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Messages - canalligators

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Routes / Re: East Coast Greenway or Atlantic Route
« on: January 23, 2017, 09:32:38 pm »
Papa Tom, do you have a good route from the Brooklyn Bridge towards Montauk?  I'd prefer to stay near the south shore.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring tandem: experience with different makes
« on: January 23, 2017, 12:41:33 pm »
I don't know if you're open to recumbents, but you can find a used Vision R82/85 for somewhere around $1500, sometimes less.  It splits in the middle and each part can be fit into a bike box.  Alternately, you can remove the wheels and pack the frame into one box.  It was a challenge to figure this all out, but here's one approach:  The notable travel hassle with recumbents is that you'll need a bag or bags for the seats, so you end up with more bits to carry along.

I'd take the ferry from Sandy Hook to Manhattan, then the west side bike path to the GW Bridge, then Bike 9.  The only dicey bit is north of Haverstraw, it has a shoulder but it isn't very wide.  If you can time it so you're not riding there during rush hour, that would help.  9W/Bike 9 between Fort Lee and Nyack is a nice ride.  We rode this route in 2005, southbound, but the street view shows conditions about the same today.

Routes / Re: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« on: January 11, 2017, 10:20:22 am »
... According to Google Maps, the auto road up Mount Washington is 30 to 40% grade.  I ruined a car with manual transmission trying to do that many years ago, and ruined the brakes and transmission on the way down. ...

Best way up is the Cog Railway.  A true historic gem and a story in itself.
Next best is to hike it.  Not an easy climb.
Next best is to take their shuttle.
Worst way is to drive your car.

Routes / Re: East Coast Greenway or Atlantic Route
« on: January 05, 2017, 04:20:12 pm »
I believe true e-bikes, ones where you have to pedal rather than just power along without input, are considered bikes just about everywhere and are allowed on trails, at least on any trail the ECG would use.

In New York State, assist bikes may be legally purchased and owned, but may not be registered or used on public thoroughfares.  That includes parking lots, multi-use trails, etc.  I do see them used and haven't heard of a police crackdown (in my upstate area), but be aware of this issue.  I wouldn't be surprised if the police in areas with high population density were less tolerant.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring with hammocks: any other Pros & cons?
« on: January 01, 2017, 10:01:55 pm »
To me, it comes down to comfort v. Places to hang and coldness.  I've gone to several state campgrounds where I had to cruise around to find the one site where there were trees 12-14' apart. There were very few and I counted myself lucky. And hammocks are cold below 55F and hot above 85F.  No argument with comfort; much better than sleeping on the ground. I'm getting myself a solo tent and saving the hammock for perfect conditions.

One other point. If it's cold and you're in multiple layers, allow a lot of time to actually enter and get situated. I find it helps to have a good assortment of swear words handy, too.

General Discussion / Re: ?How easy are SPD pedals to get use too?
« on: December 28, 2016, 03:55:41 pm »
... the spds put a lot of pressure on the balls of you feet...

I have experienced this problem, but it was due to shoe problems.  In my case, the plate on the inside of the shoes had bent so that the edges stuck up.  This made a bump that pressed on my foot.  Note that there is an area in the middle of your foot where a lot of nerves go through a concentrated area, and pressure will give you numbness.

What I did:
1. Removed the cleats and plate, flattened the plate and reinstalled
2. Cut a hole in the insole so that there is no pressure on the middle of the foot (like a cutout in a saddle)
3. Check the shoe once or twice a year to make sure the plate hasn't bent again

Even if your shoes do not have a plate on the inside, you may want to cut the hole in the insoles to prevent problems.

Routes / Re: What is Your Favorite Cross Country Route and Why?
« on: December 16, 2016, 10:02:49 am »
I've only done the Northern Tier, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  You guys make me want to do the TA.

