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Messages - litespeed

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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.

Routes / Help! Southern Tier Advice/Shortcuts!
« on: February 21, 2007, 11:08:55 am »
Sure. You could save some time by riding the shoulders of Interstates 8 and 10 in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas (outside of major cities) but why bother? Two months is plenty of time for the trip. Also, you would be well advised to stick to the AC route through Louisiana as going through New Orleans or riding 190 is not advisable, to put it mildly.
The AC routes meander quite a bit in the east but out west are a lot easier to follow. I recommend US90 across Florida - not as scenic and with less facilities than coastal 98 but a better bicycling road.
Personally, I never use the AC maps. It takes an hour or two out of the day just puzzling them out. I actually met a touring cyclist in New England who lost it using them. People thought he was nuts and called the cops.

Routes / Southern Tier May-June
« on: February 20, 2007, 02:50:17 pm »
That sounds like a good time of the year to do the southern tier. If you don't like the heat you might consider a bit earlier. But not much.
Theoretically you should have more tailwinds going west to east but you never know. I once fought light-to-moderate NE winds crossing Texas west-to-east and SE winds sometimes blow off the Gulf. But I have also fought fierce headwinds while going east-to-west across the Texas panhandle. Going west-to-east across southern New Mexico I had blissful tailwinds for a couple of days.

This message was edited by litespeed on 2-20-07 @ 10:57 AM

Routes / transamerica
« on: February 11, 2007, 12:45:12 pm »
In the high mountain passes you can get snow as late as June but it's unlikely to really stop traffic or be much below freezing. Since you want to start as early as possible I would suggest May 1 as a good starting date from the west coast.

Routes / Northern Tier
« on: February 08, 2007, 11:48:27 pm »
Go to the Glacier Park web site - and put "camping" in the search box. You'll get all the information you could possibly want. It's a great web site.
This will be a real detour for you but the Going-to-the-Sun Highway is one of the scenic wonders of the country. I'll do it again one of these years.

Routes / Going through Canada
« on: February 06, 2007, 11:11:23 am »
It's ALWAYS a good idea to have a passport.
And to take it with you whenever you travel anywhere. You never know what's going to happen. I know many people who've missed out on going somewhere good because they didn't have a passport or couldn't get one fast enough.

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