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Messages - freightbike

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General Discussion / Re: touring without "eating out"
« on: April 14, 2013, 10:32:34 pm »
I like to bring a dragonfly stove along with a nonstick frypan and two or three pots nested together. I bring along Krusteaze pancake mix and some blueberry syrup. A couple packs of ramen noodles for emergencies crammed in with the pots. Just about any little store will have canned spaghetti and canned vegetables and some kind of protein, hotdogs, spam, tuna. I pack in some instant potato's to thicken things up when it seems needed. Vary the food by whats available, get amazed by the variety when you get to a town that has a big grocery store with a deli. I put yogurt on the pancakes when it's available. I like the dragonfly because it has a fold up wind screen and a flame adjustment that is much more supple than the other MSR's I've used. I burn white gas when I can get it, including keeping an eye out for other campers who might be using it and buying some off them.

General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: April 14, 2013, 10:10:44 pm »
Being aware that you are in bear country, when you are, is always helpfull. Bears are opportunists that seek out food where they can find it. Food is what they are usually after and denying them the opportunity is the best defence against them. Keeping your food and tempting smelling things out of reach and out of your tent helps to avoid conflict. I don't have personal experience with grizzly bears but they tend to have limited ranges and areas where they would be prevalent. The bears you would likely encounter would be black bears. Black bears are of a type that are smaller and less likely to be aggressive unless they are used to getting food from easy sources such as humans. If you are intending to venture into the back country, wearing a bell helps to keep grizzlies from being startled by your sudden appearance. There are chemical sprays to keep bears at bay but there may be problems with their possession and use as well.

Go do RAGRAII. One week on that trip and you'll lose all you inhibitions. Might even get lucky.

Consider going on a multi day supported trip like one of the many week long regional rides. I would recommend rides like CANDISC or GRABRAWR. They are opportunities to experience riding long distance with helpfull people and many have sag support so if you break down physically or mechanically, you can get a ride to the finish of that days stage. I agree with the others that you have to start out slowly and work your way up to longer and longer trips. When the bug bites you for adventure out on the open road, nothing will get in your way.

General Discussion / Re: Traffic burnout?
« on: January 21, 2013, 01:19:34 pm »
I work in the contruction business, namely concrete truck driving. I really get traffic burnout from being on the side of the road in a construction zone. The callous behavior of vehicular traffic traveling through my workspace gets my blood pressure to the boiling point. For some reason, I feel less threatened when I'm bicycling out on the road riding the fog line. I think the difference may be that I have a choice to be there or not and a sense of situational awareness. I use a helmet mounted mirror and my skills as a truck driver to keep the flow of traffic in mindfull perspective.
 When I toured in New Zealand, I got an AA membership to get a hold of maps that showed all the alternative routes to the main highways. Many of these were dirt and gravel roads however the alternative was, at least on the north island, crazy drivers. On the south island, the traffic was down to about a vehicle an hour. The only truly crazy drivers I encountered on the south island were a tour bus company that would not move over the center line regardless of the fact that the two of us were the only things on that stretch of hwy. The downside was the surface of the "metaled" or gravel roads was aggregate of a size we call "inch and a half binder". It wouldn't wash off the road like smaller rock would.
 Interstates, in addition to wide, flat tire potential, trash filled, shoulders, have generally easier grades.However they also have grinding boredom and with that drivers who are not likely to be paying close attention to their driving. Not to mention they tend to isolate traveling from the territory you are traveling through. I also avoid them unless the alternative is worse.
 Dirt roads are a possible alternative except for rain and wash boarding. Having a bike with a suspension frame or front fork might help. Speed is the downside of dirt but the upside is peace and quiet.

General Discussion / Re: Realistic time requirements
« on: January 19, 2013, 01:27:41 am »
I think I may set up Miles City as a go, no-go point where if I make it to there by a certain date, I'll continue on to MPLS and if I don't or don't want to I'll end there and bus it home. I really want to tour that part of the west away from the interstates and major towns. I think I'll take Hwy 12 like Jamawani suggested because I like the road less traveled and figuring things out without set expectations and locals not being used to seeing bikes all the time.

General Discussion / Re: Bike and Cars - share the road
« on: January 17, 2013, 03:26:03 pm »
Rachel Maddow recently did a great piece on the definition of "Troll". What the radio guy is doing is getting his ratings up by inciting the demographic that listens to his station to call in and rant about some other group. We have the same issues here in MN.

Midwest / Re: Katy trail, MO
« on: January 16, 2013, 12:50:56 am »
Did they ever sort out the issues with amtrak and the Ann Rutledge local train?

