Recent Posts

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Temporary ACA Route Road Closures / Re: Transamerica Section 9 road closures
« Last post by PWodrich on June 18, 2024, 08:42:53 pm »
I was able to walk my bike past the MO-K detour, because it was Sunday and they were not working. The new bridge was in place, but the approach from both ways was not completed. I was headed east and there was a couple of foot drop on eastern side. I assume that would have been filled by now. I don’t know if they would allow anyone through on active construction days.
 
Regarding MO-V, the ACA app directions take MO-V between Ash and Walnut Grove.
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General Discussion / Re: Avoiding Grizzly Encounters While on the Road
« Last post by RossKB on June 18, 2024, 03:46:03 pm »
Thanks everyone for these suggestions!  Ross
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Gear Talk / Re: Wheels advice
« Last post by davidbonn on June 18, 2024, 09:10:17 am »
+1 to what John said.

If there is a custom wheel builder in your area, I'd suggest giving them a call and talking about what you think you'd need, listen to their advice, and perhaps let them build your wheels if they can be helpful.

Executive summary on what you should be looking for:

  • High-quality alloy rims.  Hint:  a rim that isn't offered with 36 or 40 spoke holes probably isn't strong enough in the first place
  • 36 or 40 spokes
  • If you can, have a symmetric rear wheel build instead of one that is "dished in"
  • If you can, try to have a wider axle spacing on the rear wheel (you probably can't)

Modern custom wheel builds can still be reasonably lightweight but astonishingly strong and can take a lot of abuse.

If you have a limited budget, build a better rear wheel.

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Gear Talk / Re: Wheels advice
« Last post by John Nettles on June 18, 2024, 07:30:18 am »
Welcome to the ACA forums!

I have toured for 45+ years so I am pretty old school about certain things.  If bomb proof means to you that you never want to deal with it again, consider more spokes and decent rims.  I would suggest you look at https://www.peterwhitecycles.com/ as they are one of the preeminent wheel builders in the country.  Though the website is not the best layout and design and is a bit quirky at times, it gives you a lot of great information.  Just be sure to look at all the various links since it is not laid out as well as it could be, i.e. pages by manufacturer, not wheel type as much. 

Tailwinds, John


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Gear Talk / Wheels advice
« Last post by Alphonsin on June 18, 2024, 03:59:07 am »
Hey,

I recently did a week tour around the Atlas mountains in Morocco. I went on my gravel bike with a set of cheap WTB wheels I bought a while back (24 spokes). I had panniers on the back (Ortlieb) and they were flapping about on gravelly paths because the "hooks" kept coming lose off the rack. When I picked up speed, it was smashing the pannier rack. I think because of that, as well as the weight and the wheels, my rim cracked. I did eventually start strapping the backs to the rack with bungee cords, but it was probably too late by that point.

On my road tourer, I have 32 spoke hope 20five wheelset but I feel that for a gravel bike the rim is a bit too narrow (I think it's 20 mm internal width and the gravel tyres are 45 mm). So, with that blurb, what wheels do you use for touring/bikepacking? I want something bomb proof. Hope so far have treated me well, but I was thinking of trying something else at a similar price point.
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The first detour (MO-K) east of CR-181 and will last for 6 months according to Missouri DOT.  The bridge is the Jordan Creek bridge which Google Streetview shows has definitely deep enough banks so I personally would want to detour and I do not like to detour.  Here is a possible detour: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/47171608  . 

I am confused about the MO-V closure since I thought the TA used county roads in the area.  If the TA indeed does use MO-V I recommend using this detour:  https://ridewithgps.com/routes/47171867

Tailwinds, John
 
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General Discussion / Re: Avoiding Grizzly Encounters While on the Road
« Last post by davidbonn on June 17, 2024, 05:11:24 pm »
Realistically, bison and moose are much more dangerous and much less predictable than even the grumpiest bear.

You have a much higher risk of a troublesome bear encounter in camp than you do on the ride.  So keep a super clean camp, avoid campsites where there has been recent bear activity, and avoid stinky and odorous foods or foods that take a long time to cook.

For psychological reasons if anything else, cook and eat dinner and then relocate a few miles to where you are going to sleep.
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General Discussion / Re: Avoiding Grizzly Encounters While on the Road
« Last post by jamawani on June 17, 2024, 05:06:34 pm »
Ross -

I live in Wyoming and have been here since 1990.
I live near the Bighorns, now, but was in Jackson in the 1990s.

