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Messages - jamawani

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1
B+ ; A- if you work real had.

But really, I'd be more concerned with wind than grades.
Which direction are you heading?? You do know about eastern Montana and North Dakota?
Those of us who have toured tens of thousands of miles will tell you -
The wind can kick you tail far more thoroughly than any grade.

2
Food Talk / Re: Eating well on tour.
« on: April 29, 2016, 11:11:41 pm »
If you happen to be in small towns with church potluck dinners, stop in.
It will not matter that you have nothing - although you can offer to help clean up or something.
Most of the time you will be welcomed and overwhelmed with good wishes.
Plus the food will be the best you can get for 100 miles.
Lots of salads and casseroles - not to mention a whole table of desserts.
(And they will probably load you down with stuff for the road, too.)

3
Pacific Northwest / Re: Weather related Norther Tier
« on: April 22, 2016, 05:58:36 pm »
You can expect freezing weather and/or snowfall any time after Labor Day anywhere west of Shelby, Montana.
September snows are usually quick and gone soon - but they get more frequent as you near October.
Not to mention that the days are getting pretty short and facilities are largely closed by Oct. 1.

I've lived and biked in Wyoming and Montana for the past 25 years.
I know most paved and many dirt roads in both states.

A few years ago a tweeted two guys thru the western part of the Northern Tier in October.

The earlier time frame is doable with planning for a few layovers in September.
The later time frame is pushing your luck - and likely to be increasingly cold, wet & miserable.

4
General Discussion / Re: East to West Transam start suggestions?
« on: April 16, 2016, 09:01:04 pm »
Norfolk International Airport is closest - (ORF)
http://www.norfolkairport.com/

Airport van shuttle - probably $50 + bike charge to Va Bch
http://jamesrivertrans.com/norfolk-airport-shuttle-service/

It's been some time since I cycled in the Virginia Tidewater area.
It's tough because of all the rivers, bridges, tunnels - most of which prohibit bicycles.

I did a wide loop to the west - took the James River Ferry -
which will connect you to the Colonial Parkway to Yorktown.

If you wanted to do a more direct route -
you would have to shuttle across the Hampton Roads Bridge/Tunnel

There are a few threads about the various possible route here
and at Crazyguyonabike and Bike Forums.
All the routes have their challenges.

5
General Discussion / Re: wild camping in WA, OR and CA
« on: April 12, 2016, 09:01:14 am »
It depends on what you men by "wild camping".

Dispersed camping is legal in most western states on many types of public lands.
But then, you need to know the ownership status of the lands you are camping on.

Federal lands have the broadest dispersed camping allowances.
On lands administered by the National Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
you may camp - usually for as many as 14 days - anywhere more than 1/4 mile from a developed site.
There are specific exclusions that apply - such as protected habitat or areas with overuse.
National Park Service (NPS) and National Refuges (FWS) generally prohibit dispersed camping.

State lands are more restrictive. The rule is that dispersed camping is generally prohibited unless otherwise states.
In Washington, state forests prohibit dispersed camping, state wildlife areas generally allow dispersed camping.
Oregon state forests do permit dispersed camping - and there are significant state forests in the coastal region.
Fishing access sites are a good option - but vary from site to site in WA, OR, and CA.

The days of beach camping - a la 1960s - are long over.
Although beach up to the spring high tide line are public lands, they are significant restrictions.
Many beaches are part of protected environments, refuges, recreation areas with camping restrictions.
Beaches with ease of public access also tend to be in developed areas with zoning or ordinances.

The best way to disperse camp is to know your public lands and where they are before you head out.

6
Routes / Re: El Nino impact on Sierra Cascade route this spring?
« on: April 04, 2016, 08:01:17 am »
No. I tried it.

Technically, even possessing a bicycle in a designated wilderness is illegal, let alone riding it.
I disassembled my bike and was planning two trips (actually meaning three including the return).
But it was too brutal - with panniers and bike parts and all.
If you had custom-designed, convertible equipment - then, maybe.

Also, since major storms 15 years ago, access is much reduced.
You used to be able to ride all the way up to Cottonwood.
Now, you can only get to High Bridge - where there is an complete wash-out.
I believe that the limitation is intentional, as does Congress - which ordered the NPS to fix the road.

