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Routes / Plummer ID to Ellensburg, WA
« Last post by whitebirch on November 17, 2015, 07:09:19 pm »
Hi everyone,

November dreaming time!  I'm trying to fill in a few gaps on my E to W cross-country 2017 route.  Overall route is from Delaware to Seattle, taking lots of time for stops, as we'll have our 10-year old daughter with us. 

We're also trying to hit lots of trails.  So our route looks pretty set on taking the Coeur d' Alene Trail to Plummer.  And then we'd like to pick up the John Wayne Trail from Ellensburg heading east.

(I've looked at the North Idaho Centennial Trail and Spokane Centennial Trail, but that would mean missing the best part of the CDA Trail, right?  If anyone has great things to say about those first two trails over the western part of the CDA Trail, I'm willing to hear you out.)

My real question for all you route mavens is, what's the best route from Plummer to Ellensburg?  I've ruled out the John Wayne Trail through that area because it's widely considered to be mountain bike only. 

Here are three options generated by Google maps in bicycle mode, but the first choice uses a lot of the JWT:

We'd take a less direct but quieter route, but we'll probably only make 25-35 miles a day, so long stretches in the desert will be tough on us.  We can stock up and do one or two days without services, but nothing more than that, hopefully. 

I also don't know any of the parks, towns and cities in this area, so good destinations to know about would also be useful. 

Thanks for your help!

As jamawani says, expect cool/wet. But it's an El Nino year, which means drier/milder winters for the NW, so you just may luck out! I'd still steer clear of the higher elevations because of cold/snow. Eastern Oregon/Eastern Washington/BC Interior could be a workable option if you avoid the more mountainous areas, but services can be few and far between, and wind can be a factor.

If I had a week or so off in March to tour the NW, I'd aim for the areas around the Inland Sea (Puget Sound/Strait of Juan de Fuca/Georgia Strait.) You get all the sea you want, but it will be drier than being on the actual coast itself. There's lots of campgrounds, some with hiker/biker sites, and they should all be open in March. Lots of indoor lodging options as well. Plus there are many islands to explore and ferry trips to be had.
General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« Last post by fiveonomo on November 17, 2015, 03:23:31 pm »
Yeah, I have had people say I look big on the 54CM.  I was fitted for it and he said it fit nicely, I bought it used so it was what I had to work with.  I have put about 2000 miles on it and it is very comfortable, including a century or two and one back to back.  However I am a normal looking 5'10".  I stood over my cannonade and there is about an inch maybe before it is crammed into my crotch, maybe 1 1/2".
It's always neat to see the different opinions of people concerning frame/bike size.  Even from one pro fitter to another, I wish I could find that black and white answer but with all the variables that is just not possible.

The correct way is to get on the bike I intend to buy while on a trainer.  At this point make all of the adjustments and size corrections to see what fits and what does not.  Maybe I will extend my search for a shop that has a Surly LHT on the floor.
Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight Slip-Jaw Pliers?
« Last post by RussSeaton on November 17, 2015, 03:07:59 pm »
OTOH, I have a hard time imagining carrying slip joint pilers on tour.

Agree.  Slip joint pliers in the mechanical world, tool world, are sort of the Leatherman tool.  They work usually, but are rarely the first choice to accomplish a job.  I have several Channel Lock pliers of various sizes, but rarely use them.  I usually use the right tool given a choice.  On a bike the slip joint pliers could be used to tighten bolts holding racks, bottle cages, stems.  But it would be easier and better to just carry the right size Allen wrench or open ended wrench.
General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« Last post by RussSeaton on November 17, 2015, 02:51:23 pm »
I ride a 54CM comfortably and was fitted to that size bike, a Cannondale Super Six. 

My question is, I am 5'10" 215lbs.

I have a couple Cannondales.  Older CAAD7 and 9 aluminum models.  Maybe Cannondale sizes bikes differently now.  I am 5'11" tall and normal sized.  I ride 58cm Cannondale frames with a 12cm stem.  About 57cm toptube.  If you are a normal sized 5'10" tall, then your Cannondale is one size too small.  You should be on a 56cm Cannondale.  And a 56cm Surly LHT.
General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« Last post by fiveonomo on November 17, 2015, 01:55:10 pm »
Thats a good idea, I think I will give him a call.  Not sure if he can help without having the bike but its worth a shot.  Thanks.
General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« Last post by paddleboy17 on November 17, 2015, 01:48:16 pm »
Can you go back to the guy who fit you for your Cannondale and say "Will this LHT work?".
General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« Last post by fiveonomo on November 17, 2015, 01:44:53 pm »
Exactly what I was speaking of in reference frame size.  I am surrounded by really good shops, no one has the LHT on the floor.  I spent 4 hours with a gentleman when I was fitted for my Cannondale, he does not work for a bike shop but himself.  After the last 40 years racing bicycles in some way shape or form he has settled down and runs a fitting business, the guy is through.  I have this very long sheet of paper with all of my measurements and the tweaks and changes he did to my Cannondale, but that paper is not the same as sitting on the bike.  If I needed to re-set my bike now that paper would do it perfectly, but this is a different bike.  Not sure which way to go.
Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight Slip-Jaw Pliers?
« Last post by John Nelson on November 17, 2015, 01:30:09 pm »
OTOH, I have a hard time imagining carrying slip joint pilers on tour.
Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight Slip-Jaw Pliers?
« Last post by staehpj1 on November 17, 2015, 01:26:45 pm »
Avoid Harbor Freight and similar tool sources if you want quality.
Harbor Freight overall can be kind of hit or miss, but some of their Pittsburgh line and most of their Pittsburgh Professional line is pretty good.  I have  a couple sizes of their Groove Joint Pliers that have served well in fairly hard use for years.

OTOH, I have a hard time imagining carrying slip joint pilers on tour.
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