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Thread: Iowa to Wa!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    3

    Iowa to Wa!

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    Hey All!
    My boyfriend and I will be taking the month of July (2013) off from our graduate work to bike from Ames, IA to Bellingham, WA. We are fairly experienced with touring and spending extended periods of time in wilderness, but we have never toured such distance as this before and, in addition to researching maps, we are interested in getting any advice from riders who've got field experience! Below is list of our top questions, if anyone has some advice or comments on these (or others!) we'd greatly appreciate it! (:

    -best route over the mountains? (safest, prettiest...)
    -roads or certain areas to avoid at all cost? (we'll be on mountain bikes so dirt is ok)
    -best (cheep) places to camp? (will we get shot if we crash in a corn field?)
    -any off the radar free camp spots?
    -most accomodating towns to pass through (water, groceries, bike shops...)?
    -any must see's (best parks or national forests or esspresso or brewies...?)
    -safety precautions? Carry cash or card? (pocket knives is all we got for self defense...)
    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    I know someone in Ames! But I don't think he's done touring, except RAGBRAI.
    I have done a little bit of touring, Columbia MO to Omaha and back, so I don't have answers to your specific questions. I have learned so much about touring reading crazyguyonabike journals. That's probably the best place to start.
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    3
    Way cool! I have not yet done RAGBRAI... guess I'm not very hardcore Iowan.
    That site is goldmine! Thanks so much!! (:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    210
    Hey I just moved from Ames to Missoula, MT. We did a short tour in Iowa but it was to NE Iowa. Once you get further west there are more campgrounds as well as free camping in public lands (usually). I second the crazyguyonabike journals which are really helpful. If you choose one of the Adventure Cycling routes at least people are more used to seeing touring cyclists but I don't think any would line up with your route without adding a lot of extra traveling.
    2009 Surly Cross Check
    2003 Cannondale Bad Boy
    Motobecane Nobly (60's or 70's)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    Lots of options from Iowa to Washington, especially when you aren't limiting yourselves to pavement. In addition to crazy guy and adventure cycling starting searching each state for bike routes. We just started a group on ridewithgps.com that is posting different rides in Idaho. Do considered picking up the Hiawatha trail in northern idaho if you find yourselves heading north.
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    3
    Thanks! Crazy guy on a bike is a goldmine!
    Hiawatha trail looks amazing! Right now we have our route use the Northern Pacific trail from Lolo NF to Wallace, but might play with this a bit!
    Thanks! (:

 

 

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