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Messages - MaryK

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1
General Discussion / Re: pacific coast route weather/october
« on: September 14, 2011, 05:10:44 am »
I did the Pacific Coast in 2010, leaving in late September.  It was cool and rainy at least through all of WA and most of OR.  I rode most of the trip in tights and long sleeves.  I'd suggest starting as early as you can.

2
Routes / Re: Good Bike Shop in the Vancouver Area?
« on: March 15, 2011, 11:49:45 am »
I rode the Pacific coast in the fall of 2010 and used The Bike Doctor in Vancouver to have my bike assembled.  They were great to work with and did exactly what they said they would do, at a decent price. They also did me the added favor of having my hard cased ship to my brother in San Diego, where it was waiting for me when I arrived.  I'd highly recommend them.

  -Mary

3
Routes / Re: Highway 2 in MT
« on: October 20, 2010, 04:11:38 pm »
I rode the Northern Tier in 2007 and your assumptions about Highway 2 are good.  The rumble strips are big and bumpy to go over, the shoulder comes and goes and isn't always free of debris and the traffic can be going very fast as they zip by.  The road is straight, flat and boring. 

You are a long way between towns and need to be very careful about having enough food and water.  It's not at all unusual to get into a town and find that the one market you were depending on has closed.  It can also get very hot.

With that said, the Northern Tier is a great ride.  The people in ND and MT are incredibly friendly and supportive and it was easily one of the best trips I've ever taken.  I'm currently riding the Pacific Coast and plan to finish next week.  In a lot of ways, I enjoyed the Northern Tier more.

Don't hesitate to do this ride because of Highway 2.
 
  -Mary

4
Routes / Re: Northern Tier motels
« on: August 24, 2010, 12:48:34 pm »
I rode the Northern Tier in 2007 and camped for only a few days.  There were times when we couldn't find accommodations or there were motels but they were full.  I would not want to do this route without at least a tent and sleeping bag.

If you're trying to save weight, skip any of the cooking gear.  If you think you're going to camp, find something for dinner and breakfast before you hit your end point for the day.  It's not too hard to find a sandwich or some place you can eat before hitting a campground. 

At a minimum, I always carried a jar of peanut butter, crackers, nuts and gatorade. You'd be surprised how far this can take you.

  -Mary

5
General Discussion / Re: Headwinds
« on: June 03, 2010, 01:17:01 pm »
I rode westbound on the NT in 2007. We had headwinds, we had tailwinds, we had crosswinds.  We even had debates with eastbound riders as to whether or not they had headwinds at the same time we did.  I finally realized that the wind blows and I should just keep pedaling.

It was a great trip.  I hope it gets better for you.

6
General Discussion / Re: Recovering from Cervical Disc surgery
« on: March 07, 2010, 11:24:40 am »
I had the same rupture (C5-C6) 8 or 9 years ago.  I didn't have the surgery but let the disc heal on it's own.  It happened in January and I was riding that summer. The first ride out was painful but it got better.  In 2007, I rode the Northern Tier. 

My neck still aches on occasion so I continue to do exercises to strengthen and stretch.  It reminds me that I'm mortal but hasn't impeded my riding.

Best of luck in your recovery.

  -Mary

7
Routes / Re: Into Boston
« on: January 13, 2010, 06:03:18 am »
I live in Lexington, MA, about 12 miles northwest of Boston.  Let me know if you'd like someone to check the route you've selected and see if there are any problems.  We're also warmshowers hosts if you need a place to stay. 

You can reach me at mary_kernan@yahoo.com.

  -Mary

8
Routes / Re: riding east/south/west/north routes
« on: March 10, 2009, 06:40:08 am »
There's an issue here that no one has addressed - Bigwayne3000 says, "I never rode a bike for distance or touring or anything," and goes on to say that he hasn't been on a bicycle since he was a kid.  Now he's talking about circling the US. 

Bigwayne3000 - get a bike now.  Ride it for the summer.  Try some back to back long days.  Do a century.  Load it and do a weekend tour.  Ride on a really rainy day.  Change a flat tire.  See if you like it.  If you do, you can research routes while you're doing all of this.

I hope you discover, as many of us have, the joy of cycling.  I do 3000 - 4000 miles a season and did the Northern Tier in 2007.  It was an adventure I'll never forget. 

Best of luck to you.

  -Mary

9
Routes / Alternate Route Thru Glacier?
« on: July 30, 2007, 09:28:44 am »
Dennis - good to hear from you!  The wrist is holding up just fine.  I keep telling friends that there are enough other things that hurt, so it takes my mind off my wrist.

We did do the ride up 89 from Browning, starting in Cut Bank.  It was 68 miles and our 14th consecutive day of riding, so we're now taking a day off in St. Mary's before doing the climb over Logan Pass. I have to admit that the hills between Browning and St. Mary's took us a little by surprise so I'm pleased to have a day of rest.

