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Messages - indyfabz

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Routes / Re: Transam Motels around Jeffrey City, Wy?
« on: November 15, 2013, 11:05:08 am »
Brings back memories of the lovely, and now defunct, JC Motel. One guest who stayed there near the end reported mushrooms growing out of the carpet in his room.

IIRC, there was a church in town that allowed people to stay there until somebody/some people did something to mess that up.

FYI...JC was established as a uranium mining town. The town started down hill around '81 after the bottom fell out of the uranium market. When I was there in '00 you could still see some of the barrack-type buildings that once housed workers.

General Discussion / Re: hybrid7.2 trek for touring bike?
« on: November 14, 2013, 01:39:47 pm »
I am in the "take your road" bike camp. With support, what more would you need to carry over and above what you usually take on every day road rides?

As for gearing, if you think you may need to, there may be ways to lower it without investing too much. In May I took my road bike to the pre-Alp region of Veneto Italy for two weeks of day rides from a residence hotel. I have a 50x34 compact up front. Having SRAM components, I simply bought a long cage RD, 12x32 casette and a new chain. $200 or so installed.

Routes / Re: Yellowstone to Rapid City, SD
« on: November 14, 2013, 01:28:01 pm »
Have you cheked crazyguyonabike? You might also want to register with if you haven't already. There is a touring subforum.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier for the Non-Camper
« on: November 14, 2013, 01:25:37 pm »
It's just that I REALLY like carrying "nothing" and staying in hippy deluxe  B&Bs where they server home made granola with yogurt and fresh fruit, Celestial Seasons tea,....etc.. ;-))

You might like this HI hostal in Niagara Falls:

When we stayed there back in '99 they actually had a Merry Prankster-style bus. For a fee, they took us on a tour of some non/less-touristy places in the area, including a brewery and winery. It's located in the old part of town, so you are not constantly durrounded by the throngs.

Don't confuse it with the motel of a similar name. That place has some bad reviews.

Gear Talk / Re: Shipping My LHT with Racks and Fenders
« on: November 12, 2013, 10:08:17 am »
$200/bike each way from Philly to Venice back in May. When one of my friends got back he found a split in one of the chainstays of his carbon frame. Upon inspecting his hard case he found a slit in the box, the dimensions of which were eerily similar to those of a fork lift blade. U.S. Air did compensate him for a new frame.

What really pissed me off was that we upgraded to 1st Class for the flight home yet we still got charged the full $200 for each bike even though the second bag, which was normally $100, was free because of our status. IMO, that $100 should have been credited towards the $200 bike charge. In other words, we each lost the $100 perk that came with 1st Class simply because we had a bike rather than "normal" second bags and then had to pay $200 each on top of everything else. That was definitely mean.

Gear Talk / Re: Shipping My LHT with Racks and Fenders
« on: November 11, 2013, 09:34:32 am »
Check with your airline. I flew Southwest once and found that I could take my bike as baggage for $50. They didn't have a lot of restrictions about size. Some other airlines aren't so friendly.

SW has upped its charge to $75. Still low compared to most other carriers.

General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier For Non Campers
« on: November 11, 2013, 09:32:07 am »
I am familiar with warm showers and will look into that. The problem there lies with my wife who is not so keen on "strangers" in her house. Then again, where we live does not lend itself to many overnight tourists so...... Worth considering for my benefit.

I think the suggestion was to use it for places to stay, not for you hosting others. You don't have to host in order to be a guest.

As for hotels/motels, you will likely need to make advance reservations in Glacier National Park and its environs (e.g., Columbia Falls, Whitefish) and Waterton Village if you do the western Canadian portion. Another problem spot could be in the area of the North Cascades National Park.  IIRC, there are limited options from Mazama west to maybe Concrete. There are places after you descend from the pases, but I think their size is limited so there may be competition for space if you are there during high season.

If you find you can pack them, a light sleeping bag and/or mattress would give you the option of staying in campground cabins, such as those at the KOA in Winthrop, WA and the Adirondack shelters at Steelhead Park in Rockport, WA.

BTW...The NT is sufficently south of Chi that you are not influenced by it. In fact, the portion through IL was pretty rural much of the way.

