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Messages - zzzz

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General Discussion / Re: A few notes on the Sierra Cascades route
« on: November 18, 2023, 04:01:20 pm »
F*cking drugs, I'm no puritan but people who fall into that trap trash their own lives, their surrounding families lives, and the society we all live in. I'm 65 yo and when I was in school there was a LOT of recreational drug use and I participated in it. But one thing you absolutely took a pass on for even one time was heroin because you did not want to end up being a junkie. No one dreams of living like that. I have no idea what could be going thru peoples heads the first time they try meth or opioids. Shasta was a really nice town when I passed thru it. That's a shame.

That road along the river to Yakima was sweet (just pulled up a picture of it!), and then the next day came White's Pass and that was a stunning climb, and then the next day came all those NF roads that you ride almost to the Oregon border. I thought the SC was one good day after another.

Rather then have too much thread drift, you can PM me for your answer to this question: I'd be interested in hearing your route down from alaska (Cassier Hywy?). In 2017 I rode from Banff to Fairbanks. I took a circuitous route from Banff to Dawsons Creek and then took the Alaska Hywy all the way to Delta Junction and then on to Fairbanks. There was definitely some stuff that made the trip tough, lots of road work which caused up to 40k stretches of gravel, chip seal, and lots of afternoon rains, but overall it was a good ride and I never felt in danger. I know the road to Dead Horse has a legendary set of problems, but what else did you run into?


General Discussion / Re: A few notes on the Sierra Cascades route
« on: November 18, 2023, 12:16:05 pm »
Hi Lucas:

Wow! Sorry to hear that! In 2015 I did this route and I loved it! I cc’d so camping issues didn’t affect me but that sucks that the NP doesn’t have a “don’t turn away” policy for cyclists.

I can’t remember exactly what I paid to get in each of the NPs but if it was $30 ea I would have remembered it, I pretty sure it was $10-15 tops. And 8 years can be a long time but Victorville felt okay when I was there.

And if I understand you right, staying on 395 south from Lee Vining to Victorville means you skipped Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Giant Sequoia?! I remember clearly what a beat down the ride was as I went from 700 miles the first week to 600 to 500 to 400 the last week. and we all need to make these decisions for ourselves, but what a shame you missed those 3 parks. They were right at the top of the best places to ride through on that route.

I know from previous posts you’ve made over the years that you must be a really strong rider so it’s especially a disappointing to hear you had a bad experience with it. Previously, if someone asked me what the best of the ACA rides was, if I thought they could handle the climbing, I would have told them the SC.


Routes / Re: GAP & C&O Trails
« on: June 22, 2023, 04:40:34 pm »

I grew up near the C&O and for nostalgia's sake I rode that a couple of years ago but I turned around and rode back before I hit the Cumberland trail.

I will suggest two things:

1) If you're starting in DC, leave on a week day and get an early start. The C & O is very heavily used as a pedestrian outing, if the weather is nice there's even more people, and if its the weekend it becomes a slalom course. Of course the closer to DC you are the more crowded it becomes but it stays pretty busy until you get past Harpers Ferry.

2) I thought if I was ever to do it again I would put a bell on my bike. A lot of people walking along will be unaware you're coming behind them on a bike and are lost in their thoughts. I tried saying something to warn them I was coming from 10 yds to 40 yds behind them and there was no method I came up with that didn't regularly have some people jump out of their skin when they finally took note that I was right behind them. RING RING

I did the WE but I was CC touring so I did not need to worry about campsite issues.

That said, you may want to be cautious and hang your food if you're wild camping from when you first head west from Pueblo till you get to Delores by the Utah border. I don't think you'll need to worry about it again until the Carson Pass area. I say that just from looking at bear range maps. I do not recall seeing any signage about being "Bear Aware" at anyplace along the route. Even in someplace like Sargent (below Monarch Pass) which is very rural and and wooded, or around Telluride, I do not recall seeing any bear signs.

Actually the only time on that route I worried about the .0000001% chance of an ugly wildlife encounter was when I was on the alternate route (722) between Middlegate Station and Austin. Sixty something miles and I wasn't passed by a car the entire time. As I climbed up the passes on that road the surrounding rocks looked like perfect mountain lion territory and I assumed if one saw me I would look like slow & easy pickings!  :(

I think you'll love the route, I certainly did. A detour to Zion NP is certainly worthwhile but a pretty big detour. Make sure you at least go the extra 10 miles to include Bryce Canyon.


General Discussion / Re: Hello, I'm coming
« on: April 23, 2023, 05:37:45 pm »
Hi Luca:

I have toured here in the US as you intend to tour. No camping, packing light, 90-100 miles a day.

