Author Topic: Highway 2 in MT  (Read 3335 times)

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Offline EnduroDoug

Highway 2 in MT
« on: October 20, 2010, 02:23:42 pm »
Looking at the Northern Tier route, I see it follows Highway 2 through much of eastern MT and into ND (heading east, obviously). I've done some spot-checking of this road using road view on Google Maps and it seems that there's little to no shoulder and lots of rumble strips where there is any semblance of shoulder.

I imagine the traffic is pretty light, but I also imagine it's travelling pretty fast.

Can someone who has done the Northern Tier comment on the road conditions along this stretch? I trust ACA to pick a good route, but I certainly have my concerns.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 03:27:51 pm by EnduroDoug »

Offline MaryK

Re: Highway 2 in MT
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2010, 07:11:38 pm »
I rode the Northern Tier in 2007 and your assumptions about Highway 2 are good.  The rumble strips are big and bumpy to go over, the shoulder comes and goes and isn't always free of debris and the traffic can be going very fast as they zip by.  The road is straight, flat and boring. 

You are a long way between towns and need to be very careful about having enough food and water.  It's not at all unusual to get into a town and find that the one market you were depending on has closed.  It can also get very hot.

With that said, the Northern Tier is a great ride.  The people in ND and MT are incredibly friendly and supportive and it was easily one of the best trips I've ever taken.  I'm currently riding the Pacific Coast and plan to finish next week.  In a lot of ways, I enjoyed the Northern Tier more.

Don't hesitate to do this ride because of Highway 2.

Offline EnduroDoug

Re: Highway 2 in MT
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2010, 12:25:28 am »
Thanks MaryK. We're planning (and halfway done saving -- woo-hoo!) for an extended round the world trip. Being that we live in western WA, the plan was to follow Northern Tier to Lake Superior, then bang a left and head up into Ontario near Thunder Bay. Long story short, following the Northern Tier route would basically be a way for us to not have to reinvent the wheel for the first 1800 miles or so. I suppose we could venture further south in MT and hit up Bozeman and Missoula, but we'll eventually have to cross the plains and, well, I imagine it doesn't quite matter where you do it, it's going to be pretty similar.

Offline CMajernik

Re: Highway 2 in MT
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2010, 11:20:10 am »
In the past few years oil and gas exploration has expanded in the area of eastern MT and western ND, especially east of Williston, ND. ACA has made routing changes east of Williston to get cyclists off the smaller highways we were using onto US 2 and some parallel roads. Most of US 2 has shoulders as compared to the smaller shoulderless highways.
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

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes