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  1. #1
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    Default Would this be considered a thru-hike?

    I'm planning a very long hike/bicycle ride on roads. I don't know if I'll ever get the chance to do it as it would take a year. But I thought I'd ask the question.

    My plan is to bring a small van to sleep in and a bicycle. In the morning, I'd leave the bicycle and drive the van 20 miles ahead. Then walk to the bicycle and ride it to the van.

    The way it works out, at the end, I will have ridden the bicycle forward on the route and walked each leg backwards.

    The reason I want the van is a lot of areas are getting rougher on the homeless and I figure stealth camping is getting more risky. The other reason is in many areas, getting water may be a big problem.

    The route is about 7,000 miles long.

  2. #2
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    yeah, that's a thru hike and a thru-ride.

    just an idea--might want to hike uphill and bike downhill when possible.

  3. #3
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    Why not just carry your belongings on your bike and sleep in a tent/churches/hostels along the way?

  4. #4
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    Why not just ride the bike from hostel to hostel, or hotel, or motel, or B&B or whatever. Seems like a lot of extra work to move the van, walk 20 miles back to the bike, adn then ride the bike right back to the van every day. If you walked at 4 mies an hour on pavement, it would take your 5 hours to walk back to your bike every day, just to turn around and ride right back to your van. Also, once you get on your bike, you will be able to do more than 20 miles a day in no time. I dunno, to each his own, but I'd rather just bike the whole way and find somewhere you can sleep if you are worried about stealth camping etc.

  5. #5

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    Good luck on your approach. You will face many challenges.

    I've bike-hiked a few sections of the AT. I've found that generally, the biking is more strenuous than the hiking so the suggestion to try to bike downhill and hike uphill is a good one. One ideal section for this is in PA just beyond the Susquehanna River. Park at the Trail intersection of Rt. 225, bike to the intersection at Rt. 325, hike back to your car. And although I did not bike-hike in Shenandoah NP or the segment south of it along the Blue Ridge Parkway, they would also work although the up-and-down roads would again make the biking pretty tough.

    But this is the exception. You'll find that some stretches are simply not conducive to biking either because the biking distance is too great (or too steep) or the roads are unsafe for biking. The Smokies and the White Mountains are obvious examples where a daily bike-and-hike simply wouldn't work. Georgia and North Carolina through Winding Stair Gap would be a challenge. Virginia west of I-81 between Rt. 42 and Bland is also difficult. The problem in Connecticut is safety in that the connector road - Rt. 7 - is narrow with enough traffic to make it harrowing.

    So I doubt it would work for the entire AT. Suggest you come prepared to backpack some stretches for 2-3 days using shuttlers or hitchhiking.

  6. #6
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    This isn't for the AT. It's a hike/ride touching all 48 states which I hope to do in 10 months. It may include about 300 miles of the AT. I'd hike SB and ride NB on roads. On that stretch, I'll ride north, leave my bike and hike back to the van.

    I have the route planned and I've started getting in shape. It would be 6,996 miles plus bonus miles.

  7. #7

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    Not for me but if thats what you want to do then go for it!

    Have you hiked on roads much? Gets much hotter than in the woods - and in some places you'll have no choice but to walk on the road and not beside it. These would be my biggest issues. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by max patch View Post
    Not for me but if thats what you want to do then go for it!

    Have you hiked on roads much? Gets much hotter than in the woods - and in some places you'll have no choice but to walk on the road and not beside it. These would be my biggest issues. Good luck.
    Yes, I've done 655 miles on the roads in the past few months. The route is planned so I should be north of the real hot places in the summer. I don't mind heat as long as I have enough water. The big unknown is the effect on my body of hiking a lot of miles each day with few zero days. I'm working on building that number up. There are some different gear needs than for hiking on trails.

    The biggest problem will be Nevada. I'll be going southbound almost the whole length. I plan to hit there in early October and see what happens.

    Right now, it's still in the dream phase, but I'm starting to act like it will happen.

  9. #9

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    This is an Appalachian Trail forum, but you say this isn't for the AT. So I guess I don't get your original question. Would this be considered a thru-hike of what?
    Some people take the straight and narrow. Others the road less traveled. I just cut through the woods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Creek Dancer View Post
    This is an Appalachian Trail forum, but you say this isn't for the AT. So I guess I don't get your original question. Would this be considered a thru-hike of what?
    I understand it's not an AT question. I pondered for a month or so if I should even ask here. I couldn't find any other forum were it seemed appropriate. The most experienced hikers seem to come here.

    A through hike of a 48 state route.

  11. #11
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    It sounds like an amazing trip to me.

    I can't see the biking being harder than the hiking. 20 miles on a decent roadbike, even on hilly roads, is only a bit over an hour for a moderately fit rider.

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    I don't quite understand this here. If you get from one end of this country to the other BOTH hiking and biking - with the enormity of the task I imagine you can call it anything you'd like, and everyone will be fine with your designation.

    Good luck!

  13. #13

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    I guess what threw me was how the question was phrased "Would this be considered a thru-hike?" I took that to mean you were covering the entire AT through bike hikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottP View Post
    ...I can't see the biking being harder than the hiking. 20 miles on a decent roadbike, even on hilly roads, is only a bit over an hour for a moderately fit rider.
    Maybe I'm only speaking for myself but I found the biking noticeably harder. Remember, the hiking portion is with a light daypack.

    My bike is a hybrid, not a roadbike.

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    Windy,

    Thanks for the laugh. Maybe that's what I'll call it. "Whatever you want."

    Since it will be on roads, the biking part will be simple. Especially since I won't have to make good time.

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    WindS are calm now, thanks.

    See now, I said 'anything you'd like' so in a play on that you could call it:

    The Everything I Like National Bike/Hike Thru-Tour

    Or more simply by it's acronym: TEILNB/HT-T

  16. #16

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    Why the heck would you want to walk back to the van? On roads no less? If your not carrying any gear, 'cuz its all in the van, you can easialy do 100 miles on a bike in a day. Ride the bike one way for half the day and then ride it back. You'll cover 2 or 3 times as much ground that way each day.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  17. #17
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    Maybe I could call it "Stupid Hiker's Idiodic Trip."

    If I do it, I'll have a lot of time to think about a title.

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    New abbreviation: BHYOBH. Bike-hike your own bike-hike. (Since BYOB is taken)

  19. #19
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    Nice acronym for that! S. H. I. T. Haha.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Why the heck would you want to walk back to the van? On roads no less? If your not carrying any gear, 'cuz its all in the van, you can easialy do 100 miles on a bike in a day. Ride the bike one way for half the day and then ride it back. You'll cover 2 or 3 times as much ground that way each day.
    The focus is on the walking. Not the riding. The bike part is just to make it happen. Walking is a completely different experience than riding a bicycle. I thought about bringing a motorcycle on a trailer, but I figured adding in the bicycle trip would be more fun.

    I'm one of those strange people who enjoys walking on roads. I meet a lot of interesting people along the way.

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