Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

200+ mile tours completely off road?

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

200+ mile tours completely off road?

Old 01-04-20, 07:03 AM
  #1  
UsedToBeFaster
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 83
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
200+ mile tours completely off road?

Want to do a tour with two tweens. Both can ride 40+ miles a day and have for years easily.

But I do not want them on the roads.

Bikes can handle 32mm tires so a bit of gravel is ok.

Suggestions?

Bonus if its driving distance from NoCA!
UsedToBeFaster is offline  
Old 01-04-20, 10:45 AM
  #2  
mev
bicycle tourist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Posts: 1,711

Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 236 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 25 Times in 20 Posts
My suggestion would be two-fold:
1. Look at some of the longer rail trails - https://www.railstotrails.org/our-wo...e-trail-stats/
2. Consider more remote gravel roads in the deserts, e.g. Joshua tree. You might need to go wider than those 32mm tires and be prepared to carry more (or use support vehicle).
mev is offline  
Old 01-04-20, 11:35 AM
  #3  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 23,910
Mentioned: 187 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10249 Post(s)
Liked 452 Times in 352 Posts
There was a recent topic:
https://www.bikeforums.net/general-c...ike-paths.html

If you can find a 100 mile course one-way, then it becomes a 200 mile course out and back.

The Katy Trail is fine packed limestone, and can be done on just about anything from a pure road bike to a MTB.

The John Wayne Trail and Columbia Trail in Washington are much rougher, and would require at least a MTB.

Does your route have to be entirely off road? We have quite a few back country logging roads that get relatively low traffic, although they can also have some crazy drivers.

The McKenzie Pass is typically closed until June, I think. It is only about 30 miles from Sisters to McKenzie Bridge, I think. Riding to/from Springfield, it should be closer to a Century ride. I've found a route that takes one about 70% on back roads, and 30% on main roads. The Aufderheide is a beautiful low-traffic road that would be an alternate approach to the McKenzie Pass. And, if you include gravel, back roads from at least Lowell to Sisters (in the late spring).
CliffordK is offline  
Old 01-04-20, 12:31 PM
  #4  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,808
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1416 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 103 Times in 75 Posts
C&O and GAP between DC and Pittsburgh is 335 miles off-road and fairly flat, unless you consider the RR grade of the GAP and locks on the C&O climbing/descending.
alan s is offline  
Likes For alan s:
Old 01-04-20, 12:44 PM
  #5  
u235
Senior Member
 
u235's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 1,019
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 375 Post(s)
Liked 50 Times in 40 Posts
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
and locks on the C&O climbing/descending.
Got a chuckle out of that.. The only time I ever broke a chain was on one of those small climbs, go figure. To be fair, it was not the chain, it was the quick link that fell off but still.

Last edited by u235; 01-04-20 at 12:51 PM.
u235 is offline  
Old 01-04-20, 02:23 PM
  #6  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 9,590

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '87 Schwinn Prelude, Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo, '18 Diamondback Syncr

Mentioned: 89 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3646 Post(s)
Liked 587 Times in 398 Posts
There is an immense network of trails from Sanra Cruz up thru the bay and into Santa Rosa.
It would be a blast to connect trails together with campsites. There would be some roads along the way though to connect trail to trail.

I have a 12 and 9 yo, totally get the hesitation to ride roads.

Washington has a few really long rail to trail segments, but parts may be too difficult for kids with 32s. No idea the perseverance as that's really important.
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 01-04-20, 03:40 PM
  #7  
dualresponse
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 116
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 29 Posts
212 miles. gravel. just signed up. Bit of a drive from ca. though.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31456...CZszvFpzZZLw9Y
dualresponse is offline  
Old 01-04-20, 06:52 PM
  #8  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,808
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1416 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 103 Times in 75 Posts
Originally Posted by dualresponse View Post
212 miles. gravel. just signed up. Bit of a drive from ca. though.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31456...CZszvFpzZZLw9Y
And 18,000 feet of climbing
alan s is offline  
Old 01-04-20, 06:59 PM
  #9  
dualresponse
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 116
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 29 Posts
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
And 18,000 feet of climbing
Well, 18,090 feet...
It's the last 90 feet that get you~
dualresponse is offline  
Old 01-05-20, 09:49 AM
  #10  
JerrySTL
Senior Member
 
JerrySTL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Near St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 1,453

Bikes: Giant Defy Advanced, Breezer Doppler Team, Schwinn Twinn Tandem, Windsor Tourist, 1954 JC Higgens

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
There was a recent topic:
The Katy Trail is fine packed limestone, and can be done on just about anything from a pure road bike to a MTB.
Ditto on the Katy Trail. It's around 240 miles total and 95% trail. There's a few short sections on low mileage roads especially around Sedalia plus some places where there's detours from last-year's flooding damage. I've done it end-to-end 8 times on 700x32s and I'm not a lightweight.

