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Messages - scottb

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Routes / Denver to Jasper
« on: September 01, 2016, 11:19:56 pm »
I'm considering going from Denver, CO to Jasper, AB next summer. The current though is to start mid June, taking 6 weeks with 4ish weeks of actual biking at 50-80 miles a day and 2 weeks of interspersed hiking and backpacking along the route. I have a few questions for anyone familiar with the route.

-Is mid June to early to be starting? I'm not familiar with the roads and elevations/weather in that part of the country. What kind of weather is typical?

-I've been looking at taking the Trans Am to the great parks north. Denver was picked as a starting point mostly because it was around as far south as I thought I could start and is a major city with probably cheaper flights. Any thoughts on alternate starts? Am I missing out by not experiencing more of the Great Parks South Route south of Denver? Also getting from Denver to the Trans Am it looks like I could go west to Silverthorne, NW to Granby on the Berthoud Pass Alternate, or North through Rocky Mountain Park, any thoughts?

-Favorite backpacking, hiking, or other side trips along the route?


Pacific Northwest / Re: Iron Horse Trail conditions?
« on: February 28, 2016, 11:26:48 pm »
I've done North Bend to Cle Elum on 28's. Wider tires are nicer, but it was totally doable. I have wider tires now, but if I still had the 28's I'd still do it again.

Routes / sunshine coast and vancouver island
« on: June 28, 2015, 11:13:48 pm »
I was going to be leaving in a few days for a 10 day tour in the Cascades and eastern Washington, but with much of the weather forecast in the upper 90s and 100s I've made a last minute change of plans.

The rough idea now is to start in Vancouver BC, head north to Powell River, take the ferry across to Vancouver Island, head south to the Victoria area, maybe visit a few of the Gulf Islands, then down to the San Juans. I'm doing some research now on good routes, but with limited time thought I'd throw out some questions from you folks as well. A little bit about my to help inform your answers. I'll be traveling moderately light, camping all the time, or maybe a night in a hostel, mainly going to grocery stores and cooking. I have 35mm wide tires and a little bit of gravel or dirt roads are fine, but nothing to crazy, and I'm mainly interested in nature and scenery. I generally like 50-70 mile days.

-Firstly any good links to maps or route advice in general is great. With only a few days to figure out a route I'm sure to miss some stuff.

-Between Nanaimo and Victoria I'm considering a few options. Option 1 basically follow google maps down the east side of the island. Option 2 cut over to Salt Spring Island part way down and start exploring those islands. Option 3 follow the Cowichan Valley Trail and cutting over by Sooke Lake to meet up with the Galloping Goose trail. I'm very interested in option 3, but I'm not sure if it's possible and would love any insight from someone who has done it. It looks like the road is closed at a certain point.

-Which of the Gulf Islands would you recommend for biking? Which are the best if I end up with limited time.

-Favorite campgrounds along the way?

-Any favorite side trips or non bike things in the area? Good hikes, etc?

Classifieds / Re: 2012 Comotion Divide
« on: June 02, 2015, 10:58:45 am »
I sent you a private message

Routes / Re: Touring From Seattle Beginning Early In May
« on: April 30, 2015, 01:33:39 am »
I would definitely check into the campgrounds because they seem to be a bit different sometimes, and with the mild winter and early spring some may open up early this year. Some are also partially open, I went through one last weekend that was open, but only their RV sites.

It's definitely more dry east of the cascades, but that doesn't mean always dry.

I don't really have any input on clockwise or counter. I did the Olympic peninsula part two summers ago counter clockwise and enjoyed it, but could see clockwise being just as good. I'll be doing the eastern Washington loop this summer clockwise, but I'm not sure if it makes much of a difference.

There is a road bike detour at snoqualmie pass to avoid construction that I have seen signs for, but have never been on. I would highly recommend the John Wayne Pioneer Trail/Iron Horse State Park (same thing). The tunnel under the pass is open, I was on it last weekend. I've only taken it as far east as about 8 miles east of Cle Elum. West of Cle Elum it's very doable with not super skinny tires. The 8 miles I went east of Cle Elum were noticeably looser and more difficult, but maybe it was just a short section.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Willamette Scenic Bikeway
« on: November 10, 2014, 12:57:49 am »
I would check out the bolt bus. I've taken my bike on it before, they stash it underneath with the luggage. I bet they could fit a tandem under there, but I'm not sure. I would check with them first. It's very handy and affordable.

