Author Topic: newbie needing advice  (Read 5045 times)

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Offline McBird

newbie needing advice
« on: December 31, 2010, 01:07:47 pm »
hello, i'm new to this site, new to the roadie world (since jr. high!) and have been invited to join for a section of the trans america northern tier ride.  i'm hoping to see if anyone has advice about riding in iowa, indiana? 

Offline RussSeaton

Re: newbie needing advice
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2010, 01:52:22 pm »
I've ridden in Iowa and Indiana.  Lots in Iowa.  Probably every area of the state.  Indiana only the bottom half.

Iowa is flat across the northern third unless you are near the rivers on both sides of Iowa.  Missouri and Big Sioux on the west and Mississippi on the east.  When near the rivers about 10-20-30 miles inland its hilly.  Some hills steep and short, some long but not as steep.  The NE corner north of Dubuque is the hardest.  Middle third is rolling.  Nothing to worry about.  Bottom third is a bit more rolling than the middle.  But again nothing too bad.  I've ridden a single speed 53x19 across the bottom of the state without problems.  Unloaded.

Bottom part of Indiana is sort of hilly.  Some pretty steep.  On an unloaded bike you can manage fine without a triple.  Loaded I would want a triple.  None of the hills are terribly long.

Offline John Nelson

Re: newbie needing advice
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2010, 02:56:38 pm »
Just a point of ACA terminology to avoid confusion. The "TransAmerica" and the "Northern Tier" are two separate routes. If you are doing part of the "Northern Tier," you are not on the "TransAmerica."

You'll have a blast. There's very little you need to know. Just go.


  • Guest
Re: newbie needing advice
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2011, 03:06:01 pm »
The part of the Northern Tier we did in Iowa (we detoured to Devenport instead of going to Moline) was, for the most part, moderately to more severely rolling, hotter than hell and even more humid.  The portion in Indiana was mostly flat to gently rolling in places and hotter and more humid than Iowa.  The low the night we stayed at Fletcher Lake was 85 with no breeze.  The next day it hit 107 in Huntington.  Illinois was brutal as well.

The drivers in Iowa were very courteous and patient, especially when we were slugging up some steep roller.  Maybe that's an effect of RAGBRAI.  Or maybe they realize that if they going flying past in the other lane and crest the top of a hill wihout being able to see what's on the other side they might have a head on with a giant combine.   In Indiana, on the other hand, a local cashier warned us to be careful at the blind interesctions through cornfields.  She told us people often blow through stop signs on such country roads figuring no one will be there.

Offline leicrao1

Re: newbie needing advice
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2011, 05:20:49 pm »
We cycled through Indiana last year as part of LA to NY. Entered East of Decatur IL, into Montezuma then Rockville and headed just to the North of Indianapolis and then through Pendleton, Sulphur Springs, Lynn, and into Ohio near Greenville. No serious hills whatsoever. The bit after Indy was lovely, but heading into Indy from the West found us on some really horrible busy narrow roads (22 East of Lebanon was bad if I remember rightly). Choose your route carefully but the terrain is lovely and the road conditions pretty good

Offline leicrao1

Re: newbie needing advice
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2011, 05:29:09 pm »
32 East of Lebanon