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Old 02-26-17, 05:40 PM   #26
Lively or Not
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I live about 60 miles from a state park featuring free-range bison. They have a lovely, small campground. Last autumn I drove my car up, camped two nights, and hiked among the bison. With luck, I'll be able to bike there this spring for a weekend escape.
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Old 03-03-17, 08:16 AM   #27
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neat thread, gotten alot of new ideas of trips to plan
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Old 03-03-17, 08:33 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Lively or Not View Post
I live about 60 miles from a state park featuring free-range bison. They have a lovely, small campground. Last autumn I drove my car up, camped two nights, and hiked among the bison. With luck, I'll be able to bike there this spring for a weekend escape.
Don't get too close. When people think of Yellowstone wildlife danger, bears immediately come to mind. However, bison kill and injure far more park visitors than bears do. They can go from 0 to ramming speed quickly, and their heard are like wrecking balls. They are especially prone to charge when they are with calves and feel threatened.


With that said, they are majestic creatures to see roaming free. From my 2015 tour in SD. Notice the bird on his back picking off insects:
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Old 03-03-17, 08:41 AM   #29
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The final, best case scenario route for Montana and Idaho in June, flying out June 17th:


https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19192705


Road conditions may make it impossible to get up to Logan Pass in Glacier N.P. (lots of snow there this winter), but some of the road up may be open. I will just have to play it by ear.
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Old 03-13-17, 08:13 PM   #30
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Kind of a hub-and-spoke tour this past weekend ...

Here in Australia, there's a long weekend on about my birthday.

So we headed up north on Friday after work, and spent Saturday cycling 100 km with our Bike Fridays and discovered that mine, in particular, needs several adjustments to make it comfortable. That was one of my more uncomfortable 100 kms. Then we went to a theatre performance of Wicked which was really good. Well worth it!

On Sunday, we did a 76 km ride on our touring bicycles that was hillier than expected, then went out to dinner to one of my favourite restaurants to replenish our energy. Then we dashed off to the Speedway where we were treated to a great deal of excitement. Especially within the first few minutes of being there, as a car hurtled in our direction!

And today we capped it off with an egg breakfast that just hit the spot, a 41.7 km ride, and a little bit later, delicious pancakes with berries and ice cream and cream.
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Old 03-14-17, 08:49 PM   #31
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For a first tour, I had a plan for last year to take the train from STL to Sedalia MO and ride the Katy back to STL, utilizing BnBs for the trip. Due to an unexpected health issue (open heart surgery) two weeks before my planned dates, that had to be scrubbed. That's allowed me more time to plan and acquire equipment for a camping tour for that route for this spring. I'm not letting anything get in the way this time!

I plan on doing this from Pleasant Hill to St. Louis this summer, time permitting we may turn that into a Route 66 from St. Louis to Chicago.
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Old 04-22-17, 12:54 AM   #32
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Got off work early today on the sunniest day of spring so far so I took a meandering ride against headwinds across Sumas Prairie (actually a formerly drained shallow lake turned into farm land) and up the Columbia Valley into the Cascade foothills. 106km's return trip in 5.5 hours. The terminus was the CAN/US border which happens to also be the longest undefended border in the world.

Here's a pic of the border marker with Iverson Rd. on the CAN side in the background. Beyond it is a cut line marking the 49th parallel.



This shot looks south into the US. If you could head south and veered left a bit you would soon hit Mt. Baker, one of a series of Volcanic peaks along the Pacific Coast with Rainer, St Helen's, Mazama (Crater Lake) and Shasta.

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Old 04-23-17, 02:11 PM   #33
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Shenandoah--Skyline Drive Short Tour

This one not done yet, but booked today for June!
Credit card tour:
Day 1 travel day: overnight in Front Royal VA
Day 2 : 50'ish miles to Big Meadows Lodge
Day 3: out and back south of Big Meadows (miles ?)
Day 4: return Front Royal and depart

I was hoping for a little advice from those who have done Skyline...