General Discussion / Re: Calling locals in Pitsburgh - info please
« on: November 04, 2013, 01:15:33 pm »
The Big Savage Tunnel is generally closed from December until April 10th. I suppose it could open later (or earlier) depending on conditions.  If you do Facebook, you might want to check the GAP page for updates. Also, heed what DaveB wrote about the C&) when it has been wet. I have friends who did it years ago. They had major mud problems thanks to a protracted period of rain. April showers....

General Discussion / Re: Calling locals in Pitsburgh - info please
« on: November 04, 2013, 11:00:17 am »
I did the GAP in early September this year, camping. Pleasant high and low temperatures. No rain. No real bugs to mention. Started out from the Point on a Saturday. I didn't see too many people who looked like they were riding through. Of the few that did, all but one were heading north. Maybe kids being back in school had something to do with the apparent lack of through riders.. The owner of the guest house in Rockwood told me the place was totally vacant on the Sunday I stayed at his companion campground.
I drove out Friday and stayed at the Hampton Inn near the train station. Ran me around $200 for the night. I don't think they have an airport shuttle, but if you can get your own shuttle there, it's pretty close to the start.

I had originally planned to drive out Saturday and start Sunday, but I could not find an available hotel room in town for Saturday night. I think that was because of a U. Pitt football game and/or a Steelers home game. Something to consider if you go in the fall.

Gear Talk / Re: Shipping My LHT with Racks and Fenders
« on: November 01, 2013, 10:37:16 am »
(The Amtrak schedule doesn't appear to be much better than driving in my car.)  Thank you all!!

I think what he was suggesting is to ship your bike via Amtrak even if you are flying. Amtrak offers freight service for non-passengers between certain ciities.

If you have the $, you can ship via UPS/FedEx to a shop and have them reassemble the bike for you. That's what we have done for our last two tours out west (although I did put my racks on myself, but that takes about 10 min.). After a long flight and getting situated at the start, it's nice to be able to have your bike ready to roll. The shop holds the box. At the end of the trip, you drop the bike off, tell them where you want it shipped and off you go for beers. To me, it's worth the $90 or so total (plus shipping, of course) it costs.

Routes / Re: help on banff-yellowstone roundtrip
« on: November 01, 2013, 10:17:10 am »
My reply assumed his start date of the begiinning of April.

Gear Talk / Re: Shipping My LHT with Racks and Fenders
« on: October 31, 2013, 01:39:10 pm »
Why not simply take off the racks and fenders and put them in the box? While I don't use fenders, I have shipped my 60cm LHT with the racks in the same box. They easily fit around the frame and thus did not affect box size. The larger the box, the more it's going to cost you.

Routes / Re: help on banff-yellowstone roundtrip
« on: October 31, 2013, 11:26:16 am »
The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route would almost certainly not be an option if only due to snowpack in the north. Read this:

The Great Parks does go over Cheif Mountain, but there is a way to avoid it by going from Elko into MT at Roosville.

Even if you stuck to the roads, I think you would be riding a lot in cold, wet/snowy conditions with icy roads. Doesn't sound like much fun to me. I rode a paved portion of the GD route (Polaris to Wise River) a few years ago. There were still a few piles of snow along side the road and it was below 40 at night. That was at the beginning of July.

Routes / Re: TransAm Problems
« on: October 30, 2013, 01:07:07 pm »
I was going to add a caution about locals but I can see other already have. Fortunately, I have mostly encountered overestimations of distance that seemed off based on my maps. Just last month I had two locals give me overestimations. One said 20 miles when it was 10. Another told me 20-25 when it was really 15. But there was a park ranger in Bay View, WA who swore up and down the grocery store in Burlington was 8 miles round trip from the park. The map clearly suggested it was 8 miles one way, and it was.

Routes / Re: TransAm Problems
« on: October 30, 2013, 09:45:41 am »
Winds? What are you going to do but ride? Winds often pick up as the day goes on and drop in the evening. Ride early and take a break in the middle of the day if need be. I like to get on the road early anyway, especially if it's going to be hot. Finishing early also decreases the chances that you will have to compete for a camp site in popular places such as national parks.

Dog? A loud yell usually does the trick. A squirt of water to the face does, too. Show them who is top dog.

Traffic: Again, start early. One exception might be heading into a city with a relatively large population. You might wait until after rush hour. Last month I toured across much of PA. Spent a noght not too far outside of York, which is a mid-sized city with a good deal of sprawl around it. Started at first light in an effort to beat the morning commute. Didn't make it.. Had the day not been a hard 80+ mile one, I would have started later in the morning.

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