Past years: 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013
Northern Transcontinental Cross Country
July - August, 2016
Everett, WA to Boston, MA
Arrive: Everett, WA Saturday, July 16, 2016
31 riding days 3,601 miles 116 miles per day
Since we are entering Canada you will need a passport or Enhanced Driver's License available if you reside in Michigan, Vermont, New York or Washington.
This is a tourists tour for riders looking for a scenic cross country ride. Our new route spends the first day exploring the coastal region of Puget Sound on Whidbey Island. The next day we climb through the Cascade Mountains while crossing the rural roads of northern Washington. On the third day we visit Grand Coulee Dam. As we continue east we cross the rugged Rocky Mountains in Montana and the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming.
We have several active recovery days with shorter miles to see the sites along the way. In the Black Hills of South Dakota we spend a shorter day visiting Mount Rushmore. Our new route across Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan includes a rest day crossing Lake Michigan on the ferry boat. Then ride across Michigan to Ontario, Canada. Crossing Niagara Falls, New York, Vermont and finally Massachusetts! We have found that late summer is the best time of year for this tour because of the dry forecast. Expect warm temperatures in the mid 90s at this time of year.
We have had many weather related adventures on this tour. In 1992 a hailstorm blew in after lunch on the Big Horn Mountains. Most of the riders had shed their coats at lunch. The temperature dropped from 80 degrees to 45 degrees in minutes. Hailstones covered the highland meadows like snow. An occasional passing motor home made ridable tire tracks through the marble size hail. Some riders walked and pushed their bikes for over an hour. Finally we descended into Sheridan, Wyoming. The sun came out. We were hot again. By the time we reached the motel the day of hail was just a bad memory.
One evening we were eating dinner at the "Little Chef" restaurant in Mitchell, SD. It was raining hard . The wind was howling. Suddenly, the lights went out. We wanted to leave and go back to the hotel, but the restaurant said the cash register lost power so they didn't have our bill. We overpaid them with a stack of $20 bills and ran back to the motel in the pouring rain. As the power came back the television announced a tornado sighting two miles west of Mitchell. Everyone congregated in the interior hallway. The power went out again and we sat in the dark listening to the wind roar. After 15 minutes the rain suddenly stopped. A great sunset lit up the sky again and we knew the tornado had decided to pass on by.
Don't be afraid. The weather isn't always that bad. The Northern Tour always adds more stories for veterans to tell. Every year is different because of the people, weather and even road conditions. We are looking forward to collecting a few more adventures on our cross-country tour!
Depart: Boston, MA Thursday, August 18, 2016
The Northern Tour begins in Everett, Washington about 50 miles north of Seattle. Riders fly into Seattle’s SEA-TAC airport and take a shuttle van to our motel in Everett the day of fly in.
The Northern Tour ends in Boston, MA. Flights home should be made from Logan International Airport.
Northern Travel Plans
Riders ship their bike in cases to the beginning hotel. The bikes should arrive several days before departure. Most riders call the hotel to check on the bike’s arrival or use the tracking system of the carrier. PAC Tour will carry standard collapsed card board bike boxes for riders to the finish. Hard shell cases are shipped at the rider’s expense to the finish hotel. The address for shipping the cases are in the Rider Information Booklet that is sent out in December or after you register.
The motel address information is sent out after final payments are made.
This is a new rating system to help you compare different PAC Tour events. For example: One hundred feet of vertical climbing is equal to about one mile of riding distance. We have also considered other variable such asriding in prolonged heat over 85 degrees and other geographic challenges. This rating system is not exact because the same tour from year to year will always have variations in wind, rain and other factors. We have also included the "Weirdness Factor" which can make a tour more challenging such as riding in the high elevations of Peru or the rough roads on Route 66.
Mileage + Climbing (100'=1 pt.) + (heat, wind, other challenges)
PAC Tour Difficulty Rating: 8 out of 10
Suggested riding speed 13-17 mph including stops
250 points = 10 ranking
200 points = 8 ranking
150 points = 6 ranking
100 points = 4 rankin
50 points = 2 ranking
Current Payment Incentives
Pay $500 by December 1st and receive a Historic Lon & Susan DVD set that includes 6 hours of television documentaries from their cross country cycling records. You will also receive a new PAC Tour cycling hat made from Cool-Max fabric with the classic Red, Yellow and Black PAC Tour design.
Pay $1000 on March 1st and receive a PAC Tour commemorative from in stock items that may include – Columbia Travel shirts, Sierra Design Micro Jackets, REI Flashbags and/or Columbia Fleece Jacket.
Rider count is taken 60 days before the start date of the tour and then final payments can be calculated and paid. PAC Tour will notify registered riders of the final costs for each tour.
After receiving the deposit (within 45 days) PAC Tour will ship you a gear bag and water bottles - plus any early payment incentive.