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Messages - Norsman

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General Discussion / Re: Vancouver to San Francisco in October 2017
« on: August 25, 2017, 11:41:12 am »
October is still a good month to do this ride.  The earlier in the month you do it the better your chances of avoiding too much rain.  The advantage of doing it in October is the tourist traffic will be way down so cycling will be safer.

Routes / Re: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« on: March 01, 2017, 04:38:22 am »
It is a few years since I stayed at this park but I do remember one quite steep hill between the entrance to the campground and the the actual camping sites by Cranberry Lake.  I don't think it was 20+% but it was steep.  It can be avoided by using a path alongside the lake.  Not a great path but certainly better than the hill.

Another great source is the Crazyguyonabike journals.  There will be many covering this area.  Riding to Bellingham you will want to check out both the TransAm and Northern Tier routes from Adventure Cycling Association. I am also in my 60's and have ridden parts of both of these routes. They are not easy but the views are fabulous.

Routes / Re: Century day along the TransAm route
« on: March 24, 2016, 01:48:14 am »
I agree that your best chance is probably Western Kansas and/or Eastern Colorado. I did a fairly easy 89 mile ride to Pueblo in Colorado last June that was helped along by a nice wind. [Could have done without the heat though.] That ride started in Haswell but I could just as easily have started in Eads or even further back and still be able to reach Pueblo and go well over the century mark.

Eastern Kansas was more hilly than I had expected.  But even there, with a good tailwind, a century should be achievable.

Routes / Re: I-90 Lookout Pass - Idaho/Montana border 2016
« on: March 07, 2016, 05:09:33 pm »
This alternate route looks great.  I wish I had known about it last summer when I did a cross US trip. I thought that I would have to use I-90 to hook up with the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes bike path. I didn't know about the construction at the pass so had to take the shuttle. I see that this route intersects with the bike path at just the place where it gets most interesting.

General Discussion / Re: camping on city parks
« on: February 15, 2016, 08:52:37 pm »
I don't think you would get in much trouble if you did not contact the local police but I still think it is a good idea. It tells them there is someone in the park and that might mean they will check the area more often. Plus the police might have other pertinent information for you. i.e. problem raccoons or bears, where to get a shower, other camping options etc. I found it was often helpful to check in on my ride last year.

General Discussion / Re: training for trans am westward
« on: February 14, 2016, 05:14:45 am »
The only thing I would add is to not try to do too much in your first couple of days. On all my long rides I have found the first week to be the toughest to get through. It takes me a while to get into a riding rhythm. Each week it seems to get easier to do decent distances.

You probably do not want to be going through Missoula any later than mid to late September. That is likely to allow you to get through the last of the western mountains without excessive danger of snow. The main problem with that timeline is the time of year you would be traveling through the parts to the EAST of Missoula. It would mean riding through Missouri, Kansas and eastern Colorado in the middle of summer. Not my idea of fun.

Routes / Re: Transamerica: West to East, are the passes open in May?
« on: January 27, 2016, 06:52:42 pm »
A good indicator of the approximate best times to start a TransAm ride is the touring calendar of the Adventure Cycling Association; the most experienced bike touring company doing the route. For 2016 their earliest Westward tour begins in Virginia on May 2.  The earliest Eastward tour begins in Oregon on May 21. Those times seem quite sensible to me.

Routes / Re: Two Canadians biking across Canada & the United States
« on: March 16, 2015, 08:09:10 pm »
I don't think it matters that much which direction you ride across Canada.  I rode from west to east and had a fairly equal number of days with tailwinds and headwinds.  However if your plan includes a ride down the West Coast of the USA I strongly recommend that you ride from north to south. When I rode that route,in that direction, I only had 2 days of headwinds in more than 40 days of riding.  As an added bonus you would be riding on the ocean side of the roads and be that much closer to the tremendous views on this route.

Routes / Re: Great Parks North - Canadian Camping
« on: February 09, 2015, 04:16:34 am »
I did a loop that included the Icefield's Parkway in the middle of summer and only ran into camping issues at Lake Louise.  When told that the campground was full I asked if I could check if other cyclists wished to share a site and was given the OK.  The ranger even suggested where I was likely to find other cyclists. Within 10 minutes I was setting up my tent.

If I was to choose between your two dates I would take the earlier one.  Just less likely to snow. Just be aware that the Labour Day weekend (Sept. 4 to 7) tends to be very busy.  Thursday night, all day Friday and all day Monday can be horrifically busy on the roads; at least in Canada.  Probably another reason to take the earlier date.

Routes / Re: Crossing into Canada?
« on: December 28, 2014, 11:00:52 pm »
I strongly agree with the recommendation to go to Velorution in SSM.  As to the route east, I would stay off the Trans Canada Highway (TCH) as much as possible. Check with the Velorution people to figure out if their route works for you.  At the very least take a non-TCH route out of SSM.  If you are forced to go on the TCH get off at Massey and use  Lee Valley Road to Espanola. When I did a cross Canada ride I went down to Manitoulin Island and the Bruce Peninsula before I headed east.  That was much nicer than my TCH ride around Lake Superior.  I used the Waterfront Trail for much of my ride thru southern Ontario.  But sections of it were a bit of a pain, bumpy and on the non-water side of the road.  When that happened I used the quiet highways along the shore to get me to Quebec.  Hwys 2 and 33 if I remember correctly.

The Route Verte routes in Quebec are very good. I used the excellent Petit Temis bike path to get me from Riviere-du-Loup to New Brunswick.  If you want to go that far east it connects very nicely with upstate Maine. Otherwise go on their website and use the Maps section.  Use the From and To bike symbols in the top left corner to plan a good bike route.

Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Route - Florida
« on: November 21, 2014, 04:22:29 pm »
I had the same thing happen to me at one of their listed sites in Quebec a few years ago. Now I always check by website, email or phone. I also always contact allstays if I find a mistake. They have fixed all I have sent to them.

Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Route - Florida
« on: October 13, 2014, 04:43:41 am »
I am planning to cycle this same route next spring.  I got a lot of my information from this site:  (

You can purchase their Pro version but it is very expensive.  I used the free version and was able to create a fairly long list of campgrounds along the Atlantic Coast. Simply go to their site, click on Florida under Campgrounds, then the Florida Campgrounds Map near the top left and on the next page whatever Map Filters fit (I used Tents Allowed) 

It is quite useful and often includes a Website link to the campgrounds. One caution. Double check their map locations.  I found several mistakes.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: UGRR to TransAm
« on: July 28, 2014, 08:00:15 pm »
Thanks for the update.  I have been following your blog, you seem to be doing really well.  I noticed that you used Hwy 60 for a good portion of your ride through Missouri.  I will be doing the same but maybe going north from Dexter through Lake Wappapello State Park before joining Hwy 60 southeast of Van Buren.  After that I will check it on a daily basis depending on traffic and wind.  I may head up to the TransAm route a little earlier than you did just to get to a less busy road.

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