Author Topic: Colorado Springs to Minneapolis route?  (Read 2843 times)

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Offline Cyborgladiator

Colorado Springs to Minneapolis route?
« on: April 11, 2017, 01:16:14 pm »
So I'm new to touring, and was wondering what the best (and fastest) route is to get to Minneapolis this July. From what I can tell on the free PDF map, there's no straight shot. What Google says is that it'd be roughly 3 days, and 910 miles. I'll attach a screenshot of the route it says to use.

A little about myself and my rig to help. Myself: 18 y.o., 130ish lbs, bike about 30 miles round trip on weekend days (if I'm by myself it's 60 mins if I don't stop), week days are 5-15 mile round trip rides in the city. My rig: I have a 21 speed diamondback (fits 5'7"-5'-10" people) Absolute road hybrid with a 55kg rear-wheel rack, no trailer as of yet, a bright headlight, and a usb rechargeable taillight that runs longer than the headlight.

Also, in general what should I pack, and how light should it be? I'm thinking camping gear (a tent, bedroll, and sleeping-bag/blanket), bathroom necessities, and a week to two weeks worth of clothes. I have a 2L hydration pack with a 7W solar panel on it, so I think electricity wouldn't be a problem. Besides that I have no clue what I should really pack.

Thanks in advance for your help!

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Colorado Springs to Minneapolis route?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2017, 02:41:42 pm »
and a week to two weeks worth of clothes.
Which means one or two sets or riding clothes (shorts, jersey, socks, etc.), maybe some rain gear and, for off bike, one pair of convertible pants, one or two shirts and two pairs of undies, right?  ;D

Offline Nyimbo

Re: Colorado Springs to Minneapolis route?
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2017, 03:00:37 pm »
Gladiator,
Congratulations on your new interest in touring.  It will bring you a lot of joy and adventure for many years.  I was first interested when I was about 18 but didn't do anything about it until I was 60.  I wish I would have started earlier.  I did my first tour riding a week trip across California 3-4 years ago. It was so much fun and painful that I decided to do some research and 2 years ago decided to go across country and started asking lots of questions here.

Going through that process of asking questions I discovered a few pointers I'll pass on.  First I would suggest picking up a book or two on cycle touring, watch a few videos on youtube on the same and read some web sites like this one and crazy guy on a bike.  (it would take years to read all of that site but just jump around reading how to's and journals and so on.  Another I just discovered last week was Tom'sBikeTrip site I bought his ebook on kindle that I saw an ad for I think it was $6 and read through it in an evening.  It was a fun read.  On the forums here read through previous questions by searching through the different sections. For one example do a search for "packing lists" and read all the discussions and answers to the question how much to pack. And so on.

To keep this relatively :) short my last suggestion is this.  On this site I have observed myself and other people getting more answers and specific help when we limit each post to one specific question. For example I would get more help on this question by just asking if anyone has a route suggestion from Colorado to Minneapolis and then ask my other questions about bikes and racks and packing list in the gear question area.  Then maybe in the general discussion section ask questions or search previous discussions about how many miles people travel per day.  In another question ask about camping gear and so on.   

Anyway hope that helps a bit - enjoy

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Colorado Springs to Minneapolis route?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2017, 03:43:42 pm »
BTW...You need to carefully review any Goggle Maps suggestion re: a bike route, especially out west. It will sometimes pick dirt roads, roads that are not really roads, etc. The screen shot you included is not detailed enough to assess the route's viability.

Offline Cyborgladiator

Re: Colorado Springs to Minneapolis route?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2017, 06:45:33 pm »
and a week to two weeks worth of clothes.
Which means one or two sets or riding clothes (shorts, jersey, socks, etc.), maybe some rain gear and, for off bike, one pair of convertible pants, one or two shirts and two pairs of undies, right?  ;D
Haha, I was thinking more like 2 pairs of jeans (have no convertible pants), all four of my kevlar socks, and three to four shirts. XP Planning on staying a few days before heading back. The rest is on point. ;)

BTW...You need to carefully review any Goggle Maps suggestion re: a bike route, especially out west. It will sometimes pick dirt roads, roads that are not really roads, etc. The screen shot you included is not detailed enough to assess the route's viability.

Ah, yes I've been witness to that several times when trying to find a new way to bike to a place I normally drive in the city. The city also seems to have several bike routes on their maps that are non-existent in real life.  ::) The picture was mainly for reference against what this site's PDF map shows.

Gladiator...

...Going through that process of asking questions I discovered a few pointers I'll pass on.  First I would suggest picking up a book or two on cycle touring, watch a few videos on youtube on the same and read some web sites like this one and crazy guy on a bike.  (it would take years to read all of that site but just jump around reading how to's and journals and so on.  Another I just discovered last week was Tom'sBikeTrip site I bought his ebook on kindle that I saw an ad for I think it was $6 and read through it in an evening.  It was a fun read.  On the forums here read through previous questions by searching through the different sections. For one example do a search for "packing lists" and read all the discussions and answers to the question how much to pack. And so on.

To keep this relatively :) short my last suggestion is this.  On this site I have observed myself and other people getting more answers and specific help when we limit each post to one specific question. For example I would get more help on this question by just asking if anyone has a route suggestion from Colorado to Minneapolis and then ask my other questions about bikes and racks and packing list in the gear question area.  Then maybe in the general discussion section ask questions or search previous discussions about how many miles people travel per day.  In another question ask about camping gear and so on.   

