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Messages - geegee

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46
General Discussion / Re: 6 weeks from Vancouver - which route?
« on: June 08, 2013, 02:12:05 pm »
Six weeks can easily take you down the Pacific coast. From Vancouver, I would recommend riding a bit north to Horseshoe Bay and catch the ferry to Nanaimo. Personally, I find riding in Vancouver island a bit better than riding directly south from Vancouver. On the island, you can either ride to Victoria where you can catch a ferry to Port Angeles and cycle along the western Olympic Peninsula (skipping Seattle), or to ride Sidney and  island hop towards Anacortes to cycle through Puget Sound (where you can take a jaunt into Seattle via the ferry at Bremerton).

Depending on your pace, six weeks could also get you from Vancouver to Chicago, either on the Northern Tier Route or cycle the Trans Canada (BC highways 7 and 1) towards Banff and then connect with the Great Parks North route to the NT.

47
Practically every Starbucks, McDonald's and many other fast food chains have free WiFi. You don't even have to buy anything, just stand outside with your bike. With Skype on my iPod touch, I don't even need to use a cell phone when I cross the US.

48
If you'd like to see a bit more of Canada, head out towards Ottawa, either on Route verte #1 to Gatineau, or #5 to Vaudreuil-Dorion and follow the river to Hudson and Rigaud then on quiet county roads through Vankleek Hill. There is also a gravel rail trail from the Ontario border that takes you into Ottawa. You can PM me if you need more specific information on the capital region, I'm also on warmshowers.org.

From Ottawa, make your way towards Kingston where you can take a ferry to Wolfe island and another to Cape Vincent NY. From there it's an easy ride to connect with the Northern Tier to Buffalo, then the Underground Railway to connect with the TransAm at Cave-in-Rock.

If you want to skip Ottawa, you can head to Kingston from Montreal along the St-Lawrence on the Waterfront Trail.

49
Routes / Re: Across North America
« on: April 26, 2013, 07:13:54 pm »
...go to Ottawa, ON on the Trans Canada Trail (300 miles)...and finish with the Trans Canada Trail again that will take us to Vancouver (720 miles)...

The Trans Canada Trail is more concept than reality at this point, as there are still many sections that need to be built. Before committing yourself to any of its routing, make sure you do your research. http://tctrail.ca/explore-the-trail/ Just looking at the map provided indicates quite a bit of unfinished routing between Jasper and Vancouver.

I wouldn't exactly call the Trans Canada Trail more concept than reality, much of it does exist (73%), some links are still unofficial or under negotiation for better routing. The intention is to complete the remaining links by 2017 for Canada's 150th birthday. However, the entire trail was never conceived to be specifically for one mode of travel and many sections of the trail are not for bicycles, for example some of them are canoe routes through Northern Ontario. Where the idea of the trail is misunderstood is it's not supposed to be something you do in its entirety in one shot — the "concept" is that it is one contiguous recreational facility that you share with others who are also on it at the same time all across the country. What can I say, it's a soft, emotional Canadian thing  :D  ;D

There are several cycling routes from Montreal to Ottawa, the TCT is certainly the most circuitous but quite scenic and rustic, winding through the Laurentian Mountains. Make sure your tires are adequate for gravel, the section into Ottawa might not be as well travelled and tamped down as the "Petit Train du Nord". There are parallel secondary highways as alternatives though. Between Ottawa and Kingston, there is a missing link in the trail from Carleton Place to Smith's Falls — a local group is negotiating an abandoned railway, they just pulled out the tracks last year (I'll try riding it this summer with a mountain bike to see what it looks like). If you think you'll make it to Ottawa before the first week of July let me know.

As for Jasper to Vancouver, one option you could consider is to ride west along the Yellowhead Highway to Prince Rupert. From there, you can take the ferry to Port Hardy on the northern tip of Vancouver Island. The ferry ride is fantastic, you'll see whales as the ship weaves around the tight passages between the snow capped coastal mountains and islands. There is a ferry to the city of Vancouver from Nanaimo, or you could go down a bit further towards Victoria for other connections. BTW, I'm actually planning to be on the Yellowhead Highway in early July.

50
General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: April 18, 2013, 08:04:02 pm »
Don't worry about the bears.  You-tube search "moose tramplings".

In northern Quebec, you just share the path with them:

https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=159960900829962

51
General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: April 15, 2013, 11:10:44 am »
Another thing to think about when you are stealth camping in bear country is not to be too close to streams or obvious corridors to  sources of water. Bears are likely to travel along these routes and you'll be right on their path. Prepare and eat your meals near water where you can wash up, but pitch your tent elsewhere, preferably on higher ground. Although not conducive to a good night's sleep, sometimes camping closer to the road with the sound of occasional traffic turning bears off is not such a bad choice.