As you’ve gathered by now, your budget is light. I don’t mean to scare you as I’m treating myself when I’m on tour, so if there’s a couple motels or restaurants in town I always pick the nicer one, but my burn rate always seemed to average out to $200/day for food and shelter. That said, in a lot of the small towns that are not resort towns, hotels and restaurants were actually pretty cheap. It’s been 4 years since my last tour and I don’t know about prices today but there have been many hotels in modest little rural towns that were close to your budget. What made my costs go way up was when I passed thru towns like Banff or Whitefish or Crested Butte. Avoid overnighting in towns that cater to the wealthy as best you can.

Also, on my 1st tour, which was a coast to coast ride, I only packed a bivy. On all subsequent rides I carried the lightest tent,pad, and sleeping bag I could find (less than 2kg total). Out of a total of 220+- days I’ve spent on the road touring I have camped a total of 2 nights. Nonetheless, the piece of mind that you won’t spend the night freezing when the night time temperatures drop 40d out west is worth the small weight penalty.

Good luck and have a great ride!

General Discussion / Re: Reservations along the Icefields Highway?
« on: April 03, 2023, 07:59:23 pm »
Funny you should say the well spring for the trip is something you read 45 years ago. The reason I rode the length of the Alaska Hywy was a because of a book I read in elementary school about it being built.

I will mention 1 more thing and then leave you be. I don’t know where the bridge is that got washed out on the park road but the advice I got, and followed, was that there is no more stunning views of Denali then from Elysian. That’s about 1/2 way in (45 miles?) on the park road. The day I was there not a cloud was in the sky and the sight was fantastic.

I hope the trip is great for you! Best of luck!

General Discussion / Re: Reservations along the Icefields Highway?
« on: April 03, 2023, 06:15:31 pm »
Are you still starting in Deadhorse but instead of going all the way to Homer you're making a left turn at Fairbanks on 2 for Delta Junction (and Tok)?

Since you're passing thru Tok if there's any way you can spare the time to take the Richardson Hywy to the Tok cut-off you won't be sorry.

My trip was a circuitous route from Banff to Dawsons Creek and then I took the Alaska Hwy all the way up to Fairbanks. Once I got to Fairbanks I rented a car and did a bunch of hiking.

If you are relying on information from the Milepost, be wary as that whole area looked to me to be under pretty serious economic duress with lots of businesses for sale or recently closed.

I hope the weather is favorable to you up there but take really good rain gear because you'll surely be using it often enough.


General Discussion / Re: Reservations along the Icefields Highway?
« on: April 03, 2023, 04:26:12 pm »
Hi John:

I've ridden the Icefields Parkway twice in the last 7 years, once N to S and once S to N, but I was CC'ing it so I don't have much info of use to your post.

On one of those trips I rode to Alaska. Sorry for the thread drift but I'm curious if you're taking the Alaska Hywy or going via the Cassier?


General Discussion / Re: West to East coast tandem tour with hotels?
« on: December 11, 2022, 10:37:43 pm »

I’ve done seven 30-35 day tours of 25-3700 miles and spent every night except 2 in a hotel.

Which brings me to my first point, after my first tour I started to take a super light tent and bag w me on all subsequent tours My stuff is < 5 lbs but when you have a really long day between hotels and the wind is up, having that Insurence is great, even if you don’t use it.

2) I passed thru w Yellowstone in the middle of September, I think I remember someone said there’s 2k hotel rooms in town. When I first got into town every room was booked. I did manage to get a last minute cancellation.

3) jamawani is the go to guy on routing and I would take him up on his offer to help but on my x- country trip I started on Labor Day on the western express route (San Francisco) and met up w the trans am in Pueblo Co and I considered it to be a stunning route and the weather was about perfect. There is an extraordinary beat down of a day, Hanksville to Blanding , 137 miles, VERY desolate terrain, but it can be routed around by going off route thru Moab.

Good luck, Pete

Routes / Re: What is Your Favorite Cross Country Route and Why?
« on: July 24, 2022, 07:34:52 pm »
I will to comment about loneliness on tour. This is extraordinarily per the individual. I am not antisocial but I always tour alone and I have never felt lonely on tour. Since I generally tour in September I see many fewer riders than most even on mapped ACA routes. When I rode from Banff to Fairbanks I saw 2 riders over 21 days.

When I’m on tour I’m in my happy place, soaking in the scenery, thinking about what the rest of the day holds, what I’ve seen so far, big climbs coming up….anything and everything. It is a mind cleanse!

And when I stop for breakfast, lunch, or dinner I’ve had some of the most interesting conversations with the local folks. How I understand my fellow Americans (and Canadians!) has undergone a sea change over my 6 long tours. I may still hold views completely different from them but I see their humanity fully. You mostly do not have these conversations when riding with other people.

I just wanted to encourage anyone who’s concerned about being lonely, you may find you love being alone!

General Discussion / Re: Transamerica help - May 2022 start
« on: April 19, 2022, 11:46:09 am »

You are flying! I pride myself on doing big days and I was averaging 100/day between Murhpysboro and eastern Va and and that stretch took me 12 or 13 days and you did in 10.

