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Messages - indyfabz

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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:

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

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.

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:

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.

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?

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.

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:!/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.

Routes / Re: Vancouver to Vegas Route Advice Needed
« on: March 29, 2011, 10:45:17 am »
The routes seem to appear as points on a map with no detail of how you plan to connect them.  For example, on the yellow route, there is a marker at Medford, OR.  The next one is at Mt. Shasta.  Is the idea to ride I-5 all the way between those points?  It also looks like you are planning to ride I-5 from Myrtle to Medford.  Have you looked into the legality if that is the plan?  I know you can ride on some Interstate Highways out west, but I don't know if all of them are open to bicycles.

And have you checked

Gear Talk / Re: Aerobars and bikepacking
« on: March 25, 2011, 10:23:31 am »
The reason I asked about their usefullness on the GDMBR is because the OP said that is what he is planning/dreaming of doing.

Routes / Re: Bannack State Park
« on: March 24, 2011, 09:47:53 pm »
The screens on that screened shelter in Wisdom are in sad shape, so they're not much protection. I pitched my tent inside that shelter too. Worst mosquitoes I encountered were in Jeffrey City, but Wisdom was second place.

Ruh-roh.  Hope the girlfriend doesn't find out ahead of time.  Jeffrey City that same year ('00) as way too windy to feel any effects of bugs, at least during the day.  I could barely walk up the road.  I stayed in the JC Motel and got a very early start so I don't know what the morning and evening were like.  I spent the night of July 3rd there.

BTW...In case you had not heard, the Big Hole Crossings restaurant in Wisdom burned down a year or so ago.  However, last month it re-opened in a different location in town.

Routes / Re: Bannack State Park
« on: March 24, 2011, 01:39:24 pm »
+1 on Twin Bridges Bike Camp. I stayed there last summer. There's free WiFi at the Laundromat. Restaurants in Twin Bridges are limited but sufficient. The mosquitoes were bad when I was there, but DEET made them a non-issue.

I hate mosquitoes so 100% DEET is how I roll.  I remember being in Wisdom many years ago.  I pulled up to the market in town during the late afternoon.  By the time I had gotten got off my bike and had gotten my wallet out of my pannier, they were all over me.  I was going to opt for a room, but the clerk told me there was a screened shelter at the park.  Pitched the tent inside and all was fine.

Only passed through Twin Bridges that year.  The Blue Anchor served a good breakfast.  The Cycle Camp has what they call an "insect resistant" shade shelter with tables.  Looks like the perfect place to cook dinner.

Routes / Re: Bannack State Park
« on: March 24, 2011, 11:45:43 am »
As noted, it's off the TransAm, not the Northern Tier.

Search CGOB.  There are several journals mentioning it.  At least one has a number of neat photos of the ghost town.  Didn't see anything about food availability here:

We will be in that area at the beginning of July.  Coming from Missoula through Wisdom.  After Jackson, we'll turn north on the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway.  Going to camp near Elkhorn Hot Springs and soak the bodies.  From there it's through Wise River to Divide to Melrose and then to Twin Bridges via a 20 mile unpaved road.  Plan to stay at Twin Bridges Cycle Camp.

Gear Talk / Re: Aerobars and bikepacking
« on: March 23, 2011, 10:24:25 am »
You will probably hear plenty of myths about aerobars, all from people who have little or no experience on them, and ones who didn't have them set up correctly.  Don't believe them.

Would they be of much value on the GDMBR?

General Discussion / Re: Does a bum toughen up?
« on: March 23, 2011, 10:09:15 am »
Saddles arer very personal.  What works for A might not work for B.  If you have found one that works for you, put it on the new bike and get some experience with it to make sure it works with the new bike's geometry.  If it does, there will be no need to carry a spare.

General Discussion / Re: Cross Country Trip: Money, What To Do?
« on: March 21, 2011, 04:12:23 pm »
Also, if your budget is tight, take out as much money as possible when you use an ATM.  You will almost certainly be changed double fees--one by your bank for using a "foreign" ATM machine and the another by the owner of the machine.  That could easily be $3-$4/pop.  If you are on a $10/day budget, that goes down to $9 if you are taking out money every 3-4 days.

Man, that's a great point, thank you!

Also, i plan on having my parents mail things to me along the way, including valuables like money or whatever else. How exactly would I go about it. Would I simply have to know where I will be in, say, a week, tell them the city and have them mail it to the post office? How does that work to have them mail things to me along the way?

Our crack postal service fails to give you the detailed instructions:

I forget the precise method, but I think to send general delivery mail you put the name of the recipent, the city, state and zip and the words “General Delivery” on the package.  I got a lot of film and other goodies shipped to me that way.  Worked well, but I would be waryu about sending cash.  Note that in larger cities with more than one post office, the package will be waiting at the post office deignated to hold general delivery mail.

General Discussion / Re: Cross Country Trip: Money, What To Do?
« on: March 21, 2011, 01:56:40 pm »
Forgot to mention...Don't forget to inform your cedit card company and the bank(s) that you have ATM cards from that you will be travelling across the country.  You don't want them to shut your cards off because they think someone has stolen them.

Also, if your budget is tight, take out as much money as possible when you use an ATM.  You will almost certainly be changed double fees--one by your bank for using a "foreign" ATM machine and the another by the owner of the machine.  That could easily be $3-$4/pop.  If you are on a $10/day budget, that goes down to $9 if you are taking out money every 3-4 days.

And don't forget to budget for bike service and parts.  There is a good chance you will need a tire or two along the way.  I am big and carried a lot of weight on my first tour and needed two new rear tires and one new front tire over the course of nearly 4 months.  That was about $100 right there.  If I am not mistaken, you are planning to be on the road for 5 months.  That's roughly 150 days.  $150 worth of service and parts is $1/day average right there.

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