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Messages - indyfabz

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Flying into Sea-Tac might be cheaper.
I just checked Frontier, and flying into Bellingham is 25% cheaper for me than flying into Seattle, both non-stop (although flying into Seattle offers more choices of flight time).

Good deal.  And Frontier doesn't charge anything extra for a bike. Just the usual checked bag fee.

General Discussion / Re: Campgrounds and bear boxes
« on: March 21, 2012, 10:19:39 am »
The "biggest" thing to worry about is all the Columbian Ground Squirrels. They will run over your table and enter your tent if you leave it unzipped.[/quote]

It was very cold and windy when we were there last. At the suggestion of the woman who checked us in, we pitched our tent in one of the camp kitchens. There was a couple inside who had a fire going. They told us they had to chase a squirrel out and clog up a small hole in one of the walls with a tree limb to keep the squirrel from coming back in. I was afraid I would step in one of their holes and twist my ankle while walking around at night.

The deer harrassment was amazing. The woman was walking her dog and the deer kept following her. She was yelling at it as if it understood commands like her dog and trying to shoo it away by waving her arm. This seemed to only entice the deer more. The best we could figure is that the deer thought the woman had food in her hand that she was going fling. This went on for at least 5 minutes. She finally made it back to her RV.

Both times I took the train into Seattle, stayed at the HI hostel in town, took the ferry the next morning and then rode to intersect the NT a little ways east of Anacortes. The first night I stayed in some state park (think it was called Kitsap). Second night at Fort Worden. Third night at Bayview State Park, which is on the route. between Anacortes and Sedro-Wooley. At the time, most of this in on AC's Pacific Coast Route and may still be. Not the most scenic of routes, but convenient. And I got to hang in Seattle.

Fying into Sea-Tac might be cheaper, and I think there is now a light rail line from the airport into the city.

Mid-Atlantic / Re: Bull's Island Campground Closed for 2011
« on: March 19, 2012, 03:46:47 pm »
Sadly, the entire campground will be closed for the entirety of 2012. A portion will never reopen due to tree instability caused by flooding. A portion may reopen in 2013. The state is also exploring land acquisition to replace the portion permanently closed. The day use area remains open.

In addition to the campground on the PA side of the river across from Milford, NJ listed on the relevant addendum, there is a county park with a campground on the PA side of the river not far from Frenchtown, NJ.  Here are the details:

In either case, I strongly recommend staying on route, crossing into PA at either Frenchtown or Milford and then heading south to access the facility. This will minimize your time on PA 32, which has little to no shoulder.

I have notified ACA.

I don't think that's stupid at all. You chances of getting robbed on the TransAm are probably less than one in a thousand,

Somewhat off topic:
My point exactly. Friends/family still don't believe me when I tell them it is more safe to ride across USA (incl probable bear encounters in the Rockies) than having a Friday night out in a European city/town where you have a large chance of getting robbed, stabbed, shot at or beat up by total strangers. People do stupid stupid things when intoxicated by drugs but most importantly alcohol.

Yes.  Ever since they outlawed drugs and alcohol in the U.S., violence has virtually disappeared.

I'm riding the TA this summer. I've heard small town merchants require cash for purchases.

I'm curious where you heard that; it doesn't jive with my experience.  I can only remember two motels (both sort of, well, questionable) and some B&Bs that didn't take credit cards.  The motels were happy with cash, and the B&Bs with checks.  The only reason I can see for merchants, even in small towns, to dislike credit cards is if you're charging small amounts, because of the fees they get hit with.  I do remember a few minimum purchase signs, usually around $5-10.

ATMs are ubiquitous.

I think I read it on this forum.

Well if you read in on the Internet than it must be accurate.   ;D

General Discussion / Re: Bibs VS casual commuting to work??
« on: March 18, 2012, 04:58:13 pm »
When I ride/train it to my office in NJ, about 9 miles of pedaling total, I always wear bibs and a jersey and bring work clothes with me.

When I ride the two miles to my Philly office, I don't wear cycling clothes, and I bring work clothes with me. If it's hot (it can be above 80 at 7 a.m.) I will wear short pants of some sort and usually a t-shirt.

I'm riding the TA this summer. I've heard small town merchants require cash for purchases.

ATMs are ubiquitous.

+1. I don't see a need to carry more than a day or 3 of cash for small purchases at places that might have a minimum purchase requirement for the use of a card. In this days and age, even the tiniest blip on the radar screen of a town is likely to have an ATM. I would not bother with traveler's cheques. If you are worried about bank fees for ATM withdraws, start out with a few hundred in cash and use the ATM and/or credit card for bigger purchases whenever you can. This summer we used a credit card at a hot springs lodge that was located in a national forest 40 miles from the nearest town and had no cell phone service.

