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Messages - geegee

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Southern Ontario should be clear of snow by mid-April, but weather will tend to be erratic, either brilliant or wet. That part of the province is extremely flat and almost featureless, but the weather is relatively mild tempered by the three Great Lakes that almost surround it.

General Discussion / Re: new bee??
« on: December 16, 2009, 10:03:29 pm »
Maybe you could look into getting a custom orthotic insert for your right foot. You should measure your inseam on your longer leg for the bike sizing guideline. One question though: is the difference in your leg length due to the femur (thigh bone) or the tibia/fibula (lower leg bone)? Orthotic inserts would work best if it was the lower leg that was shorter, meaning the distance between your hips and knees are even, because you would have less probability of knee issues.

Routes / Re: routes across canada
« on: December 09, 2009, 08:36:24 pm »
If you've never been to Canada before, I would suggest starting out west in Vancouver and head east. Highway 7 is a good way to get out of the city, then hook up with the TransCanada past Hope (Highway 1). This route goes though an amazing variety of British Columbia's landscape, and has a dramatic crossing of the Rockies through Lake Louise and Banff into Calgary. In Alberta, Highway 9 past Calgary will take you though Drumheller which sits in a deep gouge of the Badlands, exposing some fascinating dinosaur finds.

There are many roads through the Prairies, I personally like the ones that are less travelled. Staying away from the busier highways lets you appreciate the vastness of the land while tuned into its subtleties without the constant noise of traffic. If you travel though Saskatchewan in the summer, you might notice on the changing smells of wildflowers and different crops when you cross vast fields. I liked following highway 7 from Alsask to Rosetown, then cutting diagonally down to Moose Jaw, passing though Lake Diefenbaker. There is a bit of unpaved road here, though.

Be extra careful crossing Manitoba. Roads are narrower and traffic gets busy closer to Winnipeg. Northern Ontario is very hilly along the coast of Lake Superior, but it is spectacular.

Quebec and New Brunswick have the best roads for cycling. Nova Scotia and PEI have narrow roads but the drivers are cautious. Newfoundland is decent, just be prepared for a lot of wind.

Let me know if you want to know anything more specific, I've cycled through every province plus the Yukon Territory

One of the most magical moments I had while touring (and got me hooked) was riding through the Gap of Dunloe. I must have hit it at the right time because I had the place to myself.

I'd stick mostly to the coastal areas. The times I rode through a bit of the interior, I found the roads busier with inter-town traffic. Northern Ireland along the Glens of Antrim is probably one of the flatter coastal rides

General Discussion / Re: HELP! WHAT BIKE SHOULD I GET???
« on: November 28, 2009, 11:59:59 pm »
They are all good. See if you can test ride most or all of them then make your decision.

I'm one for easy one pot combinations of dry staple+something canned+something fresh if available.
For example rice + canned soup + chopped veggies.

My faves:
cream of mushroom soup + canned chicken chunks + peas, poured over rice
Mac and cheese with a can of smoked mussels stirred in
couscous + chunks of ham + small jar of salsa
Ramen noodles + canned tuna or salmon + egg

« on: November 27, 2009, 06:57:03 pm »
It's hard to offer specific advice without knowing where you are planning to tour. If you are going on a relatively populated route, you don't really need to worry about food. I've crossed the continent not bringing a stove, but I've gone up north where I really depended on one. The climate where you are planning to ride would be good to know too.

For a five day trip, you won't really need to bring that much stuff. If you are just taking some clothes and a tent/sleeping bag, any pannier will do, or you can even get away with a dry seal bag or strapped to a rear rack. I personally like having a handlebar bag for stuff I want easy access to. like my wallet or camera.

Routes / Re: Florida (again), Orlando to the Keys and back
« on: November 22, 2009, 10:58:26 pm »
Thanks for the input, folks. I think I will take your advice, cycle from Orlando down to Key West via the Atlantic coast then take the ferry to Fort Myers to head back via the Florida Connector. Am I right in assuming that it is better wind-wise to do this loop clockwise rather than the other way around?

