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Messages - indyfabz

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1
Routes / Re: Latest date to leave - TransAm East to West (2016)
« on: April 22, 2015, 01:21:12 pm »
Well put by Josh. Personally, I would rather try to stay ahead of the heat and humidity by starting early than wait for a later date in the hope of being "behind" it.

Humidity is also an important factor. With extreme humidity, an 85 degree day can be a lot worse than a 90 degree day with low or no humidity.

When riding a portion of the Trans Am in Montana in late June a few years ago I rant into a few people who had started in the east in early May. They had stayed ahead of the extreme heat in the south and midwest and hit the west after any major threat of lingering snow storms. They would also likely cross eastern and central Oregon before the crispy critter hot days of late July and beyond. (I once did much of the Oregon portion of the Trans Am starting the second week of September as part of an organized event. We had a couple of days east of McKenzie Pass that were downright roasting. The high on the rest day in Sisters was in the mid to upper 90s.) Interestingly, I did the same Montana stretch last year but started a week earlier than the previous time. I encountered only one person riding the Trans Am east to west.

2
Routes / Re: Getting bikes to Canada from California
« on: April 22, 2015, 09:21:26 am »
I believe the answer is no for tandems on Amtrak.

3
Routes / Re: TA Route from Astoria to Guilford, CT
« on: April 20, 2015, 09:35:51 am »
Sure, assuming I am not our touring. Hoping to cross the northern part of PA in September.

There are a few places on Route V with traffic. It's unavoidable. Clearfield and Du Bois are two places that come to mind. But it's generally not bad most of the way, and the stretches with heavier traffic are not long. It also depends on the day and time of day. For example, Clearfield is the county seat of Clearfield County, so the courthouse and other country offices are there. It's the main driver of the downtown economy. Outside of business hours and on the weekends, traffic drops considerably. Same for Bellefonte, which is the seat of Centre County. Route V goes right past the majestic courthouse where former PSU assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was tried.

From the photo after the trail to the pig shots are on Route V from Emlenton to just west of Catawissa:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/sets/72157647841191346/

I turned south from Catawissa to get home to Philly.

4
Routes / Re: Touring From Seattle Beginning Early In May
« on: April 20, 2015, 09:26:21 am »
You can find opening and closing dates on official web sites. While things may have changed, Colonial Creek Campground on the North Cascades Highway was open both times I stayed there in '99 and '00. Going W-E, it's a great jumping off point for the climb. IIRC, the U.S.F.S. campground in the Newhalem area was also open before Memorial Day. Howard Miller Steelhead Park in Rockport, which has Adirondack Shelters, was, too.

5
Routes / Re: TA Route from Astoria to Guilford, CT
« on: April 17, 2015, 03:25:38 pm »
I neglected to mention that the PA bike routes are signed, which makes navigating easier. The signage for Route V was pretty good, although there are a few areas where the placement of signs is inconsistent. There should be more signs along certain parts, and sometimes there are more frequent signs when they are not really needed. An example of the latter is heading east from Raymond Winter State Park towards Lewisburg. There are frequent signs along the forested stretch even though there are no roads to turn off on.

6
Routes / Re: Maryland to Maine route? (Breast Cancer Awareness Ride)
« on: April 17, 2015, 03:17:00 pm »
The East Coast Greenway in PA is mostly theory in that there is very little that's green about it. It uses some roads up from Delaware through Chester, PA that I would not want to ride on. Same with the roads through northeast Philly.

7
Routes / Re: Missoula to Anaconda via Rock Creek
« on: April 17, 2015, 09:43:51 am »
Thanks for the info.  I think we have decided to do a counter clockwise circle from Missoula to Lost Trail pass, then to Anaconda then back to Missoula via Rock Creek.  3 days.  Just don't want to have a mess for the Rock Creek section.

In three days? More power to you. Measured from the Missoula KOA it's about 262 miles to the junction of Rock Creek Rd. and I-90 assuming U.S. 93 to MT 43 through Wisdom towards Wise River then MT 569 to Anaconda, MT 1 to P'burg then Rock Creek Rd.

If you can squeeze in another day or two you might consider Wisdom to Jackson then Big Hole Pass to the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway to Wise River then MT 43 to MT 569 to Anaconda.

8
Routes / Re: Cross-US Trail-Based Route - Feedback Please!
« on: April 17, 2015, 08:31:11 am »
A lot to digest here, but I will note at this point that the Big Savage Tunnel on the GAP usually does not open until some time in April. As the official trail web site points out, there is no easy workaround.

9
Routes / Re: Missoula to Anaconda via Rock Creek
« on: April 16, 2015, 08:44:48 am »
Great route information Indyfabz, thanks for sharing your experience!

Did it between P'Burg and I-90 in the opposite direction in 2011.

