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Messages - litespeed

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In John W. Triggs' book "America at 10 Miles Per Hour: A 17,300 Mile Bicycle Journey" (1996) he hits all 48 states in about 13 1/2 months. Not a bad read.

I have bicycled 44 states in my various tours. Someday I might hit the 4 remaining widely scattered states - Maine, West Virginia, North Dakota and Nevada.

Routes / Re: Western NY to NYC and the Atlantic route
« on: November 14, 2015, 06:49:15 pm »
Pennsylvania and New Jersey are both good bicycling states, especially southeastern Pennsylvania (good, well-shouldered roads and plenty of fudge and ice cream shops and good, cheap eating places). You can cross NJ in a day easily and you're right on the Atlantic. If you want to go into NYC you can take the ferry from Atlantic Highlands or the train in non-rush-hours from Long Branch.

General Discussion / Re: Dogs n' bears
« on: November 09, 2015, 01:33:43 pm »
As I've said before on this forum: Dogs get all confused and stumble all over themselves if you swerve back and forth, traffic (or lack thereof) permitting. I have had dogs run into lamp posts, trip into ditches, stop in total confusion, etc. Once I had two dogs get all tangled up with each other and go down in a frantic, dusty heap. Quickly swerving back and forth invariably throws them off their game - totally ruins their concentration.

General Discussion / Re: Dogs n' bears
« on: November 06, 2015, 02:31:28 pm »
I have bicycle toured and camped in 44 states and two Canadian provinces. I don't pack cooking gear. The only incident of animal trouble I can recall was the numerous raccoons in Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine, Florida. You can't turn your back on anything edible and they prowled around my tent all night. When passing through there I now stay at the KOA a mile or two down the road.

Once while backpacking in Yosemite a bear unzipped (?) a pocket on my backpack at night and clawed out some food but no real damage was done - just lost some food.

I was in the local West Marine store when I spotted some long sleeve jerseys. I bought one and have been using them ever since for bicycling. I usually have to buy extra large to get the length even though they hang off me like a tent but the size large West Marine jerseys are plenty long enough and fit just fine.

I did my early touring in tee shirts and baked the skin on my forearms. Now I wear long sleeves to keep it from getting worse.

Routes / Re: james river bridge crossing
« on: October 06, 2015, 07:32:31 pm »
From Wikipedia: "Bicycles, mopeds, and pedestrians are banned from using the bridge; the easternmost crossing for them is the Jamestown Ferry, about 25 miles (40 km) upstream. The State Highway and Transportation Commission banned these transportation modes from using the bridge in 1978 "in the interest of safety", due to high traffic and lack of sidewalks. Once the replacement bridge was completed, they returned to the question in 1983, and decided to continue the ban, since the new bridge also had no sidewalks or sufficient recovery area."

General Discussion / Re: What's an 'average' day?
« on: October 02, 2015, 04:42:23 pm »
Northwestern Nevada? I assume you mean Reno or Winnemucca. North of Reno and west of Winnemucca is the Black Rock Desert - lots of nothing except for a private opal mining outfit and the Burning Man festival once a year.

100 mile days are fairly easy to knock off once you get cranking on a trip. It takes me a week or so of touring to get in proper shape. I have gotten in a little trouble occasionally - exhaustion, cramps or just plain feeling lousy - pushing it too hard right off from my home. If you run out of gas just take a rest day or a short day. Allow for it on your schedule.

Like a horse smelling the barn I have cranked out fairly high mileage coming home from a long tour out west. I once did the 667 miles from Chattanooga TN to my home in Florida in six days with ease - arrived home feeling fine, even rested. I once made it home from San Antonio TX in 15 days in the short days of winter. I live in Holiday - 30 miles north of St Petersburg.

Like you I can take the heat. I've lived in Florida for 39 years without air conditioning. But I will admit 114 degree weather in the Badlands of South Dakota once had me doing a short day. 

I used to make the 430 miles up to my brother's place in Savannah GA in four days. At 74 years old I now allow 5 or 6 days but I still make the return trip home in four days easily.

Bicycling is a forgiving sport - non weight bearing and easy on the joints. You are basically just using a couple of big muscles in the upper legs. Once you build them up you can crank out mileage the non-cyclist finds incredible.

