: Home Blog Bike Trips
Date:    Mon, 25 May 92 19:50:12 MDT
Subject: greetings
Location: Arlington, Oregon

Bicycle and myself made it to Oregon fine.  My rear tire developed
a quarter inch cut yesterday.  Went with a boot for a while, but
the cut widened, so I swapped in my spare and will use the other
one as backup....

Otherwise the trip is going well.  I can tell that my bicycle is pretty
heavily loaded (more so than going to Chicago), and so my distances are
also a little less.  Made it from Fort Stevens to Troutdale yesterday
and then to Arlington today.  A moderate tailwind through the gorge
also helped.  Seeing lots of sun, and trying to keep the sunscreen on.
I've encountered a number of other long distance cyclists out here.
One set behind me, going across the US.  Other sets going down the Oregon


Date:    Wed, 27 May 92 17:03:32 MDT
Subject: Re: tire 

Yesterday was a long day, Arlington -> Dayton so that meant today was
an easier day Dayton -> Lewiston.  I plan on leaving here at sunrise for
a two day trek over Lolo to Missoula.  Weather here continues to be perfect,
lots of sun and more tailwinds than headwinds.


Date:    Wed, 27 May 92 18:10:14 MDT
Subject: News from mev

So far the trip has been going well.  Pretty good weather and more tailwinds
than headwinds.  There seemed to be a consistent 15-25mph wind through most
of the gorge, which ws really nice.  Today I had an easier day, ending in
Lewiston, Idaho.  Tomorrow I will start towards Lolo Pass, hoping to arrive
in Missoula in two days.


Date:    Fri, 29 May 92 20:18:43 MDT
Subject: update
Location: Missoula, Montana

Quick update, made it over Lolo pass from Lewiston to Missoula.  It went
pretty much as expected, except it was 215 miles (not 200 which I had somehow
pscyched myself up for). I also had rain last night and some showers today.
My tent held up well, and is now nearly dry again.  Got into Missoula and
visited the BikeCentenial offices.  Unfortunately they were out of the map
sections I was interested in getting.  I've now done my first 1/6th section
and am trying to figure out the next 1/6th.


Date:    Tue, 02 Jun 92 20:30:00 MDT
Subject: Re: update 

Greetings from Miles City Montana.  Since Missoula, my stops have been
1) Helena 2) White Sulpher Springs 3) Roundup and 4) Miles City.  Things
are still going well, although I lost another tire (rear wall blew out)
at Avon, on the way to Helena.  My folks have mailed another to Miles City
which I hope to pick up tomorrow.

Other than my luck with tires, everything has been going well.  Still having
lots of clear sunny days.  While I was hoping for some nice tailwinds on
the great plains; things have been mostly calm or crosswinds with a few
memorable head winds.  I'm usually awake before 5am and get on the road just
before sunrise.  A few hours of cool morning cycling and then a rather large
breakfast.  After breakfast, the heat of the day begins, add in some more miles
before lunch.  Stopping time varies from 1pm to 7pm depending on the day.

I did the Lewiston -> Missoula stretch in two days camping midway between
Lowell and Powell.  After dinner at Lowell put about 35 miles in.  The next
morning did 35 more miles before breakfast at Powell.  The indian reservation
worked well.  Other than signs at the entrance and exit, there were no other
obvious indications that it was a reservation.  Motels, cafes same as
otherwise.  I do have another reservation coming up here in South Dakota.
I'll probably spend one night in Lemmon and then cross it in a day.


Subject: Re: Thanks 
Location: Miles City, Montana

Greetings from Miles City,

I sent Paul a postcard from Sumatra today, hopefully this is a unique postmark.
There isn't much to the town of Sumatra, other than a post office, a church
and a few other buildings (no store or cafe or other place of commerce).
Sumatra is near the drainage dividing point between the Musselshell and
Yellowstone rivers.  Otherwise, it is amongst pretty dry desolate country,
some cattle ranches and some unused lands.

