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Messages - tsteven4

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Routes / Re: Great Parks North tips
« on: June 13, 2016, 06:58:45 pm »
1) I thought the traffic on GPN was fine, but I am fairly traffic tolerant.
2) We made no reservations and had no problems in 2007, camping exclusively.  Some parks cut us a break.  Many have no stated bicycle policy, but seem to have an unofficial one that you will find favorable.  We did hit one regional park in BC on a weekend that was turning away car after car but found us a place.  It was over 38degC and I would not have wanted to start the upcoming climb in the afternoon.
3) The free shuttles in Glacier NP make day hiking in the high country very easy.
4) 18 days sounds like you will have some available for hiking.  We found ourselves trying to go as slow as possible in Jasper and Banff NPs, the Icefields parkway is spectacular.

Don't miss Logan pass.  Be aware of cycling restrictions in Glacier NP.

You made the right choice, to me GPN over Missoula-Rawlins is an easy call.

So its okay, from your perspective, to bag your stuff but you are against the idea of using waterproof bags because?? Too practical??
I am not against waterproof bags, I have no experience with them.  However, from my perspective they aren't necessary and I won't be rushing out to replace my non-waterproof bags until they wear out, and even then the next set may not be waterproof.

I have always just used garbage bags inside various non-waterproof panniers.  I usually double bag and independently twist the tops and just fold them in.  This method has always worked for me, even through a 21 day streak of rain every day when we looked like drowned rats and were refused hotel accommodations in France.  The stuff in the outside pockets is either in zip locks or it isn't important to keep it dry.

The problems I have had are
1) shoes, which lead to the "Soggy Sneaker Blues"
2) glasses, which don't have windshield wipers
3) flooding campgrounds which make it hard to stay dry inside the tent.  once we woke up dry but the tent felt like a waterbed!  one develops a very fine eye for spotting the high spot for the tent.  I would NOT put any plastic under the tent, even with careful folding/trimming water always seems to find it's way between the plastic and the tent floor.
4) a worn out rainfly, which was solved with a sheet of plastic from an Italian hardware store.
5) poor brake performance, which leads to tired hands in the mountains (at best).

I think you will love your BG, we love ours.  Rock Solid.

Good Luck, and I hope it doesn't rain.

General Discussion / Re: importance of componentry
« on: August 28, 2014, 08:17:00 pm »
Also, those "Dura Ace" barends are intended more for time trial bikes aero bars than for touring use.  Again, Dura Ace isn't bought by tourists.

We have three touring bikes in the house with Shimano SL-BS77 Dura-Ace 7700 Bar End Shifters (9 speed), one of which just got upgraded to 9 speed this year.  Bruce Gordon used them on his bikes for years, I don't know what he is using currently.  The shifters work very well on our touring bikes (22-32-44, 11-32).  I don't have any experience with the 10 speed version.

General Discussion / Re: Bike / Hike Campsites on southern PCR
« on: July 19, 2014, 10:11:13 am »
I would go here and check "By Activity/Facility" and then check "Hike or Bike Campsites" under "Overnight Features".

Routes / Re: Bozeman to Boulder!
« on: May 24, 2014, 09:29:46 am »
We have ridden boulder to bozeman, and we also have ridden through ennis to boulder  To expand on what John said
84/287 to ennis
trans am/ great parks to granby
great parks over trail ridge in rocky mountain national park. 
there are lots of ways down from the peak to peak highway (7/72/119).  recommended choices would include south st vrain (7) or left hand canyon (which has very light traffic).  be aware that the more direct route from estes park to lyons, 36, may still be closed to cyclists for flood repairs, and in any event is very busy.
I have a map at
The section over trail ridge was the highlight of our seattle to boulder ride, it is highly recommended.  It is not very steep (5.4% max) and tops out just over 12,000 feet.

yellowstone traffic can be trying, especially from yellowstone lake to the teton park boundary.  I would recommend you try to avoid the grant village campground.  They seem to give the cyclist the worst couple of sites out of the over 400 sites.

General Discussion / Re: equipment & route
« on: May 20, 2014, 07:10:57 pm »
I think you should reconsider, Logan Pass is not to be missed.  I would rate it as one of the top two roads in the U.S. I have ever ridden.

Gear Talk / Re: Cassette 11x32,34,36? With 50x34 crankset
« on: May 09, 2014, 07:02:15 pm »
but I don't think Flagstaff is okay for cycling right now.
Flagstaff if open and mostly in good condition.  There is a stoplight down low controlling one way traffic where half the road is gone.  It is expected to be closed to all traffic M-F 8:30-3:30 starting sometime in June for ~5 months while repairs are made.

Gear Talk / Re: Neo-Retro / Tour Canti Combo
« on: February 17, 2014, 07:53:44 pm »

I have run Paul touring canits F+R on my BG BLT for many years.  The original circa 1997 LX cantis howled.  The Pauls worked much better, but I did originally have some trouble that was rectified by Paul shipping a specially toleranced part.  I have used these extensively on loaded tours starting before the photos on and I used them today.  I have been satisfied with their performance.

However, I have shimano BR-R550s on my BG R&R EX.  These are the best brakes I have ever had and perform superior to the Pauls on the BLT, they have amazing stopping power.  Perhaps it is something to do with the setup or differences between the bikes, but the 550s are excellent.  But they are no longer made although you can find some on ebay.

