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Messages - jwrushman

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Routes / Re: The Thompson River Backcountry Drive - NT Alternative
« on: October 18, 2021, 03:58:15 pm »
I cannot comment on the route you're considering.  In my opinion, the entire Northern Tier from Glacier to Newhalem was amazing!  I had never been to that part of Washington State (and Montana and Idaho) and was awed by the beauty of the region.   Have you been to this area before?

Routes / Re: NT Alternative between Cut Bank and St Mary in MT
« on: October 18, 2021, 03:50:32 pm »
"...But Many Glacier is so much better - and right there where IR 464 comes out at Babb..."

Major bummer!   If I had realized how close I was to Many Glaciers, I would Definitely have made the ride up there!  I was there probably 30 years ago.  It was spectacular!  And I'm sure it still is!

CircleSpinner, if you can arrange your ride to manage a stop in Many Glaciers, go for it!

I rode to St. Mary and on to Rising Sun on July 2.  The traffic was moderately heavy outside to St Mary and inside of the park and heavier inside - it was what I expected for July 4th holiday week.  But I lucked out and was able to get a cabin (due to a last-minute cancellation).

Routes / Re: NT Alternative between Cut Bank and St Mary in MT
« on: October 16, 2021, 09:48:54 pm »
Two years ago, I took Rte 2 from Cut Bank to Browning and East Glacier.  From there, I took Rte 49 to Kiowa and Rte 89 to St. Mary.

From Browning toward East Glacier the traffic volume was a little higher, but there was a good shoulder and a passing lane for the long uphills.

Route 49 was narrow,  hilly, and winding with no shoulder, but the scenery was lovely. If I recall correctly, the road was closed to large vehicles, and I suspect the locals took another route.

I like bungees!  They're quick and easy to attach.  I can stuff my rain jacket under the cord when not needed.  I concede that they may cause an injury if it malfunctions (as does everything else).  Best of all, they're free!  I kept on picking them up on the side of the road!

General Discussion / Re: The best music for touring
« on: October 01, 2021, 07:42:40 pm »
On training rides at home, I often listen to music, but not when I'm out of my home turf.  I feel that the music disconnects me from the cycling experience and the environment. 

However, on the hours long rides up the Washington passes on the Northern Tier, I did listen to music, mostly to distract me from my huffing and puffing.  The music that worked best for me was a downloaded double album of Benny Goodman's greatest hits.  Being a double album, it didn't repeat too often.  Most of the tunes were up-beat and kept me moving.  And I don't think it would offend anybody, like Led Zeppelin might.

General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier East to West June - August 2022
« on: September 26, 2021, 08:04:30 pm »
If you're still looking for riders in April, May, please re-post this.  I did the NT in 2019 but may be interested in joining you for a week. 

Are you going to do the NT as-is, or start in Rhode Island?  Cutting across Ontario and Michigan, or going south through Ohio and Michigan?  Camping?

General Discussion / Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« on: August 11, 2021, 05:35:18 pm »
Ear plugs - weighs next to nothing and will help you to ignore the bear, road noise, raccoon, noisy campers, mountain lion, chipmunk, outside your tent.  (I have a vivid imagination).  (And am a light sleeper).

A watermelon-and-a-half too heavy :(

General Discussion / Re: Aftermath of a dog bite
« on: August 01, 2021, 03:16:42 pm »
Drinkable water is fine.  Initially, quantity is important.  You're not trying to sterilize the site, you're trying to flush away what ever you can.  Soap is good too.  Depending on the type of wound, cleaning can be a challenge.  Puncture wounds are more problematic.  Clean off as much as you can. 

Three things need to be addressed:
   1) Your tetanus status.  For clean wounds, 10 years is the limit.  For dirty wounds, five years.  Bite wounds are dirty.  If you don't know, and don't have an easy way to find out you status, just get the shot.

