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Classifieds / Re: Wanted - Bivy Sack
« Last post by staehpj1 on February 23, 2017, 07:37:00 am »
I have used a few.  My thoughts on the ones I have used follow:

REI Minimalist Bivy Sack - Kind of heavy at about 1 pound, but still lighter than the ones that are really small tents.  It was kind of uncomfortable when it was hot, but in warm weather I slept on top of it unless the bugs were biting or it rained.  I do remember one miserable night in Louisiana when it was hot and the skeeters were really bad, but overall it was fine on the trips where I used it.

Borah side zipper ultralight bivy - Much lighter at 7 ounces, packs small, and I found it to be more comfortable when the weather was sticky.

Ti Goat Ptramigan Bug Bivy - Lighter yet, packs smaller, and nice and comfy in hot sticky weather.  It is my first choice if I expect it to be hot and buggy, but if a cold wind is likely the Borah offers more protection from the wind chill.

If it isn't wet, cold, or buggy I usually sleep on top of the bivy until it either gets chilly, the bugs start biting, or rain falls.

In all cases unless I expect to be able to sleep under some kind of shelter (bridge, picnic pavilion, etc.) if it rains, I take some kind of light tarp.  My 7 ounce Integral Designs Siltarp 1 has served me well, but is kind of skimpy in coverage.  If I need to pitch it in wet weather I have had to pitch it really low to get decent coverage.  I recently got a bigger tarp (Sea2Summit Escapist 12.3 ounces).  It is heavier, but if I will actually be pitching it much for wet weather it is really nice.

If wet weather is unlikely any given night I just keep my gear close and the tarp handy.  Then if it rains I pull it over myself and my gear.
Routes / Route advice - Oregon to Maine
« Last post by Howard Levitt on February 23, 2017, 02:37:05 am »
I'm planning on riding W to E from Oregon to Maine, probably starting in Florence, Oregon.  I've seen very useful info on other  threads, particularly cautions about the snowpack in the Rockies (maybe even the Cascades in Oregon), and route suggestions through Idaho. 

Sounds like SD 44 is a good route through much of South Dakota, but can anyone suggest a scenic and relatively lightly traveled route from SD 44 to Minneapolis? 

From Minneapolis, I'm planning on taking the Great Lakes Connector to Mackinac Island, MI.  From there, I'm strongly considering riding Canadian routes to Montreal, then southeast to Bar Harbor, ME.   

Anyone have thoughts and/or specific route suggestions for this general route?

Gear Talk / Re: Klymit vs. Therma-Rest sleeping pads
« Last post by dancingcyclist on February 22, 2017, 07:13:14 pm »
Which version Klymit you talking about? I just pick up the new Static V2 ultra light pad to try out. Only weighs 16.3 oz. and packs down to about the size of a Nalgene 2 qt. water bottle. I saw a lot of reviews about them not holding air overnight but I blew mine up and after two weeks it was still ok. Tried out bouncing around from one side to the other as that's the way I sleep and didn't see a problem. The valve is a bit tricky to latch down which might be why the deflation problem people have had. Not much insulation though as it has a R1.3 rating.

I also picked up a Therm-a-rest Trail Scout R3.4 rating, weighs 22oz. It packs down almost as small. I think it might be a little better for comfort. Neither one will be getting used except for summer weather.

Neither one was very expensive, check out Amazon. I'll find out this summer how they hold up.
Classifieds / Wanted - Bivy Sack
« Last post by dayjack119 on February 22, 2017, 07:01:26 pm »
I am seeking a bivy sack for the unusual times that I may be stuck for a place to sleep while pedaling a new adventure.  Cutting way back on weight this trip (tent, pad, and cooking gear) because I may be changing to electric assist for the steep grades of the four mountain ranges of my 2017 C2C tour.  Long size, bug screen, and waterproof.  I'm excited for the good weather to get here.
Routes / Re: Getting Across South Dakota
« Last post by jamawani on February 22, 2017, 05:21:13 pm »
I've done the Sawtooths a couple of times -
They make a nice west-to-east route across Idaho - although Stanley can be COLD even in July.

I cut off the TransAm at Austin Jct. - staying on US 26 - with some killer downhills and tailwinds.
You can follow the Payette River all the way from Ontario to Banner Summit.
Great hot springs along the road between Garden Valley and Lowman.
(Services are extremely limited - the store/cafe at Lowman is closed, but there are a few lodges.)

I've gone thru Challis and Salmon on my trips - not Sun Valley - all beautiful.
Once you get out into the Snake River Plains it can get hot, esp. around Craters of the Moon.
I prefer ID 22/33 to Driggs over US 20/26 to Alpine.  Teton Pass is tough,
but there's almost as much climbing along Palisades Res. with narrow winding road.

Grand Teton is spectacular with a great bike trail. Jenny Lake has hiker/bikers camp sites.
They are making it harder and harder for for cyclists at Yellowstone's South Entrance.
I find that climbing up the plateau is easiest late in the day.
Traffic is lighter, you are shaded from the western sun, and hiker/biker sites are at Lewis Lake.
(I hope you are doing the big loop from West Thumb to O.F. to Norris to Canyon to Lake.)

