Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 30
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    529
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Spots/things to watch out for, USA only on this thread

    Max got this idea started with his trip out to CO last fall and it has since been brought up once or twice more. I figured why not create a thread to list the 'danger' zones around the country. Those locations where things can throw your entire plan into havoc ruins simply because you didn't know better. Things, like tumbleweeds, goathead thorns, regular high winds etc.

    Preferably this is for things that aren't common sense, err tornadoes in the Midwest during the spring months, hurricanes in the SE/E states June-October, snow in the northern states during the winter months. This can include things like daily valley winds. I know I have heard of one spot(don't know the town for sure) in CA where every afternoon their is 50-60 mph winds going through the valley. This is the targeting things you normally wouldn't think to ask someone about and could easily find your in way over your head on a tour as a result of not knowing better.

    The way to list things:

    The problem(tumbleweed, goathead thorns, black flies, frequent high winds, etc)
    Where(locationwise) does this problem exist
    When(season) does the problem present itself

    If I have missed something in the method of listing things, include it.

    I'll mention one I know part of when it comes to location but I'm not sure how much of a problem it is out west.

    Blackflies. Yes, those pesky biting little creatures that you don't even realize has bitten you until long after they have taken a hunk out of you.

    They hang out in the northern New England states generally between Mothers Day and Fathers Day weekends. Once the temps start getting up into the 80s regularly they disappear very quickly. Anytime in that time frame being outside can leave you wishing you were indoors. Especially if you happen to be around running water. Unlike their biting cousins, the mosquitoes, blackflies like running water, mosquitoes like standing/still water. They also are known for hanging out in massive swarms up in Alaska(haven't ever been in AK), and I'm not sure if they are in other northern states west of NY or not. I never had them in NW Ohio when I lived there. I've only had to deal with them once...at the end of my first New England century ride. I had to stop and go the bathroom, no nothing anywhere around and I couldn't hold it. I ended up leaving my rear end wide open for them and it was a couple of days before Mothers Day weekend to boot. I know when you get around a lot of running water they can be a much bigger problem, talk to any hikers and they can probably tell you all kinds of horror stories about running into swarms of them.

    Now for all your list...I'm interested in both the goathead thorns(still have to look that one up on line to see what they even look like) and more importantly tumbleweeds. I didn't tumbleweeds were around anymore, I thought they were of settlement days and not seen anymore. I would have guessed they were only around desert areas and not northern/central CO. Shows how little I know.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NE Tx
    My Bikes
    Tour Easy, Linear USS, Lightening Thunderbolt, custom DF, Raleigh hybrid, Felt time trial
    Posts
    2,634
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Tumbleweeds are fun. Like dodging snowballs. Goatheads are not fun. Outrun mosquitoes and flies. Avoid chipseal in Texas....means you'll have to stay out of Texas. Ride east to west to avoid the morning sun. Ride west to east to avoid the evening sun. Don't pull up beside a semi at an intersection. He might be fixin' to turn right. Stay off sidewalks. Don't pick up strangers.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,249
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You can run into problems anywhere, especially if you don't plan properly.

  4. #4
    Has opinion, will express
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    12,785
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by axolotl View Post
    You can run into problems anywhere, especially if you don't plan properly.
    For once we agree.

    Access to the internet should overcome some of the issues. But as we know, reading something on the internet and relating it to an actual event are two entirely different things.

    Some of the most difficult circumstances are those that simply cannot be foreseen. One person's trip-ending disaster is another's challenge to overcome so they can keep going.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    38,715
    Mentioned
    34 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
    Those locations where things can throw your entire plan into havoc ruins simply because you didn't know better. Things, like tumbleweeds, goathead thorns, regular high winds etc.

    Preferably this is for things that aren't common sense, err tornadoes in the Midwest during the spring months, hurricanes in the SE/E states June-October, snow in the northern states during the winter months.
    And yet, to me ... because I've cycled and travelled in so many US States ... things like tumbleweeds, goathead thorns, and regular high winds are common sense.

    But, on the other hand, for someone from Australia or maybe South Africa, for example, tornados in the Midwest during the spring months, or the quantity of snow in the northern states during the winter months might not be common sense because they haven't experienced anything like that at that time of year.

    Common sense often comes down to what you've experienced or researched and learned.

    I recommend doing some reading ... I get Outpost Magazine and used to read National Geographic Magazines from cover to cover. Read stories on Crazy Guy on a Bike. Read travel books. Watch travel shows on TV. And of course, get out there and see for yourself.




