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Messages - indyfabz

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Routes / Re: transamerica MT to OR weather conditions
« on: June 15, 2012, 12:59:16 pm »
I assume you mean 2013.

Be prepared for cold, wet, snow and ice in MT, especially when crossing the passes. We did a loop out of Missoula last year that incorporated a couple of days of the TransAm route. Couple of nights it got down to 40. Had we left Missoula a day earlier than we did, we would have gotten soaked by several inches of cold rain that hit Hamilton. That was late June. The week before we arrived, snow flurries were predicted in some of the places we would be. Leading up the trip I followed a few journals. Couple of people got snowed on. One fellow got caught in a bad storm heading west from Ennis, MT and ended up getting a ride.

Can't speak to OR as I have only ridden in the area the Trans Am uses in early September. However, if you look at something like this, you will see it could be pretty cold at night:

Note that McKenzie Pass west of Sisters will almost certainly not be open when you arrive. It would be a shame to miss it. The landscape at the summit is amazing, and the descent of the west slope is fun if you don't mind switchbacks.

Gear Talk / Re: Le Mond bikes - anyone know them?
« on: June 11, 2012, 12:32:08 pm »
The Ti frames were the Clark Kents. [/quote]

Interesting. I had a friend who worked at a shop back in the early 90s. He got his hands on one and built it up. First Ti frame I had ever seen.

Saw LeMond at the swap meet at the velodrome in Lehigh County, PA back in probably '06. He was about to take off on a recreational ride with some people. Yes. He was riding a LeMond bike.

General Discussion / Re: My Horizontal Everest : TA
« on: June 07, 2012, 01:02:42 pm »
It will be great to get any route plan from Seattle to Missoula since i am thanking of taking it. any map/blog/camping ground information will be very helpful.


As I noted above, and if time allows, get the following maps from Adventure Cycling:

1.  Pacific Coast Section 1: Take a ferry from Seattle to pick up the route. I believe there is a ferry to Bremerton, WA which is on the route. Follow this to just east of Anacortes, WA.

2.  Northern Tier Sections 1 & 2:  Take this route from just east of Anacortes where it intersects with the Pacific Coast route mentioned immediately above. Stay on this to Columbia Falls, MT.

3.  Great Parks Route Section 2: Pick up this route in Columbia Falls, MT and take it south to Missoula.

At a moderate pace  with a few short days you would be in Missoula in about 16 days w/o rest days. That will leave you roughly 64 days to make it the roughly 3,250 miles from Missoula to Yorktown, which is around 51 miles/day w/o rest days. The scenery in the mountains of Washington is terrific, and except for one, the mountain passes are not that difficult. Found cheap camping in lots of places along this route. Camping will, of course, be shown on the maps.

Or, for a speedier option, get just the Pacific Coast Section 1. Take a ferry from Seattle and get on the route at Bremerton and follow it south to Astoria.

Temporary ACA Route Road Closures / Atlantic Coast #2, map 24
« on: June 06, 2012, 10:05:48 am »
sorry. don't have the map number handy. [added to subject .JHM.] saw road closure sign last saturday so i looked it up and found this from hunterdon county web site:

"COUNTY CULVERTS H-50, H-51 and H-53 at County Road 627-Riegelsville-Milford Road located in the Township of Holland will be closed at the intersection of Spring Garden Road and 3/10 of a mile from Bridge Street (Milford Borough).  County Road 627-Riegelsville-Milford Road will be Closed to All Traffic starting on June 4, 2012 for approximately 4-5 weeks.

The county bridge crew will be repairing Culverts H-50, H-51 and H-53 with pre-cast panels.

A detour will be posted."

being familiar with the area, i would follow the posted detour and resist any temptation to cross into PA and take sr 32, which is narrow, twisty in places and generally has no shoulder. the nj side is much nicer riding. this closed stretch is neat, but there are other neat parts.

General Discussion / Re: Share how you got $ & time off to tour
« on: June 06, 2012, 07:39:41 am »
i begged to get laid off in the wake of a merger. knew it was coming for almost two years so i saved up money. took the severance package and ran. ended up taking 2 years off and doing 3 long tours. then i got my old job back.

save money and possibly ask for leave of absence.

sorry for the grammar and punctuation. fractured collar bone on sat. can't type so well.

General Discussion / Re: Bear spray on Transam in Rocky Mountains
« on: May 31, 2012, 07:39:38 am »
Bear sited yesterday in Princeton, NJ, which is not exactly in the wilderness.

General Discussion / Re: My Horizontal Everest : TA
« on: May 30, 2012, 03:54:03 pm »
Another option:  from Seattle, take a ferry and get onto ACA Pacific Coast route. Take that to where it intersects with the Northern Tier route. Take the Northern Tier to Whitefish/Columbia Falls and get on ACA's Great Parks route to Missoula to join up with the Trans Am. Take the Trans Am to the Atlantic Coast route, which will take you to D.C.

Also, at Whitefish you can stay on the Northern Tier to Glacier National Park, ride up and back down the west side of Going to the Sun Road and then head back to Whitefish and pick up the Great Parks. Well worth the few extra days.

General Discussion / Re: Bon Ton Roulet
« on: May 30, 2012, 09:06:36 am »
We had a rest day in Watkins Glen like they are doing this year. The Gorge was a nice walk. It was very humid on our off day. The swimming pool, which is huge, was a welcome amenity. There was also a dinner boat cruise you could take. I didn't do it, but others said it was nice.

One warning if you are planning to treat yourself to a motel in Watkins Glen like several members of my club did. The place they reserved was a real dump. I think it was called the Glen Way, but I am not certain. Bugs and cobwebs in the room and at least one non-functioning toilet.

