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Messages - yumadons

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Routes / Re: ACA North Star 2014
« on: October 19, 2013, 11:59:37 am »
Any idea why they now put you on a train from Denali to Anchorage? Hope not due the '89 group's mutiny.  On both my ACA trips, the leader took up with a participant  >> extra drama    :D   

Routes / Re: ACA North Star 2014
« on: October 18, 2013, 10:59:39 pm »
 8)  Wow, they brought the North Star back!! Went in 1989 - best trip ever, even with all the gravel & rain. Hurry, hurry, it says one trip is full with waiting list and second trip is "almost full."   

Routes / Re: Going To The Sun Road...after 4 PM
« on: June 24, 2013, 11:02:47 am »
Also if you didn't know, you can always put your bike on the free park shuttle bus going up or down either side.

Don, last year my Don & I were riding in San Diego & came across the Blind Stokers doing a 3-day ride. They were so nice to us on our plain two bikes, I'd call or email someone there & pick their brain:

General Discussion / Re: Advice on Heading South in Winter
« on: November 20, 2012, 12:51:49 pm »
I thought of hitching a ride with a snowbird too when I read this. Just noticed this in the "classified: companions" section of CGOAB. They're not leaving Minnesota til January but maybe they know somebody:

General Discussion / Re: The TransAmerican for a beginner?
« on: October 11, 2012, 05:32:32 pm »
Hi Cat. We started the TransAm Aug 1 from Florence, OR & motelled it all the way to Kansas (where my husband fell and broke his collarbone and sagged us in an RV the rest of the way).

So it can be done, but you have to plan VERY carefully unless you're capable of 100+ mile days. You can use my journal as a template, our days averaged 43 miles and the longest one was 80 miles in Kansas. (We combined two 40 mile days because we wanted to get ahead of a storm and keep motel reservations that we already had). Reserving motels in key spots is your biggest challenge, start by figuring out what date you'll be in Grant Village, Yellowstone, and get those reservations online first.
Reserve a few days, then you can cancel 48 hours in adance with no penalty once you've narrowed it
down to the one night you need. Average motel cost was $85 for the first half into Pueblo, CO. I
haven't done the figures past there yet, but motels got cheaper in the midwest.

Other spots on my route that are key for reservations are:
McKenzie Bridge, OR (Caddisfly Resort was booked in Feb, there are other cabins but $$$)
Jeffrey City, WY (Byron has just the one trailer that he *rents* out for donations)

Consider splitting the day from White Bird to Lowell into two days: White Bird to Grangeville, Grangeville to Lowell. The *hill* out of White Bird is a bit€# and even a very strong cyclist we rode with (wisely) stopped in Grangeville.

A lot of western towns have only one lodging but everybody is cool about reservations when you tell them you're bicycling. They're not gonna charge you if something happens and you don't make it as long as you call. My advice would be to make reservations for the western half months in advance like I did. I used the ACA maps, which show where the mountains are, to decide where to stay. A 30 mile day up a mountain pass is more strenuous than 60 miles on the flats, so pay attention to that! I was very careful not to end a long day with a mountain pass either. Better to start the following day with that mountain pass.

Past Pueblo, lodging isn't hard to get. Do call ahead and reserve a day or two in advance so you don't get skunked, but it doesn't have to be months / weeks in advance like some of the western towns.

The western half of the TransAm is safe for a woman. People are used to seeing cyclists. There will be plenty of other cyclists out there and you may be able to cut expenses by sharing motel rooms. There aren't many hostels along the way, you may hit one every 10 days or so. Sometimes you need sleeping bags for hostels so you'd have to decide if you want to carry one just to use a few times.

The standard American motel room is two beds and it's often the same cost for a room for one vs. a room for two people. The first half, I was with my husband, so one bed. Oftentimes, however, the motels gave us a room with two beds because there was more room for the bikes and the cost was the same. The second half, we added my sister, so three people and always rooms with two beds. Some rooms were ~ $10 more for the three of us, but many were the same cost as with two people.

All the prices and contact info for the lodgings is in my journal:

Routes / Re: Crossing Missouri - Use Katy Trial?
« on: September 16, 2012, 06:29:29 am »
Well thanks for that timely heads up, Some Guy. We're riding cross country, headed to Clinton today, riding Clinton to Sedalia Monday. Itinerary: Clinton: M Star, Sedalia : Hotel Bothwell, Boonville: Isle of Capri, Jefferson City: Baymont. Advice / suggestions welcome and one question:

We're getting off at the 364 bridge. It looks like the 364 bridge is between Weldon Spring & St. Charles, around Harvester. Can we actually exit the KATY at the 364 bridge or do we have to get off at Weldon Spring & find our way to it?

