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Messages - indyfabz

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Here is the through route. Not included are the ill-fated detour on the former Milwaukee Road right-of-way and side mileage for things like groceries and a library stop:

Routes / Re: TA vs Northern tier
« on: August 27, 2017, 04:46:22 pm »
For example:
  • It cost maybe $15 per bicyclist to enter Glacier NP in Montana. That pass was good for a full week.
  • Glacier had hiker/biker spots for $5 IIRC.

Was just there in June. Those are still the going rates. I was a bit shocked about the $15 because I believe it was $10 when I was there in 2009.[/list]

Routes / Re: TA vs Northern tier
« on: August 23, 2017, 10:05:48 am »
Camping in the NE and New England will generally be more expensive and less "rustic." The leader notes for my group NT tour described one place in Maine as "combat camping at its finest." Spot on. Timing can also be an issue as some state facilities may start closing after Labor Day.

To mitigate heading into the western mountains of the NT you can start in Seattle and ride a few days north on the Pacific Coast route to get mileage under your legs. Then take a day off in Winthrop after crossing the Cascades and before taking on the next three passes.

If you want more mountains and dramatic scenery, you will find it on the TA. (I have only done it between Missoula and Fairplay, CO.) if you have already ridden a lot in OR, one option is to start on the NT and ride as far as Glacier N.P. Ride up the west side of Going to the Sun and back down and then double back to the Columbia Falls area and take the Great Parks North route to Missoula to pick up the TA.

Routes / Re: Kalispell > Missoula route suggestions please
« on: August 18, 2017, 03:13:47 pm »
Great, thank you very much for all the tips and taking time to reply.  I sure hope this area gets some badly needed rain!  This weather pattern is nuts.

It was unexpectedly hot nearly every day of my two-week tour that started June 18. I did a big loop from/to Missoula that went west to Wallace, ID then back into Thompson Fall, MT and then to Troy, Yaak, Rexford, Whitefish, Glacier, Big Fork, Seeley Lake.

What's going to land you in Kalispell?

Routes / Re: Kalispell > Missoula route suggestions please
« on: August 18, 2017, 07:37:06 am »
thanks everybody and esp. Indyfabz, for those photos.  That shoulder looks good.  I would gladly start breathing heavy wildlife smoke over a dangerous road, the first option at least puts death off a bit longer.
Reading that fire report, you might want to stay inside if you stay at Seeley Lake. The motel I mentioned may not look like much from the outside, but my room was nice. I got a room because it was very hot the day I was there.

Here is most of the route I took from Big Fork and the profile:

I ended up not taking the trail in Big Fork but rather stuck to Rte. 209. And as noted, I continued another 10 or so miles to Seeley Lake itself.

Routes / Re: NYC to Walden Pond?
« on: August 17, 2017, 01:49:47 pm »
Look at ACA's interactive network map. Following the Chicago-NYC route to the Atlantic Coast route then taking the Boston Spur of the latter would take you to Concord, which is very close to Walden Pond. Rode of the Atlantic Coast route last September. The section between Otisville, NY and New Paltz is very pretty. Lot's of climbing between Hyde Park and Amenia and more climbing between Millerton and N. Canaan. Lone Oak Camping Resort, a few miles east of N. Canaan, doesn't advertise it, but they charge cyclists only $20/night. It's a huge place, but was quiet on a post-Labor Day Sunday afternoon/evening as kids are back in school. And did I mention the place has a hot tub?

Routes / Re: Kalispell > Missoula route suggestions please
« on: August 17, 2017, 01:33:20 pm »
What's your overall plan? Back in June I rode from C-Falls to Wayfarers State Park in Big Fork after leaving Glacier National Park. Took some back roads that incorporated some dirt. Extremely nice back there. If you plan to come that way do not take Rte. 206. Lots of traffic and no shoulder.

From Big Fork I rode to Seeley Lake via Rte. 209 and 83. I will add that there is a section with minimal to no shoulder that starts somewhere south of the junction of 209 and 83. It's not all that long, and the shoulder returns. I left early a.m. on the Friday before July 1st. Traffic wasn't bad at all. MTDOT was also finishing up paving of a section of 83 a bit north of Seeley Lake, so that should be a nice ride.