I was definitely impressed with Lolo pass.  While not as high as my continental
divide crossing (McDonald Pass, with about 3.5 steep miles from the west and
6-7 from the east), it took a long 170 mile approach from Lewiston.  After the
dry scrub of the area around Lewiston, the tall trees along the banks of the
wide riviers (Clearwater, Middle fork Clearwater, Lochsa) is absolutely
beautiful.  At Lowell, the middle fork splits to become the Selway/Lochsa
and then there is a 65 mile stretch with national forest access points
but not much else.  There is a lodge/cafe at Powell about 13 miles from the
summit.  Only the last 6 miles are very steep.  The top has a nice ranger

So far on tires, I've been carrying a spare.  When the first went out, I was
able to pick up one in Walla Walla.  I had another tire go out, around Avon
Montana (rear wall blowout - maybe myself and all the gear is too heavy? or
I overinflated?).  My folks used express mail to send a tire to Miles City.
With my fingers crossed I rode 300 miles, I should be able to pick it up


Date:    Fri, 05 Jun 92 19:12:42 MDT
Subject: tailwinds, construction, rain

I had absolutely wonderful tailwinds yesterday.  They were about 15-30 mph
and consistently from the Northwest.  I was able to cover 207 miles from
Baker Montana to Mobridge South Dakota.  This included one stretch of
20 miles of road construction shortly after Mcintosh.  Through the entire
stretch, the road was torn up and had the consistency of hard packed gravel
(I think they had actually scraped off the blacktop).  This stretch was like
an obstacle course with a different obstacle every few miles.  First a few
miles of loose gravel spread on the road so the back wheel would sink in.
Next, a few miles with a high berm of gravel in the middle and me on the wrong
side of the road after meeting a grader.  After that, there were three miles
where they were watering the road creating a red mud splatter that got over
everything (one leg was litterally painted, the other was just spotted).
Most of the finale was a narrow road with all traffic on one half.  This came
at miles 156-176 of a long day so it was getting a bit surrealistic.

At about mile 187 it became calm, the tailwind stopped and there were some
bonus hills.  Up 200 feet, over the top of the hill and back down.  Repeat
five or six times.  However, it made for a great day.

I slept in until 7:15 today and was intending for a shorter day.  I also had
rain off and on through the day.  Sigh.  Unfortunately the motel at Ipswich
was closed so I still made 100 miles for the day to Aberdeen.  Maybe tomorrow
can be an easier day...


Date:    Tue, 09 Jun 92 07:56:40 MDT
Subject: Re: Fine Feathered Friends 
Location: Cottage Grove, Minnesota

...In Montana I only saw one Llama farm.  I have however added a little bit
of interest to lives of cows and sheep I have passed along the way.  Usually,
they just watch carefully as I move past (as  I cycle past I find 50 pairs of
eyes carefully scanning me as I go along).  In about 5% of the cases, I create
a minor stampede.  One or two of the cows decides that I am pretty unfamiliar
and starts running, soon the entire herd is going along.

I've also seen quite a few antelope and deer (these are much more likely to
bolt and run, but occasionally they play cow and stand and wait), skunks and

I'm taking a rest day in the Minneapolis/St Paul area.  My parents had mailed
a spare bicycle tire and I am hoping it will arrive today.  Otherwise, I hope
to head  into Minneapolis and play bipedal tourist today.


Date:    Wed, 10 Jun 92 18:45:30 MDT
Subject: Re: MN etc 

I left Cottage Grove this morning and made it up to Barron, WI today.
About half the route is along the St. Croix river valley that forms the
division between MN and WI.  There was a lot of pretty scenery along this
valley, but also a fair share of climbs as the road would alternate between
staying in the valley and climbing up the banks (more climbing than anywhere
else on the plains so far).

After Taylor's falls I headed up and across US8 through the middle of WI.
This is a 'resort' region with lots of lakes and vacation homes (saw one
place that was named 'the last resort').  Also quite a few trees.  I think
I may have lost yet another tire this morning.  After fixing a normal flat
I found that the bead of the tire had stretched enough so that the tire
wouldn't reseat.  I tried it anyway and had a pretty spectacular blowout when
the tire came off the rim and the inner tube tore open.  I'm thus down to one
spare again.  Hopefully this will last me until the populated part of MI where
I should pass enough bike stores along the way.

Otherwise, still fortunate with nice weather and good (although somewhat busy)
roads as I head across Wisconsin headed towards the UP.


Date:    Mon, 15 Jun 92 15:54:35 MDT
Subject: UP!
Location: Cheboygan, MI


I reached the Mackinac Bridge yesterday and took a rest day today.  I took
the boat from St. Ignace over to Mackinac Island.  I parked my bicycle in
town and explored the shops and the Fort on the island.  This is a real
touristy place with lots of shops, nice summer 'cottages' and a large hotel
the Grand Hotel (think of Estes Park and the Stanley...).  There are no
automobiles allowed on the island, everything goes by horse carriage or
bicycle.  One thing other tourists did that I declined to do was rent a
bicycle and cycle the 8.1 mile perimeter road.  I saw everything on foot.

