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Messages - indyfabz

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Routes / Re: Portland to Boise
« on: May 12, 2011, 09:59:53 am »
While it's been a while (2002), I rode from Nyssa, OR to Sisters via Ironside, John Day Mitchell and Pinneville during Cycle Oregon using U.S. 26 off and on.  I don't remember any shoulder issues. You can always use Google Maps Street View function to see if there are shoulders.

Heading east, at Mitchell there is a relatively short climb of a few miles. Then there is a long (over 20 miles), elevation loss to the junction with SR 19.  The rest of the way to John Day isn't bad.  Wish I could remember more.

Bring lots of water.  It was very warm during the second week of September, and there was little or no shade much of the time.

Finally, if you are planning to ride McKenzie Pass into Sisters (worth the effort), check with ODOT first.  I saw some news stories reporting that its considering not plowing this year because of the estimated cost.  Apparently, there are drifts up to 30'.

I did AC's Cycle Vermont last August.  Some people did the Quebec alternative.  They crossed at Richford and came back in at N. Troy.

The climb on the "regular" route is not that bad, although I wasn't riding loaded.  And it's good training for Rochester and Middlebury Gaps, which are noticeably more difficult.

Gear Talk / Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« on: May 10, 2011, 11:35:34 am »
You questions re:  Brooks seems to be based on the assumtpion that you will find one confortable.  How do you know that to be the case?  Saddles are highly personal, and I know several people for whom Brooks do not work.

When are you starting your trip?  Brooks has a break in period.

FWIW, I use the Terry Men's Liberator and love it.  But again, it's a very personal thing.

General Discussion / Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« on: May 10, 2011, 09:09:21 am »
What's your route again?

General Discussion / Re: Gotta eat, but don't want to cook/boil
« on: May 06, 2011, 09:09:25 am »
Are you going west to east on AC's Northern Tier?  If so, be advised that after Newhalem, WA, where there is a small store, there ain't nothing in the way of food until Mazama, which is 60 miles away, and most of that is up hill.  About 7 miles east of Newhalem is Colonial Creek Camprgound.  You can get water there, but that's it.

What happens when your pefect plan does not take shape?  You get socked in my weather no where near an eating establishment.  The restaurant you were expecting to encounter is closed or went up in flames a few weeks before.  Being dependent on fixed places for dinner could limit your choices of overnight locales and/or require you to eat dinner before the day's riding is done.  Unless I am doing something short and familiar, I always carry some emergency pasta, and olive oil is part of my normal kitchen. so I am set in a pinch.

If you go without cooking equipment, make sure you tip your server well.

Routes / Re: Niagra Falls...
« on: May 02, 2011, 01:43:43 pm »
@ Tourista:  I dont plan to go to Canada. Although it would be nice. And I'm sure I'll have a great time! Thanks!

@Indy:  Rainbow Hostel. I'll have to look that up. Thanks for the tip. 20 minutes is not bad, considering that thats ALL I'll be doing once I'm at NF! LOL.

Heading west, the AC route goes into Niagara Falls, Ontario just south of Lewiston, NY and takes you right by the falls.  The Rainbow Hostel is in Niagara Falls, Canada. It re-enters the U.S. via the Peace Bridge from Fort Erie, ONT to Buffalo.  It's my understanding that the Canadian side has better views than the NY side, and there is a recreation trail along the river for much of the way.

Routes / Re: Niagra Falls...
« on: May 02, 2011, 09:23:41 am »
We stayed in the Rainbow Hostel, which is located in the old part of town.  Fun place.  It's about a 20 min. walk to the falls.  But it's better (and cheaper) than staying in the touristy part of town.

Routes / Re: routes in pennsylvania/New York
« on: April 29, 2011, 09:06:52 am »
PA Route G passes close to Altoona.  You could take that north to the intersection with Route Y.  That (and the spur at the eastern end) will take you to Matamoras, PA, which is right across the river from Pt. Jervis, NY.  Pt. Jervis is on the AC Atlantic Coast route.  As noted above, you can take that north to Middletown, NY and pick up NY NY Rte. 17 and 9 to get you into Manhattan.

One note:  Route Y uses U.S. 6 off and on.  I recently heard a first hand account of increased truck traffic on U.S. 6 from the expansion of Marcellus Shale drilling in the area.

Here is a link to a site with a good amount of PA camping info.:

And here is the PA Bike Route site:

Routes / Re: routes in pennsylvania/New York
« on: April 26, 2011, 02:19:16 pm »
Couple of things...

The only way to actually ride into Manhattan from that side is the G.W. Bridge, so if you are dead set on actually riding into the city, you will need to get yourself there.  One resource you might check with for assistance in that neck of the woods is the Bicycle Touring Club of North Jersey.