My usual touring/commuter bike is a 1x, 48 in the front 32 in the back lowest ratio I can do. I'll have a couple panniers on too. Knowing you can't judge my fitness ... Any thoughts on this? My alternative is my road bike with a smaller front ring available but I'd have to backpack my stuff. I climb with my 1x bike for local "hilly"'commute and do ok. I also don't mind a little pain on the bike.

Second: for a day starting in Big Meadows and heading south... Where are the must sees in that out and back? I'd hate to turn around before seeing the heavens open up or something :-)

Thanks !
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Old 04-30-17, 04:24 AM   #34
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Do guided/supported tours count?
Will be in Bormio and Ortisei for the last week of the Giro. Arrive Monday the 22nd and return on Memorial Day.
Every time I look at the weather in Bormio, it's snowing. They got 10" one day just last week! Riding the mountain passes (Stelvio, Tonale, Gardena, etc.) should be interesting. I've got my warmers.
Taking the Casati, and wondering if we might go by their little factory in Monza (start location for the final stage) on the last day.
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Old 04-30-17, 05:49 AM   #35
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We'll do our annual ride between July & October. The Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.

The official starting point is Champoeg State Park outside of Newberg but we start from our house.

Day 1: Beaverton ---> Newberg
Day 2: Newberg ---> Independence
Day 3: Independence ---> Brownsville
Day 4: Brownsville ---> Coburg/Eugene
Day 5: Amtrak home to Portland/MAX to Beaverton

This year we may do it reverse. Taking Amtrak to Eugene and starting from there following the same schedule above in reverse order. Might feel like it's a new route.

Actual route is 134 miles but because we start or end at home and take side trips into a few places (Corvallis for example) we end up doing 200-250 miles.

Never really know when we're leaving until a week or so before. Always waiting until the 10 day forecast calls for sunshine
Thank you for this! Might add this to my list of possibilities for a trip.
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Old 04-30-17, 07:57 PM   #36
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Today I loaded up my bike with the kit I plan to take on my upcoming Jasper trip and rode a forestry service road on Vedder Mt. by Cultus Lake. There are a series of well developed DH trails off of it and I met a few mtb'rs along the way. Up up up I went grinding and sometimes walking until I ran out of time and then made a long crazy downhill run with brakes applied the whole way. In the future I plan to return and run the trails with drybags instead of the double pannier system on the back (which is too floppy).

Not technically a tour but a ride with touring gear at least.






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Old 05-03-17, 09:51 PM   #37
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I'm planning a 200km trip from Mont Laurier to Saint-Jerome Quebec (in and around the mont tremblant area) with my kids in early July. All rail trail. Plan on taking it slow and easy only 50 or so Kms per day and camping along the way. It's the first time ever doing something like this but something I've dreamed of doing for years. So hopefully it's the first of a long line of cycling trips. I'm so excited about it and planning it to death, I think I'm driving my family nuts with the constant bike talk.
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Old 05-06-17, 08:29 PM   #38
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Happy feet, what types of bags are you using on the front and the middle of your bike? I am looking for something similar. I live over on Vancouver Island in Comox.
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Old 05-06-17, 10:25 PM   #39
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Those are both Blackburn bags. The frame bag I really like, the HB bag I'm so so about. It works fine but is rather overbuilt for what it does.
I would suggest looking very hard at the seat post bag if you are considering. I've looked and found it's not supported enough to prevent side to side wiggle when loaded in a meaningful way.

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Old 05-07-17, 12:24 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by rdrummond View Post
This one not done yet, but booked today for June!
Credit card tour:
Day 1 travel day: overnight in Front Royal VA
Day 2 : 50'ish miles to Big Meadows Lodge
Day 3: out and back south of Big Meadows (miles ?)
Day 4: return Front Royal and depart

I was hoping for a little advice from those who have done Skyline...

