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My typical ride to work route is a good test of weight. It gains about 800 feet over 10.5 miles.Wow, where do you live? 800 feet over 10.5 miles fits my definition of "flat". If your tour will also be flat, then I agree that your ride is a good test. But if your tour is somewhere more hilly, make sure you do a test under tour conditions.
What I did not like about Madison is what Jamawani notes. Madison was crowded and loud.It is an unfortunate dilemma, but many times the coolest places to visit attract the most people, and therefore making them less cool. The main areas of Yellowstone definitely don't offer much solitude, but in my opinion they are worth it anyway. Besides, on a long tour, I typically get plenty of solitude other places.
I nearly got doored during an "animal jam." Someone who thought they had seen a moose or something stopped and the lemmings did the same.One of the great things about being on a bicycle during these animal jams is that you can easily ride right up to where the animals are without worrying about finding a parking place. Then when you're done looking, you can ride away without waiting for the roads to clear. When a herd of bison blocked the road between Madison and West Yellowstone, I was able to ride right through the herd, while those in their cars got stuck in a five-mile traffic jam. The only people who got to see the bison were in the first few cars--the hundreds of cars behind them saw nothing and waited hours. I had many frustrated drivers stuck in that five-mile line of cars ask me what the hold-up was. It got to where I just started answering the question before it was asked by saying "bison on the road" every time a driver opened his mouth.