Thanks & really looking forward to this section of our trip!

Routes / Re: Linking TransAm (W>E) to Katy Trail back to TransAm
« on: August 30, 2012, 07:48:34 pm »
Apparently there's a Walmart distribution center in Harrisonville, hence the heavy truck traffic. Best to route around it.

Routes / Re: Linking TransAm (W>E) to Katy Trail back to TransAm
« on: August 27, 2012, 12:09:40 am »
<< Leave TransAm @ Rush Center (actually we stay in LaCrosse, KS overnite) > Great Bend > Lyons > McPherson > Hillsboro > Strong City > Lebo > Garnett > La Cygne > Butler, MO > Clinton, MO >>

DH just reconoitered this route in the RV and it's a go. He said many of the roads are shoulderless & some have rumblestrips but they're low traffic.

The one issue is there's a bridge out on H going from Butler to Clinton. Therefore:
Leave Butler on H,
Then BB 3 miles south to 52,
7-8 miles on 52 to Appleton,
Then north on KK for 5 miles back to H,
Then 7-8 miles on K to 18,
Then 16 miles on 18 into Clinton

Routes / Re: Linking TransAm (W>E) to Katy Trail back to TransAm
« on: August 23, 2012, 05:44:48 pm »
I'd be interested too John.

We're doing the same thing in a few weeks and our tentative plan is:

Leave TransAm @ Rush Center (actually we stay in LaCrosse, KS overnite) > Great Bend > Lyons > McPherson > Hillsboro > Strong City > Lebo > Garnett > La Cygne > Butler, MO > Clinton, MO

We're moteling it the whole way at a slow pace, I've called ahead to make sure there's lodging in all these towns. My husband will be driving the route in the next few days so I'll post back here if he finds any glitches. We're not getting back on the TA - going south on the Mississippi River Trail in St. Louis, heading to South Carolina.

Maybe we'll see ya out there - we're leaving Pueblo Sept 2.

Routes / Re: Arizona 288 --Globe-Young Hwy?
« on: July 12, 2012, 01:38:04 pm »
288 is a windy, hilly, dirt road. I've only driven it once years ago and don't think there's much on there. I don't remember anything about the town of Young. 

At 13mph, you'll be able to keep up with a group. As Indy said, the limiting factor will be finding a group who motels it the whole way without doing wildly long days, most do at least some camping.

If you end up organizing your own group, I have 2 resources for you. Stephanie Kirz wrote "Bicycling The TransAm," (available @ Amazon), where she rode E2W with her husband, moteling it with no extreme distances tho they brought camping gear. I emailed her to ask if they ever had to use it and got no reply.

Or for W2E, my husband and I rode the western half of the TransAm to Pueblo, CO, last year - 43 miles per day average, no camping gear, all motels. We're doing the rest this year, but we're not staying on the TransAm. Starting in Pueblo, cutting over to the Katy, then down the Mississippi River Trail, then Chief Ladiga / Silver Comet to end at Hilton Head, SC. If you wanted to motel the eastern half of the TransAm, I don't think you'd have any trouble, towns are closer together in the east than
 the west. We're just wimps who don't want to do the Ozarks or Appalachians  8-)

Routes / Re: Starting the Southern Tier in June
« on: June 15, 2012, 02:08:43 pm »
Summertime in AZ, I start riding at 5 am to be done by noon or so. You'll do fine as long as you plan on moteling it cuz you're not gonna want to be in a tent in the heat of the day. Call ahead to make sure places are open - as someone else said, tourist businesses in AZ are seasonal (our population doubles when the snowbirds are here in the winter) and many close from ~ April to November.

We ride Ogilby road a lot (it's white, not asphalt) - it's quiet once the snowbirds are gone, way better than 78 with its truck traffic and no shoulder. No services / water anywhere on Ogilby. There's so little shade in the area that it's worth telling you that at the junction of 78 and Ogilby, if you go down Ogilby ~ 1/4 mile, on the right there's a park sign atop a sittable brick mini-wall that throws some shade and makes a good "picnic area."

General Discussion / Re: trike riding the transam and rumble strips
« on: May 20, 2012, 01:40:03 pm »
Shootrrdave, we met what I think might be a tandem quad on the TransAm last summer:

 He said they weren't allowed in Yellowstone and had to go around it. His website is

General Discussion / Re: Rain pants? Yay or Nay
« on: March 17, 2012, 03:37:15 pm »
You need an extra layer over your tights to descend the (cold) mountain passes anyway, so why not make that layer rainpants? Just get some that look normal enough to wear out and about if you need to. Something like REI Ultralight Rain Pants. These aren't shiny and don't sound or feel like garbage bags rubbing together while walking. And they have front pockets ;)


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