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Messages - jamawani

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General Discussion / Re: Pacific Coast done... where next?
« on: August 09, 2017, 09:03:05 pm »
Might be closer to 4 weeks - -
Big triangle - Northern Tier, Canadian Rockies, Thompson River

Fly into either Seattle or Vancouver - whichever is cheaper.
July/Aug is the perfect time to do Pacific Northwest and Canadian Rockies.
Rarely will highs be above 30C/86F - reasonably dry.

Looks like you have the bug . . .

My first x-usa trip back in 1987 was in the fall - started Sept 1 thru Nov 10. W to E.
The weather was glorious for the first 40 days - sprinkle of snow in the Plains - chilly towards the end.
Also, the days really started getting short by late October.

If you wanted to do a fall trip - starting Aug 1 would work well. (90 days is VERY leisurely on the TransAm)
4 weeks per 1400 miles is 350 miles per week, 60 miles per day with 1 off per week.
Tougher terrain in the west - but longer days - probably a few more motels in the east.
(Be careful with motels - it is quite easy to get a late start - all of us know that.)

Aug 1 - Astoria, OR
Aug 29 - Jackson, WY
Sept 26 - Fair Grove, MO
Oct 24 - Yorktown, VA

Because of the fall tourist season, most facilities will remain open in the east until Nov 1.
If you are willing to use your October days carefully, it is a fabulous season to do the trip.

For length of daylight, the ideal start date is May 5 - eastbound or westbound.
For temperatures westbound - early May - to escape summer heat/humidity in the east.
For temperatures eastbound - late July - to escape summer heat/humidity in the east.
Eastbound departure in mid June doable, but you'll have nasty heat in Kansas and Missouri.

If you want to leave in May, I'd do westbound.
If you want to wait until August, eastbound is perfect.
June or July departure either direction, better to choose a more northerly route.

Routes / Re: Two Weeks/Early Oct/900 miles max
« on: July 22, 2017, 07:17:57 pm »
Might I offer caution with the Bullfrog ferry - esp. in the autumn.
It could put a glitch in your plans. After Labor Day - it only runs on weekends. Fri, Sat, Sun.
Also doesn't run in inclement weather or if the lake level drops below 3575 ft. (3575 is unlikely this year)
Plus it means skipping the Grand Canyon north rim.

I've ridden Hwy 12 and the Burr Trail - wonderful - but if you haven't done the north rim & G.C. - - well.
If you were to fly into Vegas, I would skip the part from Vegas to St. George, if possible, with only 2 weeks.
Zion NP would be your first park - have to beg a ride thru the tunnel, then US 89 up to Bryce NP.
Big fire closed Hwy 143 recently from Cedar Breaks NM to Panguitch, but is now reopened. Watch for fire news.

From Bryce Canyon NP I would suggest Skutumpah Road thru Grand Staircase Escalante NM.
You come out just east of Kanab - can resupply and then head to Grand Canyon NP.
2 ways - either US 89A & AZ 67 or county and forest roads to the west - Ryan Rd, West Side Rd.
Do NOT count on GPS or Garmin - or you will be one lost mofo.

Another option from Bryce is via Cottonwood Canyon Rd and Coyote Wash Rd.
Cottonwood is easier than Skutumpah with incredible scenery, but Coyote is extremely remote and tough.

I've hiked across the Grand Canyon a half-dozen times and had my bike shuttled.
But I am not sure if the shuttle service operates that late in the season.
Plus, you need to get permits for backcountry camping which can be really tough to do.

John mentioned AZ 264 - it goes thru the Navajo Rez and Hopi country.
If you were to do this option, you could tour the ancient Hopi village of Walpi on First Mesa.
I was fortunate enough to see the Green Corn ceremonial dances in early June one year.
Camping at the cultural center on Second Mesa. (No photos, please, in Hopi country)

There are also some back ways over to Canyon de Chelly NM.
Another spectacular canyon.

One reason to do a more southerly ride is to reach Chaco Canyon NM.
There are no paved roads into Chaco - the park service wants to keep it that way.
Chaco is the finest ancient Puebloan site in the Southwest.
There is water and camping available at the park.
Visitation levels are low - and you can spend an entire day with the many ruins.
I've visited twice, now, and it is worth all the grit between my teeth.

There are many ways to put it all together.
And early October is the perfect time to do a ride in the Four Corners.

Routes / Re: Two Weeks/Early Oct/900 miles max
« on: July 21, 2017, 08:10:50 pm »
There is a single paper map that is very useful if still in print and available in BC.
It is put out by AAA/CAA - called Indian Country.

