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Old 02-20-13, 02:55 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Rural Western Wisconsin
Bikes: 9 vintage touring machines and a 1975 Motobecane Le Champion
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Idaho panhandle loop tour questions


I'm looking for some trail surface information for a loop tour I'm planning in July from near Coeur d' Alenes using the Coeur d' Alenes trail, Norpac trail, Hiawatha trail and back on either the Soo Line trail or FS 50. Specifically from the Norpac connection near Mullen to Avery. We will be on a loaded touring road bikes with either 35c and 1 1/4 in. road tires.

My main question is what type of surfaces are in that stretch. From what I've been able to research it varies and I'm just looking for some rough estimates on how much of the distance might be loose sand or gravel vs. course gravel or ballast (3/4 in or bigger), vs. relatively hard dirt/gravel or crushed rock. The first two surface types can be tolerated for short stretches but any distance could be a real pain with a loaded bike.

I would appreciate any suggestions, insights or tips from anyone who has ridden this stretch. We plan to average about 50 - 55 miles per day and would be looking at biking from Wallace to a campground before Avery on one of the days.

I'm assuming the Soo Line section that goes along FS 50 is kind of rough yet so we will probably take the road instead. Is that road relatively safe for biking? Also I don't know anything about Hwy 95 running on the west side of Lake Coeur d' Alene if anyone can provide some info I would appreciate it.
Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride - JFK
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