Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - indyfabz

Pages: 1 ... 51 52 [53] 54 55 ... 65
781
Just did Middlebury Gap on Thursday.  The west side was rideable (we were on 23c tires) but milled much of the way.  Just take your time.  The start of the decent is crushed lime rock.  If it has been watered it will coat you body and bike.  Saw new blacktop being put down.  Looks like they could be finished this week, maybe next.  The west slope is fine.

In other news, VT 113 into Chelsea on the East Alternative was recently paved.  Striping hadn't even been put down as of Wednesday.  It is almost like riding in a velodrome.  Sweet!

782
Routes / Re: Saskatoon to Vernon, BC
« on: August 12, 2010, 01:15:39 pm »
Did Crows Nest between Burmis and Elko last year in the third week of June.  If you go that way, detouring through Pincher Creek (private campground and motels in the old part of town and a very nice grocery store in the mall on the outskirts) to 507 back to 3 is a nice way to take a break from the traffic on 3.  507 is very rolling, but there is nothing tricky.  We maybe saw a half dozen cars if that many.  Right after the junction of 3 and 507 is the Burmis Tree.  The plaque claims that it's one of the most photographed trees in the world.

Overall, route 3 had a lot of traffic in places but a decent shoulder that had some gravel in places.  There are plenty of services east of Coleman.  There is a private campground in one of the towns.  Blairemore I think it is.  Most of the towns east of the pass are pretty ho hum.  It's coal mining territory.  West of Coleman (great cafe in a former church), you roll and then start to climb Crows Nest.  It's not steep and there is nohing tricky.  The west side of the pass is also not steep except for the first mile or less after the pass.  Sparwood is tidy town with a very nice campground at the west end that is run by a local civic group.  Wooded setting, all the free firewood you can burn and surprisingly modern and spacious bathhouses.  The world's largest truck in the town center is a must-see, and there is an Overweightea (Google it) grocery store.  There are no services between Coleman and Sparwood.

Sparwood to Fernie is o.k., but traffic picks up as you get close to Fernie, which is a ski resort town that seems to get summer tourism, too.  The stretch from Fernie to Elko has waves of heavy traffic, including some trucks.  A little past Fernie you begin a long slog up.  There is a rumple strip along the shoulder, but there is still enough of it to ride.  Our trip was west to east.  The shoulder had a fair amount of gravel debris in places but I don't remember having to enter the roadway too often.  Don't know what the west shoulder looks like.

As I think we were there relatively early, traffic probably picks up in late June.

783
  • Riding the Western Express to Pueblo, CO (just to ensure myself that I can climb 5,000 feet and scale an 11,000 foot pass  ;D )
[

If that's Hoosier Pass you are talking about, consider staying in Breckenridge the night before.  The town is at 9,600 ft.  That leaves you about 1,900 ft. to climb to the top.  When in was there in '00 there was an HI Hostel in town.  If it's still there, make a reservation as it's pretty small.

As for Nebraska, you might try getting in touch with the people who put on B.R.A.N.  They might be able to give you tips and possibly maps from previous rides.

784
Leaving for Cycle Vermont on Saturday.  I saw this info. posted on Bike Forums.  I let Sean know.  According to the poster, the east side is new pavement and is smooth as a you know what.

The east side of Brandon doesn't look too steep, but it is long.

785
General Discussion / Re: Airplane Travel
« on: August 12, 2010, 08:34:29 am »
"The location of the lost bikes was resolved in part because I had seen them loaded on the plane, I think it is worth watching from the gate."

I do that every time I fly with a bike and for each leg of the journey.

In addition, one airline I flew scanned each piece of luggage as it was loaded on the plain.  The agent at the gate scanned my claim check and determined that the bike had been loaded.  It's worth asking about if you miss seeing your bike being loaded.

786
General Discussion / Re: Shipping a bike through REI
« on: August 11, 2010, 09:59:26 am »
Buster, how far did you ship and was that price one shipment or a round trip.  Obviously, it depends on the distance and probably even what cities, but...  If one way and within the continental US it sounds kind of expensive.  If round trip it sounds reasonable.  Using a bike shop and shipping from Reno, NV to Baltimore, MD the whole deal (packing and shipping) was $100 (one way) on my last tour.
[/quote]

I think you are correct about the destination playing a role.  I am pretty sure there are surcharges for out-of-the-way places.  And $160 is high for one way.  Last year I paid about that round trip for boxing and shipping between Philadelphia, PA and Whitefish, MT.

787
Routes / Re: Sierra Cascades - anyone done it yet?
« on: August 05, 2010, 04:13:24 pm »
I you "hate hills" I would steer clear of a route named for two major western mountain chains.

788
General Discussion / Re: Food
« on: August 05, 2010, 08:56:25 am »
Have made a ton of good dinners on a one-burner stove.  It would be imposible to pick the best, but three relatively recent ones come to mind.

Last year outside of Eureka, MT we made pasta with linguica, fresh spinach, red onion and garlic.

Earlier this year it was pasta with portobello mushrooms, garlic and onions topped with shaved asiago cheese.

