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Messages - jamawani

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Routes / Re: When is the best time to visit Yellowstone
« on: July 20, 2012, 08:12:52 am »
Have lived in Wyo for 20+ years and biked/hiked throughout the park.  September used to be an ideal time 20 years ago, but more and more early retirees in RVs clog the park and facilities start to close in late August - - so the last time I rode the park in Sept., it was tougher to get camping. 

There is usually a early snow in the first week of Sept, then glorious weather, but there is no predicting when the first storm will hit - - and for three or four days it is darn cold and wet.  June is similarly unpredictable, but with the advantage of a wildflower bonanza late in the month.

The peak tourism months are July & Aug (ca 900,000) - followed by June & Sept (ca 600,000).
Of the 3.5 million visitors in 2011 - 3 million came  during June thru Sept.

My choice would be the last two weeks of June or the last two weeks of August.

PS - you may need a permit for your group.

Rocky Mountain / Re: When there's a line
« on: July 18, 2012, 03:45:42 pm »
(Only if there are lots of cars - not three or four)

Note the car that is immediately in front of you.
Ride to the front of the line.
Rest your bike against a cement divider.
Enjoy a shady spot while waiting your turn.

Someone may wave you ahead -
But unless they do, it is polite to wait like everyone else.

General Discussion / Re: Near miss with truck on Trans-Am
« on: July 07, 2012, 10:13:53 pm »
Jamawani has 100,000 miles of touring experience - -
Speaking of "off topic".

Routes / Re: riding ACA northern tier
« on: July 07, 2012, 01:36:06 am »
By the Mississippi River you should have some experience.
Instead of heading north to Minnesota - cross Iowa, northern Nebraska, and southern South Dakota.
Then continue across northern Wyoming to Yellowstone and up US 89 to Glacier.
From there you can reconnect with the Northern Tier or do whatever.

The Iowa DOT bike map gives you great info for county roads in the state.
Combine back roads thru Iowa City and Des Moines with paved trails up to Sioux City.
Hwy 12 is a superb route in Nebraska - Hwy 44 is good in SD until you get close to Rapid City.
The area around Rushmore is a zoo.  Other parts of the Black Hills are way nicer.

Routes / Re: riding ACA northern tier
« on: July 05, 2012, 09:08:28 pm »
Tom -

It may be a generational thing - - but you don't HAVE TO follow a designated route.
Many states have state biking maps at their state DOT websites - verying from good to poor.
More important are AADT or traffic flow maps which tell you how busy a road is.

Here's the one for South Dakota:

General Discussion / Re: Near miss with truck on Trans-Am
« on: July 04, 2012, 11:03:07 am »
Simon -

I am sorry that you had this close call, but I believe that you have interpreted the situation wrong and should rethink it.

From your video, it is clear that there is a "scissors" situation - vehicles approaching in both directions - at highway speeds on a shoulderless road.  The white pickup passed you at 0:02 and the semi passed at 0:05 - so the semi driver had just over a second after he passed the pickup to respond to you.  Not to mention that the pickup driver was way over to the right - - should have been a serious clue.

From earlier clips, it also appears that you are taking this video with a hand-held camera.  Plus most of your posts have a long music playlist - so you may have an ipod going, too.  I could not see a handlebar mirror on your bike or on the bike of the rider in front.  Do you use a mirror?

Added to this, your group appears to cycle, at times, as a cluster strung out over a half mile or so.  This makes overtaking even more difficult for vehicles.


From some of your comments - such as the condition of the showers in parks - you seem not to understand the people or the communities through which you travel.  In west Kansas, these communities are small, poor, often with an average age of more than 50 - - yet residents take the time and effort to make sure cyclists have accommodations - - using their weekends and funds to do so.


In the U.S. there are signs which say "Share the Road" - meant to alert motorists to cyclists on the road.  Still, this motto works both ways.  Although this is a dream vacation for you, for the motorists you encounter along the way, it is yet another workday - often at very low pay and great distance in rural America.

Hopefully, that is something you can gain from this experience.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast - 1st leg via San Juans, and then?
« on: June 28, 2012, 12:07:14 pm »
I believe that they are first come - first served.
The county park at Lopez had cyclist overflow in picnic area.
Please verify yourself with Wash State Parks and San Juan County Parks.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast - 1st leg via San Juans, and then?
« on: June 27, 2012, 12:10:39 am »
PS - If you haven't been to the San Juan Islands, remember that they are very popular.
Also, that next week is the July 4th holiday.
Cammping will be very difficult to come by.
Lodging will be horribly expensive and practically unavailable.

Of the four islands, San Juan is the busiest.
Friday Harbor used to have a hostel - but the partying goes on all night.
There is a lovely campground on the west side of the island - availability?

Orcas is the next busiest and the state park is a good distance and uphill.
The state park does have hiker/biker camping and may not be full.

Lopez is my favorite - quiet but with village services - two campgrounds.
Both the state park and county campground accommodate cyclists.
(The beachside campsites at the state park are reserved months in advance -
The county park is a little more cyclist friendly.)
The village has a grocery and great bakery/cafe.

Shaw is the most remote island served by ferry.
There are NO commercial services on the island.
The small county park is likely to be filled.


If you want to go to one of the other islands beside San Juan -
You can take the Noon ferry all the way to Anacortes and backtrack.
A little more, but you can get situated by mid afternoon.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast - 1st leg via San Juans, and then?
« on: June 26, 2012, 11:58:31 pm »
Actually, there are a number of ferry options not listed here.
Be aware that the BC and Wash State ferries are reasonable.
The private cruise connections run in the $100+ range.