   2) Rabies status - Gotta get this info.  If you're bitten by a stray or a dog that runs away and you're unlikely to be able to find the owner, your stuck and you're going to need rabies prophylaxis (rabies immune globulin (weight based) and the rabies vaccine, series of four shots on Days 0, 3, 7 and 14).  So you're going to need to be near towns large enough to have a clinic that carries rabies vaccine.  This is the most important reason for contacting the owner, 911 or animal control.   If untreated, rabies is fatal.  Determining the status is not emergent, but urgent.   My understanding is that some foreign countries do not routinely stock rabies immune globulin.   If going to a remote place, you may wish to discuss with your PMD (or a Travel Medicine specialist), the advisability of pre-exposure prophylaxis.

   3) Risk of infection - Dog bites may not be as bad as human bites and cat bites, but all bites are risky.  Most important is to clean the site impeccably.   If the site does become infected, the oral antibiotics needed are ones that are typically readily available.  Augmentin is the standard unless you have a penicillin allergy.

General Discussion / Re: Laundry
« on: August 01, 2021, 02:49:13 pm »
"The Scrubba - patented washboard-in-a-bag design"

They've gotta be kidding!  $55 for that?!

(George, I hope it's not your products.  If so, my apologies)

I may not say this artfully, so please excuse me if it seem offensive.

Preparing for a long distance bike ride is a challenge for anyone.  And if you're new to bike touring, that's more challenging.  And if your new to longer distances (you say you're doing 20 miles a day now), that's more challenging.  And if you're not from the States, that too brings new challenges.  As a white, middle-age, male, Merican, I can "wing it" and (hopefully) not get into too much trouble.   Besides the bike touring, getting comfortable to how "things are done in the States" may prove to be as much an obstacle. 

Have you spent much time in the States?  Might you consider an organized tour? 

I rode solo doing a modified Northern Tier.  I had to drop out in 2018 due to diverticulitis.  Riding solo gave me the flexibility to due what I wanted and allowed me to drop out without impacting anyone else.  But for you, a group may be very beneficial.  You do have the benefit of youth.  Your body is less likely to crap out compared to us older folk.

Good luck on your adventure.  I look forward to reading your journals. 

Last advice - Try to get out on some overnight excursions (or two nights) from home.  I found it the best way to find out what equipment I could leave at home.

General Discussion / Re: In need of a few hints for NT route and food
« on: June 16, 2021, 09:01:20 pm »
"...many of the more populated towns (e.g., Chester, Harlem, Malta, Glasgow) have decent grocery stores.."

Unfortunately for those towns, the NT has been rerouted to roads further south.  But they do have decent grocery stores.  I especially enjoyed staying at pianist Philip Aaberg's home in Chester. 

General Discussion / Re: In need of a few hints for NT route and food
« on: June 15, 2021, 08:41:06 am »
I stayed with a very nice WarmShowers host in Glendive - another option to consider.

General Discussion / Re: Breathing issue
« on: June 01, 2021, 06:12:35 pm »
I agree with zzzz.  It sounds like exercised induced bronchospasms.  Breathing tends to be okay until when you stop and the lungs "tighten up".  Things that go against EIB is that it tends to be worse in cooler/colder and dryer weather - not like Ohio in this time of the year.  Did you ever has asthma as a child?  I thinks it is more common in asthmatics.  How well does your PMD know you?  He/she may prescribe in inhaler without the usual spirometry/peak flow testing.

General Discussion / Advice on purchasing a fat bike
« on: April 21, 2021, 07:09:55 pm »
ACA's Bike Bits had a paragraph about a group in Browning Montana looking for fat bikes.  I'd like to help, but know nothing about fat bikes.  I see that Amazon has several by Mongoose for less than $500.  For example "Mongoose Dolomite Mens Fat Tire Mountain Bike, 26-Inch Wheels, 4-Inch Wide Knobby Tires, 7-Speed, Steel Frame, Front and Rear Brakes, Multiple Colors" and "Mongoose Aztec Mens and Womens Fat Tire Bike, 18-Inch Steel Frame, 26-Inch Wheels, 4-Inch knobby tires".   Would these just become a pain-in-the-a** or are they a reasonably priced bike?  Would they be difficult to service?   Nice if Amazon provides free shipping and they're pretty good with returns.  Or are there other options to consider?  I was thinking about getting something in Browning, but they don't have a bike shop. 

General Discussion / Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« on: March 09, 2021, 06:41:23 am »
Please, no spoilers...  I'm waiting for the book!

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