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Messages - TwoWheeledExplorer

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16
WE WERE NOT THERE to know what happened.  But, I have to wonder when SEVEN cyclists are injured in ONE event, whether there was anything they could have done in the realm of precautions.

Why are you yelling at me, driftless? No, I was not there, but looking at about a dozen photos from the scene, it was a straight, level, open stretch of road, so the driver should have been able to see the riders well in advance. (I am a park ranger, and trained in accident investigation.) Be that as it may, we need to take precautions anytime we ride on the roadway, right? This is tragic, no matter what, but even more so if the driver was distracted for whatever reason. We had another cyclist killed in MN yesterday by a hit-and-run driver. I don't have a good solution; I just think any cycling death is too many.

Ride safe,
Hans

17
Update: The most critically injured rider, 18-year-old Merritt Levitan, from Massachusetts died from her injuries on Thursday, in a Memphis, TN, hospital. Levitan was one of three riders airlifted from the scene. According to the sponsoring group's website, two of the riders have been released from the hospital, and the others remain hospitalized; one is still listed in critical condition. Overland Camps, the sponsor, has decided to cancel the rest of the cross-country trip and arrangements are being made to transport the remaining riders home. Arkansas State Troopers report alcohol was not a factor in the crash, but also that the case has been turned over to the county prosecutor for possible further action.

Sad reminder that whenever you ride on the road, take every precaution you can to stay safe out there, particularly in this era of deadly distracted drivers.

Ride safe,
Hans

18
General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: May 22, 2013, 10:34:19 pm »
I wonder if anyone has experience with Cougars. You know, the four legged kind. :)
I'd be more scared to run into the two-legged kind! ;D Seriously, there was a mountain biker attacked and killed by a (four legged, furry) cougar in California in early 2004, and a 2nd was wounded. Sounded like the cat was actually stalking them before it attacked. But that was the only reported attack I could find.

Ride safe,
Hans

19
Gear Talk / Re: Novara Safari..opinions of ownership
« on: May 03, 2013, 08:57:29 pm »
The geometry changed substantially with the 2009 model. Anyhow, I sold mine to make room for a new mountain bike...and keep my place in the bedroom.

Ride safe,
Hans

20
Routes / Re: Louis and Clark Route - Hwy 12 Lolo Pass Section
« on: May 03, 2013, 08:54:58 pm »
It's L-e-w-is, not Louis (which is my middle name) Meriwether Lewis. Sorry to pick nits, but the Corps of Discovery is my hobby and passion.

Ride safe,
Hans

21
General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: April 18, 2013, 03:35:30 pm »
That's mean.  ::) I don't think scaring travelers should be the point. Unprovoked grizzly attacks like that are VERY rare, particularly in the Lower 48. I would suggest "Staying Safe In Bear Country" instead.

"Night of the Grizzlies" was important in how it questioned park policy in a number of areas -

1. The intentional or tolerated practice by park service of having garbage to attract bears.
2. The emphasis upon tourist values rather than habitat needs of the bears.
3. The limited outdoor skills of the thousands of seasonal park workers.

"Night of the Grizzlies" had a major impact on public perception.

The book is also 50 years old. There is much better information and science available today.

22
General Discussion / Re: Inspire or Scare the Begeebees?
« on: April 18, 2013, 03:30:43 pm »
Don't you find it somewhat humorous or ironic that you post this two days after someone set off two bombs at the end of the Boston Marathon?  3 dead, 140+ injured last I heard.

In addition to being a bike patrol park ranger, I am a volunteer bike medic. My teacher when I first started working EMS on bikes was a lieutenant (who is now Deputy Superintendent) in Boston EMS. Being a park ranger is my "2nd career". I was a paramedic for years before this job. I fail to see any irony, humor, or connection with the tragic events in Boston.

Hans

23
General Discussion / Inspire or Scare the Begeebees?
« on: April 17, 2013, 12:03:31 pm »
The Adventure Cycling Association's mission is to inspire and empower people to travel by bicycle. As a 14-year ACA member, who has been touring since 1996, and a 25-year park ranger, I am really surprised by posts, mostly from riders outside of North America, about fears of two things; bears and rural American residents. The real truth us, there is not a bear behind every tree bush and rock, and the rural countryside is NOT inhabited by people like those in "Deliverance". Moreover, the replies that reinforce those fears are very disappointing, and certainly not very "inspiring" to those whose only exposure to the United States has been from Hollywood or the network news.