My usual touring/commuter bike is a 1x, 48 in the front 32 in the back lowest ratio I can do. I'll have a couple panniers on too. Knowing you can't judge my fitness ... Any thoughts on this? My alternative is my road bike with a smaller front ring available but I'd have to backpack my stuff. I climb with my 1x bike for local "hilly"'commute and do ok. I also don't mind a little pain on the bike.

Second: for a day starting in Big Meadows and heading south... Where are the must sees in that out and back? I'd hate to turn around before seeing the heavens open up or something :-)

Thanks !
Skyline is so pretty it helps make up for the effort. Have driven & biked the northern sections, not an expert on the southern half but AFAIK no must-see spot. Climbs aren't steep but very long, much tougher than occasional short hills. OTOH it's actually more common to see road-racing bikes than touring bikes so if you're pretty fit I'd guess the gearing would be OK. Tote sufficient water & snacks. Also, ironically, few convenient places for "natural breaks".
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Old 05-07-17, 06:15 PM   #41
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Auburn to Sacramento

I got out of the cold and snow last weekend to ride my bike from Auburn to Sacramento. It was a good excuse to get together with two old friends to reminisce about the glory days, and tell stories about hip replacements and colonoscopies. The next day I was back on the bike and returned to Auburn, where I got back in the car for the drive over the mountains. The American River Parkway was a gem of a ride. You get the feeling of country road when in reality you are a stone's throw from an interstate and close to the urban sprawl. Oh and it was first overnighter, with a couple partially loaded panniers for gear and a handlebar bag for camera, phone and wallet. A great time.
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Old 05-07-17, 07:47 PM   #42
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Returned to Vedder Mountain today to complete the ride I started last week (but called due too time constraints) along paved roads, gravel and eventually singletrack technical mtb trails back to pavement.

8:30am saw me leave home and ride up and over a col on Sumas Mt. before descending to the Sumas Prairie below.
A stop in the small town of Yarrow for coffee and then up the Columbia Valley towards Cultus Lake. Turned off at Parameter road and began the long ascent up the east side of Vedder Mt. on a forestry service road.



This is a popular MTB area and the forestry road acts as access for the technical trails. Mixed Gravel and dirt for a slog straight up but then, at long last, the road levels off with a view of the Columbia Valley below. This is where most traffic stops except the occasional dirt bike as the road eventually turns the corner at it's southern end and then begins to return north high above the Sumas Prairie.

This shot shows the Sumas Prairie below and Sumas Mountain beyond. I started the day on the other side of it.



All the grinding pays off with km's worth of downhill cruising along a gradually narrowing road.



The road goes on for km's and gradually narrows from double to single lane.



Beautiful scenery far from the crowd and a coyote crosses my path as I stop to take a pic by a small waterfall.
On my frame bag you can see my bear spray which I will feel happy to have in just a few minutes.




A few minutes later I see a fair sized black bear slowly walking up the road towards me. He's about 100yards away and I stop to try to snap a pic but I only have my phone so it's not much.



After snapping a pic I decide I should let the bear know I am there so I call out "Hey" in a loud manlike bark.
It works!
He looks behind him and starts to lope directly towards me. Wrong way bear. I try to snap a couple of more pics and then reach for the bear spray while calling Hey! HEY! Crappy photo below but one can see him getting closer by looking at the bush on the road to his left.



Dramatic moment over, he finally looks at me and bolts straight uphill (note to self: never try to outrun a bear uphill).
Now I face an awkward decision. Return for km's back up the road the way I came or travel through. With spray in one hand I pass by the bear who is about 50 feet off the road up slope in the trees looking down at me. I think I should snap a pic but then think.. nah... It may realize I am really two big drumsticks and a side of ribs on a pedal bike.

The road ends more or less and I turn off onto the Duck Farm Loop trail which turns at times into technical DH singletrack. I didn't snap a pic as I was desperately trying not to die during those moments.