    Quote Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
    Now for all your list...I'm interested in both the goathead thorns(still have to look that one up on line to see what they even look like) and more importantly tumbleweeds. I didn't tumbleweeds were around anymore, I thought they were of settlement days and not seen anymore. I would have guessed they were only around desert areas and not northern/central CO. Shows how little I know.
    Regarding tumbleweed ... of course they are still around. Tumbleweed is basically dead sagebrush, or something like that, and the southwest is covered in sagebrush and that sort of plant ... maybe slight exaggeration, but there is a lot of it. Here in Australia, there's another plant that becomes a tumbleweed. I'm not sure what it is, but at certain times great drifts of it pack up against houses, fences, etc. etc.

    Regarding goatshead thorns ... when you're cycling along, you'll never see them. The only time you'll see them is when you are picking one out of your tire. And they look like tiny multi prong thorns. Do a search for: goat head thorn images.

    And regarding wind and other weather systems ... weather websites will tell you that information.


    This thread might help ... http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...er-Useful-Info

  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    38,715
    Mentioned
    34 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    These sorts of things are also why I recommend including flexibility and time into a touring schedule.

    If you plan to ride 75 miles every day for 3 weeks, and something happens to delay you, it may throw your entire plan into havoc ruins.

    But if you plan to ride 50 miles a day for 3 days, then take a day off, then 50 miles a day for 3 days, and so on in that sort of pattern, then you've got some time to play with if something happens.

    And if you're flexible with your plans, you could decide to turn left instead of right somewhere to avoid a certain situation. Or you could take 2 or 3 days off to wait out a bad storm.

    So if the tumbleweeds are tumbling, the thunder is rumbling, and the goatsheads have just punctured your last tube ... with flexibility and time, you can shrug your shoulders, limp into the next town, and deal with the situation.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Philly
    My Bikes
    IF SCJ SE, Surly LHT, BikeFriday NWT, Cannondale M300, Raleigh 700
    Posts
    3,979
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For mosqitoes, it would probably be more efficient to list where they don't exist.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Cherry Hill,NJ
    Posts
    1,130
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    These sorts of things are also why I recommend including flexibility and time into a touring schedule.

    If you plan to ride 75 miles every day for 3 weeks, and something happens to delay you, it may throw your entire plan into havoc ruins.

    But if you plan to ride 50 miles a day for 3 days, then take a day off, then 50 miles a day for 3 days, and so on in that sort of pattern, then you've got some time to play with if something happens.

    And if you're flexible with your plans, you could decide to turn left instead of right somewhere to avoid a certain situation. Or you could take 2 or 3 days off to wait out a bad storm.

    So if the tumbleweeds are tumbling, the thunder is rumbling, and the goatsheads have just punctured your last tube ... with flexibility and time, you can shrug your shoulders, limp into the next town, and deal with the situation.
    This is good advice
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Cherry Hill,NJ
    Posts
    1,130
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Reading the OP's description of what this thread should include i took it to mean something known as 'Local Knowledge." Kinda like "Everyone knows you don't take that highway at that time of day." That is, everyone who lives in the area knows this. Outsiders/visitors are clueless.

    In the spirit of the thread i will add Greenhead Flies. officially they are the Salt Marsh Horse Fly. Though they populate much of the Eastern U.S. you will become intimately acquainted with them along the Jersey Shore. On the barrier Islands of the Jersey Shore most prevalent between Seaside Heights and Brigantine. Any west wind will carry them your way. They bite and they hurt. There are warnings posted at beach entrances that refunds will not be given because of the flies.

    Interestingly, only the females bite. So, it is appropriate to scream "Die *****!" as you dispatch them.
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,249
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tom cotter View Post
    In the spirit of the thread i will add Greenhead Flies. officially they are the Salt Marsh Horse Fly. Though they populate much of the Eastern U.S. you will become intimately acquainted with them along the Jersey Shore. On the barrier Islands of the Jersey Shore most prevalent between Seaside Heights and Brigantine. Any west wind will carry them your way. They bite and they hurt. There are warnings posted at beach entrances that refunds will not be given because of the flies.
    I would add a warning to avoid New Jersey beaches in general, because unlike in most of the US, you often have to pay to access New Jersey beaches. (bolding in quote above added by me)

  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,596
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post

    Regarding tumbleweed ... of course they are still around. Tumbleweed is basically dead sagebrush, or something like that, and the southwest is covered in sagebrush and that sort of plant ... maybe slight exaggeration, but there is a lot of it. Here in Australia, there's another plant that becomes a tumbleweed. I'm not sure what it is, but at certain times great drifts of it pack up against houses, fences, etc. etc.
    Nope. Different plant. Sagebrush is a perennial native bush found throughout the US West. It has a large taproot and seldom breaks off at the ground and "tumbles". "Tumbleweed" is Russian thistle (Kali tragus) and is a highly aggressive invasive species. It was introduced as a contaminant in flax seeds and the infestation started in South Dakota in the 1870s. Each plant produces thousands of seeds that are deposited as they tumble along the ground. Germination of the seeds are almost 100% and they suck massive amounts of water out of the ground once they sprout.

