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Messages - litespeed

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Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Highway on a road bike?
« on: June 28, 2015, 05:37:51 pm »
There are some steep climbs on the PCH, particularly south of Legget CA on Route 1. You will need triple MTB gearing at the bottom bracket (pedals). The two big gears on the standard road bike won't cut it unless you plan to walk up some hills. A touring bike or possibly a mountain bike is really required.

My Litespeed Blue Ridge has a mixed rig - Deore XT at the bottom Bracket and 9-speed 12-28 cassette. It took my lowest gears and all I had on some of those climbs.

General Discussion / Re: Has anyone biked the east coast?
« on: June 18, 2015, 09:29:32 pm »
I have biked up the east coast many times at all times of the year except the dead of winter. The weather in summer has never bothered me much but I have lived on the west coast of Florida since 1976 without A/C - just bedroom units for guests.

As I tell everyone: Don't worry about the heat, cold or rain. Wind direction rules. Strong headwinds are the pits. Heading south you should get NE winds behind you on the Outer Banks but it's not guaranteed. I once had S winds going north there but more often fought the NE wind.

Northerly winds tend to follow rain. As you get further south balmy weather brings south winds. I camp whenever possible. If you camp bring a tent with plenty of vents or one with a removeable rain fly. Stick as close to the coast as possible to enjoy the sea breezes.

Routes / Re: My First Cycling Tour From Michigan To Oregon!
« on: June 15, 2015, 11:30:09 am »
When I went that way I went to Ludington and took the fine ferry across Lake Michigan (Don't pass up the very nice municipal campground in Reed City).

I then crossed Wisconsin and picked up US14 and followed it all the way to Yellowstone with a lengthy scenic stay in the Rapid City area (Mt. Rushmore, Custer monument, Devil's Tower, Etc.). I crossed Idaho mostly on US20 and crossed eastern Oregon on US26. These are good bicycling roads with light to bearable traffic and plenty of shoulders. A lot of US26 in Oregon is almost traffic free. Don't miss McKenzie Pass. It's really beautiful.

Routes / Re: North Eastern routes...
« on: May 22, 2015, 08:54:32 am »
Fine, but that still leaves the Mullica River just south of New Gretna. The only way over the river there is to ride the shoulder of the Garden State Parkway for 2 1/2 miles. I did this before they started rebuilding the bridge but I don't know if the job is finished or if you can again ride the shoulder of the GBS. Google Earth shows the bridge unfinished with all traffic on the eastern span and no shoulders that I can see. I'd love to know the scoop on this as I'm headed up the east coast soon.

Routes / Re: North Eastern routes...
« on: May 17, 2015, 07:52:52 pm »
Here are some good bicycling roads:
9W along the Hudson from The George Washington Bridge northward. Most of the traffic, except trucks, is on the interstate.
US5 following the Connecticut River northward along the VT-NH border. Hilly in spots but very rural and pleasant. Again all the traffic is on the interstate.
VT100 right up the middle of Vermont. A famous bicycling road.
I like US9 from Cape May NJ to Toms River then over to the coast and northward but not everyone shares my enthusiasm. Plenty of services. Detour west through Mays Landing and Egg Harbor City to avoid the US9 gaps over Great Egg Harbor Bay and the Mullica River.

Routes / Re: Texarkana to Las Cruces
« on: May 13, 2015, 07:56:49 pm »
I've never ridden these exact roads but 67 parallels an interstate so should have light traffic and plenty of services.

In east Texas the roads tend to be a bit spotty on having shoulders. Sometimes they have shoulders, sometimes not. Once you get west of Dallas you should have no problems. I have ridden US70 from Hot Springs, Arkansas to Floydada (near Lubbock, Texas) with no problems. I have also ridden all over New Mexico in various directions with no problems.

I always try to skirt major cities as much as possible unless I have business there.

Routes / Re: Anchorage to Dawson Creek- Gradients?
« on: April 06, 2015, 10:40:39 pm »
Don't worry about tough climbs on the alcan highway. The Rockies have pretty well petered out that far north - generally just mild undulating terrain at worst. Frankly, it's not very scenic. Your biggest problem will be the wildly changeable weather. Storms can spring up with no warning.

Routes / Re: Minnesota to West Coast route options?
« on: April 06, 2015, 01:38:54 pm »
You don't say where in Minnesota you live. If you are in the southern part of the state you could just head west on US14. This is a good bicycling road and goes through or near The Badlands, all the cool sights around Rapid City (Mt. Rushmore, Devil's Tower, etc.) and on to Yellowstone. Then you could follow US20 on to western Oregon. US26 is a better route across western Oregon. From Redmond/Bend you can cut south and see Crater Lake or continue on 126/242 (Don't miss McKenzie Pass) to Florence. Then it's down the west coast to San Francisco.

