Author Topic: German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?  (Read 13729 times)

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Offline jan404

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2007, 11:52:37 pm »
Hi all,

by now I arrived in Chicago for my internship. The preparation of this absorbed a lot of time, but now I ve the capacity to work on the details of my September one month bike tour. Thanks to your advice its pretty clear that I will take place in the Northwest of the country.

In the meantime my focus was put mainly on riding from Glacier NP south to Salt Lake City. In my view this has three advantages: 1st as autumn is coming I ll come south avoiding to cold temperatures, 2nd I ll cycle parallel to mountain ridges and valleys not perpendicular (I think) this should make is significantly easier and 3rd both ends I can easily reach with Amtrak (However, the longer I think about it the more I doubt if I want to spent so much time in the train instead of the saddle).

Do you agree so far with my logic or is there something important I overlooked, this forum gave me plenty of good advice about stuff I never had thought of from my European perspective. E.g. never heard of poison ivy before, it I googeld it it looks so harmless I probably had camped in it...

I think the two most important points for my tour are diversified landscape and low traffic routes. After my first days cycling in Chicago (well Chicago is not Montana...) I know that avoiding car traffic is one of my key wishes. I have no idea how much traffic I ve to expect, of course that varies quite a lot, but how many cars/min are around e.g. on a rural highway in such remote areas?

Jan



Offline valygrl

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2007, 10:45:01 am »
Hey Jan

Are you going to go through Yellowstone / Grand Tetons?  You should!

Your idea that you will be reducing the hills by going north/south doesn't sound right. Unless you get out of the mountains on the east or west side of the rockies, in which case you will miss all the greatest scenery.  But the mountains are the best, it's worth it to do the hills.

Don't bother with Amtrack, it's not cheap enough to be worth the extra time and hassel.  You still have to box your bike.  I would fly or rent a one-way car.  or hitchhike.

The roads in rural montana, wyoming and utah will be practically empty, compared with Chicago.

Look at the routes on the Adv. Cycling web site (here!) to get road ideas for glacier-yellowstone - i think the Great Parks route is what you would look at.  You could also end in Denver, instead of SLC.  

ALso, look at heading west from Missoula on the Lewis and CLark - the ride through Idaho is beautiful and quite.  THis would get you out of the high mountains too.  (although it is still quite hilly).  september is getting close to too late in the rockies, you could get lucky, or you could get snow.

You should do some reasearch about when it starts snowing in glacier & yellowstone.  maybe call the park service. if it's too late in the year, the pacific coast is also very nice, although it does have more people and traffic - but the weather will be absolutely perfect.

If you come through Boulder, get in touch with me (Private Message to valygrl at bikeforums.net) and if I'm home you can stay at my house for a night.

:)

anna


Offline roadrunner

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2007, 03:13:04 am »
Hi Jan,

Welcome to the U.S. I hope you are enjoying Chicago.  The city has many miles of bike paths you could ride to prepare for your September tour.

Your planned tour route from Glacier Park to Salt Lake City will be a wonderful tour.  I don't think you could pick a more scenic route.  I bicycled almost the same route (from Missula, Montana, to Salt Lake City in 1996 with two friends).  We followed Adventure Cycling's TransAmerica route from Missoula, southeast to Yellowstone and Grand Teton parks.  Sections 4 and 5 of Adventure Cycling's TransAmerica Bicycle Trail maps show that route and provide much useful information.  From Grand Teton park, we generally followed highway US-89 to Salt Lake City.  We averaged about 55 miles a day, taking 17 days for the tour, including some short-distance days for sight-seeing.

The route between Missoula and Dillon, Montana, includes about 4 mountain passes with long, but not extremely-steep, climbs, followed by many miles of downhill coasting.   There are no significant mountains past Dillon.  The entire route has spectacular scenery -- the beautiful Bitterroot Valley south of Missoula,  "Big Sky" country en route to Yellowstone, the wonders of Yellowstone Park and grandure of the Teton Mountains, and wide open spaces in Utah.

The entire route has little traffic, even Yellowstone Park, since you will be there after the summer tourist season.  Weather-wise, daytime temperatures should be pleasant and evenings cool, with frost likely.  Be prepared for both warm and chilly riding weather.  You can get average daily high and low temperatures by month for towns along the route from www.weather.com.  

I have a journal (pre-internet, typed) of our tour which I could mail you if you're interested.  Just let me know your mailing address.

If you do the tour, you will have a wonderful ride and see parts of the U.S. much different from Chicago and Illinois.






Offline ptaylor

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2007, 05:50:19 pm »
Jan.

I have followed your posts with interest. And as a former resident of suburban Chicago, I understand the challenges of urban cycling in the US.

After your trip, please remain active in this forum, as I think you may be uniquely qualified to help other Europeans who post questions to this forum.

