Author Topic: German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?  (Read 17699 times)

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Offline jan404

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« on: March 15, 2007, 03:54:13 pm »
Dear all,

I am a german guy and will be in summer for an internship in Chicago. I ll have the whole month of September free for holidays and plan a bicycle trip in the US. I found this website last week and I think it is exactly what I was looking for. However, since I havnt been to the US so far I cannot really imagine what route out of the huge variety offered might by a good choice. I estimate that I will do something like 1000 miles, maybe more but to be on the safe side this is what I want to aim for.
My main interest is in a scenic route, which should also offer variation of views/landscapes in a not to populated or remote area.
My first ideas were to go for the region great lakes or Canada, however, I fear it could be already quite cold and wet and maybe not that spectacular. So now I tend more to the West/Rockies. There it seems to be at least dry but due to the continental climate either quite hot or already rather cold.

After studying the webpage these where the routes that my interest is focusing on at the moment, can you comment on that, if it might be suitable, if you have better ideas, if my assumptions on these routes are correct.

Grand canyon + some extra miles: rather touristic?

great parks: south maybe little to tough, north probably exactly what I am looking for, the weather though is worrying me

pacific coast northern part: weather?

western express: maybe to remote for going alone, how hot in September?

I would be very thankful for any kind of help and advice you can give.

Thanks,

Jan


cyclesafe

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German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2007, 05:42:11 pm »
Jan,

Why don't you sign up for the ACA Northwest Trip that runs the 30 days of September and covers some of the nicest scenery in America?  You'll have the comradery of like-minded people and the chance to make some life-long friends.

Steve


Offline DaveB

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2007, 08:40:27 am »
Are you planning to ride your bike from Chicago to do your tour completely by bike or are you planning to fly or drive to the area and then tour on your bike?  

If you plan to bicycle all the way, one month and 1000 miles won't be nearly enough unless you stay in the Great Lakes region.  

If you are going to travel by air or car to the area, any of your ideas are possible.  




Offline jan404

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2007, 10:30:52 am »
Well starting in Chicago would be most convenient but since is a probably once in a lifetime chance, or at leats until I retire, I would go wherever it is most beautiful.

Thanks for the reference to the Nortwest trip, I ll check! On the other hand I am not sure if I dont prefer the flexibility of riding alone...

Jan


cyclesafe

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German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2007, 10:48:33 am »
There certainly are trade-offs when travelling with a group.  Some participants will be a PITA and you might be obligated to do things that otherwise you'd forgo, but OTOH you'd be exposed to new ways of thinking and be guaranteed to have somebody to talk to during those potentially long and lonely days.


Offline John Hunka

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German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2007, 03:06:39 pm »
For a ride in September, I'd suggest a ride in northern New England and/or Southern Quebec.  The fall foliage is spectacular.

John Hunka
Manhattan
Trek 520, Burley Nomad trailer, 1985 Schwinn Traveler, Giant Halfway, 1965 Schwinn Deluxe Racer

Offline ptaylor

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2007, 03:34:35 pm »
Hi Jan.

So far, one of the best things you have done to plan your ride, is to find the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) website. This is, in my opinion, the best website for cycle touring in America.

Tell s a little more about your expectations:
  • You have hinted that you would prefer to travel alone, rather than in an organized group. Is this true?
  • Do you prefer to do a camping tour (tent, sleeping bag, cooking gear), or stay at motels/hotels and eat in restaurants (sometimes called a 'credit card tour')?
  • If camping, do you enjoy it at below freezing night-time temperatures?
  • Are you prepared to rent a car to drive to your starting point and then, after the tour, to your airport?
  • Are you prepared to fly your bike to the starting point of your tour?


As an experienced tourist in both the US and Europe, and the father of a foreign exchange student in Germany, I wish you the best. Based on your answers to the above, I may have a couple of suggestions.

Paul
Paul

Offline jan404

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2007, 07:04:02 am »
Thanks for all the ideas so far,

to your questions:

-Yes, I think I prefer the flexibility of travelling alone.
-My tent is my castle, so camping is definitly no problem.
-Well I would really use the verb enjoy if it its about camping at minus degrees (celsius). However, its not a problem for a couple of nights, but I think I dont need that for a month. (Especially since it probably wont be very convenient during the day)
-I see this as a very special tour, so how I get to starting and end point of the tour is of minor importance for me. I want to go where the cycling is most beautiful, no (or very little) matter the cost and effort to get there.

At the moment I am thinking of doing the pacific coast from Vancouver to San Francisco, but I am happy for any other advice. Since this coice was rather arbitrary.



Offline ptaylor

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2007, 05:54:39 pm »
OK Jan. You have thrown down the gauntlet, challenging us ACA foremers to give you some more tips.

Heres my take: you are experienced, you are fluent in American English, cost is not an issue, you want to see the best America has to offer in biking and have 30 days to do so, and you are flexible  especially regarding logistics.

