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Messages - zzzz

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Gear Talk / Re: Best Touring Wheelset
« on: October 19, 2017, 08:39:43 am »
I don't know enough about the current offerings of rims to give you a suggestion on those. But if money (and to some extent weight) is not a major concern, Phil Wood makes hubs that are the gold standard for durability and have been for 40 years. They come in many configurations: width, spoke count, and disc/non-disc. Obviously, at 210 + 40lbs of gear you'll want to go w a higher spoke count and a 3x (or if you really want to go crazy, 4x) lacing .

Personally, I have American Classic "Hurricanes" hubs/rims on my road touring bike and they have been very solid for me having never had to turn a spoke during any of my five trips @ 2500-3500 miles each. But you outweigh me by 80 lbs between yourself and your gear and I think you would be better off w the Phils.


Routes / Re: Great Parks North Advice
« on: October 04, 2017, 04:56:14 pm »

I rode the whole route, then in Missoula made a left and got on the transam  and rode down to denver. This was in 2013 so my experience is a little dated.

I shipped my bike to Jasper and flew into Calgary and got a 1-way rental and drove to Jasper. You can fly into Edmonton but when I was looking there were a lot more flights and they were cheaper and I could get a non-stop into Calgary. I have since flown into Calgary two more times to start trips in Banff and have used the shuttle to get to Banff and some of those same shuttles continue on to Jasper and if I was to do it again that's what I would do.

As I mentioned above, I shipped my bike up ahead of time to a bike shop and have done that on all 3 of my trips starting there. And as others have mentioned, if your bike is not with you it will be subject to customs fees, and I have reached a point that I will not do that again. The paperwork is ridiculous and the amount they charge is a black hole. It was US $126 2 years ago and US$24 last year. Next time I'll lose 1/2 a day and put the bike back together myself.

There's 2 holiday weekends in July, one national and one for BC, find a canadian calendar and stay away from them for the first 200 miles of your ride on the Icefields Parkway. The parkway may be the most beautiful continuous 200 miles in the world, and while there will always be traffic in the summer months, it should be somewhat better if you leave mid-week.

My GPN trip I left in September and the weather was perfect. Last year I rode from Banff to Fairbanks starting on July 29th and while on the Icefields Parkway I got hailed on going over Bow Pass and the temps dropped down to the low 40's. It sucks being that cold so bring a set of warm/waterproof clothes.

That whole trip sticks in my head as just being great. Yes, as per Infadybiz Pincher Creek is kind of a sad little town, but even there, on the way to it you will see the remains of the biggest rock slide you've ever seen and more windmills then you can imagine would be put in one place (Tehachapi excepted).

Going to the Sun Road in Glacier is closed to cyclists during the mid-day hours. You will want to be at the base of the climb (St. Marys) overnight and start going up as close to first light as you can get yourself out. The road quickly becomes nose to tail cars and if you can avoid that you will be glad you did. The sights as you get near the top of the pass are extraordinary.

I stayed in hotels for the entire trip and spacing of towns allows you to do that if you wish to avoid camping either entirely or on the occasional night.

Thats what I got, hope it helps.


General Discussion / Re: Appropriate Tires for GAP/C&O
« on: September 28, 2017, 09:53:03 am »
I've done the C & O but not the Gap. 32 mm would be plenty of tire for anything I saw.

I'll add something else:

Put a bell on your bike. The tow path is very heavily used even when you get away from the DC metro area. The number of folks on the trail, hiking or riding, who are in their own world is constant.  I  came to feel like a jerk for constantly coming behind people deeply engaged in conversation and making them jump no matter how far back I tried to warn them I was coming up on them. Giving them a ring from way back and if they didn't take note another as I got closer (I think) would have solved the problem.


Routes / Re: Western Express EB start end of this month
« on: September 19, 2017, 10:21:48 am »
I will pick up where Bclayden dropped off except to say I found the Caroll Summit alternate right after Middlegate to be one of the best sections of the route and I wouldn't miss it.

