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Messages - jamawani

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General Discussion / Re: Traffic conditions around the ACA routes?
« on: February 23, 2013, 05:39:55 pm »
Nearly all states have traffic data available - most have it in convenient map form rather than tables.
Google "State name, DOT, traffic count" and you should get a good link.
The state-produced bicycle maps vary considerably - for good to poor.
Most offer three shades of roads for suitability with little specific data.  (Arizona's is one such)
Many states also offer data for county roads, too.

For example -
Kansas -
Southeast Kansas -

Generally speaking, only busier roads will have paved shoulders.
One has to choose between a fairly busy road with shoulders or a quiet one without.
(Obviously, you want to avoid a busy highway without shoulders, eh?)

Another way to get magical empty roads is to finid routes with short unpaved stretches.
For example - between Archville and Beantown the main highway is 30 miles all paved -
But there is a back road that's 34 miles with 5 miles unpaved.  It will usually have almost zero traffic.

ACA tends to route only on paved roads, also avoids rough bituminous surfaces as well.
But with the bumps comes the magic - even abandoned stretches of highway with cracks and grass growing.
I rode along the Mississippi bluffs one fall on an abandoned highway - perfect!

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Touring vs Backpacking
« on: February 18, 2013, 11:21:39 pm »
You say, "To-MAY-to" and I say, "To-MAH-to".

Yes there are some lovely back roads in the East, South, and Midwest - -
And far fewer paved back roads in the West.
But the West has an abundance of public lands - -
Glorious natural landscapes that are rare east of the Rockies.

East or West, if you are willing to do a little dirt, the payoffs are big.
This is especially true if there is only a short dirt section in a route.
For example, the main highway is 30 miles with shoulders and moderate traffic.
The old road is 32 miles with a 6-mile dirt section and almost zero traffic.
For me, the choice is obvious.

Also, you have to be willing to ride extra miles in the West to discover the empty paved roads.
If you want the direct routes - it will usually have traffic, although often not that much.
But if you are willing to zig and zag some, you find the jewels.
For example, US 50 across Nevada - supposedly the "Loneliest Road" - ain't that lonely.
But US 6 to the south has half the traffic - profoundly empty.

Similarly, in Wyoming's Grand Teton N.P. back road options are there.
After riding the park loop, you can swing around Mormon Row, then use Spring Gulch Road into Jackson.

Routes / Re: Traffic on the California section of the Pacific Coast Route
« on: February 17, 2013, 02:33:11 pm »
Caltrans has traffic figures posted -

Click on the route number in the upper right hand corner box.
Hwy is listed south to north - with county references.
Look for AADT - Average Annual Daily Traffic
Often higher in summer - esp. on popular tourist routes like the PCH.

From the north -
Light traffic n. of Ft. Bragg, very busy thru Ft. Bragg, pretty busy all the way to Hw 128,
Moderate traffic between Hwy 128 and Hwy 116, increasing traffic all the way into SFO.

General Discussion / Re: Friends of Bill W. ?
« on: February 16, 2013, 10:56:58 pm »
In the old days, meeting lists were in pamplets - now they are electronic.
Main page with state and area links:

Also has statewide 800 numbers listed.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Denver, CO to NW Iowa, two alternatives?
« on: February 14, 2013, 07:42:53 pm »
My advice is to toss daily stops out the window.
Sure plan by day to see the feasibility of it all -
But then recognize that it will turn out quite different.
There is nothing worse than trying to stick to a rigid itinerary.

US 138 is pretty damn empty - excellent to Zen meditation.
Usually there is a westerly wind - but NOT ALWAYS.
So, yeah, on a normal late spring day it would be a cinch.
But if it's stormy with an east wind - forget it.

Plan, but then play it by ear.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Denver, CO to NW Iowa, two alternatives?
« on: February 11, 2013, 08:52:00 am »
Julesburg has a grocery and other stores downtown on Cedar St plus a C-Store on the I-76 exit.
No matter how small, the last thing to go is the tavern.
Also, churches usually have the pastor's name on a sign outside - in case of emergency.
After all, Nebraska is not Nevada - no more than 30 miles between services - not 100.