While camping on Anthrax Island we had liver with fava beans and a nice Chianti.   ;D


789
General Discussion / Re: Cutting Weight
« on: August 04, 2010, 10:30:16 am »
Over the years, I've tried everything I can think of to lower the packing weight of the stuff I carry. Right now, I'm down to 35-45lbs. Is there a way to get lighter? (short of not shaving or not packing any soap, I'm unsure of where to cut next.

Are you trying to lighten the load for the sake of lightening the load?  If I can comfortably carry X I am not going to bother trying to get X-1 just because I can or because it might make things easier.

In any event, one approach is to not look to ditch any particular items but rather examine whether there are lighter alternatives.  Off-bike shoes is one place to start.  Crossing the country I took a very lightweight pair of slip-on "bo-bos" from Woolworth's.  They were noticeably lighter than the sandals I have taken on my last tours.  Years back I read an article that mentioned how some people will cut off the ends of their eating utensils and toothbrushes to save a few ounces yet pack denim jeans that weigh substantially more than synthetic pants with zip-off legs.  Towels can also vary greatly in weight, even at comparable sizes.  Since I don't want to replicate all the comforts of home when I tour I take a pretty small, thin towel to save space and weight.

You mention shaving.  If you carry shaving cream, do you have a full-sized can or one of those travel sizes?  Soap.  Do you carry bar soap and something to wash cooking gear?  If so, one bottle of Camp Suds or Dr. Bonner's will work for both and can also be used as shampoo.

790
Routes / Re: The Green Moutain State
« on: August 03, 2010, 02:12:29 pm »
+1 on Brandon Gap. On my cross-country ride, I walked only two passes: Sonora in the Sierras and Brandon Gap. It is a pleasant walk though <grin>.

I live in Vermont and ride most of the Green Mountains Loop routes from time to time. You will not regret the lower gear, even without the full load on your steed.

Fred

Thanks.  The 11x28 arrives tomorrow.  With my compact crank, hopefully that will be enough.  If not, I will be walking since it's too late to get a refund of the cost of the trip.  :)

791
General Discussion / Re: Amtrak from Boston to Chicago
« on: August 03, 2010, 02:05:08 pm »
Anyone know if the train from Boston to Chicago accommodates bikes, either as walk on or checked baggage?  Has anyone traveled with their bikes on Amtrak before?  Just curious if it would be best to bring it with me on the train or to ship it home.  I've tried calling Amtrak but the automated response was very annoying/difficult to get through.  Any info would be a great help. Thanks

1.  Call 1-800-USA-RAIL.  When "Julie" answers simply press 0 and you will be trasnferred to an agent.

2.  The Lake Shore Limited does offer checked baggage service between Boston South Station and Chicago's Union Station.

3.  Shipping a bike on Amtrak is a lot easier (and cheaper) than flying or shipping it.  The boxes (sold for something like $12) are huge.  All you need to do is remove the pedals and turn the bars and stem.  You may also have to lowe the seat post depending on its height.  Then you roll it right into the box.  I have taken my bike on Amtrak numerous times (including twice across the country).  It has never been damaged.  Note that the Lakeshore Limited is a popular train.  If you haven't done so alrerady I would look into booking now if your trip is imminent.


792
Routes / Re: The Green Moutain State
« on: August 02, 2010, 08:17:18 am »
Brandon Pass, a typical pass was a 12% grade for 4 miles.

Which direction did you ride Brandon Gap?  We west to east on a Northern Tier route detour.  Out of all the hills I did on that entire trip, Brandon was the one I thought I might have to walk on for a bit.

Doing AC's supported Cycle Vermont tour in less than two weeks.  Wondering if I should bring the 11x28 instead of the 11x26.

793
Routes / Re: PA Route G
« on: July 29, 2010, 09:35:46 am »
My general recollections of Pennsylvania road riding is that the shoulders are narrow or nonexistent, the lanes are narrow, and the natives drive 20 MPH over the posted limit.

You have a good memory.

You could hit moderate traffic going into Wellsboro depending on the time of day, but there is a good shoulder into town.  In case you don't know, some of the streets in Wellsboro are still lit with gas mantle lamps.  Interesting sight.

794
Routes / Re: Philadelphia to Richmond
« on: July 29, 2010, 09:23:23 am »
Some counties, cities and/or townships have web sites that highlight local events and attractions. Search for them using the geographical information on maps.


For example:

http://www.parivertowns.com/

Keep hitting "Get Next Matches" and the calendar of events will progress.


When I did the Great Parks North loop last year I simply Googled the name of every town in the U.S. and Canada we planned to stay in.  Doing so got me to web sites for the specific towns and/or areas.  The sites described events, attractions and lodging options.

795
General Discussion / Re: Getting Starting: Self Contained Touring
« on: July 29, 2010, 09:08:56 am »
one does have a triple crank for climbing.

Climbing loaded or unloaded?  You might want to calculate your gear inches.  Whiterider can give you more technical information than I can.

Also agree about the wheels.  Depending on what you have now, you might want to beef up at least the rear wheel.

Pages: 1 ... 51 52 [53] 54 55 ... 65