Heading in your direction, the first 10 miles or so of Rock Creek Road is paved. You will pass an outfitter called Trout Bum that has a coffee bar and snacks. It's the only place to get snacks until P'burg. (You will pass a couple of U.S.F.S. campgrounds that I believe have water.) Take a walk out onto the cable and plank bridge you will pass on your right. Then there is about 30 miles of dirt (IIRC) to the junction of MT 348 that takes you to P'burg. The road conditions car vary the father up you go due to the creek spilling its banks. I was riding 37c tires and did a bit of slipping and sliding in the dirt early on. Also, the U.S.F.S. puts down calcium chloride on part of the road to keep the dust down. This can create a slightly wet/muddy section. We stayed at Ekstrom Stage Station at the end of the day and had to wash off our bikes. There were also a few sections with rocks, but they weren't long. I have never toured on 28c tires so I don't want to discourage you, especially since it's a beautiful ride, but it might be tough going in spots.

Here are some photos I assembled for someone else who asked abut the road:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/sets/72157647572217733/

MT 348, which is paved, is going to involve a short but stiff in places climb to get over the ridge. Here is a route map with profile:

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/7503410

You will know you are there by the sign naming the bridge in honor of a local resident who died in Iraq. It's not far after you pass a B&B.

The campground/motel in P'burg is nice. There is a spot by an equipment shed that offers shade and has Adirondack style chairs and Purple Martin houses attached to a fence. The grocery store is basically right across the street from the entrance, and you can walk into the center of town. Don't miss the old ice cream parlor in town. I was there again last year. Good milkshakes.

The first 10 or so miles on MT 1 out of P'burg (up to the junction with MT 38) is pretty easy but then things get steep for a while. The latter part of the climb is exposed. Riding towards P'burg we stopped to talk to a couple of people riding up in the intense, afternoon sun. They were pretty knackered. Once you get up to Georgetown Lake it's flat and then, shortly after you pass Silver Lake, all down hill to Anaconda. If you need water as you are descending there is a plumbed spring just off MT 1 right before the interpretive sign for an old gold strike. You will see a paved road that bears down hill on the right. The spring is a short distance down there. You can leave you bike at the sign and walk down it's that close.

How do you plan to get back from Anaconda?

You're welcome. Interesting back story as to why we did Rock Creek in '11. We were planning to ride Skalkaho from P'burg but the road washed out at the falls before we flew out there and it was unclear when it would open. Plan B was to continue to Drummond and head west from there to Ekstroms Stage Station. However, a few days into the trip we were at Elkhorn Hot Springs. I was wearing a bike-related t-shirt and cap when I was approached by your own Casey Greene, who asked me if we were touring. I told him of our plans, including the plan B if Skalkaho was not open by the time we got there. Casey told me about Rock Creek Road. Sometimes things just fall into place.

I went back out your way last year and did a very similar loop, but this time I was able to ride Skalkaho even though it was officially closed due to a slide. The slide area was not large, and getting through with a bike proved was not a problem. And I walked away from Gem Mountain with 16.25 karats of sapphires as a memento.

10
Routes / Re: TA Route from Astoria to Guilford, CT
« on: April 15, 2015, 12:54:49 pm »
One of many possible options....

Get on the UGRR as you mention then map your own route from somewhere in OH to connect with PA Bike Route V at Bessemer, PA:

ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/bikes/state_mapV.pdf

(Click on the numbers to see the individual map sections.) Route V will take you all the way to Delaware Water Gap, PA, which is on ACA's Atlantic Coast Route. You can head north from there. There is a nice state forest campground on route across the river from Delaware Water Gap, PA.

Back in '99 I rode the Atlantic Coast route south from Bar Harbor but took a detour from Windsor Locks to visit a friend at Yale. From there, I got back on route around N. Canaan, CT. No way I could remember the route (I winged it with just a paper map, which is what we did way back then), but it wasn't that difficult.

Last year I rode Route V from Emlenton, PA to Bloomsburg, PA. It's not a bad route. There is a decent amount of camping on or near the route. (Unfortunately, the maps do not show campground locations, but I can tell you where I stayed.) I only stayed in one place (a nice state park) that didn't have services near and thus forced me to carry food for lunch, dinner and breakfast the next morning.

I started that tour from the airport in Warren, OH and went east to Franklin, PA. From Franklin I took the Allegheny River Trail south for about 25 miles to Emlenton to pick up Route V. (There is a free township campground along the trail at the southern end of Franklin.) The trail is paved and is a nice ride. That would take you a little out of your way, but I can give you the cue sheet from the airport to Franklin if you would like.

11
Routes / Re: Missoula to Anaconda via Rock Creek
« on: April 15, 2015, 08:25:37 am »
Did it between P'Burg and I-90 in the opposite direction in 2011.