    Tumbleweeds can be found throughout the west and are even making inroads into most of the rest of the US. National Geographic had an article on them in December 2001.

    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Regarding goatshead thorns ... when you're cycling along, you'll never see them. The only time you'll see them is when you are picking one out of your tire. And they look like tiny multi prong thorns. Do a search for: goat head thorn images.
    To the unpracticed eye, goat heads (Tribulus terrestris) are invisible but to those of us how live with them, we either know the plant or know where the plant likes to live. Goat heads are a caltrop which means that the poky part is always sticking up to stab into the unsuspecting cyclist or child foolish enough to go without shoes. They are also an invasive species that were introduce with wheat from Russia. The plant is a low lying ground cover which can be from 12" to 12' across and produces thousands of seed pods which contain, 5 to 6 caltrops apiece. The plant grows well in disturbed soils but doesn't tolerate competition. When grasses start to sprout, the goat head plant doesn't grow as well. However, the seed can lie dormant for up to 50 years without sprouting. This gives it ample opportunity to wait for a soil disturbance to occur. New roadways, bike paths or just grading the shoulder of a road is enough to give the goat head its chance.

    Generally speaking, when riding west of the Mississippi and south of the Canadian border, you should be very careful when you pull off a hard surface of any kind. You, literally, can't carry enough tubes, patches or glue to deal with them. I've had 16 mile mountain rides that ended with 63 punctures.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  12. #12
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,596
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    For mosqitoes, it would probably be more efficient to list where they don't exist.
    While they exist everywhere, they don't act the same everywhere. Colorado mosquitoes are down right polite. They bite but they almost ask permission. Wisconsin mosquitoes knock you down, drink your blood, take your wallet and leaving lying in a ditch!
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    529
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ohio mosquitoes only bite in the evening. NH mosquitoes bite anytime of the day.

    I guess I've always been an overplanner. Trust me if you saw the way I typically plan out a trip you would understand the reason I posted the topic in the first place. I way overplan. I always try to plan around all obstacles to hopefully get as smooth of a flowing trip as possible. When you don't know what to plan around, err what may come up that you didn't know to even think about as being a possible problem then you can't plan for it. That's when things can easily get ugly.

    You can avoid certain areas at certain times of the year when know problems are going to exist. Is it the going to be the rainy season in the Pacific NW for example. Some things you know about, some things you don't, unless you are/have been at some point in your life local to area where you are going to be travelling. Since I don't have internet access at my house and have to get to the library, where I'm sitting right now, or into a McDonalds to get online, I have limited access to the information and having an idea what to research saves a lot of online time, not only in mapping out where you might go, given a certain time of the year, but also in knowing what obstacles may try to stand in your way if you do go there.

    I will add one other thing thanks to cyclebum. Ride west to east if you like to have everyday ending up being shorter than the day before it. Ride east to west if you want each day to get longer. It can be quite nice watching each sunset get later and later with each passing day as you head west. One other big benefit of heading west vs. heading east is you can watch the storms building in the west and have a good heads up to there arrival instead of having them sneak up on you.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Jackson, NH
    Posts
    151
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In Wyoming you've gotta keep an eye out for those dang Jackalopes and up in Rockies the sinister Sidehill Gougers are circling at the top of every climb!

    On a serious note, a stampeding herd of Big Horn Sheep took me by surprise during a fast descent of Sunwapta Pass on the Icefields Parkway. Had a near collision. This was not in the USA but the same thing could probably happen on Going to the Sun Road at Glacier NP.
    Last edited by BobG; 02-24-14 at 11:39 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Philly
    My Bikes
    IF SCJ SE, Surly LHT, BikeFriday NWT, Cannondale M300, Raleigh 700
    Posts
    3,979
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BobG View Post
    In Wyoming you've gotta keep an eye out for those dang Jackalopes and up in Rockies the sinister Sidehill Gougers are circling at the top of every climb!

    On a serious note, a group of Big Horn Sheep took me by surprise during a fast descent of Sunwapta Pass on the Icefields Parkway. Had a near collision. This was not in the USA but the same thing could probably happen on Going to the Sun Road at Glacier NP.
    On a serious note, I once datred a woman who thought Jackalopes were real. I kid you not.

