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Messages - indyfabz

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BTW...If you do the entire NT proper there is an early foray into Canada (after Glacier National Park) at Chief Mountain. Was just up that way again back in '09. I highly recommend including this and going off route a bit to Waterton Village, where there is a great towne campsite in a dramatic setting. Note, however, that someone on this or another forum pointed out that this year is a big anniversary for Canadian parks and places are expected to be packed. As such, a reservation would be advisable.

Back in '99, crossing back into the U.S. at Del Bonito was a snap. Didn't see one other vehicle. In fact, I don't think we saw any vehicles between the border crossing and the outskirts of Cut Bank, MT.

Routes / Re: Transamerica route question
« on: March 24, 2017, 10:14:02 am »
In that case, I would consider having someone who you can mail unneeded stuff to when climate conditions change and who will mail stuff back when they change again.

It's been a while, but crossing the Peace Bridge was no problem with the right documentation.  If you already have a passport, there is not additional expense involved in crossing the bridge, and the ride up that side was very nice.

Our group stayed in town two nights at this place HI Hotel (not to be confused with the B&B of the same name):

It's away from the heavily visited areas but still close enough to walk to the falls.

Here is some information with a video about crossing:

Crossing back was similarly a snap.

Routes / Re: Transamerica route question
« on: March 23, 2017, 01:57:23 pm »
Jeans?  :o As other have said, don't go there.

Here is what I have been packing when I am touring in areas with a good chance of wide ranging conditions, including morning temps around freezing:

Synthetic, convertible (i.e., zip-off legs) pants
Synthetic t-shirt (might consider 2 for a x-country tour)
Underwear (2)
Warm, wool socks
Very light pair of sandals from PayLess
Long sleeve, synthetic pull over with hood that I wound on the side of the rode last year  ;D
Long John bottoms
Warm hat

Short sleeve jersey (2)
Bib shorts (2)
Short socks (2)
Arm and leg warmers
Rain pants
Rain jacket
Wool base layer
Long sleeve jersey
Short gloves
Polypro glove liners
Cold weather gloves
Skull cap that can be worn under the helmet

Routes / Re: Transamerica route question
« on: March 21, 2017, 02:00:29 pm »
A early to mid-May start will likely result in you running into others going the same direction.

As for attire, posting what you have picked out would be helpful.

Routes / Re: Transamerica route question
« on: March 20, 2017, 09:03:23 am »
Montana has gotten a lot of snow this winter, but patterns can always change. To be safe, I would wait until early May, even if only until the start of the second week.

Routes / Re: Transamerica route question
« on: March 19, 2017, 09:46:03 am »
When in April? April 1st is probably not the greatest of ideas. April 30th could be o.k. I have ridden portions of the TA in Montana in mid-June the last few years and hit or just missed some mountain snow and cold rain, but nothing that lasted.

Routes / Re: Chicago to New York City Route?
« on: March 17, 2017, 10:26:35 am »
Great. Put me down for a set of maps. Maybe I will get to ride some of it in late summer.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier vs. TransAm
« on: March 17, 2017, 10:24:51 am »
But the route up the GAP trail and across is new to me, so I'm thinking that's the way I would go.

Frank Moritz, the route's designer, was one of the leaders of my ACA unsupported Northern Tier tour back in '99. Great guy who I would trust.

I have found that working with the bike shop inside of the REI store to be just like working with any other bicycle shop.  Just call the local REI store number and ask for the bicycle service person.  I don't think you will be overwhelmed at all.

Same here, although the Missoula REI is the only one I have ever used and it might not be as bustling as one in a place like St. Luis. Then again, the last time I used them there were several bike shipping cases being stored, likely due to the fact that my tour dates were around the time of ACA's Cycle Montana.

And while it might not make a difference in the OP's case, another convenience of REI is that it's open later than many LBSs. When I flew out to MSO in 2014, my flight landed around 5:30--some 4 hrs. late. REI was open until 9 or 10 p.m. Had I used a LBS in town I never would have been able to pick up my bike that evening.

BTW...I always pen a note telling the shop what my plans are and giving them any special instructions (e.g., I will attach the racks myself) and drop it in the box.

Shipping to LBSs is my standard practice these days. It's been my experience that they are happy to hold your box for you if you use them to assemble the bike. Just make sure you get on the schedule in plenty of time. Some shops can get very busy during certain times of the year.

Another option is REI. (There is one in St. Louis). I have used the Missoula REI as a ship/assemble destination twice and plan to use them again this June. Good price for the work. As with any shop, you will need to call and ask if they offer the service.

Finally, if you want to comparison shop for shipping, check out

General Discussion / Re: Cycle the Erie Canal Event
« on: March 14, 2017, 12:44:14 pm »
......we were both disappointed in the dinner at the Syracuse Zoo.
This opens so many opportunities for wisecracks I don't know where to begin.....  ;D

LOLZ! Great minds think alike.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier vs. TransAm
« on: March 12, 2017, 11:36:10 am »
Regarding early hills, keep in mind that if you do the NT west to east you cross the North Cascades Highway on the 3rd or 4th day. That's a 30+ mile climb assuming you start the crossing from the eastern most campground. If you start further west (e.g., Newhalem), you have even more hills to contend with. After that, you have three more mountain passes over the next three days, culminating in the highest paved road in WA.

(Those Trans Am alternatives look cool, btw, thanks.)

I have ridden the TransAm south from Missoula three times in since 2011. I alway take the Old Darby Rd. alternative. Much more scenic than staying on U.S. 93. The Sheridan to Laurin section I rode for the first time last year. It avoids about 9 miles of shoulderless highway between the two towns. Saw a bunch of deer and wading birds on the wing. There's also a neat, old church in Laurin.

If you are willing to put up with some bumpy sections consider Gibbons Pass from Sula instead of Lost Trail and Chief Joseph Passes. Don't know what, if any maintenance is done on the west slope, but it was tolerable when I rode it in 2014. (Skipped it last year because it had been raining all night the night before.) Except for the first couple of miles, the east slope is gently graded, and all of it had a good surface for being unpaved. The real draw is that it's incredibly scenic back there. The photos between the two links below were taken on Gibbons in 2014. You can see the difference in road surfaces between the two slopes.

Finally, when you get to the top of Big Hole Pass south of Jackson, take a few minutes to walk the gravel path out to the interpretive boards. They tell a neat story about the settling of the area, and there is one hell of a view:

Routes / Re: Chicago to New York City Route?
« on: March 11, 2017, 07:46:42 am »
In PA, The northern blue line looks to be a lot of PA Bike Route V to it's eastern terminus in Portland, PA then up the Atlantic Coast route to Port Jervis, NY. If so, I have ridden a good deal of that. Not familiar with the route from Port Jervis into NYC.

The southern blue line appears to be the GAP to Cumberland, MD then possibly north to PA Bike Route S toward Philly then through NJ for a ferry ride to NYC.

Living in Philly, I am interested in seeing the details come May.

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