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Hey Folks,
I'm going to be heading on a road trip from Southern California to Vermont soon, and I figured I'd stop a few times along the way to get some riding in. I was thinking I'd head north from where I'm living now near Bakersfield in search of hopefully lower temperatures and singletrack in Oregon and Washington. Then I'd travel east, maybe through Canada, or Montana and the Dakotas. I'm not sure. Essentially I'd like to stop to ride maybe at four or five places for a couple of days each, I'd like to stay away from hot desert areas (I'm living in one), and I'd like to stay mostly away from large crowds of folks. Meandering is fine, although I'd like to keep the total trip time down to three weeks to a month if possible. I'm going to have to be budget minded, so I'd like to hear about inexpensive places to camp near some good riding, or even of good places to "stealth camp". Also if you know of nice swimming holes near riding that would be totally ace.

I realize probably mid September would be the best time to go, but I have to go now or not at all.

A side note that might be a bit touchy, but I figured I'd mention it. Often when folks ask for places to ride outside their area they often get very generous offers from nice people on this board to join them on a ride. Offers like that would generally be very appreciated, but in this instance my trip is necessitated by a painful ending of a five year relationship, so I think it's probably better if I ride alone. Really, I mean no offense, I just need some space.

Where would you go if you had some time to burn and singletrack on the brain?

Also, any gear you deem essential to this kind of endaver? I have all the necessary camping equipment (stove, tent, sleeping bag, etc.) and have spent alot of time backpacking on this scale, but have never really done an around the country bike tour. Should I get a guidebook of some sort? Or a map with friendly bikeshops on it? (I'm a fairly good wrench, so I would only need help with problems that would need new parts)

I guess I should be specific about what kind of riding I like: I'm looking for fairly wild singletrack that is moderately technical and moderately strenuous. A good distance for a days riding for me right now is 15-20 miles of rough singletrack. I live at 4000 feet currently, so elevations up to 9000 shouldn't be too much of a problem. (I hope)

Sorry for the long post.
Cheers,
Tom
 
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