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General Discussion / Re: Recommendations for a tour beginning in Chicago
« Last post by adventurepdx on February 18, 2017, 12:40:53 pm »
Is your heart really set on completing one route in chunks? If so, ending wherever can be pretty remote, and the logistics of getting back home could be tough, even if you're thinking of renting a car. And there's the expanse of the Plains. You'll have a few chunks that will be strictly the Plains. It might be a bit daunting to know that you have to return to complete another section of this area before you hit the mountains. Of course, you may love the Plains and then it wouldn't be a big deal.

Have you thought of the Pacific Coast? It isn't starting from Chicago, but it is scenic for most of it, and it's not logistically impossible to complete it in chunks, as there are transportation options.
General Discussion / Re: Recommendations for a tour beginning in Chicago
« Last post by Tyrosopher on February 18, 2017, 11:17:35 am »
I plan on about 85 miles a day. 

To be clear, I ride for 8 days, and on the 9th I head home.  Then, a few months later, drive back to where I left the trail and pick up my route again.  Just like some Appalachian Trail thru hikers do it in chunks over years.

Routes / Re: Best/easiest route from the Pacific to Michigan
« Last post by jamawani on February 18, 2017, 11:09:33 am »
Oh, and about those two route options east of Yakima? Actually three.

You can look at my journal from this past summer - I took the direct route on WA 24 to Othello.
Once you cross the Vernita Bridge it gets really hairy.
It is brutal - it is very remote - it is very exposed - it has no shoulder - and it has heavy, fast traffic.
Even with all my experience, I found it nerve-wracking.

The southerly dip thru the Yakima Valley has the most services and shade.
Yes, it is longer.

Another option that would save about 10 miles is to head east on WA 24 and southeast on WA 240.
There is a cafe/bar at the junction of WA 24/WA 241 - but nothing else.
Traffic drop on WA 24 after Moxie, but is moderate to moderate+ on WA 240 - but with shoulders.

If you were to stay in Yakima either at a motel/Airbnb/ or the state park - it would be two days to Palouse Falls.
If you were to take the WA 24 / WA 240 route (which is not terribly scenic on WA 240) you might aim for Richland

If you were to do it in 2 1/2 days - with lots of time for Palouse Falls -
You could take the WA 24/WA 241  route to Horn Rapids Park at the junction of WA 240 & WA 225.
Then Pasco Kahlotus Road and down Burr Canyon Road to Winddust campground on the Snake River - little hidaway.
Then up thru the spectacular Missoula Floods era Devils Canyon to Kahlotus.
The views will erase any thought of the climb.
Kahlotus is barely holding on - but you get get the absolute essentials - food/water.
But since you have a vehicle - you can stock up in Pasco.

One thing to remember -
Many of these tiny towns are really struggling.
If they charge more - remember that there is no delivery truck - they drive to Costco to pick up their own supplies.
Dropping a few bucks in the last remaining business is a nice way to offer support.

Gear Talk / Re: Trekking bars vs Jones H bar
« Last post by driftlessregion on February 18, 2017, 11:01:16 am »
Here is just one example of a trekking bar
Google trekking handlebar and you'll find numerous photos of trekking bars and the variety  of ways to set them up.
Routes / Re: Best/easiest route from the Pacific to Michigan
« Last post by jamawani on February 18, 2017, 10:41:08 am »
Denise -

Thank you for your kinds words.
I have ridden the Missoula-Lincoln-Helena route a number of times.
Did it on my 1st x-c ride in 1987 - and did it again last sumer.
Journal on Crazyguyonabike -
Flesher Pass is a pretty easy crossing of the continental divide with low traffic.

Traffic mellows out a few iles east of Missoula and there is a shoulder.
The Blackfoot River is a "Blue Ribbon" trout stream - gorgeous mile after mile.
Nice cafe at the top of the climb at Potomac - and a good spot for a break.
You must include Ovando - general store, cafe, camping - magical.
There is a narrow stretch thru Blackfoot Canyon before Lincoln - camping/services.

There are two back ways into Helena from Silver City - Birdseye Road and Green Meadow Rd.
Birdseye is harder, but very scenic. Green Meadow is pretty level with more traffic.

