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Messages - jamawani

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1
Gear Talk / Re: Off the Bike Shoes
« on: April 15, 2021, 11:15:11 pm »
Depends on what you want to do off the bike.
I've crossed the Grand Canyon a half dozen times -
Hiked the backcountry of Yosemite, Glacier, Banff, and Denali.
So I have moderate hikers.

Most folks probably don't hike the way I do.
YMMV.

2
General Discussion / Re: Touring after Chemotherapy
« on: April 13, 2021, 12:33:51 pm »
Nope, Westy -
Ya got it backwards.
Cycling always comes first.
Survival is just a fringe benefit.

3
General Discussion / Re: Touring after Chemotherapy
« on: April 10, 2021, 10:52:16 pm »
Aggie -

I hear you.
And I do hope to understand you.

I kinda like your comment about the birthday present.
I got tired of all the long faces and serious discussions.
I had a friend from out of state who was trying to call for a few weeks.
When she finally did reach me she said, "Thank God ... I thought you were dead."
We both laughed ourselves silly. Sometimes you just have to do that.

And, yes, I've had side effects from the side effects ...
Not to mention the famous doctor's line, "Well, it could be a lot of things."
Gee, thanks Bubba. (Somehow I think docs wouldn't like the nickname "Bubba".)

My WBCs and RBCs were awful, too.
One time a lab tech chased me down the hall after she saw the numbers.
She said, "Don't you think you should sit down for a while?"
I reassured her that - yes - I knew the numbers were awful.

I wish you all the best now that you have completed chemo.
There's no timetable - some things will be quick, others come slower.
But you will begin to notice changes .... and go, "Wow!"
As for cycling, do what works for you - just for you, nobody else.

Tailwinds.

4
Routes / Re: St Mary to Baab to Browning
« on: April 07, 2021, 02:39:35 pm »
I've cycled both ways -
St. Mary - Babb - Browning & St. Mary - Kiowa - Browning.
(Also, St. Mary - Star School - Browning which is better than via Kiowa.)

The Babb option is my preference by far. Much less traffic.

US 89 south of St. Mary is verry narrow with mondo RVs and distracted drivers.
But it is being reconstructed and has been a mess for the past few years.
Not to mention eastbound there is a killer climb out of St. Mary.
Westbound is a more steady climb with rollers.

The Babb option also provides access to Many Glacier - best area of the park.
(Although this year they are doing MAJOR reconstruction of Many Glacier Road.)
US 89 is easy route along Lower St. Mary Lake - dirt road on west side of lake.
IR 464 has a cimb out of Babb and the moderate rollers and expansive views.
Traffic is light to moderate, but can be pretty fast.


5
Routes / Re: Northern Tier through Montana
« on: April 04, 2021, 12:55:32 am »
Montana state parks do not turn away cyclists even if campground is full.

It depends.
It depends on whether or not the campground hosts are informed of the policy.
Hopefully, our experience in 2019 and my letter to Montana State Parks will help in this area.

My companion and I got in fairly late on a very hot day - we didn't cycle in the middle of the day.
The campground host was from Texas with an oversized Texas ego to boot.
He said that the campground was full and we needed to leave the park immediately.
When I mentioned MSP policy he became irate and threatened to call the county sheriff.
His wife was standing 3 feet behind him and was totally mortified.
A nearby family came over and said they would be glad to share their site.
The Texas guy said that was against the rules, at first. His wife talked him down.

Unfortunately, this is what sometimes happens - I've toured for 30 years.
There have been hiker/biker sites given to car campers.
The loop with hiker/biker sites closed, etc., etc.
It doesn't happen often - but it can, because hosts often do not know.

I got an apology from Montana State Parks -
But it was a degrading and humiliating experience.

6
Routes / Re: Northern Tier through Montana
« on: April 02, 2021, 08:18:04 pm »
I was at the Zoom meeting when they were discussing the reservation system.
The number of reservations are such that it will only take the extreme peaks off.
Park officials state that traffic will still be heavy - especially  in the middle of the day.

Unfortunately, it will push some traffic before 6:00a and after 5:00p.
These are, traditionally, the best cycling times because most cars are off the road.
I've biked at dawn from Rising Sun to Logan Pass with only a few cars.
5:30 June; 5:45 early July is the best time to start.
Hopefully the additional traffic will be minimal.

PS - I will contact them again about hiker/biker camping on the east side.
You know, I am a stinker when it comes to bike access.  I say something like,
"You complain about all the cars and then you don't do anything for cyclists."
I won't win the Miss Congeniality award.

7
Routes / Re: Northern Tier through Montana
« on: April 02, 2021, 04:40:53 pm »
Glacier's reservation system doesn't apply to cyclists and pedestrians entering the park.

8
Routes / Re: Northern Tier through Montana
« on: April 02, 2021, 02:50:23 pm »
It is not true that all campgrounds east of GTSR are full. Use the telephone! I just made reservations in St Mary at two campgrounds.

When I went online a week ago, the main campgrounds indicated they were booked solid.
I rarely use the phone for anything other than last-minute reservations, but it appears to be an option.
Then again, you could also get a reply like, "We only go thru our website."

9
Neither.

Mid August is an ideal time to leave from Seattle or Portland and head east-southeast.

10
Ditto on checking Tioga Pass - Hwy 120.
It always opens later than Sonora Pass - Hwy 108.
CalTrans aims to get Sonora open by Memorial Day most years.
But Hwy 108 is a brutal ride up - - and down. Much tougher than Tioga.
Plus, it involves a lengthy detour out of Yosemite and then back up.
You can take a Yarts bus out of Yosemite Valley to Sonora on Hwy 108.
It's worth the fare, if you have to use Hwy 108.