Also, watch out for the cops. Lots of riders were blowing through stop signs on the way to the camping location at the school. The cops were not happy and told the organizers that they were going to ticket riders.

Gear Talk / Re: Bike shorts + chamois cream (Experience)
« on: May 29, 2012, 03:56:26 pm »
I have taken to using some type of cream because I find it helps me. I don't even know any racers or anyone who endorses the stuff.

Use something that is water soluable (i.e., something unlike petroleum jelly) like Belgium Butter and try to wash yor shorts each day if only for bacteria build up reasons.

General Discussion / Re: Bon Ton Roulet
« on: May 29, 2012, 03:50:31 pm »
I did in '06. You can take a duffel bag that is large enough to hold everything you need unless you are bringing a tent the size of Grand Central Terminal and a different off-bike outfit for each day. I brought a medium sized 2P tent, ThermaRest, sleeping bag, maybe five sets of riding clothes, a couple of sets of off bike clothes, towel, etc. I probably had a flat pillow, too.

Definitely don't abuse the staff. It's minimal commpared to something like Cycle Oregon, which I have done three times. There were no "sherpas," so you had to carry you own bag to the truck where there were one or two helpers who would assist with loading. You also had to carry your own bag to wherever you wanted to pitch your tent. Definitely use a dry bag or put your stuff in a garbage bag inside your duffel. The penultimate day it rained cats and dogs. The luggage was placed under a giant tarp, but people moved the tarp while searching for their bags and didn't bother to make sure they hadn't left bags on the fringes uncovered. Also, the people who unloaded the luggage managed to find the lowest spot of ground at the bottom of a ski lift. I saw some bags with pools of water on top and others sitting in inches of water.

If the last few years signify a trend, I would be prepared for rain, either on the road or in camp. I have spoken with several people who have done it recently. They experienced a good deal of rain.

Lunch is on your own. I generally didn't stop for lunch but rather just had snacks at the rest stops and my own Gu and Cliff Bars. It was warm the year I did it so I wanted to get off the road early. I usually bought lunch in the finishing towns. I liked the wine carrying feature. You could stop at selected vinyards and buy wine. A van would cruise by and pick up and transport purchases until the end of the tour. Or if you happen to see a SAG van hanging out in a town where there is a wine store, you can buy a couple of bottles and leave it with the driver.

The last night they threw a big kegger with catered BBQ.

Depending on the route, there definitely can be some extremely steep grades going W-E. There was one hill that many people walked at least part of. A 24x34 should do the trick.

General Discussion / Re: Bear spray on Transam in Rocky Mountains
« on: May 29, 2012, 07:39:10 am »
The funny thing about wildlife habitat in the western Unted States? It's growing into the urban areas as certain species become very good at thriving among the humans and their vast supplies of free food and nice places to hide.

Funny you should mention this. Just got done watching a story on GMA this morning about a bear that took a dip in a residential swimming pool in Monrovia, CA.

Last week I saw two different stories about bears. One was captured in Steamboat Springs. The other in a heavily populated area Bucks County, PA, not that far from Philadelphia.

Saw one bear on the TA at the campground Jenny Lake in the Teetons. (Despite being warned that a bear had been seen around camp during the previous few days, an uncaring cyclist left his trash on his picnic table while he wandered off to try to get a cell phone signal.) It was a young one. Likely something had happened to the mother or she drove him off after becoming pregnant again early. A few pots and pans banged together scared him off.

As noted, your chances of even seeing a bear are generally remote, except maybe in Yellowstone where you won't be doing any wilderness camping unless you leave the bike behind and go into the backcountry. The three black bears seen during my rides on the Northern Tier wanted nothing to do with humans. They simply crossed the road and went about their business.

BTW...Unless you are going to be traveling up some unpaved road for a few miles, those U.S.F.S. campgrounds are not likely to be that remote. Many are right along the highway and can be heavily occupied depending on the location and time of year. Madison and Colter Bay campgrounds in Yellowstone N.P. were insanely crowded near the end of June. I did see some old evidence of bear activity (ripped up tree stumps) at the primitive ACA/U.S.F.S. campground on the east slope of Togwotee, but even that place is close to the highway. And with it's stunning view of the Teetons, it's worth any risk you might be exposing yourself to. Just use the bear box.

Routes / Re: Nevada and Utah 2011 ? Advice & tips please
« on: May 29, 2012, 06:43:00 am »
FYI: T-Mobile does not work well in remote areas in the US.  I use T-Mobile and will be crossing NV next week on US 50 expecting 3+ days without service.

Remote areas?  T-Mobile doesn't work all that well in the fifth largest city in the U.S. I sometimes had to leave my house to get a decent signal. In rural MT last year, my GF had several dead zones with AT&T. I had Verizon and had far fewer dead zones.

Routes / Re: Gibson Pass or Lost trail Pass?
« on: May 24, 2012, 02:21:26 pm »
Thank you very much, had no idea![/quote]

No idea of what?

General Discussion / Re: Overall weight for touring
« on: May 24, 2012, 09:48:11 am »
What pdlamb said, except that my guess is that you added the text books and water solely to test the bike with additional weight. The first time I rode with any load I carried phone books just to get a feel before I loaded up the bike with the stuff I would take on tour.

If you are comfortable with the load, go for it. Don't let anyone tell you what you should and should not take. On my first tour (x-country and more), I carried probably 15 lbs. of camera equipment, if not more. I am sure it made me work harder, but I never once regretted having the stuff. Today, I carry a small cutting board and small Santoku knife because I like to cook more elaborate meals. Some people like to fish and thus take along fishing equipment.  And I never weigh my load. While sometimes I am curious about the weight, in the end it doesn't matter. The key question is whether I am comfortable carrying what I have.

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