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Messages - indyfabz

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General Discussion / Re: GDMRB 2015 Casual Ride!
« on: Today at 07:50:17 am »
My current plan for this tour was to be dropped around 250 miles east of Glacier National Park, get there by the 19 and hope the Going to Sun Road is opened.  Then head to Banff.  There is 474 miles between the east side of Glacier and Banff.  If you all were interested in having me part of your group I would take the "Marias alternative" around Glacier, so I would not have to worry about whether the road was open.  Then I'd for sure make it by July 1st.

While the West Lakes Road Crew is already at the pass and clearing the Visitor Center, it's always risky to plan something around the road being open that early. I would poke around the park's official web site to see if there is a date that the road definitely will not be open before due to construction activity.

Unless you plan to do a near century budget at least one extra day for the Marias Pass Alternative. I did it in the opposite direction back in '09. St. Mary to Sprague Creek Campground on the west side of the park. About 100 miles. It was a lonnnnnnnnnnng day. It's going to be even longer on a Moonlander. There are not a whole lot of services between W. Glacier and E. Glaicer. There are none between E. Glacier and St. Mary.

The unpaved sections I refer to don't require a MTB. I did them on my Surly Long Haul Trucker with 37c tires. I think the option with partially unpaved roads between Hamilton and Darby would be doable on 32c tires. Not sure if I would want to do the west side of Gibbons Pass or the connector road I mentioned with 32c or less.

Up to the second photo after the Z Bar T street sign were taken between Missoula and Pipestone Pass on the way to Butte on the route I took last year:

You can see some of the unpaved road surfaces.

Let me know if you would like me to map out some alternatives based on your criteria.

I have done loops from/to Missoula that included Wisdom and Butte twice in the last four years, the second time being last year.

The first part is easy. U.S. 93 between MSO and Lolo, while busy at times, has a large shoulder. From Lolo there is a now a  very nice bike path that basically parallels U.S. 93 all the way to Hamilton. From there, U.S. 93 is not bad. There is a partially unpaved alternate route between Hamilton and Darby that is terrific. In '11 I did U.S. 93/MT 43 from Darby to Wisdom. Saw very few vehicles. Last year I took Gibbons Pass instead. Great ride if you have sturdy, wide tires and don't mind bumpy roads. The west slope doesn't appear to undergo much if any maintenance. The east slope is much nicer. Mostly hard packed dirt with fine gravel in some places. This is all shown on the appropriate map section of ACA's Trans Am route. You might want to invest in a copy.

Wisdom to Butte can be done several ways. I went from Wisdom through Jackson to Twin bridges via the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway and an unpaved connector road then took MT 41 to MT 2 over Pipestone Pass to Colonial Drive into the center of Butte.

MT 43 east through Wise River to Divide then frontage roads and I-15 is probably the most direct. You could follow the Trans Am route through Jackson and Dillon to Twin Bridges (where there is a fabulous cyclist camping facility in town) and then take MT 41 and MT 2 over Pipestone to Butte. (Don't camp in Butte. The only campground is right next to I-90 and is a bit seedy. Get a room in the motor lodge section of the Hotel Finlen.)

There is another way from Wisdom to Butte via Anaconda. Are you looking for directness? Looking to avoid as much climbing as possible. Looking for as much climbing as possible? Are unpaved roads an option? The answers to those questions will dictate which route is optimal.

Routes / Re: Connecting from Northern Tier to TransAM near Missoula
« on: May 24, 2015, 07:44:00 am »
When I rode that (83/200) connector route I camped at a state park campground outside the center of Big Fork. There was a tourist shuttle to take you into town for shopping. The second night I stayed at Lake Alva, which is a U.S.F.S. campground. Both were nice and should be listed on the map. If you plan to visit Missoula and camp at the KOA I would consider a reservation, at least on a weekend. When I ended a tour there last year on a Saturday night in late June the place was booked solid. That tour took me east on the TA as far as Twin Bridges. Send me a PM if you have any questions about that stretch.

Routes / Re: North Eastern routes...
« on: May 22, 2015, 07:53:39 am »
To avoid the gap left by the removal of the U.S. 9 drawbridge over Great Egg, go inland to Ocean City via CR 623 (34th St. Bridge). You can get back to U.S. 9 via NJ 52 (the 9th St. Causeway), which was rebuilt a few years ago and now accommodates bikes, or continue north through town, go over the big bridge and then hang a left at the light onto NJ 152, right on Bay, left on E. Ocean, right on Buffalo and left on Ocean Heights. Much, much shorter than going to Mays Landing. I would use the latter option. The traffic around the circle on NJ 52 at Somers Point can be bad, and there is a large strip mall on U.S. 9 south of where Ocean Heights intersects with U.S. 9. Take the northern route out of town and you avoid both.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring without fenders - big mistake?
« on: May 21, 2015, 11:06:56 am »
Never used them, even on the Northern Tier route, and don't think I ever will. If it's raining hard enough, no fender is going to keep me dry or drier Also, my tent is positioned on the rear rack in line with the bike. Under the tent is a folded 4x8 plastic "tarp." This set up keeps the spray off my jersey and rear end.

Gear Talk / Re: Single pair of shoes, or bike AND walking shoes?
« on: May 21, 2015, 11:01:11 am »
Sandals are light, small, and multi-purpose.  Take a shower in them (oh, and avoid leather for this purpose and for general water and rain tolerance).  Set up the tent in them.  Heck, I even did a white-water rafting trip in them.  Get a pair that are easily adjustable, put on warm wool socks, and you can go hike for a few miles.

