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View Full Version : Seeking Bike Tour / Bikepacking Suggestions?


raygunner
03-27-2016, 08:36 AM
Good morning! For the last few years I've been doing a spring bike related tour. It's all about getting some good riding in, good weather and seeing a part of the country I haven't seen before.

Since all my great advice seems to come from this forum, both bike related and off topic issues I wanted to see what other forum members suggest.

So my first world problem is that I have roughly 3 weeks to take vacation in May and I'd love to check out a new tour or bikepacking route, some place I haven't done before, that in the U.S.

I've taken in the following: most of the Pacific Coast route in different stages, a good Vermont tour, a good Michigan tour, the C&O Canal, Oregon Outback. Hawaii is out since the girlfriend wants to go with me at a later date.

I was thinking about doing a portion of Adventure Cycling's Sierra Cascade route but I'm thinking it'll be a little early in the year for that.

Any advice is welcome. Thanks!!! :beer:

Ken Robb
03-27-2016, 08:47 AM
Sierras will still have snow but many roads will be clear. Inland Ca. would be perfect: Paso Robles to Los Olivos areas. Finger Lakes in NY. Cannandaigua is a lovely town for a base.

San Diego County from the beach to the desert with 4,000-6,000 foot "mountains" in betwween.

Lovetoclimb
03-27-2016, 09:28 AM
Gravel roads through the Smokies and Pisgah in TN/NC.

likebikes
03-27-2016, 09:29 AM
go south.

natchez trace.
blue ridge parkway/skyline dr.

raygunner
03-27-2016, 08:24 PM
I'm digging this Natchez Trace idea!

Would May be an ideal time for weather?

I'd love to Amtrak it both ways which seems pretty doable.

idrinkwater
03-28-2016, 05:51 AM
Aca Idaho hot springs route?

Check out the "huracan 300" in Florida

weisan
03-28-2016, 06:12 AM
Ray pal, I wish I could come along with you...
Have you considered:

Katy Trail:
http://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=75865

Blue ridge parkway:
http://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=75111

pinkshogun
03-28-2016, 06:25 AM
a 2 lane road, not a lot of traffic with towns close by

Joel
03-28-2016, 08:30 AM
Another vote for the Trace. Used to ride it often when lived in Nashville.

Slight rolling hills, virtually no traffic.

It's often a way's between towns and you have to hop off to get to them so plan accordingly.

Apropos of nothing, we had a 100k time trial on that road (which I won!) the first 3k I had a deer running along side of me. One of the strangest things I've seen in this sport.

Have fun!

stuckinthecity
03-28-2016, 08:44 AM
I did the C&O / Gap trail last year with my girlfriend in the second week of May. Weather was perfect.

As far as bikepacking goes it's fairly easy, especially if you ride north-to-south. There are many camping / B&B options, and a refuel stop is never more than a 10 mile distance away.

Rail trails can sometimes bore me, but there was enough change in the scenery to make it interesting. It's certainly not roughing it but if you want something low-key it's a good option that time of year.

If you want to incorporate some tourism you can take detours to Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water, and of course spend an extra night in Pittsburgh and then Washington, DC.


Good morning! For the last few years I've been doing a spring bike related tour. It's all about getting some good riding in, good weather and seeing a part of the country I haven't seen before.

Since all my great advice seems to come from this forum, both bike related and off topic issues I wanted to see what other forum members suggest.

So my first world problem is that I have roughly 3 weeks to take vacation in May and I'd love to check out a new tour or bikepacking route, some place I haven't done before, that in the U.S.

I've taken in the following: most of the Pacific Coast route in different stages, a good Vermont tour, a good Michigan tour, the C&O Canal, Oregon Outback. Hawaii is out since the girlfriend wants to go with me at a later date.

I was thinking about doing a portion of Adventure Cycling's Sierra Cascade route but I'm thinking it'll be a little early in the year for that.

Any advice is welcome. Thanks!!! :beer:

R3awak3n
03-28-2016, 08:45 AM
I am thinking about doing the oregon outback this year, it has always looked amazing to me. We would take about a week to do it.

F150
03-28-2016, 09:12 AM
SWA direct into Nashville, fly home from New Orleans. Once 30-40 miles south of Nashville, mostly flat.

Ken Robb
03-28-2016, 10:38 AM
go south.

natchez trace.
blue ridge parkway/skyline dr.

I have driven these and they are lovely. I don't remember any official campgrounds but I wasn't looking for them either. It seems to me that a guy on a bike could set up a small tent in the woods away from the road and not be noticed. Well, maybe the bears and pumas might notice. ;)

ptourkin
03-28-2016, 03:48 PM
San Diego County from the beach to the desert with 4,000-6,000 foot "mountains" in betwween.

