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Messages - indyfabz

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Routes / Re: Wyoming and Colorado routing?
« on: December 08, 2010, 03:50:53 pm »
It's in AZ.  Go to Google Maps and type in Apache National Forest, Clifton AZ and you will see U.S. 191 between Alpine and Clinton.

And on Street View it does look Freaken Awesome.

Routes / Re: Wyoming and Colorado routing?
« on: December 08, 2010, 03:46:05 pm »
valygrl writes:
"If it works into your route, the 191 through Apache National Forest, Alpine to Clifton, is Freaking Awesome!!!! (and insanely hilly, and there are no services, but hey, it's sooooo great!!!!)"

I tried to look this up to no avail. I found an Alpine and 191 in Wyoming and a Clifton in Colorado but couldn't find an Apache National Forest. 191 south of Hobart Junction and down into Utah would certainly provide long stretches of "no services" but plenty of fine desert scenery. Looks a like a route worth taking.

It's in AZ.  Go to Google Maps and type in Apache National Forest, Clifton AZ and you will see U.S. 191 between Alpine and Clinton.

General Discussion / Re: folding bike
« on: December 06, 2010, 02:42:47 pm »
If you are still planning on flying, I am not sure a folding bike alone solves the problem of in-flight damage.  You might need a hard case.  Unless things at Friday have changed, you can buy a hard case for your Friday that can double as a trailer to carry your gear.  While doing part of the TA, I rode for a week with a couple on a Bike Friday tandem pulling their gear in the trailer.  They had no problem making good time.

I have an older Friday New World Tourist  (maybe 6 years old) that I bought for commuting reasons.  I persoanlly cannot imagine loading it with gear and touring on it.  The bike doesn't feel stiff enough for by 6'2", 215 lbs. frame with gears, and the small wheels aren't as smooth as larger ones.  But but many people do tour on them.

Another shipping option is UPS and/or FedEx.  Last year I shipped from the east coast to Whitefish, MT for a hair under $50.  The airline I was flying wanted something like $175.

General Discussion / Re: Atlantic Coast Route
« on: December 01, 2010, 11:28:11 am »
I did this section a long time ago ('99) but regularly ride on some of the PA and NJ portions so I can offer some detailed insight.

Norristown to New hope has some hills, but it's not particularly arduous.  Anything really steep is short.  There will be heavy traffic in places if you ride this section during a weekday.  I strongly recommend doing it Sat. or Sun. and the earlier the better.

New Hope to Delaware Water Gap, PA is mostly flat to gently up hill as you go upstream along the Delaware River.  There is one rather large hill above Milford, NJ and other smaller ones.  There is also a long slog up SR 611 heading to Delaware Water Gap as you climb above the river.  You should not encounter too much traffic in most areas.  Phillipsburg might be one exception.  Some of the road surfaces between Riegelsville, NJ and Phillipsburg, NJ may be chipped up a little.  There is an option to ride a trail from Lambertville, NJ to around Milford.  It's pleasant and easily rideable.  I have done sections of it riding a road bike on 23c tires.  I strongly recommend taking the trail at least as far north as Stockton, NJ as there is no shoulder on this stretch of SR NJ and it's windy in places.  North of the north end of Stockton, SR 29 widens and has a wide shoulder until it ends in Frenchtown, NJ.

About 8 miles north of Lambertville you will pass Bull's Island Recreation Area.  It's a fabulous place to camp.  Ask for site 66 or 67 close to the river.  Depending on the time of year, the place can be booked on the weekends (weekdays are mostly empty, except maybe during the time around Lambertville’s Shad Fest, and if you want to make a weekend reservation you must pay for two days unless you call Saturday morning and there is space available.  If you are concerned, start off from Norristown on a Sunday and spend Sunday night there.  The store in Stockton, NJ (in the old train station next to the trail) recently expanded their grocery selection.  They also have some prepared foods and make sandwiches.  Great wine and beer store in Stockton, too, just don’t let the park rangers catch you.

