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Anyone here done Coast-to-Coast all 2-lane?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Zapp22, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    As I worked hour after hour on my Weestrom yesterday, I got to wondering.... it would be fun to plan a coast-to-coast trip that is 100% 2-lane or dirt ROAD. Has anyone here ever written about such a trip? I've seen the Transamerica Trail trip reports but this is different.... a Backroads Americana Tour.

    Ideas?
    #1
  2. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    I'm pretty sure Piet Boonstra did last summer on his F650. He said something about traveling from CA to NY via "backroads." :)
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Moved to Regional Forums.
    #3
  4. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    coast to coast... or even a "4-Corners" tour... crazy
    #4
  5. rossphoto

    rossphoto GDTRFB

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    I did Seattle to Boston on my bike. A KONA HOT mountain bike. All two lane and gravel. Took about three months.:eek1 It will be much easier on my 640 Adv.:thumb
    #5
  6. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    Me too, sort of. I went Los Angeles to Key West by bicycle. 99% two-lanes. (had to get on the interstate across the Mississippi and Colorado rivers) No gravel that I recall.

    Also have ridden from Memphis to New York and then from New York to San Antonio and then back to Memphis on my motorcycle, about 5,000 miles, virtually all two-lane. I don't recall any gravel, although I probably did a few miles here and there.

    My 16,000 mile ride from Canada to Honduras (and back to the US) was entirely interstate free. I rode a few 4-lane highways, but no limited access stuff. Probably about 1000 miles of gravel.

    Is there a good source of information about what roads are gravel? I've found that even my GPS is usually wrong in this account.

    Jamie
    #6
  7. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    I shall nickname you "Jamie-Hard"... you gotta be one HARD son of a loving mom to do that trip.
    Good grief, man, how long did it take you just to get psyched for that one?

    pictures....

    website....

    Advrider Interview.....

    #7
  8. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    Smarter guys than me need to weigh in on this one. the best 'guesswork' I have found for this is hardcopy, not GPS or Goog or whatever. In fact.... I'm not sure the diff in source data but I have found yahoo's map stuff, in some cases, to be more telling than Goog's, in terms of road names etc.

    There's bound to be someone here who understands the few sources of data for these various products/methods, who could enlighten.

    The hardcopy I mention is regional: The "Roads of Texas" was a fairly famous map series that got bought out by one of the bigger fish, and is still published as hard. I dunno if the methodologies etc have yet spread outside the state. I rely on it a lot. when it shows what they legend as "unimproved roads", they're typically passable, graded, but not easy.
    #8
  9. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    If I could reach you I'd kiss yore cheek for that one.

    how do you guys DO that? what did you carry? Where did you sleep? How many klicks per day? were you sterile at journey's end?
    #9
  10. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    not to hijack the thread... this is the link to the webpage I had about my bicycle ride, although the link is currently broken. I don't know much about that, since I didn't create nor host the site. Hopefully, it's just temporary. http://mail.augustmail.com/~ctthomas/JamieZ/JamieZ-index.htm

    The rest were motorcycle rides, so it's not *that* big of a deal.

    I think your best bet is to keep to the north. I remember being in Montana and the Dakotas, and it was easy to get on a 100-mile long gravel road. Pretty flat, though.

    Jamie
    #10
  11. rossphoto

    rossphoto GDTRFB

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    how do you guys DO that? what did you carry? Where did you sleep? How many klicks per day? were you sterile at journey's end?
    I used to tell people all the time 'O you could do it" I suppose anyone could if they really wanted to. But that's just it. You really have to want to do it. I have heard of some pretty old farts doing stuff like this. I did it when I was in my mid and late twenties. Maybe I could do it again but F__K that. Ill do the globe on my 640 adventure befor I ride my bike to the next state. Both trips were truly amazing however I don't and appearently never did hold a candle to Jamie Z "damn Boy"
    #11
  12. threadkiller

    threadkiller Long timer

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    Regional forums?!?

    Why not the Trip Planning forum?
    #12
  13. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Spelled...M..A..P.....
    They donĀ“t cost that much, really.

    The wider lines are usually main highways, with the thinner lines often representing 2-lane roads. These things have a habit of connecting with each other....going all kinds of places.....
    #13
  14. Mendodave

    Mendodave Road Scholar

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    but there are sections in UT and CO that are freeway.

    i really liked it....except for Monarch Pass.
    this was the storm that later generated the tornadoes that took out parts of Oklahoma City, I think it was '99.

