Touring - I start a cross country trip this week.
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07-15-03, 01:02 PM
The original route was to go north from Los Angeles to Canadian border and cross Canada to Montreal area and then ride down south to New York city.
Now, after a 100 mile ride, I realized that there is enough wilderness and remotenes even riding through most of the States...
So, I am considering a new route, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming... and then I am not sure, perhaps Montana and a little Canada, or through central part, Nebraska, Kansas, etc...
What would be your favorite route to ride from West to the East of the United States, and why?
All responses will be greatly welcomed. :)
07-15-03, 02:03 PM
The whole continent is nice, so just pick a road and wander, drift and meander! And if you just happen to ramble it to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada I will buy you a beer or two.
07-15-03, 02:14 PM
:D Yeah, after your just comment that the whole continent is beautiful, I feel odd asking about the route . :)
But North Dakota... would never end... :) Seriously, I spent 4 days driving the car across thos grey fileds...
Thank you, I'll remember to look at the map to see where that Winnipeg, Monitoba exactly is. :beer:
Here is what I would suggest and it is mainly from reading journals etc. as I've never even been to much of this area myself.Head up to Oregon/Washington like your planning and perhaps even up to B.C. checking out a few islands along the way.Then cut across to the Rockies either through Idaho or even better across B.C.Then head south along the Rockies checking out Banff then Mont./Wyo. before heading east across the plains to S.D. and the Badlands then generally following the U.S. /Canada border either cutting to northern Mn. then into Ca. or across Mn. then through upper Ws. /Mich.Either way ending up around Buffalo N.Y. then heading across to the Adirondacks then through Vt./N.H. to the coast.But Gordon is right in leaving yourself plenty of flexibility .I am trying to locate a journal covering some of these areas where the objective was to visit every national park in the country and he tended to wander all over but it gave good descriptions of all the highlights in particularly national parks/forest/rec areas etc.I really want to find it now as I never finished reading it but can't seem to but will post a link if I do.P.S. Here is the link I'm refering to http://wneo.org/gasp/
07-16-03, 04:55 PM
RWTD, thank you. I decided to start in the north direction and then decide, after I see how it goes. This would be my first long trip, anyway. :)
If I will manage to get to Montana, I will definitely go through Ontario, above the Great Lakes and maybe to Ottawa and Montreal.
07-16-03, 06:57 PM
I agree, any route would be nice, but I really think you should go with your option B, and RWTD's advice. You will get the best scenery and the least amount of boring eternal fields if you head up the pacific coast either to Washington or BC, and then head pretty much east along the northern area of the U.S. and southern area of Canada. I would LOVE to ride through Montana, Wyoming, and see more of Canada. Heading up the pacific coast will let you ride through rainforest, past snowcapped peaks, desert, and cities all within a week.
Any way you do it, you're definitely going to have a good time. :)
07-29-03, 11:18 AM
I am about to head out of Colorado to the Black Hills and then east into Minnesota, and then to the north shore of Lake Superior into Ontario. I'll let you know how it goes.
07-30-03, 03:21 AM
well, the west coast tour is great... and i tend to agree with RWTD and others about Idaho/Montana then maybe heading up into Canada as Nebraska/Dakotas are pretty barren (although i honestly have never been to this part of Canada to the north) and then minnosota-great lakes - NY,VT,NH,Maine...
on a move from Portland OR to Massachusetts 3 years ago i spent 2 weeks mostly visiting national parks along Idaho-Mt (Galceir)-Wyoming (yellowstone/teton)-s dakota (badlands)--- and then road-tripped the dakota to adirondack leg and then spent some time in NY...
it does seem like the Nebraska/Dakota stretch would be LONG on the bike.
07-30-03, 03:22 AM
have fun! this Friday i leave for my 9-day TransAlp MTB tour from Germany to Italy!
07-30-03, 07:55 PM
Thank you. You have fun riding in Europe too!
I find California extremely beautiful... Just passed the Mojave desert in the past few days... Pretty hot here, 110 +, it's really close to Death Valley. :)
I see some cyclists and already have a GOOD real life story about a boy whose life depends on Wal Mart bike... :)
It will follow soon with plenty of pictures.
Here is a sample if anyone is interested.
I ride 60+ miles a day and it will be better if roads would be a little flatter :). Currently in Bishop, California, heading to Yosemite tomorrow. People say there is a nasty climb right outside of town, some 15 miles with elevation change of around 3000 feet?... We will see what a monster that is. :)
Near highway 395 in California, just a little north of Inyokern.
Took a day off for a break and to do some repairs on the bike, which weren't necessary :). Need to be careful diagnosing the noise next time. :) (Rebuilt the rear axle fearing the clunking sound, while it turned out that pedal cage bolt got a little loose.)
Best Regards to Everybody!
07-30-03, 09:20 PM
Good to hear that you hit the road after having your bike destroyed like that. Will you be posting a travelogue in the Touring section?
If you get within 100 miles of Spokane WA - let me know - I wouldn't mind riding a day or two with you. Hope the trip goes well!