Routes / Re: Two Weeks/Early Oct/900 miles max
« on: July 21, 2017, 09:30:24 am »
Las Vegas to Santa Fe?

That said - - - if you want to go somewhere warm with rain chance next to nil - - -
then the chances of fire late in the season will be high. Goes without saying.

From Vegas you could ride into southern Utah and catch - Zion, Bryce, and Grand Escalante.
Then you could do the north rim of Grand Canyon - services may be reduced, but still open.
I would then suggest a ride thru Monument Valley to Bluff, UT and Cortez, CO.
Then take in the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings and head towards Taos & Taos Pueblo.
Last, the High Road route to Santa Fe and, maybe, the Turquoise Trail into Albuquerque, if time allows.

This route would not be sizzling hot like the Southern Tier or at risk of early snow like the central Rockies.
Maybe a hot day or two, maybe a chilly night with a frost (desert air) - plus aspens and cottonwoods in fall colors.

Routes / Re: Advice on route from NYC to Santa Monica
« on: July 18, 2017, 01:36:31 pm »
PS -

Hey, SD -

You don't give us much info on you.
Various parameters like age, overall fitness, and cycling experience are not rigid measures -
But the do have relevance as to how far and how fast you can go - plus routes that might be too difficult.
Also money. Yes, you can do it on the cheap, but the later it is in the year, the more a motel comes in handy.


Really enjoyed the pix on your link.
Mebbe you might think of moving??

Routes / Re: Advice on route from NYC to Santa Monica
« on: July 17, 2017, 11:10:06 pm »
SD -

There are three superb sections of Historic Route 66 that should not be missed.
Westbound, they are:
1. The Peach Springs Loop - from Ash Fork, AZ to Kingman, AZ
2. Sitgreaves Pass & Oatman - from Kingman, AZ to Needles, CA
3. The Mojave Desert - from US 95 to Ludlow, CA
The last segment is profoundly remote, hot, and without water stops.
(Goffs Museum, Fenner Store - $$$, Amboy if anyone there)

You can continue west via the BR66 maps thru metro L.A.
Or you can go via Antelope Valley and Santa Clara River to the Pacific at Ventura. (Less urban)


Further east ...


The question is -
"Do you want to follow the exact route of US 66 or experience the wide-open Southwest as early motorists did?"
BTW - US 66 had many different alignments over the years of its existence. Much of US 66 is under I-40, now.

In eastern AZ and NM, BR66 is often chockablock against I-40. Plus you are distant from the Grand Canyon.
I know Santa Fe and Albuquerque well - my sister has lived there for 25 years and have biked a lot of the area.
I like to joke that the NM state mineral is broken glass - plus traffic is majorly intense.

By weaving your way among the towns on Roue 66, you can experience the roadside kitsch -
for example, Gallup, with its fabulous El Rancho Hotel and all the Navajo shops -
but then swing away and have much quieter and more scenic riding, too.

1. For eastern Arizona, from Gallup I would suggest:
Take AZ 118/Old Route 66 west to NM border and frontage roads to
IR 12 north to Window Rock, then AZ 264 all the way to Tuba City.
Window Rock is the admin center of the Navajo Rez.
You will also be traversing Hopi lands - photography highly restricted, please.
You can tour one of the ancient Hopi villages - esp. Walpi. Camping at Second Mesa.
From Tuba, continue on US 160, US 89 (busy), and AZ 64 to the Grand Canyon.
AZ 64 reconnects with BR66 at Williams - there are some dirt options to Ash Fork.

2. In New Mexico I might suggest a few alternatives.
Tucumcari is a must - filled with Route 66 motels, gas stations, cafes.
But I would take NM 104 to Las Vegas rather than follow I-40 and US 84.
NM 104 has almost zero traffic and is remote - but is seriously fine riding.

Then the choice is whether to do Santa Fe or Taos.
The Santa Fe option will put you on service roads most of the time.
Taos is what Santa Fe was 75 years ago -
Plus you have the Taos Pueblo and San Francisco de Asis church.
The square, bike shops, laid back.

For Taos, take NM 518 north over the Sangre de Cristos - be aware of weather.
Then you can ride west on US 64 over the Rio Grande Gorge bridge - super high.
I would then work my way down via Abiquiu, Gallina, and Cuba towards Gallup.
If you can do dirt - this option gets close to Chaco Canyon -the preeminent ancient ruins.
Mid-October is the perfect time to visit, too. It. Is. So. Worth. It.

