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Messages - jamawani

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General Discussion / Re: Grand Canyon
« on: December 14, 2013, 01:07:38 pm »
Yes, the South Rim is open all year, but the Colorado Plateau can still be quite cold and snowy.
Trails into the canyon are often icy because they receive little sunlight.
Also, GCNP has numerous restrictions on pets.

Check out Flagstaff's average weather -

Gear Talk / Re: Can we survive the Transamerica with no cyclocomputer?
« on: December 12, 2013, 11:08:35 am »
No, there is no chance you can survive without one.
You might make a wrong turn and freeze to death in the Yukon.
Or another mistake and end up burned to a crisp in the Sahara.
Cross-country travel by bicycle was impossible until the invention of the cyclocomputer.

PS - Back in the 1970s, the only way people could tell how high they were - -
was by seeing how much pot they had left in the baggie.

General Discussion / Re: Heading West in May, Advice Appreciated!
« on: December 10, 2013, 04:04:46 pm »
PS -

The shortest distance between two points may be a straight line -
But it is rarely the most enjoyable when you are cycling.

Consider a large 'S' -
A diagonal line between tips may be half as long -
But it will also have most of the trucks and people in a hurry.
In fact, the wandering road, by definition, will not have the drivers in a hurry.

Give yourself permission for some zigs and zags - and you will have a much better trip.

General Discussion / Re: Heading West in May, Advice Appreciated!
« on: December 10, 2013, 03:55:27 pm »
Must agree - CrazyGuyonaBike is da best.

General Discussion / Re: Heading West in May, Advice Appreciated!
« on: December 10, 2013, 01:07:12 am »
Way, way back in 1987 - I finished school in May and worked all summer to save up for my first cross-country bike trip.  Needless to say, Mom wasn't thrilled at the prospect.  In fact, she said "I forbid it!"  I responded that I wasn't asking her permission.  Dad intervened to prevent WW III.  So, I hear you.

Technology is such that you can be far more in contact than 25 years ago.  But you should still consider having a fairly fixed itinerary rather than just wandering here and there.  At least for your Mom's sake.

Not sure when during that 5 months you intend to do your riding.  I'm also guessing that you need to do it on the cheap.  But you should allow yourself sufficient funds so that you are not a total hobo - - again, for your Mom's sake.  So will you be needing to work for a while to save up moolah?

Also, 1 month is way different than 2 months.  If you are thinking closer to two months, why not ride across the entire U.S.?  I mean, it's only about a week's riding from DC to Indy at the pace you suggest.  Although, I would temper it the first few days so as not to burn out early.  The reason they call it the Tidal Basin is because salt water comes up the Potomac that far.

Depending on the time of year, your choice in the West may vary.  I would strongly argue against anything in the Southwest as temperatures are brutal in mid-summer.  Even further north, there is a lot of desert terrain between the Rockies and the Sierras & Cascades.

If you want to meet up and ride with others, then I suggest using one of the Adventure Cycling routes.  If you want more solo time, then you can pick just about any route you want - - provided that you do a little planning.  Boulder is pretty urban - tough to ride into and out of, but not impossible.  If you are planning on visiting friends - consider cycling to a nearby location and arranging a pick-up.  Fort Collins is one possibility.  The Poudre River Canyon west of Fort Collins on Hwy 14 is a sweet ride.  Then again, you may want to ride Trail Creek Road in Rocky Mountain National Park - but be aware that you will be dealing with a good deal of traffic.

Winging it is fine in principle - but if you find yourself on a busy road with zero shoulders as night is falling and you are 20 miles from anything - then winging loses its appeal.  Again - and your Mom will appreciate it - having a plan will let you choose lower traffic roads and actually enjoy the ride more.  Plus, you can always vary your plans.  But, I would take with a grain of salt any route suggestions you get from the bubbas at the local bar.

Most states have bike route guides on line which vary from excellent to so-so to poor.  Most states also have traffic volume maps which indicate AADT (Average Annual Daily Traffic).  I'll give you links to Nebraska's - - I prefer riding across Nebraska rather than Kansas.  A bit cooler and more varied topography.

The color coding makes it really easy to spot the lower traffic roads - plus they show shoulder widths.  Rarely, will light traffic roads have shoulders, but you don't need them.  High traffic roads with wide shoulders are doable, just not very serene.  I use a more stringent breakdown for traffic numbers than this map.

Under 500 - Super
500-1000 - Nice
1000-2000 - O.K. but more caution needed
2000-4000 - Tricky, shoulders really helpful
Over 4000 - Busy and shoulder almost essential

You can get the exact traffic count info here:

As you can see, Hwy 92 in west-central Nebraska has almost no traffic and unplowed, rolling prairies.
Bests the heck out of hundreds of miles of pancake, dry fields in west Kansas.  IMO

As for overnights, camping gives you way more flexibility.  Often times lodging will not be available in places within reasonable mileage intervals - for ex. you may have the choice of doing 50 miles or 150.  And camping will let you enjoy the West more - - not to mention that you can camp for free on most federal lands in the West provided you are 1/4 mile from developed sites.

Hope this helps.

Routes / Re: frontage road from billings to livingston
« on: December 09, 2013, 01:26:50 pm »

First off, you don't seem to be making any sense - coming from Red Lodge - then heading west unless you are doing some kind of loop.  In which case, why ride along I-90??

