Planning for 40

Missouri John
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:55 pm

Re: Planning for 40

Post by Missouri John »

I'm going to keep positive Bill and believe this year BRAN 40 will happen as planned. What other cycling adventures do you have planed for next Summer? Still thinking about doing a section of the Continental Divide Route? Are you giving any thought to the Trans Canada Race?

gif4445
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:07 am

Re: Planning for 40

Post by gif4445 »

A positive outlook is a good thing through all of this, so that's a good choice. I'd sure like to do a section of the TD. I can about guarantee I'll do it if most or all of the regular rides can't be done. Otherwise, I plan to do as many Randonneuring brevets as I can. BRAN and hopefully NUMB in June. RAGBRAI in July if possible. With the numbers that come far and wide to RAGBRAI, I'm thinking that it would have the hardest path to being a reality this coming year. Hopefully I'll be healthier this coming year than last. Neck fusion and bike crash took most of the good riding time out of the year. But I have a good feeling about 2021. It will be what we make of it. The Trans Canada looks very interesting. What a way to see the country!! It would have to wait for retirement for me. Too much time to do the whole thing. Maybe a portion would be doable. I'm thinking my next long ride will be the TABR in 2022. Indy Pac would be good, but this year looks to be a no-go. What rides are you looking at this coming year John?

Missouri John
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:55 pm

Re: Planning for 40

Post by Missouri John »

I have traveled quite a bit in Canada and have always enjoyed my time there, but I'm not considering the Trans Canada Race for next Summer.
Since this is it's first year I think it would be good to hold off and see how it goes and if it can even happen. There is a ride that I've wanted to do for a long time and if travel restrictions go away I plan on doing it shortly after BRAN. Having lived in Alaska for several years, and always wanting to visit the Arctic Ocean, but not being unable to because the only road to the Arctic Ocean was closed to private vehicles. All that changed in the mid 1990s and after some research I discovered that Alaska Airlines fly's out of Kansas City, so my plan for after BRAN is to box up my bike and fly to Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay, Alaska and then start riding back to Missouri. The first 500 miles, the Dalton Highway is mostly gravel so if it's wet it will be muddy and could turn into a very challenging ride. The thought of seeing Musk-oxen and riding over the Atigun Pass in the Brooks Range as well as all the other great scenery I'll be riding through is very appealing to me.

thotle
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:15 pm
Location: Chippewa Falls, WI

Re: Planning for 40

Post by thotle »

To answer the question about refund process, at the time BRAN 40 was cancelled, I was contacted via email on whether I wanted a refund or to roll the registration to '21. I requested a refund and the full amount was refunded via check, within a few days as I recall. I received an email recently that since I registered in '20 and requested a refund, if I sign up by 2/1/21 I'll be guaranteed a spot in BRAN 40 this year. I plan to register but have to work an issue with a potential conflict at work (still that pesky job thing...).

I should point out that refund will only happen if the event is cancelled due to special circumstances (like the '20 COVID situation). This is per the policy stated on the BRAN registration site.

My plan is to do BRAN and RAGBRAI this year, but would also like a good multi-day organized ride in the spring. Any suggestions on a good ride, I assume a bit further south, that will likely happen in spring of '21?

Thanks and I hope everyone is well and enjoying their winter training routines. My goal this year is 6200 miles.

gif4445
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:07 am

Re: Planning for 40

Post by gif4445 »

John, I had to look Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay up. Holy cow, that is way up there! Sounds like some adventure! What combination of Bike and pack are you looking to take? How many miles and how much time to get back home do you think? I've never been to Alaska, but hope to one day.

Missouri John
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:55 pm

Re: Planning for 40

Post by Missouri John »

The 500 miles north of Fairbanks will be almost all new country for me, the Dalton Highway which is mostly gravel is only 415 miles, but will require me to run fenders and wider tires and carry some cold weather gear since snow above the Arctic Circle is possible during any time of the year. I will also carry a mosquito net a water filter, and a bear proof canister. I purchased a new bike awhile back with this trip in mind. It's a Motobecane Century Ti which is one of those gravel, endurance, adventure styled bikes. I have my bike pretty much set up and plan to run 35C tires with tubes. I have installed a rear rack and will use it to carry a pair of Arkel Dry-lite bags. The rest will be strapped on top the rack and in Revelate bikepacking bags. I debated about the bear canister, but since it was highly recommended and I would need to carry quite a bit of food due to the long stretches without any services, I decided the weight and bulk would be worth it, and it also fit perfectly in my Revelate Designs Harness. :D I really don't know what the total distance will be, but it was 4000 miles to drive to Anchorage. If I'm able to depart Deadhorse by late June I would think I should be back home by late August. I will plan to ride this bike to Hemingford for BRAN for a test run. Of course this is all dependent on the pandemic, but I'm sure it's going to happen eventually.

