I am new to Warm Showers but word has it, this is an amazing community and I am excited to dive into it! A 10+ year bucket list item of riding across the US will finally happen this summer and late June/early July can't get here quick enough!! Two of us will be doing the ride, going extremely light (10 lbs or less), averaging 100 +/- miles per day, and staying to the north. I understand Route 2 goes across the entire country and seems relatively short @ 2500 miles.
1) Is Route 2 cycling "friendly" (wide shoulders/decent pavement/not too much traffic/etc)?
2) If this is not a good cycling route, can some other options be recommended? We would like to stay on paved roads for the entire trip.
3) How does one find available hosts on routes across the US?
Again, very new to this site and looking for some direction..
Thanks for listening and looking forward to hearing back from the community!
This does not answer any of your questions, but . . . a June/early July start date will require strong insect repellent (some of us use beekeeper-like clothing). Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York have "black flies". They are an extremely small biting gnat and will leave raised, itchy welts. I strongly suggest a later start date or a more southerly route. (The bugs disappear with heat, so mid-July can be a better start time.)
I have only traveled parts of Route 2. But what I was on was very enjoyable. There is no law that says you have to stick with the route. I have traveled cross-country three times using only maps from the automobile club. There seems to be a little more spontaneity that way rather than relying on Google Maps or ACA routes. I actually charted my trips according to which national parks I wanted to pass through on my journey.
Whichever route you choose, you will probably have an amazing time. Once you know your pace, it's fairly easy to guess a day or two in advance where you will be in at that point you look and see if there's a campground or warm showers host available.
Insects are usually not a problem as long as you are moving. It is when you stop your motion that they can be a problem. But that pretty much happens anywhere.
Enjoy your journey!
Suggest you review Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) website which has a section covering bicycle routes and specifically the "Northern Tier" Route from Maine to Washington State (Atlantic to Pacific). This route is largely rural and way beyond 2000 miles. Actually about 4100 miles. When I traveled this route east to west I rode the "Great Lakes Connector" on the north side of Lake Erie, reentered the USA from Canada at Marine City, Michigan, crossed Michigan, rode ferry from Ludington, MI to Manitowoc, Wisconsin to rejoin the main Northern Tier Route in Minnesota. In many places the roads do NOT have any shoulder however most of these roads are low traffic density.
Yes there is no need to adhere to ACA mapped routes however these mapped routes normally keep one off very busy roads.
Good luck and let me know if you find a Maine to Washington State route of only 2100 miles.
In some areas there are no hotels or very few within a day's ride therefore camping is a great alternative. Also from Minnesota west many small towns offer FREE camping in city park.
If you come through southwestern Ontario, please let us know. Good luck on your travels!