Anyway hope that helps a bit - enjoy
Thanks, I'll take a look at that book later. I've actually wanted to do a trip like this since I was 8 after reading about a trio of teens who went coast to coast. It just hasn't been feasible until now due to parents being parents (which I'm grateful for). XP Should I revise my previous post then to reflect the main question of the route then?

Offline Nyimbo

Re: Colorado Springs to Minneapolis route?
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2017, 08:13:30 pm »
Probably don't need to rewrite your question but after seeing what kind of answers you get and when you write new or followup questions you might find that the asking of single and specific questions is helpful.  Regardless, enjoy planning the trip.  The planning and anticipation it all part of the fun.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Colorado Springs to Minneapolis route?
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2017, 08:25:38 am »
Jeans are needlessly heavy and bulky, and if they get wet they don't dry easily. Convertible pants are a good investment. Plus, IA could be hotter that hell in July. It was when I did the Northern Tier. Topped out at over 100 degrees and every day was at least 90. MN wasn't exactly cool all the time either. We crossed over from ND on July 6th and had some warm, humid days during our two weeks in the state.

Offline CMajernik

Re: Colorado Springs to Minneapolis route?
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2017, 10:06:58 am »
Here is a blog written several years ago on how to create your own route:
https://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/blog/how-to-create-your-own-route/

As to miles per day an average is 60 miles. Google suggesting 3 days for for 910 miles is totally unrealistic. Plan on lower mileages at first while your body adjusts to being in the saddle every day. And plan on 1 rest day per week when you can do laundry, catch up on sleep, etc.
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline jamawani

Re: Colorado Springs to Minneapolis route?
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2017, 01:52:43 pm »
I have posted often that Googlemaps is not always your friend.
I suspect that your primary route you posted includes sections of US 81 in Nebr and US 75 in Iowa.  Yeeech!
Also, since most roads in the Great Plains follow section lines N-S or E-W, diagonals are rare and often busy.

One of the finest riding areas of the Plains is the Sandhills of Nebraska - and a S-N route can be stunning.
The Sandhills are a huge natural grassland that has never been plowed - remote, serene, amazing.
The little towns are 25 or more miles apart and they have only the barest necessities - but are great places.
Plus the Sandhills tend to be 5 degrees cooler with significantly lower humidity.
(All that irrigation for corn crops ends up in the air.)

Here is a suggested route from Julesburg, CO to  Valentine, NE -

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/20223029

Niobrara Bridge -



US 138 & US 30 are O.K. - light traffic and easy riding.
NE 61 north of Ogallala gets better, very little traffic, rollers.
NE 92 east of Arthur - even better - it's the rollers that make the scenery
Whitman Road - one-lane paved through magical country - the finest riding in the Great Plains
NE 2 - east of Whitman (only water available) - O.K., but after Whitman Road, hey.
NE 97 - another fine ride with almost no traffic, stock up in Mullan - pop.500
Great rail trail bridge over the Niobrara River just outside Valentine.

Remember, shade is rare in the Great Plains in mid-summer.
Start super early on hot days and quit by noon - maybe a few more hours in the evening.

Nebraska DOR  County Maps website -
http://www.roads.nebraska.gov/travel/map-library/county/


PS - You are not imagining 300 miles per day are you? I also don't think 30 mph is anywhere near realistic.
I plan 10 mph, average, with stops. Lightweight touring 12 mph. Killer pace 15 mph.
And if you get a headwind - subtract 2 mph off of all of those.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 01:55:42 pm by jamawani »

Offline zzzz

Re: Colorado Springs to Minneapolis route?
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2017, 03:30:51 pm »
Not to pile on but the 30 mph struck me as soon as I read it as well. We have a fair number of southern hemisphere  (Australia, NZ, Argentina etc.) olympic team members who spend our summers (their winters) in the area to race at our local velodrome. They can barely hold 30 mph for an hour.

Just because you should have a realistic idea of time/speed before you leave you should get a bike computer and nail this down. Seven hours a day on the bike averaging 10 mph vs 7 hours a day at 15mph is a 500 mile week vs a 700 mile week.

Or, you could be a prodigy which might be interesting to know.

Pete

Offline canalligators

Re: Colorado Springs to Minneapolis route?
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2017, 04:24:55 pm »
You should invest some planning time to determine a route.  There are many resources for planning a route. 
- Adventure Cycling route maps
- State cycling maps
- Trail Link, trail finder
- Previous riders' journals (e.g. Crazyguyonabike)
- Online maps, but as stated (especially in the west) don't rely on them solely. 

A very valuable thing that Google Maps will give you is street view.  If the state bike maps don't tell you shoulder and rumble strip status, you can use street view to see for yourself.

The main questions you need to answer are
1. Is the route segment safe, i.e. either has wide shoulders or low traffic volumes
2. Will services be close enough for your planned tour type (credit card, camp, camp+cook)

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Colorado Springs to Minneapolis route?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2017, 05:06:39 pm »
Just because you should have a realistic idea of time/speed before you leave you should get a bike computer and nail this down. Seven hours a day on the bike averaging 10 mph vs 7 hours a day at 15mph is a 500 mile week vs a 700 mile week.

Good point, with a caveat: the speed a person rides with a touring load is often less than the speed the same person rides unladen.  10 mph is a good planning number in my experience, despite my earlier, unexperienced expectation I could maintain 15 mph.