The climb up from Cedar City is not bad, make sure you get off your bike and do the small hike thats needed to go see the Cedar Breaks. Also, make sure you make time to turn down the road and ride the 10 miles  down 63 to Bryce Canyon and take a few hours to hike around. There's a couple of sharp little pitches on the climb out of Grand Staircase. If you made it over the climb out of Cedar City, the climb over Boulder Pass is about the same, a 2 hour grind.

The toughest part of the route to me was Hanksville to Blanding. I did it in a day and it was the toughest day I ever had on a bike. I think most people do it in 2 days which is much more sensible. Very, very desolate stretch. Verify that Hite is open before you get there or pack all the water and food you need for the 130 miles in Hanksville.

Lizard Head pass was a joy. It runs along the Delores River the whole way up which means it's very pretty and a very gentle grade. And I was assured by the proprietor of the Delores River Inn that I would have a tailwind the whole way up even though the flags outside his place were pointed straight out in the opposite direction as he was telling me this. And he was right. According to Sven(?), the wind on the mountain blows west to east 300+ days a year.

I stayed the night in Sargents so I would hit Monarch first thing in the morning. Again, this is a great climb. A natural pass that you can distract yourself by trying to figure out where the road will take you as it follows the folds in the topography, unlike the east side where they just ground the road into the side of the mountain. I had the grade reading up the bike computer and it never strayed from 7% for the 11 miles. btw: I went over Monarch in mid September and it snowed the night before.

One thing to keep in mind on the big passes. I am always soaked in sweat when I get to the top and I have a set of dry clothes easily accessible that I can change into when I get to the summit. It's usually at least 10° colder up there and your going to be going at a pretty good speed on the downhill side and you don't want to be freezing the whole way down.

Jamawani alluded to this but was not specific. October is the shoulder season and you could run into some pretty unfortunate weather. Pack plenty of warm clothes and keep posted on the weather as it can change in a hurry at altitude. You may have to wait out a front or if your luck is really bad you may not even be able to finish your trip. Fortunately, there seems to be a ethic out west that if someone is in trouble you help them out. If you employ some common sense you are unlikely to get yourself into a dangerous situation that you can't get out of.


Routes / Re: Two Weeks/Early Oct/900 miles max
« on: September 12, 2017, 04:16:30 pm »
Are you referring to the tunnel at Zion? if so, should not be a problem getting a ride.

They only run traffic one-way at a time for 10 or 15 minutes each way. During that time a line of cars backs up and you walk down the line w your thumb out. A lot of people are packed to the gills so you can keep walking. The best bet is to find a pick up that has an empty bed cause thats easy to load you and the bike back there.


Routes / Re: Seeking Route Suggestions: Utah in early October
« on: September 11, 2017, 03:46:36 pm »
I'll give you my take on this. I have ridden much of your suggested route from west to east as part of doing the Western Express route in 2012 and ridden it east to west from Moab to to the Grand Canyon as part of a Spokane to Flagstaff ride in '15. One time was in mid September, 1 time was in October.

Opinions vary but as far as I'm concerned there is no better place in the country and probably the world to take a trip for the time frame you've spelled out here. Moab by itself, while a cool little town, is a draw primarily for it's location near Arch's and Canyonlands. It's a pretty stout climb up to both of them. If you just got a day at Canyonlands, you may just want to pull up a short and spend your time at Dead Horse State Park as the terrain is very similar and you'll have some more time to hike around. There is a salt plant (I think that what it was) at Dead Horse which mars some of the views but it's not that bad. Arches is fantastic but will be crowded.