I guess as a Canadian I wouldn't think of Writing-on-Stone as being in the Rockies, it is well into the Prairies. I don't know if you have travelled on the upper Columbia valley before, but I had a nice time in the East Kootenays last year. The valley is wide but you get great views of the Rockies and the Kootenays, and the roads are fairly good and flat From Golden BC heading south.

Routes / Re: Alma to Tadoussac to Quebec City, Blueberry Route, Quebec
« on: November 13, 2009, 05:48:38 pm »
The wind does tend to blow down the St-Lawrence River valley but I've gone on several tours when it blew the other way. Typically this brings wet cool weather.

There is merit to the suggestion of leaving from Quebec City. For one thing, it starts out relatively flat for the first few days and gets hillier as you get going. If you do the Veloroute des Bleuets counterclockwise around Lac-St-Jean, you could take the train from Chambord to Rivière-à-Pierre where a rails-to-trails bike path (Route verte 6) leads back to Quebec City. The train is cheap (less than $30) if you buy tickets weeks in advance, and a great option for a group as they have a baggage car that can take bikes. It's an awesome train ride through the wilderness -- it stops at hunting camps and lodges, and a lot of adventurous people take this train with canoes or kayaks requesting special stops in the middle of nowhere.

Routes / Florida (again), Orlando to the Keys and back
« on: November 02, 2009, 06:59:58 pm »
I'm contemplating returning to Florida this winter, this time to cycle southbound from Orlando, possibly to Key West and back up. Any suggestions for an interesting route with the least backtracking? Maybe a good way of stringing up any of the available trails and bike paths? I don't mind going though some of the urbanized east coast, in fact I think I'd purposefully head into Miami since I've never been there. I'll probably consider taking my Bike Friday on this trip and packing relatively light.

Canada / Re: Driving from Vancouver to Halifa
« on: October 30, 2009, 12:11:55 am »
It's probably faster to go though the States, as the Interstate highways are wider and speed limits are faster. Plus gas is a lot cheaper there.

Go down to Seattle, take I-90 all the way to Boston, then take I-95 up to New Brunswick then on to Halifax, about 6200 kms.  You could save about 700 kms by taking the ferry across the Bay of Fundy from Portland, Maine to Yarmouth. The shortest all-Canadian route you could do is about 5800 kms, but it involves long stretches on two-lane highways in Northern Ontario.

Routes / Re: Alma to Tadoussac to Quebec City, Blueberry Route, Quebec
« on: October 29, 2009, 08:26:39 pm »
Highway 132 is alright, and since you are headed westbound on the shore side of the road, it will be easier for you to turn into the parts of the Route verte that hug the riverside without having to cross the highway. The only hassles will going through the larger towns like Montmagny, but it is really straightforward except for the heavier traffic. Of the villages on that stretch of the south shore, Kamouraska sticks out in my memory. There is a great bakery there near the church, nice place to stop for a break.

Up along the Saguenay River, The village of Sainte-Rose-du-Nord is quaint. It is a bit of a descent into the fjord (therefore a climb out) from the highway but if you need a place to stay in this area it may be worth it. Not sure about motels here since I camped, but I remember an awesome meal in a a restaurant called Au Presbytère.

Tadoussac is nice. If you are lucky, whales sometimes swim as close as a hundred feet from the shore. I saw a few belugas standing in Pointe-Noire (in Baie-Ste.-Catherine across the river)

Routes / Re: Alma to Tadoussac to Quebec City, Blueberry Route, Quebec
« on: October 26, 2009, 10:32:16 pm »
The North Shore route between Tadoussac and Quebec City is super hilly. When I rode it several years back, I made the mistake of taking the 362 between Baie-St.-Paul and La Malbae and some of the climbs were insanely steep, 20% grade at times, so stick to the 138 (where the climbs are "only" 10 to 12%) if you do insist on doing this area. The Route Verte crosses to the south shore at Saint-Siméon for good reason.

The south shore is definitely more pleasant with more campgrounds and services, and the approach to Quebec City is more dramatic, ending with a ferry ride right into the old city from Lévis.

Routes / Re: Suggestions For Our Next Trip
« on: October 19, 2009, 11:58:42 pm »
Where in the east coast are you? There are lots of interesting loops you could do in Vermont, New Hampshire and/or Quebec. If you want something really different, a loop around the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland will feel like you've stepped off the continent.

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