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Messages - indyfabz

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Thanks. We will be going with some friends who have been there before. One of them keeps warning us about grades up to 20%.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Missoula to the Pacific
« on: April 03, 2013, 10:50:19 am »
You will actually join up with the NT at the junction of 200 and 56. Bull River Campground just south of the junction was nice. From there to Sandpoint the route uses some back roads. The back way from 200 to Clark Fork is nice and quiet. Don't have my map in front of me, but I think it's Heron to Harker to Clark Fork which turns into River Rd. at the Idaho border.

I have a vivid memory of eating lunch by the old bridge just outside the center of Clark Fork. There was an Osprey nest on top of the bridge. The year before when I rode though there with a group of people we saw a wounded bird in a field along side River Rd. The bird was so desperate for help that it hopped over to us. A woman in our group determined that he had a broken wing. It was very sad, but there was nothing we could do. We put him in the grass on the other side of the road, free of fencing, and let nature take its course.

If you look at 200 on Street View it doesn't appear to be too bike friendly in several places. No to limited shoulder with gator strips. Wonder if Blue Slide Road on the other side of the river between Thompson Falls and Trout Creek would work. The photos available on Street View make it look very nice. You could ask the locals in Thompson Falls if it's paved the entire length.

That tailer would be terrible for a bike trip. It's a jogging carriage designed to be pushed and carry a child. The swivel front wheels alone would be a nightmare. And how would you attach it to the bike?

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Missoula to the Pacific
« on: April 01, 2013, 09:39:22 am »
If you have the time, I would follow ACA's Great Parks from Misoula to Whitefish/Columbia Falls and pick up the Northern Tier there. If you have even more time, I would go east on the NT to Glacier National Park, spend a day riding up and back down the west side of Goint to Sun Road and then head back west on the NT. Once you get near Anacortes you can ride south to Seattle, which is, obviously, a major transportation hub.

The NT is different riding than thet TA west of Missoula. A lot of the OR mileage is through high desert.  It can get crispy critter hot with little shade. You will have more forest on the NT, although it can get very hot east of the Cascades, too.  The stretch between Winthrop, and Tonasket was very warm and arid even in early June.

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers
« on: March 27, 2013, 01:15:50 pm »
I just rec'd an email ad from REI a few days ago that their "20% off one item" (for members) ends April 7 but can't remember the start date. Check their website.

Going on now.

Gear Talk / Re: Camping Gas/stove
« on: March 23, 2013, 12:42:45 pm »
White Gas is mainly normal gasoline which has not been formulated for using in automobile engines. It is more filtered and generally purer than what you get out of a gasoline pump. It is called by several names in camping stores such as Coleman Fuel, Crown Camping Fuel, and MSR Fuel. It can be sold in 1 gallon cans and in 1 quart bottles or cans. The big stores such as Wal-mart will have the gallon can and sometimes the quart bottle. Camping stores often have the quart bottles or will sell you a quart out of an open gallon can at the store. Often, you can buy a quart off of someone at the campgrounds that has a gallon can with them, they are the people with the big RV rigs.

+1 on availability of the quart cans. I tend to find them more at independent camping stores and at REI and EMS. Only once was I low and forced to buy a gallon. I left behind at a campground what I could not carry for others to use. And I also had a camp store offer to fill my fuel bottle from a gallon can. If you don't want to carry two fuel bottles, you can simply carry the can with the remaining fuel in your pannier and top off your bottle each time you use the stove until the can is empty.

Another handy use for white gas is starting campfires.

We will be flying to Venice in late May for a week+ of riding at the Italian Cycling Center, which is located in Bassano del Grappo. Have every intention of climbing Monte Grappa, just not sure from which direction. But it will certainly be a much shorter ride than yours.

Routes / Re: Route 93 Arizona to Montana
« on: March 23, 2013, 12:27:46 pm »
Forgot to mention that when you cross the Elk River after Roosville, there is a nasty little hill. 8% for 2 km:

Then PR 93 has one of the craziest false flats I have ever ridden:

It extends all the way to the junction with PR 3. I couldn't understand why I was having such a hard time until I turned around and saw that I was actually gaining elevation.

Finally, while I haven't ridden it, it's my understanding that U.S. 93 is not the optimal way to get between Missoula and the Big Fork area. The east side, which I rode back in '00, (Rtes. 200 and 83, if I recall correctly), is supposed to be nicer.

From Big Fork, U.S. 2 might be flatter than 93. If you go that way, I would avoid cutting over to 93 on Rte. 40 if you can. Heavy traffic and noisy in '09. We only took it because our hotel for the end of the trip was on 93. Instead, stay straight on Hamilton to Edgewood.

Bring ear plugs if you plan to camp at the state park in Whitefish. It's close to the rail yard. We started the trip from the KOA on 93.

If you walk around Whitefish, don't miss seeing Frampton & Morrison in an old F.L. Wright building. Best law firm name ever. They also have an office on 93 in Eureka.

Routes / Re: D&R Canal Trail - Road Bike
« on: March 21, 2013, 11:38:23 am »

Although the canal is a wonderful trail- mtn tires are definitely a necessity.  I've ridden approximately 30 miles of it and there are areas that are cobblestones.   There are small sections you can ride on a road bike, but you'd have to plan ahead.  If you are absolutely determined to ride it on a road bike, be prepared to walk your bike numerous times. 