08-09-03, 12:21 PM
Originally posted by Gordon P
Good to hear that you hit the road after having your bike destroyed like that. Will you be posting a travelogue in the Touring section?
I'd like to, but there is not much time available to be on the internet. I will rather do it nicely on a separate page and when it's ready, I will post a link.
Originally posted by sscyco
If you get within 100 miles of Spokane WA - let me know - I wouldn't mind riding a day or two with you. Hope the trip goes well!
That would be really nice, and I am actually planing to visit a friend in Spokane, the problem is, I can't predict when i get there and at what shape :) , so it's hard to arrange the ride in advance. I will spend few days there and maybe we could all get together and have a dinner sometime. Anyway, if something available comes up, I will let you know. Ok?
I am currently in Winnemucca, Nevada.
Rode a 100 mile dirt road, from Gerlach... no flats, but going down the hill fast, I hit the big boulder and broke a spoke and bent the rim, going to bike shop right now to get it trued, since the guy is willing to do it at no charge. :D
Bike shop people are so friendly everywhere besides LA... :D:D:D
08-09-03, 02:34 PM
Mr. Ino........my hats off to you! Nice photo! Riding in the 100+ heat must be torturous. I don't think I can do that. Where did you cross the San Gabriels when you started? Glad to see you're making nice progress. I hope you got your rim straightened out. I will check back to this thread almost daily to see how you're doing......so try to post as frequently as possible, but I know it's difficult to do that when you're on the road. Are you camping each night? I'll check back again.....
08-09-03, 03:00 PM
Hi George. Thank you for attention and nice words.
I am still in the library...
The mountains... I went straight up just little west of Pasadena, by Angeles Forest highway. It was much more difficult than I ever expected and learned few things. The gearing I have (53/42 front and 12/28 rear ) is far from suitable for any kind of climbing. So, remembering the thread where we discussed the need of triple chain ring on the front, I would be ALL FOR the triple, if bike is heavy and any kinds of hills ahead.
The 60 miles across the mountains, to Palmdale took me 2 days, where 80% of time was walking/pushing the bike.
Mountains are gorgeous, though.
The heat started in Mojave, right north of Mojave City... if not Joshua tree, I could probably pass out... The shade it provided helped a lot, where I just laid almost unconsciously resting. Good views around though...
You are right about it being tough, I was recently wondering if adventure should be like this when I pedal till the end, spending sometimes 10+ hours in the saddle and not always having the right food... Maybe I should ease up a little, but anyone can do it...
Angeles Forest Highway, going north across San Gabriel Mountains, North of Los Angeles.
Shade under the Joshua Tree, in Mojave desert on Highway 14 North. Several Mountain Ranges and valleys from Death Valley.
08-09-03, 04:01 PM
Mr. Ino.... Thanks for your quick reply. The photos look familiar. I've ridden my road bike several times to Mt. Wilson. I'm sorry to hear about your gearing on your bike. Yes, you definitely need a triple in your situation. I would not attempt to cross the Rockies with your current gearing. I would keep heading north to avoid major climbs. Can you do something? Will you be heading north towards Utah? Keep plenty of fluids on hand...... the heat's really on this weekend. Just got done with the Montrose ride, cooling down with some beer in my patio. Keep hammering on..... here's to your journey...
08-10-03, 05:15 AM
If you want to reduce the mileage, go from San Diego to Charleston, SC. It's "only" 2200 miles -- the shortest distance across the U.S. There's a good book, called "Over The Hills" by newspaperman David Lamb. He rode across the U.S. training as he went -- no preparation. He was also 55 years old, and smoked and drank alkyhol all the way. He said in the book that the eastern Appalachians are worse than the Rockies. The Rockies are gradual, but the Appalachians are "straight up!" It took him two months.
08-12-03, 04:33 AM
Dude sitting here in late winter the desert looks great :D
08-14-03, 01:02 PM
George, looks like you ARE resting after some riding, not like people on rest stops on highways :D, they stop to get out of cars to excercize :D, I usually go right pass those tables, to make them stay with open mouthes for few seconds... :D:D
08-14-03, 02:35 PM
Hello my fellow bike forum friends.
Oh yeah, did I mention that every time I talk to someone related to cycling, I always give them the address to this community?
Anyway, It's my 21st day of touring. :D I am currently in Ontario, Oregon. Well, let's see what happened last few days, for example. After leaving Winnemucca, Nevada, that days I had two flats, both in rear and in front tire, the thorns from the plants caused the punctures. :) In the evening, after about 60 miles, I got to a town called Mc Dermit, which is right on the border of Nevada and Oregon. There I had a really nice lunch, with boiled eggs and fruits. In the evening, I stopped by the "Say When" casino and for an hour and a half talked to two old men, Jim and Mike. They were the local farmers that are retired. For some reason the trip impressed them so much that they wanted to help me somehow. :) They really enjoyed looking at me drinking their old whiskey shots, which they bought me. After Mike found out that part of the diet is a peanut butter, he went straight to the restaurant and and bought me a fried chicken dinner. :) I promised to send them a post card when I get somewhat far from there and hurried to get out of that place before they spend more money on me... Very embarrassing, but they are sincere and very fun people to talk to. :-)
In the morning, after taking a picture near Oregon entrance sign, I continued north on Highway 95. In Nevada and that part of Oregon, the distances between towns are streched greatly compared to more populated States, so the next place where it should be possible to get water, was Burns Junction 55 miles away. As it turned out later, it was a closed restaurant, and not working gas station. From there, highway 78 goes 91 mile to town called Burns, that's north/west, or 95 continues north/east 111 miles to Caldwell, Idaho. SO! nothing very close.
