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Messages - planeguy5

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Hi Rebecca,

We were able to get through the washout! You'll have to go later in the day (after 7pm) to avoid the work crew. We went at 6pm and were caught, but the individual told us how to bushwhack around the work zone. You'll likely have to do the same. There will be a series of muddy trails to the right of the new road construction. They go on longer than you'd think, but will take you right to there outskirts of Smokey Bar! Let me know if you have any other questions and I'll do my best to answer them.

Also, don't let Steel Pass intimidate you too much. It'll be the first pass you encounter, and it's a big one! All others have been more reasonable.


This map may help? 


Thank you so much for your input! Less climbing is a good thing, particularly on a route as mountainous as this one. We'll likely take your suggestion over the one I proposed, unless of course the main route re-opens by the time we are passing through. Of course, we'll check in with the rangers in Featherville and decide then what the best course of action will be.

As for timing, it was certainly lucky. I'm wrapping up graduate school in Boise on June 13, and figured that would be prime time to head out on the route. Turns out it will be. My partner and I have been closely following COVID-19 travel advisories, particularly since we'll be passing through Blaine County. Per Sun Valley's website, visitors are welcome so long as they travel in small groups, respect social distancing, and are largely self-contained. I'd say bike touring checks all of those boxes, and we'll be packing masks and hand sanitizer so that we respect these rules when venturing into grocery stores to resupply.

Let me know if you have any other pointers or suggestions. We're very excited to hit the trail!


My partner and I will be starting the IHSMBR in a counter-clockwise direction on June 14. Our plan for getting around construction is to follow the "official" ACA reroute ( from Featherville to the town of Soldier. Once at Soldier, we plan to deviate from the official reroute and take a left onto Soldier Creek Road. We'll follow this road for approximately 8 miles until the juncture with NF-94. At this point, you can take a right onto NF 94 and follow it for 9 miles until it rejoins the official route (NF-227) at Little Smokey Campground. This will effectively cut the official reroute in half and gets you back onto the official route only a few miles south of the construction closure.

If anyone has feedback regarding our proposed routing, let us know! Looking forward to exploring all that Idaho has to offer.

Hi all,

I'm on the penultimate day of my Canada-Mexico bike tour, and want to clarify one important note. The policy for entering Camp Pendleton has officially changed, and you now must obtain an authorization QR code at the south gate. The guys at the north gate this afternoon said they got notification of the change within the past two days, even though it wasn't slated to change until later in September.

I had not been notified and was denied access to base, so I took I-5 instead to Oceanside. Would've been nice if they had notified folks that pre-registered, but I guess that's what's expected from the federal government.

Happy riding to all!

Routes / Re: Southern California 7-10 day bikepacking trip Mohave?
« on: July 21, 2018, 12:55:10 am »
Based on the research that I've done for my own upcoming Pacific Coast bike tour, you will most likely encounter daily headwinds heading north to San Francisco. That being said, I chatted with a fellow on the San Juan Islands that was just wrapping up a northbound Pacific Coast ride and he said it wasn't much of an issue. The coast will be considerably cooler than other inland destinations.   

Routes / Re: Southern California 7-10 day bikepacking trip Mohave?
« on: July 09, 2018, 10:27:50 am »
Take a look at They've published a few routes that ramble through the southern California desert. This one seems like it may be a good fit for what you are looking for:

Take a look on their website and see what else you find. Just remember that September is often one of the hottest months in southern California. You may very likely run into 100+ degree fahrenheit (38 degree celsius) temperatures. 

As for renting a bike vs. bringing your own, I'm inclined to say you should just plan on bringing your own. Once you factor in the price of bike and gear rentals for a 7+ day trip, you may as well just pay the airline fees and schlep your bike over. Plus you'll be familiar and comfortable with what you are using, which isn't necessarily the case with a rental bike.

Routes / Re: Transamerica trail sleeping
« on: April 08, 2018, 01:33:05 pm »
Hi Dirk,

I cycled the TransAmerica Trail in 2016 and found it very easy to sleep or camp at fire stations, churches, and city parks. The ACA maps clearly mark where these accommodations can be found, and also list the local police phone numbers and other relevant information. There are also a number of cyclist-oriented hostels that cater to the mass of cross-country cyclists that travel the route every summer.

You can read my blog here: Send me a message if you have more specific questions!


Gear Talk / Re: Marathon Supremes...
« on: April 08, 2018, 01:23:14 pm »
I have had mixed experiences with the 35mm Schwalbe Marathon Supremes that I'm using on my Novara Mazama. As previous folks have written, you can't really beat them for their combination of low rolling resistance and high puncture protection. I used them on the TransAm two years ago, and only had two flats (both of which I suspect were due to shifting rim tape). I continue to use them while commuting and doing some lighter touring here in the northwest, and never worry about flats. That being said, they have worn faster than I was expecting, especially given their steep price. Perhaps this premature wear is due to the heavier loads I've toured with, or the fact that I usually use them in conjunction with a tire liner. Either way, I reported some of the wear anomalies to Schwalbe, and they were kind enough to send me a new pair free-of-charge.

