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Messages - jamawani

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46
Rocky Mountain / Re: Fargo, ND to Denver, CO
« on: April 03, 2014, 11:03:26 am »
No - - there won't be any direct maps, but you can route yourself.
There are some fabulous roads in the Sandhills of Nebraska - truly top notch.
I suggest traffic volume maps from the various states from their DOTs.

ND - http://www.dot.nd.gov/road-map/pdf/traffic/trafficstate_2013.pdf
SD - http://www.sddot.com/transportation/highways/traffic/docs/Traffic_2013.pdf
NE - http://www.transportation.nebraska.gov/maps/Statewide%20Traffic%20Flow%20Maps/2012-Statewide-Traffic-Flow-Map.pdf
CO - http://dtdapps.coloradodot.info/staticdata/Downloads/TrafficVolumeMaps/TVMap1.pdf

Nebraska also has a nice cycling map -
http://www.transportation.nebraska.gov/docs/bicycle-guide-current-2.pdf

Diagonal roads are rare in the Great Plains -
And when they do exist, they often attract high traffic levels.

There is a core route section from Valentine, NE to Sterling, CO that you should strongly consider.
From Valentine -
NE 97 south to Tryon
NE 92 west to Arthur
NE 61 south to Ogallala
US 30 west to Big Springs
US 138 - west to Sterling

This route has extremely low traffic, small towns at intervals, and great scenery.
Be aware that early summer is far better than mid summer when it can be brutally hot.

From Sterling into Denver you can follow US 6 and service roads -
But it gets increasingly tricky as you approach Denver metro.

In the eastern Dakotas you have a range of roads to choose from -
Generally they form a grid - so you will be going south, then west.
From the traffic maps above you can select highways with low traffic.

Best - J

47
Routes / Re: Cross Canada Tour - looking for route advice
« on: March 30, 2014, 07:10:14 pm »
Haven't been east of Winnipeg - but have done oodles west of there and up as far as the Mackenzie River in the NWT and the Yukon. I also fondly remember the "Queen of the North" which was my favorite ferry on the Inside Passage.

That said - there is an excellent, quiet route halfway between Calgary and Edmonton - i.e. neither the TransCanada or the Yellowhead. If you are okay with riding only the northern half of the Icefields Parkway from Jasper to Sask Xing, then you head east from there via Red Deer, Castor, and Kerrobert, SK to Saskatoon. You can even deviate a little off these routes thru Panoka and Hardisty and loop south of Saskatoon for even less traffic. Granted, if you skip Red Deer and Saskatoon, you will be missing most services for quite a few miles.

Have you considered starting your trip in Bella Coola or Prince Rupert? It's about 200 miles further using the Yellowhead Highway and can be wetter - esp. in May - but with very light traffic. Hwy 20 is a bear - literally with grizzlies galore - and Heckman Hill is brutal. I haven't had the pleasure of riding up Heckman, but riding down I nearly burnt out my rims. The Bella Coola route is roughly the same distance to Jasper as from Vancouver - via Williams Lake and Clearwater. From Bella Coola to Williams Lake it is super remote, but if you are familiar with backcountry BC, then you should be fine.

Have a great trip - - J

48
Routes / Re: Starting Trans America West to East in July ... ?
« on: March 26, 2014, 02:24:34 pm »
Fabz is right about the day after the hurricane - the sky is usually solid blue - often for a week.
August across Kansas on the TransAm is pretty darn brutal.
I'm from Wyoming, but did grad work in Kansas - dreaded returning in mid-August.

If you are comfortable outside the lines (i.e. ACA maps) would you consider S. Dak rather then N. Dak?
From Glacier you can head south roughly on US 89 to Yellowstone (or take a longer ACA route).
Then you can ride via the Bighorn Mtns, Devils Tower, and the Black Hills eastwards.
Hwy 12 in northern Nebraska in the Niobrara country is lovely and empty.
Iowa offers all sorts of cycling options and is bike friendly.
You can pick up the NT again in Muscatine. Then head to Cleveland.

A July departure via Glacier and Cleveland to DC will give you very nice weather throughout.

The reason I say this is that the NT has lots and lots and lots of plains after Glacier.
Heading to Yellowstone and then via S Dak gives you way more variety.

49
Routes / Re: Starting Trans America West to East in July ... ?
« on: March 26, 2014, 09:39:22 am »
Starting from Seattle in early July is fine. Most people need no longer than 12 weeks, max. September in the east is pleasantly warm. If you are starting in Seattle - may I suggest Northern Tier to Glacier, then Glacier to Yellowstone, then TransAm?

