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Topics - BikeliciousBabe

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Routes / GDMBR--Basin to Butte
« on: March 16, 2020, 12:59:50 pm »
I have an old version of the map for the above-mentioned section that uses "roads" closely paralleling I-15 and then I-15 itself. Some of that mileage doesn't even appear on Google Maps unless you switch to satellite view. (Assuming Tunnel No. 9 is al old railroad tunnel.)

Looking at ACA's on-line map, it appears that the route has changed to use roads further west of the route shown on my old map. Looks like it uses the same roads I am hoping to ride this June during a two-week, part paved, part dirt loop from/to Missoula.  Plan is to visit Three Forks then head to the Merry Widow  via Boulder then to Butte.  Bike would be an LHT with 37c tires that has tackled some fairly rough, unpaved roads in its day.

Anyone have experience with the old and/or new routes between those points? Particularly interested in road surface conditions.

Thanks in advance.

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General Discussion / New Bike Service on Amtrak's Pennsylvanian
« on: October 22, 2019, 09:31:12 am »
https://media.amtrak.com/2019/10/amtrak-launches-bicycle-service-and-baggage-check-on-pennsylvanian-trains/?fbclid=IwAR2vByXur5na7IvzpaVB4T9if0xCARDFJ6Z4OsEGvSzVWeaJxc9Wj4_DBaY

Can come in quite handy for the GAP/C&O, especially since the Vermonter from D.C. to Philly, NYC, etc., has bike service as well. Opens up other possibilities, like a carless, cross-PA tour.

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Routes / Montana & Idaho Trip Report
« on: July 15, 2019, 10:12:17 am »
Photo album from my two-week trip during the second half of last month:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349603@N05/albums/72157709619080636/with/48274239366/


Here is the planned route:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29428535?beta=false

I ended up altering it south of Whitefish. There was a big morning storm, complete with hail. Some of the roads south of Columbia Falls are unpaved and can get messy when even slightly wet, so I stuck to U.S. 93 and MT 35 to rejoin what I had planned. There were also a few other minor deviations from the planned route.

Overnights were:

1. About 7 miles east of St Regis, MT
2. About 9 miles east of Avery, ID
3. Wallace, ID
4. Thompson Falls, MT (Got a motel room for a couple of reasons.)
5. Noxon, MT (Nice city park along the Clark Fork.)
6. Bad Medicine Campground along Bull Lake off of MT 56
7. About 3 miles west of Troy, MT
8 & 9. Pete Creek Campground near Yaak, MT
10. Rexford, MT
11. Whitefish Lake S.P.
12. Wayfayers S.P. in Bigfork, MT
13. Seeley Lake, MT (Motel so I could get an early start on the last day.)

Highlights included: Getting to ride two sections of I-90 westbound that were closed to motor vehicles; the 16 mile (15 unpaved), 3,200'+ climb up Gold Pass out of St. Regis then the incredibly scenic (and nicely paved) descent down to and then along the St. Joe River towards Avery; the former Milwaukee Road ROW from Avery then the Route of the Hiawatha Trail; the herd of elk on Blue Slide Rd. west of Thompson Falls; the Ross Creek Cedars; Kootenai Falls, seeing a bear and a youg-ish bull elk near Yaak; Porcupine Pass on the way to Rexford and my reward of some really great fried chicken there; and the two Montana state parks with special hiker/biker sites with all the trimmings.

For those planning on doing the Northern Tier I am going to put in another shameless plug for a detour into the Yaak area. Low traffic, scenic falls and lots of woods and wildlife. My bear happened when I took a ride up Pete Creek Rd. from camp during my rest day. The area is home to both black and grizzly bears. The campground host took a drive into the woods the same day and saw his third lion of the year.  Saw the bull elk the morning I was heading to Rexford. About 3 easy miles from Pete Creek Campground there is a bar and a restaurant/bar/store, although don't expect to find much in the way of groceries. I carried enough food for one dinner and two breakfasts. Ate my first dinner and the next day's lunch out. From the center of Yaak you can get back on the Northern Tier route via the way shown on my map (Porcupine Pass), which is extremely scenic (and totally paved), or you can hang a right at the intersection for the road to Libby, which I believe is partially unpaved.

In any event...Lowlights included: Climbing a couple of miles of the steep part of Thompson Pass without realizing I was in the middle chainring; U.S. 93 between Fortine and Whitefish and missing some turns along the way that would have allowed me to explore some alternatives to that death trap of a highway; some of MT 83 between Bigfork and Seeley Lake.

I had done much of this route in 2017 (The Gold Pass/St. Joe/Avery/Hiawatha sections were new to me. I also overnighted in a couple of new places.) This time the weather was much different. Cooler days and even cooler nights. Some mornings were in the 40s when I hit the road. There were three days with noticeable periods of rain, but nothing biblical, although I did have to pull over twice while descending Gold Pass, once to take cover from a brief period of hail. As you can see from the photos, conditions were often overcast or foggy. 2017 was warm to hot and humid. I don't believe I used my rain gear once. The day I arrived back in Missoula it was 91 degrees by 1 p.m. All things considered, I'll take the cooler temps any day.

Now starting to think about my Pennsylvania tour that I try to take every September. Maybe from Pittsburgh home to Philly again.

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General Discussion / Three Cheers for Noxon, MT!
« on: July 03, 2019, 03:18:49 pm »
For $10 you can camp in the city park. (Register at the grocery store.) There are two covered pavilions with concrete floors, tables and chairs. You can pitch your tent under one of it's raining or on the lush grass. Electrical outlets for charging. Water. Great views of the surrounding mountains and Clark Fork River, where you can swim. Lots of ospreys flying around. Directly across the street from the park are a café that is open from 8 until 5, a grocery store than is open from 9-6 and a bar that is open until whenever. 24 hr. laundry place. Lots of friendly people. No showers and a clean Forest Service-type vault toilet. MT 200 is was across the river, so the road noise is minimal, but you will hear some trains from over there.

Great place spend the night if you are riding MT 200 west from Thompson Falls (but do take Blue Slide Rd. first) or east from the Northern Tier. Center of town is six miles east of the junction of MT 200 and MT 56. Look up at the osprey nest on the bridge.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30448425?beta=false


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