Routes / Re: Solo ride from the Bronx to Boston
« on: September 23, 2015, 06:18:09 pm »
Am I missing something here? Doesn't bicycling from the Bronx to Boston involve going across Connecticut and Massachusetts, possibly skimming Rhode Island enroute? I have crossed these states a few times in various directions and routes. I never had any problem finding reasonably priced private campgrounds. I have stumbled on them, sometimes by asking around, and also found them using Woodall's directories. They have apparently stopped print directories altogether and gone to just apps.

The main problem crossing Connecticut west-to-east (or the reverse) is the short steep hills. Low gears are a big help. A good map and sticking to secondary and back roads is recommended although I once crossed most of Connecticut on US6 with no problems - even went right through Providence. The bridge at Newport doesn't allow bicycles but there might be a way to get a ride across. You could call them.

There are KOA's in Mystic, Conn. and Middleboro and Northampton in Massachusetts. These are somewhat off route unless you are going along the coast or swinging well north.

Most of the state parks w/campsites in Connecticut are in the northwest part of the state but there are a few in the southern half. I have always done best by calling state parks direct although I have occasionally used Reserveamerica. If you do hit a state park make sure you get their card for possible future use.

Routes / Re: Looking for a good Manhattan - Westchester County, NY route.
« on: September 05, 2015, 04:05:13 pm »
Right. Once you get to the GWB going north on the Hudson River Trail go over a few blocks to Broadway (Route 9) then about 3 or 4 miles north to Van Cortland Park. This was my route going north to visit my brother when he lived in Dobbs Ferry.

Routes / Re: Biking in Yellowstone
« on: August 07, 2015, 02:00:24 pm »
I never had any major problems bicycling around Yellowstone except maybe for the climb up into the park from the east on US14/20. It's narrow, winding and heavily trafficked but there is no alternative so I figured tough, let them drive around me. Aside from that I bicycled comfortably all over the park.

Ignore "Campground Full" signs. They will usually make room for a bicycle tourist.

The cafeteria at West Thumb had about the worst food I've ever eaten. Hopefully it has gotten better.

There is an excellent campground in West Yellowstone.

Avoid 191 north to Bozeman. It's narrow, shoulderless, hemmed in by the river and cliffs and there is an endless stream of impatient truckdrivers. Take any other route.

There is a lot to see in Yellowstone. Take your time and enjoy the sights.

Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast - In the area of Bogue Sound
« on: July 24, 2015, 03:16:20 pm »
When I go up the east coast I stay at the excellent Forestry Service campground in Cedar Point then go to the Cedar Island - Ocracoke ferry. I hammered fairly hard to make the 3:30 ferry on my last time there. In Ocracoke I stay at the little campground a few blocks from the ferry dock.

I guess you could go over the causeway from Cape Carteret and through Emerald Isle and Atlantic Beach to the causeway back to Morehead City. I have never tried it and have no idea how bicycle friendly the two causeways are. I never had any problems on that stretch of 24 and US70.

The motels in Morehead City are surprisingly overpriced and crummy. Avoid staying there.

The road through Camp Lejeune was closed to through traffic after 9/11. You could call the chamber of commerce in, say, Jacksonville and ask if this is still the case. It was closed the last time I went through a few years ago. I also had no problems looping by Jacksonville except for the depressing clot of tacky businesses along 24 ripping off the servicemen.

Routes / Re: Summit to NYC via GW Bridge
« on: July 21, 2015, 12:17:19 pm »
I've ridden over the GWB dozens of times when I lived in Hoboken and a few other times since. You shouldn't have too much trouble if you pick your way towards Clifton or Lodi then over to Fort Lee. Avoid Newark. Just use city streets. Brace yourself for some steep climbs around Fort Lee.

Bicycling in Manhattan is a piece of cake. They are the best drivers in the world. They know how to look six ways at once. Go right down Broadway with a detour through Central Park. Get in the bus lane and hammer. Every time you hear a bus behind you pedal harder. Going over the GWB and the Brooklyn Bridge is a joy. Enjoy the views.

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 gear 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.

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