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Messages - Bclayden

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Routes / Re: Mapquest Maps/Routes
« on: July 19, 2013, 08:09:08 am »
I have planned many multi-day rides (non-ACA routes) using Google map.  To add....Satellite View resolution in remote areas can be quite low so hard to determine the road surface.

I have had some luck with Street View feature at the nearest road junction.  If you can get a look at a bit of the routed road from either end it's often possible to determine whether it's paved or not.  Still not fool proof though, I've been surprised by the occasional un-paved section despite careful planning.

Routes / Re: Adirondack Park Route - Need advice
« on: July 18, 2013, 04:18:15 pm »
I did the Adirondack Loop in May from/to Saratoga Springs (without the spur) in a counter clockwise direction in 4 days.  Stayed in Ticonderoga, Saranac Lake, and Speculator.  It is all very scenic and the roads are in generally good riding condition.  Quite hilly though..nothing gnarly but at the end of a 100 mile day I felt as though I had climbed several thousand feet.  Never did measure it though. 

Lake Placid was fun but a bit busy.  Saranac Lak,e a bit further along, was a slightly more mellow scene.  Stayed at Gaunthier's Saranac Lake Inn..they have free kayaks to use and explore the shoreline.  Very relaxing after a long day on the bike. 

Near Blue Mtn. Lake is the Adirondack Museum.  Plan to spend a couple of hours here if you like that sort of thing.  A modern and large museum with good exhibits.  I brought a picnic and ate under a shady tree overlooking the valley below.  Very nice.

Other than that small-town-USA is about all you will get.  It's a very seasonal region so most traffic is there during the summer.  I managed to ride my route before the high season but I imagine during the summer the RV crowd will be prevalent. 


Routes / Re: Recommended Route San Jose to ACA Pacific Coast Route
« on: June 10, 2013, 05:15:46 pm »

Pat has some good route advice.  I live in the Bay Area and ride the Santa Cruz Mountains often and can add bit more.

ANY road over the mountains is much busier during commute hours.  There is a heavy flow each way but local riders know to stay off these roads going either direction during commute hours as the roads are very twisty and the people drive WAY too fast.  I stay clear after 3pm to avoid the high school drivers too.

Having said that my favorite route over the hill is from Los Gatos to Watsonville.  Join the Los Gatos Creek Trail (it starts in San Jose) and take it up to Lexington Reservoir.  There's a 2 mile segment of packed gravel road.  Follow the East side of the reservoir, Alma Bridge Road, to join Old Santa Cruz Highway, Left at Summit Rd/Highland Rd.  (this road had a washout and was closed for some time last winter so check that it's open) then, my favorite, Eureka Canyon Rd. to Watsonville.  Beautiful and once on Highland Rd. very quiet.

If a desolate and remote route with no services for 100 miles is your thing then go by way of Delta (134miles from SLC if I remember).  Not particularly scenic either but despite my description I had a wonderful day that day...until I hit the massive suburban sprawl of SLC.  Delta-SLC was the last day of my Calif.-SLC ride last summer. 

I followed the Route 68 out on the West side of Utah Lake...not much shoulder but a pretty quiet road.  Route 6 over the summit to Eureka takes you to's a remote road with very little traffic.  If this mileage is too much for 1 day I think Eureka might have a motel or camping but past that I don't recall much..not even a gas station for 90 or so miles.

Hope that helps...

From 395 best to use 207 "Kingsbury Grade" for the climb over to Lake Tahoe.  Avoid US 50 at all costs.

Once at the lake your shortest route is to head North but take the time to ride around the lake in a clockwise direction and you will be rewarded with spectacular scenery on the West side and this will avoid busy "Spooner Summit" traffic (also US 50).

From Truckee Route 89 is a good one Northbound...not the widest shoulder in places but scenic and relatively quiet.