Leaving Moab you will go up 191, for the first 1/2 of the way to I-70 there is a bike path thats as good as bike paths get. The last 20 miles or so you will feel like your life is in serious jeopardy. Surprisingly, I-70 is not that bad to ride on, traffic was not that heavy and the shoulder was wide and clean when I was on it. Go west past Green River (I think it was 2 exits) and head south to Hanksville on 24. You will stay on 24 until you get to 12 where you'll make a left at Torrey. From almost the minute you tun onto 24 it will be continuous eye candy for a couple hundred miles as you go thru Capital Reef NP to Grand Staircase NM (see it while it's still intact!) into Bryce Canyon. From Bryce you will need to decide if you want to visit Zion again or head up to Cedar Breaks. The ride to the North Rim from Zion is very straight forward and I believe it's open thru 10/15. But thats about 110 miles then its another 220 miles from the North Rim to Flagstaff to rent a car. Since Moab to Cedar City is 300± miles I think you're a little tight on time to do it all at the afore mentioned 40-80 miles a day.

If you're going to do this trip I recommend you buy ACA WesternExpress map 3 and possibly the Grand Canyon connector map. You will find them well worth the 25-30 dollars.

Also , you may think you will be there "off-season" and it may be better than the crush of people in the summer, but you will not be able to avoid the crowds at Arches, Bryce, Zion, and G.C.

I will not be able to help you with the camping stuff, I stayed in hotels. From what I saw, the hammock is not an option. With only a minimum amount of planning food will not be a problem.

I remember several significant climbs along the way. I think 4 between Hanksville and Bryce. The climbs out west tend not to be super steep although there were some short pitches that felt like 10%, they're mostly just a grind because they're long. If you're a strong rider you should be fine as long as you're not extra sensitive to the thinner air. The climb over Boulder Pass was the hardest,and highest of the bunch. You just need to settle in for going uphill for a couple of hours.

That's what I got.


Routes / Re: Suggestion: Painted Blazes on the GDMBR
« on: September 05, 2017, 01:15:34 pm »
While 4x4 posts would be be great, now your talking a post hole digger and heavy materials to get on site and some real work getting it all installed. But the sign is an idea that that would be more money for the actual sign upfront then paint but should "be set it and forget it" excepting vandalism. I'm thinking a 6" x 6" yellow or orange metal sign w a couple of holes punched in to nail it up. You could have a left turn (as shown in attachment if it worked), a right, and a continue straight.

The thing that works well with the paint is that it can't be torn off and its easy to put on, a stencil and a can of paint is all you would need. On the appalacian trail people volunteer to adopt a section of trail and refresh the paint when it's worn. It's not every year but it does require maintenance. A rider could volunteer for example to repaint miles 250-275 just because it's a way to contribute or for a credit at Cyclesource or some other inducement. Also, I did meet a lot of locals who seemed to have a lot of interest in the route and the people it brought thru their town. Maybe after the original blazes or signs were put up they could be enticed to look after it. Sort of like "adopt-a-hywy" but a lot less work.

And if there's a fundraiser for this, I'm in.


Routes / Suggestion: Painted Blazes on the GDMBR
« on: September 05, 2017, 10:53:58 am »

This is mainly directed at the fine folks at ACA but if it would have been useful to anyone else who has been on the GDMBR, feel free to speak up in support of the idea.

I recently got back from the first 800 miles of the GDMBR. While I am abnormally pathetic when it comes to using technology I am not alone in that regard and my garmin and with the way points was of little use to me so I was using the maps and my odometer exclusively. That might of been okay but the odometer was always off by some amount. There may have been a wrong turn that added 1.1 miles or a stop off for lunch that added .6 miles so I was always getting to a turn and having to stop and write down the difference between the milage on the map and the odometer and note the actual milage to the next turn. It was actually pretty time consuming and distracting from relaxing and enjoying the ride.

I've done a fair amount of hiking on the Appalachian Trail and at all the turns there are 2 white blazes (lines) painted on a tree. Where there are no trees, there is a pile of rocks. This is really useful for staying on route. I'm asking if this would be something ACA would consider adding to the route?


Gear Talk / Re: Has anyone found a source for Titanium bike tools?
« on: September 05, 2017, 10:15:06 am »
This may or may not be of interest to you.