What happened then is, what many people fear so much. :) I broke down, in the REAL MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. :) I was riding on the pretty narrow shoulder of about 12 inches wide with snow bumps on the left and gravel/sand on the right. When I was shifting and looked down to a derailleur to see what gear I was in, the front wheel went to the right, into the gravel and suddenly stopped, I was going about 15 miles per hour and this caused me to fly in front of the bike about 10 feet, landing on my arms first and then on both legs. :) I think years in gymnastics helped not to loose much control. So, I was fine, wondered what people thought in the passing car... :) Then I found out that the front wheel is bent, :) brake pads wouldn't let it spin and the it was more than an inch wobble. Luckily, in Winnemucca, two days ago I bought my first spoke wrench, so with good spirit, I put the bike up side down and attempted for the first time to true the wheel. :) Unfortunately, spokes on the front wheel never been touched, from probably the beginning, the early 80s when the bike was built, so they were so rusted that nipple didn't want to turn, and some of then rounded. Well, I took the brake pads off and continued to ride slowly with wobbling wheel, thinking about where would be the next bike shop to get some spokes, and since I was attempting to go to Burns, which is 130+ miles, there is not a big chance that there is shop there, so basically, nothing good.
08-14-03, 02:38 PM
In about 40 minutes, a pickup truck that I thought passed me about 15 minutes ago, was going oncoming way, and an old man yelled from the window that I can get killed here and he wants to save my life, he said that he will pull to the turn out 100 feet away and wanted me to go there. So I turned around and came to the man. He had a little trouble hearing, but no trouble speaking, so he told me that he is heading to Canada, to visit his girlfriend (man is 75 years old) and that he can take me anywhere I want, since he didn't have any certain route preference. Well, I never really expected to take rides, but since the bike was a little out of order, I decided to go with him. While loading a bike in the pick up bed, I noticed some heavy rocks in cardboard boxes, I wondered what were they for, assumed that either he didn't get to removing them from last time, or he carries them as additional weight for some reason. I got all the valuables bag, camera and maps and got into the truck. We turned around and headed north. When the truck accelerated to 70 mph I had a VERY strange feeling, the road was going unbelievably fast, so unusual after 3 week crawling. I had a bad feeling of cheating and how nice it would be to ride there. The road was mostly flat, I knew it would be easy to pedal. The landscape outside the window was still the same, yellow dusty dunes, occasional dry plants, and gray mountains on the horizon. James, which is the name of this man, started an interesting monologue about politics, war, modern life and how it was different when he was young. He was upset that people now days live too fast, don't' notice or care about nature and are being brainwashed to be part of the big wheel. He sounded very intelligent and I actually was curious to hear his views. I never found out what was his profession, but rocks in the bed were URANIUM ORE, which he discovered on his property, in large quantities, now he was dealing with companies that could be interested in mining the ore. He was talking something about Chevron, making business with him and something about getting official approval documents. He also named a number of 40 million pounds of (uranium ore or uranium itself that were under the ground there). He definitely knew the basics about the isotope and was talking about using the it for producing electricity.
As some elderly people experience loneliness, I think James also enjoyed being in company with me, we stopped at a gas station and he bought me a hamburger and drink. He thought that there wouldn't be any bike shops around Caldwell, where I decided I wanted to go, and really thought I should have ridden with him all the way to Spokane, Washington. Of course, I couldn't cheat so much, especially because the landscape was becoming so beautiful, with green trees and grass appearing more and more. Then we came into the valley, about 8 miles downhill, on which I would like to roll down so much. :) Around Caldwell, were several little towns, Homedale, Marsing, where there were fruit ranches with grapes, apples, peaches... numerous fields of corn and other crops. I already decided to pedal back this way, to use a chance to eat some free fruits from the gardens :).
08-14-03, 02:48 PM
Picture of James (http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikhail3/travel3/James.JPG)
08-14-03, 02:59 PM
Mr. Ino.......nice, interesting update...... Are you heading up to Wash. State?
08-15-03, 09:24 AM
__________ George, yes sir, I am heading towards Spokane :)
At around 3 pm James stopped at a gas station near Caldwell, where I
unloaded a bike, wrote down his address, promising to send a post card,
thanked him for all he has done, shook the hand with a good bye and pedaled
into the town.
There was supposed to be a bike shop, as a young man answered me, and I went
further looking for it. After some more wandering around 100 year old
buildings, I finally found the place but it was closed on Monday, so I will
have to come back tomorrow.
