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Messages - indyfabz

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Routes / Re: Timing and weather
« on: October 09, 2012, 01:43:24 pm »
My mention of humidity was in relation to direction. Personally, having to deal with very high humidty during summers, I would start in early June in the east to avoid as much east and midwest humidity as possible. Riding all day in what feels like a wet diaper with nothing evaporating and no associated cooling is something I like to avoid. Those are my thoughts.

Routes / Re: Timing and weather
« on: October 08, 2012, 02:51:57 pm »
Interesting that you are focussing on weather from a cold perspective. Are you familiar with/acclimated to riding in extreme heat and humidity, which you could very well enounter in the midwest and east based on your timing? Having once done it, riding through the midwest in 90-100+ temps (topping out at 107 in IN, with a low the night before of 85) and oppressive humidity for at least two weeks straight is something I would try to avoid.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier / TransAm Start Date Question (E to W travel)
« on: October 07, 2012, 01:16:40 pm »
I was on the Trans Am heading east for a few days last year. Left from Missoula on June 29th and rode to the eastern base of Big Hole Pass. On July 4th we spent the night in Twin Bridges, which is also on the Trans Am. We met several western-bound people who had started early to mid-May.

As noted, conditions can vary from year to year. When we arrived in MSO is was rather chilly and the weather had been not so nice all spring and summer up until then. The week before our trip, snow showers were forecast in some of the areas we were to ride to. Fortunately, we hit the first extended stretch of dry, warm weather.

Having done the the entire Nothern Tier, the western section to Glacier a second time and much of the OR section of the Trans Am to Florence, I can recommend taking the Trans Am to MSO and then jumping on the Great Parks to Whitefish. Form there, head to Glacier, make camp and ride up and back down the west side of Going to the Sun. Then head back west and finish on the Northern Tier. Sort of the best of both worlds. You would miss McKenzie Pass in OR, but GTS more than makes up for it IMO. Plus, I wasn't a big fan of the high desert of eastern and central OR. The WA mountains were more interesting to me.  From near the end of the Northern Tier you can pretty easily get to Seattle, which offers plenty of transportation options home.

Routes / Re: Detailed maps
« on: October 05, 2012, 02:16:29 pm »
When we were touring in Montana last year we got a pretty good Department of Transportation map for free. Some local chamber of commerce office had a pile of them. At least in better times, states would print them and give them out like water.

I believe this is the on-line version:

It's a large PDF that I find cumbersome to work with.

General Discussion / Re: Overcoming butt pain
« on: October 04, 2012, 09:24:09 am »
Another vote for the Terry Liberator. If you can get one from R.E.I. you can return it for a full refund if it doesn't work for you.

Routes / Re: TransAm to Western Express, VA to Califorinia
« on: October 04, 2012, 09:18:48 am »
Try looking through here:

Query: Might a start date of mid to late May put one in the NV desert in July?

Gear Talk / Re: front platform racks: Surly Nice or Old Man Pioneer?
« on: October 03, 2012, 03:54:17 pm »
Did you rule out the Nitto Big front rack from Rivendell? Very strong, attaches to the eyelets down low and using p-clamps up top, places panniers at mid-level, or you can attach them to the top rail for even greater clearence and gorgeous. However, it ain't cheap.

Routes / Re: Allegheny Loop Info
« on: October 03, 2012, 03:49:03 pm »
Great journal. I bought the map a few years ago and keep saying "I'll get to it." After reading your account, I definitely need to get my rear in gear. I have plans to ride to my 30th high school reunion in Mass. next year. I should be able to carry over enough vacation days to do both and still have time for a trip with the GF.

Routes / Re: Route from California to Canada - WIND DIRECTION?!
« on: September 26, 2012, 02:19:09 pm »

Just climbed from Fort Klamath up to Crater Lake, rode around the rim and then down to Prospect a few weeks ago on Cycle Oregon. The day after that we did Prospect to Ashland. After a rest day we climbed out of Ashland the same way we came in--on Dead Indial Memorial Rd., which is what I believe the ACA route uses. The climb is arduous. It was early in the morning, so wind was not a factor, but after the short descent from the summit, we hit some headwind. Not intimately familiar with the ACA route, but if it goes from Prospect up to Crater Lake via Rte. 62, that's a 30 mile ascent of one degreee or another. Wind was not a factor. Once you are up at the rim, anything goes. We had a headwind for a while going clockwise from the lodge to the park road that leads down to Rte. 138. I climbed that road 5 years ago into a headwind.

In short, I think the hills will be much more of an issue than the wind. The heat, too. It was at least 90 F in Ashland on 9/12 and 9/13. It cool up on the rim road this year, but pretty darn warm five years ago despite the altitude and early September date.

Routes / Re: Emergencies on paved rail-trails??
« on: September 25, 2012, 10:56:41 am »
Have seen them on several occasions on the Schuylkill River Trail, which is used on your spur into Philadelphia and which is the I-95 of trails in this area.

By "can" I assume you mean is it physically possible. Access and response time could be affected by remoteness and surrounding topography. For example, the 23 or so mile trail through the Lehigh Gorge State Park has only a few access points. The Pine Creek Gorge trail is another one that comes to mind. Trails are often managed by government agencies or authorties who be expsoing themselves to liability if they were to unduly hamper emergency vehicle access with things like bollards that cannot be quickly removed.