There have also been forest fires burning south of the park and route 2 was closed yesterday.  We caught a lot of smoke coming out of Cut Bank and we know it's forced at least one pair or cyclists off the road outside of Havre.  The fires were not something we were prepared to encounter.  The road has reopened today and we hope it stays open tomorrow, as it will keep some traffic off Logan Pass.

Fred - we had also heard that the Canadian loop was beautiful but we're not equipped to hike and, after 55 days on the road, we're getting ready to be done with this trip.  We're already planning a return trip to Glacier, this time to hike.

  -Mary


10
Routes / Alternate Route Thru Glacier?
« on: July 26, 2007, 09:53:19 pm »
My husband and I are on the Northern Tier heading west towards Glacier.  In looking at the map, it appears that a possible alternate route is to stay on 2 west out of Cut Bank into Browning, then head north on 89 to St. Mary and into the park.  

Can anyone comment on this route?  I'm not sure what the loop into Canada adds and we definitely want to do the ride over Logan Pass.

Many thanks -- Mary



11
Routes / Northern tier, Republic WA.construction hwy 20
« on: July 02, 2007, 10:39:57 am »
Craig,

Thanks for the update. We're currently in Kewanee, Ill. and are headed your way.  I suspect we'll be hitting Sherman Pass around the middle of August.  The information is greatly appreciated and I'll let you know as we get closer.

  -Mary


12
Routes / alcan highway
« on: July 02, 2007, 10:49:50 am »
My husband and I did a trip in Alaska a few years ago and rode sections of the Alcan.  Coming out of Anchorage, there was a bike path you could follow, but after that you're on the road.  The shoulders were wide, but filled with debris.  We fixed a lot of flats.

In addition, it seems like there's a great number of people with RVs who really don't know how to drive them.  You've got to be very careful every time a vehicle is passing you from behind.

The weather can also be variable.  Even though we rode in July, we were in long sleeves and tights most of the time and got a lot of rain.  We had hoped for temps in the 60s, but the 50s was more of what we saw.

One cool thing is that a lot of people in Alaska use small planes to get around.  There are not a lot of landing strips, and they often will land them right in the road, then taxi into their driveways.  One of my favorite sites was watching a fellow cyclist constantly look over his shoulder because he couldn't figure out where the engine sound he heard was coming from.  He thought it was a car and had a great look of astonishment on his face when a small plane landed right in front of him.

Alaska is one of those places you should see, but it's not my favorite place for cycling.  

I hope this helps.

  -Mary


13
Routes / Northern Tier - East to West vs. West to East
« on: June 02, 2007, 08:01:30 am »
Hi Dennis,

I wanted to let you know that I seriously considered your comments, and it has helped to salvage my trip for this year.  The cast is off my wrist and I've gotten the ok from the doctor to do the ride.  We leave on June 6 and have changed the route so that we're riding east to west. I've talked to others who've done the route in this direction and all seem to agree that, yes, the wind blows.  We also won't be hitting the Cascades on day three.  Finally, if I find that I'm in total distress and can't ride, it'll be easier to get home if I'm in VT or NY rather than Washington or Idaho.

Did I mention that we leave on June 6?  Yes, that's in 4 days.  I can't wait.

  -Mary


14
Routes / Northern Tier - East to West vs. West to East
« on: May 11, 2007, 09:53:08 am »
My husband and I have long been planning a Northern Tier trip starting in May 2007.  We're now in our second delay, the first because of the late opening in the Cascades and the second after I crashed last week and fractured my wrist.  The cast comes off in 3 weeks and we're still hoping to get a trip in.  If we delay much longer, it won't happen this year because of late summer obligations.

Here's the question: We've always planned a west to east trip.  Should we reverse direction?

I have read and heard a lot about the merits of west to east, most having to do with prevailing winds and the mental boost of riding towards home (we live just outside of Boston).

My big concern about west to east is hitting the Cascades on day 3 with a death grip on my brakes and an arm that won't get much exercise for a month.  

If we do east to west, we'll be able to ease into the ride and give my wrist a chance to remember what it's like to sit on the handle bars for 8 hours.  Plus (as my brother in law pointed out), you can always phone home if you get to Vermont and realize that you're just not going to make it.


Logistically, we have a friend in Seattle who will help us get started, so we would just need a plane ticket and we'll take the bikes on the plane with us.  If we start from Boston, we pack our panniers and go.

Help!  I'm open to any and all opinions.

  -Mary



15
Routes / Shipping bike to Seattle area?
« on: May 03, 2007, 06:47:00 am »
My husband and I are starting our Northern Tier trip on May 21.  Keep an eye out for us on the road!


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