Since last logging in (in Barron WI), I travelled through a lot of forest.
The roads have been pretty good, particularly US2 on the UP which mostly had
an 8ft wide paved shoulder (with some exceptions, but not too many).  The last
four nights have been Rhinelander WI (a real resort area, lots of cabins, etc).
Norway MI (in part of the iron mining region), Gulliver MI and St. Ignace.
This afternoon I took the ferry from Mackinac to Mackinaw city and cycled
to Cheboygan.  There has been a steady east breeze all day, so I'm glad it was
a rest day.  Now I'll hope for some north breezes for a few days.

I picked up another tire in St. Ignace so I'm back up to two spares. 


p.s. From Aberdeen I went to Ortonville and Hector.  This brought me into
the Twin Cities from the south on 212.

Date:    Mon, 15 Jun 92 17:10:46 MDT
Subject: Re: New Bike 
Location: Cheboygan, Michigan

Today is day 23 and I'm about 2/3 of the way along, so I am slightly ahead
of 'schedule'.  This is partially by design so that I can either take some
easier (or trouble) days and perhaps visit some friends in the Boston area or
visit with my parents.

I haven't done any unladen riding (on my two rest days so far, I haven't
done much riding at all), so that should be a pleasant surprise.  Otherwise,
having fun up here in Michigan.  I've been seeing a lot of deer in the
mornings here.  They are usually curious long enough for me to get pretty
close.  Upon coming close they then suddenly take off.  


Date:    Tue, 16 Jun 92 13:21:17 MDT

I made a relatively easy day today to Mio, MI (90 miles from Cheboygan).
An inviting looking motel and a consistent 15mph wind from the SSE made that
choice a bit easier.

Date:    Tue, 16 Jun 92 13:23:52 MDT
Subject: Re: UP! 

> The rules committee has met and decidedto let you count the ferry rides in
> your journey across the country.

Phew, although I'm tempted to come up here Labor day weekend to walk across
the bridge (Labor day is the one day per year when the bridge is open to
pedestrians and cyclists), and also to go up to Sault St. Marie to see the


Date:    Wed, 17 Jun 92 16:43:40 MDT
Subject: headwinds, weather

Today I reached Bay City, Michigan an 80 mile trip from yesterdays stop at
Mio, Michigan.  Most of today was spent fighting ever increasing headwinds.
By the time I got to Bay City, I estimate they were up to ~30mph.  The power
at the motel was out for three hours and there was a tornado warning for
one county over.  Hopefully, this weather system will move through without
causing too many further problems.  It is looking pretty stormy outside.
Otherwise, tomorrow will be a shorter day as well.

Most of my route yesterday was along M-23; with lighter traffic but also not
very good shoulders.  There were some small hills but nothing too bad.  As I
got closer to Bay City, the road got noticably busier, sigh.  Today was pretty
flat with light winds in the early morning.


Date:    Thu, 18 Jun 92 16:46:41 MDT
Subject: Re: headwinds, weather 
Location: Livonia, Michigan

> is that the first nasty weather you have had ?

It was the worst.  I had thundershowers several days in Montana and a day
of light rain in South Dakota.  This afternoon I pushed my luck just a bit
too far and had the last two miles in a heavy rainstorm (light rain before

> What temperatures are you experiencing ?

For the most part it has been very pleasant.  Yesterday it was a bit hot
(94 high) and muggy.  Today was slightly cooler but still humid.  Overall,
it has been very pleasant.

> I haven't had to water the lawn since before you left.

In contrast, since South Dakota, folks I have encountered have been 
concerned about overly dry conditions.  One thing I was surprised with was
finding large sprinkler irrigation systems in the fields in Minnisota.
I hadn't seen them there before, but I understand from folks that July is
frequently pretty dry and they are used then.

> What is your philosophical view of the trip ?  Is it different than you had
> expected ?  I hope it is still fun.  Have you met other cyclists, or do you
> feel isolated and a stranger where ever you go ?

Before I left, I had someone tell me I'd turn in to a zombie by Montana by
going alone.  While I've definitely spent less time worrying about work, etc
and I find myself thinking more about the immediate stuff (things I see along
the road, etc) I'm not certain I'm a zombie.

