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Messages - zzzz

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General Discussion / Re: Cycling around the Grand Canyon Area
« on: February 24, 2017, 09:15:54 pm »
Hi Bevan:

I was leafing thru the latest issue of the ACA magazine and when I got to the back cover there was an ad for various ACA sposored tours. There are 2 tours they are running at and about the North Rim (the much better half of the GC) in September, each goes for 7 days.

Here are the links :

Hope this helps.


General Discussion / Re: Shipping Bike Box Trans AM
« on: February 20, 2017, 09:57:06 am »

I also use a hardshell case. I ship my bike ahead of time to a shop and have them put it together and then again at the end of the trip I have a shop break it down and ship it home. I have used both Shipbikes and Bikeflights to generate the paperwork (they both use FedEx for the actual shipping) and their prices are a fraction of walking up to their store front and shipping it. I have always been able to get the shop at the beginning or the end of the trip to hang on to the box. First step in getting to "yes" is to ask. I also give them some money for their trouble.

On a similar thread a few months ago someone else mentioned they've gotten their hotel to help them out on this problem. If you like to do your own wrenching this could be best as it also avoids coordinating when you're passing thru with the bike shop's hours.

There is a middle ground here between the hard shell case and the used bike store cardboard box. Both these shipping places sell reinforced cardboard boxes that look pretty sturdy. While I'm sure they aren't as tough as your hardshell they would make the logistics a whole lot easier. They're sold for around $40 and you can either break it down and use it again or toss it, but it should give some additional level of protection.

I'll also mention that I was hit with a $170 customs fee when I shipped my bike to Canada last year. I don't know what the US customs policy is on bikes but you may want to check into that and be ready for it whether you take the bike with you or ship it.


Hi Eleonore:

I'm the wrong gender to answer your questions directly but I'm going to suggest you go over to Crazy Guy on a Bike and in the Journals search box type in Solo Female. There you will find dozens or maybe hundreds of journals of women who have toured solo. In particular I have read Emily Sharp's journal about touring around Montana & Idaho and Susan Goettsch's journal from the Sierra Cascades route before I was going to do each of those trips and they were both well written w good photo's. While their routes are not your route I believe they both addressed the issue of rider safety of being alone on the road while female.

I ride alone and have now 5 month long trips so a total of a 150± days on the road. I have never been hassled and it has done nothing but reaffirm my belief that the overwhelming majority of people are at least okay and many are great. I would not have any problem encouraging my daughter to tour solo if she was ever so inclined. That said, you never know who you might come across. If I am remembering correctly there was an entry in Emily's journal about a guy who was a little too friendly and was giving her the creeps and I thought she handled it very well. Always listen to your instincts.

Best of luck,


General Discussion / Re: Cycling around the Grand Canyon Area
« on: February 04, 2017, 08:02:46 pm »
Hmmmmm..... 7 days AND time for golf. That's tough.

I can't piece together a worthwhile ride thru here for you in 5 days of riding though maybe someone else can.

Your first instinct of finding a tour group may be your best bet. I have crossed thru this area twice as a subset of a larger trip and each time I was passed repeatedly by large passenger vans loaded with people and giant bike racks on top stuffed w bikes. I never got the story from a participant but I think they skipped riding anywhere that didn't warrent a picture in the brochure.

If you got golf clubs your lugging around I assume you're renting a car at least for some of the time. If I was advising a pal who was coming over from Oz on your schedule,  I would tell him to (Heresy Alert!) forget the bike. If you are physically up to it I would tell him to hike to the bottom of the GC, then the next day drive over to Zion and over the next 2 days hike up Angel's Landing & thru The Narrows, then on day 5 go over to Bryce and take a hike there and then drive over to St. George and do your golf thing. Thats assuming you can still swing a golf club after the GC and 2 hikes in Zion. ;)

Hopefully someone else has a better idea.


