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Messages - jamawani

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16
Routes / Re: Bakersfield California to Darby Montana
« on: June 23, 2014, 09:11:38 pm »
The route you outlined surely isn't easy -
A good deal of climbing and a good deal of traffic on many roads.
So I'm not sure what "experienced" means in this case.

My takes on less experienced needs - in order of importance - are:

1. Low traffic and/or adequate shoulders -
A high traffic road without shoulder can be tough - esp. when you have panniers on your bike.

2. Moderate climbing -
Really steep ascents - 10%+ - or killer rollers can really sap a new touring cyclist.

3. Frequent services -
New touring cyclists need the reassurance of services at moderate intervals.

4. Reasonable weather -
Extreme weather - heat/cold/rain - can really sap a new touring cyclist and make it a drudge.

The Nevada route has 1, 2 & 4 with good services until Fernley.
The Sierra Cascades route has more traffic and climbing, but better services and weather for July.

Camping options are somewhat limited in Valley towns.
And you will likely encounter few other cyclists.

PS - As for meeting folks along the way - after 20 years I have found that it is way better for them to meet me than me to meet them.  Anyhoo, 60 miles is a hour driving for them and a day riding for us. It's different if I really want to visit Boulder or Jackson - - but it's even harder when it's a big city.

17
Routes / Re: Bakersfield California to Darby Montana
« on: June 22, 2014, 11:27:10 pm »
What is you level of experience?
Is Red Bluff a must? Because the Valley is super hot.

If not, then from Yosemite cross over Tioga on CA 120 -
Then take US 395 to Bridgeport -
Then CA 182 / NV 338 / NV 208 to Yerington -
Continue on US 93A to Fernley -
Then a very remote NV 447 to Cedarville -
And over CA 299 to Alturas

There's also the ACA Sierra Cascades route from Yosemite to Truckee -
But I would stay to the east thru Plumas N.F. and hit Susanville then up to Alturas.

The Nevada route is really remote north of Fernley - but beautiful.
Susanville to Alturas is pretty remote, too - either CA 139 or US 395.


http://www.papermapsonline.com/home/NorthernCalifornia/PlumasNationalForest.aspx

18
Routes / Re: Virginia
« on: June 22, 2014, 05:17:03 pm »
Show it who is top dog with a menacing "No! or "Hey!"

Those are not exactly the words I use on dogs.

19
General Discussion / Re: Crossing the upper Mississippi
« on: June 18, 2014, 07:49:43 am »
http://www.johnweeks.com/river_mississippi/

The Centennial Bridge between Davenport and Rock Island has a wide walkway on the east side and is quite attractive. (The west side walkway has been cut on the Illinois side)

The Cassville Ferry is the only ferry on this stretch - variable hours.

Most bridges - except Interstate - permit bicycles, although many are narrow and dangerous. Generally, any bridge completed before 1970 is going to be pretty narrow unless it was built with a sidewalk. The Arsenal Bridge in Rock Island is also doable, the bridges at Clinton and at Savanna are scary. Both bridges in Dubuque have sidewalks/shoulders, but the US 61 bridge is more expressway with trickier exit access. The US 18 bridge has wide shoulders and moderate traffic - the Blackhawk Bridge, Hwy 9, is narrow and scary. At La Crosse, the new eastbound US 14 bridge - Cameron Ave - has the bike lane.

20
Routes / Re: Yellowstone Camping
« on: June 17, 2014, 10:35:16 pm »
Do not bring any food into your tent - -
Not in Yellowstone - -
Not in Kansas or Kentucky.

21
Do you mean US 20? 
I-20 is in Texas and Louisiana.

22
Southwest / Re: AZ to VA
« on: June 06, 2014, 01:33:52 pm »
I'm not sure how much experience you have touring or how much planning you have done. I agree that three weeks is probably too little time - - remember that spring has some pretty big storms across the Southern Plains and the Southeast - - so you'll have a few days where you won't be doing much riding.

I do think you can plan a direct route that is closer to 2500 miles; however, it will require a chunk of map work on your part. Probably the first think you need to decide is where to cross the Mississippi. Sure you can shuttle across, but on a tour like this most folks would want to ride it.  The Memphis bridges are either dangerous or illegal. Helena is narrow. But the is an excellent new bridge on US 82 at Greenville with wide shoulders and expansive views.

Given that - - in the West you might want to head to NM via US 60 then to US 380 and work you way on low-traffic roads thru north Texas and southern Oklahoma. The you can ride across southern Arkansas to Mississippi River at Greenville.

Similarly, by riding northeast in the Great Valley in East Tennessee and into Virginia, you can avoid a significant number of mountain crossings - then pick up the Virginia Creeper Trail in western Virginia and a bit of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I believe that you can have an excellent tour on relatively direct, fairly quiet roads - probably about 2500 miles - and you would need to give yourselves 4 weeks.

23
Routes / Re: Virginia
« on: May 26, 2014, 08:15:43 am »
Research shows that there is a direct correlation between the number of confederate flags and the number of dogs running loose on the road. Southern Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois are not much better than Kentucky, but the northern parts of these states are way better.

