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Messages - litespeed

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For your Idaho-Florence route I would recommend taking 26/126 between Vale and Sisters instead of 20. You climb over a lot of passes but it is more scenic with a lot more services, less traffic and a number of fine little towns with plenty of places to camp, sometimes for free. The traffic count is really low. Most of the time you have the road to yourself. This is one of my favorite bicycling roads.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling Yellowstone
« on: May 03, 2012, 01:16:30 pm »
As pointed out, a bicycle is a fine way to skirt the numerous traffic jams. Also, don't let the "Campground Full" signs turn you away from the campgrounds. They usually have room for a bicycle tourist. Everyone should see Yellowstone at least once.

General Discussion / Re: Bike weight
« on: April 19, 2012, 07:35:01 am »
"Most people take too many clothes."

Indeed. Most beginners take too much clothing and wind up discarding a lot of it or mailing things home. Some clothes, like outer MTB shorts, can do double duty and it's easy to wash bicycle clothing in a sink or shower.

It's also easy to pack too many tools. I carry tools and repair items I have never used but the day might come....

Your weights don't seem high to me, especially if you pack food and cooking gear. I don't pack either one and push upwards of 80 pounds down the road.

Routes / Re: Which Route to Take
« on: April 11, 2012, 03:42:06 pm »
Right. I corrected it.

Routes / Re: Which Route to Take
« on: April 11, 2012, 01:43:15 pm »
As a general rule the further south you cross the country the less climbing you will have. If you really want to avoid climbing you can follow interstates 8 and 10 (ride the shoulders, frontage roads and parallel roads) across CA, AZ, NM and TX then go along the Gulf coast. In New Mexico the continental divide on I-10 is just a sign on a flat stretch of highway. This route is also about the least scenic way to cross the country.

« on: April 10, 2012, 12:42:36 pm »
$400 for a fairly short ride in a van? Doesn't surprise me. Jasper-Banff is about the most spectacular scenery in the world but the place is a tourist trap. $5 to change money (although most places accept US dollars). No water fountains anywhere but plenty of expensive bottled water for sale. High prices for most everything. Plan ahead. If I go again it will be in the shoulder season - maybe just after they go back to school or before they get out.

General Discussion / Re: Good workout supplement to cycling?
« on: April 06, 2012, 05:00:29 pm »
I once demo'd the first two stories of a three story building by myself while living on the top floor. We couldn't rig a chute so I had to carry everything by hand down to the dumpster. I filled three 30-yard dumpsters. Endless stair climbing, half carrying loads.

After a week's rest I got on my bike and really flew. I was amazed at how strong I was. So I guess stair climbing is good cross training.

Greg Lemond used to do cross country skiing to keep his legs in shape in the winter.

For a few years I did 100 slow crunches every morning. It pretty much eliminated all backaches. I also spent most
Saturdays for a few years mixing cement with a hoe. This really built up the core and arms but is clearly not an activity available to most people.

Routes / Re: St. Augustine, FL to Washingston D.C. total miles?
« on: April 06, 2012, 04:51:28 pm »
1050 miles, more or less, using my route.

Routes / Re: Jacksonville, FL to New York City, NY
« on: April 03, 2012, 01:47:35 pm »
I have ridden US9 a number of times and never had a bit of trouble.  In fact, I recommend it to everyone. Plenty of shoulder, lots of services and all the traffic is on the GSP. In fact 9 is virtually deserted for long stretches. I used to ride it all the way to South Amboy until they stopped the ferry there. I also used to ride the shoulder of the GSP for the 2 1/2 miles that it is also US 9 over the Mullica river until they began the new bridge construction. Now I get off on 50 at Seaville and ride 50 through Mays Landing and Egg Harbor City and continue on 563 and 542 back to New Gretna and US9.

Incidentally, I am a native New Jerseyite - Morris County. We had a few acres in the woods with goats, chickens, horses, etc. I had to be home every day at 5:00PM to milk the goats (my father milked them in the morning) and feed the chickens. I graduated from Morristown High School in '58.

