Trip Report gathering data on riding

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by Alex MacDonald, Oct 12, 2017.

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  1. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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    since we ride "gravel racers" a lot, we decided to take a look at part of the Tour Divide route through Montana. We did take our Salsa Fargos, but haven't had the opportunity for a lot of riding thanks to the weather. Idaho was nice near Sandpoint, and we rode around Schweitzer Basin, but Kalispell/Whitefish has been either rainy or snowy since we arrived. Drove to Polebridge yesterday in mixed rain & sleet, then brilliant sunshine, for some of their incredible baked goods. [​IMG]
    there's no electricity here; you're on your own! But the bakery, well, absolutely worth the long dirt ride:[​IMG]
    a spinach and blue cheese "savory", with a good cab...

    but this morning we awoke to this, so our riding in Glacier might be "impacted"!
    [​IMG]
    yesterday would have been a nice day to ride the dirt from Whitefish to Polebridge, but look at the side of the car on the left (ours) in the Polebridge Merc shot above! Halfway there, the sun was out and we got great views of the North Fork Flathead.[​IMG]
    Next Summer though, we'll load the bikes and do the entire loop; Anybody wants to ride with us, send me a PM? It's self-contained camping, probably take a week so we can check out the fishing, but riding, maybe 4-5 days.
     
  2. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Well-Known Member

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    Last time I was parked in front of the Polebridge Merc. I had to change a flat tire on my car that developed a ways up the NF.

    What is the loop? How many miles, miles per day, and when during the summer? Sounds like an interesting trip.
     
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  3. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Cranberry Country...a glorified coastal swamp!
    "Gravel racers," eh? You sound a tad fast for my kind of slow touring. I ride either my Surly Pugsley rolling fat on 26" x 3.8" 120 tpi Knards, or my other Pugsley rolling on 29" x 3" 120 tpi Bombolonis.
    These are "heavy metal" bulletproof Chromoly go-anywhere "fat" and "plus" bikes, but a bit heavy and kind of slow due to my gearing setup, using Shimano 8-spd Alfine IGH (internal gear hub).
    Pugsley is a good touring rig, if you aren't into covering too much ground too quickly.
     
  4. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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    We're still researching the distances, but at this point, there's two roads from Glacier to Polebridge, making it an easy-looking loop. Lots of campgrounds on Inside North Fork Road, and one in the middle of Outside North Fork Road. it needs a little more research but could be a seriously easy ride between camps, with the possibility of being vehicle-supported. Certainly on the Outside road, a street vehicle (even a Prius) can make that one.

    Jim, while the bikes are designed for the Tour Divide race, we don't go fast-8-10mph (we have fatties too, and this ride would be very comfy on nice soft tires!), so not to worry! I'll be talking with the folks at Glacier Cyclery about distances, safe parking in Whitefish, and road conditions later today, as well as hoping to get in a little more riding in the Park itself. So far, 3 "Must Stop" places: Polebridge Mercantile for baked goodies, Glacier Distillery in Coram, and Mudman Burgers in Columbia Falls--we've NEVER had burgers that good, but you'll need to wash up afterward!
     
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  5. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Location:
    Cranberry Country...a glorified coastal swamp!
    My "29-plus" Pugsley is geared slightly higher than the full-fat Pugs, and those 3" x 29" plus wheels are larger in diameter, so it rolls a bit faster. Frame bags, handlebar roll, and a seat-pack, a couple of Salsa "Anything Cages" for the front forks, and some custom add-on water bottle holders (electricians tape works in lieu of extra welded-on bosses) should help to keep my back-pack light. My cycling day-pack is small enough so that I can't make it too heavy, a Gregory Miwok 18. It has a sleeve for a hydration bladder. I also have a slightly larger pack, that isn't too awfully large for cycling.
    My goal is to be in shape for a multi-day cycling trip before summer. I rode trails in a local State Park yesterday afternoon. After about 40 minutes of cruising dunes and pine forest, I had covered nearly all the trails and loops, but I felt like I was just getting warmed up.
    Riding up the beach into the wind can be a grind, but its good for a workout on the beach, and the return trip with the wind at my back is a breeze.
    Baked goodies, local microbrews and awesome burgers are worthy incentives. I'm sure that they will make me stronger.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
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  6. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Cranberry Country...a glorified coastal swamp!
    Tide is going back out, and the beach is getting wider...and the low tide should expose firmer sand for another stellar afternoon beach ride today...I failed to get my shit together early enough to paddle upstream with the tide anywhere, so a fat-bike ride will have to do, and possibly some surf perch angling. If I fail to go have fun :eek:, I'll have to self-inflict some punishment in the form of clean-up chores or home-improvement.
     