    The sign said "Snow tires Only"
    (they don't make them for the K75s)

    slid out twice, sanded the valve cover off the first time, limping down the road, the cops got me, warming up in his car a harley rider heading to Gunnison with his trailer to retrieve his stuck bike gave me a ride...patched the sanded hole with a Coors can and JB weld, headed over the next pass, repeat. blowing oil, I rode into Montrose, where I got it welded. by dark I was deep into NV.

    I got out of the ticket for no snow tires, eventually.

    That was about the most terrifying riding I have ever done.

    Mendo
    #14
  15. PhilSpace

    PhilSpace The Ex-Gov

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    I've been lurking since GB moved this to Regionals. I really think it's a good candidate for Trip Planning, but I'm leaving a redirect in Regionals just in case.

    :lurk
    #15
  16. kevrider

    kevrider Been here awhile

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    fun to PLAN a trip or DO a trip? Lone Rider got it right, this ain't a big deal. people do it all the time. i've done it twice.
    #16
  17. TwoShots

    TwoShots Vagabond

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    Yes in 2005 on a near virgin 12GS... VA to NH to southern CA. To date it's my best trip. So good that when I reached the west coast, I sold the GS after realizing how limiting the bike was.

    No, I didn't write about it. Started to, but I found I simply couldn't capture what it was truly like in type.

    Yes the planning was almost as fun as the ride. I committed to using roads I'd never ridden before no matter how jumbled it made the route look on paper.

    Idea? Yeah. After plotting a main course, leave yourself open to alternative routes. Also, if you find an area/town/city/whatever that really piques your interest or "feels good," pitch the tent for a few days and get to know what makes it tick... the people.
    #17
  18. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    Kindred spirits, twoS..... thanks for the response.

    See, you read my mind: planning is FUN to me.... details details. But then, when I get on the road and the weather is good etc.... I love to change the plan. I always wonder if I'm missing some huge scenic treasure or a secret passageway just over that rise...

    and I can identify with limitations. See my bikes... the DR can do it all if you are willing to put up with its modest limits. The Weestrom, properly outfitted, can tour ALMOST anywhere, except for rutted jeep trails and similar hole-ridden paths [which the DR is real happy with]. Weestrom can carry a ton of junk all over the creation without tiring one too much. So, once a route is planned, it will be really gut-wrenching figuring out the bike, but I'll probably sacrifice SOME 'route diversion' for the sake of the comfort of the Weestrom..... i may change my mind tomorrow though.....

    #18
  19. Minneso-Cold

    Minneso-Cold Adventurer

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    Labor day week we rode from Minneapolis to Petroloa, CA - two lanes the whole way - the ocasional 10 miles of Interstate if all else fails. If your going after September you better stay south. If your planning next summer here are some ideas.

    Contact the travel bureau for each state you will be traveling through - have them send you a travel pack. Take the map from each state, discard all Interstates, discard most State Highways unless necessary - utilize all secondary roads usually designated in Grey.

    Here's some ideas - In South Dakota take Hiway 34 it runs parrell with I-80 through South Dakota. Watch for Gas there are only three stops between Pierre and Strugis and only one is well marked.

    When you hit Sturgis, take Volker Canyon road into the heart of the Black Hills, Make sure you stop at Sugar Shack on Hwy 385 between Hill City and Deadwood, get the Sugar Burger - excellent choice. Go north to Cheyenne Crossing - have desert - Mountain Medley Pie, then head south on Hwy 85 to New Castle and take Hwy 450 west to the Big Horns. Take Hwy 16 over the Big Horns up to Cody, out of Cody take Chief Joesph Highway to Beartooth Pass, back track through Yellowstone to Lolo Pass, 88 miles of curves.

    This could take forever - I'll attach a Map source .GPX with route and some other roads you should not miss.
    #19
  20. TwoShots

    TwoShots Vagabond

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    Oh yeah... :thumb I learned quickly that diverting to a 'curious' spot was well worth it. I often asked locals (farmers, waitresses, police, etc) "Which direction would you send a rider who is passing through here only once so that he doesn't miss the best of your town?" The recommendations were great - too many to list here.

    No doubt it would be fun on a Strom. I thought to do the next x-country on a KLR, but didn't have the bike long enough! So I'm planning to do Utah > NH > Utah next fall on a DR-Z 400S. It'll be the balls!
    #20