View Full Version : Big trip to the Midwest

06-10-2012, 01:48 PM
Hi y'all. Sometime in mid July I'm looking to start a ride to Minneapolis. Go visit friends. I have a month off. I have a new, custom built touring bike. I'm out of school for the summer.

So...who has ridden this general ride (a long trip from here to MN and beyond)? What route was taken? The Adventure Cycling route? What would you avoid? What would you change? How long did it take?

I asked this question on AskMetaFilter and the question quickly got buried. I'm experienced at touring, solo and with others. I have all the gear. I don't need newbie tips. I'd like specifics about riding this general direction and your experiences. I know it's gonna be hot, I know it gets desolate, etc.

Simple Nature
06-10-2012, 05:00 PM
You migth consider the ROAM route. Any route good enough for velomobiles should be great on a bike. Start was PDX and goes directly through the middle of MN. A lot of planning went into this route.


Search "ROAM" "Roll Over America" on the web and on BROL


and many more details on the web.

06-10-2012, 10:37 PM
That's great. And it mostly bypasses NoDak which I've seen plenty (more than once is plenty). Thanks. I will check that out for sure.

06-15-2012, 10:00 PM
You all seem to be politely, slowly composing well thought out responses. That's my guess as to the delay here in any activity. But please, respond away. Don't be shy. We are all friends.

Simple Nature
06-16-2012, 05:52 AM
You might get some good responses on BROL (BentRider Online).

A few people will be able to tell you their actual experience on the route.

Just search "ROAM" and you will get the names of a lot of participants.

I doubt too many PDX'rs hove done anything near as epic.

I drive the route out to 395 to Spokane a lot. 14 on the WA side is quite reasonable. 12 going into Idaho too is a reasonable cycling route. Once you get past the passes from there, it will be open country roads.

06-16-2012, 06:17 AM
Have you checked out Matt Picio's blog from last summer? http://www.castironcyclist.com/ (http://www.castironcyclist.com/) He took ACA's TransAmerica route, with some variations. CGOAB (http://crazyguyonabike.com/) also has plenty of journals about various northern routes.

I'd like to hear more about your trip...your bike, your gear, how it goes!

06-16-2012, 12:15 PM
Simple Nature: thanks for both responses. The other day I found a good day by day break down of that ROAM route on someone's blog. Thanks for the tip. On a side note, when I lived in Minneapolis I worked at Calhoun Cycle. As a recumbent guy I'd think you might be mildly familiar with that name. Is this true? I had a great time working there. I didn't know anything about recumbent bikes when I started but it was super fun all the same.

Alan: I don't know Matt Picio but recognize his name from here. Thanks. I'm familiar with CGOAB but had spaced it out.

I used to ride an early 80s Bridgestone something or other. I forget what model. I acquired it from a friend and it needed a paint job pretty bad. I had it powdercoated before I built it up. Then I picked up a Surly CrossCheck and have ridden the Hell out of that. I've been friends with Joseph Ahearne for quite a few years now and he built me a frame/forks/racks on the cheap during a frame building class he teaches at UBI. So now I have a custom Ahearne. I just built the wheels this week and the parts are nothing flashy, just solid and reliable stuff.

There isn't anything special about any of the camping gear I have. That sort of thing is constantly, slowly changing. Like for a number of years I've used a 2 person Sierra Designs tent that my longtime and now ex girlfriend and I used together. I only camp solo, or rather, I don't share a tent with anyone anymore, so I now have a MSR Hubba. I use a canister stove by Snow Peak. It's light, boils fast, etc. My friends use Trangia stoves and I've thought of getting one of those. I used that, now I use this, etc...

06-18-2012, 08:23 AM
...the parts are nothing flashy, just solid and reliable stuff. --- 8< --- ...I used that, now I use this, etc...

I hear you about how gear evolves...stuff that works stays around, stuff that doesn't gets replaced. I love my old NF Westwind tent, very light for a 2-person 4-season, but now its urethane coating is peeling, and I tend to do more solo camping and not in winter conditions, and I'm looking to replace it with a 1-person 3-season for half the weight, maybe a Eureka Spitfire.

Ahearne frame: sweet! :)

06-19-2012, 09:20 AM
RP, you may have found these already, but just in case here's links to online bicycle maps for Washington/Oregon/Montana/Idaho, that may help with route planning:

Oregon & Washington:



There's paved rail/trails called the Centennial Trail / Trail of the Couer D'Alenes)


they run pretty much the whole way from Spokane to the Montana border, so that might make for an interesting route. Have heard good things about them.

06-25-2012, 05:49 PM
My friend in Minneapolis has thrown a wrench into the works. He wants to come out here this summer and visit Portland and Seattle. He used to live here and misses it sometimes maybe. He's coming in mid August and we're gonna go up to Seattle to watch Twins/Mariners games. I haven't been back to Minneapolis since I moved back here in 2004. I'm not entirely heartbroken to not be going back but it's something I would like to do, it just won't be happening the way I thought it would, and I don't think it will be this summer.

I'm gonna take off less time from work and not go completely broke and do something in eastern Oregon. I think...

Thanks to the few of you who commented.