Bicycle Touring Across the USA

From March 31, 2001 to September 14, 2001, I rode across the United States via Canada. I took a 2.5 month hiatus in Colorado to work at Ajax Bikes in Basalt. Along the way, I reached sub zero temperatures as well as humid triple digits. This entry is presented more as an archive of the trip than a route guide. I took the trip before I was taking detailed route notes, and as such, my route advice would not be of much use; just gathered from distant memory. In general, the route from West Glacier, Montana all the way to Jasper was spectacular. I ended up hitch hiking on the way South from Edmonton because the scenery was quite monotonous! Another special region was the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming. This area was short, but the ride through Yellowstone across and over the Bighorns was quite nice. Many people comment that Kansas is very boring to drive through, but my experience on a bike was very positive. People were very friendly, waving from their cars. Also, people drove slowly, and you could camp safely in city parks – just let the local police know ahead of time. This came together to make Kansas one of the better states for cycling! As a big generalization, my favorite states for cycling were: Montana, Colorado, California, Idaho, Kansas, and Missouri (mostly because of the Katy trail).  Although I had been on several bike tours before the cross USA trip, I really solidified my gear on this journey.  I learned that you really only need two panniers and a handlebar bag.  This is even more true today when the available gear is smaller and lighter.  Gear that makes a big difference today in terms of size and weight: NeoAir Xlite pad This pad packs much smaller than the closed cell pads of 2001.  Also very important are lightweight tents.  Big Agnes Fly Creek Tents (Two Person or One Person) are considerably smaller than the Sierra Designs tent that I was carrying.  Another big space saver is a sleeping bag of appropriate temperature.  If you want to skip the GPS track, and just see the Pictures, Click here. Otherwise, GPS tracks are here

My Bike Tour Route across the United States

My Bike Tour Route across the United States

GPS Tracks


 

03/31/2001 Bear Valley California

04/01/2001 Markleeville California

04/02/2001 Lovelock Nevada

04/03/2001 Rye Patch Nevada

04/04/2001 Nevada

04/05/2001 McDermitt Oregon

04/06/2001 Jordan Valley Oregon

04/07/2001 Marsing Idaho

04/08/2001 Boise Idaho

04/12/2001 Boise Idaho

04/13/2001 Stanley Idaho

04/14/2001 Salmon Idaho

04/15/2001 North Fork Idaho

04/16/2001 Hamilton Montana

04/20/2001 Missoula Montana

04/21/2001 Polson Montana

04/22/2001 Columbia Falls Montana

04/23/2001 West Glacier Montana

04/24/2001 Fortine Montana

04/25/2001 Cranbrook British Columbia Canada

04/26/2001 Canada

04/27/2001 Radium Hot Springs British Columbia Canada

04/29/2001 Banff Alberta Canada

04/30/2001 Alberta Canada

05/02/2001 Jasper Alberta Canada

05/03/2001 Hinton Alberta Canada

05/04/2001 Edmonton Alberta Canada

05/07/2001 Lethbridge Alberta Canada

05/08/2001 Vaughn Montana

05/09/2001 Neihart Montana

05/10/2001 White Sulphur Springs Montana

05/15/2001 Bozeman Montana

05/16/2001 West Yellowstone Montana

05/17/2001 Yellowstone National Park Wyoming

05/18/2001 Cody Wyoming

05/19/2001 Cody Wyoming

05/20/2001 Greybull Wyoming

05/23/2001 Worland Wyoming

05/24/2001 Shoshoni Wyoming

05/25/2001 Jeffrey City Wyoming

05/26/2001 Wyoming

05/27/2001 Craig Colorado

05/28/2001 Oak Creek Colorado

05/29/2001 Woody Creek Colorado

05/31/2001 Paonia Colorado

08/14/2001 Basalt Colorado

08/15/2001 Buena Vista Colorado

08/16/2001 Cañon City Colorado

08/17/2001 Arlington Colorado

08/19/2001 Tribune Kansas

08/20/2001 Dighton Kansas

08/21/2001 Timken Kansas

08/23/2001 Vassar Kansas

08/24/2001 Holden Missouri

08/25/2001 Sedalia Missouri

08/26/2001 Jefferson City Missouri

08/29/2001 New Baden Illinois

08/30/2001 Centralia Illinois

08/31/2001 Saint Francisville Illinois

09/01/2001 Orleans Indiana

09/02/2001 Cross Plains Indiana

09/03/2001 Winchester Ohio

09/04/2001 Albany Ohio

09/05/2001 Harrisville West Virginia

09/06/2001 Grafton West Virginia

09/07/2001 Grantsville Maryland

09/08/2001 Hancock Maryland

09/09/2001 Westminster Maryland

09/10/2001 Ronks Pennsylvania

09/13/2001 Chatham Township New Jersey

09/14/2001 Staten Island New York

Pictures!


