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Messages - PeanutButterShammyCream

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Routes / Re: Planing a Trip on the Northern Tier or GDMBR This Summer?
« on: March 12, 2018, 03:44:30 am »
Diff -

Since this is your first post and you give so little info about yourself, it is hard to offer any effective advice.
It seems that this is going to be your first big trip and that you know little about the West.
Not sure, but I suspect that you live in the urban East or Southeast.

I've got, perhaps, 100,000 miles on the bike (don't count) most of it in the West.
I have lived in the Northern Rockies for the past 30 years - Wyoming/Montana.
It is not to be trifled with.

Spring does not arrive in the Northern Rockies until June - regardless of what the calendar says.
Some of the biggest snowfalls in Denver have taken place in April - because the moisture feed picks up.
I have x-c skied on fresh snow in May every year and into June some years.
Not to mention that a winter's worth of snow on the ground has to melt out.

Crossing the Rockies in early May is asking for trouble.
You probably won't die, but you'll likely be cold, wet, and miserable.
The average high in Yellowstone in early May in 48F, avg. low is 20F. With 7 inches of snowfall in May.
Although Breckinridge, Colorado is 500 miles south, it is about the same because it is higher.
Average elevations are lower in Montana, higher in Wyoming, and highest in Colorado.
So winter persists about as long throughout the Rockies.

I offer you the same advice I have given many others -
Two basic elements you can alter are your route and your timeframe.
Electronic media give the impression you can do anything, anytime. You can't.
If your timeframe is fixed - then choose your route accordingly.

If this is going to be your first - perhaps only - big bike tour, why make it a bummer?

PS - This year is likely to be colder and snowier than those averages, too.

Thanks for the quick reply jamawani,

A little more about me:
I'm actually from, and still live in, Portland, OR. Yes this is definitely my first big bike trip.
I'm 26 years old, feel like I'm in pretty good shape, and am naturally a long distance runner.
My idea to bicycle to New York arose recently as I've been feeling more and more inspired to practice modes of transportation that are fossil fuel free. I'm going to New York to visit my Grandparents before flying to Sweden to visit my partner who's from there.

I totally get that the rockies are a serious undertaking on a bicycle. That's why I'm seeking the advice of those who've had some experience with this.

Basically what I hear you saying is: "Don't try it at this time of year."
I'm okay being cold for a little while on this trip. I spent last winter living in a teepee in North Dakota. That was cold! Ideally not cold AND wet tho. That sounds tough...

Yes my timeframe is fixed. My route is not fixed but my end destination needs to be somewhere close to New York. At least on the East Coast.

I just don't see any other options for crossing the country West to East without going so far South. I guess I'm curious if you can think of any other options on how to pull of this type of trip during this timeframe.

thanks again

Hey man, I rode from Portland to New York City in 2014. Let me know if you have any questions. I used the Lewis and Clark Trail, as well as the Northern Tier. The ride from through Oregon, Idaho and Montana was UNREAL! So beautiful. I am stoked for you!

Routes / Re: Anybody here done the Western Express?
« on: March 05, 2018, 04:57:07 am »
Thanks for all of your replies. Do you guys recall if any of the towns in Nevada and Utah have City Parks where I can camp? Baseball fields etc.....

General Discussion / Camping in Churches
« on: March 05, 2018, 04:55:48 am »
How do you go about this? How late are the Churches open? Do most towns have a Church that you can sleep in?

Routes / Re: Anybody here done the Western Express?
« on: February 27, 2018, 04:44:03 am »
Thank you all for your replies. Were there boulders or anything like that, so I could hide out and stealth camp? Or is it there literally NOTHING to hide out behind?

Routes / Re: Anybody here done the Western Express?
« on: February 26, 2018, 03:57:02 pm »
I don't have my maps in front of me so this is my 6 yo memory.

- Be prepared if you get hit with some weather. I did this ride in September but certainly in May you can get hit with some snow on the passes and it's really miserable to be wet and cold

- Definitely take the alternate routing thats on the map right after Middlegate. 60± miles and I was passed by 1 car

- make sure you're capable of doing 65-75 mile days w 2 or 3 1500-2000' (medium grade) climbs interspersed as thats the spacing in between towns on 50 thru out nevada and there is NOTHING in between

- Take the ride up Wheeler Peak near the Nevada/Utah border. You can get a room at one of the 2 hotels that are 5-10 miles further down 50 and drop your panniers off and go up w/o the extra weight, you'll be glad you did.