Since the connector trail at High Bridge is in the wilderness,
you would be breaking the law riding or walking your bicycle over the gap.
Even this could easily be altered by a temporary superintendent's order -
i.e. permitting bicycle use of that small trail section.
But that is not the desire of North Cascades N.P. administrators.

Yes, there are conflicts between the park service's two main missions -
Preservation vs Public Use. Yellowstone is overrun with cars in midsummer.
But such has never been the case in North Cascades.
And the Stehekin-Cascade Pass has been a travel corridor since prehistoric times.

<<<>>>

Long answer, eh?
Even with all the blah-blah-blah, it is worth taking the ferry up Lake Chelan.
Definitely, worth it.

Just come back down and ride around.
The North Cascades Highway is lovely, too.

Washington Pass on the North Cascades Highway


7
Routes / Re: El Nino impact on Sierra Cascade route this spring?
« on: April 02, 2016, 11:35:25 pm »
PRISM  has excellent climate normals -
http://www.prism.oregonstate.edu/normals/

Click on the July precip and you will see that the Sierras get very little in July.
The Oregon Cascades don't get much and the Washington Cascades only moderate.
The Rockies have more severe storms - but it the Cascades do get a few.

The storms are usually orographic - i.e. created by the mountains, themselves.
The pattern is - clear mornings, clouds pick up in the afternoons, storms in late afternoon - if then.
You can judge if there will be storms by the degree of build-up.
Plus, you can ride early and be done by 3:00 to reduce the risk even further.

Specifically, the Sierra Cascades route in Calif has little risk of thunderstorms.
The risk is slightly more in Oregon since you will be at higher elevation more consistently.
And much of the Washington route is at lower elevation with little risk of precip.

Actually, fire may be more of an issue than thunderstorms - esp. by late July.
Last year had extremely bad fires, but this year has seen lots of snow/rain.
Fire risk should be considerably lower this year.

<<<>>>

The ACA Western Express doesn't get you to Yosemite.
You should NOT miss Yosemite if you can possibly do it.

Keep heading south on the Pacific Coast to Watsonville -
Then inland via Hollister and Panoche - via J1.
Cut across the Central Valley (hot!!!) to Chowchilla -
Then via Mariposa and the lovely Hwy 140 into Yosemite.

From Yosemite pick up the Sierra Cascades.
(You can hit thunderstorms crossing Tioga Pass.)

8
Routes / Re: TransAm question
« on: April 01, 2016, 11:04:50 am »
The Sawtooth Connector is 570 miles vs 900 for the TransAm - a savings of 330 miles.
(Almost as much savings as the Western Express - and if you cut off 150 miles in western Oregon, the same)

There is a very quiet, remote option from Arco, Idaho to West Yellowstone if you want to tour Yellowstone N.P.


9
Routes / Re: TransAm question
« on: April 01, 2016, 10:54:57 am »
I believe that I understand your question - and have done it.
Not Nevada, but directly across Idaho from John Day, Oregon to Jackson, Wyoming.

I've biked cross-country a half dozen times and have, perhaps, 100,000 miles touring.
It is a good route - stunningly scenic, with mountains and hot springs.

I have a general map over at RidewithGPS -
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/12875626
(The Rexburg option per the map is better, but I had to hit Idaho Falls for repairs.)

And a Crazyguy journal from a recent trip - Day 8 to Day 16 is the section in question
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=tS&doc_id=16199&v=78


Another possible shortening in western Oregon:
On this trip, I chose to head southeast from Pacific City on the Oregon coast to Sisters.
There are easy connections between Portland and Tillamook - with the Three Capes as a starting point.

Empty Roads, Stunning Views


10
Routes / Re: El Nino impact on Sierra Cascade route this spring?
« on: March 26, 2016, 07:31:54 pm »
Mercy chile!
If you have to ask what makes it immoral - -
then you are already on the slippery slope.
;-)   ;-)

PS - My AADT scale:
Under 500 - Sweetness
500-1000 - Pretty darn good
1000-2000 - Tolerable
2000-4000 - Irritating
Over 4000 - Revolting

11
Routes / Re: El Nino impact on Sierra Cascade route this spring?
« on: March 26, 2016, 01:31:51 pm »
Andrew -

I don't think you need to be too worried, but you will probably have to do a few detours.
Map 5 should be no problem - it won't be that hot, nor too cold at Big Bear.