Walking over Ebbets pass in the snow.

Walking over Ebbets pass in the snow.

Yup, that is Lake Alpine on HWY 4

Yup, that is Lake Alpine on HWY 4

I walked over Ebbets pass in the snow.  To my relief, they had finished clearing the other side!

I walked over Ebbets pass in the snow. To my relief, they had finished clearing the other side!

Markleeville

Markleeville

Carson City in the spring

Carson City in the spring

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Near Burns, OR

Near Burns, OR

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Near Marsing, ID

Near Marsing, ID

Lucky Peak Reservoir Dam

Lucky Peak Reservoir Dam

Idaho City

Idaho City

From Lacey's grandparent's home in Idaho City

From Lacey’s grandparent’s home in Idaho City

Warm Springs?  I wish.  Near Stanley, ID.

Warm Springs? I wish. Near Stanley, ID.

Near Mores Creek Summit

Near Mores Creek Summit

Near Beaver Creek Summit

Near Beaver Creek Summit

Near Beaver Creek Summit

Near Beaver Creek Summit

Near Beaver Creek Summit

Near Beaver Creek Summit

Near Beaver Creek Summit

Near Beaver Creek Summit

It got so cold that the water would splash up from the road and freeze on my bike.  Eventually, the chain froze to the point that I could no longer pedal.  Had to stop for the night in Stanley, ID.

It got so cold that the water would splash up from the road and freeze on my bike. Eventually, the chain froze to the point that I could no longer pedal. Had to stop for the night in Stanley, ID.

Riding East/North on ID 75 is a hoot!  You follow the Salmon River, where there are a few hot springs just off the road... and the entire section is a gradual 150 mile downhill!

Riding East/North on ID 75 is a hoot! You follow the Salmon River, where there are a few hot springs just off the road… and the entire section is a gradual 150 mile downhill!

Riding East/North on ID 75 is a hoot!  You follow the Salmon River, where there are a few hot springs just off the road... and the entire section is a gradual 150 mile downhill!

Riding East/North on ID 75 is a hoot! You follow the Salmon River, where there are a few hot springs just off the road… and the entire section is a gradual 150 mile downhill!

Salmon River

Salmon River

Between Salmon and Challis, ID

Between Salmon and Challis, ID

Entering Montana at Gibbons Pass (near Chief Joseph Pass)

Entering Montana at Gibbons Pass (near Chief Joseph Pass)

Near Polson, MT

Near Polson, MT

Flathead Lake, Montana

Flathead Lake, Montana

Near Columbia Falls, MT

Near Columbia Falls, MT

View along Glacier National Park Road approaching Going to the sun road

View along Glacier National Park Road approaching Going to the sun road

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Snow bank in Glacier National Park

Snow bank in Glacier National Park

Mountains in Glacier National Park

Mountains in Glacier National Park

Lake McDonnald

Lake McDonnald

As seen near West Glacier, MT.

As seen near West Glacier, MT.

Near Wardner Lake in BC, Canada

Near Wardner Lake in BC, Canada

The Canadian Rockies in Kootenay National Park along Banff-Windemere HWY.

The Canadian Rockies in Kootenay National Park along Banff-Windemere HWY.

The Canadian Rockies in Kootenay National Park along Banff-Windemere HWY.

The Canadian Rockies in Kootenay National Park along Banff-Windemere HWY.

Snowy conditions just North of Mosquito Lakes Hostel.

Snowy conditions just North of Mosquito Lakes Hostel.

Canadian Rockies near Wilson Icefield

Canadian Rockies near Wilson Icefield

Canadian Rockies on Icefield Parkway

Canadian Rockies on Icefield Parkway

Canadian Rockies

Canadian Rockies

A small piece of the Columbia Icefield.

A small piece of the Columbia Icefield.