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  7. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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    More info Jim; Inside North Fork Road is not passable by autos, and has the best scenery. We learned about ways to go from Whitefish, up to Red Meadow Lake Campground almost entirely on dirt, then on to Polebridge, cross the North Fork Flathead, and continue down Inside North Fork Road to Fish Creek Campground and Apgar Village in Glacier NP. haven't worked out the distances yet, but looks to be 20 some per day. your Pugsley should be a super bike for this. Got a year to plan!
    [​IMG] From Fish Creek Campground [​IMG] Another "must stop" in Coram........
    [​IMG] And another, in Columbia Falls-MudMan Burgers. The chili usually comes IN the burger, and you'll not escape this without a serious washing-up!
     
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  8. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

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    We stopped into Glacier Cyclery in Whitefish the second time, got all the maps and info we could glean from the outstanding folks there; there's a whole bunch of riding in that area. Base out of Polebridge and ride the Inside North Fork road either up or down to West Glacier, do "out & backs" all the way to Canada, ride from Whitefish to Red Meadow Lake, then to Polebridge, then to several campgrounds on Inside North Fork, winding up in Fish Creek Campground inside Glacier NP, the back to Whitefish--Tons of riding in the area! So I don't have the answers yet. I need to look at the maps in more detail and come up with a bunch of options both in terms of where, and how much riding! We're going back in June to ride Going to the Sun Road before it opens for autos, and I can finalize the rides then, but probably sometime in late July/early August.
     
  9. Ed Call

    Ed Call Well-Known Member

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    Interest peaked. 29'er or Fatty.
     
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  10. olypenjeeper

    olypenjeeper Active Member

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    i've been looking into the whole bikepacking thing lately, looks fun. my local Kona shop has a new 2018 Sutra, I've come so close to pulling the trigger. Also test rode a Salsa Vaya, I like the Sutra alittle more.
     
  11. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Well-Known Member

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    I have 5 bikes, one of them a mountain bike about 20 years old or so. Hardtail and unsprung fork. The original knobby tires were all alligator crazed a couple years ago, so I replaced them with standard road tread because I use it on gravel and paved roads as my shuttle vehicle on float trips. I have front and rear panniers that I've never used; got them for fishing/camping the lower Deschutes and then never went. Keep us posted Alex!
     
  12. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    29 plus is semi-fat with the 3" tires. My tires have extra tough sidewalls and are "tubeless ready," although I'm still running tubes since I have yet to get a flat. If thorns are a problem over there, I'll set 'em up tubeless.
    My main concern is getting my heart stronger again. My "recovery" seems like it has been slow going. My heart function is slowly improving, although its still only about 90% of "normal."
    I'm abandoning these non-athletic chores and going for a ride now...necessary for my heart!;)
     
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  13. JasonG

    JasonG Active Member

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    Well, That looks like a great time!!
     
  14. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Well, I chose to "give it all I had" on last Sunday's ride, and kept up a good pace on the twisty rolling trails in the pine forested dunes, and then up and over the dunes and out on the beach for a good hour's worth of riding, without stopping to catch my breath. Usually, I stop to catch my breath and let my heart rate settle down, but I pushed it non-stop as hard as I dared, just downshifting and backing off when it got too intense. Only twice did my rear tire spin out in the sand when climbing a dune, so I had to get off my bike and push it over the top, but I did that without resting, and just hopped back onto my steed as I crested the rise. After one hour, I headed back to the parking lot at a more relaxed pace, feeling like I'd had a good workout. My heart rate and breathing settled back down just fine. Usually, I haven't pushed my rides that hard.

    Monday morning I received a call from my cardiologist's nurse. I have a UL recorder implanted over my heart (outside the rib-cage, under my left pec) which records my heart activity throughout the day. It gets read at night by my bedside patient monitor, and the info is sent over the phone line (had to get a land-line for that) to my cardiologist's computer. His nurse asked me what was going on for a good hour on Sunday afternoon, since the computer showed my heart rate for the duration being the highest rate yet recorded. I explained to her that I had pushed it hard on my bike ride, and she told me, "Don't do that! It was too much! Take it easier from now on."
    I told her that I was just testing myself, and that I would take it easier, and not push myself too hard.
    Sheesh! Can't get away with nothin' these days.;)
     
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  15. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Well-Known Member

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    Jim,

    Maybe you would benefit by using a heart rate monitor. The heart is a muscle and can only get stronger by exercising it. When I attended spin classes, the goal was to ride a certain amount of time at 80% of maximum heart rate. Ask your doctor what heart rate you should be riding or exercising at, and a monitor would allow you to do just that. You might have to ask more than one doctor because it seems like a lot of doctors are not informed about sports medicine.

    Sg
     
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