Map 4 will present the first challenges - esp. with the Western Divide Highway.
The main roads in Sequoia NP and Kings Canyon NP should be open.
If you have the time - and you may wish to stretch it a bit early on -
You really should head on up into Kings Canyon - worth it.

https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/road-conditions.htm

Yosemite Valley will be stunning this May. Have you ever been there?
The first time is always so amazing for everybody. Esp. in May.
So, do not, under any circumstances, skip Yosemite - even if you have to detour.

You will be coming in from the South Entrance and have your first vista past the tunnel.
Although not posted, people cycling into the park can camp 1 night at the backcountry campground.
(This is NOT Camp 4 - way better - on a bend of the Merced River - but you have to ask at backcountry office.)

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tioga.htm

More than likely, Tioga Pass will still be closed - they May (5% chance) let cyclists thru.
Most likely you will need to detour via Sonora (Hwy 108) or Ebbetts Pass (Hwy 4) - both have very steep grades.
There is a big climb out of the valley to Crane Flats - Hwy 120 is not my favorite, either.
If you have the time Hwy 140 to Mariposa is lovely along the Merced River and way less traffic.

The east side of the Sierras should be no problem. Monitor Pass usually opens in late April.
Traffic should still be pretty light north of Topaz - but campgrounds may still be closed.
Lake Tahoe will be stunning will snow-capped mountains and blue water - - but chilly.

Map 3 has a couple of challenges and question marks.
First, I don't know why ACA routes you via Graeagle, Quincy, Greenville on Hwy 70 - which is kinda sucky.
There are great 95% paved county & forest roads via Loyalton & Chilcoot then north -
Or via Calalpine and Beckwourth then north - coming out via genessee and Taylorsville.
Perfect time of year, too.

http://www.papermapsonline.com/home/NorthernCalifornia/PlumasNationalForest.aspx
(Poor server, but give it a few tries and it will come up - esp. with new tab)
You can pick up a Plumas National Forest Map in Truckee.

The next challenge is Lassen Volcano N.P. - the main prak road may not open until June.
Your choices are to skip the park and head north to Hwy 44 via Westwood and Hwy A21 -
Or to head into the park as far as you can go, then return to the dirt forest road from Mineral to Viola.

Next is a choice - I think that it is highly immoral, although legal, to bike on interstate highways.
The ACA route takes you around Mount Shasta - lovely - but you have to do some interstate, too.
Another option is to head north from Old Station via Bieber, Lookout, and Lava Beds N.M. to Klamath Falls.

I am almost certain that the loop road at Crater Lake will still be closed in early June.
If so, then you can still ride into the park from the south but will have to use Hwy 62 & Hwy 230 to go north.
Whether you ride via Mount Shasta or Lava Beds, you should consider riding via Rocky Point on Upper Klamath Lake.

So we've gotten to Map 2 and it should be warmer - in fact, Crater Lake might be you last detour.
If possible, do the Windigo Alternate - US 97 has wide shoulders, but insane traffic.
Bend and Sisters are super yuppie - but have all services - esp, bicycle needs.
US 20 over Santiam Pass also has a good deal of traffic -
You can take the longer McKenzie Pass option - if open - Hwy 242 then Hwy 126.
From Detroit to Hood River should have few cold weather issues.

In southern Washington, do consider taking the side trip to Mt. St. Helens N.M. - worth it.
Also, there is a lovely, paved forest road from Packwood to Longmire in Mount Rainier N.P.
And you can camp just outside the park - they have no hiker/biker sites in the park - boo!

Then Map 1
It's a pretty brutal series of climbs over ridges in the park to Hwy 123.
And I don't know why the ACA routes you over White Pass on US 12 rather than Chinook Pass on Hwy 410.
Tipsoo Lake, at Chinook Pass, has one of the most spectacular views of Mount Rainier.
Then Hwy 410 is a sweet, quiet ride down to the Naches Valley and fresh cherries in June.