General Discussion / Re: Cycling around the Grand Canyon Area
« on: February 04, 2017, 08:49:49 am »
Hi Bevan:

When I first read this I thought you had a month. Closer inspection says a few days. If you can be a little more specific as to how much time you have, I (or we) can give you a little better advice. The northern Arizona / Southern Utah area is as chock full of extraordinary places as anywhere on earth and they are all pretty close to one another. The Grand Canyon is the most famous of these but if I was to rank them I would put Zion at the top and the GC at 3 or 4.

This is the go-to itinerary :

Depending on your milage it would be 10± days on the bike. Throw in 4-6  days for all the iconic hikes and you're probably way over your time budget.

As for guided tours, when I've ridden thru this area I have seen multiple concessions running bike tours. But if you even think you would like to be off on your own, I can't think of a better place than this area to go it alone.


Gear Talk / Re: GDMBR Tires
« on: February 03, 2017, 08:15:02 am »
Thanks for the recommendation. After my original post i came across the Mezcal and visually they looked a lot like the WTB Nano.

It feels as though the choices for 650b in tubeless are pretty thin. I guess there's not much demand.

Gear Talk / Re: GDMBR Tires
« on: February 01, 2017, 10:33:39 am »
Hi Griz:

Thanks for the reply, I did not even think to look at Specialized for tires. The Fast Tracks appear to be what I was looking for. Knobby, but not too knobby, tubeless, 650b, not too wide. The Renegades looked great but did not come tubeless in 650b. The MTB tire thing feels like a maze trying to locate what you want.

As for my background, I'm 58, I've been riding for 43 years, raced for 20. 99% of that time has been on the road, .099% of the time has been 'cross and .001% of that time has been MTB. I'm about as green to MTB as people come.

I've taken 5 long tours now in the last 5 years and I've passed thru some pretty remote spots, so I'm not concerned about that aspect of the trip. My off-road bike handling skills will be a work in progress. You can bet I'll be practicing every chance I get between when I can pick up the bike in April and when I roll out of Banff on 7/30.


Gear Talk / GDMBR Tires
« on: January 31, 2017, 10:00:08 pm »

I'm building up a bike for the GDMBR later this year. The go to tire seems to be the WTB Nano but it does not come in a tubeless version for my 650B wheels. So I'm curious what other brands/model people have run and if you would recommend what you used.


General Discussion / Re: Wounded Warrior Cyclist
« on: January 26, 2017, 12:03:29 pm »
Good to have you on the forum Robert and best of luck to you on your ride this summer. I have found when I'm on the road I have encountered only the best of people and with you riding as a Wounded Warrior,  I'm confident you will have even greater chance of having a great experience.

And congratulations on not letting your injuries define what you can accomplish yet in life. The natural & easier thing to do is to dwell on what is no longer possible. Well done sir!


Routes / Re: Can I Cycle the Sierra Cascades route in March?
« on: January 25, 2017, 09:26:18 am »
I understand the time frame thing as I deal w them myself. The road will likely be wet and gritty and narrow anywhere there's still a lot of standing snow and Ca got a lot of snow this year. Speaking for myself, I would still go with my fingers crossed, hoping for the best . What made me backtrack from saying it could be done is the idea of you running into black ice in the morning. That could lead to you going down very hard.

I was thinking about this quite a bit last night. As an alternative, I give you this option to consider:

Leave from San Diego in March on the Southern Tier. It passes within a 100 miles± of the Grand Canyon. Go up to the Grand Canyon. If you're up for it you can take the hike down to the bottom, it's very cool. ACA has a route map called the "Grand Canyon Connecter". Take that route north to Zion NP (my favorite of the National Parks). The scenery between the 2 is like riding thru an old western movie. From Zion you can go directly to Bryce Canyon and join the WE or you can go in to Cedar City and join the WE there. There is a 10600' climb out of Cedar City that has Cedar Breaks at the top which is definitely worth seeing but you can check road conditions to see if its free of snow when you get there.

The advantage of the ride as described above as that you can leave when you want to. You will get to see the GC and Zion without the intense crowds that are there a little later in the year. And you will get the very best of southern Utah, which is the best of the WE. That is Bryce, Grand Staircase, Capital Reef. It's 2 or 300 miles of almost unbroken eye candy.