The ride from Pahaska Tepee to Wapiti is truly spectacular along the Shoshone River
Be aware that there is no tent camping from Bridge Bay in YNP for the next 40+ miles east.
And you should hit the peak of wildflower season in the Bighorns.


Oh, yes - South Dakota.
Have you considered heading down to Spearfish and up Spearfish Canyon - super-duper!
Then you can hit touristy Deadwood and Nemo Rd into Rapid City.
Then SD 44 takes you to Badlands NP - which is really nice in early summer - brutal later.
If you are willing to do a little hardpack dirt - Sage Creek Rd from Scenic lets you ride the entire park.
(Or less dirt - 20 mi east on SD 44 to Conata Rd, 9 mi dirt)

Then a combination of US 14, SD 34, and maybe the back route I mentioned above?

And as for the Cheyenne River Res. - conditions are deplorable - and there's no excuse.
The two counties are roughly 80% Native Am and 20% white and many ways like apartheid South Africa.
Many communities lack water and sewer - substance abuse is epidemic. And horrible wrecks.
(Many it's random - but I've seen too many on my tours thru Indian country.)
The people I have met on reservations have been wonderful - but as a non-native, it's not easy.

Best - J

Pic - Badlands in June
General Discussion / Re: Application for keeping a journal
« Last post by jwrushman on February 22, 2017, 04:18:32 pm »
I agree with John Nelson.  The journal is more for me for years later.  When I'm on extending hikes, I make a habit of writing things down at the end of the day.  Otherwise I forget too soon.
Routes / Re: Getting Across South Dakota
« Last post by bbarrettx on February 22, 2017, 02:49:44 pm »
Thanks for all your insights. Jamawani, I think it's your suggested route across WY that we plan to take which will get us to Devil's Tower area. I live in CO so I'm dialed in to the snow situation. We'll be doing the Transam across OR and will miss out on McKenzie pass but otherwise should be fine. We will cut off the Transam to cross the Sawtooths and down into Sun Valley. This will be very early June and I can't imagine that those passes will be closed as they aren't that high. From Sun Valley we will head to Jackson and then up through Yellowstone. Again, I'm anticipating the roads will be clear of snow at that point.

I hadn't considered the Indian Reservation issue. I've ridden across the Wind River Res a few times. Is this one potentially more of a concern?
Gear Talk / Re: How to know tire size
« Last post by John Nelson on February 22, 2017, 01:19:21 pm »
I see no advantage to tire rotation on a bicycle. It makes sense on a car, but those reasons don't apply to a bicycle. I treat each bicycle tire individually. When a tire wears out, I replace it. The algorithm could not be more simple. Sometimes a tire seems to go from okay to not okay overnight, so I recommend keeping a few tires on the shelf so that you can replace a "not okay" tire immediately.
General Discussion / Re: Recommendations for a tour beginning in Chicago
« Last post by jamawani on February 22, 2017, 12:52:52 pm »
Time is money - and Amtrak, while cheap, is slow and often late.
I'm guessing you have from Friday evening with one week off until Monday morning 10 days out.
Driving means lots of time, exhaustion, plus getting back to your starting point.

You could ride from Chicago to the West Coast in four segments, if you are willing to look at travel options.
Since Chicago is an air and a rail hub, you could probably get in  7 days and 2 halves - max.
You saw where Canalligators combined air and rail to do four segments - something like that is needed.

Since it is about 2400 cycling miles to a number of West Coast points - then 1200 would be the midpoint.
And 600 miles is a damn good week-plus. 75 miles per. Plus there are always extra miles, don't forget.
Also, you'll want to start and end segments without a lot of complicated local travel.

I have taken the Empire Builder many times while cycling. (They left my bike in the wrong city, once ...)
Starting in places like Whitefish is great - but it is two days out from Chicago - and very late, too.
The best way to start/end in convenient locations is a non-stop flight plus a puddle-jumper.
And shipping your bike to a bike shop is usually cheaper than outrageous airline fees.
Plus, your bike will be there waiting for you.

Let's take Whitefish - for example:
Amtrak from Chicago - Dep CHI 2:15p Fri; Arr WFH 8:56p Sat
United from Chicago - Dep ORD 9:05a Sat; Arr 11:55a Sat - nonstop

Then there's time of year and direction.
There have been dissertation written about bike west-to-east vs. east-to-west.
But season is more important. The Plains have a long season, the Rockies a short one.
If you were to do an early-summer week plus a late-summer week -
It might be better to do the West west-to-east with the Rockies in later summer.
Then, perhaps, the High Plains in summer and the Corn Belt in fall the next year.

One possibility:
1. Washington coast to Kalispell or Missoula in Montana
2. Kalispell/Missoula to Sheridan in Wyoming.
3. Sheridan to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
4. Sioux Falls to Chicago.

Another possibility:
1. Oregon coast to Missoula, Montana
And as above
Or via Idaho and Jackson, Wyoming

These would be 600+ mile weeks with tight starts and finishes.
But possible - esp. with air connections.
Gear Talk / Re: New to Touring
« Last post by canalligators on February 22, 2017, 10:46:07 am »
Sounds like a plan.   Four small panniers makes a lot of sense.  Have fun!

My daughter ended up putting a triple crank on her Cannondale.
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