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Messages - jan404

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Routes / Europe: Bavaria Tour
« on: August 02, 2007, 11:33:36 pm »

i am not very familiar with bavaria nor the other countries you are going to visit. While you are riding I ll be somewhere between Glacier NP and Yellowstone.

However, if I can be of any assistance during preparation let me know. You might consider to give Tschechia a visit  on your bavaria trip never been ther ebut heard a lot of good stuff. Otherwise I recommend the german railwaysystem Its rather good, fast and allows you to skip less interesting parts and be more mobile.  You can take your bike on any regional trains (there might be a low fee, I am not sure if that applies in bavaria but I ll find out if you are interested) called Regionalbahn RB, or Regionalexpress RE the latters ones are running express while RB stops in every village. There are Intercitys IC which require reservation to be mmade for bikes. ICEs unfortunately do not take any bikes.

Also helpful might be the german youthhostel organisation which have a dense network of hostels. However, nowadays many are almost hotels and thus more expensive...


Routes / Great Divide Sect. 1+2 Road Conditions
« on: July 14, 2007, 09:22:45 pm »

after recieving a map which includes traffic information in MT and realizing that it significantly more than expected. It states for almost all raods at least 2000cars/day i guess that will be 200/h = 3/min, thats fine for some sections but a bit to much if you have it most of the time. This I am thinking of evading traffic by going on parts of the GD. Especially on section 1 what kind of road conditions do I have to expect? Is it a trail or a dirt road? I have a sturdy touring bike with 1 3/4" tires so dirts road are fine with me but a cross country trail might be to much...

Any recommendations?


Routes / US 93 in Montana, from Whitefish, MT to Canada
« on: July 14, 2007, 09:49:01 pm »
I just found that this map contaning traffic data is also acessible only:

Routes / US 93 in Montana, from Whitefish, MT to Canada
« on: July 14, 2007, 09:03:23 pm »

as I am planning in trip in Montana as well I recieved a information package by Montana tourism board. That includes a very useful map indicating all important features for us, so what that map tells me:

93 Whitefish->N: avg. 290 Trucks+3050 cars (that is what you find on most highways there are just few sections with less than 2500 cars) the shoulder is less than 4' except for the part between Dickey Lake and eureka where its >4'.  The map doesnt show any climbs >5% except a bit directly at whitefish and a short one at eureka howeve i cant say in whic direction it is inclined.

US 2: Wglacier to Hungry Horse: 130trucks/2500 cars shoulder >4'

Hungry Horse-Columbia Falls 500/5200cars shoulder <4'

Columbia Falls-Whitefish: traffic? (probably a lot) but the shoulder is >4'

I really love this map its a pity other states dont have that (at least I couldnt find it for Wyoming)

Nontheless, if those number about traffic are true, I guess 3000/day corresponds to something like 300/h=5/min than this is more then I intended to tolerate, right now I am considering if I could evade it at least for some days by doing a bit of the Great Divide...


General Discussion / Stealth Camping?
« on: February 15, 2008, 08:03:19 am »
I used to stealth camp 90% of the time when hiking or cycling in Europe. Its sometimes even legal (e.g. in scandiavia) to camp on private property (as long as you stay away from houses)! I don't need much comfort just some flat area and in the afternoon I fill up all the water I need for the night. And I have to say the most beautiful campsites were always infoffical ones...

However, I wasn't sure when I planned my ride in the US. We have that impression in Europe that in the US you get shot first and then asked what you are doing ... ;) And after a german girl, who did the pacific coast a copuple of years ago, told me, that one night they had the barrel of a gun pointing into their tent one night, that confirmed my prejudices.

Well to cut a long story short: on my ride I camped most of the time on undevoloped campgrounds of the USFS  or similar. Although that was expensive. I didn't know in the beginning that I was allowed to camp on public land anyway, and still one has to identify it... and I was in bear/mountain lion country most of the time...

I camped once behind a fire dept. but asked on of the guys working there first, I felt not extremly comfortable and hoped I would be asked before being shot, and as I am still writing, it worked. Well nobody was asking...

A couple of times I asked people if I could camp in their gardens, and except for one case I was allowed to. This sometimes ended up in an invitation for dinner and what was even better a shower... I have to say I encountered an extend of hospitality that was far beyond my expectations...


General Discussion / Bike Tour
« on: December 21, 2007, 05:07:57 pm »
Hi stephanie,

concerning the tour I would bother to much if you are doing triathlon I guess you are in pretty good shape and such a ride should be no problem...

I myself lived in Chicago this summer and where I live in  Germany it is even more flat than in Ilinois... So I wasn't used to mountains either.

I rode about 25min to work about 2 times a week and that was all and I didn't encounter any problems on my tour in Western Montana (I did little less than 100km/day for 3 weeks).

