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Messages - BikeliciousBabe

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General Discussion / Re: Lube when long distance touring
« on: July 14, 2020, 01:47:44 pm »
If you apply lube at random intervals, does rotating the chain really spread the lube to the rest of the links?
Absolutely. Recently lubed my LHT's chain during a three-day tour the week before July 4th after a storm the first evening. Maybe 6 random drops. Spun the chain then wiped down the sides. Still quiet as a mouse.

General Discussion / Re: Lube when long distance touring
« on: July 14, 2020, 08:25:47 am »
NFS for the win!:

I actually think their instructions are a bit over the top with 8-10 drops. I generally don't use more than 6.

Routes / Re: TA Route Missoula to Tetons/Jackson
« on: July 13, 2020, 07:55:39 am »
Eight days sound about right.

Spring Gulch Campground east of Sula has a hiker/biker site reserved until 5 p.m.

Wisdom/Jackson on day 2. Losr Trail is long but super hard. Save some for the long/gradual run to Wisdom, especiallly if you plan to keep going down the road to Jackson.

Stop and walk out to the overlook at the top of Big Hole Pass. On your way to Dillon to Twin Bridges. The Bike Camp at the latter is really nice. If you feel you need a rest you could always stay in Dillon and do a short day to Twin Bridges.

Twin Bridges to Ennis is a long slog up to Virginia City (great, fresh ice cream there), then the climbing gets tough. If you can handle benign gravel, take the Laurin Alternative from Sheridan to Laurin (should be listed in the adendum to the relevant map). Quiet and scenic. The descent into Ennis is rip-roaring. Stop at the scenic overlook. The fishing access campground in Ennis is decent. There is no water, but right across the road is the Lion's Club Park. Water spoigot there, but camping not allowed.

Haven't been beyond Ennis for 20 year so I won't comment.

General Discussion / Re: Easy Montana Touring Route & Checklist
« on: July 09, 2020, 07:56:09 am »
The above-described route would be fairly easy. If you want to make it harder and add a day you could go from Bannack over the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway through Wise River and back to Divide Bridge then on to Dillon on the final day. The Byway starts out gentle through the beautiful Grasshopper Valley. A bit after you pass the inn there is a short, steep climb, then a short descent. Then you hit a stretch of about 5 miles of steady climbing, but nothing super steep. From the summit it's a 26 mile net elevation loss to Wise River that features, among other things, a pretty alpine meadow. There is at least one restaurant in Wise River and a small mercantile that has always had enough to cobble together dinner. The well water at the Divide Bridge Campground is good, and you can rinse of in the river at the boat ramp. When I was there last (2016), a site was only $6 or $7/night.

Bannack S.P., mentioned above, has hiker-biker sites ($12 for non-residents) with amenities like bear lockers, a covered picnic table and electrical power for charging. The place itself is a restored ghost town. I was supposed to stay there last month, but my trip got cancelled. I was really looking forward to it.

General Discussion / Re: Great American rail trail
« on: July 06, 2020, 08:35:41 am »
Having done some of the Olympian Trail and the NorPac Trail up to Lookout Pass (twice), I can tell you the surfaces are not what I call consistently smooth. Last year, the latter had some washout areas closer to the pass. The lower slope, after you cross under I-90, also needs work. And, the NorPac is open to motorized vehicles because, if I am not mistaken, it is technically a U.S.F.S. road. Encountered one car and a couple of kids on ATVs in 2017. Not sure about the Olympian, but I did encounter one car a bit west of St. Regis in 2017.

General Discussion / Re: GAP/ C&O Towpath. Direction of travel
« on: June 29, 2020, 11:38:38 am »
The grade references are deceiving. From E to W, there is a 2.5-3% grade out of Cumberland to the Eastern Continental Divide for 23 miles, then a .5% downgrade the rest of the way into PGH. Having ridden both directions it is nice to INTO Cumberland (Eastbound) but I like to climb hills so the direction was a wash. On a loaded touring bike, you can basically coast all the way down into Cumberland for 23 miles going Eastbound so the ride is shortened for your legs!

Then the official website is wrong, because it lists the ruling grade as 1.5%. Ruling=maximum in railroadese.

And unless my math is wrong, an average elevation gain of even 2% for twenty three miles would produce an elevation change of over 2,400'. The Divide is shown at 2,392'. Cumberland is shown at 605'.

From the official site:

"Built mainly on abandoned rail beds. The steepest eastbound grade - 0.8% - is from Harnedsville to Markleton and Garrett to Deal. The steepest westbound grade is from Cumberland to Deal at 1.75%. Near the Big Savage Tunnel, the trail crosses the Eastern Continental Divide. From that point going east, the trail drops 1,754 feet in 24 miles to reach Cumberland and, going west, it drops 1,664 feet in 126 miles to reach Pittsburgh. View the Elevation Table. The Great Allegheny Passage trail is open daily, dawn to dusk."


General Discussion / Re: GAP/ C&O Towpath. Direction of travel
« on: June 26, 2020, 07:14:22 am »
I rode the GAP in both directions last year and W to E back in 2013. The ruling grade, according to the official website, is 1.5%. (That must exclude the few hills between Boston and PGH, and a few other places, where you are not on a former rail right of way.) I didn't notice any appreciable difference. Wind, however, was a factor. After reaching the divide there is an open section heading west. I had a very strong headwind heading towards Myersdale. The trees and grasses were whipping around. But there is no way to predict wind. You could have a southeasterly flow and thus encounter a headwind heading east like I did on Day 1 from PGH to Connellsville in 2013.

