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Messages - BikeliciousBabe

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Gear Talk / Re: Off the Bike Shoes
« on: April 14, 2021, 02:16:43 pm »

5.4 ounces for size 9. Also good for scuzzy shower use.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier through Montana
« on: April 14, 2021, 02:03:30 pm »
Sounds like a grand adventure!
Yes, we followed the ACA route through ND, with a slight detour on the eastern border. We wanted to go through the Sheyenne National Grasslands, and jigged South to do that, and navigated our way through small towns of Colfax and Abercrombie and back to the route in MN at Fergus Falls.

ND was one of our favorite states for the incredibly kind/polite drivers, the tiny towns with incredibly kind/polite people, and the pristine prairie potholes with more waterfowl than you can imagine.   Lots of wind (In ND, the question isn't "will there be wind today" but "which way is the wind howling from today?).  There was just something about it that was truly wonderful.  I read a lot of stories about how people skip over ND, or think it is the worst state ever.   For us, it was truly special. Now, truthfully, part of that had to do with how difficult our journey across MT was!

If you want to read about our trip, from west to east, just to see the terrain and what it was like, this is our travel journal:

I did the entire NT back in '99. In '06 or '07 I went back for CANDISC, which was a supported, one-week loop tour from/to Garrison. Really liked riding in the state for the reasons you mention. And there sure was wind. One memorable day in '99 we had a strong tail wind heading towards Page except when we had to turn right a couple of time. When that happened, we had to lean sideways to stay upright.

During CANDISC we left the lunch stop town one day and had 18 gently rolling miles until the next rest stop. During that stretch there was a woman with her daughter parked by the side of the road with water and Gatorade for riders. I and my friend pulled up and asked how far until the next stop. She told us 9 miles. I couldn't believe we had only come 9 miles since lunch. "I feel like we've been riding for an hour." I said. My firend looked at her watch and said "We have been riding for an hour." Remember that we were riding road bikes wth no gear. Going down one gentle descent I was in a tuck but only able to hit 12 mph coasting due to a massive headwind.

General Discussion / Re: Empire State Trail
« on: April 06, 2021, 12:39:07 pm »
Hope people realize that the part between Albany and the Canadian Border is overwhelmingly on-road.

(Camping is shown on the map.)

Unlike the GAP, which is a contiguous "animal," the Empire Trail is made up of various, mostly pre-existing trails (There was recently at least one segment extension in the New Paltz area.) and roads. As such, I do not belivee there is one manager.

As for "infrastructure" development, the Erie Canal path has been around for a long time. (I rode part of it while and later passed through Ticonderoga while crossing the country in '99.) Cycling in the Champlain Valley is also nothing new. The information about what is available in terms of services is not aggregated into one source because, as noted, there is not one organization managing this "trail."

General Discussion / Re: T A maps
« on: March 29, 2021, 02:24:42 pm »
ACA maps are plenty enough.

That's all he's asking about. The maps are updated on occasion. He's asking what the lates TranAm version is.

OP: Definitely print out the map addenda and consult them. One year I was following an older Trans Am map version and ended up taking a busy road previously because I had not printed the addendum for that map and thus didn't know that a bike trail had been extended.

General Discussion / Re: Lots of touring 2021 or not? Whadda ya think?
« on: March 12, 2021, 02:31:06 pm »
If and when we all head out, we need to report back here, to the Adventure Cycling staff, CGOAB, Bike Forums, etc. about any supply points that didn't survive COVID.

One can pack food and water required - if they know ahead of time they need to.

Great idea. ACA has a feature somewhere on its site that allows you to report things like store, campground and restaurant closures as well as the opening of new services. Or at least it used to. If it's gone, I'll bet a direct email would work.

General Discussion / Re: Lots of touring 2021 or not? Whadda ya think?
« on: March 10, 2021, 02:20:02 pm »
That’s a good point. I’m assuming that’s coming from RV sales/campers but it does give me hope that will see lots of people on bicycles as well. Thanks, SY
The sources interveiwed for the news story I saw last week were reservation services.

Routes / Re: How are you getting to Anacortes?
« on: March 10, 2021, 07:43:27 am »
We did Kitsap SP, Fort Worden, Bay View, that Steelhead county park in Rockport and then a short day to Colonial Creek CG before the climb over the Cascades. Colonial Creek was really nice. Saw an osprey snag a fish from the lake. The short mileage day affords some rest, but there are some short hills after Newhalem. Repeated that itinerary the following year. The right side of the campground seems to have less wind.

Routes / Re: How are you getting to Anacortes?
« on: March 08, 2021, 12:40:21 pm »
We are planning to do the Northern Tier this summer starting in Anacortes, WA.

BTW...Send me a PM if you are interested in looking at what I think, based on doing it twice in the last few years, is a great diversion from the route starting at the junction of MT 56 and U.S. 2, just east of Troy, MT. Depending on how you approach it, it adds a day or two. There is also a very nice place for a no-move day that offers some forest riding. Joining back up with the official route near Rexford, MT is easy directions-wise and quite nice.

General Discussion / Re: Lots of touring 2021 or not? Whadda ya think?
« on: March 08, 2021, 12:32:24 pm »
If you are intending on doing some camping, note that experts in the industry expect things to be very crowded this summer.