52
General Discussion / Re: Shipping Supplies to Yourself
« on: April 05, 2013, 10:09:31 am »
I've used General Delivery to a post office to send stuff I no longer needed ahead to my end destination. The post office will hold a package for 30 days, while the UPS Store generally charges $5 per package per week.

53
Routes / Re: First trip in the USA
« on: April 04, 2013, 07:19:01 pm »
Despite the longer plane ride, the Pacific Coast from Seattle (or Vancouver) down to San Francisco is probably one of the nicest summer rides in the USA, and a great experience for Europeans. Camping is plentiful and cheap, and the camaraderie among cyclists along the route is fantastic.

Closer to you, I agree the Adirondacks and the northeast offer a bit of a wilderness experience that is hard to come by in the eastern seaboard. If you can arrange flying into one airport and out another, starting in NYC woud be fine, cycling up the Hudson Valley to do the Adirondack loop, then catching the Erie canal route towards Niagara Falls and ending in with a short foray into Canada, to Toronto, which has lots of flights back to the Netherlands. Some resources for you for this, besides the ACA routes: NY State Bike Routes, Erie Canalway Trail and Ontario's Waterfront Trail

54
Routes / Haida Gwaii
« on: March 31, 2013, 01:06:23 pm »
Has anyone here cycled Haida Gwaii? I'm contemplating doing my second trans-Canada trip and I would like to begin from these islands. Ideally, I'd like to start off from kilometre 0 of the Yellowhead Highway in Masset, but the airport is in Sandspit (YZP) at the other end near the ferry to the mainland. I could either ride north to Masset and catch a hitch back to the ferry, or take a bus and ride from Masset to the ferry. Are the prevailing winds here the same as the rest of the Pacific coast, from north to south? Any other tips or experiences worth sharing would be appreciated.

55
Routes / Re: Transamerica Cost
« on: March 30, 2013, 12:25:49 pm »
If you are travelling solo, expect your costs to be higher than many people who travel in pairs or groups who have the advantage of sharing the cost of a campsite or motel room, or buying larger quantities of food. Although I try to keep costs down, I do budget and save up for about $40-50 a day average when I travel alone, and if there's any left over it just goes toward the next trip. I free camp once in a while when I have to, but I also like taking rest days in towns where I can take in some local culture and food. Those days might be expensive, but they are worth it to me, as the are the main reason I travel to different places.

56
Routes / Re: El Paso to San Diego via Tucson
« on: March 29, 2013, 11:16:44 pm »
There is Holtville and the Imperial Valley and Ocatillo,CA and 8 from there to hysteric highway 80.

That certainly made me laugh.  :)

57
General Discussion / Re: What should I name my trip?
« on: March 28, 2013, 04:29:46 am »
You're going to Los Angeles. It's not one story, it's going to be a bunch of stories or angles, just like a bike frame.

"Charlie's Angles:D

58
Too bad the ferry from Yarmouth NS to Maine is no longer running, I would have suggested going along the south coast of Nova Scotia, which is probably the most picturesque coast in the Northeast. You can still do it and go around to Digby (or get there via the Annapolis Valley) and take the ferry to Saint John NB.

It has been a while since I've cycled the Fundy coast of  New Brunswick, before they 4-laned NB1, so I don't exactly know what's happening there. Seems like the secondary highway routes have been segmented, and I don't know if they will let you use short sections of the freeway to get from one to the other (I don't see any "no bikes" signs at the on-ramps on Google street view)

I personally found cycling in Maine a bit uninteresting, you rarely get a view of the ocean because the highway is inland among the trees, but the roads have good shoulders.

59
General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 26, 2013, 06:15:59 pm »
I'm self employed in the creative field and I've been lucky that in the last 20 years, I've allowed myself at least a month every year to go off on a bike trip. Six weeks is the longest I've been gone, and that took me across continents. I could go for more, but I find after 40 or so days i miss being productive. Knowing that another good trip is in store the next year, I don't really anything much lengthier. My clients have gotten to know me well and even ask when I will be away.

Being debt free definitely helps, the average person pays thousands of dollars in interest fees a year. Not being in debt was another life priority for me, and so many things become affordable after that, especially when you maintain the same discipline that gets you there. Having said that, I actually splurge when I ride.

60
General Discussion / Re: Cycling US = Crazy?
« on: March 25, 2013, 07:59:03 pm »
Actually there are areas in the USA where the cycling is better than Europe. Some of the new state roads are wider and built to better standards. Bike routes in the urban areas are rarely straightforward, and it's most likely you missed them because they are not obvious. Once you get out of the big cities and in to the open country, you'll have a an easier time.

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