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Messages - indyfabz

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General Discussion / Re: Camping after Labor Day - Northern Tier
« on: August 02, 2011, 09:22:40 am »
I would especially check any state facilities in the Adirondaks.

If it fits with your schedule, check out the cyclist facility in Monroeville, IN.  Nice place.

Another interesting place was this place:

It was pretty chilly at night in August. The owner lest us sleep upstairs in the barn.

Other suggestions are the Raibow Hostel in Niagara Falls, ON:

and this place just east of Dunkirk, NY, which has a nice view of the lake:

General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: August 01, 2011, 09:35:47 am »
What if I carried a very light load and had packets sent to one of the hotels/motels I will visit along the route with top-ups of toiletries, kit etc?

With respect to everyday items, why not just buy what you need along the way when you run out of something? That way you won't get to a place and have a package of stuff you don't happen to need at the moment and have to toss stuff or send it ahead. It's not as if you are going to be in the middle of nowhere for long periods of time.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« on: July 31, 2011, 03:09:33 pm »
See this recent discussion:

I took the ferry to Bremerton and then followed AC's Pacific Coast Route to the intersection of the Northern Tier twice. Not an inordinate amount of twists and turns, a couple of nice ferry rides and some nice places to stay along the way.

General Discussion / Re: What would this be called?...
« on: July 31, 2011, 02:58:06 pm »
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."--W. Shakespear

General Discussion / Re: What to do with your stuff on days off??
« on: July 29, 2011, 11:38:18 am »
I really don't worry much about the bike or gear unless I am in a more populated place or camping in a place that the public can easily access.  For example, last month, during a nine-day trip in MT, our camp in Darby (a small town) was visible from the sidewalk. When we walked into town during the evening, we put our panniers and trailer bag out of sight underneath the tent fly and locked our bikes together behind a cabin so they were out of sight.  Things like pots and the stove we hid behind the tent so they were not readily visible to a passer by.  Did the same the next morning when we went into town for breakfast. In that case, however, we saw a jittery, red-faced guy walking really fast on a path that would take him right past the campground. I instantly thought "meth-head." We stopped and followed him at a distance until we were pretty sure he had other plans. A while later, we saw him outside the cafe smoking.  He then came inside for coffee and was talking to the locals. We figured he must have been on a mission to get a pack of cigarettes from the store that was a block beyond our campground.

Someone did once try to steal my stove in Dubois, WY.  I left it visible outside my tent when I went to use the campground’s laundry facility. There was a road along side the tent camping area and only a low, meager fence separated the two. Two teens drove by, stopped and started eyeing up the stove. After about 30 sec., I jumped out of the car.  I was lucky that I was outside the laundry room reading and saw what was going on. I jumped up and started walking very quickly towards my tent. The kid jumped back in the car and the two sped off. By creating an easy opportunity for petty theft, I was asking for trouble.

Several times during our recent trip we left our campsite unattended without locking up our bikes or taking any steps to hide our gear. And in a few places, both of us went inside stores, restaurants, etc. without locking up the bikes. The chance of theft simply seemed to remote to worry about.  In the relatively high crime city of Butte, however, we kept an eye on our bikes when we went inside a café to use the computer.

Of course, I always take valuables like my money, card and ID with me. That takes no effort. And I try to position the bike in a place visible to me when I go inside to eat, shop, etc. In the end, what precautions you take in each situation will be driven by an assessment of your surroundings and your personal tolerance for risk.

General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: July 28, 2011, 10:10:03 am »
Your direction (west to east or east to west) will likely affect your start date decision.

West-east too early and you might have to deal with snow, cold termperatures and closed passed. You may also mind yourself in the midwest and east during hotest portion of the summer. This summer it has routinely been 90-100+ degrees (F) with killer humidity up and down the mid-Atlantic region, which the TransAm passes through.

Personally, if I had the opportunity, I would go east to west starting in early to mid-May because I do not do well in extreme heat and humidity. I was on a portion of the TransAm route (heading east) a month ago (June 30th-July 2nd and then again on July 4th.) I met several people heading west who had started in mid to late-May. They said the timing worked out well.

Mid-Atlantic / Re: ACA Allegheny Mountain Loop
« on: July 27, 2011, 02:24:23 pm »
See this relatively recent thread for some first-hand experiences and an additional resource in the last post:

Routes / Re: Seattle to Anacortes, Pacific Coast
« on: July 26, 2011, 10:47:13 am »
The camping in Bay View sucked, too.  The hiker/bike site no longer exists -- it got replaced by $85/night cabins.  The ranger was still nice enough to gave me the hiker/biker rate at a regular campsite.  But the campground was inundated with screaming kids everywhere, the drive-in tent sites were jammed so close together there was no privacy, and smoke from all the campfires made breathing difficult.  There were stereos blasting, and car alarms went off every minute.  Camping there really made me sad.

