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Messages - indyfabz

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16
General Discussion / Re: Fighting off boredom?
« on: June 30, 2014, 03:56:19 pm »
I just got back from 9 days of riding in MT. (I am about to post a trip report in the "Routes" sub-forum.)

Others have pretty much covered it, but I want to offer something from my recent experience. I had a lot of hill most days. Between but breaks, photos, stopping for snacks, grocery shopping, etc. I could usually count on 10 mph on average. Sometimes it was less. Sometimes more. If you do about the same, a 60 mile day=6 hrs. on the road. If you hit the road at 8 a.m., you get done at 3 p.m. barring any delays. Throw in time for relaxing a bit once the biking is done, setting up camp, changing out of your riding clothes, taking a shower if one is available, exploring a town if you stay in one and things like grocery shopping, and its going to be 5 or 6 before you know it. Dinner and dishes and it's now 7. Cleaning your bike/lubing the chain if it has rained a lot. Answering questions from curious campers. There is a lot that will take up time. And when it's time to relax, you relax. I like to build a fire and read. Took "Flowers for Algernon" on my recent trip. Loved it. I did use the computer at a local library twice. Didn't really have the patience for it. I spend the work day in front of a computer and I don't feel the need to be "connected" when I am on the road. I have a sumb phone which I use to check in with the GF every night and that's about it.

17
General Discussion / Re: Viewing elevation profile of tours
« on: June 30, 2014, 10:31:57 am »
Given your criteria, you can probably count out the Allegheny Mountains Loop. The Potomac, of course, would not be a problem.

18
Routes / Re: Yellowstone Camping
« on: June 18, 2014, 11:02:40 am »
From the NPS site: "Campsites are available by reservation and on a first come, first served basis."

That's a 180 from when I was there 14 years ago. Back then, I stopped in the W. Yellowstone office of the company handling reservations and was told that, as a cyclist, I could not make a reservation but that I would not be turned away. Stayed at Madison the first day. They put me in a little cyclist area. The people running the place were nice. They had a double burner butane stove and some assorted utensils and condiments, all reserved for cyclists. One woman working at check in loaned me a book showing hikes in the area. Not too far away is the start of a nice hike up to a fire tower.

At Coulter Bay I was given an individual site. I returned from a campfire presentation to find that the company running the campground had also put some "hikers" in my site. They were not really hikers. They were kids who worked at the businesses in the area who had the next day off and wanted to camp, but since they arrived on foot, they were considered "hikers" and were not turned away. They were very inconsiderate. Made noise late until I told them to put a sock in it. When I woke up the next morning there were empty soda cans and some food left out.

I would try to make a reservation if you know you are going to be somewhere on a certain date.


19
My pleasure. I would hate for someone to climb away from the river for no reason. It can get very steep in that part of NJ.

Saw this during that ride:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/14186636157/

May see some of you on Thursday. Landing at MSO around noon for the start of a 9-day loop on Friday. Don't know if I will be back by 1 p.m. the following Saturday.

20
General Discussion / Re: dogs and security
« on: June 12, 2014, 09:27:21 am »
Yes. Go to the fourm index:

http://forums.adventurecycling.org/index.php#c1

In the upper right hand corner search for "dogs".

Plenty of threads on the issue.

A good, loud yell or a squirt to the face with a water bottle has never failed me. Show them you are top dog.

21
Was out riding Saturday. Somewhere between Milford, NJ and Carpentersville, NJ there has been a minor slide at a culvert. The road is blocked to cars with Jersey barriers and there are detour signs posted. We ignored the signs. The short, damaged section of road is easily passable and not dangerous. If you are towing a trailer (Earlier in the day we saw a tandem towing a trailer cruise through Belvidere) you might have to un-hitch to get around the barriers or else push up the railroad embankment, but I would ignore the detour signs, especially since the detour likely involves some tough climbing. The area did not appear to be an active work zone so there is no telling when the road will be repaired. A similar (but more severe) slide at Carpentersville a few years ago took months to repair.

22
Routes / Re: Cross VT Trail
« on: June 05, 2014, 02:20:53 pm »
Haven't ridden it, but one tool for finding campgrounds along the way is Google Maps. Pick some intermediate points along the route and search Google Maps for "campgrounds near [name of town]". If nothing shows, zoom out. For example, if you do the above using Marshfield, you get several results in the area, including some in Groton State Forest.

23
OP, I take it when you say "Credit Card Camping", you mean staying indoors at hotels and the like, not actually camping. (Though I would love to see someone tour by actually taking a credit card camping tour and set up tents inside motel rooms each night.  ;) )

Or one could actually camp at private campgrounds pay for each night with a credit card.

24
Routes / Re: Virginia
« on: June 03, 2014, 03:47:18 pm »
We are into Berea KY, and have had very few dog chases.  Today one came out and I was reaching for the whistle all while my front derailed flipped the chain off.  I went over.

You can suaully accomplish the same result with a loud voice (if you have one) while keeping your hands on the bars. Show it who is top dog with a menacing "No! or "Hey!"

25
Not that I can help you, but what is your schedule. I am planning to be in Twin Bridges the night of the 23rd and then riding to Ennis via Virginia City the 24th before I turn back west towards Butte.