Between Seeley Lake and the junction with Rte. 200 there is minimal to no shoulder and some bad sight lines, as Carla mentioned. Again, I left early and didn't feel unsafe. Rte. 200 had a lot of traffic Saturday morning, but there is a wide shoulder.

Here is what the typical shoulder looked like on Rte. 83 north of Seeley Lake:

As noted, some good sight lines.

In case you are not aware, Wayfarers State Park has new hiker/biker sights with a covered picnic table, bike repair stand, water, electrical outlets, bike racks, bear lockers and tent pads. $12/night for out of state residents (plus $3 for a shower). You cannot reserve a spot, but the park will not turn you away if they are full. (If you will be in Whitefish, Whitefish Lake State Park has the same deal.) If you do take Rte. 83, the Hungry Bear serves up a good lunch. About four miles before you reach it there is a ranger station. They will happily give you water and possibly even a granola bar. Because the holiday was coming up, all the U.S.F.S. campgrounds around the town of Seeley Lake were full. When you hit the business section of town you will see the Seeley Lake Motor Lodge on the left. You can camp behind the motel. Further down 83 towards Rte. 200 is Salmon Lake State Park. It also has the same new hiker/biker sights.

It you end up taking Rte. 83, the Hungry Bear serves up a nice lunch. About 4 miles before you get there you will find a ranger station/visitor center on the right that will happily give you water and maybe even a granola bar.

Gear Talk / Re: front gears
« on: August 07, 2017, 09:39:09 am »
You mention not being a stickler and not using all your gears.  That may be true.  But think about which gears you use 90% of the time.  Are they 3 or 4 gears that are all close together?  With a 1x system you may discover that you now have only one gear to replace the 3-4 gears you used to use.  You might discover that bicycling now sucks because you don't have the right gear and are always geared too high or too low.  Never the right gear to pedal happily along.

That is my biggest concern whenever I think about a 1x. I abhor being geared too high or too low, especially since I have never been a "spinner."

General Discussion / Re: GPS Tracker
« on: August 05, 2017, 04:43:55 pm »
I would advise your friends and family not to call out the cavalry too quickly. Thins malfunction. Batteries Die. A few years ago a seemingly panicked mother showed up here and on pleading for information on her missing son. The kid was fine. IIRC, his phone battery died and it took him a few days to find a place to recharge it. Kid never knew he was missing.

Gear Talk / Re: Bike fitting is recommended or not?
« on: August 03, 2017, 04:10:47 pm »
Also keep in mind that you shouldn't mix steel with aluminum if you can help it... One will give up electrons to the other (I don't recall which direction it goes). The end result is that one will weld to the other in the short term
I can attest to what can happen by combing that mix with poor maintenance. My Colnago road bike had a carbon fork with a steel steering tube. I rode it a lot of wet weather and didn't do any preventative maintenance. The spacers of my Chris King headset basically became welded to the steerer. A shop tried everything to free them but eventually had to cut through each spacer with a Dremel tool and pry them off.

Gear Talk / Re: Racks with child trailer question
« on: August 03, 2017, 04:04:20 pm »
That's what the low low gears are for. And presumably he is going to be heavier next year.

What sort of gearing do you have now?

General Discussion / Re: have a heart
« on: July 28, 2017, 03:39:23 pm »
Ugh. A cath is no fun. I had my first around age six, second at age 12 and a third at age 25, a few months before I had my valve replaced.

For the future...You can find places like campgrounds, motels, restaurants and grocery stores by doing a simple search of Google Maps. I searched for "Motels in Soledad, CA." You can also substitute "near" for "in". I have planned multi-week tours using this method. Sometimes searches will return some junk (like mobile home parks when you search for campgrounds), so it's not a perfect method. Also, you may see state parks in the area if you search for campgrounds. You may need to check a park's web site to see if there is a campground there.

Gear Talk / Re: front rack questions
« on: July 27, 2017, 02:46:12 pm »
the top platform is great for found treasures.

I currently have Nitto Big racks fore and aft and have always toured with a front rack with a platform. The front platform is great for carrying a bundle of firewood, which I have done on several occasions. If I need extra capacity for food I can put the sleeping bag or mattress on the front rack instead of inside a pannier. Heading home during a three-day trip several years ago I picked up a home made pie from a NJ farm stand and duct taped it to the front platform. Made it home in one piece.

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