General Discussion / Re: Campgrounds and bear boxes
« on: March 15, 2012, 02:39:36 pm »
You will definitely find them in Glacier N.P., will likely be reminded by campground hosts and/or rangers to use them and catch hell if you don't. There were none at the Town Campsite in Waterton Village when we were there in '09, and I cannot imagine them being needed. You have to be more worried about the deer. We saw one harassing a woman. However, they do have indoor "camp kitchens" (It's usually so windy that cooking outside would be difficult) where you can stash food. Cannot imagine having to worry about bears between Fernie and Waterton unless, perhaps, you "stealth" camp on the west side of the pass. Once you cross Crowsnest Pass, you are in developed and/or rach land, which isn't really bear country. When I went south on the Great Parks and TransAm from Columbia Falls to Cortez, CO I never felt the need for bear boxes except in Yellowstone, Teetons (young, orphan bear came into camp) and at the hiker-biker site on the west slope of Togwotee Pass. All those places had them, as did a U.S.F.S. campground just outside of W. Yellosstone. The proviso is that I never pulled off into the woods. I always stayed at developed campsites, whether private, city parks or U.S.F.S.

General Discussion / Re: Method for Bond-Funding Bike Roads
« on: March 14, 2012, 04:14:02 pm »
An out-of-the box idea, but I am not able to envision any scenario that would allow this to pencil out. It is difficult enough to have our current roads repaired and maintained, and there is a steady supply of excise taxes. The cost for such an endeavor - land acquisition, legal, construction, maintenance, interest costs on the bonds (a risky venture would require a high interest rate), along with the cash flow that would be required for a bond sinking fund to ensure the bonds could be repaid, would likely overwhelm any expected revenues that could be generated.


Imagine the land acquisition costs alone. One 20 mile "bike road" a mere 8' wide would require 844,800 sq. feet, or 19.4 acres. In reality, you would probably want something at least twice as wide. How would the land be acquired? Eminent domain?  If so, that could raise a host of legal and political issues and add to the acquisition cost. Even when a right of way in donated by, say, a railroad for use as a trail, development and construction can be a costly and lengthy affair.

Of course, there and some bike trails that see enough useage that they generate commercial benefits to existing business and in some cases actually result in new businesses. But I seriously doubt that model would work in most (or even many) places. Seasonality is one reason. Such roads in many parts of the country would be sparingly used, if at all, for many months out of the year due to weather conditions. Population density is another reason.

Gear Talk / Re: How to avoid saddles sores and rash (hand sanitizer)
« on: March 13, 2012, 03:52:49 pm »
I very much prefer campgrounds in National Parks, National/state Forests, city parks, fire dept lawns etc. In these situations it is not possible to shower

Not always possible to shower. Some NPS campgrounds have shower facilities available. Coulter Bay in Yellowstone, Rising Sun in Glacier and the campground at Mesa Verde come to mind. I have also stayed at several city parks that either had showers or shower access (e.g., at the city pool). Truck stops are another source. When all else fails, there's the good old fashion sponge bath or a dip in a lake. Lake McDonald in Glacier was most refreshing.   ;)

Thanks for all the great feedback. I am certainly going to do this. If there is anyone else on the Ride the Divide Montana ACA trip that wants to join me, let me know.
I am also signed up and may try the Ride-to-the-Sun. Right now it's sounding like I need a little more planning to figure if the road closures will make it possible and fun or too much grief regardless of the opportunity.


Although anything is possible, I doubt the road will still be snowed in by the time you finish. Last year they had a monumental amount of snow and the road opened fully on July 13th. At that time of year, any construction "closures" will likely be of short duration. Maybe 20-40 min. The longer closures are have been scheduled for later in the season and/or at night, when traffic is less. The road is too mportant to the local economies to deter visitors. Late pass openings make the front pages of the local papers. According to the park's site, for 2012, there are no planned activities that would delay opening past June 15. Of course, opening is weather dependendant.

Routes / Re: Status of detour around Williston ND aera?
« on: March 09, 2012, 11:44:36 am »
Looks like the new route will go past Fort Mandan. Definitely worth a stop. Rode into and out of Bismark on CANDISC in '06. While it's a large city by ND standards and has more traffic than most places in the state, it wasn't bad, IMO.

Gear Talk / Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
« on: March 06, 2012, 02:32:30 pm »
If you are using panniers, you are not on a credit card tour.  You are on a full scale loaded expedition tour.

So a few years ago when I did a 160 mile overnight tour (paying for dinner and the motel room with my credit card) with two panniers because that's what I had handy I wasn't on a credit card tour but rather a full scale loaded expedition tour?  I will have to let the other members of the group know of our accomplishment. Many of them had panniers of one sort or another.

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