The rest of the day I spent in the library, and rode to Wal Mart, several
miles further going towards another little town Nampa. The neighborhood of
this towns makes a pretty big place, so the Wal Mart (super center) parking
lot, was full of cars. Great, this store had food section, so I could buy
nice stuff for good prices. I ate some fruit salads, bought an extra tube
with patches and talked to a nice guy in bike section of the store who was
riding Nishiki, he suggested that 95 north is prettier than going on 26 back
to Oregon and is also closer to go to Spokane that way. Since I had so many
flats recently, I bought this tube and at the register, cashier lady asked,
if my tire was flat right now? I said - no, but few minutes later, when I
took a glance at the rear wheel, it sure was sitting on the rim. :) 15
minutes , the tube was fixed and I went down riding further to Nampa.
Evening was cool, and riding was very easy. The sun already set and big moon
was in the sky... Gorgeous. I stopped to eat some sandwich with peanut
butter a little later and enjoyed the evening, sitting on the bench, in a
place I never been before, somewhere in Idaho... :)
Next day, after running around the bike shop, the master finally showed up
near 11 o'clock. The bike shop was his hobby, while he was really a fire
fighter, so he didn't have a fixed schedule when he is in the shop and would
come there anytime he wanted to. I'll make this part short. The guy was
really thinking that buying a new wheel is the only good choice, even though
the wheel he had was black and 35$ is still a better option that rebuilding
the old one with new spokes. Well, I started to do it; luckily he had the
right spokes. Since I couldn't work on his property because of insurance, I
set up my "shop" outside, on the other side, near the railroad, on the
grass, not bothering anyone. 4 hours, 10 new spokes, pretty straight wheel,
I finished. The job - 5 dollars, 10 spokes at 50c each. :-) Plus real
experience, now I can do the same on the road.
08-15-03, 09:26 AM
I went to the library again, again to Wal Mart, ate some chips with dip and
soft drink, bought some sort of cookies for the road and rode to Nampa,
about 7 miles where was another bike shop. This guys were young, emotional
and very friendly. The shop also had my "old tire" :) Michelin World tour,
in the right size for only 8 bucks which I bought right away with few more
Finally I am on the road again. Evening, will be dark in little more than an
hour. Road is going between the corn fields, which are not ripe yet, I
stopped to take a picture of an onion field, it's amazing how much onion was
on it, and tasted the green part - it was GOOD, not too bitter :) When it
was almost dark I was passing through the apple and then peach garden.
Apples were green, but already pretty good, so I ate two. The peaches were
really green and hard like potato. I decided to put a tent somewhere in the
peach garden, as obviously there wouldn't be many people to disturb me to
the sunrise. Then suddenly there it was! THE STRANGE TREE, that was faster
than the rest, and got BIG, soft, juicy and sweet peaches hanging and laying
under it. I couldn't believe it was possible and ate maybe 7 of them, of
course washing them with water from the bottle. All this was reminding me of
Edem garden ;). The night was great, with occasional sound of falling
fruits and the sound of some happy night birds. By the way, there was lots
of water flowing between trees, so sometimes I would step into two inches
deep mud. :)
In the morning, while pushing the bike back to the road, I saw the obvious
sign of later problems. The whole tires had thorn stuck in it.
Later on this day, while passing through plantations of grapes, I took some
to eat later, which were almost sweet, but will be ready somewhere in
September probably. In 30 miles, I was thinking, how nice it is, that the
bike is working properly; the rear wheel is perfectly straight with a new
tire and absolutely doesn't wobble. To be sure, I looked down to the wheel,
and in that same second, a loud metal popping sound - BUM - the spoke broke,
which momentarily made the wheel wobble :) Not too bad though. Well, time
for repairs again. The spoke that broke was also rusty and old. Since I had
the freewheel remover, spoke wrench, few more extra spokes, and now so
valuable experience, it didn't appear as a big problem to me.
Today, which is a next day, I fixed the wheel in about 50 minutes, getting
it back to straight shape and at the same time swapping the tires, putting
the Michelin on the back and Wal Mart tire on the front, where I can watch
Oh yeah, yesterday, the front tire was loosing air in 30 minutes to the rim,
so I stopped few times to pump it up with a hand pump. And then one time,
after I pumped it high, hoping to make it to Ontario (12 miles) I put too
much air in it, at the compressor pump near a tire shop, so that in 200
yards, the tube blew up loudly, and caused the IRC, almost worn to the cords
in 800 miles tire, to get off the rim. I threw it away, also because it had
a little piece of metal cord hanging where it would touch the tube, and it
looked like the tube blew up right in that spot.
So, now I am fixed up again, the bike rolls smooth and quite, luckily the
drive train doesn't cause any troubles.
Bottomline: In 800+ miles and 21 day of riding, I had about 13 flats; front
wheel axle got loose and needed to be tightened within first 50 miles. Front
fork developed a play and needed to be tightened after 750 miles. Broke 2
spokes, bent both rims twice. Everything else is holding up satisfactory:
frame, racks, saddle and handlebar, don't cause any troubles. Actually,
saddle had to be adjusted after about 400 miles, and handlebar got loose at
around 700 :). Bottom bracket developed clunking sound with every
revolution, which bugged me for couple of days and went away after
tightening it at nice bike shop near Carson City.