General Discussion / Re: 2020 Tours Where and when?
« on: June 16, 2020, 12:44:10 pm »
I should be riding to from Salmon, ID to Leadore, ID today as part of a two-week loop from/to Missoula, but I am not. Hoping to do some long weekend trips next month and eventually a cross-PA tour in September.

Routes / Re: NYC westbound
« on: June 09, 2020, 07:57:58 am »
Or from Erie you could make your way to Union City via PA 97 (best ridden on the weekend) and pick up PA Bike Route Y, which is also USBR 36. The eastern terminus is Matamoras, PA. Cross the river into Port Jervis, NY and pick up the ACA route to NYC. At the east end of Warren, PA, I would get off U.S. 6 and take PA 59, picking up Route Y again in Smethport.

General Discussion / Re: Solo Trip Cooking Logistics
« on: June 09, 2020, 07:40:14 am »
Yeah. Flying with a liquid fuel stove can be risky. I was told by two TSA agents that a stove with fuel or ash residue would be confiscated. Fortunately, when I fly for tours I ship the bike rather than take it on the plane. Stove and empty fuel bottle go inside the bike box.

General Discussion / Re: Solo Trip Cooking Logistics
« on: June 08, 2020, 11:16:34 am »
Personally I would consider the 4 quart pot to big for a solo trip.
Understatement of the week. I think our largest pot on ACA's unsupported, 13-person Northern Tier trip was that large. We would boil 4 lbs. of pasta in it.

I still have an MSR Blacklite Gourmet set. Nesting 2L and 1.5L pots, along with nesting frying pan (which I don't use.) I cook more elaborate meals than most. Inside the cookset goes the pot gripper, vial of olive oil, small plastic vials of salt and pepper, a head of fresh garlic, small bag of red pepper flakes, Navy can opener, light weight corkscrew and key chain-type bottle opener.

This for a knife. Very lite.

Sea to Summit makes a great collapsable bowl and cup that nest about 1/2' deep. I have a small, thin cutting board. Lexan plate, spoon and fork, although I recently got a titanium spork.

For stoves, I have my choice of an MSR Dragonfly and Optimus Nova. The former I take for two-week or longer trips because the fuel bottle is a bit larger. Both have excellent simmer control, which is what I need for my type of cooking.

I make mostly pasta. Cook whatever is going with it in the smaller pot, remove it from the stove, cover it to keep it warm, then cook the pasta in the larger pot, While I am draining the pasta, I put the other pot back on the stove to warm up the contents.

From sitting down to prep to starting to eat, I can make something like this in about 40 min. or less un-rushed.

As for morning coffee, I suck it up and bring pre-ground La Colombe Corsica and a Bodum Travel Press. It's a combination French press and mug. No need for an extra cup, and it keeps the coffee warm for a good while even in cold temperatures.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier Parking
« on: May 24, 2020, 11:28:02 am »
There are a couple of private campgrounds around the west entrance of the park. Definitely take the official ACA route from Columbia Falls to avoid the shoulderless stretch of U.S. at Hungry Horse. A few miles of dirt, but it's a good surface.

IIRC, there are a couple of Forest Service campgrounds between West and E. Glacier. There is also a private campground. Stopped there in 2009 to bum some water during a monster day from St. Mary to Glacier. Search Goolge maps for their exact locations. Sears motel in E. Glacier allowed camping back then. Don't try its website. It leads to a hook up page with semi-nude photos.

Why not simply check the maps? They show camping. And how are you planning on getting back to Whitefish? Reversing course?

BTW...Marias may be less steep, but the scenery is nothing to write home about, especially compared to Gong to the Sun. You will also have some truck traffic, and it's a long slog to the top.

Routes / Re: Going to the Sun Road
« on: May 07, 2020, 08:47:39 am »
Only six photos so far, but check back later. They usually post some dramatic images as they get higher up.

Check the link now. Cool grizzly and black bear photos taken during drives to the worksites.

 but I seriously doubt someone with C19 will be riding their bikes! 

Not true.  You can be contagious while exhibiting no symptoms and feeling fine.  For all I know, I could be infected.
+1. I cannot believe people don't know this. While the true percentage of asymptomatic cases may never be know, here is one striking example. 96% of this inmate population tested were asymptomatic:

General Discussion / Re: ACA Maps & 2-lane Highways - how often?
« on: April 23, 2020, 11:29:06 am »
I've read that a number of times, but I was ready to get off the backroads shortly after leaving Whitefish headed to Eureka.  May have just been Sunday morning (there's that time of day/day of week thing), but I had no problems on the main road through there.

I think there are a couple of things going on. Having ridden the stretch north to south in both 2017 and 2019, there seemed to be more traffic headed south. When I rode north on a Friday in 2009, there was not much traffic, but we were still feeling the effects of a recession. I would not be surprised if there is also a "Glacier Effect." In 2017, Going to the Sun Road was still closed beyond Avalanche the day I rode to Whitefish. There was definitely less traffic that year. (My 2017 and 2019 rides were both mid-week.) In 2019, it opened fully to cars on June 23rd, which was three days before my ride. When I left W. Glacier for Whitefish in 2009, the day after the road opened fully, there was a backup of vehicles on U.S. waiting to make that left towards the park entrance.

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