    Keeping alert on descents is a good idea. A black bear ambled across Going to the Sun about 40' in front of me while I was descending the west side. Fortunately, it was on the lower slopes so it was not that steep. Crossing PA back in September I was on a multi-mile descent from Cowman's Gap. I said aloud to myself something like "Keep your eyes open, You never know what could come out of these bushes." Not three seconds later a good sized deer bounded out of bushes and across the road less than 30' in front of me. Scary stuff.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Philly
    My Bikes
    IF SCJ SE, Surly LHT, BikeFriday NWT, Cannondale M300, Raleigh 700
    Posts
    3,979
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    While they exist everywhere, they don't act the same everywhere. Colorado mosquitoes are down right polite. They bite but they almost ask permission. Wisconsin mosquitoes knock you down, drink your blood, take your wallet and leaving lying in a ditch!
    They must be related to MN moquitoes. I remember being puzzled at first when I went to pitch my tent one day and found little blood spots on the inside. Finally figurred out that they had gotten inide the tent when I packed it up that morning and had been crushed when I rolled it up. At night they would settle on the mesh like they were trying to figure a way to get inside. Thw worst is when nature called in the middle of the night. You would smack the tent door to roust them then try to get out, zip up, do your business, unzip and get back in without any of them following you. It usually didn't work and a few minutes after you laid back down you would hear them buzzing around you ear. They have also been pretty bad in most places I have been in MT. Geeze. Now I feel itchy.
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Chico, Cali
    Posts
    399
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Kind of related. It'd be great to have a crowdsourced map of touring route advice. The most obvious route on a highway map is frequently not the easiest, safest, and most scenic route for cyclists. My local mountain pass comes to mind. There's a road on the ridge south that is an improvement in every single way except that there's a stretch of dirt. This is the route touring cyclists want to take but it's not obvious looking at a map.

  18. #18
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    MD/DC/VA
    Posts
    2,866
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hurricanes on the East coast and Gulf coast during summer and early fall months. Effects diminish further inland, but can still be a serious damper on plans.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,559
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    To the unpracticed eye, goat heads (Tribulus terrestris) are invisible but to those of us how live with them, we either know the plant or know where the plant likes to live. Goat heads are a caltrop which means that the poky part is always sticking up to stab into the unsuspecting cyclist or child foolish enough to go without shoes. They are also an invasive species that were introduce with wheat from Russia. The plant is a low lying ground cover which can be from 12" to 12' across and produces thousands of seed pods which contain, 5 to 6 caltrops apiece. The plant grows well in disturbed soils but doesn't tolerate competition. When grasses start to sprout, the goat head plant doesn't grow as well. However, the seed can lie dormant for up to 50 years without sprouting. This gives it ample opportunity to wait for a soil disturbance to occur. New roadways, bike paths or just grading the shoulder of a road is enough to give the goat head its chance.

    Generally speaking, when riding west of the Mississippi and south of the Canadian border, you should be very careful when you pull off a hard surface of any kind. You, literally, can't carry enough tubes, patches or glue to deal with them. I've had 16 mile mountain rides that ended with 63 punctures.
    Also, don't ride over anything green growing in the cracks of the road or encroaching on the pavement from the road's shoulder. It will not miss them all, but it will reduce the number of punctures in "Puncture Vine" country.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    529
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Generally speaking, when riding west of the Mississippi and south of the Canadian border, you should be very careful when you pull off a hard surface of any kind. You, literally, can't carry enough tubes, patches or glue to deal with them. I've had 16 mile mountain rides that ended with 63 punctures.
    I know I had never heard of them until Max's ride last year. I know I saw someone on here make mention of seeing/dealing with them in NE or KS or some where just east of the Rockies states. That really brought the question about them and other things like them up.

    Just finished reading the article, thanks cyccommute. Interesting read but it didn't mention one thing that I would think??? could make a bit of a difference. Snowpack...does the snowpack over the winter 'crush' them so they don't blow around the following spring or do they continue to move about quite freely after the winter snowpack has melted? I have to fess I've only been out into the Rockies and points west once during the warm weather months and that was right in the middle of summer. I think never having seen tumbleweed is why I thought it was a thing of bygone days. I am surprised I've never seen it before since it practically covers the whole country.

