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Old 08-23-14, 10:17 AM   #1
gif4445
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Help me decide on this last minute tour.

I've taken a September tour each of the last 3 years and have a chance to do it again this year. Problem is, I have not decided where to go. Background info: I live in SC Nebraska. Tour #1 in 2011 was from home to Breck CO. ( https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/..._id=10146&v=87). Tour #2 in '12 was to the Black Hills and back (https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/..._id=11208&v=GL ), and last year I started on the west coast and pedaled to Yellowstone ( https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/..._id=13035&v=g1 ).

1...This year I have a free ride to Billings MT, on Sept. 8, if I choose to take it. From there, I could go North to Glacier, south to Yellowstone and pick up where I left off last year.

2...Or go directly to Yellowstone from Billings and pick up where I left off. Then pedal the TA as far as Breck and go easterly to home.

3...Or I could just pedal toward CO (and leave a week earlier) and hit all the mountain passes and such that I can in 3 weeks or so. Like Trail Ridge, Rabbit ears, Mt. Evans (If I physically can!), and points in Western CO that a friend living out there has suggested.

4...Or take off for Missouri and the Katy Trail.

I'm sitting here pondering and decided I would throw all this info out to the knowledgeable people on BF. Your thoughts please!
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Old 08-23-14, 11:05 AM   #2
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Wonder what happens to Sturgis SD, after the Harley guys/gals are gone?




BTW the Pacific Coast aint bad that time of year , vs 21 june, not as long a daylight of course.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-24-14 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 08-23-14, 11:38 AM   #3
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Based on last year's journal, I would think you might want to continue on your cross-country ride.
But, of course, there are no hard-and-fast rules.

If you got a ride to Billings, you could always catch the bus to Livingston and ride down to Yellowstone.
It would me boxing your bike plus fees - so somewhat of a hassle.
Might be cheaper if you can swing a one-way rental.
Maybe you can get a ride a bit further??

If you are truly insane, you can ride thru Red Lodge over Beartooth Pass and into the NE Entrance.
You can get early snow - but Yellowstone is really lovely in mid-September.
Then you can pck up the TransAm and ride southeast to Colorado.

I suspect that your season will end before you get to Pueblo.
Might be better to swing into the Plains from Walden to Fort Collins.

Best - J

PS - Another option is to ride from Billings to Cody and west into the park's East Entrance.
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Old 08-24-14, 11:59 AM   #4
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Wonder what happens to Sturgis SD, after the Harley guys/gals are gone?
I'm not sure about Sturgis, but I did stay awhile in Hill City SD. Was biking the Mickelson trail in early Sept. a couple years ago. Had the look of a motorcycle town with a big Harley Davidson store smack dab in the middle of town. Good crowd, but not overwhelming. Nice stop, with things to see and good food to eat.
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Old 08-24-14, 12:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
Based on last year's journal, I would think you might want to continue on your cross-country ride.
But, of course, there are no hard-and-fast rules.

If you got a ride to Billings, you could always catch the bus to Livingston and ride down to Yellowstone.
It would me boxing your bike plus fees - so somewhat of a hassle.
Might be cheaper if you can swing a one-way rental.
Maybe you can get a ride a bit further??

If you are truly insane, you can ride thru Red Lodge over Beartooth Pass and into the NE Entrance.
You can get early snow - but Yellowstone is really lovely in mid-September.
Then you can pck up the TransAm and ride southeast to Colorado.

I suspect that your season will end before you get to Pueblo.
Might be better to swing into the Plains from Walden to Fort Collins.

Best - J

PS - Another option is to ride from Billings to Cody and west into the park's East Entrance.
I've basically eliminated the Glacier trek, due to possible road work on GTTS and late season concerns. And axing the Missouri option. Probably be a little warm. So down to Billings/Yellowstone and Colorado Mountains. Have you rode or know of someone who has went the Red Lodge/Beartooth Pass route?
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Old 08-24-14, 12:25 PM   #6
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Yes, I have ridden Beartooth Pass in mid-summer and frozen my tush off.
Not to mention that it is beyond killer in gradiant and braking downhill.
And it got a good chunk of snow this weekend already.

Doable - yes - but this late - iffy - not to mention brutal as a first leg.

I would suggest heading via Cody and the Wapiti Valley into the east entrance -
Looks like you drove the route from the east entrance to Cody last year.
Or ride/drive/hitch to Livingston and bike thru the North entrance and down to Yellowstone Lake.
Then you can bike down to Jackson Lake and connect back up with last year's route.

I know you got bad weather last year - there are no guarantees -
Although your timeframe would be a little earlier this year.
You probably will have a snow spell in Wyoming or Colorado no matter where you ride -
You just have to sit it out and wait for the next patch of nice weather.

<<<>>>

I think skipping Glacier is a good idea at this point -
Also, the Katy will still be too hot.
But given the ride offer - and getting there is always a hassle -
I don't see why you shouldn't take them up.

(Any chance they can drop you in Cody or take you all the way to Livingston??)

Best - J
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Old 08-24-14, 06:20 PM   #7
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I'm a fan of the KATY Trail. I've done it the last 4 years in June. It can be hot still in September; however, it's usually dry then. That's a bonus.
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Old 08-24-14, 11:31 PM   #8
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I'm a fan of the KATY Trail. I've done it the last 4 years in June. It can be hot still in September; however, it's usually dry then. That's a bonus.
Katy Trail has some bridge construction now. Open in October. It's really nice in October. Check the website first.
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Old 08-25-14, 08:04 AM   #9
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Katy Trail has some bridge construction now. Open in October. It's really nice in October. Check the website first.
Good point. I forgot all about parts of the KATY are closed right now.
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Old 08-25-14, 08:41 AM   #10
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Beartooth can be closed pretty much on a moment's notice due to snow, so I wouldn't plan a September trip around that without a fall-back plan.
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Old 08-26-14, 10:46 AM   #11
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Katy Trail has some bridge construction now. Open in October. It's really nice in October. Check the website first.
Thanks for the heads up. If I'm able to do the Katy a little later, I will have to check on that.
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Old 08-30-14, 02:52 AM   #12
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Well, I couldn't get Glacier out of my mind. So I'm using my free ride and traveling to Billings MT on Sept. 8. If the forecast for Glacier area looks bad, I will have him drop me off in Cody and I will bike to Grant Village in Yellowstone to continue my cross country tour. If all looks a go, I will grab a rental car and get a little closer to the park. At this point looking at Great Falls. The car will cut a couple hundred miles off the ride and get me a couple days away. So should start the Going to the sun road on Sept. 11 or 12. Road closure for construction doesn't begin until Sept. 22 I believe, so should be ok there. I have the Great Parks map #2 , which I will follow from St. Mary to the TA. Just hoping the weather holds!
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