Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - BikeliciousBabe

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 22
General Discussion / Re: A musty item -
« on: August 28, 2020, 03:29:44 pm »
I use bandanas inside my pots to protect the surfaces from the stuff that nests inside (e.g., the pot gripper, spice vials). After my short trip back in July I neglected to unpack everything, forgetting that things had been a bit damp and that there was a damp sponge inside. When I finally did a couple of weeks ago, one of the bandanas was covered in mold. Fortunately, I was the only one who had to deal with it.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Touring/Camping
« on: August 24, 2020, 02:45:53 pm »
It's been 20 years since I rode through the park, so maybe things have changed for the better road-wise, but I can think of better places to ride than Teton Park. From the south of Yellowstone to Jenny Lake was nerve racking traffic-wise.

And note that you may not practice dispersed camping in the park. You may only camp in established campgrounds.

You're in Bozeman. Why not start out with something more local? Three Forks is a scant, flat 31 miles away. From there it's a short hop to L&C Caverns. From there, the Bike Camp at Twin Bridges is not a hard ride.

Or if you want to get into the woods on fairly easy gravel park in Philipsburg, ride over the hill and down to Rock Creek Rd. and hang a right. There are at least five U.S.F.S. campgrounds with water between there and I-90. 30 miles of gravel and 10 miles of paved road. Beautiful road along a blue ribbon trout stream that's know for its moose sightings along with its fish. Just before the Interstate there is a private campground with a decent restaurant:

Would make a nice out and back excursion with only one hill in each direction. If you spent the night before at the Inn/campground in Philipsburg, the owner might allow you to leave you car at the place. Unless she's sold the place, she's a hoot.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Touring/Camping
« on: August 24, 2020, 08:39:56 am »
Doesn't look to be any road around the west side of the lake, and bikes are not allowed on hiking trails:

As for campgrounds, the subject is discussed on the NPS website.

Routes / Re: Hiawatha to Trail of the CdA to Idaho Centennial to Spokane
« on: August 18, 2020, 11:54:33 am »
I think your geography is off. The Montana side of the Hiawatha goes into ID, away from the eastern start of the CdA trail in Mullan.

I was just riding out there last year. From St. Regis I climbed Gold Pass (15 miles of dirt/gravel) to the ID border, then down to the St. Joe River to Avery (nice, paved road). From Avery, I road the former Milwaukee Road right-of-way for 9 miles to the Pearson Trailhead of the Hiawatha, which is the western end of that trail. Took that all the way to the East Portal Trailhead, which is in MT. From there, I went down the dirt road and picked up the NorPac Trail, which takes you back to the border with ID at Lookout Pass. From there, you can either take I-90 down 7 miles to Mulan to pick up the CdA or you can continue down the NorPac Trail to Mulan. I chose the former as I was sick of dirt at that point.

You can see what I describe above here between mile 74 and 172.6:

Ignore all those profile spikes on the Hiawatha. That's GPS data coming from the tops of the dozen or so tunnels on the trail.

If you want to experience the Hiawatha and all of the CdA and even more trail you could do:

1. Do what I did above to St. Regis
2. Pick up the Olympian Trail in St. Regis, which become the Hiawatha Trail at the East Portal Traihead. (They are both on the same former Milwaukee Road right-of-way.
3. Ride the Hiawatha to its western terminus at Pearson
4. Catch the shuttle back to the west side of the St. Paul Pass Tunnel on the Hiawatha and ride back through the tunnel to the East Portal Trailhead.
5. Do what I did from East Portal to Mullan.

Don't expect nicely groomed surfaces on all parts of the Olympian and NorPac Trails.

General Discussion / Re: How to become a bike guide
« on: August 07, 2020, 08:44:45 am »

Stayed at Whitefish Lake S.P. during those two tours. Then went to Glacier for a few days during the first one before heading to Bigfork. Last year went straight to Bigfork from Whitefish. There was a crazy thunderstorm the morning I left. Hail covered the ground at the campground. That was right around the end of June.

