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Messages - jamawani

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Whit -

You do know that US 191 from Bozeman to West Yellowstone has high traffic levels - especially in summer - and that there is often little to no shoulder.  The Gallatin River Canyon is lovely, but the riding can be trying.

A much, much quieter ride into Yellowstone is the East River Road south of Livingston.  It goes by MT 540 and then becomes a county road - from good pavement to poor pavement.  The southern stretch has almost zero cars.  If you wish, you can then backtrack over the US 89 bridge and take the Yellowstone Trail on the west bank up to Gardiner and the historic Yellowstone NP entrance gate.  Rough.

Not sure where you are from, but if you are from east or west coast, south or Midwest, you should be aware of altitude and remoteness.  Your plans start off with a bang and can be disappointing to the uninitiated.  Most people are not severely affected by altitude sickness, but it can stop others in their tracks.  It is supposedly like a bad case of the flu - you simply have to stop.  So give your group time to acclimate.

Pic - Yellowstone River South of Livingston

Routes / Re: Grand Canyon Connector in mid March
« on: January 18, 2014, 07:23:51 pm »
Flagstaff - March

Avg Hi - 50
Avg Lo - 22
Avg Snow - 18 inches

In general, it's best to avoid US Highways - esp. in the East.
US 58 is mostly 4-lane with fairly heavy traffic.

North Carolina publishes bike map sets that are map-case sized.
You could use the North Line Trace (G) then Ports of Call(D)
I would argue against any route thru the Raleigh Durham area

You could cut off the northeastern corner of NC between the two routes -
But places like Merchants Millpond and Edenton are really nice.

Routes / Re: Susquehanna Info?
« on: December 15, 2013, 09:19:39 pm »
Have you considered the Eastern Shore?

You would miss Baltimore and Washington entirely and have beautiful countryside.
Maryland puts out a cycling map - online and paper.

From Crisfield you can take a passenger ferry to either Smith island or Tangier Island -
Then connect to another passenger ferry to the Northern Neck of Virginia.
Staying overnight at one of the island guest houses would be like dessert.
Then you could ride the Northern Neck to Fredericksburg.
From Fredericksburg you can catch Amtrak back to NYC and Upstate.

If you decide to do the Eastern Shore, you should be on the east side of the Susq -
Before you reach Maryland since there only one legal bridge in MD - and it's yucky.
You want to avoid US 301 - even avoid Hwy 213 when possible -
But you do have to used Hwy 213 to cross some inlets and rivers.

The biggest challenge is crossing the Delaware & Chesapeake Canal.
Personally, I'd catch a ride either on the bridge -
Or from the dock on the north side to the dock on the south side.
(Boaters have helped me out many times crossing water bodies.)

If you are willing to hitch across water -
Then heading down Elks Neck to Rogue's Harbor is a possibility.

Although the Eastern Shore is busier than it used to be -
It is still a lovely place - far removed from the urban scene.
(Holiday weekends can be crazy, however.)

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.

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