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Messages - indyfabz

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Routes / Re: Lewis and Clark Trail
« on: December 20, 2016, 02:15:24 pm »
This June I was again in MT riding and did some of the L&L from Missoula, only in the opposite direction. Three Forks, MT to Twin Bridges, MT is pretty easy. The free (donations of supplies and/or money are appreciated) Bike Camp in Twin Bridges is a great place to stay and is a nice place for a day off. Despite being a small town, the place has everything, including a good grocery store, library with Internet access and a laundry.

Beaver on the bank of the Beaverhead River at the Bike Camp:

Twin Bridges to Dillon is a gradual climb, and there is a section with no shoulder. I recommend riding early. Haven't been to Dillon in more than a decade, but I remember it having everything. Then you hit the mountain passes. At the top of Big Hole Pass, take a break and walk the gravel path to the interpretive boards. The view is terrific.

Someone renovated an old hotel building in Jackson. You can also camp on the lawn on the side of the building. The only other option for lodging is camping or a room at the hot springs lodge across from the hotel. Depending on the time of year, they may have limited hours during the week. There and the café in town are the only places to get food. (The mercantile closed several years ago.)

Wisdom has free camping on the edge of town, a motel, small grocery store, bar and a yummy bar/restaurant called The Crossings at Fetty's. Mosquito repellant is an extremely good idea for all areas mentioned above.

For the most part, the climb up to Chief Joseph Pass is not steep until the last five or six miles.  If you don't mind dirt, the Gibbons Pass alternative saves you some miles. The climb up heading north is pretty mellow, and the road surface was in good shape when I came down that side in 2014. However, the descent down to U.S. 93 to Sula is quite a different story. It's narrow and bumpy in places. There are warning signs that it is not maintained for vehicles. But if you have the skills and the appropriate tires, it's worth it. It truly is like being in the backcountry. I was going to do it again this year but it rained hard all night so I stuck to the pavement.

Assuming you take paved MT 43, it's all down hill once you reach Chief Joseph Pass. Note that the rest area on U.S. 93 near the junction with MT 43 at Lost Trail Pass has been greatly improved over the years. There are now plumbed bathrooms and drinking water. The downhill, to one degree or another, basically lasts until north of Darby. You'll pass by a store/restaurant/campground in Sula. The place shuts up tight at 5 p.m., although you can still pick a campsite and pay in the morning. Groceries are pretty limited. This year I camped further north at U.S.F.S. campground Spring Gulch. Small place right along the river with a biker campsite:

Again, if you don't mind mellow dirt with some relatively easy climbing and descending, the partially unpaved Old Darby Alternative to Hamilton is fabulous:

(Those are actually some of the lesser scenic photos I have of that stretch.)

It's my understanding that, as of this summer, you can now take a bike trail all from Hamilton into Missoula. The last piece wasn't open when I started my tour back in mid-June.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Routes / Re: What is Your Favorite Cross Country Route and Why?
« on: December 16, 2016, 10:26:45 am »
One possible combination is the Pacific Coast route north from Seattle to the Northern Tier to Glacier National Park for a ride up the west side of Going to the Sun and back down then back track and take the Great Parks North to Missoula to the TransAm. Did that itinerary in 2000 during a trip to Mesa Verde, CO. Split off from the TransAm at Fairplay, CO.

General Discussion / Re: Lions and tigers and bears oh my!!!
« on: December 08, 2016, 01:31:46 pm »
Forgot about bison. Give them a wide berth. This was in Custer Sate Park in SD, but I encountered even worse between W. Yellowstone and Madison Junction. There were a couple lounging in the roadway.

General Discussion / Re: How to transport bike box?
« on: December 08, 2016, 01:22:39 pm »
What does get expensive is the way I do it and described. Shipping your bike to a shop ($150 as I carry more insurance than you do), having the shop put it together (usually $75), if the shop hangs on to the box I normally give them $50 for their trouble, shipping the empty bike box to the new shop ($50), having the shop at the destination take apart my bike and pack it as the box will regularly arrive after I do and in anyway I usually have them clean it after the big trip so thats $75-100, and then ship it home is another $150.

Don't see where the OP was suggesting all that.

BTW...If you ever start in Missoula, check out REI. $40 to reassemble and tune. $40 to pack for shipping. $0 for holding on to your box. Conveniently located 3 miles from the airport and a 5 min. walk from the KOA. Used them twice in the last two years.

Routes / Re: East Coast Greenway or Atlantic Route
« on: December 08, 2016, 08:27:14 am »
read on some other forums that there are sections of the greenway where you have to have a car to ferry across a bridge where bikes aren't allowed, and that there are a few stretches that are all gravel, but I don't know if the situation has changed.

I am pretty sure there is a relatively short, unpaved section on PA, but I don't fully understand the aversion to unpaved roads/trails. I have ridden 23c tires on several unpaved trails with no problems.

That aside, the other thing you would need to research for both the ECG and the Atlantic Coast route is whether ebikes are allowed on the trails they use.

General Discussion / Re: How to transport bike box?
« on: December 08, 2016, 08:20:14 am »
Throwing a lot of money away? I shipped my bike from the east coast to Rapid City for less than $50 using Bikeflights. Philly to Missoula was something like $70. And those charges included $1,400 in insurance that I purchased. The OP is talking about an empty box from Eugene to San Francisco.

OP: Go to The site has a handy tool that will produce a quote for you. It even has a drop down bar that contains many popular bike boxes. If your is on the list, you don't have to measure your box to get a quote. You simply need origin and destination zip codes and weight.

