Great Plains to the Great Lakes
24 Day Epic Bike Tour
Join us on this wonderful section of the Northern Tier cross-country route that will take you from the Great Plains to the Great Lakes. We’ll begin in Fargo, ND and cycle on what is considered the most beautiful of all the cross-country cycling routes to Cleveland, OH. Then you can consider joining us next year for the western half of the route from the Pacific Ocean back to Fargo!
The tour still has space. Make your travel arrangements.
1391 miles with an average of 63 miles per day with 3 rest days. You’ll experience mostly flat and gently rolling terrain in most types of weather.
23 nights lodging, all breakfasts, dinners and snacks on riding days, SAG stops every 20 miles, luggage transfers every day, detailed maps, cue sheets and GPS files, a bike maintenance class, mechanical instruction and support, state line crossing parties, send-off banquet, and trained guides.
$395 for road or hybrid bicycle.
Fly or take the train into Fargo, ND and out of Cleveland, OH.
"WomanTours proved to be a good company for me to fulfill a long time dream of going cross-country when I retired. There’s nothing like such an experience as hearing the birds, seeing the fields, the hills and dales, farms and cities, and yes, sometimes struggling up long climbs, to know that it’s possible to stretch one’s self and physically accomplish more than you ever dreamed you could."
It was even better than last year's Southern Tier!
DAY 1: We’ll start our tour with an afternoon orientation and a bike prep meeting. There will be an optional fix-a-flat session out in the parking lot. In the evening, we’ll celebrate the upcoming adventure with our first dinner together. 0 miles.
DAYS 2-23: The days will quickly fall into a comfortable rhythm. We'll start early with a light breakfast provided by our inn or the hotel. Then we'll pack our bike bags with snacks of raisins, nuts, energy bars and peanut butter sandwiches. We'll make sure we have an extra layer of clothing and a rain jacket with us. We leave on our own, usually between 8-9am and cycle at our own pace.
We follow the cue sheets that have been meticulously prepared for us, along with the expert Adventure Cycling maps and optional GPS directions. We each ride at our own pace, sometimes alone and sometimes in small groups and we stop where we want along the way.
About every twenty miles, we’ll meet our SAG vehicle. It holds water, snacks, tire repair tools and a first aid kit. Even if we don’t need anything, we’ll stop to chat and talk about the wonderful tailwind or the panoramic view. If we’re too tired to bike anymore, we’ll take a ride in the SAG vehicle to our hotel for the night. The SAG makes sure everyone is in safely at the end of the day.
Once at our hotel, we find our luggage, (delivered earlier by the WomanTours van and trailer,) check-in to our room, and meet our roommate. Most of our hotels are chains and most of us will be in double occupancy rooms. We rotate roommates every night, unless you’ve requested the single room upgrade. There’s time to shower before dinner and perhaps take a dip in the hotel pool.
If anyone has experienced bike problems during the day, we’ll use the time before dinner to work with the guide to fix it. If it’s a more complicated repair, the bike will go to a trained mechanic at a nearby bike shop.
Then we eat dinner together, served buffet-style outside. Our traveling chef prepares hearty and healthy dishes from our trailer kitchen. While she will accommodate guests with specific allergies and provide a nonmeat protein source for vegetarians, she cannot adhere to everyone’s likes and dislikes. You'll need to be flexible. If you require a vegan or gluten-free diet, there is a fee of $150.
After dinner, the guide holds a map meeting to discuss the highlights of the day and to go over the details of the next day’s route. We'll celebrate every day that we cross into a new state. Average of 63 miles per day.
Day 24: You’ll have said good-bye to everyone else on the tour at dinner together last night. Some of the others will be going on all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. This morning, you’ll be free to take a taxi or Red Line rail service to the Cleveland airport. The train station is less than a mile from our ending hotel if you’re traveling via Amtrak. 0 miles.
- Mississippi River
- Great Plains
- Great Lakes of Michigan and Erie
- Paved bike trails of Minnesota
- States of North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio
- Small town charm across the continent
We limit the group size to 25 plus staff. You’re neither alone nor anonymous. We guarantee you’ll make some lifelong friends along the way.
TO JOIN: Sign up by making your non-refundable, non-transferable registration deposit of $300. The balance of the trip fee is due 75 days prior to the tour and is nonrefundable and nontransferable. Save 2% if you make your payments by check.
TRIP INSURANCE: We will provide you with a source for trip cancellation/interruption insurance. We strongly recommend insurance, especially for a trip of this magnitude.
SAG VOLUNTEERS: We use 4 volunteers to drive a support car during this tour. Each driver works once every fourth day supporting the riders until the last cyclist finishes for the day. She provides food, drinks, flat tire assistance and moral support, and becomes an integral part in the success of the tour. In return, each volunteer receives a discount of 40% off the full tour price. If you’re interested in a position, please email or call us.
TOUR DETAILS: Help on training, transportation, packing, and an itinerary will be sent upon receipt of your registration fee. We will also send you periodic Prep Talk newsletters to help you prepare for the trip. For more information, including references and links to blogs kept by past participants, contact us and we’d be happy to send you more details. Sign up today!
Great Plains to the Great Lakes Itinerary
|May 16, 2019||Fargo, ND||0|
|May 17, 2019||Pelican Rapids, MN||57|
|May 18, 2019||Alexandria, MN||75|
|May 19, 2019||Albany, MN||47|
|May 20, 2019||Milaca, MN||63|
|May 21, 2019||Stillwater, MN||102|
|May 22, 2019||Stillwater, MN||0|
|May 23, 2019||Wabasha, MN||91|
|May 24, 2019||La Crosse, WI||65|
|May 25, 2019||Marquette, IA||66|
|May 26, 2019||Dyersville, IA||71|
|May 27, 2019||Muscatine, IA||102|
|May 28, 2019||Muscatine, IA||0|
|May 29, 2019||Kewanee, IL||77|
|May 30, 2019||Wenona, IL||62|
|May 31, 2019||Watseka, IL||94|
|Jun 1, 2019||Logansport, IN||96|
|Jun 2, 2019||Logansport, IN||0|
|Jun 3, 2019||Huntington, IN||70|
|Jun 4, 2019||Defiance, OH||86|
|Jun 5, 2019||Bowling Green, OH||49|
|Jun 6, 2019||Huron, OH||67|
|Jun 7, 2019||Cleveland, OH||51|
|Jun 8, 2019||Home||0|