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Messages - indyfabz

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General Discussion / Re: Missoula MT to Sand Point ID
« on: May 12, 2016, 01:51:06 pm »
Done some of what you are talking about (the portion between Sandpoint and the jct. of MT 200 and MT 56) back in '99 and '00. Bull River (U.S.F.S. campground) just south of MT 56 was nice:

Also, there is a nice, partially unpaved alternative between there are Clark Fork that gets you off MT 200 for a while:

Crossing the river into Clark Fork there are two bridges. I believe the old steel truss bridge is a bike/ped crossing.

Some asked this same question before. IIRC, some who had ridden in the area suggested taking the paved Blue Slide Rd. between Thompson Falls and the north end of Trout Creek.

I have been doing some preliminary planning for a trip next year that includes Thompson Falls and saw this place:

It's small, so a reservation might be a good idea.

We did Brandon Gap W to E instead of Middlebury Gap during ACA's '99 Northern Tier tour because it was closer to where we had to go off route to camp the night before. It's a nice ride, but note that their a very steep pitch near the top. It was the only time during he entire trip that I thought I was going to have to walk. Still, it's probably better than trying to ride unpaved 125. Did that during ACA's '10 Cycle Vermont when they were paving the west slope of Middlebury Gap. Made for a hairy descent at times.

General Discussion / Re: Newbie ISO perfect touring bike
« on: May 11, 2016, 04:23:23 pm »

As for the bikes mentioned in this post, is gearing the biggest issue here? I thought you could modify bikes to accommodate lower gear settings, yeah?

But component swapping to get sufficiently low gears might end up costing you more in the end. For example, You might need an entirely new drivetrain. The Fuji Touring, on the other hand, comes sufficiently geared for most. I am a big guy and not a superlative climber and I get by with the same gearing as the Fuji.

Then the sufficiency of the wheels vis-à-vis your planned load also needs to be evaluated and may need attention in the form of replacements. Nothing sucks on a tour quite like persistent wheel problems. I know from experience.

General Discussion / Re: beckman packs
« on: May 11, 2016, 04:08:37 pm »
What vintage?

Routes / Re: East Coast Greenway Complete Route Info
« on: May 11, 2016, 10:38:05 am »
Haven't ridden the Pennsylvania portion, but having lived most of my life in Philadelphia, I can tell you that there is very little "green" in the Pennsylvania portion of the ECG. In fact, it goes through some areas of the Philadelphia that have heavy traffic and are not all that bike-friendly. South of the Philadelphia, it passes through Chester and Marcus Hook, which are industrial areas. Indeed, Rte. 291 through the Eddystone and Chester areas is literally named "Industrial Highway." I believe the ECG also uses some heavy-traffic roads into the state of Delaware. I would look at ACA's Atlantic Coast route over this portion of the ECG.

The north to south advice is for the coast due to the prevailing winds off the ocean. The two times I rode from Seattle up to the NT in Bay View wind was not really much of a factor.

Do you want to join the NT east or west of the Cascades, and if east, how far east (e.g., Winthrop, WA, Sandpoint, ID)? The answer to that question seems like it will be the biggest route driver.

General Discussion / Re: Trying to get started
« on: May 09, 2016, 07:13:25 am »
Look at the menu on the right for starters:

Routes / Re: Newbie, Summer 2016 - where?
« on: May 06, 2016, 12:45:56 pm »
What do you consider not a lot of ground in a day, and do you want to avoid mountains?

Any transportation constraints/issues?

Will you be cooking?

If you don't want high heat and humidity that eliminates a lot of obvious places. (E.g., deep south, Midwestern places like Iowa).

Maybe the Oregon coast. Plenty of other cyclists there. It's the Oregon DOT I believe that has a nice on line guide for the route, which includes camping locations.

General Discussion / Re: If you only had a couple of weeks?
« on: May 04, 2016, 09:52:30 am »
I'll be doing my third loop tour from/to Missoula, MT starting on June 14. Ten days of riding with the opportunity for a rest day or breaking one day into two shorter days. All camping except for one night in a motel in Butte, but even there you can camp if you don't mind a KOA near I-90. Some relatively short days. Some long days. (IIRC, the longest day is 80 miles but with little elevation gain.) Thing is, there are some mountains. There is also some dirt riding. Most of the dirt is benign, and there are workarounds for all of it. However, there is one 20 miles stretch that has some climbing and descending and washboards in places. The only workaround for that stretch adds some noticeable miles. Eliminating another 30 mile (but slightly down hill) stretch diminishes the beauty of the route.

Logistically, Missoula is an easy place to start a tour for me. I can fly to MSO from the east coast and take a short taxi ride to the pretty quiet KOA on the west end of town. I ship my bike to REI, which is a two block walk from the KOA, and it's ready to ride when I arrive. REI holds my bike box and duffle bag and I pick up fuel for the stove and any last minute items I may need. The next morning I shove off. When I finish, I drop the bike off at REI, give them the shipping documents, pick up my duffel bag and go have a beer.

In terms of meeting people, the first two days and some of day three follow the popular Trans Am route. After a detour off that route you rejoin it at Twin Bridges and take it for another day to Ennis before leaving it for good. From there, you end up on the L&C for a bit. Last time I rode out that way I encountered at least a dozen people doing the Trans Am or L&C and I didn't do the mileage to Ennis that year. This year my penultimate night on the road will be spent in a town where ACA's Cycle Montana supported tour will be staying.

Send me a PM if would like details, including a route map with elevation profile.

Routes / Re: TransAm trail - how fit
« on: May 02, 2016, 07:35:55 am »
When I did the Northern Tier we went off route a bit for camping and ended up doing Brandon Gap in Vermont instead of Middleburry Gap. It was the one climb of the entire trip I thought I might have to walk.

Where in northern NJ were you? I have done a little touring up there. Some nasty hill up there. The climb up Millbrook Rd. in the Delaware Water Gap NRA heading towards Blalrstown had me walking.

In any event, 26x36 should be o.k. Heading west, you will have some 8-9% stretches on Loup Loup Pass. Mazama to Washington Pass is about 16 miles, IIRC, but you won't encounter anything in the double digits. If you do the mileage from Cut Bank, MT into Alberta, there is a steep climb of about 5 miles heading back towards the MT border, but it's manageable if you pace yourself. BTW...I highly recommend not skipping that section. Waterton Village makes a great place for a rest day. The town campsite is in a dramatic setting, and there are boat ride and hike options.

Gear Talk / Re: "Adventure" bike for short rider?
« on: April 30, 2016, 09:54:04 am »
Let us know how those 28 spoke wheels hold up. There was previously a lot of discussion about them on another forum.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Weather related Norther Tier
« on: April 28, 2016, 01:43:45 pm »
The drop dead date for crossing Logan Pass this year is 10/16. With an early August start, you should be fine, but weather can close the pass earlier.

BTW...If you have never seen the plowing photos you should check them out:

General Discussion / Re: Black Hills Mickelson Trail and 38C tires
« on: April 26, 2016, 06:29:29 am »
Where was the pile of bikes at?   I would like to see that if possible.

It's right along the trail in Pringle, which you will pass through if you stay on the trail to U.S. 18 for Hot Springs.

I flew into and out of Rapid City. Shipped the bike to Cranky Jeff's.

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