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Messages - indyfabz

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General Discussion / Re: camping sites in the Western USA
« on: October 07, 2015, 10:53:48 am »
" Search "campgrounds near [name of town and state]". Zoom out to widen the results if nothing shows up. The results will not be exhaustive since the search will not return town parks that allow camping, but it is a good start."

This does work usually with regular Google searching, not Google maps.

Huh? I do it all the time with Google Maps. I planned an entire 8-day trip across PA last year because the maps for the PA official bike routes don't show campgrounds. In fact, I just did it yesterday to search for alternative places to stay when I discovered my planned stop on Saturday is booked solid. Give the specific I have for Wise River a shot. Seeing them in Google Maps allows one to see their locations in relation to roads, towns, etc.

General Discussion / Re: camping sites in the Western USA
« on: September 30, 2015, 11:18:48 am »
Thanks , Do the ACA maps identify suitable camping spots along all the routes ? As I get older I find the uncertainty of looking for camping spots late in the day a real pain and am keen to avoid this.

Yes. They are well-documented. I like to know my options so I don't have to look for camping spots at the end of the day. Over the years I have done the entire Northern Tier route (shorter segments more than once) and parts of the Pacific Coast, Great Parks North, Great Parks South, Great Divide Mountain Bike (very short portion) and the Atlantic Coast routes and have always appreciated the camping information. And since I cook dinners, knowing where there are grocery stores is also very helpful to me.

County and town camping sites such as parks and fairgrounds are often free or low cost. Knowing where they are could defray at least some of the map costs.

Routes / Re: which route in usa
« on: September 29, 2015, 11:24:14 am »
The last two times (2011 and 2014) I was on a short portion of the TransAm in Montana riding east, nearly everyone I met heading west had started in the east in early to mid-May. I think one guy had started in late April. Shortly before the 2011 trip I read the journal of a guy who started in early April and got massively snowed on riding in the mountains of Montana. He had to get a ride over the pass from Ennis west to Sheridan. The day I started my 2014 trip in mid-June I met a woman who told me a few days before she had driven over Lost Trail Pass, which is on the TransAm, in slushy conditions. The point being is that, depending on your pace, you might want to time things so you don't end up out west "too early." I got rained, hailed and snowed on during the third day of my 2014 trip at close to 8,000'.  Wasn't the nicest experience.

My 2011 trip started around June 22nd, nearly a week later than my 2014 trip (June 16th or so.). I rant into many more westbound riders during the former trip than I did during the latter. I must have hit the sweet spot on the former trip. The former trip also had much drier and sunnier weather. YMMV.

General Discussion / Re: camping sites in the Western USA
« on: September 29, 2015, 11:05:50 am »
If you have a specific or general route idea, you can use Google Maps to search for both public (e.g., forest service, BLM, state parks) campgrounds) and private campgrounds. Search "campgrounds near [name of town and state]". Zoom out to widen the results if nothing shows up. The results will not be exhaustive since the search will not return town parks that allow camping, but it is a good start.

For an example I used when planning a tour in Montana search Google Maps for "campgrounds near wise river, mt". The search will yield you numerous results, including several U.S.F.S. campgrounds and even a motel that has camping.  You can then Google the campground names and often find specific pages about the various facilities. For example, the above-search includes Divide Bridge Campground. If you Google that name you get, among other hits, the following, which details the amenities of the place:

Routes / Re: Solo ride from the Bronx to Boston
« on: September 24, 2015, 10:53:21 am »
The OP stated that she has purchased Sections 1 and 2 so I assumed she is considering following the route proper, including the NYC spur. That spur heads south from the Summit, NJ area to Lamberville, NJ and then up the Delaware River to Port Jervis, NY. It then ends up crossing the Hudson in the Poughkeepsie, NY area. It does eventually go into CT and MA, but not along the CT coast nor near Northampton, MA. IIRC, there is a spur from the Ayer, MA area that takes one to Boston.