Done that twice in the last three days. What are you going to do on Day 2? :D

pinkshogun
03-28-2016, 04:13 PM
we began riding The Trace April 11, 2008. it was cold and had a bit of light hail. the first night camping using Hennessey Hammocks we froze, i made my way into a heated bathroom at one of the sites and spent the night there

the next day/night more of the same so we had to increase our daily mileage significantly to find indoor shelter which lead to knee, ass, and achilles problems for the remainder of the trip

Ken Robb
03-28-2016, 04:27 PM
Done that twice in the last three days. What are you going to do on Day 2? :D

Check into the Cardiac Unit at Scripps Memorial Hospital. :help::beer:

gmcampy
03-29-2016, 10:38 AM
Good morning! For the last few years I've been doing a spring bike related tour. It's all about getting some good riding in, good weather and seeing a part of the country I haven't seen before.

Since all my great advice seems to come from this forum, both bike related and off topic issues I wanted to see what other forum members suggest.

So my first world problem is that I have roughly 3 weeks to take vacation in May and I'd love to check out a new tour or bikepacking route, some place I haven't done before, that in the U.S.

I've taken in the following: most of the Pacific Coast route in different stages, a good Vermont tour, a good Michigan tour, the C&O Canal, Oregon Outback. Hawaii is out since the girlfriend wants to go with me at a later date.

I was thinking about doing a portion of Adventure Cycling's Sierra Cascade route but I'm thinking it'll be a little early in the year for that.

Any advice is welcome. Thanks!!! :beer:

Do a 3 week adventure ride on the Transamerica Trail

cat6
03-29-2016, 10:57 AM
the first night camping using Hennessey Hammocks we froze

were you using a sleeping pad or any insulation underneath you besides your sleeping bag? that's still necessary when using a hammock or you'll freeze.

dawgie
03-29-2016, 01:16 PM
I would check out tours in Arizona and New Mexico for that time of year, or perhaps the Big Bend area of Texas. Weather could still be pretty raw on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

raygunner
04-04-2016, 02:51 PM
Okay, I'm booked up for some riding in Oregon!

Should be good...I'm actually taking the Amtrak out to Portland & then doing the Oregon Outback again but just solo (unless I run into other folks!).

Should be good, I'm excited about 2 days on the Amtrak. I'm not sure if I'll feel that way after the train ride but I've wanted to take the train across country for awhile.

Thanks again for all the help & other suggestions. I'm def going to do the Natchez Trace next year!!

R3awak3n
04-04-2016, 03:11 PM
Okay, I'm booked up for some riding in Oregon!

Should be good...I'm actually taking the Amtrak out to Portland & then doing the Oregon Outback again but just solo (unless I run into other folks!).

Should be good, I'm excited about 2 days on the Amtrak. I'm not sure if I'll feel that way after the train ride but I've wanted to take the train across country for awhile.

Thanks again for all the help & other suggestions. I'm def going to do the Natchez Trace next year!!

super cool, would love to know how it all goes since I want to do the same thing (I would even do the train part since I hate flying... going from NY though)

also, what do you know about taking the bike on the amtrak? I would have to go from Boston and would take 3 days. I would fly back though. I hate flying but a whole week on the amtrak would probably get to me lol

weisan
04-04-2016, 03:21 PM
Okay, I'm booked up for some riding in Oregon!

Should be good...I'm actually taking the Amtrak out to Portland & then doing the Oregon Outback again but just solo (unless I run into other folks!).

Should be good, I'm excited about 2 days on the Amtrak. I'm not sure if I'll feel that way after the train ride but I've wanted to take the train across country for awhile.

Thanks again for all the help & other suggestions. I'm def going to do the Natchez Trace next year!!

Ray pal, you gonna have so much fun. I would like to join you some day.

kevinvc
04-04-2016, 05:27 PM
Ray, that sounds fantastic and I'm sure you'll have a fantastic time. The weather in Oregon the last couple of months has been all over the place. We've had a lot of rain and a lot of incredibly nice weather. Overall though, it hasn't been particularly cold. I suggest you pack for anything.

One thing to be aware of, there was some really bad behavior on the part of a handful of riders last year. There were stories of some riders leaving litter all over the place and, in the worst allegation, some guys who were generously offered shelter in a local's barn left piles of crap (literally). Take a look at this posting (http://www.oregonbikepacking.com/the-death-of-the-oregon-outback/) by Donnie, the ride's founder. He was feeling pretty raw about it at the time and I know quite a few folks are still riding it in small groups throughout the year.

I'm not trying to dissuade you at all, but you should be aware that some of the locals might be a bit more wary of folks on bikes than in years past. My expectation is that if you're a friendly, courteous and responsible rider/packer, you shouldn't have any trouble. In fact, you have the opportunity to be a great ambassador to those of us who hope to ride the course in a year or two.