Routes / Re: roads in south carolina
« on: March 04, 2015, 01:39:43 pm »
The roads in South Carolina are pretty tough for cyclists. The main problems are US17 and Alt17 southeast of Charleston and Summerville. Really, really bad two lane blacktop with no shoulders and heavy, high speed traffic. This area has to be skirted to the northeast. After numerous trips up the east coast I finally worked out a fairly safe route through SC. Here it is going northward:

I cross the Savannah River from Georgia on the old GA25 bridge near Wentworth and continue to US17 and about 8 miles north to Hardeeville. This stretch of 17 is a shoulderless parkway but not too bad off-rush-hour. From Hardeeville (good, cheap motels) continue north on 17. There is little traffic as it parallels I95. After Ridgeland 17 becomes one with the interstate but the frontage road is off to the left just before the interchange. Follow this about 10 miles to the interchange where 17 goes east. Continue on 17 to Alt 17. Take this north to Walterboro. KOA at Yemassee. From Walterboro go a few miles east to Sidneys Road just past the airport. Go north on Sidneys Rd. to SC61.

Take 61 east to 17 near Charleston. It is somewhat congested as you approach 17 but cycleable. Then go east on 17. Pick your way through the city (mostly poor residential but not dangerous) to the Arthur Ravenal Bridge with its superb bike/hiker trail. At the end of the bridge turn right on 703/Alt17 to avoid the bad stretch of 17 through Mount Pleasant and go to Rifle Range Road on your left. Go NE on Rifle Range Rd. to Porcher's Bluff Road, turn left and go on to Morgan's Point Road. This goes right by a KOA and on a few miles, paralleling 17. Eventually you have to go left and onto 17 but by then there is cycleable shoulder. Just continue on 17 to Myrtle Beach and North Carolina.

Routes / Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« on: February 18, 2015, 06:55:37 pm »
You could take the train from Grand Central Station in Manhattan to Long Branch. I did the reverse once. With a bicycle I think you have to do it non-rush hour.

General Discussion / Re: circumnavigation of the U.S.
« on: January 07, 2015, 11:46:38 am »
"What do you mean by "Louisiana is a tough bicycling state"?"

Well, Louisiana is loaded with heavily trafficked, high speed, shoulderless two lane roads - even worse than Alabama and Mississippi. You need to be especially careful to avoid them. Avoid US190 at all costs, except for the far western part.

Routes / Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« on: November 14, 2014, 09:59:19 am »
Well, thank you for the advice and new route. I will try it on my next ride up that way. Riding along the beach/waterfront is always a joy. Despite the dense population New Jersey, my home state, is a fine bicycling state.

Routes / Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« on: November 10, 2014, 08:47:00 am »
As I pointed out in my posting I know about having to detour in the Mullica River area. The detour really doesn't add that much time or distance. The only problem is that the roads between New Gretna and Egg Harbor City are poorly marked but I had no real problem, at least heading northward. The traffic on this detour is very light, almost nonexistent. It can even be a bit eerie.

Before they built the new bridge for the Garden State Parkway I used to simply ride the shoulder of the Parkway for the 2 1/2 miles where it is one with US9. I was passed by police cars, both state troopers and local cops, while doing this. They paid me no mind at all. If the new bridge is finished you should be able to do this once more unless there are signs forbidding bicycles.

Routes / Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« on: November 08, 2014, 06:18:22 pm »
I have bicycle toured up the east coast  to NY and NH from my home here in Florida numerous times. Here is my route. It's a lot easier and quicker than yours.

Take the ferry from Manhattan to Atlantic Highlands NJ or the train (non-rush-hour) to Long Branch. Then just go down US9 to Cape May. It can be done in two days even with the detour through Egg Harbor City and Mays Landing. It's a fairly good bicycling road with plenty of services. I use the campground in Bayville, just south of Toms River and right on 9, and the one near downtown in Cape May.

Take the ferry from Cape May to Lewes and continue to the Chesapeake Bridge Tunnel. Motels enroute in Ocean City MD and Onley VA. and camping in Pocomoke State Park. Call ahead an hour or so for the free ride across the bridge in a maintenance pickup truck. This puts you right in Norfolk.

General Discussion / Re: circumnavigation of the U.S.
« on: November 07, 2014, 09:49:14 am »
I did a circumnavigation of the 48 states in 2004 - counterclockwise from my home in Florida. I did it in five stages. I get frequent flier miles from my brother so I did it in five one-month stages - storing my bike and flying home for two weeks between stages. Florida to New Hampshire; NH to Casper, Wyoming; WY to Florence, Oregon and San Francisco, CA; CA to San Antonio, TX; TX to home.

For various reasons I started too late and hit some cold weather on the last two stages but nothing I couldn't handle. I finished up in December. I didn't follow any planned route - just winged it. I recommend the ferry across Lake Michigan, US14 from Wisconsin to Yellowstone, US 26 and 126 across Idaho and Oregon and the coast route in Oregon and California. I cut inland at Guadalupe, CA because of the increasing number of pesky homeless bums in the campgrounds as I headed south. Also make sure you go along the Galveston waterfront as I did instead of going through Houston. Louisiana is a tough bicycling state. You might want to rigorously follow the ACA route there. The Gulf Coast is generally delightful but congested around the towns and cities. US 90 is an alternative but not nearly as pleasant and scenic.

2004 was a rainy year. It was the main reason I went to Ortlieb panniers and handlebar pack.

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