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Messages - indyfabz

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1
Routes / Re: Best/easiest route from the Pacific to Michigan
« on: April 20, 2017, 02:55:56 pm »
I'm thinking that starting out on that same day could be complicated so I'm wondering where to rent a room....or should we hit the road for 20 miles or so?
Bay View State Park is about 13 easy miles from Anacortes, and you will have plenty of daylight. Sounds like a reasonable way to get you "feet wet," and means fewer miles the next day. Don't recall any grocery stores near the park. Closest was in Burlington, which is 8 miles each way. As such, you might want to carry from Anacortes. Howard Miller Steelhead County Park in Rockport has Adirondack shelters. They come in handy if it's been raining.

2
General Discussion / Re: Cycling in Iceland
« on: April 19, 2017, 07:41:54 am »
Join bikeforums.net and start a thread in the Touring forum. At least one pretty active member recently toured there. Other have as well.

3
General Discussion / Re: Bike across the US help
« on: April 18, 2017, 02:25:35 pm »
Are your road bikes geared sufficiently to allow you handle mountain climbs of 10+ miles while carrying weight?

BTW..REI offers some affordable touring bikes. Is there one near you? If so, there is one in Santa Monica. It's quite possible that if you buy bikes from a local REI they will later assist in shipping them to the Santa Monica store for you. Or get a local bike shop to box them and ship them to the Santa Monica REI for reassembly using bikeflights.com, which is a discount broker for FedEx bike shipping. I have used the Missoula REI for reassembling my bike at the start of tours and I didn't even buy it from an REI. But make sure you call and ask if they will do that for you.

4
Routes / Re: Help Building a Trip
« on: April 18, 2017, 10:51:32 am »
One great way to link the TA and the NT out west is to take the Great Parks North route from Missoula up to Columbia Falls.  It's worth a few days to backtrack to West Glacier and Apgar to see Glacier N.P.   

Great tip there. That looks like a better option than trying to do the Divide trail on a road touring bike. I'll probably miss a few views, but Missoula is just as good if not better than Helena.
Wouldn't to the Divide on 32c/37c.

I will be going back to Glacier N.P. again this June to ride up the west side of Going to the Sun to Logan Pass and back down again. This will be during a loop tour from/to Missoula. Here is the entire route:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19192705

The latter miles show the link between Missoula and Glacier, only in the opposite direction you would be going. Much of it is part of ACA's Great Parks North route.

There is camping in/around Seeley Lake and further up MT 83 at Lake Alva. (One of the two campgrounds there has no water. Lake Inzez Campground is also dry.) In Big Fork, Wayfarer's State Park now has hike/biker sites. Note that getting to and from W. Glacier involves some dirt at mile 428/511 on the above map unless you want to brave a shoulderless section of U.S. 2 going towards Hungry Horse. 32c shouldn't be a problem, and it's pretty and quiet back there. The pavement picks up at some point at the easterly end of Belton Stage Rd.

In the park you could set up camp and Sprague Creek Campground or further up the road at Avalanche Campground and then ride up to Logan Pass and back. Sprague Creek is smaller (nice tent pads and bear boxes for hikers/bikers) but it's also close to the road. I like it there because you can walk to Lake McDonald Lodge, which is a must-visit. However, if you stay at Avalanche you have a shorter ride up to the pass and you can catch the free shuttle if you want to go the lodge for dinner and/or a beer down by the lake. Personally, I don't like to be dependent on shuttle schedules.

In Whitefish, on the NT, Whitefish Lake S.P. also has new hiker/biker sites with lots of amenities. Lots of train noise though, so bring ear plugs if you are a light sleeper.

BTW...If you want to take what is supposed to be a very nice detour off the Northern Tier, take a look at the section of the above map between mile 255 and mile 339. (You would, of course, be going in the opposite direction.) From what I have read (including a journal on Crazy Guy), it's supposed to be very nice. You can see the portion between mile 255 and Yaak at mile 297.4 on Street View. There is camping in Yaak itself at what appears to be a lodge/restaurant. There are also a couple of forest service campgrounds with water west of Yaak at mile 292 and 294.5. There is also a store in Yaak, but I don't know how well stocked it is.  Closer to Troy, there is a campground at mile 260.7. Troy has a legitimate grocery store. Really excited about riding this section. The journal entry I read says the climb from Lake Koocanusa up the summit at mile 226 is a tough one. I will be going in the opposite direction. It looks like that way is easier grade-wise.

5
General Discussion / Re: Filling in the Gaps
« on: April 17, 2017, 03:50:11 pm »
Ive managed to find a word document online that provided quite extensive reviews from cyclists who have navigated the transam trail over the years and have given their reviews for places to stay and eat!
And how dated is some of this information? Things come and go over the years. A great example is the recent closing of the Jackson Hot Springs Lodge in Jackson, MT due to the death of the owner. Fortunately, a place with indoor lodging and camping opened up across the street a few years ago, but unless someone re-opens the lodge or the café in town fills the void left by its closing, there will be nowhere to get breakfast in town as the café is only open for lunch and dinner. Heading west, you will have to go another 18 miles to Wisdom.

