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Messages - windrath

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1
General Discussion / Re: Low Carb and Long Distance Touring
« on: March 31, 2014, 02:18:15 pm »
iwstamp -

10 years ago I rode across the country with a guy who only ate salads.  We were riding about 100 miles per day with a day off each week.

He was a basket case by the end of 9 weeks.

Regardless of what others have posted - the primary fuel source for the brain is carbohydrate.  As a competitive athlete for the past 40 years plus the riding, the optimal fuel mix for athletes as been (40 % (carbs), 30% (pro) and 30% (fat).  The study was done on world class aerobic swimmers.

Just keep these things in mind.

Windrath

2
GF -

You are correct that the elevation gains are significant going the Whistler way - Tour de France kind of steep.  I think it is more scenic though than the Fraser Valley.

One of the most surprising aspects of my ride from Fairbanks to Vancouver (2005) was the fact that there No climbs that I considered significant other than the climb out of Lillooet.  BUT, in either direction, the road is seldom flat.  you are either going up or going down for short distance (100-300 yards) and these little ups and downs are steep.  SO, you really get beat up each day and don't have any climbing stories to tell anyone.  :)

Each way has advantages.  if you are hoping to avoid elevation, Fraser Canyon makes sense and you will pick up more traffic.

Good Luck - it is an awesome ride - especially the cassia Highway.

Paul

3
Routes / Re: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« on: March 22, 2014, 02:46:40 am »
Hi Ben -

The description of quasi quick-sand is applicable when saturated.  Otherwise, it will ride fine.  Vs pavement, you will go 2-3 mph slower because the tires won't roll quite so nicely.

The only part of the trail that I dislike is around Rochester.  There are sections where the tree roots have pushed up the pavement and it a jarring/bumpy ride.  There are also some section where you integrate with roads and there was broken glass to deal with.  Only around Rochester though from my experience.

The "best" part is flat.  And, if you can arrange it, you can camp at many of the locks - for sure at the Marcy Lock.  Makes it a little easier than finding campgrounds or stealth.

Paul

4
George -

Is there a reason you prefer the Fraser River route vs going up through Squamish and Whistler and Llilouet to Cache Creek?  Just curious because I rode via Whistler in 2005. 

I cannot comment on your ride from Vancouver to Cache Creek.  After Cache Creek to Fairbanks, it is a nice ride and you should take these factors into consideration:

Leaving in Mid-May, you will encounter below overnight temps below freezing - especially as you get further north.

There are not a lot of huge climbs the entire way.  However, the roads are rarely flat, so you are constantly going up and down short steep little "pain-in-the-butt" hills.  It wears you out a lot.

The roads are mostly paved, but not smooth.  Plan for your bike to roll 2-3 mph slower due to this.

When you get to the Cassiar, you might be hitting there when the bears are active and have not moved to higher elevations.  And, there are no services for the first 100 miles of the Cassiar (when going north).

The bugs are terrible the entire way - drove us crazy.

As mentioned by others, there is not much in the way of bike shops after Smithers until you get past Watson Lake (north end of the Cassiar).

There is much more traffic northbound when you are going and the shoulders are not wide.  On 97, there are a lot of "chip" trucks that don't move much.  That all ends when you get to the Cassiar even though it is shorter than the Al-Can.  Lots of RV going north at your time as well.

My ride is recorded on www.windrath.info if you want to see our day-to-day stops and pictures.

It is a great ride with outstanding scenery.

Enjoy.

Paul

5
General Discussion / Re: touring in the rain?
« on: March 01, 2014, 06:14:58 pm »
Kittery -

As many mentioned, you are gonna get wet from the rain or from the sweat.  I like to put on the rain gear because, even though everything gets wet, the biking clothes don't get dirty from road spray.  I find cleaning/washing is easier in that case.

I did not find that shoe covers help much for dryness, but again - it helps keep the shoes from getting trashed from road spray.