If you'd like to do a supported tour in June, there's this one: https://mostateparks.com/2020ktride
JerrySTL is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 06:52 AM
  #11  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 24,722
Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10026 Post(s)
Liked 1,473 Times in 886 Posts
Mickelson Trail "out and back."

Deadwood to Hill City.
Hill City to Custer (Short day on the trail, but you could add miles on the spur out to Stockade Lake or take the tourist train to Keystone and possibly visit Mt. Rushmore).
Custer to Edgemont.

Reverse.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 07:58 AM
  #12  
fishboat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 570

Bikes: Lemond '01 Maillot Jaune, Lemond '02 Victoire, Lemond '03 Poprad, '79 AcerMex Windsor Carrera Professional(purchased new), '06 Bianchi Volpe, '88 GT Tequesta(purchased new), '01 Bianchi Grizzly

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 215 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 31 Times in 20 Posts
Bitterroot 300K. Not 200 miles, but close.

https://friendsofcdatrails.org/route...oot-300k-loop/
fishboat is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 08:56 AM
  #13  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 24,722
Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10026 Post(s)
Liked 1,473 Times in 886 Posts
Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
Bitterroot 300K. Not 200 miles, but close.

https://friendsofcdatrails.org/route...oot-300k-loop/
I was going to suggest that, but it's not entirely off road. Just did Avery to the Route of the Hiawatha in June. That stretch of the old Milwaukee Road right of way is open to cars. So two or three on my way up. East Portal down to Taft and the NorPac Trail up to Lookout Pass are also open to vehicles. Didn't see encounter any on the NorPac last year but I did see one car and a couple of ATVs in 2017. That side of the NorPac is also is in bad shape in places. I had to walk a couple of short stretches where water cascading off the hillside had washed off the top layer, leaving a lot of large rocks exposed. 32c might be cutting it close if loaded. (Never been on the NorPac between Lookout and Mullan.) You are also on road west of Avery until you pick up the Milwaukee Road right of way again, albeit on the quite side of the river. The old right of way from there to St. Marie is open to traffic, as the web site notes, but it's supposedly very light. (Various sections of the Milwaukee Road in MT and ID were converted to community roads. Some of them are actually private roads.) From St. Marie to Plummer you are on ID-3.

With that said, if the OP is flexible and willing to add some light traffic roads, I think it's a great option. The Hiawatha and the right of way between Pearson and Avery, with it's many tunnels and trestles, is a great ride.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 09:09 AM
  #14  
UsedToBeFaster
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 83
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
These are all great options. Some on road riding with light traffic is fine, just not more than 10-15%.

Are there any closer to San Francisco? I prefer not to fly and instead invest the money in upgrading their bikes, maybe even buy new bikes.

Thanks again.
UsedToBeFaster is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 09:10 AM
  #15  
timdow
Pie Smuggler
 
timdow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 336

Bikes: 2010 LHT (Blue), 2000 Jamis Aurora, 2005 Giant Ranier, 1998 Schwinn Moab (converted for commuting), 1994 Trek 1220

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
It might not be completely off-road, but the Lost Coast might be an interesting challenge.
timdow is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 09:52 AM
  #16  
Leebo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 5,591

Bikes: Kona Dawg, Surly 1x1, Karate Monkey, Rockhopper, Crosscheck , Burley Runabout,

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 817 Post(s)
Liked 50 Times in 37 Posts
One other thought, do a hub and spoke tour. Set up a a base camp with a car. Do day trips out and back.
Leebo is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 09:56 AM
  #17  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,808
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1416 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 103 Times in 75 Posts
You could ride on the sidewalks in San Francisco if it weren’t for the homeless encampments, so that’s out. Other than that, you could ride south to Pigeon Point Lighthouse on the roads. My recollection is the traffic wasn’t that bad, or I would’ve remembered it better.
alan s is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 11:52 AM
  #18  
jamawani 
Hooked on Touring
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,618
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 192 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 19 Times in 13 Posts
Northern Idaho - kinda driving distance.
Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes - paved, excellent for inexperienced riders.
Then Trail of the Hiawathas - packed gravel - to make a loop.
jamawani is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 01:14 PM
  #19  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 24,722
Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10026 Post(s)
Liked 1,473 Times in 886 Posts
Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
Northern Idaho - kinda driving distance.
Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes - paved, excellent for inexperienced riders.
Then Trail of the Hiawathas - packed gravel - to make a loop.
That's what was suggested in posts #12-13. Not completely off road, but a good option.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 01-06-20, 04:56 PM
  #20  
fishboat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 570

