on my x- country trip I started on Labor Day on the western express route (San Francisco) and met up w the trans am in Pueblo Co and I considered it to be a stunning route and the weather was about perfect. There is an extraordinary beat down of a day, Hanksville to Blanding , 137 miles, VERY desolate terrain, but it can be routed around by going off route thru Moab.

Good luck, Pete

Offline Westinghouse

Re: West to East coast tandem tour with hotels?
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2022, 11:54:05 pm »
 Every night in a motel all the way across the continent on a tandem bicycle? Anything like that is possible, but I think it unlikely. Variables influencing your progress could be many. Take a tarp and a sleeping bag, at least. That way you are covered. The big concern is healthful nutrition. Get on route with small-town junk food stores for a few days and you will see and feel why. Motel breakfasts seemed to be heavily sugared, empty-calory spikers of blood sugar. Nothing like processed carbohydrates kicking the pancreas into high gear first thing in the morning. Plan the journey for access to healthful foods and then motels..