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Saw that (most of it is available on Street View), but it looks benign. For the sake of simplicity (I was going to climb Gold Pass out of St. Regis) I took I-90 a bit after leaving Sloway back in 2019. Cool thing was that that stretch of the westbound lanes were closed to vehicles due to upcoming roadwork. Had the whole highway to myself.
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Routes / Re: UK rider planning Transamerica, West to East, starting August.
« Last post by John Nettles on May 04, 2021, 01:20:51 pm »
My guess is you will have a temp range of 27*-100*F maybe even wider.  That said, once you get west of Pueblo, CO, the temps will be somewhat the same but slowly declining the rest of the trip.  The humidity will definitely increase though.

Have a great trip!  Tailwinds, John
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FYI - South Side Rd. near St. Regis is partially gravel.
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Hey

Thanks for the replies, I really appreciate the help and tips. Regarding Covid scenario - I should have the two jabs by then. As you said, anything can change between now and then, but by the sounds of it, there could be a good chance of flights and travel being possible by then, so I'm hopeful.
Thanks for the tip on health insurance, I will definitely get some good cover, don't want to be caught out.

In regards weather and accommodation, looking at the tips here, I think my attitude is just going to need to be flexible. I'll bring enough money to be caught short at more expensive accommodation options if needs be, and will be open to taking public transport or alternative routes if diversions from the TA are necessary.

I will definitely pickup the ACA maps, and will plan for some cold weather. I think that's one of the greatest differences between Europe and US touring - in UK/Europe, if it's summer, it's going to be generally warm and manageable. But the variation I'm going to be meeting temperature wise should certainly keep things interesting.
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On I-90, there are no frontage roads between Wallace and Superior, MT.


Unless I am mistaken, from St. Regis to Superior you can take Could Creek/South Side Road to Superior. You can definitely take I-90 for a few miles, take exit 37 and then Old U.S. 10 to Southside Crossing to Southside Rd. to Superior. I did the latter in both 2017 and 2019, only in the other direction. Camped at Sloway on Old U.S. 10 in 2019.

This map shows what I have done east of Superior and offers one way to get from Wallace to Missoula:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35915446

Note that in 2019 the finishing touches were being put on a recreation path along some of Frenchtown Frontage Rd. starting at mile 101.7 on the above map.

BTW...I was incorrect about Great Falls not being on the NT. Just saw the map in the Cyclosoure I received yesterday. I was aware of the re-route from around Wolf Point down through Sydney, etc., that happened several years ago, but I guess there was a more recent one I was not aware of.
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Yes, unbelievably thy buit a cloverleaf interchange at Olf Faithful -
To handle the massive exodus after O.F. spouts.
Cars and RVs arrive at all times - but leave all at once.
So, yes, wait a 20-30 minutes and the lanes leading away from O.F. will have less traffic.

Firehole Canyon Rd. is southbound (eastbound) only.
You can be ticketed for riding in the opposite direction.
Bicycles must obey all traffic regulations in the park.
Firehole Lake Rd. is one-way northbounf (westbound) in the geyser basin.
Lovely, practically empty road.

As for leaving your bike. Gotta have trust.
Plus using a cable lock - harder to find places for a U-Bolt.
Double plus - stinky laundry dangling off bungee cords.
The latter tends to discourage too much curiousity.
Of course, I don't leave my wallet, camera, phone etc.
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Like John, I think it's still possible to ride safely through Yellowstone, and I think it's worth the ride.  I can hardly imagine a trans-continental cyclist arriving at Yellowstone, with 1,000-3,000 miles under his or her tires, and find it un-rideable.  (Though I wouldn't recommend someone with no more than bike trail riding experience renting a bike to ride across the park.)

Though his post was well thought out, I'd add two comments and a question.  First, when leaving Old Faithful, wait until 20-30 minutes after an eruption to hit the road.  There'll be a traffic jam of cars, trucks, and RVs leaving, so let them go.  Second, Firehole Canyon Rd. is one way uphill.  It used to be a very narrow two way road, and I've never seen a lot of traffic on it, so if you're west-bound and careful you can likely make it down (and there's some interesting river there!).

My question is, how do you secure your bike and gear for a mid-day hike?
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I would like to stress that it is still possible - with care - to tour Yellowstone National Park.
I say that as someone who lives in Wyoming and has toured every mile of park roadway - many times.
Yes, there is considerable traffic, but planning and allocating sufficient time make the difference.
Still, for a bike tour across the U.S., Yellowstone is a major highlight.

There are five segments to consider on the TransAm:
(West-to-East)
1. West Yellowstone to Madison Jct.
2. Madison Jct. to Old Faithful
3. Old Faithful to West Thumb
4. West Thumb to Flagg Ranch
5. Flag Ranch to Colter Bay

Camping with hiker/biker campsites is available at:
Madison, Grant Village, Lewis Lake, and Colter Bay
Additional camping is at/near West Yellowstone (P), Flagg Ranch (P), and Lizard Creek.
Hiker/biker sites have a "No turn-away" policy - which permits late afternoon riding.

EASTBOUND -

1. West Yellowstone to Madison Jct. - 14 miles
Suggested time - Late afternoon/early evening. Greatly reduced traffic.
Moderate shoulders. Gradual uphill in river valley.
Overnight at Madison.

2. Madison Jct. to Old Faithful - 16 miles
Suggested time - Early morning. Light traffic early.
Backroads - Firehole Canyon Rd, Fountain Flat Rd, Old Faithful area bike trail.
Moderate climbing. Moderate shoulders on main road.
Spend midday hiking - few people venture more than 200 yards off pavement.
Restaurants and store. Historic Old Faithful Inn. Super busy.