Routes / Re: Advice for a ride beginning in NYC
« on: May 22, 2013, 02:59:32 pm »
Ride follow up:  Completed a slightly shortened version of the Adirondack Loop ACA Route.  Very nice route with clean and wide shoulders in mostly good condition.  I hit it just before Memorial Day weekend and the beginning of the busy season so no RVs....didn't see another cyclist either in the 300 miles I spent riding which surprised me.

I didn't camp, used motels, but there are ample camping opportunities and many beautiful lakes.  Quite a hilly region...nothing gnarly though..and ended up with about 4000-5000 feet of climbing each 100 mile day.   

Saranac Lake is a really nice town.  Wish I could have explored it a bit more. 

Highly recommend riding for a day or a few days in the Adirondack region.  Very bike friendly and the ACA route map was very helpful.

Routes / Re: Route through or around Los Angeles.
« on: April 28, 2013, 09:49:18 pm »
Mike, I agree with Marti.  I've done Long Beach to the border....Mostly mellow roads and bike paths along the shore if you plan it well.  Sketchy drivers passing Newport Beach but a good shoulder as I remember.  Otherwise a nice ride.

Marine Base Camp Pendleton doesn't allow civilian car traffic but will allow a civilian biker with ID. No ID is a no go and no alternate route as far as I know.

Once in San Diego plenty of bike paths to make it to the border.  Tijuana?  Not recommended.


Routes / Re: Advice for a ride beginning in NYC
« on: April 28, 2013, 10:02:31 am »
OK, great.  Thx TokyoNose!

Here's my plan...  I am riding the ACA route in a counter-clockwise direction

Day 1/May 18- Saratoga Springs-Ticonderaga (.Super 8 Motel)

Day 2- Ticonderoga- Saranac Lake (Saranac Lake Inn)...might add the ACA alternate route to "Whiteface Mtn".

Day 3- Saranac Lake- Speculator (Lake Pleasant Lodge but still not decided)

Day 4- Speculator - Saratoga Springs

Some longish days with climbing I see but I travel very light and enjoy the climbing.  I am using this ride as a training exercise for a 6 day Salt Lake City-Scottsbluff, NE ride in July.   Would appreciate any feedback.  Have a great ride.


Routes / Re: Advice for a ride beginning in NYC
« on: April 26, 2013, 08:53:44 am »
Thanks for the input!

Just purchased the ACA Adirondack Loop map (PDF) and it looks like a wonderful 4 day ride with lots of overnight options and alternate routes to cut the corners if I get behind on the timing.

Looks like a beautiful area for riding too.

Thanks again .....good idea.

Routes / Advice for a ride beginning in NYC
« on: April 25, 2013, 05:34:17 am »

I am a West Coast rider and not familiar with the best routes in the NE.  Looking for your input.

I am planning. 4 day ride in mid-May to begin in the NYC area (Teterboro, NJ actually).  I will be traveling Credit Card style using motels/hotels and will plan to cover 80-120 miles per day.

Ideally I would like to ride one way and return by train but Amtrak seems to have bike restrictions on most trains in the NE with the exception of the "Empire Service" from Chicago which stops in Syracuse and Rome, NY so those would be good destinations.  My original plan was to head to Vermont but this idea was scuttled when I discovered the bike restrictions....same thing with Boston.

I suppose I could make a 350 mile loop out of it but would prefer to "go somewhere".  I have the option to rent a car and retun to NYC that way but this would be a last resort.

As you can see my plan is wide open so wondering If there's a general direction anyone can recommend?  Hudson Valley, Erie Canal, Finger Lakes, Pennsylvania? I'm solo and very flexible so any input of where to go, or where NOT to go, is appreciated....just looking for a good route or general direction to begin my planning.

Thanks.   -Ben

Gear Talk / Re: Ironman and Europe Tour on one bike??
« on: April 18, 2013, 07:01:11 am »
I ride the same Trek Madone 4.5 for both triathlon (Long Course/Half Ironman Distance = 56 miles on the bike) and for touring.  I have covered the Western Express route at 100+ mile per day with it and it's certainly durable enough.  You should know that I tour Credit Card style so my cargo weight is minimal..13 pounds without the water.

