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Messages - indyfabz

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General Discussion / Re: Link to this forum is buried, why???
« on: January 24, 2014, 09:52:32 am »
Hundreds of buttons? Try 32 or so. You don't have to click on the vague heading of Resources if you are industrious enough to spend a few seconds scrolling through the entire page. I am one of the least e-savy people I know and I managed to find the fourm with ease when the web site was redesigned.

General Discussion / Re: Link to this forum is buried, why???
« on: January 23, 2014, 01:12:27 pm »
The "Forum" link used to have its own button. Wish it still did to get more traffic.

Maybe things appear differently on your machine, but on mine the "Forum" button is still its own. Scroll to tbe bottom of the home page. Under the heading "Resources" there is a direct link for "Forum."

When I did ACA's group Northern Tier tour, we planned about a week ahead, in part because we had  adrop dead date we had to finish by. Only you know how far you can reasonably expect to ride each day based on the conditions. And note that, unless you intend to stealth camp, some times the planning in terms of where you will stay each noght takes care of itself due to the way accomodations are spaced out. On the westrn part of the NT route, sometimes we had the choice of reasonable miles and one mountain pass or unreasonable mileage and two mountain passes.

It might help you get into the grove by roughly planning out your first week. Using the maps, look for services such as food/groceries and campgrounds that are located in places that, based on your cycling ability, you reasonably believe you can reach each day. But definitely remain flexible. Condtions could shorten or extend a planned day. For example, you might find yourself with a steady 25 mph tailwind over the flat ground of central Montana and decide on the fy to turn a planned 55 mile day into an 80 mile day. On the flip side, bad weather may shorten your planned day or cancel it completely.


Thanks. I will look at it at home. I was a year ahead of you on ACA's '99 group NT tour. We passed through Williston and, like I am sure you did, rode Rte. 1804, although we stayed at Lewis & Clark State Park. Beautiful empty road. I and another guy on the trip stopped in Parshall for breakfast. Parshall is the place where one resident quipped a few years ago that the oil boom is creating a new ND millionaire every day.

Don't know if it's mentioned in the piece, but a side effect of the ramp up has been a marked increase in drug use, drinking, violence and prostitution. And a few weeks ago there was a firery rail accident involving Bakken crude not too far west of Fargo. Good thing it was in an areas that was far less populated than Lac Magentic, PQ.

Routes / Re: Florida to Ohio routes? maps?
« on: January 14, 2014, 01:31:24 pm »
Once you have a general idea of a route, you can use Google Maps to find campground and other lodging. Pick some intermediate towns and search for "campgrounds near [name of town]. Zoom out or pick another location if nothing shows up. I have been planning a ride across PA partially using the maps for PA Bike Route V. While the maps show state parks where there may be camping, the maps contain no other information on the subject. I have been using the above method and marking the locations of the campgrounds with a "CG" on the relevant map segments. You can then use the lodging information tohelp design the precise route.

Just be careful. Mobile home parks often show up in the results.

Gear Talk / Re: Novara Safari rear rack - sturdy enough for long tour?
« on: January 13, 2014, 10:29:52 am »
Make sure you use high quality stainless steel bolts.  Usually bolts will shear before the welds break.

And check their tightness periodically. They can shake loose.

General Discussion / Re: Olympic Discovery Trail
« on: January 13, 2014, 10:19:07 am »
Take a look at the printable PDF maps for each section. They give you a description of trail conditions, such as whether it's on road and, where trail, the type of surface. Examples:

Where the trail has actually been completed, this suggests that it is paved, as do some of the descriptions on the individual PDF maps:

"The trail is a wide, paved pathway designed to multi user standards for bicyclists, hikers, and disabled users, with a 4’ shoulder for equestrians where appropriate."

General Discussion / Re: Safe Places to Park My Gear
« on: January 03, 2014, 01:16:32 pm »
I don't think IQ has anythng to do with it. Unfortunately, we live in a litigious society. The bike falls over and injures someone or someone trips over it, the business could be sued. The bike falls over and damages some stock or breaks a window is the cyclist going to happily open their wallet right there? By accpeting your bike, a business could be considered a bailee and possibly be held responsible if something gets stolen. Then there is the issue of "authority." This summer I asked a grocery store cashier if I could leave my bike inside the store while I shopped. She clearly conveyed the feeling that she could possibly get in trouble if she allowed it and directed me to the manager, who said it was o.k. I would not expect someone in her position to risk disciplinary action on my account. I think some businesses just feel the potential aggrivation is not worth the business. The best asset to have when seeking permission is a good and understanding attitude. I think you are morelikely to be turned down if you approach it with a "You should let me and if you say no you had better have a good reason" attitude.