Public only:

From Vancouver you can take the BC ferry to Sidney -
Then ride a mile over to the Wash ferry to the San Juans.
The Noon departure does NOT stop at Friday Harbor; the 5:55p DOES.
From Friday Harbor you can take ferries to other islands free.
Then take the ferry back to Anacortes.

From Anacortes I would head down Whidbey Island to Coupeville -
Then take the ferry to the fab town of Port Townsend.
I suggest US 101 down the Hood Canal -
Then cutting over from Sheldon to Montesano -
Finally taking US 101 down along Willapa Bay to Astoria - lovely!

Private ferry:
You can catch two different provate operators from Bellingham to Friday Harbor.
Also, you can catch a private ferry directly from Friday Harbor to Port Townsend.

Routes / Re: UK Rider. Any Advice through Wyoming NP's?
« on: June 18, 2012, 04:34:26 am »
It will be the most scenic riding of your entire trip.
There are hiker/biker campsites at Jenny Lake - plus a camp store nearby.
Dornan's Grill at Moose has a spectacular upstairs deck with views.
Beer, pizza, pasta - etc.  Groceries, beer/wine, bike shop.

There are also hiker/biker campsites at nearly every campground in Yellowstone.
The huge, parking lot campgrounds - Grant, Bridge Bay - have pay showers and stores.
(Also Canyon has these services - but it is pleasant with a nice hiker/biker)
I camp at smaller campgrounds and use the facilities at the larger one.
Strongly rec a long loop in Yellowstone - Grant, Lake, Hayden Valley, Canyon, Norris.
Ride super early and late to avoid traffic.

Best - J

PS - I've lived in Wyoming for 20+ years including Jackson.

Photos - Teton Loop & Hayden Valley

Routes / Re: transamerica MT to OR weather conditions
« on: June 15, 2012, 04:26:01 pm »
If you provide greater context and info -
Then others can help you more.

Actually, if you are willing to do more of the Lewis & Clark -
(And be flexible with stops)
You could ride from Missoula out to the coast.

The Columbia Basin is drier and warmer in Mar/Apr.
The tricky part is getting over Lolo Pass and down to Orofino -
But if you are starting in Missoula, you can pick the best day.

Once you get to Hood River, you should expect rain and temps in the 50s/60s.
Esp. with headwinds, you will likely be very chilled.
Motels / Couchsurfing might be a good idea -
Also, many parks/campgrounds will likely still be closed.

By staying on the Columbia River, you will have little chance of snow.
The L&C routes you on US 30 - I prefer Oregon Hwy 202
Or north of the river on Wash Hwy 4. (very scenic)

Routes / Re: transamerica MT to OR weather conditions
« on: June 15, 2012, 01:06:46 pm »
Indyfabz -

This is a classic example of a post that doesn't deserve a reply - certainly not the kind of thoughtful replies you offer.  First, it's a one-sentence, no-info statement. Second, there is plenty of info out there easily available from, wunderground, and NOAA.  I doubt that she even Googled "Missoula" - which has a temp chart.

Not only heat - but headwinds.
Prevailing winds in southern Utah/southern Nev are southwesterly.
Also, Google miles are usually car miles on the Interstate.

If you want to do a cutoff to Calif -

Consider Jackson to Ontario, Oregon across Idaho -
Via Rexburg, Arco, Stanley, Emmett - it is very nice.
The Sawtooths are fabulous -

From Ontario you can take US 20 to Burns then cut down to Lakeview.
US 395 is stunningly remote with huge cliffs at Lake Abert

Then continue on US 395 to Alturas and cut down to Lassen Peak N.P.
If you choose to head down to Chico and Colusa -
You can cut over on Hwy 20 to Fort Bragg on the coast -
Then head down Hwy 1 on the to the Golden Gate Bridge.

(Hwy 299 out to the coast has heavy traffic - Hwy 36 is brutal.)

Then hop on Amtrak.
Or, if you have time - continue on down the coast.

PS - Are your pix from a REAL photo booth -
Or did you photoshop it to look like a photo booth?
They are hard to find anymore in the U.S.

My brother and sister-in-law live in east Louisville and I have zigged over to Louisville on a few cross-country trips.  It isn't for the timid.  Kentucky has very poor planning and funding for growth - what this means is that former country roads have been overwhelmed with traffic in the suburban areas - rarely do they have any shoulders whatsoever - just yellow line and weeds.  Don't even think of riding on US 31E, Bardstown Road.  Also, Fort Knox occupies a lot of real estate southwest of Louisville - forcing you either onto US 31W - pure insanity!! - or on a long detour.  An option is to cross over into Indiana and wind down to the Brandenburg bridge.

To be perfectly honest, why ride into Louisville if you don't have to.  If you are visiting friends, find a place to leave your bike (or take it with you if they have room) and have them come pick you up.  There's nothing morally wrong about it.  Off the TransAm - Kentucky isn't particularly bike friendly.  Anyone older than 12 who doesn't drive is suspect.  I guess that may upset some Kentuckians, but I say that after many miles of riding experience in Kentucky - - and knowing places far better.

General Discussion / Re: Share how you got $ & time off to tour
« on: June 04, 2012, 05:14:47 pm »
As my father used to say,
"The best way to make money - - is to make money."

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