As the one gentleman said - Get out and ride in it.  I have ridden through every storm - except one along the St. Lawrence Seaway because it looked really, really nasty.  My friend and I hid out in a DOT building and actually hid under a snowplow blade because we thought the building might collapse from the straight line winds.  :)

Good Luck.

6
General Discussion / Re: how to keep my feet warm!
« on: January 13, 2014, 05:51:37 pm »
I have a similar problem when temps get cooler, but it is not an issue or being cold  So...

Are your feet cold or numb?  If your feet are numb and you are attributing it to being cold, you might actually be dealing with some kind of nerve compression.  I had this when the ball of my foot was sitting directly over the cleat.  Cooler weather will make this worse.  Instead of extra socks, etc., try loosening your shoes to allow your feet to move around more thereby keeping the nerve was being compressed.

Paul

7
Routes / Re: Planning route from Anchorage to San Fransico
« on: December 02, 2013, 04:03:58 pm »
KeepPedalin'

We did not wild camp because there were 8 of us and couple of the group wanted the SAG Wagon option, so 2 guys took turns driving the vehicle with a trailer attached (very long story).  Therefore, we needed to stay in campgrounds.  The cost ranged from $5 per night to $50 for the group of 8.  Many of the sites were honor system, so do what your conscious will allow there, I guess.

Having said that, some of the places we stayed sure seemed like wild camping (lol).  Wild camping is going to leave you even more exposed to bugs than a campground/RV site will have. You will want to be able to purify water or have the ability to carry 1-2 gallons with you at all times.

Unlike the US, the towns you will go through are very small and city parks (except in a couple of areas) were non-existent.

If you have access to the internet, you can find a lot of the Milepost info on their website.  You will have to print off things or make notes.

Having done the ride, I would suggest you find someone to ride with you - just in case.  Cell phone service will be spotty at best.  Bears will be prevalent in June.  The Black bears won't be much of a bother, but grizzlies can be.  In early June, you worry about bears.  In late June, as one park ranger told us, you won't worry about the bears because the bugs chased them away.  The Ranger was correct.  If you have a full body mosquito net, bring it!

It was an awesome ride.

Paul

Paul

8
Routes / Re: Planning route from Anchorage to San Fransico
« on: November 30, 2013, 06:19:06 pm »
Keeppedaling -

In 2005, 8 of us rode from Fairbanks to Vancouver.  The details are at http://www.windrath.info/alcan2005/index.html.

The Milepost is excellent and it is what we used for our planning - wonderfully detailed although some had gone out of business.  You will be on the Al-Can highway for the first part.  At Watson Lake you will have a choice to take the Cassiar Highway instead of staying on the Al-Can.  It is less traffic with a few less services, but awesome scenery.  It is a more direct route than going all the way over to Missoula.

Of course, if you go over to Missoula, you will also see some great areas by Banff and Jasper and the Icefields.

The nice part is there are not many options for roads between Anchorage and the States.  You won't need your GPS.

The bugs are terrible.  The campgrounds are set up for RVs, so your tent is often going to be on hard gravel.  The roads are rough, so your speed will be affected by 2-3 mph.  There are not any huge climbs, but the roads are not flat, so you are going up and down all day long.  We left Fairbanks at the end of Memorial Day weekend and got to Vancouver right around July 4th.  During the first week, we had overnight temps in the mid-20s, so a little chilly rolling out of bed. 

Headwinds were quite strong.  We were told by the locals that sunny weather means headwinds (going north to south) and rainy weather usually means tail winds.  Take your pick.   :)  We only had 3 days of rain.

In June, you will not have a lot of traffic on the Al-Can since most vehicles are going north.  As you get down towards Prince George, you will encounter significant logging traffic going very fast. Just have to be a little careful.

Do not think about going south to north because the traffic will be more challenging and, what climbs there are (around Whistler and Lillooet will be much steeper.

Good Luck - it is a great route to ride.  If you have questions, let me know.