6
Routes / Re: Gravel Roads/Alternative Routes along the Northern Tier
« on: April 17, 2017, 09:01:38 am »
1. Yaak Valley - Turn onto CH 508 just inside Mont. - paved, services at Yaak, comes out near Rexford
Incredible riding along Yaak River for miles - big climb and descent to Lake Koocanusa

I am planning to ride through Yaak this June. Was then going to head straight to Libby but found a journal on CGOB written buy a guy who did Kookanusa to Yaak. Sounds amazing so I plan to ride it. You can see the route he took here between mile 297 and 338:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19192705

7
Routes / Re: Gravel Roads/Alternative Routes along the Northern Tier
« on: April 17, 2017, 08:55:39 am »
I know Indyfabz has some knowledge here.  You've given some good tips in the past on here.  Do you have any suggestions?
Can't help you in WA, but I am planning on being on parts of the NT in MT this June, and I have been trying to incorporate more dirt in my trips.  One thing I have been considering to avoid some of U.S. 93 south of Eureka is this:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/20375773

Don't have any experience, but from the profile you can see that there is a short, nasty section with a ruling grade above 15%. It puts you back on U.S. 93 just north of Olney, so you don't miss the town store juts off route.

And are you aware that the official route takes a break from U.S. 93 just south of Lupfer? It uses Farm to Market Rd. and Twin Bridges Rd. west of U.S. 93. Very nice back there.

When did you take NF-228/92? I was under the impression that it was paved, at least now it is?

8
Routes / Re: Lewis + Clark to Trans Am West to East in May?
« on: April 16, 2017, 04:03:30 pm »
and switching over to the Trans Am route in Missoula.
When would be your anticipated arrival in Missoula?

9
Routes / Re: Colorado Springs to Minneapolis route?
« on: April 12, 2017, 08:25:38 am »
Jeans are needlessly heavy and bulky, and if they get wet they don't dry easily. Convertible pants are a good investment. Plus, IA could be hotter that hell in July. It was when I did the Northern Tier. Topped out at over 100 degrees and every day was at least 90. MN wasn't exactly cool all the time either. We crossed over from ND on July 6th and had some warm, humid days during our two weeks in the state.

10
Routes / Re: Colorado Springs to Minneapolis route?
« on: April 11, 2017, 03:43:42 pm »
BTW...You need to carefully review any Goggle Maps suggestion re: a bike route, especially out west. It will sometimes pick dirt roads, roads that are not really roads, etc. The screen shot you included is not detailed enough to assess the route's viability.

11
Routes / Re: Colorado Springs to Minneapolis route?
« on: April 11, 2017, 02:41:42 pm »
and a week to two weeks worth of clothes.
Which means one or two sets or riding clothes (shorts, jersey, socks, etc.), maybe some rain gear and, for off bike, one pair of convertible pants, one or two shirts and two pairs of undies, right?  ;D

12
Routes / Re: Northern Tier to Transamerica
« on: April 05, 2017, 11:09:45 am »
If you want to stay on ACA routes, Check out the Interactive Network Map:

https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/adventure-cycling-route-network/interactive-network-map/

Un-check the box for Complete Adventure Cycling Route Network and check the boxes for the Northern Tier, Trans Am, Bicycle Route 66 and the Underground Railroad Route. The last two can be followed to connect the Northern Tier to the Trans Am.

Also check out the Pacific Coast route and the Western Express. The latter goes through Sacramento. Not the most direct route, but one option.

13
Gear Talk / Re: Packing Techniques for Ortlieb Front Roller Classics
« on: April 04, 2017, 10:37:13 am »
Nothing against your using containers within containers, but I prefer to avoid the extra layer of packing and just put my stuff directly into the pannier. If I do need some method of organization for small items, I use zip-lock bags. Yes you do have to sometimes root around for what you are looking for, but I find that tolerable.

On drawback to having something hard inside the pannier (like the lid of that peanut jar) is that it can cause abrasions on the pannier, especially if your bike falls over.
+1. I have Ortlieb Packer+ series. I don't have any "redundancy" in storage except for my ground coffee, which I double up the Zip-Loc for in case the first one gets a little hole, and my fuel bottle, which I put in a plastic shopping bag to keep any fuel residue off other things. If something came with a stuff sack (e.g., MSR Dragonfly) I will use it, but that's it.

Rigid containers can also waste space in several ways.

14
Pacific Northwest / Re: A Good Portland bicycle shop?
« on: April 03, 2017, 02:18:51 pm »
The Bike Gallery has, for years, provided mechanical support for Cycle Oregon. They have several locations, including one in downtown Portland:

http://www.bikegallery.com/

15
General Discussion / Re: Bike Safety
« on: March 31, 2017, 10:49:55 am »
I have gone with a very light cable lock on most tours, but have also gone with no lock at all.  In places I perceive as high risk I don't let the bike out of my sight.  I seldom stay in cities or even large towns preferring to avoid larger cities in favor of rural small towns.  In rare cases where I have stayed in cities I usually just got a room.  I have wheeled my bike up and down the aisles at walmarts or grocery stores a few times where I thought the risk especially high.  I have also taken it inside and parked it in the front of the store a couple times.  In small town general stores or diners it is often leaned against the front of the building often not locked.

Many of the towns I stop in have populations with two digits and folks don't lock their houses or cars.  I never bother to lock in places like that.  I start to consider it a "big city" when the population has a comma in it :)  At that point I may get more serious about locking or watching the bike.
This is pretty much me.

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