Author Topic: TA and NT - How many tourists?  (Read 2235 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline rjcarlson49

TA and NT - How many tourists?
« on: November 03, 2010, 12:33:46 pm »
One aspect of the TransAm journals that I read is that there are always other bike tourists around. I have been thinking of doing a C to C trip on mostly the Northern Tier, but was wondering how many tourists you encounter on this route vs the TA? Do you encounter lots of other tourists on the NT?


Offline Pat Lamb

Re: TA and NT - How many tourists?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2010, 02:07:52 pm »
I don't really know about the middle of the country, but we ran into a pretty good number of tourists from Glacier out to Anacortes.  The catch is that, with the exception of one couple, they were touring with companies in the northwest, and not going coast to coast.

TransAm, Kentucky to Colorado, on the other hand, we met other tourists (TA or TA+WE) at least every other day.  With a couple of exceptions, they were all going cross country.

Of course, that might be influenced by dates; we may have missed the NT traffic because we got there in late July and the peak was already beyond us.

One other observation is that the cross country tourists usually stopped to talk (unless screaming downhill, when a wave was normal), while the "locals" rarely did.


  • Guest
Re: TA and NT - How many tourists?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2010, 10:58:16 am »
While it was a long time ago ('99), we did not meet too many people on the NT.  There was one guy who joined our group for a week.  Other than that, I can only remember encountering a half dozen people or so.  And I don't think we ever camped with other cyclists who were doing the route.  This may have been affected by timing since we started in Seattle on May 23rd.

In '00 I rode the NT between Anacortes and Glacier N.P., leaving around the same time as the year before.  In different places in WA I met a group of 2 and a solo cyclist.  They were all going in the same direction and only doing parts of the route.  In Glacier NP I met another group of 2 that was doing the entire route.  The only other riders I encountered in that stretch were on organized tours with Adventire Cycling--the NT and the North Star.

I then reversed from Glacier and made my way to the TA at Missoula and rode it from there to Fairplay, CO, east of Breckenridge.  In that short span (about 2 weeks), I can remember encountering 7 groups of two, one group of 3 and 3 solo cyclists riding some or all of the route in both directions, including a Menonite couple on a Bike Friday tandem, an English gent, a couple of Germans and a guy with a prosthetic arm.  We rode and/or camped together on a number of occasions.

Amazingly, while riding through Yellowstone, a car pulled up next to me and someone said my name.  I looked over and a woman who had been on our NT tour the year before was in the passenger seat.  You never know who you might run into out there.


  • Guest
Re: TA and NT - How many tourists?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2010, 12:55:37 pm »
I rode the NT in '99 also, leaving Anacortes on 7/10 and reaching Ticonderoga on 8/29. There were more touring cyclists in evidence by then. Scanning my journal, I'd say I talked with one or two parties on the road most days and saw cyclists in about half the campgrounds.

As many others have noted, when off the regular route the loaded bike becomes a curiosity and guaranteed conversation starter.