A good number of private campgrounds along the way can be very expensive. Driftstone on route in NJ, is at or close to $40/night. The KOA in Cuddebackville, NY will run you about $37/night for a basic tent site. One place outside of New Paltz, NY is $44/night. NY state parks appear to be on the less expensive site. For example, a tent site at Mills-Norrie, just north of Hyde Park, is only $15/night.

Routes / Re: Solo ride from the Bronx to Boston
« on: September 22, 2015, 03:37:47 pm »
All NJ state parks are $25 for non-residents.

Even for cyclists setting up a tent for the night?  Wow.  I realize every motel in the northeast is $175 minimum.  But it still seems exorbitant.

Yep. Just did a three-day to a NJ state forest campground this past weekend. It's $20/night for residents and $25/night for non-residents. And dig this: They now use for reservations. It charges a $9.50 transaction fee on top of the nightly rate. I live in PA, so my two nights of camping cost me $59.50. I consider reserveamerica to be the TicketMaster of campground reservations. The site for NJ state parks is really obnoxious in that it doesn't list a reservation phone number. They obviously want to frustrate people to the point where they will set up an account and reserve on line. The obvious reasons are: they get your email address and it saves on labor costs.

But wait! There's more! If you don't make a reservation and simply show up and request a site at the office they charge you a "reservation fee" even though you didn't make a reservation.  IIRC, when I did that at the same state forest last year they charged me a fee of $5/night.

Neither PA not NJ have hiker-biker sites. PA parks tend to be a bit less expensive. It varies by park. I think the fees are usually in the high teens to low 20s. Same rate for non-residents. When I crossed PA last year I stayed in mostly private places. I think I paid $26/night for the most expensive place, $18 or $19 for one state park and between $22 and $24 for the other private places. One place--a township park along a popular trail--was free.

You can find cheap motels if you know where to look. I know a couple of places in the Delaware Water Gap area that are $100/night or under depending on the day.

Routes / Re: Solo ride from the Bronx to Boston
« on: September 22, 2015, 09:09:16 am »
Worthington State Forest on route in NJ is a nice place to camp right along the river. Flush toilets and hot showers. All NJ state parks are $25 for non-residents. If you stay there, ask to be put in a group site with a bear locker.  I think I stayed in group site A. There are a decent number of bears up there, but don't let that worry you.  If you are lucky enough to see one on the road it will almost certainly run away from you.

The closest food sources are in Delaware Water Gap, PA, which is on route before you cross over the ped/bike walkway along I-80. There is no grocery store, but slightly off route in the "heart" of the town (it's not that big) there is a pizza place, a diner, a really nice bakery and a few higher end restaurants. There is also a small c-store that's part of a gas station. It's been a few years since I stopped in there but I seem to recall that they had things like canned chili and the like, but don't expect to get ingredients for hearty, cooked meal. Also, pack extra food/snacks for breakfast and the next day's ride because there is not much in the way of services from Worthington until Port Jervis, NY. You will find water and bathrooms at Millbrook Village. You will also pass the Walpack Inn, but I am not sure it's open for lunch, at least during the week. Along this stretch you can go off route a few easy miles from the junction of NPS 615 and Old Mine Rd. to get to Layton, where the Layton Country Store and Café serves up very good eats, and then backtrack. Not aware of any state parks on route north of Port Jervis until you get to the Hyde Park, NY area.

When are you planning on leaving? It can get pretty cold at night in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. I have done a couple editions of the Black Bear Century up there in mid-October. One year it was 32 degrees when we left the hotel to ride a few miles to the start of the event.

General Discussion / Re: How much is this bike worth?
« on: September 15, 2015, 09:56:45 am »
I've never heard of this custom frame maker.  Maybe he is more famous around his area.

Says he was with Fat City back in the day. Independent Fabrication. was started by some former Fat City people.