You may want to try There might be some people in a more ideal place for your first night.

Rocky Mountain / trail of the coeur d'alenes loop route
« on: January 16, 2014, 09:42:20 pm »
I'm thinking about doing the trail of the coeur d'alenes loop route this summer. The trail part seems pretty straight forward, but it's harder to find info on the other half of the loop on the old milwaukee road section. How rough is the road? I have 35mm tires with a little bit of tread, do you think those are wide enough? Anyone have any advice?

General Discussion / Re: Olympic Discovery Trail
« on: January 15, 2014, 12:07:35 am »
I took the trail when going around the peninsula this past summer and it was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I highly recommend it! I agree with everything that Itinerant Harper posted about the route. I picked up a free map along the way from a campground or bike shop or something that was really nice. This is the website for it The trail also goes a couple miles west of Port Angeles and ends on a really cool bridge so I recommend that part as well. I stayed at the Lyre River campground along the way and would recommend it as well. It's a free DNR campground. When I was there they had pit toilets and water, but no showers. It was very pretty next to the river, free, and deserted.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Anyone ridden the John Wayne Pioneer Trail in WA?
« on: January 06, 2014, 01:49:54 am »
The John Wayne Trail is great, I highly recommend it. I've only done it from it's western end as far east as Hyak, but I've heard that the surface is similar the rest of the way to Ellensberg and then gets rougher the farther east you go from there (because more horses use it). The surface is pretty nice crushed gravel, easy as long as you don't have skinny tires which I assume you wouldn't touring anyway. I was on it a month or two ago with 28mm tires and was fine. The nice gentle railroad grade is great too.

I see on your Google map that you'll be on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail beforehand as well. That is another great trail and the surface is very similar with decent crushed gravel. Linking those two trails together you can be on a separated from traffic trail all the way from Duvall to Ellensberg which I think is pretty amazing.

I'm considering a similar trip from Seattle out to Ellensberg and down past Mt Rainier before getting to the Columbia River Gorge to Portland.

I just rode that route a few weeks ago. There's some chip seal, but it's not terrible. There were a few miles on a back road that they were just putting on that were really bad and a bit dangerous. It was only a few miles though and there was little traffic as well as a reduced speed limit.

The ride is really nice! I went counter clock-wise so keep that in mind with the following.

Sequim Bay State Park was a nice campground, on the water and the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT) goes right through the campground. The Olympic Discovery Trail goes a bit farther than the map tells you. When you get into Port Angeles (going CCW) stop by the visitor center right on the water next to the ferry and get a map. I strongly recommend taking the ODT out of town to its end. You end up on an incredible bridge over the Elwha River. If you have an extra hour I also strongly recommend back tracking a little bit once you get to the highway to go see the Elwha dam removal site. you can walk out on the closed dam road and go into what was the reservoir to see the plant regrowth since they drained it.

Lyre River Campground was great. There's water and toilets but no showers. However it's free and right on the river. When I stayed there it was deserted.

I went into the Hoh Rainforest to look around and go for a hike which was nice. I set up camp at the Minnie Peterson campground, another free one that only had toilets, no water. Then Biked unloaded the rest of the way into the forest. I was on the road pretty early and there was very little traffic however judging by the parking lot when I got back from the hike the traffic picks up quite a bit. It's a beautiful ride.

I stayed at the falls creek campground at Lake Quinault. The walk in sites were nice, but a bit expensive, $15. There's a nice little store and restaurant across the road. The campgrounds don't have showers, but you can pay to use showers at the lodge.

I stayed at Lake Sylvia State Park outside of Monsanto. It was nice, but nothing special. It was packed when I was there, but it was a Friday night. The road to get there actually starts as 3rd in town, not what the map says. I ate breakfast at the bee hive restaurant and highly recommend it.

I hope you enjoy the ride.


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