Routes / Re: Jacksonville, FL to New York City, NY
« on: April 03, 2012, 12:08:06 pm »
Here is my route, perfected over 5 trips, from Jacksonville to New York City: US 17 to almost Savannah. You can skirt around Savannah by taking Dean Forest Road, SR307, to Port Wentworth and go over the old bridge. From Hardeeville SC continue on US17 and the old highway alongside the interstate until it ends. Then go over I95 and up through Yemassee and Hendersonville to Walterboro. From Walterboro go out 17 a few miles to Sidney's Rd. and go up it to 61. Ride 61 into Charleston then left on 17 and over the bridges. Immediately after the Arthur Ravenal Bridge turn right on 703 to Rifle Range Road and take it through Mt. Pleasant.

This all sounds a bit roundabout but the stretches of 17 and 17A south of Charleston and Summerville and 17 through Mt. Pleasant are truly bad stretches of road - high speed narrow two lane, totally shoulderless and heavily trafficked.

After Mt. Pleasant get back on 17 and follow it to North Carolina. You can avoid the worst of Wilmington by taking 211 to delightful Southport and taking the ferry. Then go up through the beaches to Oleander Drive and skirting around Wilmington to the east. At Jacksonville NC finally get off 17 and take 24 and 12 to the ferry at Cedar Island. Try to arrive for the 3:30 ferry so you don't get in Ocracoke after dark. Avoid the crummy overpriced motels in Morehead City by staying at the fine Forestry Service campground at Cedar Point.

I go up through the Outer Banks to the bridge back to the mainland after Kitty Hawk then up to the ferry at Currituck. From Knotts Island I take back roads into Virginia Beach and the Chesapeake Bridge-Tunnel. They like you to call ahead for a ride across in a maintenance truck. I stop at the Greek diner a block west of the toll plaza and call from there before eating. You pay the toll.

US13 lacks shoulders after Accomac so I get off around there and ride back roads to the east up to Snow Hill MD. Then you can either take 113 up to Millsboro and over to Lewes or 50 to Ocean City and up the coast. Take the Lewes ferry to Cape May. From Cape May just go up US9. The Bridge over the Mulica River near New Gretna might not be finished necessitating a detour on 50 to the west through Egg Harbor. Otherwise just ride the shoulder of the Garden State Parkway for the 2 1/2 miles.

At Toms River get off 9 and angle towards the coast. DON"T take 37 east. The long bridge does not allow bicycles on the roadway. You can get into New York City by riding the ferry from Atlantic Highlands or, on off hours and weekends, take the train into Manhattan from Long Branch.

I also am planning a trip from the Black Hills back to WI.  With all due respect to the OP, I am interested in knowing if Hwy 14 through MN is a good road with decent shoulders and what the traffic might look like.

I rode US14 east-to-west across Minnesota a few years ago. As I recall there was ample shoulder but the frost cracks were often a bit annoying. But that is probably a common problem in that part of the country.

General Discussion / Re: Pacing on a long distance ride
« on: March 27, 2012, 08:44:00 am »
When touring I usually need a rest day about a week out. Also whenever a really tough day (headwinds, mighty climbs, storms, etc.) leaves me wasted. It's not hard to tell when a rest day is needed.

Yup. Just get on US14 and head east. You might even live on 14. Anyway, you might want to bone up on the bike trails in Wisconsin to ease your route from LaCrosse to Manitowoc for the ferry. Wisconsin has lots of bike trails.

In New York you might want to take the Erie Canal bike route from Buffalo to Albany. This will avoid the brutal ups and downs in the Finger Lakes region.

Routes / Re: Weather in October
« on: March 24, 2012, 04:31:31 pm »
I rode Petaluma to Guadalupe at the end of October a few years ago. The weather was pretty miserable with two big storms rolling through - lots of rain and overcast. That's an iffy time of year. You might luck out with good weather but have your rain gear ready.

Routes / Re: Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes
« on: February 22, 2012, 07:46:45 am »
The Route of the Hiawatha is a fine ride but would have put you a bit out of your way. It has a gentle railroad grade and beautiful scenery. You need a light for the tunnels and cash for the trail fee. I have never ridden the Trail of the Cour d'Alenes but it is probably more interesting and scenic than the highway along the St. Joe River that you head west on after going down the Hiawatha Trail.

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