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Messages - iab2hieY

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Routes / Re: Route Planning Great Parks North / GDMBR
« on: November 16, 2020, 01:28:41 pm »
Awesome pictures - time will tell if Canada opens and yes, I'd like to start there if possible.  If I do start that leg, I heard to start in Jasper and avoid Banff due to tourists - that is my general concern if I do the Going to the Sun Road.

True, that is one less thing to worry about.

I see you rode a bike with no front suspension and it looks like 29x2.3" tires.  Decisions, decisions ...

Routes / Re: Route Planning Great Parks North / GDMBR
« on: November 16, 2020, 12:45:46 pm »
I'm open to any advice - Yes - I am trying to avoid buying another bike as I can only ride 1 at a time :).

Okay, I'll bring my lighter cable lock which would be easily cut, but should be enough of a deterrent.  So, you would prefer the GDMBR over mixing the Great Parks North with the Trans Am in terms of avoiding traffic or scenery, or both?

Gear Talk / Is there a benefit to running a wider front tire than rear?
« on: November 16, 2020, 11:12:45 am »
Hi - I have a gravel bike that has about 60mm of spacing in the fork, so I am thinking I can safely use a 700x50c wire.  The manufacturer only advises a max of 32mm - I currently have a 38mm, but if the wheel goes out of true, it'd be game over, so I would likely switch down to a 32mm.

With a larger front tire (and since my bike has no suspension at all), it'd help to give me more cushioning and traction on gravel.  I can also handle ruts and potholes a little better.  I have a "standard" road bike rim, would I need a wider rim for that wide of a tire?  It would also make sense to have a wider rim as I'd have more air making for a more comfortable ride too, right?

Since the rear tire is still skinny, I would have problems going up loose gravel, but coming down should be much improved since, right?



Routes / Re: Route Planning Great Parks North / GDMBR
« on: November 16, 2020, 10:38:55 am »
Good point - I've heard mixed thoughts on that, but better safe than sorry.

Would it be accurate to say that if I'm riding along the road, that it'd be more required to carry a bike lock than if I'm remote along the GDMBR?  if there aren't people around for miles, I doubt my bike would be stolen.  The only people going through there would be fellow bikers, perhaps ATV and dirt bike traffic.  I cannot see them hauling a bike unless they have a helper.

Routes / Re: Route Planning Great Parks North / GDMBR
« on: November 15, 2020, 06:22:28 pm »
I was planning on leaving before sunrise so I can be somewhat stealthy, hopefully that'll suffice.  If I need to go earlier, then I'll be missing the views :(.  Leaving early also helps to avoid traffic.  I hope to be off the road and setup for camping at least 2 hours before sunset - Perhaps that factors into which route I take.

Okay, so now, if I were to pick-up the TransAm route, where should I pick it up?  I was originally thinking I'd take the MT-83 to MT-200 to Missoula, then follow the TransAm route.  If I take MT-89, it seems like I'd be lining up to go through Helena, Butte, then Twin Bridges to pick up the TransAm there?  I don't see any official ACA routes in that area though.

The wind certainly won't be pleasant, but with wind exposure also brings the exposure to storms - I'd be completely exposed if storms were to roll in for a considerable distance.  It seems gas stations are about 40 miles apart too, so I'd be exposed for 3 hours and need to know precisely when storms were rolling in.  I guess if I ride East on the Going to the Sun Road (instead of West), I could meet up with MT-89, otherwise, I'd be right on top of MT-83 if I go west.

Is the "official" ACA Great Parks North route via MT-83?  I have some trepidation with MT-89.

Routes / Re: Route Planning Great Parks North / GDMBR
« on: November 15, 2020, 12:23:10 pm »
Thanks - yes, that is a good point.  I am hoping that I can limit my stops for small stuff to just fresh fruit and and post cards.  Thanks for the reminder, I will use cash for those small purchases because I want to keep merchants happy and friendly toward bikers.

Routes / Route Planning Great Parks North / GDMBR
« on: November 15, 2020, 08:07:30 am »
I'm planning to ride a gravel bike with 700x32c tires, with a 36x50 and 11x32 cassette within the US in July 2021 in 3 weeks' time.  I'd like to also consider the Canadian side of things; however, the current situation looks grim.  I may plan for it and make a determination around March of 2021.

That said, I was originally planning to do the GDMBR (from Kalispell -> Silverthorne -> Denver); however, I came to a stark realization that while most of the route might be okay with skinnier tires, it would be challenging to say the least.  And, it would fill my veins with adrenaline so much so that I'd probably be dead after a day.  I rode the C&O Towpath earlier this year with 700x28c and there were definitely some sections that were very rough and caused me to lose some gear (I didn't see that item was missing until I got into my tent at night) and contents of my food bag flew everywhere.  I apparently had sweat on my sunglasses and didn't see the tree roots until my burrito and mms were literally a foot in the air.  I would imagine that pales into comparison with the GDMBR which means I wouldn't stand a chance on my skinny tires.

With that gearing and loaded bike, the max gradient I would be able to easily do is 10% (with fresh legs) up a paved path.  I think Going to the Sun Road is 5%, so no problem there for me.

I do a fair amount of riding, about 5000 miles +-, all or 99% of that is road and I am fairly "desensitized" to riding on the road.  That said, I won't ride along an interstate and I generally try to avoid traffic as much as possible by riding early.  If I cannot avoid traffic by time of day, then I do seek alternates.

Having said that, I am trying to use the equipment I already have and match it with a route.  So, I am thinking about doing the Great Parks North starting in around Babb and possibly connect it with the TransAm and end up in Denver.  Actually, I think Kalispell is the closest airport.  I will ship my bike to the bike shop ahead of time, have it ready to go, then either bike up to Babb or get a ride.  I will be carrying camping gear and plan to camp most nights where I can for free, hanging my food.  I'll also have water filtration so I can manage water myself.  I am planning to carry 4L of water, possibly more if I need to cross the Great Basin.

The concerns I have would be:
1. From what I've read, MT-83 appears to be fairly busy, I understood that I should use MT-89 as it is less busy - that is quite a detour from the main route, is it much safer?
2. If I stick to the planned route for the Great Parks North / TransAM, those are entirely paved, or in other words, easily rideable with a gravel bike / 32c tires?
3. To minimize weight and unnecessary gear, I would not be bringing a bike lock.  I'm not planning to stop and hike the trails.  I don't imagine my bike being stolen in the small towns when stopping for groceries.
4. Are there any stretches of the TransAm (Missoula -> Steam Boatish area) that I might want to consider an alternate?
5. As this is remote, I am planning to carry cash as a backup to credit, but just as a backup.  That said, I'm hoping to scrap by with $100 / week (3 weeks).  Will most places take credit?
6. Were there any large sections of the GDMBR that would easily be rideable with my current setup?  From others' videos, it seems Montana would largely be the most rough, The Great Basin and Colorado look promising.
7. As I'd be mostly riding along the road, I feel that carrying bear-spray is less a necessity than if I were on a trail.

Thanks for your thoughts,


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