- Two months is a lot of time to do this route (=avg 30/day). If you've never been to Zion NP, you will be pretty close. Maybe you want to take a 3 or 5 day detour and do some hiking.

- Get off your bike and take a walk to see Cedar Breaks (stunning) at the top of the climb after Cedar City. The climb looks very tough on paper but it wasn't bad.

- Bryce Canyon is only a 10 mile detour. Do not miss it.

- The stretch between Hanksville and Blanding is the toughest of the trip. Hites Landing was closed when I came thru & I think it's typically open in the spring but from the looks of things, it's a pretty desolate stop even when its open.

- The climb up Lizard Head pass will likely be the easiest and most enjoyable big climb you've ever taken. Right along the lovely Delores River all the way to the top and a predominant tail wind almost every day of the year.

- The ride along the Arkansas River was very scenic but felt kind of dicey with the traffic and general lack of much of a shoulder.

Thats what I got but Aggie is right, lots of other info out there. I loved this route, you're in for a treat.


Thanks for all the great info! I have a couple of question in regards to your response:

1. Is there a possibility of hitting some really HOT weather in Nevada, during May?

2. During the 65-75 mile stretches of NOTHING, are there places where I could stealth camp? Or is it all just open desert?

3. Are there fresh water sources that run along highway 50 in Nevada, in case I need to purify some water?

Routes / Anybody here done the Western Express?
« on: February 26, 2018, 03:44:55 am »
I am planning on leaving from San Francisco on May 1. Do you guys have any advice on crossing through Nevada, Utah and Colorado during May and June??? I'm excited!!!!!!

General Discussion / Most miles you have ridden in one single tour?
« on: February 22, 2018, 05:35:28 am »
Just curious, what is the most miles that you have ridden in a single tour? This is excluding stopping somewhere for more than two weeks........

General Discussion / Let's talk injuries!
« on: February 15, 2018, 05:37:43 am »
Hey guys. I have ridden across the USA and Europe. Last year I had an I.T. Band Release Surgery on my knee. It has been 9 months since the surgery, and I am still not fully recovered. I have a fear that I may not be able to ride cross country like I used to.

I would like to know if any of you have had injuries or surgeries in the past, and how did they affect your biking experiences???? Please feel free to share your experiences, regardless if they are positive or negative. Thanks!

Gear Talk / Best type of saddle (besides Brooks)
« on: December 04, 2017, 03:32:17 am »
I have only used Brooks saddles while touring, but I would like to know if anybody uses a different type of saddle? If so, what kind? How do you like it for LONG DISTANCE riding??

General Discussion / Re: bike rental, amsterdam
« on: July 26, 2017, 06:22:38 am »
I was in Amsterdam last summer. "A-Bike Rental" has black bikes that don't stand out. I have rented from them many times.

General Discussion / Re: What state is your favorite to ride in?
« on: June 06, 2017, 03:26:35 pm »
I'm not sure this is even a meaningful question. Every state has good and bad areas for cycling. Of course there are policy differences between state governments that influence how much they invest in cycling, and states that invest more are more likely to have safe places to ride. But "safe" is not necessarily the same as "good".

I have favorite areas and favorite roads, but not favorite states.

LOL OK Mr. Serious

Routes / Re: Notes on Great Western Express Map 3
« on: June 05, 2017, 05:50:20 am »
I am planning on riding this route in August. Were there places  that offer shade in Utah, or do you go through long stretches where there is no shade? Do you think I will be able to ride through Nevada and Utah during August, or will it be too hot? Thanks!

General Discussion / What state is your favorite to ride in?
« on: June 05, 2017, 05:46:51 am »
Personally, my favorite state to ride in so far has been Montana. I loved all of the rivers, the open land, and the beautiful Rocky Mountains. How about you guys?

Let's say you were touring in Montana in October, and you were expecting to hit some snow on the road. what kind of tires would be the best for a surly LHT?

General Discussion / Re: Neck injury/pain issue
« on: May 17, 2017, 05:19:35 am »
I have neck issues as well. I modified my bike by adding an extra ring on my handlebar stem, which raised them up higher. Although it is not the most efficient position for riding, it has kept my neck pain at ease.

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