Paul Windrath

9
Routes / Re: Missoula to Glacier?
« on: November 30, 2013, 05:56:03 pm »
Tandem Tom -

The detour is worth it.  It is a comfortable 3 day ride to get there or a fast 2.5 day ride.  You will want a couple of nights in Glacier to relax, enjoy the scenery, and plan your "ascent" to Logan Pass.  Then, a couple of days to ride back to Missoula.

Having been there a few times, I would really encourage you to do it - even if you had to rent a car to get there or come back.

There are a lot of blogs about Glacier - you can see some of the pictures at mine - http://www.windrath.info/lewis_&_clark/pages/day15.htm.

Good Luck!

10
Routes / Re: St Paul to Fargo via Bemidji
« on: November 22, 2013, 05:36:33 pm »
Bry -

When do you expect to be in Minnesota for the St. Paul - Fargo segments?  With you starting from RI in May, I would think you will get there in mid-to latter June.  Is that correct?

It can be pretty riding through that area if you like trees, more trees, and some lakes.  It is quite flat along with a lot of corn and soybeans.  The mosquitoes/gnats/no-see-ums will be bad due to so much water. 

As for "touring" value, you will not find many areas across the northern part of the country that are similar to that area unless you are coming through Michigan and Wisconsin.

Good Luck

11
Routes / Re: Yellowstone to Rapid City, SD
« on: November 15, 2013, 02:43:48 pm »
NBThomas -

I have done the ride a couple of different ways out of Yellowstone.  Yup - you get close to 10,000'.  It gets very hot - over 100 most days.

For what it is worth, it is legal to ride the interstate (I-90) from Buffalo to Gillette (at least it was in 2003).  Not a fun ride and no services whatsoever.  BUT, it is about 70-75 miles instead of 100 miles if you go through Spotted Horse.  I rode the non-interstate route and it is long and hot.  The only thing Spotted Horse had was an ice machine outside a closed bar (July 4th).  With the temp close to 100, I could not believe the ice machine was unlocked, so you know what I did. :)

The downside to the interstate is the traffic, lack of services, and a lot of road trash. The upside - the shoulder is very wide and there is traffic should you have a problem.

After Gillette. find your way down to Newcastle for the night (and listen to the coal trains going through every 10 minutes).  From there, it is pretty straight forward to Mt. Rushmore.

Have fun.

Paul

12
Routes / Re: New York Bike Route 5
« on: November 13, 2013, 06:27:09 pm »
Route 5 is a very busy road and splits into different segments at different times between Schenectady and Utica.  There is usually a good shoulder and, often, there are side roads that run next to it.

Possibly a better way is to ride the Erie Canal path - fewer hills, no cars, camp grounds that are pretty easy to find.  It is not paved which is a downside, but, overall, a better option than Rte 5.

Just a thought...

13
Routes / Re: How do I get a copy Cycling British Columbia? Please help.
« on: November 06, 2013, 10:08:23 am »
Petejack -

The Milepost - which I used for my Alaskan and British Columbia riding costs $17.16 at Barnes and Noble.  It details every single mile in BC and Alaska with everything a cyclist will need.  Your local library might have it as well.

Paul

14
Routes / Re: How do I get a copy Cycling British Columbia? Please help.
« on: September 30, 2013, 06:07:32 pm »
There is another book - The Milepost - that details every mile of every road in BC.  It was invaluable for 8 of us riding from Fairbanks (AK) to Vancouver 8 years ago.

It is updated every year -http://www.milepost.com/highway_info/alaska_highway

It might be a good alternative.

Paul

15
Routes / Great Divide Section Feedback
« on: September 26, 2013, 12:46:58 pm »
I am interested in riding the Great Divide in 3 segments across three summers (20-30 days each summer).  Is there such a thing on the Great Divide route as an easier segment than the others?  Just don't want to bite off more than I can chew.

Thanks for your perspective and keep in mind, I am 60 in good condition, have ridden cross country, through Alaska and Canada, can handle lots of climbing (albeit slowly), and comfortable with being alone.

Paul

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