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Messages - jamawani

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General Discussion / Re: Easy Montana Touring Route & Checklist
« on: June 30, 2020, 07:16:49 pm »
Hi Stephen -

Glad to hear you are back on the bicycle.
Yes, there are plenty of places to tour in southwest Montana,
but this year may not be the best year to start back.
Especially around Yellowstone & Glacier.
And maybe not, if you're 70+.

You can make a wonderful circle around the Pioneer Mountains starting in Dillon.
Half of the route is part of the ACA TransAm route - so you'd see other cyclists.
Not a lot of big climbs, paved roads, low traffic, frequent services.
But you would be at high elevation throughout - in case you are coming from the coast.

I suggest heading counter-clockwise for a more gradual start:
Dillon to Divide Bridge - Old Highway 91 - 41 miles
Divide Bridge to Wisdom - Hwy 43 - 51 miles
Wisdom to Bannack - Hwy 278 & Bannack Rd - 48 miles
Bannack to Dillon - Bannack Rd, Hwy 278, Old Hwy 91 - 25 miles

Mileage of 45-50 per day. Leave your vehicle in Dillon.

General Discussion / Re: Trans Am Bike.
« on: June 30, 2020, 01:39:41 pm »
Eastern Montana Lightning

Photographer - Miranda Lundby, Miles City, MT

General Discussion / Re: Trans Am Bike.
« on: June 30, 2020, 06:23:06 am »
Yes. But.

The TransAm is 4215 miles - more than twice the distance of the Pacific Coast route.
So 25 days x 2 = 50 days; plus another 5 days = 55 days; or 8 weeks.
And you have the time needed to get to/from Astoria and Yorktown.
The basic math is 76.6. (125 km) miles per day, every day, no falling behind.

Plus you would be riding at the hottest time of the year.
The Pacific Coast route has pleasant temperatures and excellent services all along the way.
Don't know where you are from but if you haven't ridden in 95F  (35C) temperatures with 95% humidity -
Which s like a Turkish steam bath in much of Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri -
Or scorching 105F in Kansas and eastern Colorado - albeit with less humidity -
Then you have another thing coming.

Not sure when you did the Pacific Coast, but summer weather is dry and sunny.
Summer thunderstorms happen almost daily in the Great Plains.
They are, big, powerful, and dangerous - as Dorothy will tell you.
Lightning and cycling do not make for a good combination.

So 8 weeks is really pushing it with very little leeway.
What if your rim cracks or your derailleur snaps and you have to wait two days?
What if you encounter something that cleans out your insides and you have to stop?
Even something as basic as flight cancellations or missed connections can delay your start.

You can save 100+ miles be starting/ending at Florence, Oregon.
But Florence is harder to reach to/from Portland airport.
And it is time-consuming to get to/from Yorktown in the east.

Just a few caveats.
9 weeks would be better.
Anything less then 8 weeks would be inviting trouble.

Many, many years ago there was a single hiker/biker campsite at Cape Meares.
Nobody seems to remember this. I think it was my 1988 trip when I stayed there.
Since it is a day-use park, you had the entire cape to yourself in the middle of the night.
Ocean, cliffs, stars - and just you.

Sadly, I think liability and risk of vandalism caused Oregon Parks to eliminate this campsite.

General Discussion / Re: "Least amount of car traffic"
« on: May 20, 2020, 11:04:48 pm »

>>There’s no standard way to measure "least amount of traffic."
Actually - - there is. It's called AADT - Average Annual Daily Traffic.
It's measured both long-term on main routes and short-term on minor routes.
Obviously the detailed data is more reliable. Also, the detailed data is broken down by day of week and hour of day.
Highways leading to Glacier National Park have very different July AADTs than those in January.
Idaho Hwy 55 south of Banks has heavy traffic - concentrated on weekends and afternoons.
But if you ride midweek early in the morning it is relatively light.

>>Furthermore, anytime you have two criteria, each will suffer because of the other.
>>“Best route” or “Least amount of car traffic”. Pick one. You can’t have both.
Ahh, you can have your cake and eat it too. (Although "Best route" is a rather nebulous term.)
What one tries to do is to optimize between scenery, services, and traffic. Shoulders, if needed.
How much traffic are you willing to tolerate to get to Branson, Missouri?
For some people Branson is not worth the hassle - others are willing to put up with a lot of traffic to get there.
Can you ride Going to the Sun Road without dealing with lots of traffic?
Yes, if you leave at sunrise, stay the day up top, and ride down in the evening.
In Indiana, between Warsaw and Columbia City there are three paved, direct routes.
You can ride US 30 with 10,000 cars, or the Old Lincoln Hwy with 2000, or an empty Old Trail Road.
Services in both cities - and a few in between - but wholly different experiences based on route choice.
Most cyclists who rode all three would easily pick the latter.