The Yakima Canyon along Hwy 821 is sweet - hike across the ped bridge at Umtanum Creek to camp.
North and east of Ellensburg (all services) there are two options.
The ACA route largely follows US 97 - pretty busy in Washington, too.
A lovely, but challenging option is to head east from Ellensburg on Old Vantage Highway.
The challenge is getting across the Columbia River - the I-90 bridge has no shoulders and fast traffic.
There are three ways to get across:
1. Pick a low traffic time - just before sunrise, light but no blinding sun, and ride like hell.
2. Ask or pay someone at the motel/store/campground to shuttle you across.
3. Hitch a boat ride to the Old Vantage Highway landing on the other side.

If you can do #3 it is super worth it. Esp. if you camp in Vantage, you have time to arrange #3.
The old road on the east side heads up Frenchman Coulee - stunning, sheer cliffs.
Then the south service road to George, Hwy 281 to Quincy, and Hwy 28 to Wenatchee.

Next up - when you get to Chelan, do consider taking the Lady of the Lake up to Stehekin.
You can take your bike with you and ride deep into the rugged country of the North Cascades.
By the time you hit the Methow Valley, it should be green and lovely - despite last year's fires.
And Hwy 20 over the North Cascades should be long open with all campgrounds open, too.

<<<>>>

Just a few suggestions.
Have a great trip.

The Three Sisters - near Bend, Oregon






12
Routes / Re: El Nino impact on Sierra Cascade route this spring?
« on: March 24, 2016, 02:04:05 pm »
Ummmm -

In a normal year, the Sierra Passes don't open before Memorial Day.
Usually, Ebbett and Sonora do, but Tioga often doesn't until some time in June.
This year in California, the snow was only so-so until recently - now it's closer to normal.

The other issue is Oregon and Washington.
The Cascades have had 150% to 200% of normal snowpack.
Crater Lake Loop is likely to still be closed in early June.
Many facilities will likely still be closed before Memorial Day.

Here is a Snotel map of Western snowpack (California does not participate west of the Sierras.)
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/snotelanom/basinswe.html

And total precipitation - (fortunately for you, there has already been significant melting)
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/snotelanom/basinpre.html

And a pic from a few years back of Sonora Pass just north of Yosemite in late May -


PS - If there still is a big snowpack, you can do it - you just have to plan to camp at lower elevations.

13
Routes / Re: Great Divide Route - NFS Maps
« on: March 22, 2016, 09:36:54 am »
The Southwest Interagency maps include the Beaverhead NF as well as BLM and State Lands.
I should add, that USFS maps do not cover the Red Desert region of Wyoming.
The OP would need to get the appropriate BLM maps.

14
Routes / Re: Great Divide Route - NFS Maps
« on: March 21, 2016, 11:14:45 pm »
You can always use these USFS maps online -
I would save the files to a zip drive, since you are likely to be out of service zones.
They seem to have a poor server - so keep trying.

http://www.papermapsonline.com/home/

You will have to search out other sources, but you should be able to get nearly all of the maps online.
Unfortunately, this service is not provided by the USFS - except for the Pacific Region.

<<<>>>

I do agree - using USFS maps allows you so much more flexibility.
For those maps which you cannot find online - order the NF map.
Then take a high resolution photo of overlapping sections.
Save on zip drive or in the cloud. (Zip drive is better for the GDMBR)


List:
NM:
Gila NF
Cibola NF
Santa FE NF
Carson NF
CO:
Rio Grande NF
Gunnison NF
San Isabel NF
White River NF
Routt NF
WY:
Medicine Bow NF
Shoshone NF (S)
Bridger Teton NF
ID:
Targhee NF
MT:
Southwest Interagency (E)
Southwest Interagency (W)
Helena NF
Lolo NF
Flathead NF

15
Routes / Re: Washington Parks route option
« on: March 20, 2016, 10:26:37 pm »
You mean instead of Hwy 153?  Yes, I have.
I usually opt for county roads instead of state highways if possible.
There are a couple of other stretches in the Methow Valley where county roads are options instead of Hwy 20, too.

Here's the deal - they are usually a few miles more riding - but not too much in these instances.
They are narrower - without shoulders - but have a lot less traffic and slower speeds. (I think 45 mph)
If you did a routing on RideWithGPS, you'd probably find they have more ups and downs, too.

Still, I find that it is way more worth it doing the back road. Quiet and scenic.

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