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Messages - jamawani

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General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: April 14, 2013, 10:48:03 pm »
I am from grizzly country and have cycled, hiked, and camped without incident.
I have had grizzly tracks around my tent the next morning.

First, NEVER take any food into your tent.
If you've had food in your tent, I would suggest getting another.
In a similar vein, do not pack you tent in a pannier with your food.

Second, in bear country change out of your cooking/eating clothes.
You may not smell the food odors, but a bear can and will.

Third, learn to hang you food and toiletries in a bearproof manner.
Grizzlies are too large to get correctly hung packs,
But black bear cubs - esp, around Yosemite NP have figured out how to get them.

In areas with bad bear problems, you must use a bearproof cannister.
Most frontcountry campgrounds have bear boxes - -
But you should know how to hang your food - just in case.

Parks Canada - Appropriate for Northern Rockies, too -

Bicycle Route 66 / Re: Welcome to Bicycle Route 66!
« on: April 08, 2013, 06:28:31 pm »
The problems with trying to retrace Route 66 are that it is discontinuous and often chock-a-block up against I-40.
(And that's when I-40 hasn't been built on top of it.)

I still believe riding from Cuba via Crownpoint, Window Rock, Second Mesa, and Tuba City -
Gives you a far better feel for what the Route 66 scenery and culture was like on an open road.

Routes / Re: Avoiding Yellowstone
« on: April 03, 2013, 02:42:25 pm »
The way to "avoid" Yellowstone is to choose your riding times carefully and ride through Yellowstone.
Nearly every campground has hiker/biker sites - so camping availability is not really an issue.
Thus, I choose to ride early and late - plus it's the best time to see wildlife.

Plus, if you choose smaller campgrounds, you have relatively quiet camping.
(i.e. Avoid the huge ones such as Grant Village, Bridge Bay, maybe Madison.)
You always stop in to the big campgrounds for camp store stuff and showers.

Thus, if you ride before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. - you will have fairly light traffic.
Than, you can focus on a day hike or lakeside picnic and read in the middle of the day.

Routes / Re: Cycling from SFO airport - Western express
« on: April 03, 2013, 12:19:13 am »
I have flown into SFO with a bike lots of times.
Unless you have a hard case with wheels, it is tough to schlep around your bike and all the gear.
Assembling in the airport is tricky because of space and, sometimes, grumpy security.

If you have the $$$, a taxi to wherever you are going is easiest - but super expensive.
If you are getting in in mid-afternoon - unless it is a weekend -
By the time you clear customs it will be rush hour.
Bikes are not allowed on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) during rush hour.
Otherwise, BART is great since the station is next to the international terminal.

I always try to stay awake until sundown when I fly Europe to N. America.
It's the best way to get my body into the new time zone.

Have you heard about the hostel at Golden Gate National Recreation Area?
It's across Golden Gate Bridge and would require some riding -
But you could watch the sun set into the Pacific from the cliffs.

It's about an hour ride back to the ferry terminal - Baylink - to Vallejo.
The 11:30 ferry from Pier 41 gives you morning time in San Fran -
then you have 6-plus riding hours after arriving in Vallejo.

(If you do take BART - get off at Embarcadero and ride the Bay Trail across Golden Gate Bridge.)

PS - I stand corrected - didn't know about SFO's bike assembly stations.  Soooo San Fran & nice.
How long have they had them?

The Old Lincoln Highway

Mostly back roads - historic - services.
2013 is the 100th anniversary - events along the way.

Strip maps of Indiana and Ohio:
The 1928 Route in Indiana is more direct and goes thru Plymouth and Warsaw.

Indiana -

Ohio -

There are a couple of short stretches east of Fort Wayne and Canton that you may wish to avoid.
You can easily use nearby county roads.

PS - You don't need to ride them, but you can see a few places where the very early brick roadway winds over the hills.

Routes / Re: Haida Gwaii
« on: March 31, 2013, 02:32:33 pm »
The North Pacific Cyclonic pattern moves north during the summer months, but the further north you are the more likely you are to encounter its wind/precipitation pattern.  In summer, it is entirely absent in California, rare in Oregon & Wash, but fairly common in Northern BC.  During unsettled weather anywhere on the Pacific coast in any season, wind direction tends to be from the southeast.  In dry, sunny weather, wind tends to come from the northwest.

The prevailing wind for Sandspit is from the southeast with an average velocity of about 20 kph.
Environment Canada:

General Discussion / Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
« on: March 21, 2013, 08:44:40 pm »
Andrea -

If you have toured Firenze-Nordkapp and across Australia, then you don't have to stick with ACA maps.
They are good and provide reassurance for novice cyclists - but you are experienced.
Given the number of days you have and the time of year - you should pick what works best for you.

Starting in Florence on the Oregon coast would be nice - but the coast is not very interesting there.
The amazing part of the Oregon coast is just to the north - between Newport and Florence.
(It's easier making connections from Portland to Newport than to Florence, too.)
Oregon has special hiker/biker campsites for $5 and is very bike friendly.

From the coast you can follow the TransAm almost all the way across Oregon.
That would be a nice way to bump into other cyclists and get started comfortably.
The cut-off towards Idaho is in eastern Oregon - staying on US 26 to Ontario.

Here is a map of traffic volume for Oregon -
As you can see, there is very little traffic on the section of US 26.

Going through central Idaho is beautiful - Sawtooth Mountains - with snowy peaks and hot springs.
Also, there's lots of free camping on public lands - (NOT in National Parks).
I'll go over details of the Idaho section to Yellowstone in another post.

Photo - Redfish Lake in the Sawtooth Mountains

General Discussion / Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
« on: March 20, 2013, 08:16:53 pm »
Given that you are riding in the hottest months -
And given that you have fewer than 60 riding days.
A direct route from Oregon to NYC would seem best.

If you are flying into SF, you can take Amtrak to Eugene, Oregon and connect to the coast.
Or you can fly into Portland, Oregon and connect to the coast from there.

A direct route would start on the TransAm - plus you would have benefit of bike route services.
Then a route across Idaho thru the Sawtooth Mountains and Stanley - beautiful!
Then on to Yellowstone NP, the Grand Tetons and across Wyoming.
(Most two-lane highways in the rural West have low traffic - especially Wyoming.)

If you follow the state line between South Dakota and Nebraska you will reach part of the Lewis & Clark Route.
Then you should cut across Iowa to Muscatine and pice up the Northern Tier.
(Personally, I think you should take another route so you can see Lake Michigan.)

If you cut off of the Northern Tier in eastern Ohio, you can pick up a route across northern Pennsylvania.
And then you can come down the Delaware Gap into New Jersey and New York.

It WILL require some planning to do all you want in the time you have to do it.

General Discussion / Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
« on: March 20, 2013, 03:52:16 pm »
Andrea -

Scusi ma - - the route you have selected is terrible.
You will be almost completely on the autostrada with that route.
(In the West there are often no back roads exccept the autostrada.)

Here is a website with maps of U.S. average temperatures.
(Remember that in the U.S. they use degrees F, not C - also miles, not km.)

I am not sure why you chose this route - particularly in July/August.
If you are flying into San Francisco, you can take Amtrak up to Oregon.
Oregon would be a much better start to your trip.
If you need a shorter route - you can cut thru central Idaho via Stanley to Yellowstone.

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.

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