Independent Fabrication and Fat City are well known.  So this bike company may have some history.  But Independent says they make a custom steel touring frame and fork today for $2300.  Lower price than I would have guessed.  $2300 or so for the frame and fork may be the correct retail price for this bike.  Igleheart website shows a custom frame price of $2200 and a fork price of about $500.  Not too bad.  More than Independent, but...  I think the person trying to sell this bike should use these full retail prices as a good source of information.  You are right about the Igleheart decals looking just like Independent Fabrication decals.

Yeah. I saw his frame price list. It left me scratching my head as to how he got to $9K retail.

General Discussion / Re: Carbon or touring bike?
« on: September 15, 2015, 09:43:05 am »
Thanks Indyfabz. I'm gonna change my cassette this weekend and go with go with lower gearing. I have 23mm tires and wanted something "more stable"   I know 28 won't fit. Will try 25 this weekend too. Thanks for your input.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Sure. When I did my conversion for two weeks of day riding in NE Italy I think I spent a total of about $150 including labor. The bike was built with SRAM. Got an inexpensive SRAM MTB cassette, new chain and (I think) X9 long cage RD. Had I shopped around for part I probably could have spent less.

As for tires, maybe look into something a bit tougher like Conti Gator Skins.

While my Surly might (I have a new custom ti road frame that I can ride all day) be more comfortable over the long run due to geometry and larger tire capacity, the weight and aerodynamic penalties would not be worth it for a supported tour.

General Discussion / Re: Carbon or touring bike?
« on: September 14, 2015, 08:35:24 am »
No way would I take my Surly LHT on a trip like that. If you are worried about gearing, there are ways to get lower gearing without breaking the bank. One option to look into is getting a long cage RD and a MTB cassette with something like a 34t large cog. Pair that with a 50-34 compact crank if you have one and you should be good to go.

General Discussion / Re: How much is this bike worth?
« on: September 14, 2015, 08:31:22 am »
I've never heard of this custom frame maker.  Maybe he is more famous around his area.

Says he was with Fat City back in the day. Independent Fabrication. was started by some former Fat City people. The Igle bock lettering is somewhat similar to the block lettering IF uses/used, only more stylistic.

Haven't ridden it and I'm sure it is a beast of a climb, but from Yellowstone, go NE via Cooke City and Red Lodge towards Laurel.  Connect with Lewis and Clark there.

Sounds like it could be an interesting challenge:

"Be Weather Ready

"Reaching 10,977 feet at Beartooth Pass, and surrounded by 20 mountain peaks that reach over 12,000 feet, the Beartooth Highway crosses some of the most extreme country in the world. The high alpine climate ensures that severe weather conditions occur almost every month of the year. Summertime temperatures can range from the 70s on sunny days to below freezing during sudden snowstorms. Keep these extreme conditions in mind when planning a visit to the Beartooth Highway. Pack appropriate clothing including warm jackets and hats. Those planning outdoor recreation time may want to include additional foot wear and other items that will provide more warmth.

"The road is normally plowed by Memorial Day, but closures are common through June due to spring snow storms. From the opening near Memorial Day, the road is seldom closed more than one day to remove the snow. It is not uncommon to experience blizzard type conditions both in the spring and the fall, especially at higher elevations. When these events occur, travel is slowed considerably or the highway is closed until it can be reopened by maintenance crews. Being aware of these possible weather conditional [sic]"

Routes / Re: which route in usa
« on: September 09, 2015, 09:28:26 am »
The Western Express/TransAm west to east starting during that time frame would probably suck weather-wise. You might be able to get away with it east to west depending on how the winter goes. IIRC, we had some April snow storms here in the east this past winter.

My GF is 5' even and has the smallest size Surly LHT made. She really likes it. She did some loaded touring with it using a B.O.B. on both paved and unpaved roads. Now she uses it for some city and trail riding. She even rode it on D2R2, which is a very hilly, mostly dirt radonee in New England.

Yeah, but McKenzie is da' bomb, especially west to east.

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