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Messages - indyfabz

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General Discussion / Re: Training program recommendations
« on: February 03, 2017, 08:32:27 am »
I'd probably up the mileage some as the start draws closer. But more importantly, you should work up to being able to tolerate long days in the saddle. 130 miles/week could 5 rides of less than 30 miles/week or it could be two 65 mile rides/week. Being able to do the latter would be more helpful, especially if they are back to back rides.

And get used to hills. The NT smacks you in the face early. Assuming you are camping, you will have this climb around day 3:

If you will be staying indoors, the day will be even longer and feature more climbing in the "foothills" between Newhalem and the above, which starts at Colonial Creek Campground, the last development before Washington Pass.

Gear Talk / Re: 30 Day Tour Packing List? Hotel every 5 days'ish!
« on: February 02, 2017, 03:30:34 pm »
Pack for climate conditions you are likely to encounter, not the number of days.

As for food, during road tours I don't recall ever having to carry food for more than the day and a little something for the next day's breakfast. Personally, I like to plan most of my overnight stays in locations that have a food source, or at least one close to the destinations. When that's not possible or when I want to stay at a place with no food source near by or close on the way, I will try to come up with dinner and breakfast ideas that are relatively light weight.

Philly representin' again! Good luck.
BTW...What's your route out of town and across PA, assuming you are crossing PA?

Routes / Re: Pros and Cons of Northern Tier vs. Lewis and Clark in Pac NW
« on: February 02, 2017, 02:49:59 pm »
Just did a rough calculation of my Northern Tier experience. Backing out the days from Seattle (where we started) to Bay View (just east of Anacortes) we reached Fargo in 34 days. That included rest days in Winthrop, WA, Sandpoint, ID, Glacier N.P. (waiting for Logan Pass to open) Glasgow, MT and Minot, ND. We did do the Alberta portion, which added some days because, including a short day because of the way the mileages worked out heading back into the states. It also included some needlessly short days on the Montana Highline. So I too think a little over 30 days is possible.

General Discussion / Re: Lions and tigers and bears oh my!!!
« on: February 02, 2017, 02:39:07 pm »
Definitely check yourself for ticks and remove asap - but definitely not DEET - if you've seen what it does to plastic,  waterproofs,  tent if you accidentally spill even a tiny drop you wouldn't want this near your skin.
Seen what it does. Still use it. Been in too many places where they have just been too numerous. During my backcountry backpack tour in Glacier N.P. my guide liked to see how many skeeters he could kill at one time when he lit the stove to prime it. He actually refused to use DEET because he was constantly in heavy skeeter country. I can certainly understand that. But in my case, I use it so infrequently that I think there a lot of other things that are far more likely to bring about my demise.

General Discussion / Re: Transporting Your Bike Overseas
« on: February 02, 2017, 02:32:36 pm »
Are there any airlines left that allow you to simply put your bike in a bag supplied by the airline? Back in '00 I flew back to the states from Spain on Iberia and British Airways with my bike that way.

During that seven week trip around Spain the campground where started and ended the trip agreed to hold my box for me. I only gave up on the box for the trip home because I didn't think I would be able to get a large enough taxi to pick me up at some very early hour for such a short ride to the airport. Ended up riding to the airport after talking to an Iberia agent they day before the flight and learning about the bag option.

Routes / Re: West to East - Indiana and Ohio
« on: January 31, 2017, 01:46:07 pm »
Cheers for the pointers - I've googled the Pennslylvania bike route you mentioned and found some links for maps but don't seem to get anywhere - ?old links that don't work any more - any advice would be great.

Yeah. Some search results return links that no longer work.

A few years ago I rode the Great Allegheny Passage Trail mentioned above from Pittsburgh to Cumberland. From there, I took U.S. 220 then U.S. 220 Business to Bedford to pick up Route S. Took Route S proper into Lancaster Country then modified it for a stretch based on personal knowledge. (I live in Philly and ride in Lancaster County relatively frequently.) Pick up the route again in Chester County, left it in the Phoenixville, PA area and made my way to the Schuylkill River Trail and took that into town.

Overall, I liked Route V better, although Route S does afford you the opportunity to ride a nearly 9 mile stretch of abandoned PA Turnpike with it's two long, unlit tunnels. Spooky experience if you are on your own like I was. Bright light (I used my camping headlamp) is essential. If you have ever seen the film "The Road" starring Viggo Mortensen, one of the tunnel portals was used as a filming location. Plenty of camping on or close to both routes.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route
« on: January 30, 2017, 02:03:28 pm »
I don't think the answers have changed since you asked the same basic question last year:

Routes / Re: Pros and Cons of Northern Tier vs. Lewis and Clark in Pac NW
« on: January 30, 2017, 01:59:44 pm »
Is it logical that I could / would mostly camp but stay in a hotel every 5 day'ish?