I was concerned about the reliability and ruggedness of a lightweight carbon frame for touring but my off-the-shelf Trek has been great...even the saddle. I'm on year 2 with the bike now and at the 10,000 mile mark.  The stock Bontreager wheels the bike came with started to break down at 8000 miles so I replaced them with better quality Mavic but otherwise no regrets with the bike.

I did hear some groans when I asked the same sort of question about long-distance touring with a road bike but those remarks have turned out to be unfounded in my experience.  There seem to be many traditional touring folks out there who like the heavy, but strong, bike to carry the equally heavy loads.  Rugged but SLOOOOW.

My theory is:  If your load is light then what's the difference between riding 100 miles a day while touring or while at home?  The bike knows no difference.

Routes / California Gold Country. Turlock-Oakhurst?
« on: April 17, 2013, 07:05:29 am »
Hi there.

I have a random route question:

Riding SF Bay area to Bass Lake, CA. I have ridden most of this route before except one stretch.....Turlock to Oakhurst, CA

There are several options.  The obvious is Turlock Rd-Hornitos Rd-Old Toll Rd-Hiway 49.
Judging the route from Google Street View it looks adequate but is obviously the shortest route so likely has the most vehicle traffic.

Anyone out there with a better/more bike friendly idea?  I don't mind of it adds a few extra miles.


Routes / Re: Cycling from SFO airport - Western express
« on: April 03, 2013, 04:15:30 pm »
I have ridden for many years between SF Bay and Sacramento and have ridden the Western Express too so am pretty familiar.

As others have said BART is the easiest way to get out of the airport.  There have been some recent changes to bike restrictions on BART during rush hour...more bike friendly now...but it's in Beta mode so check for updates.  Get yourself across the Bay to Emeryville (Near Oakland) and then catch the Amtrak Capitol Corridor commuter train...very bike friendly.  In about 1.5 hours you will be in Sacramento at literally the start of the W.E. route.

Or, there are many good riding routes from SFO to Sacramento via the Golden Gate but will add about 150 miles to your ride.  A great ride of you have the time though.  A Google map search of the area with the "bicycling" tab clicked will reveal many good options.

If riding the Western Express credit card style suggest booking motels in Woodfords, CA, Austin, NV and Baker, NV well ahead of time as there are limited options in these towns and they do fill up.

Routes / Re: Any Wyoming riders out there?
« on: March 17, 2013, 05:58:38 pm »
Thanks for the input John.

I'm accustomed to riding 100+ miles a day with enough water.  Not a problem.  Downside is I am "credit card" camping so no option to stop for the night until I reach my motel.  I have booked all overnights including in Farson and Alcova at the only option in each town.

Anyway, good to know a bit more about the route.  It doesn't seem very popular however.

Routes / Any Wyoming riders out there?
« on: March 17, 2013, 03:47:30 pm »
I asked a vague question about my route a few months ago and got no response so hoping if I supply more info it might get me a few tips?

Following the Pony Express route Credit Card style in July from SLC-Scottsbluff, NE and looking for help.  It's a roundabout route to stay true to the PE but road riding options are sometimes limited. 

So you know I completed the Sacramento-SLC portion of this ride last year so not worried about extreme July heat at 7000' but I suppose anything is possible when it comes to weather

Route runs:

SLC-Evanston: Emigrant Canyon Rd-Chalk Creek Rd-Yellow Creek Road.  6 miles dirt.

Evanston-Farson:  4 miles on US 80 (yikes), 189 to Kemmerer, then 372 to Lower Farson Cutoff Rd.

Farson-Lander:  Hiway 28.

Lander-Alcova: 287 to 220

Alcova-Douglas: 220 to Douglas then Old Glenbrook Hiway to join Tank Farm Rd.

Douglas-Scottsbluff, NE:  Not sure about a route yet.

Any and all advice is welcome.  Thanks.


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