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Messages - indyfabz

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Routes / Re: El Nino impact on Sierra Cascade route this spring?
« on: April 21, 2016, 10:46:37 am »
Meh. I have circled Crater Lake twice. As long as you can make it across on the west side (e.g., up from OR 128 and down to OR 62, with a stop at the overlooks, including the lodge), circling is not worth the effort. You don't get a constant view of the lake, and both times I circled it road conditions were poor in places, especially on some descents. But if you do circle for bragging rights or whatever, make sure you take the short out and back to Cloud Cap Overlook.

General Discussion / Re: Black Hills Mickelson Trail and 38C tires
« on: April 21, 2016, 07:50:47 am »
BTW...If you can swing an extra day in Custer, riding Needle's Highway (SD 87 south from SD 89) is well wort it. Fabulous scenery.

Definitely go clockwise unless you like torture. I stayed just a bit outside the center of town, but there is a campground in town that's right off the trail. Heavily shaded tenting area, but it looked like it could be a bit buggy, especially since it's near a creek. The upside is that you can walk to the main drag a few blocks away, yet it's still pretty quiet back there:

Routes / Re: where can I buy aca maps.
« on: April 21, 2016, 07:24:24 am »
I have only seen one once. A bike shop in Seattle had the map for the nearby section of the Pacific Coast Route. I wouldn't count on it. If you decide before Pueblo call and have whatever you want sent to you on the road.

General Discussion / Re: Black Hills Mickelson Trail and 38C tires
« on: April 20, 2016, 01:56:01 pm »
Bike has 700c X 38C Marathon Plus tires.  You think I will be OK with this tire setup?

Did nearly all of the Mickelson Trail last June: A short, paved portion north in Deadwood and then the rest south from the Englewood trailhead to the end in Edgemont.  Those tires will be fine. I rode 35c Conti Top Touring II tires and was fine notwithstanding the fact that the trail was in relatively bad shape due to the seriously heavy rain fall the area experienced that month. A woman in Custer told me they were 15" above normal for that time of year.

Are you planning to do Deadwood to Hill City in one day? If so, be prepared. The only service (besides the water cisterns) south of Lead, which in only 5 miles, from Deadwood is a bar/restaurant in Rochford, and there is some climbing as rail-trails go.  IIRC, there is a climb out of Deadwood. From Englewood south there is a incline of some 5 miles. There is another long incline after Mystic that fakes you out with a false summit. The relatively rough surface compared to finely crushed limestone causes you expend more energy. Bring sustenance. But don't let that dissuade you. It's a fabulous ride.

If it would fit with your itinerary, I highly recommend staying as Spearfish. The campground and municipal park there are out of this world, and they are right next to a fish hatchery and museum. From there you can climb through Spearfish Canyon and then head to Cheyenne Junction where you can head north and pick up the trail at Englewood. That's what I did. Here is the map for that day:

In Hill City I camped at Crooked Creek. Decent place that you can access right from the trail. There is a place closer to the town center, but it doesn't look as nice.

If you are headed to Hot Springs I assume you will leave the trail at the Minnekahta trail head at U.S. 18. If so, U.S. 18 can have some traffic, but it has a wide shoulder. I circled back to Hot Springs from Edgemont via Old Rte. 18 to U.S. 18 I remember flying along on U.S. 18 with a great tailwind and finally looking up an seeing what turned out to be about a 1 mile climb over a ridge. It felt like a cold, slap in the face:

General Discussion / Re: Hammocking the Great Divide: bad idea?
« on: April 15, 2016, 08:05:35 am »
Having spent some time riding and backpacking in the backcountry in Montana, I'd venture to guess that the mosquitoes in wooded areas will be noticeable. I have done a short, paved section of the route (Polaris to Wise River) twice. Once in mid-June and once in early July. Even on the road the mosquitoes were highly noticeable. The second time, I stopped at the 8,000' summit to put on rain gear and had to do some swatting even through it was raining a bit.

General Discussion / Re: Michelin Maps or Google Maps for Europe?
« on: April 15, 2016, 07:58:25 am »
In addition to what's already been mentioned....Having spent seven weeks touring Andalucia, which Michelin makes a great map for, I can tell you that having the map with you is quite convenient. You can open it up and see the spacial relationship of a large territory all at once. Being able to do that allows you plot routes between A and B and see the entire route in detail all at once. Try doing that with Google Maps on a small computer screen. The maps also contain pass elevations and some gross grade information.

