Author Topic: North Dakota during the summer?  (Read 5164 times)

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Offline lbrean

North Dakota during the summer?
« on: April 09, 2006, 06:20:23 pm »
has anyone done North Dakota in August? Is it a good ride? Given the low
population density, I'm assuming the trafic is pretty sparse. Any info
would be appriciated.


FredHiltz

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North Dakota during the summer?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2006, 08:22:26 am »
I found it very pleasant in late July. Traffic and weather were about as the ACA maps indicated. A few miles near Minot and Fargo (or Grand Forks if you take that route) would have more traffic than we like, but nowhere near what the coastal cities generate. An hour or two gets you through those spots.

Fred


Offline RussellSeaton

North Dakota during the summer?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2006, 05:40:30 pm »
I rode CANDISC back in 2001.  Its the first week of August.  We had a day in Mobridge South Dakota that had the bank thermometers at 108 F.  Some nights were a bit warm.  Roads were OK as I recall.  Sufficient backroads so traffic was rarely a problem.  Going into and out of the main towns, Bismarck, had traffic.  But even then we rode into Bismarck on a county road and proceeded right through town on the main thoroughfare to the High School and it was fine.  Depending on your route, it is likely you would only have about 1 or 2 intermediate towns to ride through in a day.  So be prepared with food and water.  I will probably ride CANDISC again when it fits my schedule.


Offline jwleopold

North Dakota during the summer?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2006, 08:54:16 pm »
I live near the North Dakota border circa Grand Forks.
The weather is generally drier and mosquitos are MUCH better than earlier in the year.  Good repellent is still a must though!
One thing to really be aware of is that the smaller towns often close their service stations, restaurants, etc. around 8pm so its best to plan for that possibility.  
Traffic is indeed light, but folks aren't always looking out for cyclists in the rural areas so its good to stay alert, especially in the evenings.



Offline Dan

North Dakota during the summer?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2006, 12:54:01 am »
I hope your riding west to east through ND.  When I past through in 2002 I cut down off the official route from Minot to Fargo along hwy 52.  Extreme heat (111 degrees in Bismark) and a bad storm that evening left me with my first hotel in New Rockford.  The next day there was about a 40 m/h wind heading straight east.  I rode 160 miles from New Rockford to Moorhead, MN in about 8 hours riding time.  I figured with that wind at my back I might as well take advantage of it.  Those 160 miles were easier (and more fun) than other days I only covered 40 or 50 miles into a heavy wind.  


Offline judyrans

North Dakota during the summer?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2006, 04:45:39 am »
Lbrean wrote:
Quote

has anyone done North Dakota in August? Is it a good ride? Given the low population density, I'm assuming the trafic is pretty sparse. Any info would be appriciated.


In 2002 we bicycled the Lewis & Clark Trail (before the ACA route was published). We rode from St. Charles, MO (across the River from St. Louis) to Seaside, OR. We had very hot weather all the way. A bank thermometer in Chamberlain, SD read 111 degrees! My husband listened to the radio at night and in the morning and noted record daily highs or near record highs every day. We had a few nice tailwinds as well as some nasty headwinds. We entered North Dakota on July 5th on Highway 1806, Lewis and Clarks return route (more or less) in 1806.  We followed the west side of the Missouri River from Mobridge, SD through the Standing Rock Reservation to Fort Abraham Lincoln St. Park, near Mandan, ND, a very long hard 106 mile day! From there we went on to Stanton, Killdeer, Watford City, and Williston (layover day July 11th), before heading out on Highway 2 into Montana.

In 2003 I headed west from Seaside, OR to Portsmouth, NH with another tour group. We went across South Dakota in early July. It was hot, but not as hot as the previous year. We fought some nasty headwinds.

In 2004, I joined some friends on a cross-country trip from Anacortes, WA to Plum Island, MA. We followed US 2 all the way across North Dakota. It was much cooler than in 2002. The locals told us thats why we were having all those nasty headwinds&

I really enjoyed the Dakotas. I expected them to be hot, dry, and brown. I was surprised by how much green there was, although the green might be gone by August!

In general there was very little traffic. In places the Adventure Cycling maps sent you off US2 to avoid traffic, but as I saw it, what there was of heavy traffic (and crummy roads) was places where ACA put you on US2, because it was unavoidable without a huge detour. In addition, there was a Wildlife Refuge along US2 almost the whole way across North Dakota. We saw all kinds of birds!

If you are worried about riding in traffic, I recommend taking a Bike Ed Road I course. Courses are listed on the League of American Bicyclists website:

http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/education/ and http://www.bikeleague.org/cogs/calendar/.