Doable on the Northern Tier, at least through Montana. Plenty of camping opportunities. Motels in and around Winthrop/Twisp, WA. (You may want one after crossing the Cascades.;)), Tonasket, Republic, Colville and Ione, WA,, Sandpoint, ID, Libby, Eureka and Whitefish/Columbia Falls, MT. From Cut Bank, MT east there are several towns with motels (e.g., Havre).

I highly recommend the Northern Tier section into Alberta, Canada. Waterton Village, about 5 miles off route, is a nice place for a day off. There is a great towne campsite along the lake with mountain views and a boat ride/hike combo you can take.

When are you planning on starting? Glacier has gotten a good amount of snow this year. If that keeps up, Logan Pass might open later than earlier. The Northern Tier was my first ever tour, so I have a soft spot for it. You don't want to miss Logan pass. Yes. Central and eastern Montana can get monotonous, but I still enjoyed the area and the towns we stayed in. Harlem allowed camping the city park and had a nice public pool. And if you get a killer tailwind you can knock off some serious miles with relative ease. One day, during a 20 mile stretch into Malta after breakfast, I sustained 32.5 mph for several miles. When I finally went into the red for too long I had to dial it back to 28.5 mph.

Routes / Re: West to East - Indiana and Ohio
« on: January 30, 2017, 01:38:56 pm »
Pennsylvania Bike Route V passes through the Brush Valley east of Penn State University. The Brush Valley is home to numerous Amish farm. You are more likely to see people out and about in buggies on the weekends. Route V ends at the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border, which sets you up for New York (assuming you mean New York City). If you find yourself going near Vienna, Ohio, I have a nice route from there that takes you to Route V in Emlenton, PA and incorporates about 23 miles of pretty rail-trail along the Allegheny River.

If there is snow on the side of road there very well could be ice in the road.

I am calling troll on this one.

General Discussion / Re: THE NORTHERN TIER
« on: January 27, 2017, 10:32:51 am »
You are more likely to have access to Logan Pass if you start in the east as long as you don't end up there in late September. They often close the pass at some fixed date regardless of weather so they can perform road work without interference.

Raccoons and other rodents will give you far more trouble than bears. You will be lucky to even see a bear. The dreaded chipmunk or squirrel, however, may chew through your tent mesh to get at food inside. Been there. Done that. During my tour last September a darn raccoon literally grabbed one of my panniers off a picnic table bench and started dragging it away. I was camping in New Jersey bear country so all my food, etc., was stored in a building. My guess is that the pannier still carried the scent of some strong smelling bagels I had been carrying earlier in the day. Fortunately, I heard what was going on and was able to get out of my tent and scare him off.

Routes / Re: Looking for a multi-day wine/beer/bike trip in Pacific NW
« on: January 26, 2017, 11:15:09 am »
If you are cool with large, organized tours, Cycle Oregon's 30th anniversary is this year. The route they are doing is close to what they did for their 20th, which I was there for. Don't know about breweries/wineries, but the route is spectacular and includes an option to ride up to and around Crater Lake. It also includes the incredibly pretty Aufderhide Highway and McKenzie Pass. Appears one night will be spent just outside Cottage Grove. If you are a movie fan, Cottage Grove is the town where the homecoming parade scene of "Animal House" was filmed. The ride has a travelling beer and wine garden.

Here is the link:

General Discussion / Re: THE NORTHERN TIER
« on: January 26, 2017, 11:00:22 am »
Which direction and what is your planned start date? Glacier N.P. and (I suspect) the North Cascades Highway have been getting a lot of snow this winter. If you start west to east in late May you may encounter some snowy conditions, and Logan Pass in Glacier may not yet be open when you arrive. It's something you don't want to miss, and the work around is a long climb that simply doesn't compare scenery-wise.

Routes / Re: Can I Cycle the Sierra Cascades route in March?
« on: January 25, 2017, 01:14:09 pm »

I am planning on riding all the way across the country. After Utah, I would like to see Lizard Head Pass..... That will be in the middle of April....
The average nightly low for Telluride through all of April is 22. Clayton Campground, south of the pass, doesn't open until early May. Matterhorn, north of the pass, doesn't open until mid-May. I suspect the same is true of Sunshine Campground.

I camped at Matterhorn riding south from Telluride after I got caught in a thunderstorm climbing Lizard Head and was borderline hypothermic. Did I mention that was in mid-July?

Bring your long underwear and some warm mittens! Happy trails!

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