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Messages - indyfabz

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631
Routes / Re: NT or L&C Going West from Missoula?
« on: March 05, 2014, 10:56:26 am »
Having ridden through some of the Columbia Rver Gorge and the section of the Northern Tier east to Glacier N.P. twice, I personally would pick the latter, although I cannot comment on suitability of MT 200 to the junction with the Northern Tier since I took the Great Parks North Route between Whitefish/Columbia Falls to Missoula. Just keep in mind that picking up the Northern Tier that way (you would join the route at the junction of MT 200 and MT 56, and it leaves MT 200 for a while heading towards Clark Fork, ID.) will ultimately send you over four mountain passes in a row in WA, culminating with an epic and long downhill from Rainy Pass on the North Cascades Highway.

Another option is to simply stay on the Trans Am to the coast. I did much of the OR section of the route during Cycle Oregon 2002. While I fond some of eastern and central OR somewhat borning (and hot and dry even in early September), McKenzie Pass east of Sisters is a terrific ride. It's an old volcano that blew a long time ago. At the pass, there is nothing but black lava rock. There is an observatory built out of the stuff. It looks like a place Skeletor would call home. The climb up the east side is not that bad. The west side has a cool section of tight switchbacks through forest. Descend with caution.

632
Routes / Re: Biking Spain - Valencia to Barcelona
« on: March 03, 2014, 02:30:01 pm »
Michelin generally makes good road maps of Europe. I used their one for Andalucia to plan a seven week tour. I think regional Spain maps No. 577 and No. 574 will be have what you need. If you want to quietest roads, my advice from my experience is to pick the smallet roads between points, which are usually shown in white. The yellow and red roads are usually busier, and often coastal roads are busy depite there being parallel autovias.

Valencia to Barcelona is about 350 km straight up the autovia, so you are probably talking at least three days of riding. More if you take a circuitous route to avoid high traffic areas.

633
Routes / Re: Spring Break Practice Trip
« on: March 03, 2014, 02:01:19 pm »
I have the maps for Allegheny Mountains Loop. Wider tires are recommended because there is not only an unpaved trail, but there are some gravel roads. The temperature chart for Blacksburg, VA shows an average daily high in mid march of around 55 with your average night being slightly below freezing. Colder in Glady, WV, which is nearly 1000' higher than Blacksburg.

634
Larger truck stop-like gas stations sometimes have coin-op showers in addtion to bathrooms. Same for some city parks. I recommend foot protection, like flip-flops. Used some very moldy city park showers on the Northern Tier.

635
Routes / Re: Portland Maine to Portland Oregon
« on: February 28, 2014, 10:54:39 am »
Thiose photos were taken during a clockwise loop from/to Whitefish, MT. I think we were in Waterton Village around June 21st.  Rode to St. Mary, MT the next day. Going to the Sun was not yet fully openned so we had to ride around Glacier N.P. to get to the west entrace in order ot have time to ride up and back down the west side of Going to the Sun.

Don't let the bundled up look fool you. While it was cold and very windy the night we were there, the next day was quite nice. It was just a tad cool in the morning. Once the sun got a little higher in the sky, it warmed up. The hills going towards the border corssing at Chief Mountain also warmed us up nicely.

636
Routes / Re: Portland Maine to Portland Oregon
« on: February 28, 2014, 08:16:20 am »
If you do end up taking the Northern Tier, I highly recommend taking the option from Cut Bank, MT into Alberta and then to Waterton Village. Some of the more striking mountain scenery of the route next to Going to the Sun Rd. There is a great campground right in town and an opportunity to go on a boat ride/hike combo if you take a day off there.

View from the town campground:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/3675812975/in/set-72157620763740044

Leaving the village:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/3676630222/in/set-72157620763740044

637
General Discussion / Re: Where to go when there's no place to go?
« on: February 28, 2014, 07:38:14 am »
Have you tried using Google Maps to find campgrounds? Search for "campgrounds near [name of town]." Zooming out expands the results. A search may also show  state parks but not list them as a place to camp, requiring you to research what facilities they have.

638
General Discussion / Re: transam tour
« on: February 25, 2014, 11:32:42 am »
Allowing $100/day for everything (hotels, camping, food, etc.), based on your schedule, a 60 day trip will cost you $6000.

Do you actually ever spend that much per day on a multi-week or multi-month tour?