I'm reasonably goal oriented, so a big part of the day is to pick a spot
70-80 miles away and try to at least get to there.  In that instance I find
that the early morning hours are key.  Getting 30 miles in by 8:30am really
helps.  This is probably a slightly longer trip than I would ideally do
(although ask me in a few weeks as I get closer to the end and more excited
about getting close), since some parts of the day do become repetitive.

I haven't met other cross country cyclists since Montana (probably slightly
off the beaten path).  I do have fun talking with some of the folks along
the way at the cafes, etc although that is pretty short.


Date:    Thu, 18 Jun 92 17:21:44 MDT
Subject: Livonia, Michigan

Stopped today in Livonia, Michigan.  Light headwinds again this morning
and crosswinds in the afternoon.  Coming in the Detroit area I picked out
"middle belt road" a smaller road three miles west of US24 as a through
route.  This worked fairly well, although the roads have fewer shoulders
there.  (I'm definitely passing as close to Detroit as I wish to).

I can definitely tell I've reached a more urbanized area.  While almost all
drivers are curteous; just having more cars pass you means more obnoxious
ones.  Just outside Pontiac I was literally run off the road by a
"Karst Gravel" truck.  He came up over a hill, and with a loud honk I could
see him in my rear view mirror bearing down on me.  I bailed out to the side
of the road, and vented my frustration by yelling at him.  Today I also had
someone decide to throw an apple core, a few honks and someone informing me
'the sidewalk is over there'.  Sigh.  Most of the folks are great, there are
just more of them here.


Date:    Sun, 21 Jun 92 16:12:45 MDT
Subject: Reached New York State
Location: Westfield, New York

I made it to Westfield, New York today.  During the last 30-40 miles of US20
there were many vineyards and a few wineries.  The road parallels the
turnpike and traffic has been light with pretty good shoulders.  I did find
myself carrying my bicycle down one bridge embankment after ignoring a
"Road Closed Ahead, Bridge Closed" sign.  The last three days have been
cool (low 50s) with some intermittent showers.  I had actually decided earlier
today at Erie to stop for the day 'as soon as I found a good motel'.  I didn't
find anything (along 20) so ended up here.

After Livonia, I spent the nights in Sandusky and Geneva.  I stayed pretty
close to the shoreline on a combination of Ohio 2, US6 and US20.  I pretty
much went straight through the center of both Toledo and Cleveland.  This
worked well.  When I asked folks about taking Detroit/Superior/Euclid
avenues through Cleveland I was told that those were not good neighborhoods
and I had better keep moving without stopping.  I had no problems there, other
than accidentally becoming part of a parade for about 1/2 mile in East
Cleveland.  This was sort of fun, walking with my bicycle just slightly
behind the band.


Date:    Mon, 22 Jun 92 15:39:15 MDT
Subject: Re: Reached New York State 
Location: Batavia, New York

Today it was warmer and the sun returned.  Had a nice tailwind earlier in
the afternoon and thought of going further.  However, I plan to syncronize
with my parents in the Albany area on Friday, so I'll do the mileage to avoid
getting there too soon.  After that, I'll probably go through Boston and then
up the coast.


Date:    Mon, 22 Jun 92 15:58:04 MDT
Subject: Re: Reached New York State 
Location: Batavia, NY

> What guidance for local route selection do you have, anything more
> than state maps ?  Have you found bike lanes or routes in those large cities?

I haven't done much other than pick relatively direct routes.  I've also had
pretty good luck with US highways straight through town.  Cleveland actually
had a pretty nice network of park roads that did a wide loop through and
around town, but otherwise I haven't noticed a lot of bike routes (as I've
gone along, I've become more aware that relatively speaking northern Colorado
cities are probably better than average).

My parents live in Burlington, VT and I will syncronize with them somewhere
in the Albany area on Friday.  From there, I haven't completely decided how
I want to get across to Boston.  It depends a little on how and where my
parents and I meet up.  I've done two of the three choices I see.
   1. US20 through Pittsfield and over the Berkshires.  I've done this route
      going in the other direction and was favorably impressed.
   2. Over to Bennington VT and then over the Green Mountains to Brattleboro
      and then over to Keene.  I have also done this route before.  There
      are several substantial climbs (6% grades for multiple miles).  I may
      do this if I meet my parents a bit further north.
   3. Route 2 through MA.  I haven't done this one (partially because I was
      warned away by someone 'who hadn't ever seen bicycles on that before').
      I have driven that route and know of some substantial climbs/descents.
I'm still waffling on the choice between these three.


