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Messages - MrBent

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Routes / Re: Southern Tier 2017 Thread
« on: February 17, 2017, 01:49:57 pm »
Damn!  That sucks.  Hope he's okay.  Sounds like the tour is over.  Freakin' drivers.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier 2017 Thread
« on: January 23, 2017, 05:49:50 pm »
Fantastic, Ian and Jeanine!  Keep us posted.  Lots of great info and experience on this forum.

Best of luck.  Sounds like a perfect time to start the tour.


Routes / Re: Southern Tier 2017 Thread
« on: January 19, 2017, 11:49:33 pm »
I did a Google street view of some sections of this Hwy 60 workaround, and it looks pretty good, especially the Bee Line Highway--divided road and good looking shoulders.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier 2017 Thread
« on: January 17, 2017, 10:22:22 am »
Thanks, Jennifer.  Good news.


Routes / Re: Mojave Desert Touring Conditions
« on: January 17, 2017, 09:35:34 am »
Thanks, Jennifer.  It's nice to see some rational decisions for cyclists!


Routes / Re: Tour de SRAM USA 2017- unique cross-country route
« on: January 16, 2017, 01:45:52 pm »
Oh, another thing to consider:  See if you can follow some dirt road alternatives in Colorado.  There are A LOT of ways to go, and you'll have a much more scenic, enjoyable time.  The route from Pagosa Springs to Del Norte, for example, is beautiful, but twisty and often without shoulders.  We pedaled it in mid-Oct. and it was pretty good but mid-summer might be hairy with lots of RV's.  I wish we'd searched out more dirt options.

Oh, looks like you'll be able to pick up the Katy Trail in MO from Clinton to Sedalia--don't miss it!  Great car-free riding on a crushed limestone trail. 

Routes / Re: Tour de SRAM USA 2017- unique cross-country route
« on: January 16, 2017, 01:42:35 pm »
Looking better.  Just east of Barstow at Newberry Springs (Baghdad Cafe) swing onto I 40 until Ludlow.  It's legal there.  Route 66 degenerates into the world's worst pavement.  Get back onto 66 until Fenner--water, snacks--then I 40 again until Needles.  Swinging up to Goffs is okay but you'll have to run the gauntlet to get back to I 40 on Rt. 95--not nice.  It's better to just deal with I 40, which isn't bad as far as freeways go--huge shoulder, moderate traffic--smooth, too.  You'll love the ride through Oatman to Kingman--great stuff!  Do what you can to go during the cool part of the year.  Needles area is usually about as hot as Death Valley in the summer.  I've only pedaled through in late fall and winter.  When I went through in early Nov., for example, it was 80 deg. F.

You'll have a blast.

Routes / Re: Another way to cope with dogs
« on: January 16, 2017, 11:33:52 am »
Yep, Indiana.  It was such a relief to sleep in AC for a couple of nights, me being a "dry" air Westerner and all.  The humidity on the eastern leg of the crossing was one of my biggest challenges.

Nope, don't think I hit Staggers.

Routes / Re: Another way to cope with dogs
« on: January 15, 2017, 11:32:51 pm »
+++++++ for Monroeville!  Boy, did I have a great couple of nights in that town.  Such wonderful people, great place to hang, super library.  After reading about the dogs and coal trucks and nasty roads, I've no desire to pedal Kentucky.

Routes / Re: Tour de SRAM USA 2017- unique cross-country route
« on: January 15, 2017, 11:29:22 pm »
Huh, just looked at that Mojave section.  Yeah, Jamawani is correct.  Looks like a crazy Google map job.  I've crossed the Mojave multiple times.  Your route that leads into the heart of the East Mojave Preserve is on some very obscure, waterless dirt track.  Are you aware of that?  I'd only consider that in VERY cool temps and then have to carry a ton of water and cover a lot of miles quickly, somewhat difficult on sometimes sandy tracks.  Water is available in Kelso.  Methinks you've got a lot of research still to do.

Routes / Re: Tour de SRAM USA 2017- unique cross-country route
« on: January 15, 2017, 04:33:59 pm »
Looks like a lot of noisy freeway riding on I 40.  Are you up for that?


Routes / Re: Start date for NB Sierra Cascades route.
« on: January 15, 2017, 04:24:55 pm »
Be warned that, so far, this year is shaping up to be one of record or nearly record snowfall.  Keep an eye on snow levels and Tioga Pass opening dates.  Could be very late this year.  One thing to hope for is that, I think, every year there is a window when the road is clear but open to cars and you can bike it--what a dream.

Best of luck.


Routes / Re: Southern Tier 2017 Thread
« on: January 15, 2017, 04:20:12 pm »
Just drove the section between Apache Junct. and the summit of 60 to the east.  That's some nasty riding in there.  It wouldn't be so bad going east-west because you'd be headed downhill and get through it quickly.  I saw one guy pushing his loaded bike uphill headed east.  Did not envy him.  Watch out for that bit for sure--high traffic, trucks, many places with no shoulder.  Ugh.  Might want to check into riding around the north side of the Superstitions, but that will have it's own challenges for sure.

Best of luck!  I'm feeling the need for another long tour.  Haven't been on one since 2012.


Routes / Mojave Desert Touring Conditions
« on: January 15, 2017, 04:14:40 pm »
Hey, Cyclotourists:

This is probably old info. here, but I just got back from a driving trip that covered areas I've toured and thought I'd report.

I've done a bunch of touring in the Mojave, and I've got some good news for anyone heading out there.

1) The super fabulous Kelbaker road from Baker on I 15 in the north to I 40 in the south has be repaved! I've pedaled this a few times, and I think it's on the Furnace Creek 500 route. The last time--2015--we vowed to never do it again the pavement was so bad--HUGE holes, unbearable rough, cobbles the size of your fist. Utter crap. Well, that's a thing of the past. The paving is the--sigh--expected chip seal, but it's vastly better. The long descent from Granite Pass is still rough underneath, but overall, this route is vastly improved.

2) It is now (since when?) legal to ride the shoulder of I 40 between Barstow and Needles. I saw a bunch of "Share the Road" signs along the way. This is key because Old Route 66 on that section has some of the worst pavement on the planet, and there seems to be zero motivation for fixing it. Also, once past Fenner, I 40 is by far the safest route down to Needles. There are some bridges under reconstruction west of Fenner, so be warned, but touring cyclists should be down in the Amboy region on Route 66 anyway--much more scenic and quiet.

Ride on, you desert rats.

Routes / Great Divide Mtn. Bike route: Gen. conditions?
« on: December 06, 2015, 11:14:46 am »
Hey, Mtn. Bikers:

I just read this journal from 2013:

I was astonished at the damage to roads from Canada to New Mexico.  Can anyone comment on the current conditions?  It's a been a couple of years, but damn!  That's a great journal, btw.


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