Second, Old US 10 has been cut off in a number of places - so even where there seems to be a service road alongside I-90, it dead ends and you have to climb over a barbed wire fence and, maybe, dash across the interstate to get to the shoulder to ride on for a while.

If you are doing a loop, I would suggest heading up to US 12, then down thru Wilsall.

General Discussion / Re: Need advice for my trip this summer
« on: December 06, 2013, 08:02:25 pm »
Let's see here -
One person has more than 1000 posts on a whole range of subjects over 10 years -
And another has 14 posts and almost no experience.

Who's calling the other what??

Routes / Re: East To West Montana
« on: December 04, 2013, 11:04:07 pm »
Why do I respond?

Routes / Re: East To West Montana
« on: December 04, 2013, 07:26:34 pm »
I live in Wyoming and have taught for years in Montana.
20 years of riding all over Montana.

I do not like riding US 2 - not very scenic and moderate-plus traffic.
I think Hwy 200 is far better - but it is remote in places.

US 89 heading north from Fairfield to Browning is a great ride.
You have stunning, open views of the Front Range and fairly light traffic.

Northwest of Great Falls, there is a service road just to the west of I-15 -
And the 4-lane stretch of MT 200 to Sun River has shoulders.

East of Great Falls is a little trickier.
I would suggest taking Hwy 81 & Hwy 80 from Lewistown to Ft Benton.
Then take Highwood Rd to just east of Great Falls and Hwy 200.
It's a little further, but scenic and historic.
At the very least, get off Hwy 200 where it meets US 89 and ride thru belt -
Then connect with Highwood Rd.
Also, avoid 10th Ave S in Great Falls.

Best - J

Photo - US 89 along Freezeout Lake

Jamawani is weary. 
Kalach has one posting.

Not the best idea.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: starting Vancouver finishing Tucson
« on: November 26, 2013, 12:32:08 pm »
Wolly -

Have you considered south to north?
I have suggested that for years - although ACA has it north to south.

1. Still cool and rainy in north in June - plus much snow remains unmelted
2. Summer monsoon season begins in late June in south turning dirt roads into muck
3. Winds tend to be southerly - although in the mountains they are highly variable
4. You generally have the sun behind you - not in your eyes.

You could flip your initerary - fly into LA and take Amtrak to Tucson
Although El Paso is close to Antelope Wells with a lightly used road between
I would, however, caution against stealth camping on the US/Mex border.

Since it only takes about two months, max, to ride to the Canadian border -
Why not continue on thru the Canadian parks to Jasper - really spectacular.
(Unlike US national parks, Cdn parks have fireroads into the backcountry that permit bikes.)

I would guess that you would have enough time to ride on from Jasper to Prince Rupert on the coast -
Then take the ferry through the spectacular Inside Passage back to Vancouver Island -
With enough remaining time you could ride Vancouver or bus it to Vancouver airport.

Photo - Backcountry in Jasper National Park by Bicycle

Routes / Re: Transam Motels around Jeffrey City, Wy?
« on: November 17, 2013, 09:25:54 am »
In that kaleidoscope of American landscapes and historic places that the Transam aspires to be, I found Jeffrey City one of the most memorable places, a highlight.
I am glad I didn't miss it and was fascinated to read more about its history in

Actually, I wrote an article that was published before the linked article here.
My article is titled, "Home on the Range No More: Boom and Bust in Jeffrey City".
His article is titled, "Home on the Range No More: The Boom and Bust of a Wyoming Uranium Mining Town, 1957-1988".

I was a first-year grad student at the time publishing locally.
He was completing his doctorate and published in a major journal.
Make of it what you will.


Jeffrey City has continued to shrink since the early 1990s.  As Gov. Hershler hinted at 30 years ago, there was a short resurgence of uranium in the early 2000s, but I think that Fukushima has nixed it.  At the time of the creation of the TransAm route, there were more than 4000 people.  You were one of the lucky ones if you had an apartment or one of the pre-fab houses that are now concrete holes in the ground.  It is a sobering experience spending an hour walking around the townsite - something I highly suggest as a stop on a cross-country tour.

Routes / Re: Yellowstone to Rapid City, SD
« on: November 14, 2013, 10:56:39 pm »
Lite -

Not exactly.
I live in the region and have ridden all roads in question.
But the OP offers so little info to go on that I am reluctant to share.
In fact, didn't he/she mention the term "share"?


General Discussion / Re: Advice or Feedback for Pacific Highway Cycle 2014
« on: November 07, 2013, 11:04:56 pm »
I do notice that you say May & June - which is a little early for the weather.
I also expect that you will be riding north-to-south - with the ocean to your side and with a tailwind.

The Pacific Northwest climate pattern is one of cloudy wet winters (think the Hebrides)
And sunny warm summers (think northern Spain, not Scotland).
In northern California, the wet season may end in April and not start until November.
But the further north you go, the earlier it starts and the longer it lasts.

If you tour the Olympic Peninsula - Forks get 5.5 inches (14 cm) or rain in May.
By comparison, that's an entire spring's rainfall for Edinburgh.
Certainly not the Mojave Desert of your last tour - plus you'll be soloing.

Some years, the wet season last well into June.
The past June was average, June of 2012 was cold and wet, June of 2011 was warm and dry.
Go figure!  But May is early regardless.

PS - If you are still addicted to cycling when you get to Southern California,
consider checking into the Betty Ford Clinic, where there is a separate wing for hopeless cycling addicts.

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