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Messages - BikeliciousBabe

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1
Routes / Re: The Great American Rail Trail Seattle to Missoula
« on: January 14, 2021, 09:22:43 pm »
Had no idea it collapsed. I was there last in June of ‘19. It must have been structurally unsound because it was closed to motor vehicles even in 2017 but not bikes and peds. It’s a shame if it’s gone. Made a nice place for a breather.

But one thing: Heading west, the I-90 bridge just after that point had no shoulder to speak of. Fortunately, it was only 0.2 miles long. Don’t know about the eastbound side if that’s the way you’ll be going. Also, in 2019 that stretch of I-90 was closed in preparation for road work. It’s possible that those bridges were scheduled to be replaced. I ignored the closure signs and had the westbound lanes all to myself. Quite fun.

And I should have mentioned that St. Joe Rd. is probably not the best on the weekends according to a local. Thinking back, I actually rode it on a Monday in mid-June. I didn’t encounter even 10 moving vehicles between St. Regis and the campground. When I reached the campground there were tags on almost every campsite. I looked at them and saw the departure dates were all Sunday. The host, who seemed to be away, must not have removed them. It was an indication that weekends are much busier.

2
Routes / Re: The Great American Rail Trail Seattle to Missoula
« on: January 14, 2021, 12:29:36 pm »
In St Regis the trail does not start until Little Joe Creek Road for the Route of the Olympian. When you say the route east of Tarkiro - I think you are referring to Tekoa, and that detour is well documented, as well as the one around the private land with the missing trestle.
I am taking about Tarkiro/Triple Bridges and the section a bit west of there that hugs the river appears to be a private road:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Triple+Bridges+-+Alberton+Gorge/@47.0200808,-114.6613939,16z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x535e0d62dec45c27:0x1ea873ae07d87b79!8m2!3d47.0200772!4d-114.6570166

And I rode the first couple of miles west from St. Regis in 2017. It was horribly bumpy. I was bouncing around on 37c tires. Once I reached the point to detour around the missing bridge I opted for I-90. Note that I also encountered a motorist. The NorPac Trail is also open to motor vehicles. The first time I rode the west slope to Lookout Pass I encountered one car and later two people on ATVs.

All that aside, one thing you might want to consider is incorporating the Route of the Hiawatha Trail. Really cool ride which I did in 2019. Since I was heading west, I took Little Joe Rd. all the way to what I was later told is called Gold Pass at the border with ID. 15 miles of gravel, but there are only a couple of sections that are tough (8%+). At the pass/border, the road becomes paved. Appeared to have been resurfaced relatively recently. The descent is fabulous and quite scenic. Once you get down to the St. Joe River there are a couple of campgrounds with water before Avery. I stayed at Tin Pan Flats. Virtually no traffic on a Sunday. The next morning I rode into Avery and took the old Milwaukee Road right of way up to the Pearson Trail Head of the Hiawatha. It is also gravel and features a few easy tunnels. The Hiawatha Trail has about a dozen more tunnels and several high trestles. The last tunnel heading "east" is the St. Paul Pass Tunnel, which is 1.66 miles long as brings you back into Montana to the East Portal Trailhead. A good light is required as the tunnel is completely unlit. I had 500 lumens. Minimum recommendation is 350 lumens. From East Portal it's easy to connect up with the NorPac Trail.

This is the map for the day along the St. Joe from a bit west of St. Regis:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30007721

Then the day to Wallace, ID that included the Hiawatha Trail:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28822925

Ignore those crazy elevation spikes along the trail. GPS is reading off the tops of all the tunnels. The spoke at 42.9 is the one tunnell on the NorPac Trail.