50
General Discussion / Re: 2 General Questions
« on: March 25, 2014, 01:55:17 pm »
General Grant and General Lee??

A couple of things -
The timing of your trip should be excellent for opened facilities in the Pacific NW.

As for your questions about lodging -
Campgrounds are usually good about making sure you have a place as others have said -
The National Parks and many Oregon/Washington state parks also have hiker/biker campsites.
Motels along the way shouldn't be too much of a problem, but - -
Lodging near national parks - Glacier, Yellowstone - is often booked and expensive.
(Anyhoo, camping in the national parks is so nice - why do lodges there?)

I would strongly recommend Cape Disappointment at the beginning of your trip unless weather is bad.
Despite its name - it is a stunning place - with lighthouses and magnificent vistas.
If you are squeamish about cycling the Astoria Bridge - you can catch a bus across.

The riding on the Washington side of the Columbia River is sooooo much nicer.
Hwy 4 has very light traffic - US 30 is pretty darn busy - I've done both, multiple times.
Hwy 401 to Naselle follows the river for about 5 miles - fabulous if you are heading east.
Hwy 4 has a few climbs, but follows river valleys thru farming country.
Skamokawa has a lovely campground on the river where it is 4 miles wide.
Then there is the refuge road to Cathlamet.
From Cathlamet you can take the ferry back across to Oregon.
(And you will do a big "Ugghh!" after getting back on US 30.)

There really is no good way to bypass Portland on the L&C Route.
Portland is extremely bike friendly - but it is a big city, nevertheless.
Since you will be going thru St Helens - it might be worth it to stop by the marina downtown.
I have hitched a ride across a half-dozen major rivers - and who knows? - someone may take you across.
There are nice back road that swing north and east of Vancouver if you do this option.

Finally, I rode Hwy 14 on my first X-USA trip in 1987.  It has way more traffic now.
I've ridden Hwy 14 a couple of time since and have driven it, too.
Frankly, I find US 12 over White Pass and back roads in the Yakima Valley more appealing.
(Not to mention that it will be cherry season with lots of ripe cherry stands in the Yak Valley.)

Just a few suggestions.
Have a good trip!  J




51
Routes / Re: Western Express in July
« on: March 24, 2014, 09:23:17 pm »
A couple of things to consider:

1. Yes, you can do it, but why?
If distance/time is the prime consideration then perhaps you may have to do the WE.
But you can also save a chunk of miles by riding due west
from West Yellowstone, MT thru Stanley, ID to Ontario, OR.
For much of the Northwest, July & early Aug is the very best time of year.
Late spring or early fall is probably the best time for the WE.

2. Be aware that Nevada and California will have extreme fire risk this year.
Many of the campgrounds could be closed by mid-summer to reduce fire danger.
There will likely be fires in Calif because of the extreme drought.
Some of the WE highways could be closed requiring detours because of fire proximity.

I've done both the WE and the Western TA multiple times. (Also the Idaho connector)
Each has its own beauty and plusses/minuses.
All things being equal (which they never are) I'd do the TA in July/Aug.

52
General Discussion / Re: Starting the TA in mid August...
« on: March 05, 2014, 08:29:12 pm »
Mid August is better doing west to east, but if you do ride it east to west, you should be prepared for a short early cold/snowy spell in the Rockies or Wasatch any time after mid-Sept. Central California usually stays warm until mid-Oct, but you can get an early storm in the Sierras, too. Services such as campgrounds begin to close after Labor Day - depending on elevation and usage.  Many National Forest and National Park campgrounds are shut down by Oct 1 in the West along the WX.

53
International / Re: hello) my name is forest I am from Belarus
« on: February 23, 2014, 11:21:06 am »
Nice moves!

Hey - - when are you going to get rid of Lukashenko?
They did it in Ukraine - - now it is time for Belarus.
Lukashanko is so 1917 - - we need to move towards 2017.

Take care and have fun.

Удачы!

54
Rocky Mountain / Re: Highway 18 from St. George to Enterprise and back?
« on: February 23, 2014, 09:36:57 am »
Big, big climb out of St George.
Maybe not the best choice for first trip.
Not quite as much of a climb going thru Shviwits.

What about a circle route out of Panguitch?
North on US 89 to Circle - east to Otter Creek,
Then south along the Upper East Fork on the county road,
And finally west thru Red Canyon on the bike trail.

Total - about 100 miles - follows river valleys.
From Panguitch to Otter Creek State Park is about 40 miles.
Slightly downhill and often with tailwind to Circle.
Plus, you can take in Bryce Canyon, too.

