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What has been you favorite US tour?

Old 09-10-23, 10:52 AM
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What has been you favorite US tour?

Planning on retiring in March and I have a couple routes in mind. One being the Southern Tier and another on Maine to Florida. What has been your favorite, especially the scenery and people along the way? Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-10-23, 12:01 PM
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Seattle to the Northern Tier to Bar Harbor then the Atlantic Coast to Philly and then on to Ocean City, NJ. Probably my favorite because of the length.

If I ever have the time, desire and ability to do something like that again, it would NOT be Main to Florida. Much less populated areas. Probably stat out on the Northern Tier again to Glacier, drop down the the TransAm through CO and then make my own way from there.
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Old 09-10-23, 02:51 PM
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Regina SK > Las Vegas NM
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Old 09-10-23, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by sloar
Planning on retiring in March and I have a couple routes in mind. One being the Southern Tier and another on Maine to Florida. What has been your favorite, especially the scenery and people along the way? Thanks for sharing.
It looks like your question is in terms of an extended trip of several months so I'll answer in that context rather than a short one-week or two-week ride.

In terms of longer cross-continent trips, I've done N/S trips:
- Along the Pacific Coast from Vancouver to Tijuana (and then later down Baja)
- Along the Atlantic Coast from Key West to Halifax Nova Scota (and later up through Nova Scotia and out out to St Johns Newfoundland)
- In the middle roughly along US 83 - from Brownsville to the Canadian Border
- From North to South from Prudhoe Bay to Banff to Colorado to Socorro NM and then west to San Diego

I've also done E/W trips:
- Across Canada from Fairbanks to St Johns Newfoundland
- Across Northern US from Astoria Oregon to Portland Maine
- Through the middle from San Jose/Reno/Salt Lake City/Fort Collins/Wichita/Memphis/Cincinnati/Pittsburgh (still need to add Pittsburgh to DC)
- Across Southern US from San Jose to San Diego and southern Tier to St Augustine

You didn't mention time of year but that is also a consideration (Southern Tier not in the summer and some others prefer the summer; a S/N or N/S route also plan the time).

As far as scenery goes between some of these trips: I would put the Pacific Coast at top of the list followed by routes through the Rockies - so either a northern or mid route across the US. I would put the southern tier lower and the east coast is also lower.

As far as people goes, I haven't necessarily found found big differences. There is a trade off between going on an established route e.g. TransAmerica or Pacific Coast - or going off on your own route. It has been in some of these off-route areas where I've connected more but that is at least as much a factor of time I spend. The other factor that sometimes comes into the people is sometimes you can use the bike trip as an excuse to stop in on relatives or family on the way - so that depends on who you know where.
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Old 09-10-23, 04:24 PM
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West Coast, US Highway 101/CA 1 from Port Angeles to about Santa Barbara.

Now that I live along the route, I've only done little pieces of it. I need to do the whole thing again.

I still have the Bikecentennial [sic] maps.
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Old 09-10-23, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mev
It looks like your question is in terms of an extended trip of several months so I'll answer in that context rather than a short one-week or two-week ride.

In terms of longer cross-continent trips, I've done N/S trips:
- Along the Pacific Coast from Vancouver to Tijuana (and then later down Baja)
- Along the Atlantic Coast from Key West to Halifax Nova Scota (and later up through Nova Scotia and out out to St Johns Newfoundland)
- In the middle roughly along US 83 - from Brownsville to the Canadian Border
- From North to South from Prudhoe Bay to Banff to Colorado to Socorro NM and then west to San Diego

I've also done E/W trips:
- Across Canada from Fairbanks to St Johns Newfoundland
- Across Northern US from Astoria Oregon to Portland Maine
- Through the middle from San Jose/Reno/Salt Lake City/Fort Collins/Wichita/Memphis/Cincinnati/Pittsburgh (still need to add Pittsburgh to DC)
- Across Southern US from San Jose to San Diego and southern Tier to St Augustine

You didn't mention time of year but that is also a consideration (Southern Tier not in the summer and some others prefer the summer; a S/N or N/S route also plan the time).

As far as scenery goes between some of these trips: I would put the Pacific Coast at top of the list followed by routes through the Rockies - so either a northern or mid route across the US. I would put the southern tier lower and the east coast is also lower.

As far as people goes, I haven't necessarily found found big differences. There is a trade off between going on an established route e.g. TransAmerica or Pacific Coast - or going off on your own route. It has been in some of these off-route areas where I've connected more but that is at least as much a factor of time I spend. The other factor that sometimes comes into the people is sometimes you can use the bike trip as an excuse to stop in on relatives or family on the way - so that depends on who you know where.
lots of good thoughts here. I have not ridden all of them but most. I agree that the west coast is a good choice. I would rate Key West to Maine lower. However, continuing to Nova Scotia would not totally change my mind but with the Nova Scotia addition, it would be rated higher for me.

I would toss in Europe. Our 2 month ride from Venice to Paris was a pleasure for site-seeing and food.
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Old 09-10-23, 06:55 PM
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It depends.
What you like and what I like and what Louise likes are three different things.