Thanks for keeping in touch, and best of luck.

Paul
Paul

Offline Canute

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2007, 03:38:54 pm »
I think the Pacific coast would be a really nice trip this time of year.  As a Californian we're shocked when we get any rain between the beginning of May and the end of October.  The temps would be cooling down a fair amount by then, too.  I can't speak for Oregon and Washington, though.


Offline jan404

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2007, 08:39:25 pm »
Hi again,

and thanks again for all your comments.

@Paul: Well, I ll do my best, eventhough uniquely qualified sounds widely exaggerated. But if any of you plans a tour in Europe or in Germany, I ll do my best to pay of for all the advice and helpfulness I got from you here!

Actually the Pacific Coast was what I had in mind first! I guess from climate perspective it would be more relaxed. However, I have the feeling eventhough the Oregon coast must be great, the landscape in the Rockies and west of it is more spectacular or at least more diversified...

The next route of choice was the western part of the  northern Tier, which was replaced by the curent favourite going south from GlacierNP mainly to get south as September proceeds...

Jan




Offline jan404

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2007, 09:27:18 pm »
Hi again,

another question: I am looking for detailed maps of the area especially Montana and Wyoming. I have the ACA maps but I guess I ll recombine the sections differntly and will also look for some lower traffic sections. So I would need a detailed map of the area, so far all maps I ve seen show mainly highways and a few secondary roads but with large gaps in between, is that cause there are no road or becasue they are to small???
In germany we have 1:100,000 bicycle maps Icouldnt find anything comparable so far, any suggestions?

Thanks,


Jan


Offline valygrl

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2007, 07:50:05 pm »
Montana and Wyoming are VERY sparsely populated.  There are not very many roads.  

If you want to talk to someone who knows everything about touring those areas, both pavement and dirt roads, go to bikeforums.com and send a PM to the user named Jamawani.  


Offline tgpelz

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2007, 02:42:47 am »
It has been several years (9) I think since I have been on AMTRAK with my bike.

I had the pedals off, my handle bars turned and hand carried my panniers, etc.  I was able to load my bike onto the car I was traveling in.

Granted I was traveling in Missouri along the KATY trail.  However, I think that you should be able to get onto AMTRAK at Union Station an get off near Kalispel, Montana.

One way trip from Wisconsin to Seattle was 150 dollars two years ago.

Since you are in Chicago, it would not be a big deal to contact the AMTRAK people and see what they want/expect.

Tom


Offline sunfisher

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2007, 11:14:56 pm »
Story: 2 guys were staying with their uncle who'd recently undergone a painful divorce.  The subject of beauty vs. nice came up.  "Marry nice," said the uncle, "I married beauty, and it wasn't worth it."

A one month loop from Chicago ought to get you to near Nashville TN and back, and you aren't likely to find friendlier people, IMO, than in IN, KY, and Ohio, especially if you get off the beaten path a little bit. Would be fun... not to overplan, just to go, see what's to be seen... talk with people... you'd remember it forever as a really nice time. Maybe not beautiful, but really nice.


Offline roadrunner

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2007, 08:08:17 pm »
Jan,

Maybe you'll check on this entry to see if there is anything new.  Congratulations on completing your tour.  I hoped you would post a journal of your ride on the Adventure Cycling website, so was excited to see your entry in the ride resistry.  However, I cannot open the link to your journal.  I would very much like to read it and learn how your experiences compared to mine when I rode much of your route.  If possible, would you e-mail the journal to me at jpwettack3@msn.com.  Thanks


Offline jan404

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2007, 03:57:42 am »
Hi,

the link to the journal doesn't work because teh journal doesnt exist yet. I planning to work on that. However, I am back in Germany now, and it took much longer to get things back in order than I thought... But I intend to do so, and you will be the first one to notice...

The ride out of the Tetons on 89 was really nice. And Logan Canyon was very beautiful as well. However, the weather was becoming unfriendly and a snowstorm was coming so I tried to get out of there fast and managed to get a ride from the Idaho border to Bear Lake Pass. The day after I just did the short stretch down to Logan where I took the bus to Salt Lake City. So I cut the ride a bit short but it was nonetheless spectacular and the time I gained there I spent in the nationalparks in southern Utah, and I certainly wont complain...

I had a great trip thanks to the ideas and help of you guys, and a whole bunch of your fellow americans that showed an extend of friendliness and hospitality far beyond my imagination.

Jan


Offline brad

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2007, 11:30:13 pm »
jan,
wo wohnst du in deutschland? ich wohnte von 2003 bis 2006 in heidelberg und gross zimmern (hessen).
brad

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. ~James Michener

Offline jan404

German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2007, 09:30:29 am »
Hi,

now between Aachen and Cologne close to the Dutch border. But I grew up and lived most of the time in Darmstadt so just around the corner...


Jan