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North America Topics specific to Canada and USA/Alaska only.
Photo by James Duncan, Universe Camp, Uyuni Salt Flats

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by James Duncan,
"Universe Camp"
Uyuni Salt Flats



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  #1  
Old 7 Feb 2015
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Location: Leics / Bahrain
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All 49 mainland States ( and parts of Canada )

Hi All

Now I have the importation query answered, I'm pushing on with planning the trip, so I thought I'd start a thread that I can refer back to.

The idea is to fly my bike into Toronto, then ride East to Ottawa and Montreal. After than, I'll cross into the US and ride through the northerly States and then cross back up into Canada and through to Alaska, before turning round and heading back. The idea is that I'll cover the northern parts of the trip in the summer months to avoid as much bad weather as possible, then after returning to work for 11 weeks or so, I'll fly back during the autumn/fall and continue to visit the remaining southern states, ending up in CA where the bike will be crated and shipped back to the UK.

The reason for this thread is that I have 10-12 weeks riding to complete the trip, so I can't see time being a big issue, which means I can really visit each state, instead of just blasting through. The idea is to stop for a couple of days at major cities that interest me, but the rest of the time will be motel or basic camping ( I really need to learn to pack light for these trips ).

So:

Assuming I'm coming to your state or one you've visited, can you give me a few 'must see' places please, so I can start planning a rough route ?
To give you an idea, places already on my 'must see' list include

Death Valley
Yosemite National Park
Yellowstone National Park
The Grand Canyon
Deals Gap
Cape Cod
Big Sur


Also, if you have any great tips/tricks, I'm all ears.

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 8 Feb 2015
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Geneva
Posts: 198
nice plan..

Ride wise you could also ship to Halifax instead of Toronto (RORO from Southampton for cheaper than air freight) and ride West thru the Chic-Chocs then Appalachian mountains, ride a few days up into Montreal and Ottawa (Outaouais region) and then down to Toronto and enter the US all the way to the Rockies just below Alberta. Then the playground is yours, heading North or South, you'll have plenty of choices (Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Washington State, others).

I suggest to have a look at Butlers' maps. Note the Continental Divide route down to Southern States should not be taken too late in fall due to cold weather at heights. If you stay on the West side of the country and only travel East bound towards the end of your trip, crossing into Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, you could ship your bike back on the RORO from Galveston in Texas instead of California and again save some bucks for riding instead.

I wish I could take time this year to do just that... ride on!
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  #3  
Old 8 Feb 2015
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Thanks for the info and suggestions.

I am a little bit hampered by the fact I'm not actually in the UK when I'm working. I work with the UK/US military in Bahrain, so the trip is being taken during my time off ( which is set dates, I can't change ). This means shipping the bike to the US/Canada might not be a viable option ( I need to speak to shippers first ) as I won't have the flexibility in departure dates. From what I have read, going by air is more expensive, but the carriage time is usually no more than 4 days which suits my needs perfectly.

I hadn't thought of shipping via Texas, so thanks for that. I can look at a variety of routes and see which suits me best. I'm not too bothered about temperatures as I have heated riding gear and if needs be I can pick up replacement items as and when I need them, on the way round. If it's too cold I won't be camping either.....I'd rather pay the extra for a warm motel room

I've just had a look at the maps site. They look ideal for places I really want to explore, as opposed to the flyover States, which I imagine will be very flat and offer little to see for hours on end :/
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  #4  
Old 10 Feb 2015
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If you are heading to Alaska then I suggest buying a copy of "The Milepost" , This is a travel planner for Alaska , Yukon, British Columbia , Alberta and the Northwest Territories. $35.00 US. It,s well worth the money..

Last edited by Chris Scott; 10 Feb 2015 at 16:53.
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  #5  
Old 21 Feb 2015
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 91
Yosemite is cool, but I like King's Canyon better. It's just to the south, still in the Sequioas, and considerably less crowded.

I also wouldn't worry too much about stopping in each state. Go and see what you want, keep it flexible. There is cool stuff all over in the USA and Canada.
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  #6  
Old 19 Mar 2015
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Location: Garstang, Lancashire, UK
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Link to my ride report of a somewhat similar trip we did in 2014. It might help with some planning

USA 2014
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  #7  
Old 19 Mar 2015
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Location: Oxford UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin View Post
Link to my ride report of a somewhat similar trip we did in 2014. It might help with some planning

USA 2014

Great trip report. I've just skim read it so far but I'll have to go back and go through it in detail as we're doing something similar in about six months and we're trying to get some info / ideas on what route to take. So far our planning has only got as far as North Carolina - about two days worth of riding. Did you camp anywhere or was it all hotels?
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  #8  
Old 30 Mar 2015
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If your going to go up to Alaska and then back I STRONGLY suggest doing a figure 8 in western Canada so that you see both BC/Alberta and then Jasper and Banff.

So Get into Alberta and Head West from Calgary through the rockys and Banff to Salmon arm, then head north to Alaska. Once i know more about your time frame i can suggest more scenic roads and stops. When you want to head back south Drive the way you didnt come before, so lets say you get into northern alberta (via BC or Yukon your choice really) drive south and head west through Jasper eventually getting down into Seattle. Not sure how long you intend to take in each province but all the roads are in great condition and you can easily do 100km hour, in Alberta you can be on the highways at 120km and wont get pulled over because 10km over the speed limit is acceptable here in Canada.

Not sure what type of scenery or riding you enjoy. But BC is mountains, lakes, streams, wildlife, trees, true nature with winding roads and valleys narrow sholders. and Alberta is Prairies, Flat open wide roads large shoulders, Big truckers on the road (nothing like you have in the UK), During the summer the fields will be yellow with canola and it will be hot and dry.
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  #9  
Old 3 Apr 2015
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Interested in the Great Lakes area at all?

I could help with some basic logistics and such for the western section.
I'm in Green Bay Wisconsin.
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