The two of us have spent more than that in a day on a 10-day trip. Because the only camping option in Butte sucked, we stayed in the motor lodge portion of the Hotel Finlen for around $55 or so including tax. We had eaten breakfast out that morning and bought sandwiches and snacks to take with us since there were no services between our starting point (Twin Bridges) and Butte and an a mountain pass to cross. Easily $25+. After checking in, I had to try the infamous double pork chop sandwich from Pork Chop Johns. Dinner and drinks here easily set us back probably $75 with tip:

http://casagrandassteakhouse.webs.com/

And after dinner we had a few glasses of wine while talking with locals at the hotel bar.

While we don't go our of our way to spend as much as we can, if we feel like it we will take advantage of more pricier options when available. After all, it's a vacation.

639
Gear Talk / Re: Bear Resistant Canister
« on: February 24, 2014, 10:34:36 am »
You can also ask the campground staff about storing food in bathrooms or other more secure locations if there are no bear lockers. I did that during a tour in New Jersey last year. (Yes. There are bears in northwest New Jersey/Northeast PA, and they can very large.) I was told that a bear had been in camp the night before so I asked (and was allowed to) store food in the bathroom.

640
General Discussion / Re: Great Divide Shuttles
« on: February 24, 2014, 10:26:16 am »
Avis offers one way rentals between Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel in SS to the airport in Casper. Maybe you could leave you car in Casper and ride to Rawlins. Google Maps shows about 120 miles.

641
Connecting ACA Routes / Re: ACA Northern Tier
« on: February 22, 2014, 01:28:54 pm »
The "field notes" carried by the leader described one campground as "combat camping at its finest."

Ha!........I remember that one near Damariscotta. The notes went on to say "This place is a cross between a world's fair and a campground."

And it was. Packed. Kids running everywhere. Bumper boat rentals. But at least there was a bar.

642
Connecting ACA Routes / Re: ACA Northern Tier
« on: February 21, 2014, 11:11:27 am »
Maine was my least favorite part of the Northern Tier route and the Atlantic Coast route south from Bar Harbor through Portsmouth, NH. A lot of traffic in places and, as noted, expensive camping that was often crowded. I did the entire NT during ACA's group tour. The "field notes" carried by the leader described one campground as "combat camping at its finest." 100% accurate. Backtracked on the NT and then stayed on the Atlantic Cost route home to Philly.

Finding camping is relatively easy. Pick towns in the areas where you think you might like to ride, go to Google Maps and search for "campgrounds near [name of town]". Zooming in and out will narrow and broaden the results. Private campgrounds will often have their web site with their rates. Also works well for grocery stores and restaurants.

While on Velo Quebe's Grand Tour back in '08 I spent two night in Lac Magentic (Yes. That Lac Magentic.) One day there was an option to ride into ME for a while.  Almost no one did it because it rained much fo the day, but I hear the ME portion was supposed to be very pretty. The border crossing was on Rte. 27, with the closest town of note being Eustis.


643
If you have any of the maps, maybe bring them along when you go to the consulate. Heh. I am suddenly thinking of the film "Argo."

644
General Discussion / Re: touring in the rain?
« on: February 19, 2014, 09:53:34 am »
Practice. Learn to ride in rain and wind by getting out and doing it. You quickly learn how to cope with the conditions and learn how to decide when it's time to go home or find cover or grind it out. You also quickly discover what kind of clothing or gear works and what was a waste of money. Do all of that experimentation close to home.
Also a good idea to practice setting up camp in wind and wind-driven rain. You quickly learn how not to let your tent get destroyed, how to keep your gear under the fly till the thing's up, what's important to keep dry and what can get soaked.

Yepper. Although I will say that there are certain places at certain times of year where you can pretty much count on needing wet weather gear that will keep you warm, such as the western section of Northern Tier route starting in late May. In addition to several days of cold rain, it snowed at Rainy and Washington Passes and a few days in Republic and on the east side of Sherman Pass during my first trip that way.

Part of what you will need to feel comfortable depends on your tolerances.

645
General Discussion / Re: Gastric Bypass and EPIC bike rides.
« on: February 18, 2014, 11:21:12 am »
As for the weight thing, I am carrying 300# on a 5'7" frame, have been overweight my entire adult life.
Gastric bypass will still require that you learn to do what it takes to maintain a healthy weight eventually or else you will ultimately wind up putting the weight back on some years down the road.

For the last year or so I have been watching my secretary do just that.

OP: Have you looked at www.bikeforums.net? There is a "Clydesdale/Athena" subforum that might help you get some answers from those with experience.

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