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Messages - litespeed

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Routes / Re: Country Bumpkin meets NYC
« on: September 10, 2012, 08:05:36 pm »
Why go all the way to New Jersey and double back through NYC to Long Island? There are ferries from Bridgeport and New London, Connecticut across Long Island Sound. You could then bicycle along the north shore and down to Uniondale. I have never gone this way but I rarely pass up a chance to ride a ferry while bicycle touring.

If you insist on going to NJ and back to NYC, don't worry about bicycling in Manhattan. It's a snap. New Yorkers are the best drivers in the world. When you exit the train station just pull out your compass and head east. The Brooklyn Bridge is a blast on a bicycle.

General Discussion / Re: Numbness, Tingling and Loss of strength in hand
« on: September 01, 2012, 02:03:54 pm »
I have congenital, chronic carpal tunnel syndrome and large hands. I use the widest drop bars I can find - 44-46cm -with a nice straight section on the front of the drops. I change hand positions all the time and try to keep my arms and hands as relaxed as possible. I'm not in top shape right now but I have less arm and hand pain when my arms are strong and well exercised. Pain in my forearms is about the worst thing I have to deal with when I'm touring.

I have also found that loose, comfortable clothing, including shoes, is big help in every way.

Routes / Re: NYC to Baltimore?
« on: August 29, 2012, 12:31:02 pm »
[quote author=Joshie2b

"For the NJ side, you have lot of options but the coastal route is nice. Stick right be the coast through seaside heights; then cut over to toms river, take route 9 through Tuckerton. You then must cut inland to lower bank, where you can cross the river. Then you have a choice; inland route straight down, or take the route 30 bridge to Atlantic city and go down the coast to wildwood before cutting across to the ferry."

Cutting over to Toms River from Seaside Heights requires going over the route 37 bridge. This one, like many bridges along the NJ shore, is forbidden to bicycles. You are expected to walk along the narrow sidewalk. I have ridden over some of the short bridges anyway but this one is a problem. As I recall it had no shoulder and was mighty long - some 3 miles - and heavily trafficked. I'm not familiar with the route 30 bridge to Atlantic City and would really like to hear if it is passable on a bicycle.

As Joshie said, you can cut inland at Tuckerton but you can also go through New Gretna before cutting inland to the bridge at Lower Bank or Green Bank.

Routes / Re: NYC to Baltimore?
« on: August 14, 2012, 10:51:25 pm »
Indyfabz's advice is sound but I have a couple of additions. The old bridge over Great Egg is closed but the last time I went that way I ignored the closing and went on over it. I figured if people were fishing off it I could bicycle it. Of course it may be impassable by now.

The real problem for the last few years has been the new bridge construction over the Mullica River near New Gretna. If it is done by now you can just scoot along the shoulder of the combined Garden State Parkway/US9 for the 2 1/2 miles. I used to do this many years ago. Both times I was passed by police cars who ignored me. If the construction is still going on (ask in New Gretna) you will have to detour west through Egg Harbor City and Mays Landing. This stretch is almost eerily devoid of traffic and people.

Routes / Re: What is the best route from Virginia to New York?
« on: August 10, 2012, 06:50:09 pm »
I have gone up the east coast from Florida to NY a number of times. From Virginia I go to Lewes, Delaware where I catch the ferry to Cape May. From there I go straight up US9. If the bridge is still under construction over the Mullica river near New Gretna it requires a detour to the west on 50. From Toms River I cut towards the coast on 70. To get into Manhattan I take the train (off hours) from Long Branch or (much more relaxing) the ferry from Atlantic Highlands.

Gear Talk / Re: Bar End shifters vs
« on: July 18, 2012, 08:54:09 pm »
Hopefully you can still edit your comment and fix the obvious error.  Shimano introduced STI (brifters, dual control brake/shift levers) for road bikes in 1990.  That was about 22 years ago.

Apparently you are right. I would have sworn I got my 105 STI in 1980 or earlier but, checking my records, it was the early 1990's - probably as soon as they came out with it.

I have heard so many bad things about bicycling through Houston that I always avoid it by swinging south and bicycling along the Galveston waterfront. This is a beautiful ride - miles and miles of wide esplanade along the ocean. I recommend it highly. You also get the relaxing ferry ride east of town.

The Beaumont/Port Arthur area is difficult, congested bicycling. You might want to buy a county map to help you pick your way through the area.

Gear Talk / Re: Bar End shifters vs
« on: July 16, 2012, 05:18:16 pm »
I have barends on my touring bike. I'm thorougly used to them. One disadvantage is that I occasionally bump them with my leg while horsing the bike around and get an unwanted shift. Barends are said to be more reliable but I have Shimano 105 brifters on my knockaround/training bike that are about 35 years old and have had very heavy use and little care or maintenance. They still work fine.

Gear Talk / Re: Best touring tires
« on: July 16, 2012, 05:07:58 pm »
I use 700x35 Schwalbe Marathon Supreme touring tires on my custom touring wheels (Rhynolite Sunrims). They wear longer and flat less than the Continental 2000's I used to use. I use Mr. Tuffy tire liners.

Routes / Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« on: July 16, 2012, 04:40:25 pm »
I assume you are leaving from Savannah. If so, I'd recommend going down to US90 and taking it through the Florida panhandle at least. Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana are full of bad roads and bad food. This will avoid those states as much as possible. Avoid US190 across Louisiana at all costs. Except for the far western portion it is a very bad bicycling road - two lane, shoulderless and heavily trafficked. As far as I know the only bicycle trail in Louisiana is from Slidell to Covington. Once you get clear of the eastern third of Texas you will start getting proper shoulders on the roads.

MacKenzie Pass is not to be missed. I went over it east-to-west. It is one of the most scenic spots in the country - really beautiful with great views of the surrounding peaks. If you go that way plan to spend some time at the top and get some pictures. I was lucky it hit it on a clear, sunny day. The climb from Sisters was pretty mild. I didn't even work up a sweat.

General Discussion / Re: Pacific Coast September 2012
« on: June 24, 2012, 11:18:24 pm »
Along about the middle of October you run a good chance of foul weather - storms rolling through. I left Petaluma about October 22 a few years ago and slogged through two miserable storms before I got to San Simeon. If I were doing it again I would try to get at least as far as Santa Barbara by October 15.

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, 04:16:30 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, 10:35:01 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.

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