Hopefully, those read this will take my suggestion to try an "inspire" bicycle travelers, rather than scare the begeebees (Whatever begeebees are?) out of them.

Ride safe,
Hans

24
General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: April 17, 2013, 11:38:45 am »
Have you read "Night of the Grizzlies"?
Highly recommended for when you are camping in the Rockies.

That's mean.  ::) I don't think scaring travelers should be the point. Unprovoked grizzly attacks like that are VERY rare, particularly in the Lower 48. I would suggest "Staying Safe In Bear Country" instead.

25
General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: April 17, 2013, 11:34:23 am »
As a park ranger, I will tell you that most bear fears are over-rated. I have pulled into a campground on the Chequamegon National Forest (Wisconsin, prime black bear territory) and had a bear run right across the road in front of me, maybe 20 feet away. Never heard or saw a thing out of them the rest of the stay. (Two nights.) Most of the time, consider yourself fortunate to see a bear, black or grizzly. That doesn't mean you shouldn't take precautions; I have had friends (former wilderness rangers) who were mauled by a female griz while hiking in Glacier National Park. They were doing everything correctly, and just got into the wrong place at the wrong time. But you are more likely to be struck by lightning then attacked by a bear. Check out the US Forest Service "Be Bear Aware" website for good advice: http://www.centerforwildlifeinformation.org/BeBearAware/bebearaware.html

26
GPS Discussion / Re: Announcement about Fred Hiltz
« on: March 13, 2013, 04:44:21 pm »
Heartfelt condolences to his wife, family and friends, and the ACA community. We had a number of good exchanges over the years. I'll miss his vast knowlege and expertise.

Sincerly,
Hans Erdman

27
Routes / Re: Emergencies on paved rail-trails??
« on: January 30, 2013, 07:10:32 pm »


Backboarded on an ATV???

Yep, it was a rescue ATV, set up for patient evac, sort of like this one:

28
Routes / Re: Emergencies on paved rail-trails??
« on: January 23, 2013, 11:42:21 am »
Speaking as a park ranger and an EMT (and also a National Mountain Bike Patroller), all trails, paved or unpaved, should allow exceptions for emergency situations. Our community recently built a corridor trail linking the two largest cities in the county, and although it is specifically designed to keep ATVs and snowmobiles (as well as cars and trucks) off the trail, the barriers are removable in an emergency. The local fire departments and sheriff's rescue squad have ATVs set up for patient transport. The biggest issue with modern ambulances is their width. (No pun intended.) Most paved and gravel trails are 8 to 10 feet wide. So are most modular (box-style) ambulances.

A few years back, we had a rider thrown from a horse deep inside our park, with had a possible broken back. Our trails are all 8-foot wide gravel/natural surface. The duty ranger and the local fire department used ATVs to access her and transport her out to the waiting ambulance. I think most, if not all communities have plans for this kind of occurance when trails are built. There would probably be major liability issues if they did not do so.

Ride safe,
Hans

29
Routes / Re: Route from Minneapolis Internaitonal Airport
« on: January 23, 2013, 11:20:59 am »
From the airport, you can either head south into Ft. Snelling State Park, go through the park on the bike/hike trail and come out in Minnehaha Regional Park, cross the Mississippi on Ford Parkway and work your way from there, or (Best route) cross on the Hwy. 5 bridge, get on the Shepard Parkway bike trail which will take you all the way into downtown St. Paul. Get on the Bruce Vento Trail to the Gateway State Trail, and just keep going. At the current northern end of the Gateway at Pine Point Park, take the county roads to to the north/east. They are adding on to the Gateway, and it will eventually go past the Osceola crossing, all the way to Taylor's Falls, but I think that won't be done until 2014. Traffic on MN Hwy. 95, which parallels the St. Croix River can be moderate to heavy, particularly on summer weekends. Either way, the Gateway Trail is your best bet for the 24 miles from St. Paul to Pine Point. Expect plenty of bike, skate and hiker traffic on the trail in the summer, but no motorized.

Ride safe,
Hans

30
Classifieds / Re: Sold 1/16/13: 2007 Novara Safari
« on: January 20, 2013, 12:20:49 pm »
still for sale?
I hate to be glib, but what does the header (dated 2 days before your post) say???

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