I have been corresponding with the OP on another forum. I have never ridden the path along the main canal (Trenton to New Brunswick), but I have ridden the entire path along the feeder canal between L'Ville and Frenchtown and some portions south of there towards Trenton on my road bike with 23c tires. No problemo, and I don't recall any cobblestones. Depending on the condition of SR 29 above Stockton, NJ, the trail can be a better alternative. The shoulder of SR 29 (especially heading north) can be strewn with gravel from broken road patching and small tree branches.

Routes / Re: Route 93 Arizona to Montana
« on: March 21, 2013, 11:30:17 am »
A couple of random thoughts:

Heed Carla's advice. A few years ago we headed out of Missoula towards Lost Trail Pass at the end of June. While that day turned out to be decent, when we landed the day before it was chilly with off and on showers. When we passed through Darby on Day 1, a local told us they got over 1" of cold rain the day before. Again, this was at the end of June. Snow showers had been forecast in a few places the week before we arrived.

In '09 I did Whitefish to Roosville in mid-June. Chilly and dreary most of the day with off and on showers:

Same was true when I rode Eureka to Whitefish in mid-June of '99 and '00.

Adventure Cycling's Great Parks North and Nothern Tier routes between Whitefish and Eureka keep you off 93 in places. They are quiet roads with nice scenery. I recommend you follow them. Stop in Olney, just off 93, along the way. There is a neat store there with a collection of old pop bottles:

Salmon to Missoula is 140 miles with a nice climb out of the box. Are you used to long mileages like that? Once you cross Lost Trail Pass, it's mostly down hill to Darby to one degree or another. I would describe Darby to Missoula as pretty much gently rolling to rolling unless you take Old Dabry Rd./Sleeping Child Rd. between Darby and Hamilton, which has more hills but is much nicer than the highway. Amy way you slice it, it's a long way.

General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 18, 2013, 10:06:16 am »
"Significant deprivations in other areas of their life."  Living below your absolute means for a few years is a significant deprivation?  Saving money is a significant deprivation?  Not buying a new or luxury vehicle every other year is a significant deprivation?  Buying and driving a basic car for ten years is a significant deprivation?  Not buying the most expensive house in town is a significant deprivation?  Not flying to the beach twice a year and staying in the most expensive hotel is a significant deprivation?

+1. If they are, then I lead a seriously deprived life. For example, my car turned 18 at the beginning of this year, and I recently bought my first TV in 10 years. I have a dumb phone and a $45/month calling/texting plan. If I go to the beach, I usually ride there. Yet for some reason I don't feel deprived.

Part of the answer could depend on whose jurisdiction a particular road falls under. For example, SR 20 in WA is maintained by WADOT, not the federal government. And I have a hard time believing they won't plow GTS in Glacier as scheduled. The local economy would come close to collapse. In '09, the last time I was there, the road not being fully open in late June was big news in the local papers because of all the money local businesses were not making.

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers
« on: March 13, 2013, 11:31:22 am »
I would wait until REI's 20% off member sale. If you buy the Back Packers at full price you will lose out on the savings you can get here:

I have a set of Back Packers and Sport Packers. You shouldn't need any more room unless you are carrying A LOT of stuff. They keep things dry if properly closed, which isn't hard to do. Make sure the flap on the outer pocket is properly closed or you may get water in it, and it will stay there.

One thing you have to ask yourself is whether you a one big compartment person or a lots of small(er) compartments person. I started out the latter with my first set of panniers. When I was forced to buy new ones, I was worried about the transition. Turned out not to be a problem. You can always incorporate individual stuff sacks or even Zip-Loc bags if you feel the need to segregate things.

As noted, critters can get into most things. (I stupidly left some bread in my tent when I went to visit a museum. When I returned a few hours later, I found a squirrel had chewed through the tent mesh, crawled inside and went to town on the loaf.) I would definitely not leave them unattended with food in them.

Routes / Re: Great Parks
« on: March 13, 2013, 11:15:16 am »
I asked online a few posts ago about the border safety on the ST route.  Basically all's I got back from the ACA folks was that it is all good, don't worry.  And from other cyclists, well...people are being murdered all the time...just go and hope the border patrol can save you.

Where do cyclists say that in the thread you started?

General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 13, 2013, 11:05:18 am »
I see three main categories of people riding across the country: (1) young people between school and employment, (2) empty nesters who don't have kid responsibilities any more, some retired, some not, and (3) unemployed people between jobs.

Tha describes the people on my ACA group Northern Tier tour almost to a tee. Three of the four "kids," as some of us affectionately referred to them, were between school and work. The fourth was ready to start her senior year of college. Myself and another guy, who were both in our mid-30s, were between jobs. One woman was a 50-something empty nest teacher. The remaining five were retired.

I was able to afford to take the time off because I had no kids, no mortgage and a month-month apartment lease. I knew I would likely lose my job almost two years before I did, so I could save up money, and I knew I would get a decent severance package when I got axed. I also had the luxury of flopping at my mom's house during the two years I dropped out of the working world, rode my bike and pursued other hobbies.

As noted, look into a leave of absence and try to create a fund. Or is there any chance that you can accelerate your mortgage payoff?

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