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Messages - MaryK

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Routes / Re: Safety of Southern Tier near Border
« on: February 01, 2016, 01:21:04 pm »
My husband and I rode the Southern Tier in 2014 and had no concerns about safety. As others have said, you will see the Border Patrol frequently. Aggressive drivers can be a problem, but no more so on this route than others we've done. You'll also have a lot of people pull over, especially while you're in the desert, and make sure you're ok, don't need water, etc. Enjoy your trip!

Emory Pass is officially open. We rode it today. There are lots of patches of packed gravel that will be repaved over time. We are told there will be occasional lane closures while paving is happening, but you should always be able to get through. Enjoy!

i am currently in Silver City and the guys at Gila Hike and Bike say that Emory Pass will officially reopen on October 30th at 5:00 p.m. Until then, they say that cyclists are getting through and it's been great because it is still closed to vehicular traffic. We'll hit it by the end of this week and I'll post an update.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier, highway 78 Glamis to Palo Verde, Ca
« on: October 27, 2014, 10:31:14 pm »
i rode this section heading eastbound on Oct 16, 2014. Yes, there are lots of trucks and a mirror is especially helpful. On the weekends, there is even more traffic as it's a popular area for people who like to ride their 4-wheelers off road in the dunes.

We stayed with Nancy Mercury, a welcome respite as there's not much in that area. Even if you don't stay with her, she's a great source of information. Because of the number of riders she hosts, she asks for a donation of $25 per person or $40 for couple. Nancy is listed on the ACA map, but the phone number is out of date. The correct number is 760-854-1117. This number is also listed in the addenum. She is not listed i warmshowers.

General Discussion / Re: pacific coast route weather/october
« on: September 14, 2011, 08:10:44 am »
I did the Pacific Coast in 2010, leaving in late September.  It was cool and rainy at least through all of WA and most of OR.  I rode most of the trip in tights and long sleeves.  I'd suggest starting as early as you can.

Routes / Re: Good Bike Shop in the Vancouver Area?
« on: March 15, 2011, 02:49:45 pm »
I rode the Pacific coast in the fall of 2010 and used The Bike Doctor in Vancouver to have my bike assembled.  They were great to work with and did exactly what they said they would do, at a decent price. They also did me the added favor of having my hard cased ship to my brother in San Diego, where it was waiting for me when I arrived.  I'd highly recommend them.


Routes / Re: Highway 2 in MT
« on: October 20, 2010, 07:11:38 pm »
I rode the Northern Tier in 2007 and your assumptions about Highway 2 are good.  The rumble strips are big and bumpy to go over, the shoulder comes and goes and isn't always free of debris and the traffic can be going very fast as they zip by.  The road is straight, flat and boring. 

You are a long way between towns and need to be very careful about having enough food and water.  It's not at all unusual to get into a town and find that the one market you were depending on has closed.  It can also get very hot.

With that said, the Northern Tier is a great ride.  The people in ND and MT are incredibly friendly and supportive and it was easily one of the best trips I've ever taken.  I'm currently riding the Pacific Coast and plan to finish next week.  In a lot of ways, I enjoyed the Northern Tier more.

Don't hesitate to do this ride because of Highway 2.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier motels
« on: August 24, 2010, 03:48:34 pm »
I rode the Northern Tier in 2007 and camped for only a few days.  There were times when we couldn't find accommodations or there were motels but they were full.  I would not want to do this route without at least a tent and sleeping bag.

If you're trying to save weight, skip any of the cooking gear.  If you think you're going to camp, find something for dinner and breakfast before you hit your end point for the day.  It's not too hard to find a sandwich or some place you can eat before hitting a campground. 

At a minimum, I always carried a jar of peanut butter, crackers, nuts and gatorade. You'd be surprised how far this can take you.


General Discussion / Re: Headwinds
« on: June 03, 2010, 04:17:01 pm »
I rode westbound on the NT in 2007. We had headwinds, we had tailwinds, we had crosswinds.  We even had debates with eastbound riders as to whether or not they had headwinds at the same time we did.  I finally realized that the wind blows and I should just keep pedaling.

It was a great trip.  I hope it gets better for you.

General Discussion / Re: Recovering from Cervical Disc surgery
« on: March 07, 2010, 01:24:40 pm »
I had the same rupture (C5-C6) 8 or 9 years ago.  I didn't have the surgery but let the disc heal on it's own.  It happened in January and I was riding that summer. The first ride out was painful but it got better.  In 2007, I rode the Northern Tier. 

My neck still aches on occasion so I continue to do exercises to strengthen and stretch.  It reminds me that I'm mortal but hasn't impeded my riding.

Best of luck in your recovery.


Routes / Re: Into Boston
« on: January 13, 2010, 08:03:18 am »
I live in Lexington, MA, about 12 miles northwest of Boston.  Let me know if you'd like someone to check the route you've selected and see if there are any problems.  We're also warmshowers hosts if you need a place to stay. 

You can reach me at


Routes / Re: riding east/south/west/north routes
« on: March 10, 2009, 09:40:08 am »
There's an issue here that no one has addressed - Bigwayne3000 says, "I never rode a bike for distance or touring or anything," and goes on to say that he hasn't been on a bicycle since he was a kid.  Now he's talking about circling the US. 

Bigwayne3000 - get a bike now.  Ride it for the summer.  Try some back to back long days.  Do a century.  Load it and do a weekend tour.  Ride on a really rainy day.  Change a flat tire.  See if you like it.  If you do, you can research routes while you're doing all of this.

I hope you discover, as many of us have, the joy of cycling.  I do 3000 - 4000 miles a season and did the Northern Tier in 2007.  It was an adventure I'll never forget. 

Best of luck to you.


Routes / Alternate Route Thru Glacier?
« on: July 30, 2007, 12:28:44 pm »
Dennis - good to hear from you!  The wrist is holding up just fine.  I keep telling friends that there are enough other things that hurt, so it takes my mind off my wrist.

We did do the ride up 89 from Browning, starting in Cut Bank.  It was 68 miles and our 14th consecutive day of riding, so we're now taking a day off in St. Mary's before doing the climb over Logan Pass. I have to admit that the hills between Browning and St. Mary's took us a little by surprise so I'm pleased to have a day of rest.

There have also been forest fires burning south of the park and route 2 was closed yesterday.  We caught a lot of smoke coming out of Cut Bank and we know it's forced at least one pair or cyclists off the road outside of Havre.  The fires were not something we were prepared to encounter.  The road has reopened today and we hope it stays open tomorrow, as it will keep some traffic off Logan Pass.

Fred - we had also heard that the Canadian loop was beautiful but we're not equipped to hike and, after 55 days on the road, we're getting ready to be done with this trip.  We're already planning a return trip to Glacier, this time to hike.


Routes / Alternate Route Thru Glacier?
« on: July 27, 2007, 12:53:19 am »
My husband and I are on the Northern Tier heading west towards Glacier.  In looking at the map, it appears that a possible alternate route is to stay on 2 west out of Cut Bank into Browning, then head north on 89 to St. Mary and into the park.  

Can anyone comment on this route?  I'm not sure what the loop into Canada adds and we definitely want to do the ride over Logan Pass.

Many thanks -- Mary

Routes / Northern tier, Republic hwy 20
« on: July 02, 2007, 01:39:57 pm »

Thanks for the update. We're currently in Kewanee, Ill. and are headed your way.  I suspect we'll be hitting Sherman Pass around the middle of August.  The information is greatly appreciated and I'll let you know as we get closer.


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