I highly recommend a trip to Alaska! There is no place like it. It's such a big place and nowhere I've been can equal the scenery, I spent 13 years there and tried to see as much of it as I could and really have only seen a fraction of it.

gif4445
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:07 am

Re: Planning for 40

Post by gif4445 »

Very interesting and sounds like a great adventure John! Having lived in Alaska for a good stretch, what is your insight on dealing with Bears? I know basically nothing, other than I don't want to be located between a momma and her cubs. I know we were officially in bear country a few times on the TABR, but that route is fairly low traffic bear wise. Looking at rides like the Trans Canada, your ride in Alaska and such, what does good strategy and preparation entail?

Missouri John
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:55 pm

Re: Planning for 40

Post by Missouri John »

I believe that depends on each persons comfort zone. They say you are much more likely to be struck by lighting than attacked by a bear, but all the experts will tell you to carry bear spray. I never have and am not planning to. I've heard that some have even carried pepper spray on the Trans Am for protection against both dogs and bears. I did see bears on both of the Trans Am's I rode, but never felt threatened. While living in Alaska I was employed my the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for 10 years and much of that time I was stationed at remote field camps. At one camp we had been encountering a Brown Bear for a while, and one night I was in our cook shack working late trying to get some paper work finished up. Maybe 2-3 A.M. and since it was August it was dark and I heard the bear outside. We had a burn pit where we burned our garbage but since we were in a coastal area and it rained a lot, it sometimes didn't get burned completely and that bear smelled something he liked there. We were issued both large caliber guns and bear spray, and that bear spray was impressive, more like a small fire extinguisher. That night I decided that I would put an end to that bears visits and stepped out of the cabin. I was less than 10 feet away, when the bear stood up on its hind legs and I let him have a full blast in the face. The bear coughed a couple of times and dropped down and ambled off in the brush. Evidently some of the spray drifted back on me. It was horrible, I couldn't see and my face and lips were on fire. I struck my head in a cold pan of water and after about 10 minutes I could see again and the bear was back digging in the burn pit. :?
I'll plan to just play the odds and be bear aware.

gif4445
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:07 am

Re: Planning for 40

Post by gif4445 »

I didn't see a bear on the TABR, but I did see a bobcat in Iowa. Pretty common I guess. I think you are right about bear encounters. The odds are low. I'm sure the more you cycle in those areas, the more comfortable you are in doing so. Dogs are another subject. I carried pepper gel on the ride for dogs. Kentucky of course was pretty dog dense, as I'm sure you guys witnessed. To me they were a pain in the butt, but all of the ones I came in contact with just wanted to bark and/or chase. I think they see enough bike traffic that they have their routine down pat. I know a few years ago, 3 riders got bit by the same dog, so you never know. I've carried pepper gel since I got bit by a dog in SE Nebraska. Blue Healer. They seem to be the worst from my experiences. I think even with them and other breeds like German Shephards and pit bulls, if you just get off the bike, it eliminates the chase and they have no interest. But some of the dogs are on you so fast, there is no time. So you have to make some quick calls. I thought it was kind of funny listening to Abdullah Zeinab, after he won the TABR. He is Vegan and I assume loves animals. But didn't have anything nice to say about dogs after going through Kentucky.

Missouri John
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:55 pm

Re: Planning for 40

Post by Missouri John »

You got to see a bobcat, that's cool and I really don't think it is all that common for people to see them. They are very shy and I've only seen them early in the morning just as it is getting light. I did see a wolverine once in Iowa once while cycling. :) and I keep hoping I'll see a mountain lion in western Nebraska sometime. I have been dog bit as well but never while cycling or running. Not fun. My biggest concern with dogs is some dogs like to dart out in front of you and I fear that if I hit one it might take me down. One dog did trip me while running once. I usually don't have much of an issue with dogs, but it only takes one or two rogue dog to give them all a bad reputation.

gif4445
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:07 am

Re: Planning for 40

Post by gif4445 »

I saw the bobcat on the Wabash Trace trail, shortly after leaving Shenandoah IA in the early morning hours. I first thought it was a dog, running ahead of me about 30 yards. Before it went off the trail, it turned and looked at me. Not a dog!

I've toned my dog reaction down a bit. Like you say, the most danger is them darting in front of you. After the bite, I wanted to pepper anything that came close. Not smart overall, as you quickly run out of pepper gel and 99% of the dogs, while having a healthy bark, are not going to bite. Along the Trans Am, I think just reaching for the spray and pointing it their direction is enough for most. The veteran dogs know. I have a quick-draw setup so I can make a last second decision. Still not quick enough for some, but gives me a little piece of mind. Funny, I used to be more of a dog lover before I got into cycling.

Missouri John
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:55 pm

Re: Planning for 40

Post by Missouri John »

Besides other cyclist the only wildlife I've seen on the Wabash was a coon and a fox. :wink: I haven't had a dog for many years but my kids all have them and are very attached to them. It seems to be in a dogs DNA to protect its territory and as you ride beyond it's perceived territory the chase usually ends. I've had good luck just talking to dogs in a normal voice, it seems to really throw most dogs off guard. Dogs that use to chase me in a threatening manner now just watch me as I go by or just lope along beside me in a friendly manner. In a touring situation you never know what you'll come across so every rider should come up with a method of dealing with dogs that they are comfortable with,and it sounds like you have.

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