I am leaving now; I can watch the loaded bike right through the glass doors,
it is waiting. :) The journey continues.
I am very thankful to some people on forum who help to keep the enthusiasm
at high level with their positive comments.
Hearing good luck wishes for the trip so often, I wish good luck to everyone
in return. Hope everyone will stay of trouble.
All the best. :D
08-15-03, 09:41 AM
I don't usually like to read these journals, but I'm liking this very much! Thanks Ino :)
08-15-03, 09:41 AM
Few cute ducks, enjoying the cool shaded water, near Marsing, Idaho. :) (http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikhail3/travel3/ducks_utki.JPG)
Another view of Marsing (http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikhail3/travel3/marsing.JPG)
Quite river that provides water for the fileds (http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikhail3/travel3/marsing_snake_river.JPG)
The onion field (http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikhail3/travel3/onions_close.JPG)
More Peaches (http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikhail3/travel3/peaches2.JPG)
Close up - best view (http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikhail3/travel3/persik_macro.JPG)
Little rivers along the way (http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikhail3/travel3/tihaya_zavod_river.JPG)
Me near the airplane. It's an old one - from the sixties. I watched it taking off in 5 minutes. Very cool. ( I had to draw something on the left, as guy that was taking the picture, had his hand covering whole left part of the screen). (http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikhail3/travel3/near_airplane.JPG)
08-15-03, 10:01 AM
Keep hammering on, Mr. Ino!
08-19-03, 04:37 AM
Hey awesome pics... Looks like the weather is great.
You must be having a great time on your trip and don't get down because you have had some repairs to make... It's what makes the adventure fun :D
08-19-03, 12:28 PM
Well, luckily the problems stopped for 4 days already... Not even a flat tire... Ma ybe because here in Northern Idaho there are less thorns or the thorn resistant heavy duty inner tube helps...
Here are few recent pictures, if anyone wants to look. :)
45 th parallel (http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikhail3/travel4/45th_parallel.jpg)
Cool, huh! ? :D:D
This is the whitebird hill grade on 95 highway in Idaho. Untill 1975, old 95 highway that went slighly differently, at the shoe of the hill, served as the only North/ South route in Idaho. Whitebird hill is approximately 7 miles long, gaining the elevation of 2900 feet. About third of the hill, I walked... :) (http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikhail3/travel4/map_on_whitebird_hill.jpg)
This is right in front of the hill, cool view behind to the town Whitebird, down in the canyon. (http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikhail3/travel4/whitebird_hill_ahead.jpg)
This is a great Salmon River, also here in Idaho. The water was relatively warm, and in few steps it got deep that I could not touch the bottom anymore. The sand is also clean and warm. :) There were rifter boats services a little above on the river. (http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikhail3/travel4/swimming_in_salmon_river.jpg)
[Fire activity ahead (http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikhail3/travel4/next_to_the_bicycle.jpg)
Me near Payette National Forest sign. :) (http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikhail3/travel4/near_payette_national_forest_sign.jpg)
Green bicycle - green water. :) (http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikhail3/travel4/very_green_water.jpg)
08-19-03, 12:38 PM
Mr. Ino........looks like you're having a really nice trip here......great photos too....keep 'em rolling in! Are you heading up to Canada?? I love the stem shifters on your bike. Nice and trouble free. How's the weather been? I'd love to see some stormy photos as well when you get the chance to post them. Later.... George
08-19-03, 12:55 PM
Hi George. The shifters, I thought they were called friction?
Yeah, it looks like they are harder to break than some other more complicated models. Shifters really don't cause any trouble and work quite precise.
I am in Lewiston, Idaho, right now, heading towards Spokane, and then, I guess to Glacier in Montana... don't know yet, need to f ind out more about it. Heard there are very few service between hundreed mile mountains passes. :) Everyboday wanrs me about grizzlies there too. :)
George, there were only about 3 days when it rained. One day, I was riding right under the cloud, meaning, 4 miles behind, it was sunny, and 5 miles ahead, but it was spraying right from above, and it lasted for about 2 hours. Then I finally stopped at some roadside bar and let the cloud pass. :)
Faering the water for the camera, in rainy weather I am going to wrap it in plastic bags, but here is the picture earlier that day when cloud chased me a while. :D
Clouds ahead (http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikhail2/travel/clouds_ahead.jpg)
And another one... (http://www.angelfire.com/linux/mikhail2/travel/rain_clouds_ahead.jpg)
08-19-03, 01:19 PM
Ahhh......I love cloudy weather....
Now I have to seriously start thinking about my eventual cross country bike tour.... too much work and no play makes George a dull person......!
08-20-03, 05:15 AM
Dude... Great pic of the 45th parallel, I live about 45 mins drive below 45 south, half way between the equator and the south pole :D
Excellent journal Mr Ino.