Nothing beats a 3-month tour of the American and Canadian Wests.
San Francisco to Santa Fe -
Then a left turn up the Rockies into Canada to Jasper -
Then another left turn across northern BC to Prince Rupert -
Catch the ferry to Vancouver Island -
Then bike back at least to the San Juan Islands -
If you have extra time, head down the Pacific Coast.

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...c_id=1168&v=sM
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Old 09-10-23, 06:59 PM
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Hands down, our best tour was border to border through the Rockies. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37854054

My journal is here: https://www.cycleblaze.com/journals/chevy/

We enjoyed the wide variety of terrain, as we traveled from the red rocks of the south, through the high desert, dipping in and out of alpine mountains as we traveled.

I have few better memories than bicycling through Monument Valley.
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Old 09-11-23, 06:30 AM
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I’m not looking for recommendations, I’m just curious about everyone’s favorite tours. I’ve got a few long tours under my belt, but my goal has always been to cross the US. We visit Florida a lot and plan on spending winters there. So logistically the ST works best for me, but it does seem a little boring.
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Old 09-11-23, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by sloar
So logistically the ST works best for me, but it does seem a little boring.
The scenery was monotonous, but it is one of the few long US routes suitable for winter (I went mid Feb - mid Mar). Also you meet an interesting collection of misfits mostly transplants from somewhere else. Another plus is that there is an interesting array of different local foods as you go.

My favs were the TA and the Pacific Coast.
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Old 09-11-23, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by sloar
Planning on retiring in March and I have a couple routes in mind. One being the Southern Tier and another on Maine to Florida. What has been your favorite, especially the scenery and people along the way? Thanks for sharing.
Vancouver to Mexico on Pacific Coast hands down. Do it during Summer and you will meet tons of fun people doing the same. Great scenery, mild climate, easy logistics.

Main to Florida not so much. Not going to say I HATED IT, but I would not recommend it. One good thing, services are very close together and you won't ever go hungry or thirsty. Towns are generally 10 miles apart. In fact, I biked from New Orleans to the Atlantic Ocean across the Gulf Coast, then to Maine hanging near the coast, then back to NOLA cycling down the Appalachian mountains. I enjoyed some of it. Wouldn't go back.

Rocky Mountains. This is as scenic as it gets but mountain weather can be a drag. My route again started in New Orleans and made a beeline to Pueblo, Colorado. Followed the spine of the Rockies all the way to Glacier/Waterton. Hit Rocky Mountain NP, Yellowstone NP and Glacier NP along the way. Then Trans-Canada Highway 3 to Vancouver. (Then down to Mexico). You better like long climbs and fast descents! And some really ugly weather even in summer. Rain, hail, snow, freezing nights, etc. And you better be able to go 60-100 miles a day as services can be spread out. This was my favorite trip in retrospect but if someone paid me to go with them again, Pacific Coast no contest.

I enjoyed cycling up the Natchez Trace Parkway then to Land Between the Lakes, then to the Katy Trail, then up to Minnesota. Did all of it once and parts several times. Do this in Fall unless you're an amateur storm chaser and/or enjoy flash floods during Springtime.

Hope this helps. Obviously I could go into more detail.

Cheers

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Old 09-12-23, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
Vancouver to Mexico on Pacific Coast hands down. Do it during Summer and you will meet tons of fun people doing the same.
If you do it right after labor Day when the vacation traffic dies down and the RV traffic is way less and you still meet lots of other cyclists. I hit it then and had good weather, light RV traffic, and met lots of like minded folks.
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Old 09-15-23, 05:25 PM
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I've done the ST. I enjoyed my DC to San Francisco far better. Quieter roads. More variety of scenery. Great finish on the ferry across the bay to SF.

Did the C and O canal and the railtrack to Pittsburgh. Then old route 30. Finished bon the Western Express.
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Old 09-15-23, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Also you meet an interesting collection of misfits mostly transplants from somewhere else.
Hey! Some of us misfits along the Southern Tier were born and raised here and don't have an excuse.
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Old 09-16-23, 02:10 PM
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Many choices

Iíve done numerous cross country and overseas tours, so Iíll only add that my favorite summer six month tour (April to October) is the Sierra/cascade route, starting in the southern border on April first. It takes me six months because I add numerous side trips and zig zags over just about any pass or climb in the vicinity. I also add numerous side trips into Northern California mountains and Oregon coastal ranges (not the coast road). Once I reach the north cascades, where the route ends, I ride across northern Washington and Idaho, into Montana and north to Jasper. By this time itís late September and the air is chilly. In fact because of the timing and the mountains a LOT of this trip is on the cool (sometimes cold!) side.

But I loved it and did it every year from 2015 till the CoVid19 closure stupidity of 2020. I now live in this area and concentrate on far more intensive local tours.
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Old 09-18-23, 08:54 AM
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Favorites have involved riding through Death Valley/Mojave desert in September when it's still 100+ degrees (seriously, I love it!). I also enjoyed riding up over Yosemite and the Tioga pass. People are so friendly in the desert and in the national parks.
The absolute worst was the Pacific Coast from Tillamook Oregon (I starter in Bend) down to San Francisco. No room for bikes on those coastal roads and way too many people; we're just in their way. It's not that I wouldn't recommend cycling the Pacific Northwest, but I'd actually recommend *not* cycling it.
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