Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - litespeed

Pages: 1 ... 32 33 [34] 35 36 ... 41
Routes / Winds ... which way do they really blow?
« on: April 23, 2007, 01:33:31 pm »
My experiences with wind:
I had light westerly headwinds going east to west across Michigan and Wisconsin but no appreciable wind going westward across Iowa. I've had intermitently strong southerly winds while going westward across Nebraska then faced strong west winds when I entered Wyoming. But they were often broken up by weather fronts.
When you get out west strong westerly winds prevail up the river valleys like the Colombia on the WA/OR line and the St. Joe in northern Idaho.
The most relentless headwinds I ever faced were strong SE winds while going ESE across Kansas. The strongest headwinds I ever faced were westerly winds while going westward near Lubbock, TX.
My guess is that headwinds are less of a problem going east-to-west on your northern route.

This message was edited by litespeed on 4-23-07 @ 9:36 AM

Routes / Vancouver, Canada to San Fran
« on: April 16, 2007, 10:56:36 am »
The steep climbs are along the California coast down to a little north of San Simeon. But there was nothing that I couldn't handle. You will, however, need low gears.
The state parks/campgrounds in California aren't as well maintained as the excellent ones in Oregon. Winos are a nuisance the further south you get down the California coast.
Between October and about April storms roll through regularly. They can be pretty miserable.
I found it surprisingly difficult to get a good, hearty meal. Lots of touristy, frou-frou restaurants. No good truck stop restaurants. Keeps your weight down.
The campgrounds usually have a cheap biker section with lots of friendly touring cyclists to swap tales and information with.
Bring a good pair of walking shoes and give yourself a few days to walk all over San Francisco and Sausalito.
The west coast is spectacularly scenic. Every touring cyclist should do it at least once.

This message was edited by litespeed on 4-17-07 @ 6:44 AM

Routes / Crossing the Mighty Mac
« on: April 13, 2007, 04:09:40 pm »
I've read that they discourage or forbid cycling across the Mackinac Bridge but they have a "Drivers' Assistance Program". You call in advance or just show up and wait for help across. I have done this at the Chesapeake Bridge/Tunnel. A maintenance man took me across in his pickup. They might have a similar service for the Mac.
The website is You could e-mail or phone them and ask what to do.

Routes / Rte20 NY State
« on: April 11, 2007, 11:18:39 pm »
I have crossed the Finger Lakes region partially once and fully once. It is brutally hilly with short, steep climbs and descents. Alternate 20 is particularly bad. I don't think they even mowed the grass before laying down the asphalt.
Best to go along further north along the Erie Canal or NY Bicycle Route 5.
To order the "Cycling The Erie Canal" guidebook go to:

This message was edited by litespeed on 4-17-07 @ 4:36 PM

Routes / Cross Country Route Choice
« on: April 06, 2007, 07:15:31 pm »
As usual, I beat the drums for US14. You could take the trans-am or enjoy the tailwinds in the Colombia River gorge as far as Yellowstone, see the sights there then pick up US14. This will take you over the Big Horn Mts. (A fearsome climb, I'll admit), The Black Hills (Mt. Rushmore, etc.) and The Badlands.
Then cross Minnesota and Wisconsin to Manitowoc where you take the ferry to Ludington, MI. Bike across Michigan and into Ontario at Port Huron, across southern Ontario to Buffalo , NY. There you could pick up New York bike route 5 or do the Erie Canal Trail.
However, if you do the Northern Tier You have the advantage of being able to jog north and take in Jasper and Banff Parks, arguably the most spectacular scenery on earth.
If you do either one of these, don't forget your passport.

Routes / joshua tree from southern tier
« on: March 25, 2007, 10:48:00 am »
I did Victorville-Indio-El Centro in November. Cold at night but warm enough by day. 86 is an OK bicycling road - lots of traffic but lots of good paved shoulder. Sufficient facilities. Yucca Valley towards Palm Springs on 62 is a looong downhill.
I haven't been into Joshua Tree. It is reputed to be devoid of facilities - even water - so you might want to base yourself in Yucca valley or Twentynine Palms to tour the place.

This message was edited by litespeed on 3-25-07 @ 7:29 AM

Routes / South East Oregon
« on: March 24, 2007, 09:38:19 am »
I, too, did US26 instead of 20. 26 has a lot of climbing but a lot more towns. I recommend this route. Prairie City and Mitchell are fine little towns with good facilities - food, camping and lodging. In 2004, at least, there was a good restaurant in Unity. This is true high desert. You really feel like you're on top of the world along parts of this route. Very little traffic. This stretch is one of my favorites in all my years of touring.

This message was edited by litespeed on 3-24-07 @ 5:45 AM

Routes / I90 etc
« on: March 22, 2007, 07:41:21 pm »
West of the Mississippi you can ride the shoulders of the interstates most anywhere except near major cities or very heavily traveled stretches such as Phoenix-Tuscon.  Often as not there are parallel roads - the old highways that were usurped by the interstates.
Montana is certainly no problem. The state has no major cities. I have ridden right by troopers ticketing motorists on I90 and just gotten a friendly wave.

