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Messages - oldgroundhog

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General Discussion / Re: Lodging in Bar Harbor
« on: February 13, 2009, 07:50:46 pm »
Register at  This is a worldwide website of families that host touring cyclists in their homes.  Once you register to be a host, you can access any family you want to stay with across the USA or world while you cycle.  I just checked and there is a family in Ellsworth, ME which is the entrance to Bar Harbor.  I've stayed with many host families over the past years while cycling North America.  All have been wonderful experiences!    GROUNDHOG

Gear Talk / New 29er Bikes
« on: October 17, 2007, 07:13:46 pm »
Buying a new bike to ride the Great Divide in '08 and getting a lot of buzz that the new 29er bikes are now the best way to go for mountain bike touring.

Was wondering if anyone has ridden with this new bike style.  Seems like the larger wheels of a 29er would give the bike better handling overall.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Tracking Elevation
« on: November 01, 2006, 04:26:39 pm »
Is anyone aware of a GPS system or any other product on the market that will track and record elevation gain or loss?  

Thanks,  Groundhog

Routes / Jasper to Missoula
« on: May 09, 2008, 10:48:49 pm »
I rode this last summer as part of a tour North to Alaska.  The ride from Radium Hot Springs, BC to Banff and then into Jasper on the Icefields Parkway is absolutely beautiful.  

Numerous campgrounds exist, but are expensive in Canada.  $20-24 per night was typical.  Only one campground had bear boxes. I typically hung food each night.  Yes, bears are prevalent, but never had a problem.  

Climbs aren't steep, but are long on the Icefield Parkway.  Bow Pass and Sunwapta Pass are the two most difficult.  I typically carried three days of food in this section and glad I did.

Jasper was a tourist town with railway service. This may be an option for getting there.  

Hope this helps.  This is really a beautiful tour if you have good weather.   Enjoy!


Routes / From Newport (WA) or Sandpoint to Lewiston (ID)
« on: March 06, 2008, 06:44:38 pm »
Hi Bas,

Last September I rode across Washington State and N. Idaho into Sandpoint, down to Coeur d'Alene and back to Spokane. N. Idaho is quite scenic along the Rivers Passage.  Stop in at the Priest River Campground near Newport, a beautiful place. They have a designated bicycle camp area for $3.   The roads are hilly, but not mountainous.  Shoulders range to none to 2'.  I was surprised to find N. Idaho quite sparse with few trees.  Mostly vast wheat farms.  Traffic is quite heavy around towns, but thins out when leaving.  Have a great trip.

General Discussion / Speaking of Tires
« on: April 23, 2008, 05:53:10 pm »
For riding the Great Divide, can anyone say about how many miles I can expect to get on a set of WTB Exiwolf tires 2.3"?

Guess I will need to send a extra pair to a PO stop somewhere on the trail for change out, but wondering where to send them.   Thanks!

General Discussion / What to buy??? Bent or straight up???
« on: May 09, 2008, 05:47:54 pm »
If you plan to ride the North Star this summer via Stratus XP, I could offer a few tips from last years ride on my Stratus.  I posted no online journal. You can reach me at if interested in route or bike info on how the recumbent handled.


General Discussion / What to buy??? Bent or straight up???
« on: April 19, 2008, 11:17:48 pm »
I've toured 15,000 miles now on a Rans Stratus LWB recumbent.  It handles great and is most comfortable, easily allowing long mileage days.

Took a 5,033 mile ride last summer through Canada and Alaska on it.  Did well on light gravel, and the dirt roads.

All LWB recumbents have inherent poor handling characterists in the 3-4 mph range due to the 'tiller effect'.  But climbing was never a issue, even on the final 14% grade of the 'Top of the World Highway' leaving Dawson City, Yukon.

Recumbents are not for everyone.  However I've found the comfort of a plush seat and leaning against a back rest makes marathon touring a joy.

I use Arkel rear panniers along with a Rans mid-ship rack to even out the load.

If close enough to a recumbent dealer, check out several models.  For long distance touring, I'd stay with a LWB model however instead of a SWB for stability.

Hope this helps.  

General Discussion / Eating on Tour
« on: March 15, 2008, 04:16:12 pm »
After 20,000 miles of touring, I'm ready for something NEW to eat on the road beside macaroni/cheese and Lipton side dishes for a evening meal.  

So let me ask my fellow touring cyclists if you could share a few of your favorite recipes.  Many Thanks!

General Discussion / Great Divide - The right bike?
« on: September 19, 2007, 04:32:25 pm »
With 15,000 miles of self-contained road touring, it's time for a change.

Would like opinions from those who have spent time mountain biking on the Great Divide as to what bike works best on this trek with recommended components.

I'm leaning toward panniers instead of a BOB.  Right choice?

General Discussion / First timer -tough decision
« on: February 19, 2007, 11:27:42 pm »
Wow... take a breath dude!

I've taken two cross-country tours of 4,500 and 4,700 miles, along with a half dozen short tours of ~1,200 miles each.  Enjoy each day and savor the TOUR.  The destination is of no value when you get home and did nothing but ride all day.  Will your family and friends be impressed by a 90 mile/day average?  Not nearly so much as coming back with stories of meeting 'Lazy Louie', or 'Wolf River Bob'.  

My suggestion is whittle your first tour to a managable mile number in order to "meet the locals" along the way.  Go out of your way to talk with the waitress at the 'Corner Cafe'. You'll come home with amazing stories that will forever be imbedded in your memory bank.  ENJOY the ride!

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