26
Gear Talk / Re: FYI: Axiom GrandTour Modular Bags (Warning?)
« on: May 28, 2014, 01:09:04 pm »
Why advertise something that does not work? Now that I think about it, it may be that I have 2 different revisions of the bags.

I think that is exactly what you will find. The current version of the tent bag fits the current version of the panniers and either your panniers or tent bag are/is an earlier model.

27
General Discussion / Re: Mailing to Myself On the Road
« on: May 28, 2014, 12:50:09 pm »
4.  some sites claim only 'major' post offices accept GD, in a metro area like Albany, NY I need to send GD to the main post office, not one closer to my route.

Here is what the USPS has to say:

https://www.usps.com/manage/forward-mail.htm

It does state that you should use the 9999 suffix after the ZIP, although I have never used it. Note that it says mail will be held up to 30 days so I assume you will have someone back home periodically drop things in the mail for you instead sending everything out yourself before you leave.

28
Gear Talk / Re: FYI: Axiom GrandTour Modular Bags (Warning?)
« on: May 27, 2014, 01:15:27 pm »
That doesn't smell right to me as the description reads:

"•Can be mounted to any Modular GrandTour series bag via patent-pending Clip ‘N’ Strap system" (emphasis added.)

Can't believe they would make that statement if it were not accurate. What was your source of the equipment? Offcial dealer? eBay? Etc. Perhaps you got your hands on an older style tent bag and newer style panniers? Have you tired contacting Axiom? There is a contact form on their website.

Personally, I never understaood the need for a separate tent bag unless you need so much capacity that you cannot simply secure the tent to the top of the rear rack.

29
General Discussion / Re: equipment & route
« on: May 21, 2014, 08:36:26 am »
I think you should consider three. Marias Pass (U.S. 2) is nothing to write home about, and it is long. Its also has truck and RV traffic. Did it E-W in '09. It simply doesn't compare to Logan Pass. Everything after the world's largest purple spoon is from the west side of GTS:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/sets/72157620763740044/

If your concern is skipping the stretch in Alberta, there are other ways to get to Cut Bank from St. Mary. Again, I would not skip that. Waterton Village is a great place for a rest day. The town campsite is in a dramatic setting:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/3675812975/in/set-72157620763740044

Also, don't know if you are just generalizing, but I would stick to the "official" route rather than getting on U.S. 2 as early as possible and sticking with that. You would miss some nice stretches such as MT 37 along the east shore of Lake Koocanusa. Le Clerc Rd. between Ione, WA and and Newport and MT 56 towards Libby, jut to name a few. Much less traffic than U.S. 2.

For my two trips out that way, I took a short ferry from Seattle and got on the Pacific Coast route north. Stayed at Kitsap, Fort Worden S.P. and then Bay View, which is on the Northern Tier route. Fort Worden was very nice. It's the former military base that was used in the film "An Officer and a Gentleman."

30
General Discussion / Re: equipment & route
« on: May 20, 2014, 02:46:46 pm »
Also, I plan on starting the NT by May 31st in Seattle: is this too early or too late?

I once did Seattle to the NT and then headed east twice. Both times I started around May 23. Don't see how May 31st could be too late, although I don't know what criteria you might have in mind. School will likely be  in session, so the crowds will liekly not have materialized. Plus, it will likely be cold and wet in the N. Cascades that early, deterring many visitors. It's only about a 4-5 day ride until you hit the mountains. Whether it's too early will likely depend on your tolerance for chilly, wet weather.

Here is some data on historic openng and closing dates of the N. Cascades Highway:

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Traffic/Passes/NorthCascades/closurehistory.htm

As you can see, a start date of May 31st will likely not put you there before the road has fully opened. However, that does not mean you won't run into some weather. In '99 I hit rain somewhere along the climb. By the time I got to the first pass, the rain had turned to snow, although it was not sticking to the road surface. The following year there were a few snow flurries on the way up, but nothing major. Both years it poured a cold rain between Bay View and Rockport, and it was generally chilly and damp until Winthrop. If that is not for you, you might want to start later. Between Winthrop and Tonasket, it's generally warm and dry. Republic, at the foot of Sherman Pass, was on the chilly side. Snow showers crossing Sherman Pass both years. The rest of the way to Glacier N.P. was often on the chillier side with some light rain on several  days. But by no means miserable.

When picking a starting date there is an additional consideration down the pipeline: The opening date of Logan Pass in Glacier. You never know what's going to be up with that, especcially if the road re-hab project is still going on. For example, this year the NPS has announced that the earliest you will be able to ride the full length will be June 20th, even if the road has been fully plowed. The likeley reason for this is that they want uninterrupted time to perform work on the road. It's a lot easier (and cheaper) to perform road work with no traffic. If there are things like eemergency repairs needed due to avalanche damage, as was the case when I was lats there in '09, the opening could be delayed even further.

As for sleeping bags, Staehphj1 prety much covered it. Some people sleep warmer than others, and, as far as I know, there is no one standard that measures warmth. I took an REI brand 32 synthetic bag and got by with it, although I remember being cold a few night depsite having a good deal of clothes on. My current 20 degree Cat's Meow has served me well in sub-freezing temperatures.

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