On a trip thru the Deep South, I had to contend with packs of dogs. A deputy in the county seat told me, "Just shoot 'em!" It's a point of view that is almost third-world. BTW - I jump off my bike TOWARDS the offending dogs with a bike pump raised and my voice at jet-engine levels. I cannot reprint the words I use on a family website. Always works.

24
General Discussion / Re: GDR in Montana
« on: May 21, 2014, 03:10:34 pm »
There is an awesome loop from Red Rock Lakes up Blacktail Deer Creek Rd to Dillon then over to Virginia City either via pavement on the TA or unpaved Sweetwater Rd. A few miles east of VC is the turnoff for the Gravelly Range Rd which is largely on the summit of the ridgeline. Truly awesome - but also truly snow-covered until late. The first two legs should be snow-free throughout - - but you would have to call the nearest forest service office about Gravelly Range Rd. I suspect July 4th at the earliest this year - - but if you are willing to trudge over some snowpack here and there - - you would have it all to yourself.

25
General Discussion / Re: GDR in Montana
« on: May 18, 2014, 02:22:44 pm »
There's even more snow in Montana -
Lot's of high elevation areas have 200% of normal.

Generally, I use a 1000-foot rule for the Rocky Mtn states.
What's 10,000 ft in NM, is 9000 in CO, 8000 in WY, and 7000 in MT.

Here's a link to the latest Snotel data map:
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/snotelanom/basinswe.html
And data:
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/snotelanom/snotelbasin

<<<>>>

There are some really sweet rides in the Stillwater Basin - just east of Bozeman.
Base out of Absaroka - combination of county roads and USFS roads and trails.

26
Routes / Re: Eugene Or. TransAmerica vs. Lewis & Clark to Missoula
« on: May 16, 2014, 01:08:30 pm »
US 97 has very heavy traffic - even though it has shoulder , it sucks.
If you are a newbie, perhaps you should stick with the TA.
If you want to head up to the L&C, you might consider Hwy 207.
Remote, low traffic, lots of ups and downs, services in Spray and Heppner.
Not sure if you save very much in mileage or in climbing.
But with the wet spring it should be beautiful.
Did I say remote??

27
General Discussion / Re: Glacier Skywalk
« on: May 08, 2014, 09:25:43 am »
Sorry, but I disagree.
Not only are such things unnecessary, but they actually mar the environment.
It is a means of commercializing nature to the tune of $25 per customer.

28
Routes / Re: Connector Advice: WE to Northern Tier
« on: April 29, 2014, 03:59:33 pm »
I wrote a long comment that disappeared.

There a lots of motels in Ogallala and Broken Bow.
There's the Bunkhouse in Arthur and two motels in Arnold.
I think the Longhorn in Tryon is closed. No motel in Stapleton.

But in Tryon and Stapleton -
Call the county clerk and ask who rents rooms overnight.
There is court business that may run overnight - and hunters -
So I suspect someone in town rents rooms.

Point of info - the three counties have a combined population of less than 2000.

29
Routes / Re: Connector Advice: WE to Northern Tier
« on: April 29, 2014, 02:04:49 pm »
PS - Scott -

In northeast Colorado, US 6 from Fort Morgan to US 138 is a nice empty road to Julesburg.
It's a little tricky getting to Fort Morgan from Denver.

Did I mention Hwy 92 in Nebraska - - heh-heh
The longer route is from Ogallala to Arthur to Arnold
A shorter version (but morally questionable) is from North Platte via US 83.

Also, avoid US 34 in Iowa, period.

30
Routes / Re: Connector Advice: WE to Northern Tier
« on: April 29, 2014, 01:25:42 pm »
Here are cycling maps for both states:

Iowa -
http://www.iowadot.gov/maps//msp/Bikemap/bikemap2012_front.pdf
Nebraska -
http://www.transportation.nebraska.gov/docs/bicycle-guide-current-2.pdf

I've ridden across Nebraska many times - way better than Kansas.
Too many people stay on US 30 or US 6/34 - - bleah!
Doable if you are in a hurry and just want to cover the miles.

Hwy 92 from Arthur to Broken Bow lets you see the Plains as they were 200 years ago.
Much of the Sandhills region has never been plowed up. Very light traffic.
Little towns every 30 miles or so - much easier than Western Express.

It's a stormy time of year and you'll need to use caution.

There are some wonderful county roads across the southern tier of Iowa -
But you indicate you want to hit Des Moines.

If you cross the Missouri at Plattsmouth,
you can zig on county roads up to Silver City and Griswold.
Traffic on Hwy 92 drops considerably east of Griswold to Winterset.
Then zig-zag to Cummings and take the rail trail into DM.
Back roads via Montezuma to Iowa City.

Very few roads in Iowa have shoulders - be careful -
Choose routes with as low of traffic as possible.
Iowa is very bike-friendly - but the roads aren't great.

Pic - Loup River in Nebraska

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