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Chip's Route across the US  RSS feed

 
Jeremiah wales
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Chip, I am not sure if it is proper to ask you here. But can you direct us to the route that you took across the USA on Bike. I have questions like. Did you stay in a Motel every night along the trip or Camp out? What is the worst thing that happened to you on your Long Trip? and Finally, Would you do it again?

Thanks
 
Chip Haynes
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Oh wow, man, I'm having like flashbacks, dude...

No, wait, it was the 70's. All I see are disco balls and poufy hair. Never mind. I crossed America with Bikecentennial in the summer of 1976. It was about 4200 miles in 80 days. We left from Reedsport, Oregon and ended up in Yorktown, Virginia. I rode a Bob Jackson Custom Touring 15-speed that I still have and still ride. (Truth be told, that's the last new bike I've bought.)
The route went through Oregon, Idaho, a sliver of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, the bottom of Illinois, Kentucky and Vriginia. The group (there were 13 of us in that group) was self-contained. NO SAG WAGON, and you carried EVERYTHING. (My 25 pound bike weighted 80 pounds. No joke.) By the way, it was 1976. No cell phones, no GPS, no bike helmet. As for what happeend en route, well, I could write book. As a matter of fact, I did. It's called "Once A Tourist", however, in as much as I lack a literary agent, that book, like so many others, is on the "as yet unpublished" pile.

High point: Doing 65 mph down the east face of Hoosier Pass in Colorado.

Low point: Someplace in southern Illinois on a nasty endless gravel road (Yes, the official route) when I stopped to consult a map and, standing still, fell over. Not a good day.

Do it again? Yes. Yes, I would, but I'd take a more southern route, paralleling I-10 from Jacksonville, FL to San Diego and I'd use my Giant green Iguana with the road tires.
 
Miles Flansburg
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What part of Wyoming did you ride?

Hope the wind was at your back!
 
Chip Haynes
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Hey there, Miles!

We came into Wyoming through Yellowstone National Park, and went out the bottom sort of in the middle, and into the high parks of Colorado. I think Encampment was the last overnight in Wyoming. As for the wind, the whole idea of going from west to east was that yes, we would have a tailwind most of the time, "most" being the key word there.
My wife read the journal I kept on that trip and later said, "You didn't have much fun, did you?" I thought I did, but it was a real challenge, make no mistake about that.
 
Chip Haynes
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By the way, I do need to mention that the organization that put my cross country trip together, Bikecentennial, is still in business as Adventure Cycling in Missoula, Montana, and if any of you think you want to go for a bike ride anywhere in North America, by all means, use them as your route source and go-to folks. They got me safe across America 38 years ago.

Geez, Louize- Has it been that long?
 
Mike Patterson
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Sounds like a pretty fantastic trip, Chip!

If anyone is curious about doing something like this these days, be sure to look into https://www.warmshowers.org/
Basically couchsurfing for touring cyclists, with hosts all over the country.

I've yet to do a full cross country tour, but some of the best times of my life have been on self-supported bike tours around California, Texas, and Iowa.

Your book looks great, I look forward to checking it out!

-WY
 
Jeremiah wales
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I just went onto Adventure Cycling website. They have so many trips. The prices now run aprox 4,000.00 to 5,000.00 to use their services. The trip coast to coast is aprox 3800 miles
 
Chip Haynes
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Thank you, Mike- Hope you like the book!

And Jeremy, I'm pretty sure Adventure Cycling has seriously modifed that TransAmerica Route since they sent us pedalin' Guinea Pigs out on it back in '76. So yeah, I can see where they might have cut a few hundred miles out of it over the years. (There were a few short cuts WE took even back then.)

Still, overall, it was an incredible aqdventure, lacking only The One Ring and a nasty dragon to make it complete.

And you know, I'm sure I still do have that weird ring around here... somewhere...
 
Miles Flansburg
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Hey Chip, here is a ride in my neck of the woods.



This is from the top of the Snowy Range Road heading down towards Laramie Wyoming. This road is closed for much of each winter. You can see where the plows have cut through the snowbanks in the spring to open the road. This is high altitude bicycling!
 
Chip Haynes
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Mike-

We went over Toghotee Pass (sp?) after we left Colter Bay south of Yellowstone. It was all about the wind chill baby, yeah! Needless to say, this poor Florida Boy did NOT bring enough winter clothes for that SUMMER ride! Wow. We got into an ice storm crossing the Wyoming/Colorado border some time after that. I wasn't warm until we came down out of the mountains and got to Pueblo, Colorado. Kansas in the heat of summer was just right for me! Like I said, if I do it again, I'm hugging I-10 for all it's worth.
 
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