3. Old Faithful to West Thumb to Grant Village - 19 miles
Suggested time - Late afternoon/early evening. Greatly reduced traffic.
Significant climbing, two mild passes. No shoulders. Fast downhill into West Thumb.
Overnight at Grant Village. Store, Restaurant, Showers.

4. Grant Village to Flagg Ranch - 22 mies
Suggested time - Early morning. Very little traffic southbound.
Rolling to Lewis Falls, then fast downhill. No shoulders.
Store/Restaurant at Flagg Ranch.

5. Flagg Ranch to Colter Bay - 17 miles
Suggested time - Morning. Most traffic still northbound.
Hefty climb on Rockefeller Parkway. Recently rebuilt with shoulders.
Overnight at Coulter Bay or continue on to Jenny Lake

WESTBOUND -

5. Colter Bay to Flagg Ranch - 17 miles
Suggested time - Mid morning. Moderate traffic.
Hefty climb on Rockefeller Parkway. Recently rebuilt with shoulders.
From Jenny Lake, start early morning. Stunning.
Late lunch at Flagg Ranch and hike along Snake River at South Entrance.

4. Flagg Ranch to Lewis Lake - 15 miles
Suggested time - Early Evening. After 6p. Little northbound traffic.
Major climb. No shoulders. Pull off as necessary.
Overnight at Lewis Lake. Have mosquito spray.

3. Lewis Lake to Old Faithful - 26 miles
Suggested time - Very early morning to West Thumb.
Skip Grant Village services turn-off to cross Craig Pass as early as possible.
Rolling to West Thumb. Two mild passes going to Old Faithful. No shoulders.
Restaurants and store. Historic Old Faithful Inn. Super busy.

2. Old Faithful to Madison - 16 miles
Suggested time - Late afternoon. Moderate traffic decreasing in late afternoon.
Backroads - Old Faithful area bike trail, Fountain Flat Rd, Firehole Lake Dr.
Moderate downhill. Moderate shoulders on main road.
Take time to explore thermal features - few people venture more than 200 yards off pavement.
Overnight at Madison

1. Madison to West Yellowstone - 14 miles
Suggested time - Early morning. Very little traffic westbound.
Gentle downhill. Moderate shoulders.
Riverside Dr. backroad option.

<<<>>>

If Madison is first/last overnight in the park,
I suggest camping well west of West Yellowstone.
West Yellowstone is an expensive tourist town and simply nuts.
National Forest campgrounds do not have hiker/biker sites.
Plan to arrive moderately early.

Although Jenny Lake is off of the TransAm route,
there is no more beautiful place to camp than its hiker/biker campground.
Fabulous hikes, camp store.

<<<>>>

I have biked most of the alternate route. Used to live in Jackson.
Teton Pass is steep, narrow, with heavy tourist and commuter traffic.
The Idaho side of the Tetons lacks the spectacular vistas.
North of Ashton is mainly wooded. Mesa Falls are nice on Hwy 47.
US 20 is unpleasant. Busy. The 2-lane sections have little to no shoulder.

I do not believe that it offers enough benefits to outweight riding through Yellowstone.
If - - - if - - - you plan, ride early, and give yourself enough time to do it gradually.
YMMV.

Pic - Yellowstone Lake at West Thumb
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Routes / Re: 2 weeks in south-western British Columbia?
« Last post by dhelder on May 03, 2021, 04:58:56 pm »
I'd ride the WA and BC ferries.  The San Juans are great: San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez.  On Victoria, the ride from Sidney to Victoria is great.  I hear the bike trails from Victoria west are great.  Denman Island and Hornby Island are good, but the road between Sidney and Comox is busy.  I haven't been to Galiano, but hear good things.  On the other side of the water, the ride between Powell River and Vancouver has much less traffic and is very nice too.  The ACA maps cover the San Juans.  The Cycling the PC book covers the BC parts.

I might also add a loop around the Olympic Peninsula.  Maybe add Westport too.   I don't think it's on the ACA PC route, but the Washington Parks maps cover it.  I'd also take 101 over the Columbia.  (The book might cover this too.)
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Routes / Re: Too old to solo the Southern Tier? . . .
« Last post by Rixtoy on May 03, 2021, 04:33:15 pm »
Hey, no problem. Glad i could help! I also have added a very ultralight Gossamer gear Foam Pad 1/4" to my cot. I have cut the pad down to my short size. It weighs about .3 lbs (172 grams). It is only needed for the chillier nights, below 45 degrees. I am a side-sleeper also and it helps to insulate my side in the sleeping bag that compresses when I lie on the cot.  My buddy and I completed our self-contained  ride from his place in Fort Davis to Austin, a little over 500 miles for the trip. Our longest day on the trip was an 89 miler, with limited services in between. At 74 years old, he is still an animal on the climbs. We had one night on the trip get down to 34 degrees. The pad definitely made a difference. I did better this year, coming into the ride in a little better riding shape.  We took our time, took breaks as needed, and had very enjoyable ride. That is the key to doing long trips self-contained. Keep the ride enjoyable. I have one more section yet to do to complete my entire Southern Tier, Safford, Arizona to Fort Davis. We're hoping to do that in March next year. We'll both be another year older, but also another year wiser! Then it's time to start either the Atlantic Coast or Northern Tier.

Hey, Thanks.
I like the 1/4"' pad idea, although it is hard enough to get up in the morning - this might set me back another hour. But, as you point out - no one is keeping score.
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