+1. My extremities tend to feel cold and a pair of warm, wool socks and sandals works for me. They don't have to break the bank. For the last two years I have been using a cheap pair of Dexters I got on sale from PayLess for under $30. They are extremely light and flatten out nicely, even at size 12.  I wouldn't take them in the shower, though. For that I carry a pair of cheap flip flops. Those sit under the chords that strap the tent to the rear rack so they take up no pannier space.

Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast ride
« on: May 21, 2015, 10:52:06 am »
Details, including an explanation of how the maps go both ways:

In the example used, you can see the bi-directional narratives, eastbound and westbound in that particular example.

Gear Talk / Re: How heavy is your touring bike (unloaded)?
« on: May 19, 2015, 09:42:56 am »
My Surly LHT is heavy even without racks. It's also 60cm, which means a larger frame, more stem and more bars than smaller rides. I also put a heavier, more adjustable seat post on it. Saddle is a Terry Liberator Gel, which isn't the lightest thing out there.

Routes / Re: North Eastern routes...
« on: May 17, 2015, 11:19:33 am »
There is a fairly popular, supported event in the Finger Lakes region called the Bon Ton Roulet.

General Discussion / Re: Should I pack an Air Pillow
« on: May 15, 2015, 09:37:37 am »
I took a Sea to Summit pillow on my tour last year. Best gear addition I've ever made. Infinitely better than clothes in a stuff sack that I previously used.

+1. I was a die hard "clothes in the stuff sack" person. Pillows were for people who belonged in motels.  ;) My GF wanted a pillow so I got her a Cocoon air pillow. While we had some fun trips together, she never really took to unsupported touring, which freed up the pillow for my solo trips. Gave it a try and really like the pillow thing.

Here is the route from where you would turn off the ACA route after descending Big Hole Pass:

It ends right at the driveway/path on the left that leads to the Bike Camp. Follow the path closest to the river and you will see the enclosed shelter.

The Google Maps overlay for the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway is a bit odd as it sometimes shows two different roads. I think it does because part of the road was relocated, possibly when it was paved around 2008. Just follow the pavement. On the way up you will pass the Grasshopper Inn on the left, which may or may not be open for business. If you take the dirt road to the right for a short stretch you will come to Ma's Country Store. You can almost see it from the main road. The place was surprisingly well stocked when I popped in in 2011. Didn't need to stop there last year. The sign reads "If you forgot it, Ma's got it."

There is no pass sign at the summit. When you reach the first cattle guard and share the road sign you will know you are basically at the top. There are some developed U.S.F.S. campgrounds on the north slope of the highway. 4th of July Campground has drinking water if you need to fill up. I think at least one other does. The location of Divide Bridge Campground is shown in MT 43, but the icon for the Wise River Mercantile way wrong. The store is in the center of town, just east of the Wise River Club, which is the bar/restaurant on MT 43.

32c might do it as long as the tires are not cheap. I rode 37c.

If you want to take a nice detour from the route with some dirt, consider this: East of Jackson you will cross Big Hole Pass. About 6-7 miles down the other side, you will see a brown and white sign for the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway. Hang a left there. Very nice road that takes you up to nearly 8,000'. Most of the climb is pretty gentle at first. It's really only the last 5 miles that pose a challenge. Then there is some 26 miles of mostly descent to one degree or another. It's a very pretty ride that includes a beautiful mountain meadow zone. The road ends in Wise River, where there is a bar/restaurant and a small but adequate mercantile for groceries. From there, you head east on MT 43 through a cool canyon carved by the Big Hole River. About 9 miles east of Wise River, just before you cross the bridge over the river, there is a gravel road leading to Divide Bridge Campground. (Go past the day-use area to get to the camping area.) IIRC, sites are only $6 or so/night. Good water and pit toilets. You can wash off in the river. The next day, continue east on MT 43 a few miles until you get to the frontage road for I-15 and hang a right towards Melrose. You can have breakfast at the Hitching Post in town. There is also a motel and campground there. On the south end of Melrose you will see a sign for a left turn to Twin Bridges. That's Melrose-Twin Bridges County Road (a/k/a/ Melrose Bench Road.) Twenty-three or so lonely dirt miles later you will hit pavement again just outside Twin Bridges. After you cross the river, make a right at the T to get to the center of town. If you see three steer (which is likely) you will likely see more steer than motor vehicles. You will also encounter some good ups and downs, and some portions of the road can be rough. Jackson to Divide Bridge may seem like a long way, especially with two passes, but it's not as hard as the mileage suggests. Once you get to the summit, the way into Wise River doesn't require a whole lot of effort. And Wise River to Divide Bridge is a net elevation loss. If you have the sort of tailwind I had the first time I did that stretch, it will go by in a flash. Divide Bridge to Twin Bridges is short (only about 35 miles), but it would give you a chance to rest up at the Bike Camp, which is very relaxing, and check email at the library.

IMO, this route is more interesting than staying on the official route. It also avoids a stretch of road between Dillon and Twin Bridges that has no shoulder and some truck traffic. The downsides are that you miss the town of Dillion, which has many services, and you miss Beaverhead Rock, which is a significant Lewis & Clark related monument.

Based on that, and assuming it is accurate, I would agree that a full-sized bike that has been dismantled and bagged is allowed. Seems that "folded away" includes "dismantled."

"You can take bicycles on board an ICE train as long as they are folded away in a bike bag.
If you’d like to take a bike that doesn’t fold away, you may want to consider the luggage courier service. Your bike will be delivered to your destination for a charge of (currently) €25.80."
that the bike must also fold, like a Bike Friday, Dahon, S&S coupled frame or similar?  If it requires a true folding bike, just having the bag won't be enough.

I read it to mean you need a folder.

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