3
Routes / Re: The Great American Rail Trail Seattle to Missoula
« on: January 08, 2021, 11:30:23 am »


Bridging the gap from Missoula to ST. Regis can be done on service roads and local roads so you do not need to ride on I-90. It is about a days ride but there are some camping and hotel options along the way.
I'd like to see a route map. Done it twice and could not find any options but to ride on I-90 for relatively short sections. One example is west of Albterton, between I-90 interchanges 75 and 70. In 2017 I tried the trail off of W. Mountain Creek Rd. that is shown on Google Maps. After a few miles there was a tall fence that prevented further travel. Had to double back and take the interstate. Also between interchange 37 and 33 for St. Regis. Sloway Rd. becomes a private road according to what I have seen. It's the former Milwaukee Rd. right-of-way, as is the trail mentioned above. Neat use of ould signals:

https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2838654,-115.0820298,3a,75y,84.2h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1scrJAi8o1SxqnaFRXym7hoA!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo3.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DcrJAi8o1SxqnaFRXym7hoA%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D81.48768%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656

Here is the Google Map I was using. I have not changed any starting points in Missoula, I just picked the city as the starting point. The end point is the trailhead.
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Missoula,+MT/47.2964581,-115.1234552/@47.0882862,-114.8389208,97421m/am=t/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m9!4m8!1m5!1m1!1s0x535dcc2a50f367cb:0xe9e31277ca94802e!2m2!1d-113.9940314!2d46.8721284!1m0!3e1

I did not look at the entire route map, but I am virtually certain that a portion of the road that huggs the river east of Tarkiro is a private road conisting of the former Milwaukee Road railroad right of way. Look at the satellite view. You can see what looks like a structure built on or very close to the road. Relatively recently I read a post on CGOAB from a guy who tried to go that way. He got flak from a property owner.

Also, your route incioporates the trail I mentioned in a previous post. That is definitely former Milwaukee Road right of way. The more eastern part appears to be owned by the state because there is a least one interprative sign about the railroad history. But unless something has changed since 2017, it's fenced off closer to the western end, after you bypass the closed railroad tunnell, by an impenitrable fence that runs way up the hillside. It was probably a good 7' tall. There was a gate/door, but it was locked tight. Had to backtrack for several miles to get on I-90. When I got off I-90 at Cyr Bridge I went to check out the west end of the trail segement at Mead Lane. There was a sign warning people that tresspassing is a qucker way than prayer to meet God.

If you look at Cyr Bridge itself on satellite view you can see the old Milwaukee Road bridge piers in the river just to the north of the highway bridge. The dirt looking road that parallels Old Hwy. 10 to the north is a continuation of the Milwaukee Rd. right of way. Follow that until Triple Birdges at Alberton Gorge and you will see a former railroad bridge across the river. Follow the "scar" further and it becomes Elizabeth Ln. and eventually what I believe is the private road referred to in the paragraph above. 

4
Routes / Re: The Great American Rail Trail Seattle to Missoula
« on: December 29, 2020, 11:26:54 am »


Bridging the gap from Missoula to ST. Regis can be done on service roads and local roads so you do not need to ride on I-90. It is about a days ride but there are some camping and hotel options along the way.
I'd like to see a route map. Done it twice and could not find any options but to ride on I-90 for relatively short sections. One example is west of Albterton, between I-90 interchanges 75 and 70. In 2017 I tried the trail off of W. Mountain Creek Rd. that is shown on Google Maps. After a few miles there was a tall fence that prevented further travel. Had to double back and take the interstate. Also between interchange 37 and 33 for St. Regis. Sloway Rd. becomes a private road according to what I have seen. It's the former Milwaukee Rd. right-of-way, as is the trail mentioned above. Neat use of ould signals:

https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2838654,-115.0820298,3a,75y,84.2h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1scrJAi8o1SxqnaFRXym7hoA!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo3.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DcrJAi8o1SxqnaFRXym7hoA%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D81.48768%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656

5
Routes / Re: The Great American Rail Trail Seattle to Missoula
« on: December 28, 2020, 11:01:53 am »
I rode:

1. The eastern 7 miles of the CdA Trail east from Wallace to its terminus in 2017 and 2019. You will notice the uphill grade. Paved surface was in good condition.