I bought it before I left for the GDMBR this year. It's much more useful than the multi tool I had and its a whole lot lighter then a full size set of tools. With the pounding the bike was getting I was checking all the parts regularly to see if anything had loosened up and there wasn't a bolt I could not reach and turn w some combination of pieces in the set. And if you have any parts that need a specific torque setting, I checked the torque wrench in the kit against the very precise torque wrench at work and it's very close.

I don't know how far down into the hole you want to go in being totally prepared for any eventuality (cassette tools? bottom bracket tools?) It's just allen tips, torx tips, and a phillips head so it doesn't take care of everything but you can add cone wrenches which are pretty light and flat and you may consider that to be enough.


General Discussion / Re: What is proper etiquette?
« on: August 31, 2017, 02:16:18 pm »
I don't mean to be unpleasant as this is such a polite forum and I like it that way but....

I think proper etiquette here is to mind your own business.


Routes / Re: GDMBR from Banff to Whitefish
« on: July 21, 2017, 11:44:43 am »
That was a very big help.



Routes / Re: GDMBR from Banff to Whitefish
« on: July 21, 2017, 09:44:53 am »
Question for Iowariz:

I leave next Friday from Banff on the GDMBR. After I read your answer regarding the detour you took I pulled out my map to check it out. South of Fernie & Morrisey Rd, there is a Lodgepole River Rd, which may or may not run into a Lodgepole Rd (obscured by text), which may be contiguous to Harvey-Lodgepole Rd., which runs back into the official route at Flathead Rd.

Are these 3 variations on the Lodgepole name in fact 1 contiguous road that you are referring to as Lodgepole Pine Rd & when I turn off 3 I can stay on it till I get back on route? Or is it more complicated then that?



Routes / Re: Two Weeks/Early Oct/900 miles max
« on: July 21, 2017, 08:14:52 am »

I don't know if you've already been to these place but the loop of Grand Canyon to Monument Valley to Moab (Arches NP & Canyonlands) then over to Hanksville where in quick succession you hit Capital Reef NP, then Grand Staircase, Bryce Canyon, and finally Zion NP simply can't be beat. I've been thru this are in late September a couple of times and the weather was pretty good and the crowds are diminished although there is always a lot of people at Arches and GC in particular. I haven't calculated the milage but I'm guessing it should be close to 900. If your short and have time at the end you can spend a couple of days doing the iconic hikes at Zion (Angels Landing, The Narrows, Observation Point). A large portion of this ride is a section of ACA's Western Express Route.

If you've already been to these places or you want REALLY remote, Big Bend is a pretty special place. I've never ridden there but spent 2 weeks hiking it 30 years ago and I still remember it as one of my favorites.


Gear Talk / Garmin Etrex Mount
« on: July 10, 2017, 02:24:31 pm »
I'm going to be leaving for the GDMBR at the end of this month. I bought a Garmin Etrex for the trip as it's battery operated unlike the regular Garmin cycling units which need regular recharging.

For mounting there appears to be 2 choices. There is a small plastic mount that relies on zip-ties that every review of them has multiple people who lost their computers because they fell off. Or there is a mount from a company called Ram that I bought and have mounted but it's quite the extended group of plastic pieces that looks like it would not weather the impact of a crash.

Is there a something else out there I haven't found?


General Discussion / Re: 6 week trip from Seattle to Sant Francisco
« on: July 05, 2017, 02:26:10 pm »

I have done the Sierra Cascades but have not done the Pacific Coast route. That said, I think the general outline of your trip is pretty obvious.

There seems to be 100% agreement that the way to do the Pacific Coast route is north to south. They say there is a very consistent prevailing wind out of the north and the ocean is on the correct side for your best and most consistent views. So you start up north and ride down the PC until Mendicino County or maybe even till San Fransisco , then you make a left and head to Lassen or if you went all the way down to San Francisco you go over to Tahoe and then head north on the SC.

That's the big picture, now you have to dial in what gets you to around 1500 miles. Maybe you want to start the PC in Oregon and just finish in Seattle. You can also cut the top part of the SC off and go directly from Mt Ranier to Seattle and save yourself 300-400 miles and not miss a lot of great stuff.


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