1.   I agree that the West/Rockies are great for a fit young man. I especially recommend the Going-To-The-Sun-Highway. It is a road through Glacier National Park in Montana, and is (in my opinion) the most beautiful road in North America. It is also on the ACA Northern Tier route.
2.   Following the ACA Northern Tier route westward will take you through the Cascade Mountains, and Washington rain forest. If you are prepared for rain, and have a positive attitude, this will be a memorable part of your ride.
3.   The Northern Tier route will take you to the Pacific Coast route. I have never ridden the Pacific Coast route, although the photos make it appear splendorous.
4.   The Pacific Coast will take you half way to Mexico, but you may find that San Francisco is a nice place to end your tour.

I hope I have given you some ideas, but more importantly, I hope others will chime in with their thoughts on my thoughts. Note that I have ignored the subject of logistics: especially, how to get you and your bike from Chicago to Glacier National Park.


Paul
Paul

Offline jan404

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2007, 11:01:00 am »
Thanks, the northern tier was one of the routes i didn't consider at all, but that sounds great. I love mountain sceneries and just the name Glacier national Park causes excitation.

The only issue worrying me is the weather/climate. I took Spokane as an example (at least for the eastern part of the trip) and the statitics tell me avg. temperatures are between 6-22°C (43-72°F i think) for me used to the moderate european climate this is the difference between January and August! So I am not sure how to interpret these data, do I simply have to expect everything? On the other hand at least it seems to rain very little...


Jan


FredHiltz

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German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2007, 12:07:27 pm »
I'd like to second Paul's comments about that route, adding only two points of interest. Waterton National Park, the Canadian sister to Glacier and also on the Northern Tier route, is worth a day or two for the scenery and is especially good for hiking. The San Juan Islands at the northwest corner of Washington are another little piece of cycling heaven.

The Rockies mark a sharp divide of climate, Jan. The westerly winds dump most of their moisture on the west side. Spokane on the east is nearly desert: high, dry, and cold. The west side is milder and wetter but at its best in September. Snow is possible in the passes, but not likely to close roads that early.

My ride on this route was solo also, San Francisco to Yosemite, back to the coast for the redwoods and the Oregon dunes, the San Juan Islands, Cascades, Glacier, Waterton, and on to the east. If you have free choice, I'd suggest the other direction to finish the high passes earlier and to take advantage of the prevailing northerly wind on the west coast.

Fred


Offline roadrunner

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2007, 03:09:27 am »
Jan,

A route which provides spectacular scenery, little traffic, few tourists, and good weather in September is highway US-89 from Yellowstone National Park to Flagstaff, Arizona.  The route passes through or near Yellowstone, Grand Teaton, Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Grand Canyon National Parks and many other scenic areas.

The only large city on the route is Salt Lake City, Utah, otherwise most of the route is through fairly remote areas and small towns.  It would give you a real feel for the western U.S.

The north end of Route 89 is at the Canadian border near Waterton-Glacier Park and Glacier National Park, however it's a long way from there to Yellowstone.  You could fly into Bozeman, Montana, to begin at Yellowstone.  

September is the ideal time to ride in most of the U.S., including Route 89.  Nights would likely be chilly in Yellowstone and Teaton parks, but the weather is normally mild further south.  Traffic and park visitation is light in September, because schools are in session.

I've cylced the route and enjoyed it greatly.  The April 2007 issue of National Geographic Adventure magazine has an article on driving Route 89, which describes the road and places along it.  The article is available on the magazine's website.

If you'd want to ride futher, you could continue to Phoenix or Tucson, Arizona.  The Mexican border is about 100 km south of Tucson.


Offline jan404

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2007, 07:27:42 am »
Well well, thanks again for your advice this both sounds great. Logistics at the northern end of the route is no problem, there is an Amtrak connection from CHI to Shelby...

The Route 89 is somewhat similar to the Great Divide, right? Little more western so less steep, lower altitude and Highway instead of Mountainbike track. I was tempted by that route in the beginning, but it seems a little to tough, I mean I like gravel roads but I not the kind of downhill mountainbiker...
 


Offline roadrunner

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2007, 12:25:38 am »
Yes, Jan, Route 89 is a paved highway.  It really isn't a mountain route.  Most of the terrain along the route is rolling. Where there is climbing, it is generally long, gradual grades, rather than steep mountain climbing.  The highest climb I recall is getting to the Grand Canyon.

John


Offline jeek

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2007, 02:29:51 am »
     "statitics tell me avg. temperatures are between 6-22°C (43-72°F i think) for me used to the moderate european climate this is the difference between January and August! So I am not sure how to interpret these data, do I simply have to expect everything? "

Jan, I think you are interpreting the data incorrectly. The range most like represents the average 24 hour temperature range, meaning the daytime high is 22 and the nightime low is 6.

My advice to you regarding the Rockies is that the seasons do change in September, ie; the beginning is summer and the end is autumn. I think it is more likely to be pleasant, even exceedingly so,until late in the month, than it is for the cold and rain to come early. I've seen both kinds of Septembers. The entire region and can and, especially the high altitude parks, will have sub-freezing nights. But that's a great part of the experience too. There may be aurora borealis.
Anyway the whole reagion has incredible stuff, from Glacier to the Grand Canyon. It will really knock your socks off.