Worthington State Forest, across the river from Delaware Water Gap, PA, is another nice place to camp.  (Skip Shady Acres in Portland, PA).  Just note that the bear population in the Delaware Water Gap Nat’l Recreation Area has taken off over the years.  The ride through the Gap is beautiful, but you will encounter some hills.  North from Port Jervis, the road is a gentle up hill until you start a relatively short climb up to Otisville.

I don’t want to offer anymore detail since it’s been a while since I have been farther north, but I will says that I remember MA and CT being fairly hilly in places and that the U.S. 1 portions in ME were not that pleasant.  Lots of noisy traffic.

General Discussion / Re: Camping in the east
« on: November 22, 2010, 10:55:55 am »
A basic campsite in a PA state park is $17/night for non-residents.  $15 for residents.  I actually thought it would be higher.  NJ is $20 at the least.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier - travel direction
« on: November 22, 2010, 10:38:56 am »
East of Cut Bank, we had prevailing tailwinds in MT and ND.  However, I spent a week riding in ND during an organized event and the winds (which were fierce at times) were mostly out of the SE.

Based on experience and talking to locals, there are at least two isolated sections where the wind always blows in a certain direction absent some crazy set of circumstances.  One is between the road that takes you into Waterton Village in Alberta and the town of McGrath.  Tailwind going to McGrath.  The snow fences along the road tell the story.  The other is the section between St. Mary, MT and Chief Mountain Highway, which uses U.S. 89.  The wind will almost certtainly be at your back heading "east" (you actually head northeast).  It was when I went in that direction, and I had a killer headwind last year coming the other direction.  Fortunately, both of these sections are relatively short.

But as someone else wrote, I wouldn't base my decision on prevailing winds.  Other factors such as the chance of snow and Going to the Sun Road being open could be more important depending on your trip timing.

Routes / Re: Different routes across Washington state
« on: November 16, 2010, 01:25:54 pm »
Interesting.  There were no cars when I rode the S. Skagit both times. Maybe the timing explains the difference.  (I was there in 3rd week of May both times.)  Or maybe there has been development in the area.

Routes / Re: Different routes across Washington state
« on: November 15, 2010, 04:29:55 pm »
You're welcome.

We started in Seattle on May 25th and were in Minneapolis around mid July (I remember being in eastern ND on July 4th), including rest days.  However...

1.  We took the "long" option through MN.  There is a shorter option included on the map.

2.  We did some short days along the way when we could have done longer yet still manageable days.

3.  We followed the route into Canada, staying in Waterton Village and McGrath before heading to Cut Bank, MT.  You can probably trim two days by heading directly from St. Mary, MT to Cut Bank.

4.  We took at least six rest days in that stretch.  Two were probably not really necessary, but we had to take the group's varying abilities into account.  Plus, we had a 93 days schedule for the entire trip, which is on the long end.

Sometimes the WA par of the route leaves you few options unless you can do a lof of miles and climbs.  After the Cascades crossing, where the natural overnight is in Winthrop (bike-friendly KOA), you'd have a long day (109 miles) if you tried to do Loup Loup and Wacunda Passes the following day.  Instead you will likely do Loup Loup, overnight in Tonakset and then do Wacunda..  Maybe you could make it from Tonasket to Colville (93 miles) over Wacunda and Sherman Passes in one day, skipping to town of Republic in between, but it’s not something I would want to do unless really pressed for time, but that’s because I tend to be a one and done person when it comes to long climbs.  Your mileage may vary.  Once you get onto the “High Line” (east of Cut Bank, MT), you have more options.  It’s relatively flat in most places, and you can get some killer tailwinds.  We did two 45 mile days that could have easily been made into one day for these reasons.  At one point I was cruising along at 28 mph and actually sustained 32.5 mph for about 4 miles.

General Discussion / Re: WHY RIDE A BIKE?????!
« on: November 15, 2010, 02:53:55 pm »
Then there's the sublime element of riding a bike, going much faster than walking, yet slow enough to actually see the world as you pass it by.  A well-adjusted bike is an amazing machine.

"Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything."--Charles Kurault

General Discussion / Re: Surly Cross Check Touring Bike?
« on: November 12, 2010, 11:23:33 am »
Doesn't Surly offer 26" wheels on the LHT on all sizes, I thought that was one of the changes they did when they released the 2010 LHT...


