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Messages - zzzz

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General Discussion / Re: Any 'cycling in print' collectors?
« on: December 29, 2017, 09:14:27 am »
Thank you for the link, I'll be ordering a copy today.

As for the original vs a repro, to each their own. I will get this, frame it, and slap it on the wall where I want to and not worry about UV light, humidity or temperature fluctuations. If I had the original I'd feel obligated to keep it stored in a space where I kept all that monitored and controlled.


General Discussion / Re: Any 'cycling in print' collectors?
« on: December 26, 2017, 06:33:21 pm »
I'm not a history buff & this isn't the sort of thing that naturally sparks my interest but I consider the Yosemite poster I linked to is one of the coolest things I've ever seen. We have a plotter here at work but it's just grey scale. I tried to get someone to plot it for me in color on poster board so I could hang it up in the house but without specific copyright permission, I kept getting refused. It kind of slipped off my radar but I'm going to need to take another crack at getting it printed and framed.


General Discussion / Re: Any 'cycling in print' collectors?
« on: December 26, 2017, 05:05:16 pm »
No, I'm in the woodworking business.

But if your real question is how I came across this, it was picked up by a online magazine (Slate) from a periodic release that the Library of Congress makes of stuff in their archives that the public may find of interest. This happened 2 or 3 years ago and the map was so cool I posted it here at that time.


Routes / Re: Cross country in 8 weeks?
« on: December 26, 2017, 04:51:44 pm »
Jamawani can give you more granular detail of nearly every road you can possibly take than I ever could or anybody else I know who posts here so I will skip offering any route tips other then I did my west to east trip as the WE to the TransAm and it was a great route which I highly recommend. I would start in mid to late August and beating the heat of the first couple of weeks by starting close to dawn and wrapping up by noon. The last 5-6 weeks would then be in early fall.

I will comment on a couple of things:

1) I credit card tour and traveling light is great but...
 a) I burn thru a lot of cash, like 150 or even 200 dollars a day
 b) There are significant stretches with no hotels at all so you may have some really long days, as much as 120 miles, and the wind may be  up that day.
 c) Take an emergency bivvy (see above)

2) Your example had you averaging, with a full load 14.5 mph (172 miles/12 hrs) Thats pretty good. Unless you were whipped at the end of that weekend and weren't ready to ride again for a week you should be fine for crossing in 8 weeks (or less).

3) Since you live on the east coast I would argue you should ride towards home and start on the west coast. You won't have the pressure of making a non refundable plane ticket

4) There are people who like or require a rest day. You may find (as I do) that you start feeling really antsy on a rest day around 11 or 12 and you just get back on the bike to get going down the road. Out of a total of 180 days on tour I've taken 3 rest days, and I was sorry every time. I get bored if I wrap up the day before 1 or 2 in the afternoon. Once you've done your laundry and taken a nap there's not a lot to do in some of these really small towns. YMMV

5) And most of all, no matter what anyone suggests, in the end this is your trip, do what you want to do with it. I just panned rest days, someone else will say the only way you'll feel the trip is to visit the sites and see the history. Also, some hate the heat, others hate riding in the cold. You know yourself better then anyone else. Listen to the voice in your head.

Have a great time,


Routes / Re: ride along hotels or B&B
« on: October 30, 2017, 09:04:10 am »
Hi Peter:

You can absolutely do this in the US where the terminology for it is "credit card touring".

If you're planning on riding in the eastern half of the country it probably won't be that different than what you've experienced in Europe in that you can probably start looking in the afternoon for your night's bed. I believe (but not have personally done) that the same is true of the Pacific Coast route.

If you're planning on riding out in the rural west (where the best US touring is), you will want to research your route fairly carefully. There are specific stretches which have 60-80 miles between towns and even a couple with 100-140 miles between towns. Where the population/infrastructure density is much less it will be safer to verify where you'll be staying that night in the morning or the night before.

I have done 5 trips that were a month long each this way. On my first 2 trips I took an emergency bivy with me just in case and never used it but there were days I went longer than I wanted to in order to avoid sleeping in the bivy. Now, for the last 3 trips I've taken a ultra-lite bag and tent and used them maybe five times total. A couple of times the wind was way up in the afternoon and I was spent before I got to the next town, another time I was going over a big pass and a storm blew in. They are insurance and give me piece of mind but are not required.


GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPX for North Star II guided ride?
« on: October 24, 2017, 02:21:35 pm »
Thank you John but my advice suffers from the sample size of 1. It sounds like you have been up there multiple times. Hopefully, I'll get back as it's quite beautiful up there.

"sketchy"... I should learn to be more precise. As I mentioned on my previous post I went up the Alaska Hywy, but until I got to Prince Georges I could have still gone on the Cassier and I was considering it so I was specifically talking to the riders coming the other way (ALL of whom took the Cassier). A couple of them commented that the shoulder on the Yellowhead would come and go, or turn to sand in an abrupt way. This would sometimes happen w trucks or RV's next to you and left you feeling pretty vulnerable.

Separate from that, and the OP does not give their gender, there have been many disappearances on that section of the highway over many years. There are billboards that start in Prince Georges but I'm told go for the next couple of hundred miles with pictures of the young women that have gone missing and asking for info. The last murder attributed to the series was in 2011 but the constant billboards are still disconcerting.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPX for North Star II guided ride?
« on: October 24, 2017, 09:41:41 am »
Hello B:

The advice you've gotten so far has all been sound but I'll add/clarify a few thoughts from what I saw on my trip.

1) People suggested that you buy The Milepost not because of the maps but because it is chock full of advertisements for any of the stores/hotels/camping spots along the way so it greatly facilitates trip planning. There is also a Milestone app for your phone. There's a little bit of a catch in that if a commercial business does not take out an ad, they don't show up at all but as best I could tell almost everyone up there takes out an ad.

2) John alluded to the fact that if you get an older copy of the milepost some businesses may no longer be open. Get the most current edition. I did my trip in 2016 and I could not get over how many of the little places between the bigger towns were for sale and/or the owners were were openly talking about going out of business. The rural areas are under serious economic pressure. Always carry enough food that if the next place you're planning to stop at is gone that you're not screwed. Water will not be a problem.

3) Do not miss Denali. Even if you consider it out of the way. If you just take a day there, take a park road bus (they have bike racks) out to Alysian(sp?) and ride your bike back. It's a gravel road that is closed to private cars, the scenery along it is incomparable.

4) On my trip I started in Banff to Jasper to Prince Georges to Dawson's Creek and then rode the Alaska Hywy up to Fairbanks. John has you taking the Cassier Hywy (37 between Watson Lake & Kitwanga) and then the Yellowhead (16) to Jasper. That is the way most touring cyclists go, it is supposed to be much more scenic than my route. I was told by some folks I met going the other way that they found some sections of the Yellowhead west of Prince George pretty sketchy to be on as a cyclist.

5) Bring good waterproof clothes. For 10 days in a row I got rained on in the afternoon. Sometimes for 10 minutes, sometimes for an hour, but it always rained hard enough and long enough that if I didn't stop and cover my panniers and put on my rain jacket I would have been soaked thru.


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.


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