2. Most of the NorPac Trail west to Lookout Pass in 2017 and 2019. If heading east, you will definitely notice the downhill grade. Trail surface varies. I had to skateboard for a bit closer to the top because of flooding The lower mileage west of I-90 was not is an good a shape in 2019 as it was in 2017. Note that it does not connect end to end with the Olympian. That is a different former rail line that is at a higher grade. You can transition between the two by climbing a steep, dirt connection road at Saltese that is not shown on Google Maps unless you look at satellite View:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Taft,+MT+59867/@47.4127628,-115.5221292,391m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x536092ad38dc2e81:0xb14f226fee2c6b3c!8m2!3d47.416332!4d-115.597168

3. The first two miles of the Olympian west from St. Regis in 2017. Pretty rough surface with some sizeable stones for a trail. It got off and opted for I-90. Note that there is a bridge out just beyond that point. You have to take a short detour.

4. The Olympian from Haugan west to the aforementioned transition to the NoPac in 2017. Much better than the first two mile and pretty.  Looking at the satellite imagery, it appears improvements were made since I was there in 2017. One thing I noticed is that just east of Haugan the restored the missing bridge over Big Creek just where it empties into the St. Regis River. When I was there a local told me you had to take a detour on local roads. The unused portion of the trail had gone to pot. I talked to him at the junction of Big Creek Rd. and the road that passes under I-90. You could see that section of the trail was overgrown. He told me to take Big Creek Rd. west and them hang a right where it crossed the trail. The imagery makes that section look restored.  Note that east of Haugan, there is a stretch where you cannot get off the trail for many miles if you find it not to your liking. Also, unless something has changed, the trail ends in St. Regis and does not take you to Missoula. Bridging that gap requires some I-90 riding.

6
Routes / Re: Yaak to Rexford Montana
« on: December 18, 2020, 11:11:40 am »
Your map actually does look right. Here is mine:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/23254899

The split in the paved roads in at mile 12.2.

There is no sign to mark the pass. You'll know you are there when you go down hill for more than 50'. There is no cell service in town, though the Yaak River Tavern has some sort of WiFi now. I was able to text certain people but not others. Heading to Rexford I had the iPhone on for the camera. At some point during the descent the phone started blowing up. I just had to stop and look. Had a message that I was not connected to the Verizon Canada network and had gotten all the undelivered texts from the last two days. Got a good chuckle out of that.

The government campground in Rexford was nice. You might want a reservation for the weekend during busy times. Note that there was a notice of a proposal to drastically increase the fee from $12 to $25 when I was thee in 2019. Flush toilets but no showers. However, the bar/restaurant in town sells showers. IIRC, for $6. And did I mention the chicken?  :)

7
Routes / Re: Yaak to Rexford Montana
« on: December 15, 2020, 03:59:17 pm »
The falls on a sunny day:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349603@N05/50724217807/in/dateposted-public/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349603@N05/50724128596/in/dateposted-public/

BTW...I am not sure your map in correct. I will check my files later. There are only two paved ways north of Yaak. The one road out of town splits at some point but they come back together again. The signage tells you to bear to the left for the bridge/MT 47, but if you stay straight it's a shorter trip to where the roads come back together again. Little tip I learned from a local bar tender/waitress.


8
Super nice guy.
Frank filled in fr a time as the leader of our 1999 Northern Tier when the original leader did not "work out." Definitely a great guy.

9
Routes / Re: Yaak to Rexford Montana
« on: December 15, 2020, 06:37:18 am »
The bear was spotted up Pete Creek Rd., which starts off the main road right near the campground. Old FS road that goes some 20 miles into the woods. First few miles are tamed gravel, then it becomes paved. The next morning I saw a young bull elk with a small rack on the main road when leaving camp just before Dawn. He was to fast to get a photo.

I have some photos of the falls along the main road before the campground.  Will have to dig them up. Great place for a snack break.

10
Routes / Re: Yaak to Rexford Montana
« on: December 14, 2020, 05:22:07 am »
Done it in 2017 and 2019. Well worth it. Makes a nice place for a rest day to take a ride from Pete Creek Campground up into the woods. The little store is not well stocked, so be prepared to carry food or eat out. Good burgers at the restaurant. (Not the Dirty Shame Saloon.) The climbout of town to Porcupine Pass and then down to the bridge across the lake to MT 47 is terrific. Best fried chicken and potatoes in Rexford. 49 miles from Pete Creek to Rexford. About 4,100' of climbing. No services.