Gear Talk / Re: Replacement for Continental Top Touring Tires
« on: December 18, 2013, 01:12:12 pm »

Got a new set of Contact IIs this spring and noticed that cracks appeared in the surface of the sidewalls rather quickly. Showed them to a truested mechanic who told me that they are notorius for that but that he would have no hesitation touring on my tires with what we were seeing. That was in September and they are still fine after 10 days of touring and many more days of commuting. However, I do agree that the tread seems to wear faster than one would expect. Then again, I am 210 lbs., ride a heavy 60cm LHT and tend to carry mote weight than some others.

Routes / Re: Susquehanna Info?
« on: December 16, 2013, 10:54:43 am »
You can use some of this as a base:

I highly recommend NOT riding on U.S.22/U.S. 322 north of Harrisburg. U.S. 11/15 will also be busy in places, such as around Selinsgrove/Sunbury, and the views are not always there. When you are riding south on the west side of the river you will be away from it. You also have railroads between you are the river in many places. I am afraid you might be disappointed if you have a vision of quiety meandering along within sight of the river in most places, at least the further south you go. PA 441 south of HBG is a good example of a road that runs along the river but offers you little to no actual view of the river. Use Goggle Street View to look at U.S. 11 in the Shickshinny area. (BTW...If you are a fan of "Breaking Bad", Shickshinny is the home town of the actress who played Jesse's girlfriend Jane.) Hard to actually see the river in many places. The road either pulls away or there is tree cover.

General Discussion / Re: Heading West in May, Advice Appreciated!
« on: December 11, 2013, 03:25:27 pm »
Definitely do not promise more contact than you can or want to deliver.  I made that mistake once and won't do it again.  Do not promise to call every night.

That said I have found that often when signals are iffy a text message often goes through when a voice call will not.  A text message is a great way to let folks back home know that all is well.

+1 on both those points. A year or so ago, someone posted to a forum (was this one or Bikeforums) desperately looking for a young person who was "missing" because he had not been heard from for a few days. Poor guy never knew he was missing.  He just had some trouble communicating with home for a couple of days.

While touring earlier this year in a place that wasn't even all that rural/isolated, I could not sustain a call but could easily get texts though.

Gear Talk / Re: Can we survive the Transamerica with no cyclocomputer?
« on: December 09, 2013, 11:58:01 am »
If you need to use the mileages on the left, you need to constantly calibrate your computer.

You can use the computer's odometer and, if necessary, do quick calculations in your head to know when the next turn is.

General Discussion / Re: The North Star Tour
« on: December 09, 2013, 11:45:20 am »
It's the "rebirth" a self-contained group tour ACA used to run. Missoula to Anchorage:

Supposed to be great. A guy on my NT group tour did it way back and loved it. Crossed paths with the '00 edition in Glacier N.P.

Routes / Re: frontage road from billings to livingston
« on: December 09, 2013, 11:33:46 am »
Use Google bike directions. Routes you on some unpaved roads (including one called Convict Grade Rd.). What you can see on Street View looks pretty good. Could be an adventure.

Problem is that it's 122 miles. You could stop in Big Timber (86 miles from Billings). There is a campground in town. Looks like nothing but a school in between so plenty of food and water would be advisable.

General Discussion / Re: Need advice for my trip this summer
« on: December 06, 2013, 01:07:18 pm »
One of the guys on my Northern Tier group tour was a non-cyclist right out of college. He did great as he was in shape from being a runner who lived at high altitude in CO. He once joked that his house was higher than the highest pass we crossed.

At the risk of stirring the "strike out on your own" crowd, I am going to at least suggest that you consider chaning your starting and ending points and follow the TransAm route. It would take care of a lot of the planning and the map list the valuable resoruces you will need. If you have the time and really want to end in Frisco, you could ride down the coast from Florence, OR.

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