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Messages - jamawani

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General Discussion / Re: transam june 20
« on: April 03, 2020, 10:55:27 am »
The "light population" in Idaho and eastern Oregon -
might not be too thrilled having someone from Florida cycle through.

If the pandemic curve is similar to Italy's,
there arelikely to be travel restrictions.
If not, many services will likely still be closed.
If you have the ability to pack food for 7 days
and rough camp, filter water, etc. you might be O.K.

National Park, National Forest, and state park facilities are closed.
If campgrounds stay closed thru June, they may remain closed all season.
Costs to open and staff will simply be too much when money is already thin.

The view from Wyoming -

Hey, there's a separate category entitled "Reminiscing Youth".

But the question on the table is - "When can you likely begin an X-USA trip?"
I said maybe July1. August 1 would be more likely. Sept 1 almost certain, but late.
A late summer into early fall trip is really a great time - -
Especially if you start in the Pacific Northwest where it is cooler.
In much of the nation, September is the sweetest month to tour.

I hate that as I am getting to the age where I realize that my years of doing some things are getting shorter pretty quickly and I already can't/won't do some stuff I might have a few years ago. 

You are a mere youth.
Or as Vinny Gambini said, "Yute".

I am still seriously considering an X-USA ride from Washington state to Maryland.
Starting early July, ending late September.

I anticipate a coronavirus peak in late April, decline in May.
June may be the tail - unless there is a second bump.
Much depends on how things are managed in the next 30 days.

Also, it depends on whether or not I'm stilll around.

Nebraska & Iowa are just so much better for crossing the Great Plains.

Pic - Nebraska Sandhills

Routes / Re: Going to the Sun Road
« on: March 17, 2020, 04:46:35 pm »
I have ridden Going to the Sun more than a dozen times - both directions.
(Which, I guess, puts me among the fortunate few.)

In mid-summer, the day of the week doesn't make much difference.
With local weekenders, it might be a smidgen busier on Sunday.

The biggest factor is time of day - start as early as possible.
I prefer to start just before sunrise when there is enought light.
The traffic is light, but people can see you.

Eastbound, you really should start from Avalanche.
Westbound, it's best to start from Rising Sun.

Also, I much prefer westbound to eastbound.
Most importantly, you have the morning sun illuminating the peaks.
And you get full sun on the Garden Wall on the way down.


General Discussion / Re: seeking coast to coast cycling companions
« on: March 02, 2020, 03:48:16 pm »
Nick -

I have ridden X-USA many times on various routes and on other long tours.
Only once have I had someone ride the entire way with me.
Many times I have had people plan to go and cancel out just before.
What I have learned is always to prepare to do it solo.
If you do connect with someone - all the better.
And remember, you are going to be VERY together.
If riding with a Hare Krisna or revisionist Marxist is your thing - more power to ya.

Have fun - Juan

PS - The TransAm is your best bet as stated above.
Also, if you don't have someone at the start, you will always meet up with folks on the TransAm.

Routes / Re: Start Date for Lewis and Clark West to East
« on: February 26, 2020, 04:59:41 am »
On two occasions leaving from Astoria or just the orhter side of the river on June 1
I hit snow - once in the Cascades - once in the Bitterroots.
Snow in early June is not unusual in the Cascades and northern Rockies.
But the problem is - you end up in the Great Plains when it is baking.

The challenge going east to west is heavy rains and flood season.
For much of the Great Plains 50% of precipitation comes in May/June.
So you have the risk of big storms every afternoon - think Dorothy.
Snow melt can also cause significant flooding along the route in May/June
since the L&C follows the Missouri River east of the continental Divide.

A spring trip is always going to be a challenge -
And "spring" in the Rockies means June.
If it were me, I would wait until June 1 west to east.
East to west - maybe May 15 - but plan to get wet.

Ideal Time?
August thru Sept - west to east.

Routes / Re: Kalispell to Libby Montana
« on: February 22, 2020, 05:38:31 pm »
Sunday morning is about the best time of the entire week on any highway - incl. US 2.
It's only 40 miles to Logan Park. And July days are verrrrry long in northern Montana.
If you can plan to get to the park by noon or soon after - you will miss most traffic.
Sunday afternoon / early evening is another matter altogether.

From just past Loon Lake - please consider Fisher River Road.
Truly sweet riding - Comes out on Hwy 37 at Libby Dam.
Mostly quiet - could be a logging truck or 2 - you will hear them.
Iffy back road into Libby on south side of the Kootenai River. May be better now?

I hope you are going up to Yaak and not just along Lake Koocanusa.
Sweet, Pipe Cr Rd, FR 68, straight north from Libby - paved-ish?
Or via US 2 and Yaak River Rd following the Kootenai and Yaak rivers - paved.
The Kootenai NF has a much deeper Pacific slope quality than other Montana forests.
Repaved the summit section 10 yrs ago?, Wail of a downhill to the lake.

I prefer the back road to Eureka. US 93 is not my fave.
Shoulders to just past Dickey Lake - then tight.
Maybe camp at Dickey Lake before Kalispell return?
Also Dickey Lake is not far from the nice Trego cafe/pub.

Definitely take the Fram to Market Rd on the west side of the valley back into K.

* About paved forest roads -
Paved forest roads can vary from great to definitely not-so-great.
They were dependent upon logging income on many national forests.
With the reduction in logging and budget shortfalls, maintenance has been minimal.
Some have even been downgraded to gravel.
Not to mention construction or bridges out.
Always verify with forest service office.