Bikes: Lemond '01 Maillot Jaune, Lemond '02 Victoire, Lemond '03 Poprad, '79 AcerMex Windsor Carrera Professional(purchased new), '06 Bianchi Volpe, '88 GT Tequesta(purchased new), '01 Bianchi Grizzly

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 215 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 31 Times in 20 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I was going to suggest that, but it's not entirely off road....From St. Marie to Plummer you are on ID-3.

With that said, if the OP is flexible and willing to add some light traffic roads, I think it's a great option. The Hiawatha and the right of way between Pearson and Avery, with it's many tunnels and trestles, is a great ride.
I hoped you fill in some details on the route. I wasn't sure how strict the "off road thing" was and figured it was at least worth a look. This does look like a wonderful ride.

OP, here's a link to a young family that did the ride. From my research(a year ago), the only portion that REALLY isn't suggested for biking is the St. Marie to Plummer segment, ID 5 I think. The family in the link below got a shuttle to cover that part.

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...id=554537&v=5f

Last edited by fishboat; 01-07-20 at 06:37 AM. Reason: typo
fishboat is offline  
Likes For fishboat:
Old 01-07-20, 07:29 PM
  #21  
niknak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 735
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
The Oregon Outback is an Amtrak train ride away from Nor Cal. At the end you may need to ride roads to get into Portland. There might be a bus to get you to the Portland Amtrak.
niknak is offline  
Old 01-08-20, 03:14 AM
  #22  
KC8QVO
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 518

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 132 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by UsedToBeFaster View Post
Bikes can handle 32mm tires so a bit of gravel is ok.
After a few thousand miles on a mostly crushed gravel trail network I would not even consider riding "off-road" on 32mm tires. My bike stock came with 38mm's and I upgraded to 42mm's. I'm not a big guy, 150lbs if wet. The tires just don't have the flotation on softer ground - as in wet dirt, and the worst - coarse gravel (like that used on construction sites for temporary equipment paths) and pea gravel - its akin to trying to ride over marbles.

If the ground you are going to ride is "hard" (actually hard and if it rains you aren't victim to dirt going soft) then you can get by. It just would not be my choice. If I were riding like that routinely I'd have something in the 51mm/2" wide range. It will make for a smoother ride, also, with more sidewall to absorb the terrain.
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 01-08-20, 08:48 AM
  #23  
balto charlie
Senior Member
 
balto charlie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Baltimore/DC
Posts: 2,510
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Here is a map with many gravel roads around the country. Just link them up in the area you want to ride. Surprisingly quite a few roads.
https://gravelmap.com/#@39.048504793...2268,9,roadmap
balto charlie is offline  
Old 01-08-20, 09:59 AM
  #24  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 9,692
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1405 Post(s)
Liked 136 Times in 123 Posts
Mr used to be (funny name btw and so true for most of us), as a parent who has done stuff with kids and who has ridden in trails and whatnot, do keep in mind how gravel riding generally will be slower and more tiring (bumpy, having to watch surface etc) than what we are used to on pavement.
So do keep this in mind and be more conservative for distances and time, and don't forget to carry more food\snacks and water if unsure of distances between towns or whatever.
And with gravel etc, chances are more of a little tumble and scrapes, so a basic first aid kit to at least clean and cover up a bo-bo is always good to have.
Have fun planning and hope this works out.

And yes, watch for overly high tire pressures that are fine on pavement, lower will be more comfortable and more sure footed.
djb is offline  
Old 01-08-20, 12:44 PM
  #25  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 9,590

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '87 Schwinn Prelude, Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo, '18 Diamondback Syncr

Mentioned: 89 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3646 Post(s)
Liked 587 Times in 398 Posts
Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
Here is a map with many gravel roads around the country. Just link them up in the area you want to ride. Surprisingly quite a few roads.
https://gravelmap.com/#@39.048504793...2268,9,roadmap
Is it surprising?
Iowa alone has over 70,000 miles of gravel roads. And we are hardly a large state in geographic size.
mstateglfr is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.