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Messages - litespeed

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1
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.

2
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.

3
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.

4
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.


5
General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: September 07, 2014, 10:33:00 am »
As a general rule you can ride the shoulders of interstates (well away from large cities) west of the Mississippi. I once rode interstates most of the way from southern California to San Antonio TX. In states like Montana, with no large cities, you can ride them most anywhere. It is often convenient and sometimes there is no choice.

6
When I finally decided to wear oversize shoes and keep them plenty loose I pretty much got rid of foot pain. I also set my SPD cleats as far back on my shoes as possible to take the pressure off the balls of my feet.

7
General Discussion / Re: Bike / Hike Campsites on southern PCR
« on: July 24, 2014, 03:36:08 pm »
The major problem in the parks on the southern California coast is not lack of camping spots it is the "homeless" (to use a polite term) stumbling around. The last time I went down the coast they were such pests that I cut inland at Paso Robles to get away from them.

If I sound unsympathetic it is because I got to really know them after I got out of the army. I spent a few years knocking around the country, staying in cheap rooms and working out of rent-a-drunk labor outfits and government employment centers. I always had a buck in my pocket, clean clothes on my back and a roof over my head because I was willing to work at whatever I was offered. I never met any homeless person who was "down on his luck" or mentally ill. They ALL had simply made a life decision to beg, drink cheap wine and use drugs instead of work.

8
General Discussion / Re: dogs and security
« on: July 24, 2014, 03:09:49 pm »
My favorite trick is to swerve back and forth if there is room to do it safely. This really confuses the dogs. I have had them run into signposts, telephone poles and culverts, get all tangled up with each other and go down in a tumbling, dusty heap, even just trip all over themselves. They can't handle a swerving target.

9
Routes / Re: Virginia
« on: June 24, 2014, 09:21:49 am »
Swerving back and forth (if traffic allows) really confuses chasing dogs. In doing so I have gotten them all tangled up in each other, had them run into ditches, trip all over themselves and once even had one run head on into a signpost.

10
Gear Talk / Re: solo bike security
« on: April 07, 2014, 05:57:08 pm »
I pack a beefy Bell cable lock. I generally lock my bike to something if it will be out of sight. I sometimes don't bother if I am just zipping into a convenience store. In campgrounds I lock it to the bench on the picnic table and place the tent so I can see it while inside. The more I bicycle tour, the more casual I have gotten about security. A loaded touring bike is a very specialized item. Some 99% of the population would really have no use for my bike or gear. What would Joe Average do with it? Sell it on ebay?

Still, it is the most valuable thing I own that isn't cash or real estate so I guard it well.

11
Routes / Re: Wind Direction Going Cross-Country
« on: April 03, 2014, 11:19:44 pm »
The preceding "prevailing winds in July" map gives you a pretty good picture of what winds to expect but any front rolling through will change the wind direction. For instance I once fought northerly winds going northward in the eastern US but it was a very rainy year. Also I once fought SE headwinds going all the way across Colorado and half of Kansas until a front came through and gave me a tailwind from Dodge City to Wichita then little wind at all after that. I have also had to lay over a day to wait out strong headwinds once while going westward in the Texas panhandle and once going northward in the Outer Banks. Sometimes you just have to hunker down for a day or two. On the other hand, there will be days and even weeks of bicycle touring where wind simply isn't even a factor.

Be sure to take advantage of a good tailwind. I remember a howling tailwind pushing me the 115 miles from Lordsburg NM to Las Cruces. I used my big chainring and arrived at the KOA in Las Cruces at 3:00PM. What a day!

12
Routes / Re: Yellowstone to Rapid City, SD
« on: November 14, 2013, 10:37:52 pm »
I rode Mt. Rushmore to Yellowstone on US16 and 14 (and some stretches of interstate) nine years ago. I made it all right. There are some lonely and some difficult stretches but nothing unsurmountable. Descending east down out of Yellowstone is narrow, winding and shoulderless. Try to hit it at low traffic times if possible. Climbing over the Bighorns will give you serious bragging rights. Climbing up on 14A is 10% for 13 miles. I understand 14 is marginally easier. There is nothing at Ucross so water up between Sheridan and Clearmont. Ditto between Spotted Horse and Gillette. There is also nothing (that I recall) between Lovell and the Bighorns. Going through Greybull and Buffalo on 16 might be easier.

13
Routes / Re: route from MN to CA mostly on bike paths
« on: November 04, 2013, 11:22:04 am »
Minnesota and Wisconsin are loaded with bicycle trails - much more than most states. Your most direct route to California would be through South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah (or southern Idaho) and Nevada (or southern Oregon). There are few bicycle trails in these states. You might join Rails-to-trails to find out where the trails are.

I would suggest heading west on US14 and doing a somewhat northerly route. This would hit such scenic hotspots/parks as the Rapid City area and Jackson/Yellowstone.

14
Routes / Re: Ride across Nebraska route advice
« on: October 24, 2013, 09:32:21 am »
Your biggest problem will be goathead thorns flatting your tires. Make sure you stay on the pavement to keep punctures to a minimum. And have good, thick tire liners.

I crossed Nebraska E to W a few years ago on 34, 30 and 26. Plenty of south winds and usually good shoulders on the main roads. I had no trouble finding accomodations - plenty of campgrounds and motels - and meals. Very friendly people. I got a flat near Lincoln and four cars stopped to offer help, including a trooper.

15
General Discussion / Re: Natchez trace open?
« on: October 15, 2013, 07:28:54 pm »
I just biked up to Natchez, planning to do the Trace. I got as far as Rocky Springs. I was able to camp at the campground but all the bathrooms and office were locked up and the water turned off. There was a trail crew camping out there using a standpipe - the only water. They let me pitch camp that night but I was told that all facilities would be closed to everyone the next day. So I left the Trace at Jackson and came back home to Florida.

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