Gear Talk / Re: Tents Designed for Bike touring
« on: August 06, 2020, 11:53:13 am »
I'm currently using an REI Quarter Dome 2. It's apparently no longer available,

It has been replaced by the Quarter Dome SL 2. Bought one this spring. Finally go to use it for the first time on July 1st, when it just so happened to pour for more than an hour. I like to live on the edge, so I didn't even take it out of the sack before starting the three-day trip. I did, however, feel around inside to determine if all the parts seemed to be present.

Definitely bulkier, heavier and longer than my Fly Creek UL 2, but it also has more room and has two doors.  Hangs a few inches more off the back than my Fly Creek does, but that is due in large part to the fact that I can't shove ii as far forward on the rack because the diameter is such that if I do, the backs of my thighs will hit it. Perhaps I will experiment with compression straps to combat this.

I will use it for shorter and/or easier terrain trips.

General Discussion / Re: How to become a bike guide
« on: August 06, 2020, 11:35:45 am »
I live in Northwest Montana!
Where abouts? I toured through the Cabinets, Troy and Yaak for a second time last year.

General Discussion / Re: Great American rail trail
« on: August 03, 2020, 07:42:32 am »
I read about cycling on the so-called east coast greenway. If ever a cycling route existed mostly in the imagination, the ECG is it, so far, anyway. I read comments on CGOAB. One cyclist said he could not believe the ECG people had done research research on the prescribed route which he described as narrow, with no side lane, dangerous, with loads of traffic, noisy and polluted.

In PA, south of Philadelphia, the ECG uses many miles of a road literally named "Industrial Highway." From the center of Philadelphia to the north, it's mostly on very busy, urban streets.

Routes / Re: Gibbons Pass Alternate
« on: July 28, 2020, 09:18:50 am »
Many thanks to both of you who replied on this.  I'm new to the forum, so don't know how to reply individually.  This is exactly what I was hoping to learn before considering the Alternate.  There's three of us in our group and we'll discuss your posts.  We'll probably stick to the pavement.

Made a little photo album:

The first four are from the climb. The second four are of the descent. Looks like the rider with the Crazy Guy journal may have ridden it after some rain.

If you want to try some dirt, I highly recommend the Old Darby Rd. Alternative south of Hamilton. The surface has been good the three times I have ridden it since 2011. Only a few, mild washboards. I think 32c tires would be fine, especially since there are no steep hills. And the scenery is terrific. Some photos of my various rides there:

The Laurin Alternative south of Sheridan should also be doable in 32c tires. It avoids about 8 miles of shoulderless highway.  I think there is a link to an on-line map on the addenda.

Finally, send me a PM if you would like more info. about places to stay, etc. I have ridden on the TA south of Missola several times since 2011, skipping only the stretch between Badger Pass and Twin Bridges in favor of an alternative routing to Twin Bridges.  In 2016, my last time out that way, I made it as far as Ennis before circling back towards Butte.

Routes / Re: Gibbons Pass Alternate
« on: July 27, 2020, 11:06:00 am »
Not sure if it was I who made the last comment you found. I rode it in 2014.  The north/west slope was generally not that well maintained. In fact, I believe there is a sign that reads "not maintained for vehicles" or something like that.  Note that the U.S.F.S. facility at the base of the climb is no longer a maintenance facility. That may have affected how often the pass is maintained.  Based on my experience, I think you would be pushing it on 32c tires on that side unless you are travelling on the light side. There were some places that had fallen rocks/stones and a generally rough surface. I lost traction a couple of times and had to push for short distances. When I finally made it to the top, there was a relatively narrow section of tree trunk that had clearly been placed across the road intentionally. I think the message that was trying to be sent was "If you can't drive over this you shouldn't be riding that slope." I did actually get passed by one vehicle heading south/east. Old timer with a dog in the front seat. His vehicle had good ground clearance. He was quite patient and waited until I came to a curve where there was enough room for me to pull over so he could pass. There are some stretches where that is not possible. There is a sign about the lack of pullouts for the first 6 or whatever miles at the base.

The south/east slope was an entirely different story. Except for the initial part of the descent, the grade is mild to very mild. The surface was either hard pack dirt or small gravel.  Easy riding.  There are some recreational opportunities back there, so expect to encounter some vehicles. I rode it mid-June and encountered maybe 5 on that side.