General Discussion / Re: Hi from a new member from germany...
« on: December 16, 2016, 09:54:20 am »
Here's all about the Erie Canal route:
\About two thirds of this can be done on improved trails.  The road route, NY Bike 5, is mostly a good ride but there are parts to avoid.  And New York has paved shoulders on the state highways almost everywhere.  This is all described in the article.  I would buy the Parks & Trails guide book, also referenced in the article. Interactive map is at  Click on the Use The Map tab.

Here is our journal about our trip down the Hudson River Valley:
We rode from Albany to NYC on NY Bike 9.  The paper maps are out of print but the online version is very good.  You'll need to find a way from Bridgeport to, say, Newburg or Poughkeepsie.

If you want the hilly route, you could combine NY Bike 17 with NY Bike 11 or Bike 14.  Take 11 or 14 north to Bike 5 or the Erie Canalway Trail.  See the interactive map.  Google Maps also shows a more direct route which parallels I-390.

p.s., If time becomes a problem, the Hudson+Erie has the option of putting your bike on Amtrak.  But 14 days should be enough, it's 400-500 miles any way.

General Discussion / Re: Hi from a new member from germany...
« on: December 15, 2016, 12:50:13 pm »
Welcome!  Nice bike and a beautiful ride.

Where in Connecticut?

Cycling from NYC area to Buffalo, your choice is to go through the Catskills and Finger Lakes, or to go up the Hudson and take the Erie Canal trail/roads to Buffalo.  Erie Canal is flatter and scenic, but the Catskills and Finger Lakes are prettier.

Routes / Re: New York State Bike Route 5 versus Erie Canalway Trail
« on: December 09, 2016, 02:37:55 pm »
...Does following the canalway slow you down much?    I typically ride at about 14 mph without gear on my bike.  Fully loaded with camping gear and with rest stops, I probably average 10 or 11 mph, but this is on paved highway surfaces.   Did this surface of the canalway slow you down much?

My opinion is that unpaved, improved trails such as the EC will slow you down about one gear.  (I have heard that trikes are affected more than bikes, which makes sense as they have 50% more wheels.)  In any case, you trade off a little speed for a nice traffic-free trail.  Your call.

Rolled stone chips/dust make a decent riding surface.  Unlike dirt or gravel, it retains most of its traction when wet, though wet conditions will result in a pasty coating on your bike.  You do kick up a bit of white stone dust, so if you're towing a kid trailer you want to make sure you have a full length rear fender or a generous mud flap.  For the front wheel on a recumbent tandem too, so your stoker isn't breathing all the dust.

Routes / Re: New York State Bike Route 5 versus Erie Canalway Trail
« on: December 05, 2016, 10:50:59 pm »
...Canalligators, what guide book are you referring to?   I'll be checking out your link to CrazyGuyOnABike shortly.

The Parks and Trails NY book,

Routes / Re: New York State Bike Route 5 versus Erie Canalway Trail
« on: December 05, 2016, 03:15:55 pm »
Read all about it here

I highly recommend that you not use Bike 5 between Schenectady and Albany.  There is little lane space and lots of traffic.  Instead, use the Mohawk-Hudson trail, part of the Canalway Trail system.  I also recommend that you not use Bike 5 through Rochester; again, no lane space and heavy traffic.  The canal trail across Rochester is paved and a nice ride.

The canal trail is largely unpaved but improved, typically rolled stone dust.  The paved parts are the Mohawk-Hudson Trail, a stretch near Canajoharie, through Rochester and through Buffalo.  There are a few other places that are paved.

Get the Parks & Trails guide, for all the info on the trail parts.  Yes, the trail can be a challenge to follow in places.

You need to decide if you're going to go through Syracuse or around it to the north.  Going through is ok using the route in the guide book.  The advantages are that you can use the Old Erie Canal on the east, and the best canal museum is downtown.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me on the article guestbook.

Canada / Re: Bike transport by train
« on: November 30, 2016, 12:03:30 pm »
Have you looked at the Via Rail Canada site?

Gear Talk / Re: Long distance tour bike for small lady
« on: November 30, 2016, 12:01:36 pm »
If your mind is open, my wife is 5'2" and a Lightning P38 fit her well.

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