Are you having to keep the brakes tight so that the secondary handlebar levers work well?
08-21-03, 12:01 AM
I am in admiration in what you are doing Mr. Ino. Someday I want to make the trek either cross country (east to west) or from Mexico to Canada (born in B.C.). I am enjoying your journey and keep up the good work.
To anyone reading this. In a few years I would like to make the trek with my wife. We are both in average shape. Would you suggest making the journey on two bikes or go tandem? Just curious to those who have experience. Thank you.
08-21-03, 01:44 AM
Tandems are the dog's bits and I think touring on one would be great.
08-23-03, 12:28 AM
08-23-03, 12:46 AM
Should I start bike riding Mr. Inoplanetyanin?
08-23-03, 02:09 AM
Hahahaha :-) Hello my friend. I don't know, should you? :):beer:
08-23-03, 10:01 AM
Myself, I would not take off without looking at a Adventure Cycling map. Don't have the one for crossing the northern US. Recall it does go through North Dakota. Seems the Trans Canada Hwy is reported to be good for cycling lanes all the way across.
Could not cross the US and not ride through my favvorite piece of real estate, Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Across the UP they us US HWY. 2. Love to do that. From there could cross over into Canada and rejoin the Trans Canada Hwy. ON the bike, what the heck, a couple hundred mile detour is nothing, no hurry.
08-23-03, 01:49 PM
I wouldn't mind riding a motorcycle to the next state. All, I could think of is my sore legs.
Speak to you soon Mr. Inoplanetyanin.
08-23-03, 01:56 PM
Mr. Ino.....are you in MONTANA! yet?
08-28-03, 02:06 PM
Mr. Ino......if you're wondering what happened you your most recent postings......well....they're gone....
Due to BF server's glitch yesterday, a lot of postings were lost. But I did get the chance too see all of your most recent photos of Spokane and parts of Montana.
08-28-03, 05:02 PM
Bummer I missed the pics... any chance they could be re-posted.
08-29-03, 01:52 PM
Hello everybody, for those who would like to read another story, here is the description of the yesterday - a very big day. :-)
In the evening, I pedaled into a town called West Glacier, which is right on the border of the Glacier National Park in Montana. There were few restaurants, post office, general store, gas station and a train station, where AmTrack stops.
While heading towards the gates, which were about 2 miles into the woods, I saw an older man on a beautiful, light green older bicycle, one of those cruisers with thick tires and long, beautiful fenders. Since we both were not mind to stop and talk for a minutes, we stopped and I found out that he has an RV not far from there and is heading towards Boston, to spend a winter on one of peninsulas, where there is so much snow that people just don't even drive. He rides the bicycle around when the RV is parked. The man was really funny, even though he was in his fifties he really acted a lot more immaturely. He said that he really liked to watch the Amtrak train and that's why he was hanging around the railroad. :-) The train was suppose to come any minute. :-) We talked some more and then he suddenly raised his index finger up, made serious concentrated look and loudly , confidently announced that the train is coming. Indeed, I also heard some noise from the distance where rail tracks were coming. Not paying attention to me anymore, just quickly said something like "bye"", he quickly started to pedal away, under the bridge to get to the station. This time he definitely looked like a kid. I followed him, because it appeared curious to me to look at the train as well. But when at the station we looked passed the locomotive, it turned out to be just a freight hauling train. The guy didn't seem too disappointed though. :-)
I continued into the park. It became already dark. Near the gate, I stopped to take a look at the map showing which campgrounds were closed, and among 10, about 8 of them were closed. At that time and pick up truck stopped and a mid-aged guy yelled from the window if he could help me. I really didn't want to talk at that time, and said that I was just looking. He turned the engine off, got off his truck and said that he is a ranger, and started asking me where I was going. He brought a map and showed me that it was allowed for bicyclists to ride only to Mc Donald Lake Lodge, about 15 miles from the gate and that the road past that point was closed for bicycles. This were not good news, but I have not even had a single thought about turning back around and going onto detour south of the park, because it would take me several days.
08-29-03, 01:54 PM
I proceeded into the park. Now it was absolutely dark so I turned on my head lamp and rear red flasher. The forest on both sides of the road was very dense and absolutely black. In the dark, I happened to see a warning sign with a picture of bear, saying that all wild animals are dangerous and that it was not suggested to approach or feed them.
While slow relaxed pedaling in 10th gear, I started to look for a place to put a tent for the night. In about 20 minutes there was sign pointing towards some campground. When I turned on the road going to it, I saw some tables and obviously no one around. Going a little further I came to the shore of a huge lake, which as I realized later was Mc Donald Lake. Great, flat, leveled ground, some light reflected from the water. It was perfect to spend a night there. Since bears could be around, I decided to put a tent not far from a tree, which I could theoretically climb, if there would be a need to escape a grizzly attack at night. :-) Silly, indeed, but grizzlies can't climb trees. I set up a tent, put all the food in a backpack and put it 100 feet away, just under some bushes. Bike, that could also have some food smell, I left also a little bit away from the tent, some 50 feet, close to the water.