Date:    Tue, 23 Jun 92 17:56:40 MDT
Subject: Syracuse
Location: Brewerton, New York (NY31 & I81)

I got to around Syracuse today.  Much of today was spent cycling on NY31
along the Erie Canal as I made my way from Batavia to the I-81/NY31
intersection.  There are several locks in the canals on the side.  Every
five miles or so there was a small town on the way.  My timing was a little
off as I hit Rochester at morning rush hour and Syracuse at afternoon rush
hour, but otherwise traffic was pretty light.


Date:    Sun, 28 Jun 92 09:53:04 MDT
Subject: Boston
Location: Brookline, MA

I reached Boston today.  Mixed emotions, "hooray almost at the coast" and "sigh
the vacation is almost over".  I'll spend some time here with friends and head
up the coast on Wednesday for an official end of the trip in Portland.

Somehow New England is slightly hillier than I remember it.  However, it is
also beautiful with winding roads and lots of trees and vegetation.  I met my
parents in Bennington VT on Friday and cycled from there uphill to Molly Stark
Campground.  Yesterday we travelled along NH 119 through southern New Hampshire
to Ashby MA.


Date:    Mon, 20 Jul 92 14:15:37 MDT

> Did you keep track of the total elevation gain on your XC ride?

There was a discussion of this in rec.bicycles.  Here is what I put together
for that discussion.  I also kept average speed and max speed in my journal
but don't have it on this list.


Some numbers for the Avocet 50 data.  I recently completed a cross country
bicycle trip.  For the most part, I avoided mountains and hills taking
flat routes along rivers and railroad tracks.  Here are the numbers from my

Date	Stopping point		Distance Climb	Avg. Climb	Notes
TOTAL	-------			3610	78370	21.7	Total for trip

5/23	Ft. Stevens Pt, OR 	 12.6	  200	16	Left Astoria
5/24	Portland, OR		111.5	 3420	31	US30 (US26 steeper)
5/25	Arlington, OR		127.7	 2430	19	Took Oregon side
5/26	Dayton, WA		131.2	 3220	24
5/27	Lewiston, ID		 71.3	 2720	38
5/28	Lowell++, ID		131.4	 2550	19	Follow river
5/29	Missoula, MT		 85.2	 2940	35	Lolo Pass
5/30	Helena, MT		125.9	 5210	41	MacDonald Pass
5/31	White Sulpher Sp,MT	 75.6	 3230	43	One range to cross
6/1	Roundup, MT		126.1	 2520	20	Along river
6/2	Miles City, MT		144.7	 2770	19
6/3	Baker, MT		 81.3	 2870	35	Cross drainages
6/4	Mobridge, SD		207.0	 4070	20	Tailwinds!
6/5	Aberdeen, SD		101.0	 1360	13
6/6	Ortonville, MN		107.5	 1610	15
6/7	Hector, MN		107.4	  930	 9
6/8	Cottage Grove, MN	 94.5	 1440	15	Rest day on 6/9
6/10	Barron, WI		 94.3	 2900	31	St. Croix Valley
6/11	Rhinelander, WI		131.9	 2420	18
6/12	Norway, MI		 92.6	 2110	23
6/13	Gulliver, MI		110.6	 1120	10	UP
6/14	St. Ignace, MI		 75.9	  930	12
6/15	Cheboygan, MI		 15.2	  110	 7	Rest day, Mackinaw Is
6/16	Mio, MI			 90.3	 2360	26
6/17	Bay City, MI		 81.6	 1420	17	Stormy weather
6/18	Livonia, MI		 94.4	 1140	12
6/19	Sandusky, OH		110.2	  540	 5	Along Lake Erie
6/20	Geneva, OH		104.5	  760	 7
6/21	Westfield, NY		 81.0	 1100	14
6/22	Batavia, NY		 93.6	 1650	18
6/23	Syracuse,NY		128.9	 2090	16	Erie Canal
6/24	Utica, NY		 52.0	  950	18	Mohawk river gap
6/25	Pittstown, NY		109.2	 3020	28	Troy + 15 miles
6/26	Wilmington, VT		 41.3	 3100	75	Low miles, large hill
6/27	Ashby, MA		 69.6	 3520	51
6/28	Brookline, MA		 49.4	 1120	23	Boston rest days
7/1	Old Orchard Beach, ME	107.2	 1710	16	Along coast
7/2	Portland, ME		 28.3	  810	29