With all that said, if you think you can make it it's worth the ride. Some of the views going up are terrific. Make sure you look back when you are on the section where you have to choose which tire track to ride in. And make sure you choose the left one whenever possible. If you are on the right and fall to your right it's a long, steep slide down.  ;D I will post a link to some photos if I get a chance.

It would probably be a good idea to stop in the Sula Ranger Station to ask about current conditions because what things are like today could change tomorrow. It is located on U.S. 93 not that far beyond the Sula store/campground and just before the left turn for the pass. Note that I am pretty sure that office is closed on weekends.

Gear Talk / Re: Bag volume, weight, cost for touring/bike packing?
« on: July 27, 2020, 07:33:02 am »
I don't keep track of that kind minutia. My only advice is to get bags a little larger than you think you'll need so you'll have room for any extra you may pick up along the way - most notably food.
+1. And the thought of calculating cost/liter never once crossed my mine. It is simply not a consideration for me. I bought what I thought would meet my needs.

Gear Talk / Re: A must item
« on: July 27, 2020, 07:28:59 am »

Blood thinners.

General Discussion / Re: Easy Montana Touring Route & Checklist
« on: July 24, 2020, 10:06:36 am »
Don't miss the Lodge and Hot Springs at Elkhorn/Polaris. Pretty rustic and a real throwback in time but well worth the stop. Just don't expect four star accommodations. Do expect a laid back and friendly atmosphere and reasonable prices.
Stayed in the lodge the first time I rode the Byway. The floor of our room was so off kilter that the mattress tended to slide off part of the way. Still had fun though. We actually met an employee of ACA while there. You can also pitch a tent. Food wasn't half bad. What was bad in early July were the mosquitoes. Even when in the outdoor hot springs pool you had to keep dunking your head under for a break.

OP: Another option returning to Dillon from Divide Bridge is to take Melrose-Twin Bridges Country Road (a/k/a Melrose Bench Rd.) between those two towns and then the highway up to Dillon. But Melrose Bench is unpaved, hilly and rough in many places. The trade off is that it's really neat, and you will probably encounter far more free range cattle than cars. I have ridden the 20+ mile stretch three times. I think the greatest number of vehicles I encountered was 4.

General Discussion / Re: Great American rail trail
« on: July 20, 2020, 11:27:27 am »
I welcome the idea because anything that gets bicycle riding in the public eye and might get more people out and about is a good thing.  And while I’m hopeful they can build some new trail connections here and there due to the publicity of this newly named route, I don’t see them ever filling in all of the gaps.  Theres’s a lot of gaps to fill!  But I really like the big idea thinking behind this.

My only complaint is there seems to be a few head scratchers with regards to the actual route they picked.

For example, if you are heading west and go past Des Moines,IA instead of continuing west, the route heads in a southwesterly direction all the way to Lincoln, NE simply to access a what amounts to a handful of miles of established trail.  Then once in Lincoln, it’s all the way back north again, on roads, so you can connect to the Cowboy Trail.  That’s a lot of extra miles.

In my opinion, from just NW of Des Moines, they should try to find a way directly west to connect to the eastern end of the Cowboy Trail instead of trying to incorporate as many little local segments that classify as “Trail” or MUP’s.  You’re already going to on low traffic roads out west for a lot of this anyways.

Perhaps their reasoning is they are trying to stick to old abandoned rail lines or MUP’s which would make logical sense.   But staying true to that route also seems to add a ton of miles to your journey.  That said, a ton of people will take this route just to avoid roads.


At the risk of sounding critical, there is a mini version of that on the Atlantic Coast route, namely the Walkill Trail south of New Paltz, NY. It seems like trail miles for the sake of trail miles. It rode it in 2018, having done the previous routing two years earlier. The trail mileage is not anything to write home about scenery-wise, and the surface was rough and even muddy in places. That aside, the trail simply ends nowhere. One has to take some fairly unfriendly roads to hook back up with the old routing, and it adds several non-flat miles to what is already a pretty tough section to reach the nearest campground. In contrast, the old routing is much more scenic and not a problem traffic-wise.

And all that aside, I think what TCS wrote above has merit.

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 22