Pic - Abiquiu Plaza Church

Routes / Re: Advice on route from NYC to Santa Monica
« on: July 17, 2017, 05:10:02 pm »
3660 miles (BR66 + CHI/NYC) in 60 days means 61 miles per day.
With no days off for visiting, repairs, illness, and - most importantly - weather.
Let's say you have 1/2 day for each  of the first three and 1 /2 days for weather.
Which is closer to 64 miles per day - doable - but remember endpoints are not evenly spaced.
You will need to do a few days with more than 75 miles - esp. in the West.

In addition, you calculate a straight mileage average even though days get much shorter in October.
I have found during fall tours that daily mileage drops moderately by early October.
My first X-USA ride was in 1987 - Astoria to Cape Hatteras - 70 days with days off here and there.
Started Sept 1 as you plan - finished November 10 - diagonal, but west to east.
Had all of the above delays, including light snow in Nebraska.

You may encounter a few light to moderate snows in NM and AZ - esp. around Flagstaff.
I strongly recommend using Hwy 264 from Gallup to Tuba City if you want to visit the Grand Canyon.
WARNING - Westbound from Amarillo to Barstow you should expect to encounter headwinds.
Prevailing wind direction in fall in the Southwest is SSW with increasing intensity in the afternoon.
You cannot beat headwinds - they will beat you. Start super early and call it quits early.

It's possible to do this in 60 days, but tight with little leeway. I'd allocate 70 days.

PS - There are much shorter options than the ACA Chicago-New York route.
       There are better routes than BR66 - much of which is either right next to or on interstates.

General Discussion / Re: What state is your favorite to ride in?
« on: July 11, 2017, 02:12:26 pm »
No offense taken - apology not needed - but thank you.

I notice you are planning a Pacific Coast trip this autumn.
Both last year's trip and your planned trip include very touristy areas.
It's like going to the Colosseum and the Leaning Tower of Pisa and saying you have seen Italy.
I would be willing to guess that you might suggest the Abruzzo coast or a village in Calabria.

Your planned trip will include lovely coasts - the Oregon coast is superb.
(However, the highway is away from the immediate coast much of the time.)
And most of the coastal towns are swarming with tourists in the summer and early autumn.

If you wish to experience an American Abruzzo or Calabria, I would suggest something inland.
Possibly starting out at Neah Bay, Washington - the NW tip - then then San Juan Islands -
Then heading over the North Cascades and riding though coulee country to the Palouse.

US 395 provides a remote and beautiful route through eastern Oregon.
The road will be almost empty most of the time - with scattered small towns.
Take the time to stop an visit - you will have a different experience.

From Lakeview in southern Oregon, you can cut southwest to Eureka on the California coast.
From there you can ride the redwoods and the northern California coast - ending at the Golden Gate Bridge.

General Discussion / Re: What state is your favorite to ride in?
« on: July 11, 2017, 10:57:04 am »
It seems that you have an active imagination.

I gather from your earlier posts that you took a route through the national parks of western Wyoming, Jackson Hole, and perhaps, the Star Valley around Afton. If so, the you would have encountered - for the most part - other tourists, millionaire & billionaire fly-in cowboys, and Mormon dairy farmers.

Given your overall trip, I suspect that gun ownership was as high if not higher outside of western Wyoming. And the likelihood of meeting cowboys with real shit on their boots - not grass clipping from the golf course - was higher, too. Please, put your stereotypes in the bottom drawer before you head out next time.

Routes / Re: GDMBR from Banff to Whitefish
« on: July 06, 2017, 11:15:10 pm »
17 years ago I rode the section from the U.S. border on the North Fork customs
(which is now closed) to Elkford when there was a washout.

I was younger then - and stronger - and riding solo.
I came to the creek with the missing bridge - pretty wide.
By myself, I moved logs to create a safe crossing.
I also stripped down the bike and carried stuff over in multiple trips.

I am guessing that it took 3 hours to cross the creek - - but - -
I had the entire road to myself between the border and the creek.
And I had been told by Canadian customs that it might be possible to bridge it.

You would need to check which creek and whether fording or log bridging is possible.
If you are solo, bear in mind that there is considerable risk involved.
And that you should always allow for the possibility of backtracking.

Mostly sunny to partly cloudy with a chance of rain.

The Utah DOT has closed Highway 143 between Parowan and Panguitch -
which includes the section traversed by the Western Express.

Details: Fire Affecting Roadway SR 143 between MP 3 and 50 (S of Panguitch) Iron Co.
Closed Both Directions, Use Alt Route
Last Updated: 06/23/17 07:20 PM

A detour is available by continuing on Hwy 14 east from Cedar City to US 89
Then take US 89 north the Hwy 12 turn-off to Bryce.
(Read in reverse for westbound . . .)
You may wish to take a few extra miles to resupply at Panguitch.


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