At last I hit the pavement and returned the way I came back across the prairie to a well deserved Starbucks coffee. Approx. 70 km's with 6 hours of riding.

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Old 05-07-17, 09:45 PM   #43
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Wow, talk about "adventure" touring! I thought about idea of tossing food to the bear...this site says not to do that since it teaches the bear to approach people.

Bear Dangers and how to defend yourself against a bear attack - Wilderness Arena Survival
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Old 05-07-17, 09:48 PM   #44
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Nice story, and it gives me motivation to keep improving my cycle fitness and make summer plans. Cheers Roscoe
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Old 05-07-17, 10:05 PM   #45
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No, most bears are afraid of people and will give wide berth if given the opportunity. You want them to be cautious or afraid and tossing food just breaks down that bearier for them (pun intended).

There are only three times when a bear is really dangerous. When it has cubs, when it is surprised, and rarely when it is predatory to humans.

Otherwise we are a question mark that the smart bear chooses to avoid, as contact could cause injury to it which would make it a target for other predators. We make loud noises that prey don't make, we walk upright like we own the trail and we don't seem to care who hears or sees us. We are either completely stupid or a new apex type predator to content with.

On top of that I see the bear, call out to the bear, and then boldly ride past as if I dont care if it's there. Weird confident predator behavior to another predator.

If that same bear had put its head down and continued to walk towards me methodocally I would have had a totally different situation on my hands.

But exciting none the less! Micro adventures as Alistair Humphries talks abut if a longer tour is not possible.

Thanks Roscoe. Yep about improving fitness. I'm going on a bikepacking tour in the Rockies this June so I'm getting my bike dialed in and used to riding this way.

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Old 05-08-17, 07:31 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Skyline is so pretty it helps make up for the effort. Have driven & biked the northern sections, not an expert on the southern half but AFAIK no must-see spot. Climbs aren't steep but very long, much tougher than occasional short hills. OTOH it's actually more common to see road-racing bikes than touring bikes so if you're pretty fit I'd guess the gearing would be OK. Tote sufficient water & snacks. Also, ironically, few convenient places for "natural breaks".
Thanks very much for the advice!
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Old 05-11-17, 11:27 AM   #47
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Just booked a campground for the first trip of the year, to a state park campground a bit over 20 miles away this weekend. Short ride, but the whole point is to shakedown pretty much everything, new trekking bike build and most camping gear included, so I didn't want to wander too far!

Next weekend is a 52 mile charity ride (albeit sort of a tour, cycling from one locale to another for an overnight stay), but I hope to get one or two more weekend trips in early June to sort out the camping equipment and packing a bit more.
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Old 05-11-17, 11:56 AM   #48
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Wow, talk about "adventure" touring! I thought about idea of tossing food to the bear...this site says not to do that since it teaches the bear to approach people.

Bear Dangers and how to defend yourself against a bear attack - Wilderness Arena Survival

And that site is correct. It's one of the things you learn when you watch the backcountry video Glacier National Park made me watch before a week in the backcountry there. Whatever edible thing you toss them they will gobble up in no time. You will then be seen as a free vending machine to be shaken if product is not dispensed at once.


A decade or so ago a dad and his son were hiking in Worthington State Forest in New Jersey when they stumbled upon a black bear. Dad tossed it a bagel he had in his pack so he could get the thing to stick around for photos. The bear inhaled the bagel and came after them for more. Poor kid got his face and hand scratched up. Dad was given a citation.


If you really need to distract a bear at close range the video instructed you to toss a hat or similar item of clothing off the side.
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Old 05-21-17, 09:54 PM   #49
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I've become quite interested in the concept of s24o's and s48o's so this weekend I set off on my planned Capital to Capital Tour.
This was supposed to be done on my cheap build coaster bike but I decided to downsize my collection a bit and it is slated to go to another home.
To make up for that I made a gas tank bag out of duct tape. huh.. huh...