Midwest / Re: North Dakota route
« on: January 16, 2013, 12:48:30 am »
If you do take the Cooperstown route, the community has a nice park/campground, a grocery store, a couple of convenience stores, and a few restaurants or bars with food. The next town to the east is Finley which has a community park with restrooms, a restaurant, convenicence store, and grocery store. Nice territory (I used to live in Cooperstown) with lots of cyclists throughout the summer.
I camped a night in cooperstown five years ago I think, Great place to set up if you like reading books inside your tent all night. So many over head street lights completely cover just about every inch of the park. Carington is much better.

General Discussion / Re: Realistic time requirements
« on: January 15, 2013, 08:16:40 pm »
I had thought of taking the northern tier route and ending in Minot or some place further west of that.
The NT no longer goes through Minot, and for darn good reasons.
Amtrak still does. Oh and now I remember, "May all you endless ups and downs be between the sheets! LOL

General Discussion / Re: Realistic time requirements
« on: January 15, 2013, 12:51:13 pm »
Thank you, Staehpj1, Yes it is definately better to have no end date. Unfortunately I have only four weeks vacation a year. I had thought of taking the northern tier route and ending in Minot or some place further west of that. I like taking the roads I haven't already biked on and some of the NT area I did back in 83 and on candisc trips. I will have to research what the options are for bus travel getting back if I find myself not wanting to or unable to keep up a grueling pace. With luck the west winds will be calling and I can do some days like my last candisc return, 340 miles in three days. :)

General Discussion / Re: Realistic time requirements
« on: January 15, 2013, 03:48:54 am »
I was wondering if US 12 was terribly hilly between,say, Townsend and Forsyth. I have a co-worker at my job who worked on the airforce missle silos who said MT 200 was endless ups and downs out of Greatfalls.
So what. 80% of the country is endless ups and downs. It goes with the territory.
I just remember doing RAGBRAI across the southern part of Iowa and the route was so hilly there was an equivalent elevation gain to bicycling up mt. Everest.

General Discussion / Re: Realistic time requirements
« on: January 14, 2013, 06:50:12 pm »
Jamawani, Your discription of Hwy 12 sounds really lovely, the kind of travel I live for. Actually, I was considering cutting across from Miles City through Ekalaka on to Camp Crook SD on dirt but I don't really know if it would be possible or feasible. I would be running on scwalbe 32c's but I can mount 45's on my 98 trek 7500 hybrid with the dead rocksox fork. I'd be a bit concerned about the bentonite in some areas. I did a sliding 360 on a mountain road in CO with my pickup on that shit. Had to change my undewear.:)

General Discussion / Re: Realistic time requirements
« on: January 14, 2013, 04:03:36 pm »
Thanks for all your help, I feel a little bit more of the warrior spirit coming back to me. :) Yes I know it could be cutting it close with weather and other delays. I figure there's always the bus home if I get snagged up enroute. I was wondering if US 12 was terribly hilly between,say, Townsend and Forsyth. I have a co-worker at my job who worked on the airforce missle silos who said MT 200 was endless ups and downs out of Greatfalls. I love getting off the main roads as much as possible. A few years ago, I was riding west through SD towards the missouri when I stopped by a cityhall to inquire about a road. The clerk kept insisting that I not ride it because it was in terrible shape with potholes and such. She was of the impression that I was on a harley because I had told her about my bike ride out of Mpls. I'm glad I persisted because the road was fine for my needs and at the end of it was a herd of bison in a fenced off field that I could get practicaly nose to nose with. I'am thinking I'd take the ferry to Vashon island and by rainbow falls. Back in 83 I rode from Morton to rainbow falls to a beach st.park on the ocean with a slow girlfriend in two days. Should be able to do it in a day. We caught a ride over White pass into Morton. I'm thinking as much flat level riding as possible with paved shoulders as availiable. I don't much relish riding on the interstates. It's the pits with flat tires, no public interaction and the ever present danger of sleepy truckdrivers. (I drive concrete trucks) I got the last miles into the cities covered. Luce line trail from Cosmos!

General Discussion / Realistic time requirements
« on: January 14, 2013, 01:11:11 am »
I've got it in my head that I want to ride from the west coast to my home in St. Paul MN this summer. I'am thinking of flying to Seattle WA. Riding out to Cape Disapointment st. park, dip my wheels in the Pacific ocean and ride home in about thirty days. My route would be the lewis and clark, I 90 to Miles City and US 12 through Baker MT. Cross the Missouri at Mobridge SD. Am I in a state of personal delusion? The hwy miles between Seattle and Minneapolis are upwards of 1600. I've done bike trips out to Garrison ND and back by various routes with total miles over 1800, granted it was kind of flat.

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