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Gear Talk / Re: How to pack my sleeping bag
« Last post by Bikinchris on April 21, 2016, 12:20:29 pm »
If I had a 20 degree bag, I would be sleeping on top of it.
Routes / Re: El Nino impact on Sierra Cascade route this spring?
« Last post by indyfabz on April 21, 2016, 10:46:37 am »
Meh. I have circled Crater Lake twice. As long as you can make it across on the west side (e.g., up from OR 128 and down to OR 62, with a stop at the overlooks, including the lodge), circling is not worth the effort. You don't get a constant view of the lake, and both times I circled it road conditions were poor in places, especially on some descents. But if you do circle for bragging rights or whatever, make sure you take the short out and back to Cloud Cap Overlook.
Routes / Re: El Nino impact on Sierra Cascade route this spring?
« Last post by PeteJack on April 21, 2016, 10:18:06 am »

This was on July 1 attempting to cross Elk Pass near Randle WA. The slushy snow was up to the hubs. It was in the 80s in the valley. This is a FS road which are not plowed like regular roads thanks to budget cuts so check with the FS before attempting passes on their terrain. See I ended up making a very long detour to get back on trail at Cascade Locks. ( Some kind correspondent with local knowledge told me I couldn't have picked a worse route to the Locks. See the correspondence in the CGOAB article.)

You'll probably be able to get across Crater Lake NP but not be able to ride round the lake if it's a heavy snow year. That's what happened to me.

(Edit. Sorry my pic doesn't display. Dunno why, it did in the preview before. Go to my CGOB link to see pics)
Routes / Re: where can I buy aca maps.
« Last post by John Nettles on April 21, 2016, 08:16:37 am »
I have seen them online at other places, CycloCamping I think, eBay, etc.  And once in Jackson, WY (used copy) way back in early 90s.

As Indyfabz says they can be shipped to any post office box care of General Delivery so they are waiting for you.

However, if you do this route, I would plan on at least week to receive them due to the USPS.  A few years ago, I ordered an ACA map for my son who altered his route.  I ordered on a Monday, mailed from Missoula (of course) to Salt Lake City, UT, and was supposed to get there on a Thursday for a Friday pickup.  It had to be rerouted THREE times before it caught him in El Centro, CA (where he left the ACA route to go into Mexico toward Cabo San Lucas, arrgh).  It kept missing even though ACA mailed the same day I ordered it (ACA Store staff are great!) and every time had at least 1 "buffer" day for the USPS to deliver based on their schedule..  Lesson:  Order so it has at least three buffer days to arrive.
General Discussion / Re: Black Hills Mickelson Trail and 38C tires
« Last post by indyfabz on April 21, 2016, 07:50:47 am »
BTW...If you can swing an extra day in Custer, riding Needle's Highway (SD 87 south from SD 89) is well wort it. Fabulous scenery.

Definitely go clockwise unless you like torture. I stayed just a bit outside the center of town, but there is a campground in town that's right off the trail. Heavily shaded tenting area, but it looked like it could be a bit buggy, especially since it's near a creek. The upside is that you can walk to the main drag a few blocks away, yet it's still pretty quiet back there:
Routes / Re: Minneapolis to the UP of Michigan
« Last post by Tandem Tom on April 21, 2016, 07:41:01 am »
Great area to ride! My wife and I rode our tandem from The Twin Cities up that way and across the UP and then down the length of Michigan all the way back to Cleveland. About 1500 miles and only 45 minutes of rain!
Routes / Re: where can I buy aca maps.
« Last post by indyfabz on April 21, 2016, 07:24:24 am »
I have only seen one once. A bike shop in Seattle had the map for the nearby section of the Pacific Coast Route. I wouldn't count on it. If you decide before Pueblo call and have whatever you want sent to you on the road.
Routes / where can I buy aca maps.
« Last post by preston uk on April 21, 2016, 12:54:51 am »
Is it possible to buy aca maps other than from the ACA  ?  I'm thinking of altering my route when I get to Pueblo . Are they available in cycling shops ?
Gear Talk / Soma DC review.
« Last post by Bikinchris on April 20, 2016, 04:17:56 pm »
This is a short review of the bike I just assembled; a SOMA DC bike. This bike has both disc brake bosses and the cantilever bosses are included (thus the name Disc and Cantilevers), but not installed.

The head tube on this bike should be called military grade. Wow, that's some beefy head tube. Pressing the headset was a real job. Normally the walls of the headtube give a little and the headset squeezes in. Not on this bike. You don't need to worry as much about ovalizing this head tube. The head tube is extra long and give you a good extra inch and a half above the top tube, so you need fewer spacers for those who don't like the look.

The frame builds up easily with a straight and square frame with clean threads and a square face on the head tube and bottom bracket. The geometry is the same as the previous models, so riding is the same. Nice low bottom bracket for people like me with big feet for extra clearance with panniers. Good looking paint in what's called "Cobalt Blue" but it is not really THAT blue. Just a nice, sensible blue that won't make you think years from now that you should have gotten something more sensible in color.

The bike easily has room for the 700x47 Top Contact tires I mounted on it. In fact, maybe enough room for fenders also.

Some heavy duty racks mount on the canti bosses. So someone should make an adapter to make that easier. My Old Man Mountian racks would look good on this bike.
General Discussion / Re: Black Hills Mickelson Trail and 38C tires
« Last post by indyfabz on April 20, 2016, 01:56:01 pm »
Bike has 700c X 38C Marathon Plus tires.  You think I will be OK with this tire setup?

Did nearly all of the Mickelson Trail last June: A short, paved portion north in Deadwood and then the rest south from the Englewood trailhead to the end in Edgemont.  Those tires will be fine. I rode 35c Conti Top Touring II tires and was fine notwithstanding the fact that the trail was in relatively bad shape due to the seriously heavy rain fall the area experienced that month. A woman in Custer told me they were 15" above normal for that time of year.

Are you planning to do Deadwood to Hill City in one day? If so, be prepared. The only service (besides the water cisterns) south of Lead, which in only 5 miles, from Deadwood is a bar/restaurant in Rochford, and there is some climbing as rail-trails go.  IIRC, there is a climb out of Deadwood. From Englewood south there is a incline of some 5 miles. There is another long incline after Mystic that fakes you out with a false summit. The relatively rough surface compared to finely crushed limestone causes you expend more energy. Bring sustenance. But don't let that dissuade you. It's a fabulous ride.

If it would fit with your itinerary, I highly recommend staying as Spearfish. The campground and municipal park there are out of this world, and they are right next to a fish hatchery and museum. From there you can climb through Spearfish Canyon and then head to Cheyenne Junction where you can head north and pick up the trail at Englewood. That's what I did. Here is the map for that day:

In Hill City I camped at Crooked Creek. Decent place that you can access right from the trail. There is a place closer to the town center, but it doesn't look as nice.

If you are headed to Hot Springs I assume you will leave the trail at the Minnekahta trail head at U.S. 18. If so, U.S. 18 can have some traffic, but it has a wide shoulder. I circled back to Hot Springs from Edgemont via Old Rte. 18 to U.S. 18 I remember flying along on U.S. 18 with a great tailwind and finally looking up an seeing what turned out to be about a 1 mile climb over a ridge. It felt like a cold, slap in the face:
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