Bighorn Sheep seen from Icefield Parkway in the Canadian rockies

Bighorn Sheep seen from Icefield Parkway in the Canadian rockies

Bighorn Sheep seen from Icefield Parkway in the Canadian rockies

Bighorn Sheep seen from Icefield Parkway in the Canadian rockies

Moose seen from ice field parkway

Moose seen from ice field parkway

Canadian Rockies

Canadian Rockies

Moose seen from Icefield Parkway in the Canadian rockies

Moose seen from Icefield Parkway in the Canadian rockies

Near Jasper

Near Jasper

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Lethbridge, the longest and highest steel trestle bridge in North America.

Lethbridge, the longest and highest steel trestle bridge in North America.

Near Conrad, MT

Near Conrad, MT

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Yellowstone Lake - still frozen in May (7700' elevation)

Yellowstone Lake – still frozen in May (7700′ elevation)

I caught 2 rainbows and 1 cutthroat - all about the same size - by hand in the Shoshoni river!  I let them go after I took pictures.

I caught 2 rainbows and 1 cutthroat – all about the same size – by hand in the Shoshoni river! I let them go after I took pictures.

Cody, WY house.

Cody, WY house.

It can be pretty bleak in Wyoming.  Somewhere between Cody and the Bighorns

It can be pretty bleak in Wyoming. Somewhere between Cody and the Bighorns

Bighorn Canyon - very beautiful!

Bighorn Canyon – very beautiful!

Bighorn Canyon - very beautiful!

Bighorn Canyon – very beautiful!

Bighorn Canyon (near Cody, WY) - very beautiful!

Bighorn Canyon (near Cody, WY) – very beautiful!

Near Thermopolis

Near Thermopolis

Thermopolis

Thermopolis

Near Craig, CO

Near Craig, CO

Near Boysen Reservoir in Wyoming

Near Boysen Reservoir in Wyoming

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Lacey met this guy a couple weeks before I did.  He was hanging out at a soccer game and she struck up a conversation.  By chance, our paths crossed miles from that spot, and upon meeting and talking for a while, he asked me, "is your name Brian?"  He remembered from his conversation with her that I was on a tour as well - but we had never seen each other before!

Lacey met this guy a couple weeks before I did. He was hanging out at a soccer game and she struck up a conversation. By chance, our paths crossed miles from that spot, and upon meeting and talking for a while, he asked me, “is your name Brian?” He remembered from his conversation with her that I was on a tour as well – but we had never seen each other before!

Near Craig, CO

Near Craig, CO

Coal near Steamboat Springs, CO

Coal near Steamboat Springs, CO

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Bike Path towards Glenwood Springs

Bike Path towards Glenwood Springs

Kids I met in Paonia

Kids I met in Paonia

Royal Gorge - at 955 feet above the river held the record of highest bridge in the world from 1929 to 2001 (I crossed it before it lost its title!)

Royal Gorge – at 955 feet above the river held the record of highest bridge in the world from 1929 to 2001 (I crossed it before it lost its title!)

Royal Gorge - the highest bridge to river in the world.  You have to pay $15 to cross!

Royal Gorge – the highest bridge to river in the world. You have to pay $15 to cross!

Welcome to Kansas - great riding here!

Welcome to Kansas – great riding here!

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Missouri house

Missouri house

Found in Missouri.

Found in Missouri.

Rail Trail in Pennsylvania

Rail Trail in Pennsylvania

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Sunflowers

Sunflowers

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Where the Missouri meets the Mississippi.

Where the Missouri meets the Mississippi.

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A bridge I crossed

A bridge I crossed

Misty Morning Fog

Misty Morning Fog

Ohio.  Notice my pared down set of gear

Ohio. Notice my pared down set of gear

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A load on our truck... is a load off your mind!

A load on our truck… is a load off your mind!

Maryland hay bales

Maryland hay bales

Maryland Barn

Maryland Barn

Spitting on the sidewalks prohibited by law

Spitting on the sidewalks prohibited by law

Lancaster horse and carriage

Lancaster horse and carriage

Sunset before the night of September 11th

Sunset before the night of September 11th

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1 Response

  1. Hops says:

    Looking forward to learning more about the trip.
    I did the Tour of Colorado a few years back(a couple of times) that when through some of the towns on the route near Aspen and over to Crested Butte.

    I wonder what was going on in that area around Aspen for you when you were there.

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