General Discussion / Re: Lions and tigers and bears oh my!!!
« on: December 06, 2016, 10:03:00 am »
Saw this guy while riding in New Jersey last year. But as noted, you will be lucky to see a bear. Been riding in Glacier National Park--a place that's known to have a bear or two--three times and spent 7 days in the backcountry there. Only saw one bear scamper across the road.

Be more concerned about deer, especially when descending at fast speeds. They can come out of nowhere.

FYI...The only way to actually ride into NYC is via the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee, NJ, which is way up on the northern end of Manhattan. It's a very congested part of the world and dicey if you don't get good advice. The ACA's NYC spur off the Atlantic Coast route ends in Summit and uses train service to get you to NYC. Other options include ferries from Hoboken, NJ and the PATH train from Newark, Jersey City or Hoboken, NJ. (New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the country, and Newark is the most densely populated part of New Jersey.) Don't know about the ferries, but there are times during the weekdays when you may not take a bike on either New Jersey Transit or PATH trains.

If you are not dead-set on ending in New York, reaching the South Jersey shore via Philadelphia, PA poses fewer logistical issues. It's then easy to return back to Philadelphia (either by bike or train) for transportation options home.

Personally, I think 45 days is unrealistic for the reasons mentioned. Also, during June and July in the Midwest and northeast you should be prepared for serious heat and humidity.

General Discussion / Re: trikes
« on: November 29, 2016, 04:21:31 pm »
Back in June in MT I encountered a guy riding the TransAm on a trike pulling what looked to be a heavily-loaded trailer. First saw him west of Darby and then again in Jackson so he had clearly done some mountains. Don't know anything specific about his ride, but the gearing did look very low, and the two times I saw him moving he did appear to be going slowly.

Gear Talk / Re: Recommendation for front light?
« on: November 28, 2016, 01:31:35 pm »
For a light you can see by in complete darkness on unfamiliar roads, I recommend at least 800 lumens. If you have young eyes, you can probably do with less. Modern LED lights can obtain this level of illumination in a small package at a reasonable price.

Yeah. The OP states that he has a Planet bike Blaze 140. Just last night I used my Planet Bike Blaze 750 for the first time. Darn thing is pretty damn bright. In flash mode the light reflects brightly off street signs more than a city block away. Picked it up for about $48 during REI's recent sale.

Only thing for me is that it charges through a USB cable. I don't take any electronics with USB ports so I would never take it on tour unless there is some sort of adaptor I can get that will allow me to charge it through a regular outlet.

General Discussion / Re: Best pre-ride supplement?
« on: November 28, 2016, 10:16:57 am »
Perpetuem by Hammer works well for me as "liquid food." If, during a tour, I know I have a long day with few/no services en route, I will pack a single pack and mix it at the start of that day.

Gear Talk / Re: Long distance tour bike for small lady
« on: November 27, 2016, 10:47:33 am »
Smallest size Surly Long Haul Trucker fits my 5' tall ex pretty well.

General Discussion / Re: Surly Review
« on: November 27, 2016, 10:45:53 am »
You have an account with BF which indicates you have a Surly Disc Trucker. Plenty of discussion of Surly bikes in the Touring forum of BF. Just ignore troll Squeezebox.

Gear Talk / Re: LKLM & Krangear
« on: November 22, 2016, 10:03:46 am »
Sounds neat. I live in Philly.  I did the Lower and Ghost Town Trails back in '98 during Pedal PA's Penn Central tour, which was a Pittsburgh to Philly tour started by an old friend of mine. Stayed in Indiana, Penn State Altoona and Penn State main campus the first three days.

In 2013 I started in Warren, OH and rode home to Philly following much of PA Bike Route S to Bloomsburg and then headed south into Schuykill and Lancaster Counties before heading home. The route included the Allegheny River Trail from Franklin, PA to Emlenton. If you are ever up that way, it's a very nice ride, and it's almost all paved.

The Delaware Canal towpath is just o.k. Rode the portion from Easton to Riegelsville most recently back in September during a tour home from Brattleboro, VT. The surface is a bit gravely and dusty in places. My bike and body got bike filthy from just those short miles. Not sure what sort of shape it is in around the pedestrian bridge between the Black Bass Hotel in Lumberville and Bulls Island S.P. in NJ. At one point it was pretty much unrideable due to flood damage. Some repairs were made and it got damaged again by flooding. Don't know if that damage was repaired. The real issue with that trail is that if you start out on it and come to a section that is closed, the road alternatives of PA 611 and PA 32 are not good ones. I was riding it a few year ago during a tour and came to a section where a giant drainage pipe was being replaced. I was so unwilling to ride PA 32 that I walked down into the giant ditch/hole with my heavy bike and managed to get it up the other side and continue on down the trail.

If you do get back to Easton and ride it, Mark, the owner of Dogwood Haven campground just off the trail on Lodi Hill Rd., is a nice guy. The place is nearly all quiet, seasonal campers, but there are a few regular sites. The place is a bit, uh, "rustic," but it's serviceable and completely shaded, and Mark charges cyclists only $10/night. He has a day job so he doesn't arrive back at the place until 4:30 or so. Ride up the gravel driveway. If he's not around, head straight down the gravel road to site A, B or C (A is the best), pitch your tent and flip him $10 when he shows up. He'll probably be enjoying a beer by the time you find him.

Gear Talk / Re: LKLM & Krangear
« on: November 21, 2016, 03:45:34 pm »
and two through the rolling hills of Pennsylvania.

Where in PA?

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