Routes / Re: How are you getting to Anacortes?
« on: March 04, 2021, 11:17:48 am »
Or you could fly to SEA-TAC and start from Seattle. Take one of the ferries (think it's Bainbridge Island) to pick up the Pacific Coast Route to where it insersects with the Northern Tier in the Mt. Vernon area. Gives you an extra couple of days to find your legs before hitting the North Cascades. And Fort Worden S.P. in Port Townsend is really nice. It is the former military base that was used in the filing of "An Officer and a Gentleman."

Or you could take the train from Minneapolis directly to Seattle.  No need to box the bike for the Empire Builder.

General Discussion / Re: Tales of Calamity and Woe
« on: March 01, 2021, 03:27:15 pm »
Made me laugh to see this post go from dates 2012 to 2021.  ;-)
It's called a Zombie Thread.

General Discussion / Re: Cooking on a van supported tour
« on: February 26, 2021, 02:36:35 pm »

One additional thing I will point out is a difference between van supported and self-contained as far as ACA goes.  For self-contained, you generally use small backpacking camp stoves (since you are carrying all group gear on bikes), which can work well but sometimes pose a few constraints/challenges.  For van tours, you are generally using more of a "car camping" style set up w/ larger coleman style camp stoves that are transported in the van trailer.  So you have a little bigger/more user friendly setup for cooking in the van tour context.

Interesting. We had 3 Coleman Peak stoves, which are small, self contained units. Getting water boiling for 4 lbs. of pasta was challenging in windy conditions and/or when the ground was not level. (No cooking on picnic tables allowed.) In fact, the first time I cooked the large pot fell over. I grabbed one of the stoves to reposition it, touched a hot part due to my inexperience and got a nasty, second degree burn with large blister on my left index finger. Try packing up a tent with something like that. Something like a two-burner Coleman stove would definitely be more user friendly.

IIRC, things were scheduled this way. The pair scheduled to cook dinner the following evening washed group cooking gear the previous night (Each person always washed their own personal bowls, plates, etc.), put out breakfast and lunch stuff for people the next morning, cleaned group gear used before leaving camp, were in charge of shopping the next afternoon (although we usually all pitched in to carry groceries) and then cooked dinner that evening.  The piar scheduled to cook dinner the following night was then on clean up duty. It was nice to not have to clean up group gear after having done so much during the day.

The only other ACA tour I have done was fully supported (Cycle Vermont) and thus catered.

General Discussion / Re: Cooking on a van supported tour
« on: February 26, 2021, 11:29:03 am »
Heh. Seems our responses crossed in the mail.

Great point about ease of cleanup. It cannot overemphasized. Another treat were the few nights we stayed inside at places a cooked in real kitchens. Much easier to do the dishes.

General Discussion / Re: Cooking on a van supported tour
« on: February 26, 2021, 11:21:33 am »
My first tour was ACA's unsupported Northern Tier tour in '99. 13 of us for 93 days. Except for the relatively few times we at out, two people would take turns cooking each night. I had never even seen a camp stove before the trip started. I asked to be in the last pair so I could observe what others did. Today, I am a great camp cook and actually enjoy the challenge of making dinners that involve more than opening cans and/or boiling water.

If you ride a lot each day, a pot of pasta ain't so bad, especially when grocery picking are slim. Get creative with what is available. Top it off with some bagged greens and dressing. Much more prevalent now than BITD. A couple of special "treats" I remember were quesadillas and fish filets. Thing is, the more complicated a meal the more time it's usually going to take to prepare. One day we planned our shopping poorly and ended up having omelets for dinner. There were basically only two frying pans appropriate for omelets so it took a while to feed everyone. Speaking of time to cook, post-ride snacks are usually welcome to tide people over. We went through a lot of bags of chips and jars of salsa. One woman liked to get a block of cream cheese, a jar of red salsa and a box of Trisquits. She'd put the block of cream cheese in the center of a pot lid that doubled as a pan and pout the salsa around it. Surprisingly good, with carbs, salt and fat.  Hummus has grown in popularity since then, so that is another snack possibility.

Worst meal was probably in Rexford, WA.  It was too long and hard of a day to carry groceries all the way from the town we left that morning, so we relied on what was available at the campground store. We had pasts with jarred sauce, canned peas and canned corn. At the hostel at Lake Itasca, which wasn't yet open for the evening when we arrived, we were forced to make do with brats and an industrial sized can of baked beans from a nearby store, which pretty much only had picnic-type stuff for people going to the park. The vegetarians, of course, were stuck with just the beans. On top of that, we had to cook/heat everything up on the hostel's outdoor grill under a tarp to keep us dry from the rain.

Keep in mind that if there are vegetarians in the group (We had 3 in our group.) the "base" meal will have to be vegetarian, but that does not mean you cannot have a side of meat that can be added. For example, I remember pasta with ground beef and veggies. The meat was cooked in a separate pan and had to be added to your own bowl containing the pasta with veggies.

General Discussion / Re: NEWBIE Cooking question . . .
« on: February 25, 2021, 11:08:46 am »
I think I cooked under my tent vestibule once. Not something I am inclined to do. Certrainly never inside the tent body.

Some alternatives are putting the stove underneath a picnic table to help keep it dry. If there is a bathhouse or something similar with an outdoor vestibule or overhang and a paved surface you can try there if it's not busy/you're not blocking access. In 2016 I cooked in the vestibule of a vault toilet at a Forest Service campground because it was raining pretty hard and I was famished after an 82 mile day. Fortunately, there was almost no one else there. If you are familiar with the typical FS vault toilet you know what I mean. Something like this:

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