  21. #21
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Naperville, Illinois
    My Bikes
    Too Numerous (not)
    Posts
    2,353
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    They must be related to MN moquitoes. I remember being puzzled at first when I went to pitch my tent one day and found little blood spots on the inside. Finally figurred out that they had gotten inide the tent when I packed it up that morning and had been crushed when I rolled it up. At night they would settle on the mesh like they were trying to figure a way to get inside. Thw worst is when nature called in the middle of the night. You would smack the tent door to roust them then try to get out, zip up, do your business, unzip and get back in without any of them following you. It usually didn't work and a few minutes after you laid back down you would hear them buzzing around you ear. They have also been pretty bad in most places I have been in MT. Geeze. Now I feel itchy.
    +1 on Minnesota mosquitos. I always thought they were the MN state bird. Seems like enough of them could carry you away. They can certainly get through light weight clothing.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  22. #22
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,596
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
    I know I had never heard of them until Max's ride last year. I know I saw someone on here make mention of seeing/dealing with them in NE or KS or some where just east of the Rockies states. That really brought the question about them and other things like them up.

    Just finished reading the article, thanks cyccommute. Interesting read but it didn't mention one thing that I would think??? could make a bit of a difference. Snowpack...does the snowpack over the winter 'crush' them so they don't blow around the following spring or do they continue to move about quite freely after the winter snowpack has melted? I have to fess I've only been out into the Rockies and points west once during the warm weather months and that was right in the middle of summer. I think never having seen tumbleweed is why I thought it was a thing of bygone days. I am surprised I've never seen it before since it practically covers the whole country.
    Tumbleweeds die at the first frost then break off and "tumble". They spread their seeds during the tumbling before they have a chance to get snowed on. They also have an open structure when doesn't get crushed by snow very well so as soon as the snow melts, they are ready to tumble again. You also have to realize that we don't have lots of snow pack out on the plains during any part of the winter. Any that does fall tends to melt during the mild temperatures before the next storm.

    We have a saying around here "the warm before the storm". For example, we got a bit of snow in Denver last week. Yesterday it got up to 70F in places before the temperature dropped rapidly to below freezing. I rode my bike home around 1500 and that was the temperature. I got home around 1600 and didn't look out again until about 1700. By that time the temperature had dropped to 30F. We dropped 30 to 40F in less than an hour. Snow pack doesn't stick around long under those kinds of conditions.

    By the way, the pictures with the NatGeo article show part of the problem with tumbleweeds. They can completely cover a house in plants which are dry and highly flammable.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Washburn, WI (the North Coast)
    My Bikes
    2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Specialized Milano saddle, 28mm Gatorskins or on tour Continental Tourer 32s
    Posts
    53
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Some, but not much, has been mentioned regarding insects. Thanks to those from New England area regarding black flies, and to those that are from, or have travelled to, the really far north AK. I have travelled to and worked most of the N. American continent.

    As far as mosquitos are concerned there is no place worse than Alaska. However, it came close to it last year traveling from NW WI thru the UP to Escanaba. It was hell camping out but only in the early morning and evening. Especially given we had a very wet spring. Urinating during the night was painful to say the least. Just getting out of a bug proof enclosure meant spending the next half hour killing those that entered while peeing, not to mention those that had gotten to you while out there.

    Then there were the the deer flies. I just happened to be traveling during the hottest week we had last year. For those of you in locals that don't have deer flies consider yourselves lucky. They are relentless and can, and do, fly as fast as you can peddle. In fact, they toy with you somewhat like a fighter jet playing with a biplane. You can barely feel them land but if they do they will draw blood.

    However, mosquitos and flys aren't the worst of it. While on my trip last year I encountered my first deer tick. Deer ticks are the size of a pinhead. Very, very small. They carry the Lymes virus which can be very serious. I picked one up simply taking a break and sitting in what little shade there was on a very lonely stretch of highway. I monitored it very closely as my brother had been infected some years ago. If traveling thru the upper Midwest read about it/them.

    Out west there is Rocky Mtn. spotted tick fever to be aware of as well.

    So, if you are camping, especially in remote areas, be sure to check yourself every night, very carefully.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    529
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You have to remember Lyme's disease is named for the town where the disease was first spotted, Lyme, CT. New England has Lyme disease all over the place.

    I have one thing to say cyccommute...one thing I have found that I like riding in is 35-40 degree light rain...IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. You can have the sudden temperature drops and keep them. OUCH! Now I understand what I read when people out in CO talk about having trouble staying warm when they get hit with 40 degree rain. Heck, I love it...IN NEW HAMPSHIRE!! Out your way, no thank you. I'll leave home and go ride I 40 degree rain with next to nothing on, long sleeve cotton tshirt and wind jacket...and not think a thing about it. Yeah, out your way things do change. I would never expect to see 70 degree at 5000 feet in February in CO.

  25. #25
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    MD/DC/VA
    Posts
    2,866
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Heard somewhere that ticks need to be on you for a couple days after biting to transmit disease. Not sure if true or how long it takes, but if you check yourself (or have a friend check) regularly, you'd lessen or eliminate any risk.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •