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Messages - indyfabz

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631
Routes / Re: Northern Tier - Without going into Canada
« on: April 18, 2011, 09:32:06 am »
And unless things have changed, the NT also goes into Canada at the Chief Mountain border crossing, where you can take a short detour to Waterton Village.  Although the ride from St. Mary, MT to Waterton is no piece of cake terrain-wise once you turn off U.S. 89 and onto Chief Mountain Highway, it's very scenic.  Waterton Village is a great place for a day off.  The village campsite along the shores of the lake is quite nice.  And there are some nice hikes you can do.  You then go back out of the park and head east to McGrath, which is home to at least one Hutterite colony.  From there, you turn south and cross back into the U.S. at Del Bonito and then onto Cut Bank.  McGrath to Cut Bank is a lonely ride.  If I recall, it's something like 70 miles.  The only service was a small store just before the Del Bonito border crossing.

Niagara Falls is also an interesting visit if you have never been there.

632
General Discussion / Re: Fishing across the continental US
« on: April 15, 2011, 10:21:32 am »
But look, it's really not that much weight/space.  My rod weighs 3.5 ounces and breaks down into four 1.5 foot sections.  I could strap that to my top tube if I want, but will probably nest it in the pump pocket between the tent roll tube and main bag of my Arkel GT 54 pannier.  That's such a great pocket.  The reel is just a bit bigger than my fist and weighs 7.1 ounces.  Tackle is negligible too--everything I need can fit in a small, flat plastic box.  We're bringing cooking stuff anyway.

That doesn't sound like much weight or space in the overall scheme of things.  If my girlfriend were to sneak a pound and a half of stones into my gear I doubt I would notice the difference.  When I crossed the county I carried many pounds of camera equipment and film.  it was something I was passionate about and I was not going to make the trip without it.  Sounds like you feel that way about fishing.

Come back and tell us about the big one that got away.

633
Gear Talk / Re: BOB skewers--do they break?
« on: April 13, 2011, 10:20:45 am »
Crossed the country with 3 people pulling trailers.  No breakage.  My girlfriend's trailer has about 700 loaded miles on it and all is well.

634
General Discussion / Re: Touring
« on: April 12, 2011, 11:39:11 am »
Start by going very light. He carries 4 panniers and all the stuff. You take only a large seat pack large enough to carry a jacket, food, and your wallet. Do not separate. By you not even having a rack and rear panniers, you will save about 6 pounds. He is your sag wagon. This arrangement will only work if you are willing to go light. Here is an idea for the seat pack I am talking about from Carosel Design Works  http://www.flickr.com/photos/carouseldesignworks/3666941699/in/set-72157611514005907


The tent, two sleeping bags, two sleeping pads, the cooking gear, all his clothes and other stuff and all her clothes and other stuff save a jacket?  That sounds like a mighty tall order from a capacity standpoint alone.

635
Routes / Re: quebec city to nyc via boston?
« on: April 11, 2011, 02:10:31 pm »
This might help fill in the gaps:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/5784

I am sure you can search the site for trips between Boston & NYC.

636
General Discussion / Re: Free Camping in Europe??
« on: April 11, 2011, 01:58:24 pm »
Unless the law has changed, Andalucia (and possibly all of Spain) allows free camping with some restrictions.  According to "The Rough Guide to Andalucia," no camping is allowed in urban areas, areas prohibited for military or touristic reasons (which excludes most tourist beaches), or within 1 km of an official campground."  The book says it's polite to ask in any event.

Sweden has a very liberal camping law:

http://naturetravels.wordpress.com/2008/02/08/wild-camping-in-sweden-and-the-right-of-public-access/


637
General Discussion / Re: Touring
« on: April 11, 2011, 11:33:20 am »
We distributed the weight so that he carried the tent and most of the cooking gear and more of the food, but he was still faster.  If there is a big size difference between the people it exaggerates the difference when you add weight.  An extra 20 pounds on him was like an extra 10 pounds on me (yes he weighed 2ce as much as me, and it wasn't fat, he was a big fit guy).  So don't be surprised if he carries almost everything, and he's still faster.  It's kind of to be expected.

I am 6'2", about 208 when I am at my fighting weight.  My girlfriend, who I tour with, is 5', 105 sopping wet.  The above is what we experience.  When loaded, I often can ride faster than she does even though I carry the heavy stuff, including a 3P tent and virtually all of the cooking/eating gear.  On road rides, she's waiting for me at the top of the long hills.

I am happy to slow down or at least stop and wait from time to time if she falls behind.  It helps that I am the one taking most of the photos.  And she will wait for me if I fall behind because, for example, I had to shed a layer.  Definitely take care of your own needs when you need to.

Someone posted something like this on Bikeforums recently:  You must really love someone if you are willing to ride 5 mph fast or slower that usual to stay with them.  You must really hate someone if you are willing to ride 5 mph fast or slower than usual to get away from them.

638
Routes / Re: My own Great Debate
« on: April 04, 2011, 01:45:11 pm »
No problem.  Richmond to Yorktown is about 70 miles.  If you don't feel like doing the extra miles, no one will be able to give you crap.

One description of a portion of the WE:

"The Western Express route through Nevada is Highway 50 from Carson City until it turns into route 487 turning to Baker, NV right on the Utah border...It is a desolate trip (no services for 78 miles into Ely and no services for 63 miles out of Ely)...I did the Western Express in 2001 and when they say Highway 50 is the loneliest Highway in America, they tend to mean it..."


639
General Discussion / Re: Mistakes and Attitude while on the road.
« on: April 04, 2011, 01:32:39 pm »
I have trouble with 40 miles of rolling hills in Hunterdon Co. NJ (max 600 - 800 feet climbs).

Anyone out ehre been in this place before?

I ride in Hunterdon County several times a year. ;D  Try training on Sweet Hollow Rd.  Or to test how well that granny gear works on Fox Farm Rd. that parallels SR 183.

If you want some cue sheets for rides from Bull's Island, L'Ville and Frenchtown, send me a PM with your email address.

640
Routes / Re: Places to camp just west of Eugene, OR?
« on: April 04, 2011, 01:17:17 pm »
If you are willing to stay at a non-h/b spot, there appears to be several campground/RV parks in and around Eugene.  Go to Google maps, type in "eugene orgeon campgrounds."  While several of them are RV oriented, they might do in a pinch.  West of the Eugene, in Junction City, is Richardson Couny Park:

http://ecomm.lanecounty.org/Parks/ViewPark.aspx?p=1

Not cheap, but close and in the direction you want to go.  And there is a private campground right near by,

641
Routes / Re: My own Great Debate
« on: April 01, 2011, 11:22:25 am »
SCREW THAT! Im going coast to coast!!! Train from NJ to the start of the TransAm, take that to Co and then its the western express into the pacific!

Looks like getting close to the start via Amtrak will not be difficult for you.  There are a couple of trains out of Philly that have checked baggage service and stop at the Staple's Mill Road station in Richmond Virginia, which also has cheked baggage service. (You can only take a boxed bike between statons that have checked baggage service.)  I recommend making a reservation early.

Boxing a bike for Amtrak travel is really easy.  The box, which is much larger than a standard bike box, is around $12, and I think the travel charge is around $15.  Remove the pedals, twist the bars and stem, ;ower the seat post if you bike is large and roll it right in.

Take plenty of water when you cross no man's land on the Western Express.  It's probably going to be scorching.

642
Routes / Re: Jasper to Whitefish, or Whitefish to Jasper?
« on: April 01, 2011, 10:55:53 am »
Can only opine about the lower portion.  I did a loop out of Whitefish in '09.  Followed one arm of AC's Great Parks route, crossed the border at Roosville, then took PR 93 to Elko to pick up the other arm of the Great Parks route and followed that back to Whitefish.  Sparwood is home to the largest truck in the world and has a nice, wooded campground right on the edge of town.  Waterton Village has a nice town campsite along the lake and is a great place for a day off.  There are several day hike options available there.  Going to the Sun Road is a magnificent ride.  If you camp at Rising Sun and get an early start you can easily get to the top before the heavy tourist traffic picks up for the day.  And climbing east to west will give you more road room.  The west slope is narrower.

Here are some photos from our trip:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/sets/72157620763740044/

Note that we were forced to ride around Glacier National Park because Going to the Sun was closed to repair damage caused by a massive avalanche during the winter.  We did, however, get to ride up and then back down the west side.  I did the entire thing in '99 and the west slope again in '00.


643
General Discussion / Re: Working on a bike tour.
« on: April 01, 2011, 10:21:45 am »
Working while touring or working for a bike touring company?

644
Gear Talk / Re: Panniers = racks= bike
« on: March 31, 2011, 11:31:38 am »
Just put a set of Rivendell Big racks (made for Rivendell by Nitto) on my 60cm Surly.  The rear (large size) fits perfectly with the long, straight stays supplied with the rack.  The front uses the fork eyelets and clamps up top and fits great.  Strong, beautiful nickel plated steel.  Not for you if: (1) keeping weight to a minimum is important, (2) spending as little as possible is important (3) you don't want a front platform.

They take a little extra effort to put on, but it's not am issue for me.  I like a platform up front and a long platform in the rear.  The latter helps when you are carrying a 3P tent.  And you can align your gear lengthwise rather than across the top of the panniers.

645
I did AC's Cycle Vermont event last year.  We followed the route much of the time.  Started and ended in Burlington and went clockwise.  Very pretty.  Verry hilly.  We got on the Missisquoi trail but got off soon after as we found it dull.  In that area, near where 105 crosses the river there is a good road-side ice cream place.  On Main Street in Newport we stopped for good sandwiches at a gourmet market.  Cannot remember the name of the place.  Since the event was catered, we didn't stop in too many places so I cannot offer more in that regard.  But here is a short slideshow that you should be able to access:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/video/video.php?v=1553696452813

Since you will not be camping, you won't see everything in the slideshow.

Fred:  We must have gotten lucky.  When we did the climb up from Richford on 105 we had zero traffic.  I was aware of the way through Canada, but AC never told some of us that it would be an option so we did not bring my passport.

Interesting happening from that day:  The border patrol was scoping out the SAG driver.  The van had out of state plates and she was cruising slowly around Richford looking for a place to set up a stop.  He said there was smuggling going on the area.   Once he saw the bikes starting to come through he realized what was going on.

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