Leaving For North Star Route - Last Minute Advice Requested!
In two weeks I am leaving Missoula, Montana for a 10 week self-contained trip on the American Cycling North Star route that ends up in Anchorage. Along with 2800 miles of asphalt, there will be 700 miles of gravel.
1) My bike can accommodate up to 47mm tires and my plan was to use 35mm Marathon XR's front and back until Hyder AK, where the gravel starts in earnest, then switch my front tire to a 1.85" 29er Mutanoraptor. I am 170 lbs and my BOB with cargo is about 70 lbs. Any opinions about this plan? Is it overkill? I would really appreciate your advice!
2) When I switch to the wider front tire, my 50 mm SKS front fender will no longer fit and I will either have to go without one or buy a mountain bike fender. Is a fender less necessary on gravel than asphalt? Should I spring for a MTB fender that fits a 700c/29er (rare animal!) or will a "dirt board" attached to my down tube be sufficient? Again, I can have these items mailed to me in Hyder.
3) For comfort, I am planning to take a second Thermorest pad, Thermorest lounge chair, and an 8x8ft tarp to put on the ground outside my tent. Altogether, these incremental items weigh 3.5 lbs. Is this nuts?
Thanks in advance for your help....
I have never heard of Mutanoraptors but from what I understand the Marathons are hard to beat. I hope you arent planning on picking up these tires or anything esle for that matter in Hyder or Stewart. Hyder is smaller than the head of a pin and about all you can get there is beer. In Stewart you will get little more. These two places are remote and basic. Cool places to go to though.
If you are planning on carrying a second set of different tires why dont you just figure out which one will suit you best and use that pair and carry a spare, hopefully a folding type. I guess mailing a set can work but you run the risk of something not getting there on time.
As for fenders, you really need them as much or more on gravel because gravel turns to muck when it rains, which it does, frequently, up there.
3.5 pounds out of 70 isnt a whole lot but can you do without two sleeping pads and a cushy chair?
One other thing, if you are planning on carrying bear spray: there is only one border post at Hyder/Stewart, on the Canadian side. When I crossed back into Canada a couple years ago the agent asked if I had any spray. I have some but didnt think to bring it which I regretted a bit considering the area in which I was wandering. Anyway it wasnt an issue at the border because I didnt have any but I wondered since then if it would have been confiscated if I had it. Something for you to plan around if you carry it.
Sounds like a great trip. Enjoy it. Are you doing a journal on Crazy Guy or elsewhere?
Thank you for you quick reply! Mutanoraptors are described here:
I'm not sure whether one set of tires would suffice for both conditions. Thats why I am posting. I would use the USPS Genral Delivery service to get resupplied in Hyder. I have no allusions of being able to buy anything other than beer, food, and insect repellant enroute.
Thanks for the input on fenders. SKS makes a fender for 28 inch wheels that might fit.
Sure I can do without. That's why they are "incremental". On the other hand, I have spent many nights awake blaming the hard ground for not being able to sleep and shifting around the camp looking for something comfortable to sit on. But the ounces sum up to pounds....
A discussion of importing bear spray to Canada is here: http://www.kayakforum.com/cgi-bin/Te...ames/read/5265. If this information is correct, then I shouldn't have any problems. Carrying an accurate manifest is a good tip whenever crossing borders.
As far as a journal is concerned, I will take pictures and do some writing, but I will post only if the muse strikes me and if I have something unique to say.
Thanks again for replying. I hope I get more input from others too...
Bear spray is OK to import into Canada if it is labeled as intended for bears not people. Customs inspectors have descretion, so it is important to be obsequious when dealing with them. It should be considered a privilege to visit another country, not a right, so it is necessary to have a humble demeanor.
See page 8 of the Canadian government pamphlet "Customs Information for Visitors to Canada and Seasonal Residents":
Forgive me while I wax nostalgic...
This was 8 years ago, when I was a noobie. I sold the BOB in Anchorage for $200 and the Americano frame (after logging 47,000 miles) for $1500, replacing them with racks/panniers and an Independent Fabrications 29er, respectively.
The North Star route was spectacular in 2006 and I have the expectation that it will be equally great this Summer when I plan to go again.
My kit has come a long way over the years. Most dramatically are my Neoair mattress, my FF Merlin bag, and my Allak tent. My gear weight including panniers is down to 40 lbs. I still use 35mm Marathon XR's, which work fine anywhere a 4-wheeled vehicle can go.
I'd really appreciate hearing from anyone that plans to be on the route in 2014...
As my wife and I get ready to do our first cross country ride this year the North Star route has peaked my interest! I know ACA runs it as a tour but I could not find any info as to the actual route.
Would you be willing to share it???
Originally Posted by Tandem Tom
Radium Hot Springs
Little Salmon Lake
Here's the ACA description. Click on the itinerary tab..........