You will be lucky if you even see a bear. Extra lucky if you see a grizzly.
You won't have a problem riding unless you do remote trails and startle a bear.

The real issue is camping. Make sure you use bear-safe camping practices.
Always store or hang your food and toiletry items.
Never eat in your tent - not in Wyoming, not in Kansas, not in Jersey.
If you have, it may be wise to wash out you tent with unscented soap
and let it dry in the summer sun. (Bears have 2100X the nose you have.)

https://www.fs.usda.gov/visit/know-before-you-go/bears

I have never had a single problem in decades of hiking and cycling.

About Yellowstone.
Teton Pass is closed and, if reopened, will have monster traffic.
The key is to start early and, if needed, do some later riding.
Roads are busiest 9a to 5p.

Since you are westbound I'll give you specifics.
There's fantastic hiker/biker camping at Jenny Lake in Grand Teton NP.

Jenny Lake to Flagg Ranch - 35 mi
You have all day. I'd stop at String Lake and do the short hike up to Leigh Lake.
String Lake has some of the most spectacular vistas.
The park road is slower and has moderate traffic.
When you get to US 89 is will be busier, but with a small shoulder.
Then there's a chunk of a climb to Flagg Ranch.
There's a camp store and restaurant at Flagg Ranch.
I like treating myself to an early dinner there because ...

Flagg Ranch to Lewis Lake - 14 mi, 1000 ft. climb
I like to do this after 6p. The road is steep in places without any shoulder.
There is a lot of traffic leaving the park southbound, but very little northbound.
And I prefer Lewis Lake to Grant Village even with the mosquitos.
Grant Village is huge and noisy - I rarely get much sleep there.
Hiker/biker camping at Lewis Lake.

Lewis Lake to Lake Village - 30 miles
I like to leave at dawn, skipping Grant Village altogether.
I do like to stop at West Thumb and enjoy the geysers when it is empty.
Then I follow the shore of Yellowstone Lake to Lake Village.
If before 8a, light traffic and small shoulders.
Make sure to take Gull Point Road and enjoy a secret, unvisited place.
then there's a rough bike trail along the old roadbed to Lake Village.
(Higher bear risk on the trail - you can also stay on the road.)
There's a camp store and lunch counter,
but the Lake Hotel dining is lovely, if you don't smell too bad.
(You can always do a quick sponge bath in the restroom.)

The views of Yellowstone Lake are stupendous.
You can head over to Fishing Bridge and the visitors center there.
Plus do a few short hikes along the lake shore.
Again, I would wait until after 6p to ride to Canyon.

Fishing Bridge to Canyon - 16 mi
Hayden Valley is the Serengeti of America.
But riding later you will have far less traffic and more wildlife.
The road sucks - narrow, no shoulders, and crumbling edge.
But it is truly worth it. Plus there are hiker/biker sites at Canyon
so you don't have to rush.

Canyon has showers, laundry, a big camp store, restaurants, visitors center.
Plus it has some of the best hiking in North America.
Try to spend two nights if possible.

Canyon to Norris - 12 mi
Moderate climb, small shoulders, then a killer downhill.
Norris Geyser Basin is worth a long stop and a good walk.
So much better than Old Faithful which is a zoo.
There's no water available here, so stock up beforehand.
(You can also ride over to the campground to top off.)

Norris to Madison - 13 miles
Recently rebuilt park road with small shoulders, mostly downhill.
Madison has a nice hiker/biker area - but no store or cafes nearby.
I think it is smart to camp here as camping further west is hard to find.
Set up early and ride without panniers up the Firehole River if you wish.
Again, evening riding is lovely.

Happy Trails! - Jama

Journal from back in 2005 - starting at Jenny Lake
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=3d2&page_id=26429&v=OF
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General Discussion / Re: Avoiding Grizzly Encounters While on the Road
« Last post by John Nettles on June 17, 2024, 04:58:11 pm »
Hopefully John will speak about this as he lives in Buffalo, WY and is much more knowledgeable about bears than I.  Sure, you could get attacked but the chances I think are pretty minimal. 

Have a great tour!  John
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