PS - Grizzly country - practice clean camping.
Proper food storage. Never eat in your tent.

PPS - One year I took the forest road over to North Fork from Eureka.
Because there was still an avalanche blockage - June - I had the entire area to myself.

Routes / Re: Kalispell to Libby Montana
« on: February 22, 2020, 12:26:40 am »
I try to avoid US 2 in most places west of Glacier NP.
Especially west of Kalispell, it is narrow with limited shoulders.
Plus it has moderate-plus traffic including logging trucks and big RVs.

I don't know what it is about Montana -
Wyoming generally has good shoulders, Montana doesn't.
They are working on it all over the state - including US 2.
But veeerrrrryyyy slowly.

Here's a rough scale of cycling comfort:
+3 - Pure Heaven
+2 - Sweet
+1 - Nice
  0 - Meh
-1 - Irritating
-2 - Uncomfortable
-3 - Pure Hell

I'd give that stretch of US 2 a -1.5.
And it all depeds on when you hit it.
Summer traffic is much higher than winter traffic.
With Kalispell's growth - there is a morning/evening commute pattern.
Friday afternoon/evening tends to have heavy outbound.
Inbound even more concentrated Sundaly late afternoon/evening.

There is a fantastic PAVED forest road from Trego to near Libby.
The road has so little traaffic that I changed my shorts in the middle of the road.
And I took my time.

Don't know where you are coming from east of Kalsipell.
And whether or not Kalispell is a "must".
Whitefish is really nice and not as big.
Even so, you have a short stretch of narrow US 93 on this option.

(Road thru Kalispell this past summer - pretty intense for miles in all directions.)

Link to journal entry for Trego Road -

South / Re: Is Flooding an Issue
« on: February 18, 2020, 11:01:58 am »
What is most likely to be affected is camping.
Not only is the Pearl River flooding, but other rivers are high.
Most state parks and camping areas in Louisiana/Mississippi are along waterways.
Many are likely to be flooded this spring.
Even if the waters have receded, they are likely to remain closed until cleaned and repaired.
If you have camping plans, stay updated - consider alternatives such as CouchSurfing.

Routes / Re: Route
« on: February 11, 2020, 11:32:58 pm »
Dear Splink -

I'm from Wyoming. Taught in Montana. Lived in Jackson.
I have cycled all over Greater Yellowstone for 30+ years.

The area in question is mostly national parks or wilderness.
Bicycles are prohibited in wilderness areas or off road in parks.

The Great Divide route runs mostly west of Yellowstone.
It is rather "meh" - heavily forested plateau, minimal views.

Blacktail Plateau Drive in Yellowstone - empty dirt road.
There is some really sweet two-track riding just east of Grand Teton NP.

Winter comes early, even early Sept. esp. at high elevations.
You must be prepared for dramatic change in conditions if remote.

Grizzly country. Must know clean camping techniques.
Much more likely to surprise bears on dirt roads / trails.

Elevation. You're from Boston - sea level, right?
Altitude sickness has ruined many an easterner's trip.

Camping. Random camping is prohibited in national parks.
It is allowed in national forests, but restricted in grizzly zones.


From what little info you provided,
I'm not sure if you know what you are getting into.
If you want a magnificent off-pavement ride -
I would suggest Jackson and south thru Grays River country

Best - J

Routes / Re: Early March for Napa and North?
« on: February 06, 2020, 12:15:36 pm »
Early March can be pretty raw and wet in Northern Cal.
Can be gorgeous, can be misserable if a Pineapple Express hits.
Coin flip.

I think you would be better off in Southern Cal - esp. the desert parks.
Wildflower season in Anza Borrego and Joshua Tree.

Anza Borrego has gotten excellent winter rains, Joshua Tree not so much.
So it should be a good year in Anza Borrego.

You could fly into San Diego -
Head east on the Southern Tier.
Then work your way north on paved county roads into the park.
State park website -

Early March avg. temps - 75F / 50F; precip  - low, maybe a light shower

Routes / Re: Advice route southern USA march
« on: January 29, 2020, 04:17:47 pm »
B -

Actually -

Parts of Route 66 in the West would be far superior.
Plus you could take in the Grand Canyon.
Might have to deal with a little cold.

Start either in L.A. or Ventura -
(Ventura lets you hit Antelope Valley and is more scenic.)
Then the past parts of Historic Route 66 in the Mojave Desert and Arizona.
Then north from Williams Jct. to the Grand Canyon -
Then east across the Hopi and Navajo reservations to Gallup.
Then back on Route 66 to Albuquerque.

Overnight return to LA on Amtrak train or Southwest airlines flight.
If you are behind, you can head back to LA from Gallup.

Don't know how many miles you do on average.
The route outlined above is about 1000 miles - 1600 km - 400 km per week.


Routes / Re: Advice route southern USA march
« on: January 29, 2020, 12:35:55 pm »
#1 - Definitely, no.
Cold, rainy, headwinds.

#2 - Best option.

Southeast - Spring flower and flowering trees. Warm. Wet.
South Central - Pleasant, warm, dryer. Wildflowers moving into desert.
Southwest - Warm, dry, possibly still some desert wildflowers.

If you fly into L.A. you can cycle to El Paso and take the train back.

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