This message was edited by litespeed on 3-22-07 @ 3:42 PM

Routes / Help! New Mexico, Arizona, California
« on: March 21, 2007, 04:36:48 pm »
That's easy. Just ride the shoulders and parallel roads of Interstates 10 and 8. I did just that between El Centro CA and El Paso TX. The stretch between Tuscon and Casa Grande is closed to cyclists but there are parallel roads. Ditto between El Paso and Las Cruces. I recall very little climbing.
You'll have to ask someone else about El Centro to San Diego. 94/188 might be more interesting. I don't know if it's hillier.

Routes / Route from Rawlins WY to Pueblo CO
« on: March 05, 2007, 10:35:07 am »
Wind is impossible to predict but in Wyoming when it blows hard it's usually out of the west. It took me 3 days instead of 2 to go from Scottsbluff NB to Casper WY due to hard headwinds. But after leaving Casper I only fought hard headwinds once - the last 30 miles into Dubois from Crowheart. After that light headwinds to Jackson and Idaho.

This message was edited by litespeed on 3-17-07 @ 12:25 PM

Routes / Route from Missoula to Bozeman
« on: March 01, 2007, 04:28:51 pm »
I did Bozeman - Missoula a few years ago while crossing the country. I left Bozeman and noodled along the road paralleling I90 to US287 and north to Helena. From Helena I rode US12 over MacDonald Pass and cut north on 141 and continued on 200 to Missoula.
I don't recall any problems. Serious wide open spaces and very little traffic.
All three of these cities have KOA's for camping.
US191 south to West Yellowstone is a bad bicycling road - narrow two lane highway with no shoulders. It hugs the river and has lots of impatient truck drivers.

Routes / Charleston SC to Jacksonville FL?
« on: February 28, 2007, 06:06:15 pm »
I went up the coast 5 years ago. Between Jacksonville and Charleston I just followed US17 except for between Hardeeville SC and Gardens Corner where I cut down through Beaufort. Between Gardens Corner and Parkers Ferry 17 was pretty hair raising with heavy traffic and no shoulders although they were working on the highway. It might be better now. If not you might want to cut up to Waterboro.
Where 17 parallels the interstate it is generally bike friendly without too much traffic.
At one spot in this stretch I rode the shoulder of the interstate for about 3 miles to avoid a detour but I can't remember where it was. I got away with it.

Routes / Portland to Portland
« on: February 27, 2007, 10:51:09 am »
US14 from Yellowstone to Wisconsin is also a good bicycling route for what you're doing. It runs you through Yellowstone, the Big Horn Mts., the Black Hills (Mt. Rushmore) and the Badlands. It's a good bicycling road.
You can avoid the Chicago area by taking the very nice ferry from Manitowoc WI to Ludington MI.
On the other hand, doing the northern tier gives you a chance to jog up and take in Jasper and Banff parks in Canada - arguably the most spectacular scenery on earth.
By all means start out by going up the Colombia River gorge and enjoy those mighty tailwinds.

This message was edited by litespeed on 3-1-07 @ 12:32 PM

Routes / Bike Around America
« on: February 25, 2007, 12:49:27 am »
You really don't want to go north up the west coast. You will be fighting relentless headwinds. Better to go in the opposite direction. Get a copy of "Bicycling the Pacific Coast" by Tom Kirkendall and Vicky Spring.
Also, you might consider cutting down from the Northern Tier and going along US14 out west. This will route you through the Badlands SD, The Black Hills (Mt. Rushmore), the Big Horn Mts. and Yellowstone.
Also you might consider the ferry between Ludington MI and Manitowoc WI. A nice ride and avoids Chicago.
I also recommend the east coast detour along the Outer Banks, NC.

This message was edited by litespeed on 2-24-07 @ 8:53 PM

Routes / Help! Southern Tier Advice/Shortcuts!
« on: February 24, 2007, 11:58:18 pm »
Going through southern Louisiana might be all right if you can get through New Orleans with no problems. You could continue on US90 and parallel the interstate or take 14 through Abbeville. Roads that parallel interstates are generally pretty tame and have lots of facilities.
In 2004 I crossed Louisiana west-to-east. I rode US190 as far as Livonia where I cut north to the Mississippi River ferry at Fayetteville and on east on state 10. I was lucky to survive. 190 is about the worst cycling road I've ever been on - narrow two lane blacktop with no shoulders, even narrower (and long) bridges and fast, heavy traffic. Avoid 190 at all costs. It is even worse between Slidell and Covington.
Going through Orange and Beaumont is a busy pain in the butt but not unbearable.
I was strongly advised to avoid Houston so I went along the coast and through Galveston. I recommend this highly. Bopping along the Galveston waterfront was one of the highlights of my trip - miles and miles of beautiful esplanade.
You can continue on to San Antonio through Lake Jackson and Victoria.
Texas highways are among the best cycling roads in the country. You almost always have wide, paved shoulders or light traffic.

Pages: 1 ... 32 33 [34] 35 36 ... 41