55
Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route Northbound
« on: February 14, 2014, 03:51:46 pm »
Mr. Seaton -

I was referring to the Pacific Coast of the United States.
That was what the OP asked.
Nowhere did I suggest that this was a worldwide phenomena.
But, it does seem that you do not understand climate patterns of this region.

56
Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route Northbound
« on: February 13, 2014, 03:30:36 am »
Northwest winds accompany high pressure and dry weather.
Southerly winds accompany storm systems and rain.

57
With rare exceptions, mid-June is the best time for riding in the Rockies. That's why one-week supported rides such as Ride The Rockies and Bicycle Tour of Colorado always pick mid-June. Your best weather in the Rockies is usually in June. Once you get into July and August, thunderstorms start posing more of a problem.

I must disagree, John.  But I'll let you speak to the issue.
Here's what you said about riding Going to the Sun Road on June 24:

"For the three miles on either side of the pass, visibility dropped to near zero,
and the cycling between the 15-foot walls of snow was downright dangerous."

Ride the Rockies has considerable logistics support - plus prearranged camping and chow lines that can be moved indoors to school gyms or churches if necessary. Self-contained touring folks don't have that luxury.

In the Northern Rockies and, to a degree, the Colorado Rockies, the last big snow often occurs in early to mid June. Sure. It's gloppy and wet. And often it doesn't stick long to the roads. But for a couple of days it can be pretty nasty. (Even had a July 4th snowstorm in Jackson, WY.)

Plus, there's the issue of snow that is already on the ground and the dates when facilities open.  At higher elevations, snow begins accumulating in October and piles up all winter. Real melting doesn't start until May.  Campground do usually open by Memorial Day in Colorado, but in Wyoming and Montana often do not open to late June - - such as Grant Village in Yellowstone.

In 2010, I was doing census work over the summer after school got out.  Here are two pictures from June 20th.  The first is from town - 5000 feet.  The second is where I am snowshoeing in to verify that summer houses are not permanent residences - 8000 feet.  Big difference!

PS - Yes, I got paid to go snowshoeing on a glorious day.

58
May can be snowy, June can be snowy.
What's more, many facilities in the Rockies do not open until mid/late June.
Even if snow is not coming down, it takes a while for 20 feet of snow to melt.

If your dates are somewhat fixed - why not plan your route accordingly?
(Provided, of course, you have not already gone off and bought tickets.)
Late May is glorious weather in California - before it bakes.
The waterfalls in Yosemite are at their peak. This year will probably be less.

Then ride across Nevada to southern Utah and its magnificent parks.
Take in the Grand Canyon and do some hiking.
Then visit ancient Puebloan ruins in New Mexico -
Ending up in the Colorado Rockies when the wildflowers are at their peak.

What was it about the mountain and Mohammed?

59
Routes / Re: Best route from Vallejo to San Francisco
« on: February 10, 2014, 02:32:36 pm »
Actually, there is a very nice way to get to the coast north of San Francisco and come across the Golden Gate Bridge.  I understand your reasons for doing so.

When you get to Davis on the Western Express, continue on only as far as Winters, then take Hwy 128 over the ridge to the Napa Valley (famous for its vineyards) and Silverado Trail south to Napa.  From Napa there are a series of back roads to Petaluma that let you avoid most of Hwy 121 and Hwy 116 - Old Sonoma, Hwy 121, Napa, 5th, Watmaugh, Arnold, Hwy 116, Adobe, Washington.  From Petaluma, take Point Reyes Road to Hwy 1 on the coast.  Point Reyes has some spectacular backcountry campsites on the coast, but they require reservations, I believe.  Weekends might be tough, but a weekday night may be possible, even just a day before.  Point Reyes is off the main route; however, there is also a backcountry campsite right on the cliff at Golden Gate just north of San Francisco.

Anyhoo - you can then follow Hwy 1, the Pacific Coast Bike Route, south to the Golden Gate Bridge - remembering to get off the main highway in Sausalito and follow city streets and trails.  It is generally well marked - or you can get the map section from ACA.

Have a great trip - J

PS - You do know that Nevada is empty and will be hot by late July or August, non?  If you have toured in Morocco or Algeria, you may have encountered something similar - except that there are way more people and villages in North Africa.  Vide.  Leer.

http://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/camping.htm

60
The first map entails crossing two divides - the second one, Trail Creek, on dirt.
The first one isn't too bad, but the second may be a push - esp. at 5000-6000 ft.
The Livingston start would be a much more gradual approach.
You are likely to have southerly winds with either.

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