I get it, John.

Pic - Old Trail Road

General Discussion / Re: "Least amount of car traffic"
« on: May 20, 2020, 08:23:56 am »
I am not sure which statement you are referring to,

Not yours, Pete.
I can understand that people have different preferences -
but to imply that people will hate an empty road is a different enchilada.

General Discussion / "Least amount of car traffic"
« on: May 20, 2020, 12:35:44 am »
It was recently stated here that a person was sure to hate a route that had the "least amount of car traffic".
I politely beg to disagree. There are many routes with little or zero traffic that people love.

Let's start with rail trails:

The Great Allegheny Passage in Pennsylvania and Maryland has become a cycling destination.
Many of the little towns along the way have camping, lodging, and dining geared to cyclists.

Same goes for the Katy Trail in Missouri - people love car-free cycling.
Not to mention that it is beautiful riding under the tall bluffs and along the river.

If paved trails are more your cup of tea, then there's the Raccoon River Valley Trail in Iowa.
Or the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes in Idaho - with a bridge across Lake Coeur d'Alene.

Low-traffic roads are low-traffic because they tend to have few towns along the way.
So services may be a little on the thin side. Granted.

But many times there is the old highway - like Old U.S. 87 in northern Wyoming.
The Interstate has all the traffic and the old road has none - plus mountain views.

Or what about the Old U.S. 50 option on the Western Express between Middlegate and Austin?
So little traffic you can change your shorts in the middle of the road.

All things being equal - - and they rarely are - -
I'll take an empty road over a busy highway any day.

Pic - Magical Riding in the Palouse Hills

These are the guys I generally ignore.
First post - nothing in the profile.
No info offered in the post, either.
Kinda like a "drive-by" posting.

Article is 3 weeks old.

Meanwhile Wyoming has one of the lowest incidence & death rates in the country.
Wyoming has a death rate of 1 per 100,000. (7 total deaths)
Alabama's is 7 (349 deaths), Miss'sippi's is 13 (396 deaths), and Joja's is 12 (1317 deaths)!

I'd rather be riding in Wyoming.

I don't know.  The smallest population of any state, yet the situation there is so bad Wyoming rates one of only 13 federal crisis teams?

Huh? Whatcha ya talkin' about?

At last count -
Alabama has 8699 cases;  347 deaths.
Wyoming has 631 cases; 7 deaths.

Not only does Wyoming have a lower rate per 100,000 people,
But Wyoming has fewer people spread out over amuch larger area, too.

Plenty of empty roads and trails to ride.

Move to Wyoming?

R u cer10?

Routes / Re: Going to the Sun Road
« on: April 15, 2020, 03:45:50 pm »
Rising Sun has a large hiker/biker campsite that will accommodate 8 or 10 cyclists.
You shouldn't have any concerns. Best to get there before dark, though.

Routes / Re: Maps (other than ACA)
« on: April 06, 2020, 10:03:51 am »
Shoulders - If the highway is a state highway, then the shoulder is a state responsibility.
If the highway is a county highway, then it is a county responsibility.
All states have shoulder design requirements - usually online files - as part of their DOTs.

Shoulders are expensive and are only addded gradually - unless the highway is of newer vintage.
Many times, paving/construction contracts are done by county - thus, the change at the county lines.
Few counties have the resources for shoulders, nor does the traffic volume justify the cost.
Choosing back roads means you have to use caution that a county road does not have high traffic.

General Discussion / Re: transam june 20
« on: April 03, 2020, 02:34:21 pm »
I base my observations on two things.

1) For much of the past 10 years, lands agencies in Wyoming have been cutting services.
Even in good years, they have opened later simply because they don't have funds/personnel.
That's one of the reasons why facilities have been farmed out to concessionaires.
But the agencies are still responsible for water systems, septic, roads, etc. etc.

2) I live in a community with a forest service office and friends who work there.
Two things - they don't want people travelling  - esp long-term camping - from high risk areas.
National forests in the West have a certain attraction to the survivalist types with their cell phones.
And money is just not there. The deferred core maintenance problem is extreme.
So, I think there may be a likelihood that agencies may forgo a partial season.

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