I guess my overall sentiment is that they are excellent tires, but you (probably) won't get as many miles out of them as you will from other heavier tires, such as Mondials or Marahon Supremes.

Hello all,

It has been over a year since I've been able to do any type of bike touring, and I've got the itch real bad because of it. That being said, I'll be relocating to Bellingham, Washington for grad school in September, and just realized that I'll have four days before school starts where I might be able to squeeze in a little trip. My limited window of opportunity (September 21-25) means that I'd like to leave from my house and make a loop, biking 65-90 miles/day and camping along the way.

Looking at Google Maps and the ACA website, it looks like I've got a plethora of opportunities. I could: bike around the Olympic Peninsula; ferry over to the San Juans (but I'd rather avoid any added ferry fees if possible given my limited budget); head north into British Columbia; or head east into the Cascades. I've been to the region several times, but I'm still not familiar enough to know which direction would be best to go. What are your thoughts? Have you done any routes in this area that you would highly recommend?

Thanks for your time, input, and suggestions!


Pacific Northwest / Re: Walla Walla, WA on the Lewis & Clark Trail
« on: December 07, 2016, 04:32:25 pm »
Hi Jennifer,

I went to college in Walla Walla, and I´m quite familiar with the Highway 12 crossing at Clinton/Middle Waitsburg. It is indeed a high-traffic crossing that has to be crossed with care, but it isn´t restricted to pedestrians or cyclists. I cross there almost every day while out on runs or training rides. That being said, the alternate proposed by AKJeff is definitely a more pleasant (and safer) route, albeit a little more indirect.

Walla Walla is a great town. I´d highly recommend staying for a night (or a few!) to enjoy the region. In the spring and fall it is an incredible place to be! Excellent, open cycling out in the wheat fields, and even better bikepacking on the forest roads up in the Blue Mountains (just east of town).

Routes / Re: Latest possible date to start northbound Sierra Cascades?
« on: October 03, 2016, 09:36:51 pm »
Thanks Bcladen for your reply. I didn´t say how many miles or hours I expect to me riding every day, largely because I´ve only just started to think about the trip. When I did the TransAm last year, I averaged ~70 miles/day (not counting rest days); even on the longer days in the saddle (100-135 miles), I still felt pretty good at the end of every day. Early starts were crucial, especially in the Midwest and Appalachians.

Ideally on this trip, I´d have a lighter setup, courtesy of actually knowing what I´m doing this time around. At the beginning of my TransAm trip, that most definitely wasn´t the case.

Routes / Latest possible date to start northbound Sierra Cascades?
« on: October 03, 2016, 07:54:57 am »
Hey folks,

As luck would have it, I will be moving from San Diego to the PNW next summer. What better way to get there than by bike? I´m strongly considering the Sierra Cascades route for many reasons, but have one lingering doubt. The earliest I could possible start is mid-June. Being from San Diego, I know that the southern portion of the trail (map 5), especially through Anza Borrego and Palmdale, could be brutally hot at that time. What would you consider the latest possible date I should start the Sierra Cascades route? Or should I find a different option? Ideally I´d like to go border-to-border.

Howdy folks,

I wrapped up my west-east TransAmerican trip in early August, and had a great time. I´ve definitely caught the touring bug, and am excited to start planning my next trip (hopefully the Sierra Cascades route).

My trip got me thinking: has anyone ever completed the TransAm in winter? With the modern craze of "extreme sports," I would think such a trip would be of interest to someone, just for the sake of saying that they did it. On a similar note, do you know of people that have done other routes out of the recommended season (i.e. Southern Tier in summer)? I know there´s a great YouTube documentary of a guy trying to do the Great Divide in winter.

I´m just curious if anyone has some interesting stories. I´m sure there must be!

Hi folks,

I am nearing the end of my TransAm journey, and am trying to work out some logistics. I'll be flying back home on Southwest, and am hoping to check my (packed) bike with them. Do you have suggestions for bike shops in or near Yorktown that would do this?

Thanks for the help. This trip would've been a lot harder without this forum!

General Discussion / Largest tire to put on a 17mm rim?
« on: July 19, 2016, 08:52:32 pm »
Hi all,
After I wrap up my TransAm tour, I'd like to put wider tires back on my bike (a Novara Mazama). It came stock with 700x40mm Clemènt MSO tires, which were great, but I'd like to go wider if possible. The frame has a significant amount of space to accept wider tires, but my current limitation is the rims. They're 17mm.  What is the widest tire that could go on this size rim?

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