They do offer 26" on all sizes, but they don't offer 700c on all sizes.  What the OP is saying is that if he went with an LHT he would be forced to use 26" wheels because his size is not available with 700c.

Routes / Re: West to East, Early Spring
« on: November 12, 2010, 11:18:46 am »

Have to believe that opened does not necessarily mean clear of snow all the time.  I had flurries both times when I crossed in late May.

Routes / Re: Different routes across Washington state
« on: November 12, 2010, 11:11:30 am »
By comparison, the ride through the North Cascades, northern Idaho, and Glacier National Park is the crown jewel of the Northern Tier, in my experience. If I had limited time, I would enjoy the mountain scenery and hop on a train as needed to cross eastern MT, ND, and MN.


Have done Route 20 through the North Cascades to Glacier N.P. twice (and the entire Northern Tier once) and cannot agree more.  Can't imagine trading it for interstate riding or U.S. 2 riding.  The one place I would get off 20 is between Sedro-Woolley and Concrete.  The S. Skagit Highway on the other side of the river is a gem.  And you may not have much traffic on 20 up to Rainy & Washington Passes depending on when you go.  Both times I did the climb in late May.  The rode was virtually empty.  Of course it snowed, but nothing heavy, and it didn’t stick.

Beyond WA…I would strongly advise avoiding U.S. 2 from Columbia Falls, MT to Glacier.  There is a curvy section with no shoulders and some trucks.  The route AC uses between these two points is nice.  Was there last year.  The unpaved portion was manageable on 37c tires.  The ride up Going to the Sun to Logan Pass in Glacier is well worth any extra days.

The final 26 photos were taken on the west side of Logan Pass.  There are ways to skip the portion into Canada is you are pressed for time.

The alternative, U.S. 2 from W. Glacier up to Marias Pass, is nothing spectacular, and it's a long, long slog up with narrow shoulders in most places.

How much time total do you anticipate having to get from Seattle to Minneapolis?

Things Like to have:

1.  A watertight tent

2.  A good flashlight/head lamp

3.  A corkscrew

4.  If our for more than a copule of days, a good book

5.  If it might be cold, warm gloves and a warm hat

6.  A sense of adventure, the expectation that not everything will go as planned and the patience to not get pissed when they don't

7.  A good idea of where I am going ahead of time

General Discussion / Re: Advice about Unique Bicycle Touring Company
« on: November 09, 2010, 06:34:51 pm »
My angle might well be custom tours--small groups of people who already know and tolerate each other.[/quote]

That's probably a better bet.  As a veteran of a group x-country tour with a dozen strangers, I can tell you that dormitory and even camping settings can pose problems, especially if you have really loud snorers.  We had to segregate snorers and non-snorers whether we camped or stayed indoors.  I cannot imagine having to sleep night after night in an RV with the snorers we had, regardless of the RV's size.  Very few people are going to be happy about being forced to wear ear plugs in order to sleep.  The nights did stay in hostals or other indoor places we had issues with people tossing and turning all night and frequent bathroom visits.  And there is the early vs. late riser issue.

Ultimately, because of the close quarters and shared facilities issues, I think you might have to make it noticeably less expensive than a hotel tour to appeal to a broad audience.  I say that because I imagine that people who want to ante up to not have to camp and carry gear will be willing to ante up a little more to have their own room, bathroom and shower or ones that are shared with only on other person.

General Discussion / Re: Pedaling thru Missoula in velomobiles
« on: November 08, 2010, 10:42:36 am »
I highly recommend some good planning through ND.  Some of the little towns in that state are blips on the radar screen.  They may have places to eat, but they may not be open late/for dinner.  As noted, the NT maps have camping and eating info. listed on them.  And unless things have changed drastically since I did the route, you pass through some fairly sizeable towns by ND standards, like New Town, Minot, Rugby and Fargo.  There was camping in all of thse towns when we passed through.  Rugby and Fargo had fairgrounds that looked like they could accomodate large groups.

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