If you go to Stroudburg, you can get yourself to nearby Delaware Water Gap, PA where you can pick up AC's Atlantic Coast route north to Middletown, NY east of Otisville.  A combination of New York State bicycle routes Nos. 17 and 9 will get you from Middletown into NYC:

Our you could take the AC route south from the Gap to Lambertville, NJ.  From there, there is a spur that takes you to somewhere in N. Jersey (Summitt, perhaps) where you catch a train into NYC.

If you decide you want to ride through Lambertville, I can give you a cue sheet for an amazing route to Hoboken, NJ, where you can take a nice ferry ride to the NYC path along the Hudson.  The only catch is that the route is only safe on weekends because it goes stright up the heart of the Port of Elizabeth and Newark.  You also have to be comfortable riding in some urban traffic.  (Amazingly, most the vast majority of the 90 miles is rural to suburban.)  And you doing it in one day fully loaded might be a chore.  Our club does it every year on the Sunday before Labor Day.  Send me a PM if you are interested.

Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Route Changes?
« on: April 26, 2011, 01:45:06 pm »
The route from New Hope, PA to Conshocken might be different depending on the age of your map.  I suggested a route a while back and I think it was adopted. (Judging from the addenda, it appears that it was.)  If it was, I just did it Sunday and it is all open.

General Discussion / Re: ACA Maps
« on: April 26, 2011, 10:02:49 am »
Necessary?  No.  Convenient?  Yes.  Names, locations and contact information for most services along the route.  They also contain directions to campgrounds, etc., that are off route.  The ones for the mountainous areas have general altitude profiles.  If I were doing one of their long routes I would spring for them for convenience sake.

And they make good chest insulators on those long, chilly descents.

General Discussion / Re: Camelbak / Water Bladder
« on: April 26, 2011, 09:20:53 am »
I sweat profusely but wrote off Camelbacks for some time because I didn't think one would be comfortable for me.  I finally got one while touring in southenr Spain where the sun was intense and finding water in rural areas was sometimes difficult, especially on Sunday.  Turns out that I don't mind a small one.  It's probably two water bottles worth.  I pair that with two standard watter bottles.  I don't think I would like anything larger on my back.  I certainly would not want to carry gear that way.

I also find it handy when the water source at the campground is somewhat of a walk from my site.  To keep it for getting nasty, I only use it for water.  Any other type of liquid goes in a bottle.

The concrns Cgarch mentions are legitimate ones.  I too once left my Camelback after taking off a jacket I had put on during a ferry ride.  Fortunately, I had only gone a few flat miles before I realized it.

Routes / For Those Planning N. Tier West to East
« on: April 20, 2011, 10:55:51 am »
While WADOT won't make a prediction right now, it sounds like there is a good chance SR 20 through the North Cascades won't be open for at least another six weeks.

You can follow the progress and sign up for email updates here:

Plowing of Going to the Sun Road in Glacier N.P. has been hampered by recent snow storms.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier - Without going into Canada
« on: April 19, 2011, 10:49:00 am »
And in Montana at Glacier NP there is a non-Canada option "Marias Alternate". My 2008 copy of the NT shows that option. You can avoid Canada if you desire and still be following NT maps.

IMO, that's like going to Brooklyn Heights and not taking a walk on the promenade.  In '09 we were forced to ride Marias east to west because Logan Pass was still closed.  West to east is a long slog up to Marias.  The shoulder leaves something to be desired and there can be some traffic.  It's not particularly scenic in its own right, and certainly nothing compared to Going to the Sun Road.  There are also very few services between W. Glacier & E. Glacier.  Aside from the Isaak Walton Inn, I remeber passing only one or two restaurants and one campground.  The manager at the later was nice enough to let us bum some water.

If you are dead set on skipping Alberta, I highly recommend at least doing Going to the Sun to St. Mary.  From there, there are a couple of ways to get to Cut Bank wihout going into Candada.  In '09, we took U.S. 89 south from St. Mary to MT 49 (Looking Glass Hill Rd.) to East Glacier, where there is a hostel, a motel, camping and food.  There, you can pick up U.S. 2 east through Browning.  This route gives you the option of a side trip into the Two Medicine part of Glacier N.P.  And the views, especially from Looking Glass, are pretty amazing.  It’s my understanding that Starr School Rd. from U.S. 89 to Browning is easier but not nearly as scenic.  Finally, you could just stay on U.S. 89 south from St. Mary to Browning.  You can see all this on Google Maps.

Here are some photos from our ’09 trip to/from Whitefish into B.C. and AB:

The final 26 are from the west side of Going to the Sun up to Logan Pass.  The 7 before them are from between St. Mary and E. Glacier.  The grazing deer to the general store are from Waterton Village to St. Mary via Chief Mountain.

This may all be an academic exercise depending on when you get to W. Glacier.  They just had another big snowfall the other day.  Plowing of Going to the Sun is going very slowly.  I would be surprised if the road opens by the middle of June.  You may be forced to go over Marias.

While it was some time ago, I did the entire NT (’99) and the portion from Anacortes (actually started in Seattle) to Glacier the following year.  Send me a private message if you have any specific questions I may be able to help you with.

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.

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