When I got all the necessities, a flashlight, a little knife :-), sleeping bag and got into the tent, I laid down, enjoying the quite time in the wild nature, listening to occasional fish splashing in the water.
In about 30 minutes the wind became stronger. It was blowing above the lake, so that tree tops were making a lot of loud noise, but the tent was still calm. Within next 20 minutes wind was all over, and I thought maybe the thunderstorm started, that was predicted as a possibility earlier in the day. The lake, that was so quite just not long ago, now was making a lot of noise and waves sounded like ocean waves, being very loud and powerful. It worried me, as I was afraid that the water level could change and since I was only about 15 feet away from it, I could wake up in the water. But level didn't seem to change.
Another issue was the smoke. Fires were around. Looking in 3 directions , I could see the red glow above the forest and smoke was so heavy, that it made me cough few times. I was sleeping in the smoke.
At around 2 am wind calmed down again and rest of the night went very well, not counting that it got pretty cold, even in the sleeping bag, that's designed to be comfortable down to 45 degrees F.
When I got out of the tent in the morning, I could not see the lake, nor the mountains. The smoke, probably combined with fog, was so sick. Only immediate surrounding, like trees within 100 feet, could be seen. in about 20 minutes, I ate some animal shaped crackers with COLD orange juice, loaded the bike and started riding further towards the eastern part of the park. The next city, St Mary, was about 35 miles away, and Logan Pass, the highest point in the park, was 25 miles away.
08-29-03, 01:55 PM
5 miles after I got on the road, I saw a distant cyclist about half a mile ahead. Since I am not very fast on this loaded bike, I thought that I will not catch up with him, especially because most of cyclists are trained and light racing bikes and go very fast. However, after several turns I noticed that I get closer to the cyclist. Little later I realized that it was a girl and the bike was old and not lubricated, making a lot of noise. When I rode beside the girl, we changed the greetings and started talking. Her name is Lisa, she is from Ireland, working as a secretary in the park for the summer and she rides this old Schwinn bike a lot. It is he bosses bike and that's why it's not in a very good shape. I tried to lubricate the chain with a chain lube, but it didn't help much, as the most noise was coming from the rusted bottom bracket. We pedaled for 8 miles side by side, to Mc Donald Lodge, where she stopped and I proceeded further. The scenery started to be unusual, suddenly through the smoke/fog, I saw a mountain, very high in the sky and that's when I realized where I was. In 12 miles, I PASSED through the sign that said NO BIKE beyond that point, and I kept on going. After stopping to eat a tuna sandwich, and returning to the bike, I saw that a Park Ranges's truck stopped near the bike. The ranger was tall gentleman somewhere in early 40th. He asked and told me that I was in the zone where bike were not allowed and also asked me if I saw a sign and whether I talked to another ranger last night. I admitted all that and honestly told him what my motives were and why I was riding there. Obviously, as he said, everyone has a story, but I was breaking the law and he was going to give me a ticker, the citation for riding through a no entrance zone, which is 50$ dollars, and the other ranger also came in several minutes to look at me. I never understood why he really came. He reminded me that last night he warned me about not entering zone, said that it was dangerous here, that last year they had to look for some hikers body that ended up dead, and that he warned that other hiker as well.
I didn't want to take anymore of their time, and after accepting the ticket, the first Ranger took me back to MC Donald Lodge in his truck. He said that I could try to catch a ride to Logan Pass, but my best bet, as he suggested, was to turn around and ride around the park by hwy 2. That didn't appeal to me, especially because I wanted to see the actually Logan Pass, where Continental Divide is passing, by the way, so I decided to search for a ride.
At that time, because of smoke, there were not many tourists traveling, so cars were passing in group of several, every 5-10 minutes. I went to the lodge store and asked a lady for a white sheet of paper, on which with a black marker, I wrote clearly "TO LOGAN PASS" and added a little smiley face.
In some survival techniques book, several years earlier, I read that there are much greater chances to catch a ride, standing on the shoulder of the road, if drivers see a sing with destination which you are going to. So I guess it worked, and in about 7 minutes a lady in big Ford F150 pick-up truck, stopped and picked me up. Bike went into the bed without a problem. We rode on the narrow road for approximately 30 minutes, viewing the actually flames of the fire on some mountain slopes. At Logan Pass I thanked a lady for a ride and went to look at the visitors center. There were very many tourists, hundreds of cars. All languages spoken, including russian. Some tourists were probably new to the natures, so they were taking pictures of everything. A little squirrel, stopped by, and dozens of tourists aggressively pointed their little automatic cameras at it. Many were taking the picture of a bold mountain top, that's pointing in the sky. At this elevation, 6000 something feet above sea level, the air temperature was significantly lower than in the valley. Most people wore sweater or even jackets. Rangers had gloves on their hands. I also fished the pants and a sweater out of my bags and dressed a little warmer. After talking to few tourists, eating some crackers and taking a picture next to the Logan Pass, Continental Divide sign, I started riding down the pass, towards town of St. Mary. The wind was cold, that my finger felt like in the winter, few times I stopped to breath warm air at them. The view around was so magnificent that it was just not realistic. I took several pictures and hope they will show more than words can describe.