Alternatively, if you leave from SF and take the WE the whole way, my opinion was there isn't anything great on that whole first map from the Pacific to Fallon Nv. Once I got to the Great Basin area I thought it was fantastic, like riding on another planet, so I'm sorry I can't be more encouraging in coming up with a way for you to ride it.


Routes / Re: Can I Cycle the Sierra Cascades route in March?
« on: January 24, 2017, 07:30:42 pm »
Yes, I rode the WE to Pueblo and picked up the transam in September of 2013 and I rode the SC in September of 2015 so I am personally familiar w both the routes.

And when I first answered your post I was thinking of what Carson Pass looked like when I went skiing at Kirkwood in March a number of years ago. And the road looked pretty good then, but that was one time.

Is there anyway you can postpone your trip by a month? March is quite early. As I mentioned in the mea culpa edit to my second post, the chances are pretty good of some pretty unplesant road conditions, even when the skies are blue.


Routes / Re: Can I Cycle the Sierra Cascades route in March?
« on: January 24, 2017, 03:55:49 pm »
The difference is that I recognize that some folks, including myself, have a very specific window that they can get away from job/family/whatever. I assumed what he had was March and that's what he wants to see. The SC is out but I'd do the WE in March if thats the only time I could get away.


edit : I thought about this some more and Russ is right. I have done many things others have considered ill advised and they have worked out okay for me often enough that I have a natural optimism about these things. But when they haven't worked out, I've been stuck in a couple of ugly situations. I shouldn't have assumed that you were okay with that possibility.

The road may be dry but the most likely scenario is that you will have lots of snow melt all around you and the attendant spray from the cars for many miles at a time, or worse, snow melt which then re-freezes as black ice.

If you're stuck with March, best to pick another route

Routes / Re: Can I Cycle the Sierra Cascades route in March?
« on: January 24, 2017, 08:38:07 am »
You should be able to get over the Sierras on the the Western Express route. It crosses the mountains at Carson Pass which the state tries to keep open year round. There's currently 10' of snow up there and it's open now.

Carson is at 8500' and US50 goes over quite a few smaller passes (6000'-7000') in Nevada so you will be at some significant elevation several times. Make sure you have enough clothes with you to stay warm. And keep an eye on the weather as it can change for the worse in a hurry.

There's 2 very high passes in Utah (outside of Cedar City & Boulder) and 2 more in Colorado (Lizard Head Pass & Monarch) but you don't indicate how far you're planning on riding the route.


Thank you for the info John. I was tempted to rip him as well and he certainly deserved it but I have sat on some local boards and know when I shut down down from listening to what folks had to say so I took a different approach. Hopefully he is dismissed as a "newb" by his fellow pols and this goes nowhere.

FWIW; my email below-

Dear Sir:

I have ridden my bicycle through your state many times. I live in Pennsylvania and one of the things I always notice when riding out west is the minimal road network. If you’re going to go anywhere, you’re going to be on a two lane highway. Fortunately you don’t miss the little country lanes back east because traffic is so light the vast majority of the time. As I think back on my time riding in Montana passing drivers typically have no one coming the other way when they’ve passed me or at most have to wait for one car to clear. Add that to the fact that most often there are 1/4 to 1/2 mile sight lines available, anyone who is in the least bit competent as a driver should be able to safely pass any cyclist on the road with either no or a very minimal delay.

I see you own a Harley dealership. Many thousands of motorcyclists are killed or injured every year because car and truck drivers can’t extend  an extra second or two of courtesy towards their fellow citizens who are just out enjoying what they love. Now your bill is looking to extend this intolerance. Bad move. Remember ; Two wheels forever!

Pete Meltzer
Zionsville, Pa.

When the ACA offices open up in the morning maybe someone there can post how serious the chance of this being passed is and who we could write to express our feelings.

It sounds like (if it were to pass) it would make the TransAm, the L & C, GPN, and even the GDMBR unridable. I've probably ridden  a thousand miles as a tourist in Montana, bisecting it North to South and East to West, each time on ACA routes. It seams to me 90% of those miles would be described as "2 lane highway" although I can't remember which ones had a paved shoulder.


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