The one issue with the 550s is that it is very difficult to pop the straddle cable which is a nice thing to do to get the tire out for repair.  The Pauls error in the other way, it is easy to misalign the straddle cable where you pop it in.  It never caused me a problem but I never tested it under extreme braking.  I have found them to be misaligned at least once.   This is an operator (or mechanic) error, but there is something to be said for not risking this potential failure mode.


I fixed the link for the colorado cycling map details in my previous post, it should work now.

I agree with John when he says you should be prepared for cold, be ready for nights around freezing.  Winter park is near Berthoud pass

We had a far worse experience in the North Cascades one June, about freezing and raining all day, we would have been much better off if it was a bit colder and snowing!

And a secret about the Rockies, they generally aren't steep but the can go on.  Some training is recommended.  You also might want to take a day or two after arriving from sea level to acclimate before moving up higher

I wouldn't worry to much about the Coloardo roads, it should be pretty obvious when you get here and then you can decide.  We start riding to 9,000-10,000 feet as early as the beginning of March and never later than the end of April, but we can pick the days.

Af far as Trail Ridge being open you couldn't count on it but it might be open, From the national park service in 2012:
Trail Ridge Road historically opens on Memorial Day weekend; last year, due to historic snow accumulation, the road opened on June 6. This year's opening is the third earliest day that Trail Ridge Road has opened since the road was completed in 1932. The earliest day was May 7, 2002. In 1963, the road opened on May 11. Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the United States, climbing to 12,183 feet and connecting the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake.
and from a local paper in 2013:
Trail Ridge Road historically opens on Memorial Day weekend; last year the road opened early on May 14. The earliest the road has opened was on May 7, 2002; the latest June 26, 1943.

You can browse ACA routes here, I doubt you will go through Steamboat Springs.

It is possible to ride up the I70 corridor to Idaho Springs, then you can pick up the Great Parks South.  Willow Creek Pass on 125 is nice.  It is very unlikely that you wouldn't be able to ride Idaho Springs,  Berthod Pass on US 40 Granby, Willow Creek Pass on 125 and on to Wyoming in May, these roads are open year round except during avalanche control or heavy snow storms.  Lookout Mountain, from Golden, would be a good way to start up, this is how we started the Western Express from Boulder.  You cannot ride on US 6.   I live in Boulder and ridden most of these roads multiple times.  I would still do Trail Ridge if it was open, and the above route if it wasn't.  If you do Trail Ridge I could suggest routes to get there, we had historic flooding last year and some of the canyons are still a mess.

Colorado cycling maps are available here:
They will mail you a paper copy,
For a hard copy of Colorado State Map, send your name and mailing address to

As far as getting across Denver I would be tempted to get on a bus!  In general the RTD has bikes racks, although at the airport they might put your bikes underneath, if so you wouldn't want to unbox them before the bus.  I imagine you could ride from DIA, but in 30 years of riding in the area I have never headed in that direction, it seems so much better to head up and west into the glory of the Rockies.  I used to look unfavorably on this sort of thing, but a few Russian cycling clubs in Moscow taught me that it can be best, they always take the train out of town.

Hi Lauren,

I have been on the PC twice in June/July.  I think it will be fine.  It is a very beautiful route.  The ACA route winds around a bit in Oregon and the extra turns are worth it.

Starting from Denver I would want to go over Trail Ridge Rd in Rocky Mountain National Park which is an alternative on the Great Parks Route.  When we rode Seattle to Boulder it was the best day, the North Cascades lost out perhaps due to non-stop rain and the accompanying clouds.  However, it is a little less direct and typically opens in late May.  If it is open I think it is much prettier than the I70 corridor and Berthod Pass on US40.  I am not sure how I would get from DIA to Boulder, but after that I could give you turn by turn directions.


Gear Talk / Re: Replacement for Continental Top Touring Tires
« on: December 15, 2013, 07:15:26 pm »
When the TT 2000s dried up we switched to Continental Contacts.  The 700x37s work well on pavement(90%) and dirt(10%) roads.  They don't have the longevity of the Specialized Expedition tires of the 80's (5000 miles loaded!), we general get ~1700 loaded miles + 500 unloaded out of a pair.  They have now been replaced by Contact II, which we haven't tried yet.  I wouldn't recommend the Conti  Travel Contacts - after two loss of traction crashes.

GPS Discussion / Re: ACA GPS files on Google Earth problem
« on: December 03, 2013, 07:33:02 pm »
With any of the routes from you can look at the elevation profile one section at a time by selecting the section in the Places panel, right clicking, and selecting "Show elevation profile".

If you pass the kmz file to gpsvisualizer it will show an elevation profile for the entire route, BUT it assumes the sections are sequential.  This is almost never true with the ACA routes.  For example, west of Austin NV there are two choices of the route.  This leads to discontinuities and incorrect distances.

As regards to your decision all the choices are great.  The WE is the most serious (but an excellent route), in the summer it can be quite hot and the distances between places where you can get water is often a days ride.  Another possibility is a combination of the Northern Tier and TransAm, see
I think I posted more detailed route descriptions of this on this site.

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