*sigh*

Warning: Pic heavy

It's expected that every loyal Commonwealth Subject pay homage to our late Queen Victoria at least once in their lives and I figured the best time to do that was during the Victoria Day long weekend (named in her glorious honour).

The first Capital of British Columbia was Fort Langley, an HBC outpost that controlled trade in the fertile Fraser Delta during the 1800's. After a brief time it was moved to the more central New Westminster and then finally, to Victoria. The intended Capital was originally slated to be Prince Rupert, a deep water port and northern terminus of the newly laid Trans Canadian Railway but territorial wrangling with our good neighbours to the south led politicians to strategically place the capital at the southern tip of Vancouver Island as a way of "staking claim" to land that actually juts a little south of the 49th but is attached to the resource rich island that lays above it. Canadians are diplomatic but not dumb!

Enough of politics! I left Fort Langley at 7:30am and rode along 96th ave to Hwy 17 which runs directly to the Tsawwassen Ferry terminal 60km's away.



A view of the Fraser from 96ave:



Nearing the Ferry Terminal at Tsawwassen:



On the 11am Ferry I enjoyed my first meal, Veggie Burger, fries and coffee. Oddly, on my return I would also take the 11am ferry and have the same meal again.



During the Ferry ride a pod of Killer Whales crossed our path (or did we cross theirs?):







Off the Ferry I turned right on Wain and followed the quiet and scenic 17a or West Sannich Rd. down to Brentwood Bay where I took a smaller ferry over to Mill Bay. From there I had to climb the Malahat Hwy up and over an interior plateau that juts across the Island.

Over looking the Sannich Inlet:



Along the way I saw this wounded Bald Eagle in a ditch. That is an old wound down to the skull and I was suprised it could still be alive. Another motorist called the Humane Society:



Once over the Malahat I rode through Goldstream Provincial Park and on towards Victoria. I had planned to camp anywhere Between Bamberton and there but a busy sunny long weekend meant all campgrounds were full. Just when I though I would have to wild camp for the night I decided to stop in at the Thetis Lake Campground. There was a sign saying "NO TENTING" and I was about to leave when the operator came out. He explained that it was because the washrooms were not open but took a shine to me when I explained I had been riding since morning and offered to open up the site for me. Nice Guy! Bonus was that Thetis Lake was only a 200m walk from my tent and I took a quick dip in it rather than a shower. Brrr...



Continued next post...

Last edited by Happy Feet; 05-21-17 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 05-21-17, 10:12 PM   #50
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The next morning I woke up and made Victoria proper by 8am. Here I could finally pay homage to the late but great Monarch!:





A moment or two of reverent reflection (or was I just tired?):



And then it was off through town to find some breakfast (Raspberry Buckwheat muffin and Spinach Onion Cheese Scone):







By 8:30 I was on the road again up Hwy 17 to the Swartz Bay terminal and a return trip to Tsawwassen.

The Island portion of the route:





A view of Mt. Baker hovering above the mainland:



Once back on land I retraced my route on Hwy 17 to Fort Langley. Along the way I rode past scenic Burns Bog..
Hey come on - it's a bog. That's all there is:



In Fort Langley I enjoyed homemade Bannock and Savory Butter with Compote (whatever that is):



and then a further 35km's home.

Al together roughly 265km's in 36 hours. Camping and ferry costs were $30 and $44 respectively.

I used a modified bikepacking set up I want to use on my upcoming Rockies trip with tent in a HB roll, heavy stuff like food, electronics and tools in the framebag and sleeping bag, thermorest and clothes in a 25l MEC Raptor drybag/backpack. That way I can ride and also do day hikes/shopping if I want. Love the idea of a Gas Tank bag but am playing with a DIY duct tape model before buying/making one for keeps. Most of the ones in shops around here seem very small (bento road design).

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