Routes / Re: East Coast Greenway or Atlantic Route
« on: April 13, 2016, 02:41:53 pm »
ride to Lewes DE and ferry across Delaware Bay,

Did a four day from my house in Philly over Easter weekend. Day 1 to Belleplain State Forest in Woodbine, NJ. Day 2 to Cape May for the Ferry to Lewes and two nights at Cape Henlopen S.P. Day 4 I took the ferry back to Cape May and rode 56 miles in to a brutal, cold headwind to A.C. and caught the train home. The prevailing winds along the S. Jersey shore are usually favorable if you are heading north, but not that day.

Cape Henlopen S.P. is a lovely place, but nearly impossible to get into on the weekends without reservations way in advance. Easter weekend probably ended up 3/4 full, if not more. I looked last year during late summer/early fall and even then weekends were booked up months in advance.

Gear Talk / Re: Un-Chain my bike!
« on: April 12, 2016, 04:10:54 pm »
If I am picturing what happened correctly, your chain doubled over itself, creating a loop. My GF did that a few weeks ago, and it's happened to me before.. If that's what happened, next time take a deep breath and work through the problem visually. With the chain on one of the chainrings, you know which is the side is the "underside" (the side that comes in contact with the sprockets of the chainrings and cogs, and which side is the "outerside" (the side that does not come into contact with the sprockets). Use that orientation to address the tangle.

Gear Talk / Re: Anyone here use Rok Straps?
« on: April 12, 2016, 09:32:52 am »
I think I like the idea that the rock straps are staying attached to the bike when you setup camp ready to re-strap the next morning.

Am I correct is assuming that both ends stay attached when not in use? If not, be careful that one end doesn't get caught in your spoke when you move the bike. I had that happen but caught it before I a disaster happened.

Routes / Re: Erie Canalway Towpath trail
« on: April 11, 2016, 01:50:38 pm »

Routes / Re: East Coast Greenway or Atlantic Route
« on: April 10, 2016, 10:16:38 am »
In DE and PA, there is very little that is green about the ECG. In fact, it uses many heavily travelled roads and city streets, some of which go through some not-so-nice places, like Chester, PA. (PA 291 though Chester in named "Industrial Highway."  That ought to tell you something.)  I live a few blocks away from it in Philly.  Many of the streets it uses to get north through town are very busy. Urban combat riding at its finest. And forget about camping opportunities.

I would at least take the ACA route to Lambertville, NJ. You could then take the D&R Feeder Canal Trail to the Trenton, NJ area to pick up the ECG. There will be some hills this way, but no mountains.

General Discussion / Re: Paniers vs. Trailer
« on: April 08, 2016, 07:43:25 am »
Note that a two-wheeled trailer can cause problems when there are rumble strips.

Don't miss the Bike Camp in Twin Bridges, MT.

You ask about boxing your bike at the airport. Unless you plan to ride your bike to the airport carrying a box, it sounds like you are expecting and counting on the airline to supply a box. I would not go that route unless there is a 100% chance that a box will be available. A safer bet is to supply your own box. If you go that route you might as well box it up before you get to the airport.

Asking others what airlines they have used will only elicit helpful answers if someone happens to have had an experience with an airline that flies to where you want to go. I will be flying to MSO in June. If I asked the question you did and someone responded "I used Southwest. They are the cheapest for bikes.", the response would not help me because Southwest does not fly to MSO.

All that aside, if your travel plans are within the U.S., have you considered shipping your bike? I will be shipping to Missoula this June. I have used on two occasions, saving A LOT of money over what I would have had to pay the airlines. Last year I shipped from Philly to Rapid City, SD for something like $47, including a 10% discount for repeat business and $1,400 in insurance. I think my airline wanted $150 for the bike. For what I saved, I had the bike professionally boxed for shipment and assembled and tuned by a local bike shop in SD. And there is no dealing with lugging a bike to the airport, going through security and having a TSA agent open the box and not close it properly. One time I flew with my bike the TSA agent couldn't figure out how to use the buckles on my box's straps. When I got to my destination, I found one of the straps tied in a crude knot.

Which box?

Is the airline I flew available to you?

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