08-29-03, 01:58 PM
In about an hour, I stopped to take another picture at the lookout point, that was high above the lake. A jeep with a retired tourist couple came out of the jeep for the same purpose. The had almost the same camera, so we started a conversation. After usual questions about my trip, they told me that they met a german cyclist, not long ago, and even gave him a ride, somewhere in Kansas. He was also riding across the country, from NY to LA. When a man's wife got out of the jeep and asked me where I was going, I had a good chance to make a joke, which actually made sense. I told I her that I am cycling the opposite way the German cyclist was going, and that I was also from Russia. The couple thought it was funny and laughed. :-)
When I came to St. Mary, about 30 minutes later, I stopped at the visitor centre and found that there was a post office in town. Asking one more time, the girl at the counter of some store had an accent and turned out she was from Slovakia. The next lady, I asked direction, also had an accent, so I felt pretty strange, having a feeling that this whole place is completely filled with foreigners.
After sending a money order to pay the ticket, I headed another 32 miles, towards Cardston, north on hwy 89.
The clouds in the sky were very dark, very low and the temperature was low. The wind was blowing the opposite direction I was riding and there were hills after hills. I was going pretty slow, and it was already about 6 pm. In another hour and a half, I should have made it 18 miles to the Port of Peigan, entrance into Canada! I was very excited and going against the wind didn't see to be a problem, as long as I was going.
Looking north, I saw that sky is much brighter above Canada and it brought additional excitement towards going there, not to mention that I was trying to get here for the last month.
In about 8 miles, there was a little town, called Baab, where I stopped at the local gas station to fill out the water battles and surprisingly saw a big basket with a sign underneath "free bananas". They were overripe, mostly dark with some yellow spots left, but as we all know, that's when they contain the most sugar and so it's all right for the cyclist. I ate some of them with water and crackers and continued another 10 miles towards the border.
Now I could clearly see that the sky is heavy and black only above glacier and this northern part of Montana, but it is clear above Canada, which raised my mood a lot. It was pretty exciting, I stopped to take a pictures, thinking that maybe this is my last time looking at Montana, or maybe at US at all, if something meant to happen on the road in Canada, so all my american experiences came up in my mind, and looking at the dark sky and snow peaks of glacier mountains was very emotional.
Finally the border. There were no cars for the past hour and when I rode into the gate and stopped at the window, without getting off the bikes, as sign said "remain in your vehicle":-) I answered the questions of a young, nice looking officer. Usual question about firearms, identification, purpose of visit. He issued me a yellow paper and asked to proceed to the corner of the building and come inside to immigration and naturalization office. A young, pretty lady greeted me, and started examining my passport and other documents. The lady was very formal, yet, friendly at the same time. She only asked subject related questions, such as where was I going to stay, how much money I had, and where did I live in the States. The procedure took about 20 minutes and she issued me a stay permit for 3 months!!! till November 1st, which was very great, because it meant that I wouldn't have to race against time. She then wished me a good day, and very happy, I went back to the bike, put a sweater on, as it was chilly and went across the street on Canadian territory in a Duty Free shop.
There was an older lady working, which I asked silly question wither she was a canadian. She was, and in return she asked me where I was going and from what country was I from. She saw my excitement and happiness and decided to give me a free map of Canada, saying that that's her part of helping me to go across. :-) Great.
I took a picture near Alberta Welcome Sign, and started riding towards city of Cardston, which was 26 kilometers ahead. Wohoo, metric again, which I used to be very comfortable with, now made me transfer back into miles, also because odometer on cyclocomputer registers distance in miles.
The road was very desert, cars were passing only once in 5 minutes, staying on the other side of the road, which I thought was very friendly. Peaceful scenery, of smooth running field hills, with slowly eating grass cows, bright sky above with sun shining through spaces between. Even though I was suppose to be tired, it was very easy to pedal, even up the hills, but I was not thinking about that now, I was enjoying looking at canadian land, cows, clouds and eating animal crackers. Right before Cardston, finally I rode to the hill that made me concentrate and breathing hard ride into in in the lowest gear.
Oh, almost forgot, 5 miles before the border, I had another thought, of being lucky that the bicycle didn't give any troubles for the past 3 weeks and 700 miles, and then in few minutes, while aimlessly looking at some distant cloud, I heard a loud noise "POP!", the spoke in rear wheel broke, which made a tire wobble a little. Well, a job to do in Cardston.
*Lady in the library announced that my time is almost over, so the story ends now.
In Cardston I met a cyclist that invited me to stay at his house, and where I eventually pitched a tent in his yard, they also let me use the shower which was very nice. Interesting family, they are mormons, as I understood and had 8 children.
In the morning, I went to the bank and changed us money for canadian, which turned out that food is cheaper here... :-)
The journey continues.
Pictures are coming.
Thank you for reading.
All the best.!
08-29-03, 02:18 PM
Cool story, Mr. Ino.........I'm at work right now but spent several minutes reading all four segments.....very interesting. Show us pictures!!
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