Regarding "may," I have seen numerous trail rules publications that prohibit motorized vehilces except emergency response and other similar vehicles.

General Discussion / Re: Swiss Alpine Bike Tour 2012 - Photo Gallery
« on: September 18, 2012, 11:13:30 am »
"Absolutely beautiful" is an understatement. I love it when you can get close to domesticated animals.

And what a great facility the route is. Maybe you could post your deviations for those who might want to follow in your tire tracks.

General Discussion / Re: Traveling the TransAm spring of 2013
« on: September 16, 2012, 05:59:34 pm »
I guess it's time for the fall, 2012 iteration of this question.  Most all the answers will be, "Do it like I did it."


As noted, your start date screams E-W. We were on the TA heading east from Missoula for a few days last year at the end of June and met people who had started east mid-May. They were having a fine time.

At a minimum, you want to experience McKenzie Pass in OR, which will almost certainly be closed if you start in the west mid-May.

New England / Re: North Atlantic Coast Camping????
« on: September 05, 2012, 11:31:54 am »
It sounds rediculous, but that's what most places charge up that way. I came down from Bar Harbor to Philly after crossing the country. I don't recall any cheap camping except for maybe a state park outside of Freeport, ME, and that was in '99.

This spring I did a 3-day on the ACA route from Port Jervis to Philly. I camped at a commerical place on route just south of Port Jervis. The owner gave me a price break because I was on a bike. Think he charged me $15. The campground at Worthington State Forest on Old Mine Road is a great place to stay, and the ride there from Port Jervis is sweet. $25 for non-NJ residents. While there are almost no services between Port Jervis and the campground, you can drop your gear and ride the relatively short distance into Delawar Water Gap, PA. There is a diner and pizza place there along with a couple of other more expensive places to eat. No grocery store, but there is a C-store with limited selection of groceries. I would not recommend stealth camping in the Delaware Water Gap Nat. Rec. Area unless you take serious anti-bear measures. There are a lot of them up that way. Worthington in on the AT so there are group sites with bear lockers. An employee there told me they would never turn a cyclist away, so no need to make a reservation.

I also camped at Dog Wood Haven on Lodi Hill Road on the PA side of the river across from Milford, NJ. (The campground is listed on the map addendum now that Bull's Island campground is closed.) The owner is a nice guy. He also charged me $15 since I came on a bike and offered me a beer. The local grocery/liquor store in Milford may not look like much from the outside, but it has a good selection of groceries. And the pizza place in town is good.

In theory, you can stealth camp along the D&R trail between Frenchtown and Stockton, but you have to look carefully for s spot as the area between the trail and the river can be rocky, overgrown and/or not level enough for a tent. South of Stockton, things get a little more developed, but I can see maybe fiding a secluded spot if you look hard enough. Forget it once you hit L'Ville as the trail runs behind houses and right against the canal.

Send me a PM if you would like more info. on this part of the route.  BTW...I was just in the Summit area on Sunday. Our club does an annual ride from New Hope, PA to Cobble Hill in Brooklyn.

General Discussion / Re: Bike shipping / Lesson learned?
« on: September 05, 2012, 10:59:03 am »
After looking at various options on this forum and others out there in internet land, I'm pretty well convinced that BikeFlight is the way to go for shipping our tandem cross-country next month. I was wondering if there is anyone amongst the forum that has used a CrateWorks  shipping box. Rather expensive, however I wondered if my percieved ease of packing (looks like everything you need is there, no stuffing the bike /equipment in via the narrow top )  and the added protection of it's design is worth the protection. Any further recomendations/comments in addition to ideas posted above?


My custom IF is sitting at home packed inside a CrateWorks box (the poly one) at this very moment. Going to Cycle Oregon on Friday.

I first used one to fly to Spain in '00. Not only did it hold my 63 cm Cannondale T-700, but also my tent, sleeping bag and helmet. For reasosns I won't bore you with, I ended up abandoning it there.

Bought a second one back in '02. This will be it's fifth flight. It has also been used twice to ship my 60cm Surly LHT to Montana via UPS. Still holding up strong. They are roomy boxes but sitll "legal." Easy to load. The internal tie downs can be positioned to best secure your particular frame size/geometry. Mine came with a diagram affixed to the inside showing you how to position the bike and tie it doen. And you can replace certain parts of they get damaged.

While I like the internal compression straps, I am less than enthusiastic about the outer h-strap system. TSA at my airport doesn't have a large scanning machine, so they open bike boxes. Some employees have had trouble figuring out how to re-secure the straps. One time, I got the box back with two of the straps tied in a knot.

Gear Talk / Re: Helmet with face protection?
« on: August 28, 2012, 09:54:21 am »
Road helmets don't prevent your head hitting the road.

Huh? I crashed back in June when someone kicked up a stick and it lodged between the outside of my front wheel and inside of the fork. I went flying. My helmet hit the ground. My head did not. No broken skin whatsoever, which is nice because I take blood thinners.

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