This year the snowpack is below average so Tioga may be open before June 1.
However, YNP tends to delay opening and they still have Covid restrictions.

I strongly rec Hwy 140 into Yosemite from Mariposa.
All the roads into Yosemite have moderate to heavy traffic.
Avoid weekends and try to bike early and, if possible, late.
Late is tougher because camping/lodging is tough to come by.

I have done multiple trips into Yosemite for the Bay Area:

One involves riding out to the Delta, then down empty roads in the Sierra foothills.
May is a lovely time - green turning to blond - not brown yet.
Roughly Rio Vista - Linden - Knights Ferry - Mariposa.
Plus, you get the ferry ride across the bay and the Carquinez Straits Trail.

The other invoves riding down the coast to Santa Cruz and then across the Valley.
Via San Juan Bautista - Panoche - Chowchilla - Mariposa.
Busy along the coast with shoulders. fairly quiet once inland.
White Rock Road has a bridge out - which mean zero traffic, but having to port your bike.

Pic - Sonora Pass on Memorial Day


11
Routes / Re: Northern Tier through Montana
« on: March 23, 2021, 01:18:27 pm »
How late is "late June"?

https://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/news/upload/Logan-Pass-Open-Close-Dates_Press-Kit_10-21-20-2.pdf

East of G.F. I strongly suggest riding via Belt and Hwys 331 & 228.
Very scenic and you miss a good deal of traffic until just before the air force base.

There is a service road running along the west side of I-15 from G.F. to Vaughn.
Nothing to write home to Mom about, but beats riding on the interstate.

Just as you head north from Fairfield on US 89 you have the first kick-ass views of the Rockies.
You are on a bluff overlooking the Freezeout Lakes - give yourself time to enjoy.
Then you have great mountain views all the way to Glacier on US 89.

One option for Glacier to to ride north from Browning to Babb and then into Many Glacier.
Many Glacier has the ginest hiking the in the park, hiker/biker camping, campstore, showers, cafe.
It's 14 miles mostly downhill miles from Many Glacier to Babb, then 9 miles on US 89 to St Mary.

Plus, there is major construction on the Many Glacier Road with significant delays and gravel.
Could they make it any harder on cyclists??

I don't know what the night construction schedule will be - it's not posted.
However, if you leave at 4:00a - bare twilight  - with flashers you should get to Babb by dawn.
Still riding with flashers on US 89, you would get to St. Mary by 6:00a.
That would allow you to ride Going to the Sun up to Logan Pass before it gets too busy.
Then spend the day hiking on Highline Traill. (Unless you have acrophobia)

Pic - Lake Josephine at Many Glacier






12
Routes / Re: Northern Tier through Montana
« on: March 22, 2021, 06:35:59 pm »
Hey Don -

I used to teach at a small college in eastern Montana.
Been living in Wyoming or Montana since 1990.

You don't say much about your experience or where you're from.
It matters - - because the distances in eastern Montana are immense.
Especially on a bicycle, especially if you are from Boston or Atlanta.

Hwy 200 is much more scenic than US 2 with much less traffic.
Really, it will feel practically empty at times.
Which means there are far fewer services.
Carry lots of water - ride early to avoid the heat of the day.
Also, prevailing winds tend to be westerly - be forewarned.
An early start also helps you get done before strong afternoon winds.

Fort Benton is lovely, historic, with a great riverfront.
Some goodly hills on Hwys 81 & 82.
Then you have to head north to Chester on US 2 to do all pavement.

Unless you really want to go thru Great Falls, I suggest Fort Benton.
Great Falls has nice bike trails along the river, but is pretty busy.
And the highways leading into town are quite busy.
(There are a couple of good bike shops, though.)

However, US 89 via Choteau has amazing Front Range views.
Plus, Choteau has great camping in town at their park.

Warning!
I am talking with the Glacier N.P admin about eastside camping for cyclists.
The park has closed the eastside campgrounds on Gin to the Sun Road.
Nearby private campgrounds ($50+) are booked all summer.
So, it is practically impossible to do Going to the Sun by bicycle.
But you have to do it - - regardless.

I think I may be able to persuade them to make some cyclist accomodations.

<<<>>>

PS - Now that the Bakken play in North Dakota has peteredout,
I would suggest Hwy 200 in western North Dakota.
Fort Mandan is nice, but the Knife River Villages are truly amazing.
Then you can hit Teddy Roosevelt N.P. (North Unit)
And exit by the back gate via Hwy 68 to Sidney, Montana.



13
General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica Trail starting May 15
« on: March 21, 2021, 05:16:57 pm »
One of the good things about the TransAm and the date & direction you are taking is that you will run into other groups and solo riders. I've been touring for 30+ years - big tours in North America - and I almost always ride a few days/weeks with others. And that's not even on the TransAm. Sometimes the connection is great - sometimes only so-so. But I suspect that you can ride with others for a good portion of the your western leg if you want to.

P.S. - Plus, riding with others tends to save $$$ - camping fees, motels whenever, even groceries.

14
Routes / Re: How are you getting to Anacortes?
« on: March 10, 2021, 09:18:33 am »
Was it Bob Dylan or Joan Baez who sang,
"How Are You Getting to Anacortes"?

15
Routes / Re: How are you getting to Anacortes?
« on: March 03, 2021, 03:31:41 pm »
Don't fly to Bellingham.
Fly into Sea-Tac - then take the shuttle.
The savings in the non-stop flight to Seattle will more than cover the shuttle fare.
The shuttle leaves from the airport loading bay
and is either direct of makes a single connection all the way to Anacortes.

https://airporter.com/shuttle/schedules/anacortes-san-juan-islands/

You can do light/rail bus with multiple connections.
But it will take half a day.

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