« on: October 20, 2011, 10:13:25 am »
I wonder if we need to back off some of the vehement “No ways!” this discussion has engendered. While I think there are some valid points being raised against a late winter trip, should this not be, “I wouldn’t do it!”?
To do the trip on the OP’s schedule would certainly require some changes from the way most of us “fair-weather” tourists do business. It would require additional weight for warmer gear, perhaps in wheels and tires. It would require more schedule flexibility, to wait out winter storms and snow plows. It would require additional routing considerations, such as avoiding Highway 20 over Washington Pass and its 13 avalanche zones.
In short, it would be a different kind of touring from what most of us are used to. It would be more like Iditabike for the first part of the trip than Crazyguyonabike.
Now, I think, and many of you will agree with me, people who ride Iditabike are crazy.
But when I bike to work, on fair days as well as foul, and even more when I talk about riding a century (metric or English), and especially when I talk about long bike tours (around the summer), most people think I’m crazy, too.
I’m reminded of an Appalachian Trail through-hiker I met several years ago, who finished her medical training and started hiking. In the winter. She and her husband used snowshoes in the Smokies to get through 6’ snow drifts. Now, this is precisely why nobody hikes the AT in the winter. But they did it.
Now I don’t bike commute when there’s snow or ice on the ground. But some people do so routinely, and they discuss how they do it on sites like icebike. So, after getting by “I wouldn’t because of [fill in the blank],” how could a crazy winter biker tourist actually ride such a trip? What adaptations would be needed, how could they improve their chances of surviving and even enjoying the trip? What resources can we point such crazy people to that will let them plan for such a trip, train and equip themselves, and maybe even do it?
In short, do we want to provide information and advice to let someone plan their bike trip, rather than try to reach a consensus among ourselves how someone else should do it?