Helena is a marvelous town -
There's camping out at the fairgrounds - a ways out - but if you have vehicle support, no big deal.
Last Chance Gulch downtown has amazing Western history.
The Algerian Temple, the Cathedral, great bike shops, restaurants, museums.

BTW - Here's a cycling map of Montana with summer traffic counts:

Best - Jama

PS - June is the perfect time to cross eastern Washington and to see Palouse Falls roaring.
PPS - US 12 is a gentle, low-traffic ride across eastern Montana.
Routes / Re: Best/easiest route from the Pacific to Michigan
« Last post by indyfabz on February 18, 2017, 09:09:50 am »
Not to interject, but another option from Missoula to Three Forks is through Drummond, Philipsburg, Anaconda, Butte and Whitehall. It requires a few, relatively short stretches on I-90. (One fewer if you can handle a relatively short stretch of tame gravel/dirt.) Highlights include Georgetown Lake, the Pintler Scenic Byway and Pipestone Pass just east of Butte, which is not that difficult west to east. It also goes through a nice canyon area via MT 2 passed Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, which has a campground. There are also several other camping options along the way, including in Philipsburg, which is a neat little town with old time ice cream shop. Butte has a KOA, but it's near I-90. An alternative is the motor lodge portion of the Hotel Finlen in the historic part of Butte. Reserve a room on the first floor and you can roll your bike into the room. Let me know if you want more details.
General Discussion / Re: Recommendations for a tour beginning in Chicago
« Last post by indyfabz on February 18, 2017, 08:51:41 am »
What's your anticipated range for 8 days of riding? Seems like it would be difficult to truly reach/see the west in only 8 days starting from the western 'burbs of Chicago.
Routes / Re: Best/easiest route from the Pacific to Michigan
« Last post by on February 18, 2017, 08:47:39 am »
Jamawani I hope you're still there.
I have had time now to pour over each of the routes you've outlined.  What an INCREDIBLE wealth of opportunity you have outlined for us.  I am awed at the time you've given.
I have a couple of questions.
1. I think we'll take the route from Westport that you outlined; it sounds the most beautiful of the routes and has the least elevations for starting the trip.  We would love to see the Palouse Falls.  I am wondering what you think of following the southerly dip ridewithgps route from Yakima to Palouse Falls (151mi) or cut more directly across from Yakima to Palouse falls on rt 24 and 260 (131mi).  I don't know if there is a particular reason that ridewithgps chose the more southerly direction with 20 more miles?
2. I'm then looking for wisdom from Missoula to Three Forks either northerly through Lincoln and Helena adventurecycling route, verses the southerly adventurecycling route through Hamilton/Wisdom/Dillon/Twin Bridges to Three Forks?

From Bozeman we hope to take a day trip in a vehicle to Yellowstone and from there it looks straightforward to the Atlantic relative to the western part of the trip. 
Temporary ACA Route Road Closures / Re: Pacific Coast Route Section #4, maps 47-49
« Last post by ptr52 on February 18, 2017, 06:04:44 am »
Hi Jennifer
Thanks for this information.
I have been to the Big Sur blog and seen the photos of the damage to the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge.

It does not not look good to me.
I will be cycling down the PCBR from SF to Mexico starting on 22 April 2017.
I wouldn't be surprised if the bridge was closed completely by the time I get there.
Do you (or anyone else!) know if there are any alternative routes round this bridge if it does need to be rebuilt?

When I say alternative I mean anything practical for a fairly strong touring bike, unmade roads, trails where I would be permitted to walk with the bike etc.


General Discussion / Re: Aussies cycling SF to LA re Big Sur
« Last post by ptr52 on February 18, 2017, 05:53:57 am »
Hi All, This is my first visit to this forum. My wife and I plan to cycle SF to LA and are having problems acquiring accommodation in Big Sur for 31 March, 2017. We are carrying our own gear but not tenting. Can anyone give us some advice.
Melbourne, Australia.
Hi Gordon

I will be following you down about a month later!
I will be continuing on to see my daughter and grandaughter in San Diego.
I'm getting quite concerned about the state of the road on Big Sur, not so much the landslides, but the bridge at Pfeiffer Canyon, which does not look good.

Let me know how you get on! Good luck

London UK
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