But the view of the refinery is priceless.  :)  Seriously...That's quite the opposite of what I experienced the two times I stayed there. It was pretty empty.  But both times I was there in late May, before the tourist season was in full swing.

Agree about the hike-biker sites at Kitsap.  They don't offer any sun, which would be a plus in hotter areas. If I remember correctly, the hiker/biker sites at Ft. Worden are also among the trees.

General Discussion / Re: Best seat for your butt
« on: July 26, 2011, 10:36:19 am »
I use a Terry Liberator Y Gel saddle (Liberator X for women) and wouldn't even consider anything else. I haven't had a sore butt since I got mine many years ago. Also, I've never met anyone, male or female, who has one who isn't totally delighted with theirs. They are exteremely durable - last forever. Go to: and click on Endurance Saddles.

+1.  My LHT with my Terry Liberator was stolen.  I replaced the bike but not the saddle since the stock saddle, which is different from the previous LHT stock saddle, felt o.k. on relatrively short rides. Then I went on a 9-day tour at the end of June.  After a few days I was sorely (pun intended) missing my Liberator.

If you can get one from REI, you can return it if you don't like it.

Routes / Re: Seattle to Anacortes, Pacific Coast
« on: July 25, 2011, 09:43:01 am »
Unless things have changed, AC's Pacific Coast Route takes you from close to Seattle and apsses near Anacortes.

In '99 I did AC's group NT tour.  We took a ferry from downtown Seattle and spent the next night at something like Kitsap State Park (cannot remember the exact name).  The next day we rode to Port Townsend and stayed at Fort Worden State Park, which is very nice. Located on the water.  It's a former naval air base and served as the training base in the film "An Officer and a Gentleman." From Port Townsend, we took another ferry and ended up hooking up with the NT route just east of Anacortes. It's not a far ride into town from there. I retraced this route the following year. I cannot remember my route from Seattle to the Pacific Coast Route, but it was not complicated.

Both Kitsap and Fort Worden had hiker/biker sites.

Re: getting from the airport to Seattle, there is a light rail line (the Central Link) that takes you into town:

Routes / Re: Showers in Tonasket, WA
« on: July 25, 2011, 09:27:42 am »
Im working on a small cycling hostel/camp spot in republic, with showers and laundry services, I should have it completed by the start of next years season.  Thanks Craig

Sounds great, Craig. Let us know the details when you're up and running.


It does.  Republic is a natural stop on the NT since it's between two passes--Wauconda and Sherman.

General Discussion / Re: Leaving tomorrow!
« on: July 19, 2011, 09:33:12 am »
You never forget your first time.  I hope it's earth shattering.  Just make sure you practice safe cycling.

Gear Talk / Re: Alcohol Stoves
« on: July 18, 2011, 03:53:21 pm »
I will never understand this fascination with boiling water. 

I do not eat boiled water.  I eat food--lots of rice and pasta...

How do you cook your pasta without boiling water?

General Discussion / Re: Your top 5 things to take on tour
« on: July 18, 2011, 03:48:09 pm »

The bottle

The bottle? LOL. In my case, that would be the bottle with the funnel ;)

Not sure if you know this, but such products do exist.  I would give you a link but I cannot access it from work.

General Discussion / Re: What I Learned - My First Long Distance Tour
« on: July 18, 2011, 09:47:57 am »
Regarding good paper maps, check with the DOT for each state you will be passing through. We got a very good MDOT map (for free) during our 9-day trip in Montana earlier this month. It shows both paved and unpaved roads. Came in handy when we had to take a detour to avoid a closed road. If you cannot get them ahead of time, local chamber of commerce offices, tourist information centers and/or highway rest areas may have them.
Regarding tires, don't start off on worn tires, especially if you will be out there for a while. And take the 3 minutes to inflate them every morning. Something like a Topeak Road Morph G with a pressure guage helps.  You can lose a surprising amount of pressure riding under load.  Even more that you think if you have long stretches on bumpy, unpaved surfaces like we did.
Availability of food depends on where you are. We found grocery stores in or near every place we stayed.  Some of the towns were pretty small, but if they are in areas where there is heavy tourist activity, you might just find a decent selection. One thing you can do is use the internet to search for chamber of commerce type sites for particular towns or areas you will be passing through. Such sites will often list local businesses, including restaurants and grocery stores.  Understand, however, that some of these places may have shorter hours than you are used to. Don/t be surprised to find that the only grocery store in the small town you will call home for the night closes at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Having emergency rations is a good idea.  Sometimes it’s worth shoipping early and carrying food.  While riding in CO years ago I went off route a mile or so to reach a relatively large town that I figured would have a good grocery store rather than take my chances with the small sotre that was near my intended camp. This required me to carry food for about 8 miles, but it turned out to be worth it as that small grocery store had burned to the ground a few weeks earlier.
Never hesitate to ask locals. They will almost always be happy to answer your questions. It’s good to get advice/information about what’s down the road, even if the answer is “There are no stores or water sources between here and there.” This type of information helps you plan accordingly.

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