I believe the only pass that's flat-out closed in your near future is Independence Pass. Maybe Jama will get back on and give you some advice around that. Also at your pace Makenzie Pass in Oregon will still be closed as well. That's really a shame because Makenzie is one of the most  extraordinary stretches of road in the country but Santium Pass is an easy work around.

When I crossed the US I took the Western Express route between Pueblo Colorado and San Francisco and I enjoyed it thoroughly (the 2 routes intersect in Pueblo). The big passes on the WE (Monarch, Lizard Head, & Boulder) are all plowed year round. I love southern Utah and I think it's a fair trade off but you would miss the Tetons and Yellowstone.


General Discussion / Re: TAT and mental health
« on: January 26, 2022, 10:23:13 am »
Hi Tom:

I'll add 2 things.

Im not sure how bad your insomnia is, but I don't sleep well on the road at all. If I get 4 hours a night I consider myself lucky. doesn't affect me while I'm on tour. It's possible this is unique to me and I certainly pay the price when I get home. Being a guy "of a certain age" a middle of the night trip to the bathroom is a requirement and for the first 2 weeks that I'm back at home I'm so disoriented when I get up (presumably from weeks of short sleep) that I am completely disoriented in my own house. I've walked into walls, into doors, I actually keep a gate across my steps for fear of falling down them. But as long as I'm on the road, I'm fine.

I've always suspected that my ability to be unaffected on the road while way down on sleep reflects peoples innate ability to rise to what they need to do. This has also come into play w physical issues. I woke up one morning and got terrible back spasms in a very remote area on the Alaska Hywy (Summit Lake). For several minutes it was hard to breathe. But there was nothing to do but get on the bike and slowly/gently peddle and over the course of the morning it went away. People can be really resilient when there's little choice.

The other thing I'd add is what's the worst that's going to happen here? After 6 major road tours I decided to try my luck w the Great Divide which is a MTB ride. And it did not work out. Two weeks and 800 miles into the trip I came to the unmistakable conclusion that this was not good fit for me and I got off at the next big town. I was disappointed and a little embarrassed but that was it.

If the same happens to you, there is still the option of renting a car and seeing the places you intended to see. And you will be disappointed and a little embarrassed like I was. But you'll still have a great experience.


Gear Talk / Re: The shoe dilemma
« on: January 15, 2022, 08:33:38 pm »
I will throw this out there as a possible option for the OP.

Generally when I’ve been on a tour, I just ride w any incidental hiking done in the light running shoes i have with me. But a few years back I started a tour in Spokane that ended in Flagstaff and I knew I wanted to spend 3 days in Zion and do the 3 iconic hikes there and I wanted to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Before I left on the tour I packed up my hiking boots and addressed it for General Delivery to Springdale Ut and when I got to Zion I picked up my boots and went hiking. Because my boots aren’t that heavy and bulky (Merrill’s) I just carried them for the last five days of the tour for my hiking at the north and south rim.

So if you want to go on hikes spontaneously this won’t do you much good. But if your passing thru 1 or 2 or 5 spots on your tour that you’d like to take some time off the bike and get some hiking in, General Delivery can work pretty well.

Gear Talk / Re: Using a gravel bike for C2C ride - what am I missing?
« on: December 19, 2021, 08:07:04 pm »
To the OP:

My bike is probably pretty similar to your bike, it’s a road bike but it’s Ti w carbon fork, and I’ve taken 6 tours w it between 2 & 3 thousand miles each and in general it was fine.

I am of the UL packing school although at 15-20 lbs I’m not as light as some. When I took my first tour I had everything in the back. I was using the smallest of the Arkel canvas panniers and stacked the rest on the rack. I did have some front end shimmy problems on the fast descents w that set-up.

Since then I got a frame bag and these 2 little canvas sacks (I can’t remember who sells these) that tie to either fork leg. Neither of these adds a whole lot of additional volume in storage, instead I put the heaviest items I can fit in them to distribute the load a little better. So tools, spares, and toiletries go in the frame bag, food and extra water go in the forks bags.

That solved my occasional shimmy.

Routes / Re: Sierra Cascades
« on: November 21, 2021, 10:22:42 am »
Hi Bob:

I tour w a regular road bike that maxes out w 28mm tires. If I was to do it again I would have gotten a bike that accepts a little wider tire but it's been okay on all my tours. The road surface was for the most part fine w some short exceptions. Do not take the alternate route to Crater Lake. I do not have first hand knowledge but it's really for mountain bikes w very wide tires.

You say you're looking at Fresno and that should still allow you to take in Giant Sequoia, to me that was the last "can't miss" thing on the tour.

If you look at a persons post where their name is, the words Personal Message are there. Click on that and write your message.

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