I'm having hand surgery in a few hours. I will write more when I can.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349603@N05/48274235026/in/album-72157709619080636/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349603@N05/48274234641/in/album-72157709619080636/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349603@N05/48274234321/in/album-72157709619080636/

11
Routes / Re: ACA Discontinuing some Paper Maps
« on: November 12, 2020, 07:05:12 am »

 And (AND!) when you get to the top of a pass and you’re  drenched in sweat, taking the map out of your jersey pocket and putting it in the front is the perfect amount of warmth for the big descent. Try that with a phone!


Heh. During my '99 unsupported ACA Northern Tier group tour I learned early that they make great insulators on descents.  Used one for the first time on Loup Loup Pass.

12
Pro tip: When you are asking about camping spots and you already have a route planned it is most helpful to let people know what that route is so they don't possibly waste time responding with suggestions that are not relevant to the planned route.  >:(   

13
General Discussion / Re: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« on: October 23, 2020, 10:18:13 am »
I had to brake hard for a group of deer in the road last month while riding across PA. Came around a curve on a step hill. They were in the middle of the road. I have had to do that in MT on several occasions. The most recent time was last year descending Thompson Pass towards Thompson Falls. The next day I had to stop for a herd of elk with calves that I spooked when I stopped to take a photo of them grazing on someone's lawn. I saw them getting antsy so I put away the camera and started riding. That spooked them even more, and they stampeded towards the road. I knew they were going to cross so stopping was no big deal. The sound of all those hooves crossing the pavement was amazing.

In 2018 a young bear cub crossed my path in NJ as I was riding back to my site after showering. Mom was nowhere to be seen, which was unnerving.

I often preemptively yell "Yo, deer!" when I am in an area where I think I might encounter them. Always stay alert when you are riding in wooded areas.

14
Routes / Re: Illinois to Idaho
« on: October 23, 2020, 10:06:01 am »
I find WY to be most vulnerable to winds. They're most likely to be out of the west. If they do come from the east it's generally from an upsloping cold front which is typically a one day event. When we came across the Great Plains we had 5 consecutive days of 25+ mph winds from the NW. There's no way we would have even attempted to ride to the east on those days.
Heh. When I did a portion of the TransAm 20 years ago the stretch from Lander, WY, to Jeffrey City was like that, only the wind was a bit more out of the SW. I hooked up with a couple riding a BF tandem across the country. We had to lean sideways. Got rooms at the (R.I.P.) JC Motel. As I was walking west towards the café to get lunch I swear I was leaning at a 45 degree angle, and a woman at the bar told me the wind wasn't really that bad that day. The next morning I left for Rawlins at the crack of dawn trying to beat any wind. When I headed east from Rawlins I cycled for a bit with a local who was riding to the Sinclair facility. He told me that, because of the wind, some days it takes him 20 min. to get to work (riding east) and an hour to get home (riding west).

15
It depends on your route. There is not one route to get between those two points.

I absolutely love the campground in Worthington State Forest on Old Mine Rd. (saw a bear cub when I was last there in 2018), but it's very hard to get into on the weekends, especially now that NJ state parks are only open at 50% for camping. Also, it's not that far of a ride from High Point. But the ride down the Jersey side from Port Jervis through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is fabulous. Note that it can get very cold up there this time of year. I did the Black Bear Century from Delaware Water Gap, PA. When we left the motel for the short ride to the start it was 34 degrees. That was in mid-October.

If you follow the river for a while there is Dogwood Haven in Upper Black Eddy, PA. Nice owner. Charges cyclists $10 or $15/night. Don't know how long his season runs. Probably at least through the end of October. It's a very quiet place occupied primarily by seasonal people. Site A is the best of the three tent sites.

There is Wharton State Forest, further south, NW of Hammonton, NJ. You need to check the official site since I think only one of the several campgrounds is open right now.

Further south still is Belleplain State Forest in Woodbine, NJ. It's a good place for a last night's stay. Cape May is a relatively easy ride from there. Work you way to Dennisville to SR 47 then cut through The Villas.

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