Heading in your direction, the first 10 miles or so of Rock Creek Road is paved. You will pass an outfitter called Trout Bum that has a coffee bar and snacks. It's the only place to get snacks until P'burg. (You will pass a couple of U.S.F.S. campgrounds that I believe have water.) Take a walk out onto the cable and plank bridge you will pass on your right. Then there is about 30 miles of dirt (IIRC) to the junction of MT 348 that takes you to P'burg. The road conditions car vary the father up you go due to the creek spilling its banks. I was riding 37c tires and did a bit of slipping and sliding in the dirt early on. Also, the U.S.F.S. puts down calcium chloride on part of the road to keep the dust down. This can create a slightly wet/muddy section. We stayed at Ekstrom Stage Station at the end of the day and had to wash off our bikes. There were also a few sections with rocks, but they weren't long. I have never toured on 28c tires so I don't want to discourage you, especially since it's a beautiful ride, but it might be tough going in spots.

Here are some photos I assembled for someone else who asked abut the road:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/sets/72157647572217733/

MT 348, which is paved, is going to involve a short but stiff in places climb to get over the ridge. Here is a route map with profile:

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/7503410

You will know you are there by the sign naming the bridge in honor of a local resident who died in Iraq. It's not far after you pass a B&B.

The campground/motel in P'burg is nice. There is a spot by an equipment shed that offers shade and has Adirondack style chairs and Purple Martin houses attached to a fence. The grocery store is basically right across the street from the entrance, and you can walk into the center of town. Don't miss the old ice cream parlor in town. I was there again last year. Good milkshakes.

The first 10 or so miles on MT 1 out of P'burg (up to the junction with MT 38) is pretty easy but then things get steep for a while. The latter part of the climb is exposed. Riding towards P'burg we stopped to talk to a couple of people riding up in the intense, afternoon sun. They were pretty knackered. Once you get up to Georgetown Lake it's flat and then, shortly after you pass Silver Lake, all down hill to Anaconda. If you need water as you are descending there is a plumbed spring just off MT 1 right before the interpretive sign for an old gold strike. You will see a paved road that bears down hill on the right. The spring is a short distance down there. You can leave you bike at the sign and walk down it's that close.

How do you plan to get back from Anaconda?

12
Nice group of folks at Bilenky. If you saw a photo of the outside of the place you might find it hard to believe that they turn out such nice stuff. They are located in an old building next to an old junkyard up against the railroad tracks in a 'hood that has seen better days. The one time I went to see them I thought I had taken a wrong turn.

Simon, a long-time employee, left a few years ago and started this place with a couple of other people:

http://transportcycle.com/

The one time I was there I went to see if they would enlarge some holes in a custom rack of mine so I could retrofit it to a new bike. Three other LBS declined for fear of liability. Simon literally said "We'll drill holes in anything as long as it's not ours." He did the work in a few minutes, offered me something to eat and gave me a tour of the shop. I had to twist his arm to take money. He finally agreed to take something and said "Give me $9." I opened my wallet to find it contained exactly nine one dollar bills. They cleaned me out!

13
General Discussion / Re: New York to San Francisco Ride
« on: April 14, 2015, 09:38:12 am »
I got a quite acceptable room in Bedford PA for $29 a couple of years ago.

You mean you passed up the opportunity to camp down the street from Cannondale? How could you?!?!

14
Routes / Re: Minnesota to West Coast route options?
« on: April 09, 2015, 10:37:32 am »
Cross the border would be fun except I need Canadian visa.
Any suggestions for fun routes from the Glacier to Seattle?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Following the route I mentioned above will take you from Cut Bank, MT, which is on the Northern Tier, to St. Mary, which is the west entrance to Glacier N.P., without going into Canada.

Just continue to follow the Northern Tier Route west from Glacier to the Mt. Vernon, WA area and then head south on the Pacific Coast route, eventually taking a ferry to Seattle. Lots of nice stuff to see (e.g. the east shore of Lake Koocanusa south of Eureka, MT), and several mountain passes in WA.

Also, a few people have described a way to get from Rockport, WA (nice campground there), which is on the Northern Tier route west of the Cascades, to Seattle, via Rte. 530, etc., but I couldn't begin to give you the details.

15
General Discussion / Re: Crash number 6.
« on: April 08, 2015, 10:14:16 am »
My question though - and not to provoke a huge thread - is to ask if that might be you.

I had the same thought. I cycle in all sorts of traffic, including major urban traffic, and am general very defensive. The two bike-car collisions I have been involved in could have been avoided had I been more defensive. In the particular circumstance described in the OP, if I see someone coming out of a side road I assume they don't see me unless I can see that they have looked my way. Even then, I tend to assume they will pull out anyway. Perhaps the real pattern is not being defensive enough.

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