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Routes / Re: Northern Tier questions
« Last post by John Nelson on February 01, 2016, 08:36:21 pm »
I found plenty of places to camp along US 2 in Montana. It seems like every small town along the route (and there's one every six miles like clockwork because steam engines need water) will let you camp in the park, usually for free. Montana State University in Havre will let you stay in a dorm room (during the summer) for ten bucks. Camping isn't much of a problem, and wind is more often favorable if you go W-to-E, but there's very little out there--the trains are your only entertainment.
GPS Discussion / How to maximize ease of staying on course of an ACA route
« Last post by Gordon02 on February 01, 2016, 08:29:09 pm »
I am planning to ride across the US this coming summer.   Last summer, while traveling east in Maine on the northern tier, I found that I needed to look at my map every mile or three, which was tiresome.  Might the eTrex 30 or another GPS unit make map checking less frequent/cumbersome?   
With thanks,  PH
General Discussion / Re: Routes North from San Diego in Feb
« Last post by John Nelson on February 01, 2016, 08:26:39 pm »
In February along the California coast, the winds are not enough of a factor to base your plans on. Take Long Beach as an example. In February, the most frequent wind direction and the second strongest winds are from the WNW. The strongest and second most frequent winds are from the W. The third most frequent wind direction and the second strongest winds are from the S. Winds from the NNW, N, NNE, NE, ENE are all infrequent and weak. Winds from the WSW, SW, SSW, S, SSE, SE, ESE are all stronger and more frequent. Note that going up along the coast of California isn't really going N--it's generally going NW, at least until you get to San Francisco. Once you get to the Oregon coast, you may find the March winds to be mostly from the south. The most frequent winds in Astoria Oregon in March are from the SE.

My advice: forget about the wind. Just go when you want to. Some days the winds will be in your face. Some days the winds will be at your back. Deal with it. Whichever way you go, the apparent winds will be in your face because your observation is biased.

A more important consideration for traveling northbound along the coast is that you're on the wrong side of the road, but traffic will be quite light once you get north of San Francisco.
General Discussion / Re: Routes North from San Diego in Feb
« Last post by aggie on February 01, 2016, 07:17:08 pm »
The winds along the coast tend to be a problem for north bound cyclists all year round.  You can parallel the Cascades route by traveling up hwy 395.  Unless there is a storm the road is open year round.  Some of the passes in the Sierras have been closed for a while and they continue to get lots of snow so it will be late spring before they open up.  You should be able to map out a route from San Diego that parallels I-15 up to Hesperia where you can get on hwy 395.  Early in the year it can be pretty cold.
Routes / Re: Northern Tier questions
« Last post by ggwbikemt on February 01, 2016, 06:22:22 pm »
Prior to the 2012 update, the Northern Tier route used ND highway 1804 between Williston and New Town. That highway is still bad not only with truck traffic but also narrow shoulder and centerline rumble strips. There is only 11 feet of usable lane width between the rumbles.

US 2 still has heavy truck traffic from a few miles west of the ND 1804 intersection west of Williston to Stanley.  While the are a lot fewer oil wells being drilled, most of the wells that were drilled during the boom are still active and require trucks to haul oil from the well to a either a rail or pipeline transportation point.

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, eastbound is currently the safer direction to bike on US 2 between Montana and Minot based on shoulder paving through the 2015 construction season. There will be loose gravel at times near driveway entrances that have truck traffic.
Routes / Re: Northern Tier questions
« Last post by richschurter on February 01, 2016, 05:15:20 pm »
I'm using my older Section 3 map, #BC-1123, Cut Bank to Minot on Route 2. I would love to use this route and thought with oil prices in the tank there might not be the truck traffic of a couple of years ago. I appreciate all the wise advice.
Gear Talk / Re: Elephant NFE build up.. components, suggestions please!
« Last post by cajones on February 01, 2016, 01:37:25 pm »
I'll check it out, thanks!
Gear Talk / Re: Elephant NFE build up.. components, suggestions please!
« Last post by indyfabz on February 01, 2016, 01:29:30 pm »
Have you seen the February edition of "Adventure Cyclist?" It contains a review of a built up NFE and included the parts list. Looks quite nice.
Routes / Re: Safety of Southern Tier near Border
« Last post by MaryK on February 01, 2016, 01:21:04 pm »
My husband and I rode the Southern Tier in 2014 and had no concerns about safety. As others have said, you will see the Border Patrol frequently. Aggressive drivers can be a problem, but no more so on this route than others we've done. You'll also have a lot of people pull over, especially while you're in the desert, and make sure you're ok, don't need water, etc. Enjoy your trip!
General Discussion / Re: camping on city parks
« Last post by preston uk on February 01, 2016, 01:05:18 pm »
Thanks for advice. I'm almost set to go. Flights booked for 1st May, just a few new bits for my trusty Dawes and I'll be all set . The help I've  had from the forum has been invaluable , a really big thankyou  to everyone .
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