Its a pity you didn't post earlier I was always looking for a touring companion in Chicago...

Best wishes,


General Discussion / Frank's Long Way Home Tour
« on: November 14, 2007, 04:55:27 pm »
I ve never been in any of these countries, and no real idea. But I guess for the tricky central asian countries it might be best just to cycle to the border and get the visas there. Having faith that border officials will be impressed by your ride and won't cause to much trouble... and otherwise a bribe might help...

I guess you need to ask someone who as already done such a ride, however I doubt there are to many around...

General Discussion / Frank's Long Way Home Tour
« on: October 30, 2007, 09:28:19 am »

wow! thats a great way to get home... Here two websites of swiss guys to cycled to Tibet (great pictures!)


General Discussion / Protection from bears
« on: July 23, 2007, 09:46:41 pm »

what else is there to worry about? In europe we extinguished anything potentially dangerous... so I am not really sure what to expect, so far I know of:

Bears: The most dangerous animal, however, in Glacier NP they have 0.4 fatal injuries/year and more than a million visitors. So the risk of beeing killed by a car is much greater...

Mountain Lions: I am over 6ft so usually I should be no prey...

Rattlesnakes:?? How fare north is there habitat. I ll be around in Mt, WY ID most of the time above 2000ft, to cold for them??

Poison Ivy: At least painful, dangerous?

Beaverfever: More likely in warm water and lakes, however, I ll try avoid drinking from streams...

What else to worry about?

Life is lifethreatening...(German saying)


General Discussion / transeurope in fall?
« on: July 04, 2007, 06:12:18 pm »

i didnt really understand your route AMS-Istanbul on which route via germany/Balkan or through italy and then with a ferry? And how you want to get back? Along the mediterranean coast?

Well I would say its certainly not the best time of the year. As a matter of fact Paris is on same the latitude as the US canadian border. However, this is more misleading than it helps. Due to the gulf stream (Palm Trees in Ireland) winter is rather mild and even in December you will probably encounter just slight minus degrees (Celsius).
I would be more worried about rain, which you will certainly encounter.

Amsterdam: 20days of rain in each Sept/Okt/Nov/dec and about 100mm/month
Istanbul: 10/11/12/19  30mm in sept 90mm Dec

for compariosn: Seattle in february has also 20 days of rain and 100mm

Those data are from
unfortuntaley its in german, you just have to type in the place and then click on "klima" in teh second row below the current forecast. "Diagramm 2" shows rainfall.

Keep me informed about your plannings,



I spoke with Amtrak this week, apparently on the Empire Builder you have to box your bike.

How big are those boxes? I have a usual bike but it has a rather large frame, thats why I probably cannot fly. As airlines (at least Delta ad Southwest) seem to have this Length+width+Height < x rule. With x beeing always much smaller than what I would need.


General Discussion / Flying my bike box
« on: June 29, 2007, 10:27:52 pm »

seriuosly how do guy comply with this sum<60" rule if you have a standard bike? Or are there airlines who have differing rules? Probably I ll have to ride amtrak because of this, it has the advantage that it will make me see something of the US, but less of my precious holidays cycling...


General Discussion / Flying my bike box
« on: June 23, 2007, 12:04:54 am »

how did you manage to get your bike in a 26x26" box? I just arrived form Germany with Delta and when I read that the box should be smaller than 60" I couldn't believe they talk of the sum.

My frame is much larger than this! I boxed it now in a 55" x 30" that worked comfortable after I took of both wheels. Luckily I could bring it here at no extra cost, but when I read now that people actually manage to comply with this rule (and that they really talk of the sum) I am sceptical for the way back...

Still wondering how you managed that...


General Discussion / German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« on: October 30, 2007, 09:30:29 am »

now between Aachen and Cologne close to the Dutch border. But I grew up and lived most of the time in Darmstadt so just around the corner...


General Discussion / German doesnt know where to go... Recommendations?
« on: October 25, 2007, 03:57:42 am »

the link to the journal doesn't work because teh journal doesnt exist yet. I planning to work on that. However, I am back in Germany now, and it took much longer to get things back in order than I thought... But I intend to do so, and you will be the first one to notice...

The ride out of the Tetons on 89 was really nice. And Logan Canyon was very beautiful as well. However, the weather was becoming unfriendly and a snowstorm was coming so I tried to get out of there fast and managed to get a ride from the Idaho border to Bear Lake Pass. The day after I just did the short stretch down to Logan where I took the bus to Salt Lake City. So I cut the ride a bit short but it was nonetheless spectacular and the time I gained there I spent in the nationalparks in southern Utah, and I certainly wont complain...

I had a great trip thanks to the ideas and help of you guys, and a whole bunch of your fellow americans that showed an extend of friendliness and hospitality far beyond my imagination.


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