Routes / Re: Lewis & Clark vs. Northern Tier in mid June. Which is wetter?
« on: February 07, 2013, 06:20:16 pm »
Oregon State University - Prism maps

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Denver, CO to NW Iowa, two alternatives?
« on: February 06, 2013, 12:56:45 am »
Looks pretty good to me.  Diagonal roads are hard to come by on the Great Plains.
And when they do exist, they usually have heavy traffic - esp trucks.
Check out the Nebraska Tourism website for town campsites.
Many of the smaller towns you are going thru have free or super cheap camping.
They may not have water turned on early in the season, though.

PS - I spotted the "June" reference - everything will be available.

Routes / Re: Route from West to East in September/October
« on: February 04, 2013, 12:53:44 am »
Logically - -
An autumn west-to-east trip is best done northwest to southeast, not southwest to northeast.

Routes / Re: Canada mortorists
« on: February 03, 2013, 11:34:47 am »
I do not find Canadian fans of heavy metal band Mortor any worse than American fans - -
Although their goth clothing has to hot in the summer.

PS - I was unaware that Wisconsin bordered on Canada.

Routes / Re: Nifty 50: Seattle to Sun Valley
« on: January 29, 2013, 09:02:21 am »
Saving the best for last, I would guess you would like to ride fron Stanley into Sun Valley.  And I would also surmise that you might want to ride over Cayuse Pass via the Chinook Scenic Byway to cross the Cascades.  In between you will be dealing with some hot, hot, hot weather from Yakima to Pendleton and again when you drop down out of the Blue Mountains into Ontario.

A much longer, but cooler option would be to ride via Sandpoint and Missoula.

Routes / Re: Eastbound from Washington/Oregon
« on: January 26, 2013, 06:31:21 pm »
Do you have to stay on ACA marked routes?

I have done all three plus a number of other routes.
1. NT is pretty brutal early on, 5 passes, remote, plus can be cold/snowy in early June.
2. L&C has least climbing, warmer, but with Portland metro to navigate, also remote east of The Dalles.
3. TA is generally most cyclist friendly, McKenzie Pass likely to be closed still.  Pretty far south of your plans.

Where would you like to start?  How to you plan on getting out to the coast?
Do you plan on riding Going to the Sun in Glacier NP - - you should.
Check out the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes - paved, services - combined with Thompson Pass.
There are some nice possibilities in southern Washington that have the combinations you are seeking.
Moderate climbs, nice scenery, towns along the way, reasonable weather.

PS - Personally, I think you should head from Glacier to Yellowstone on US 89 - 
Then head east to the Black Hills and continue roughly along SD/Neb border.

General Discussion / Re: Traffic burnout?
« on: January 25, 2013, 05:33:43 pm »
Mr. B -

Are you aware that the Canadian national parks in the Rockies allow cyclists on many two-track forest roads within the park?  In both Jasper and Yoho you can bike deep into the wilderness and set up camp - then hike or climb from there.  The Upper Athabasca River is awesome.

General Discussion / Re: Traffic burnout?
« on: January 20, 2013, 04:20:39 pm »

General Discussion / Re: Realistic time requirements
« on: January 14, 2013, 05:12:49 pm »
US 12 - You have a moderate climb up the Belt Mtns from Townsend - nothing too tough - campground at the summit.  Hot springs at White Sulphur Springs.  Last time thru we camped in the grassy area behind the motel for free just by paying the bathhouse fee.  You follow the Musselshell River valley for 100+ miles - Mennonite farms - a few have really deep wells with delicious water - if you see some Mennonite men out, don't hesitate to ask for water.  They have always been wonderful to me.  Roundup was really hit be the 2011 flooding.  Rolling and quite remote from there to Forsyth.  Bar/Cafe 1/2 miles off road in Ingomar is only service.  Funky, essential stop.

Willing to do any dirt between Forsyth and Miles City?

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