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Messages - indyfabz

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1
Routes / Re: contemplating riding TransAm in 2015....so many questions!
« on: September 29, 2014, 08:33:51 am »
Why does cooking seem like a big hassle if traveling solo?

With the right equipment, you can prepare a nice meal in 25 min. I also find cooking relaxing. Here are a couple of easy meals from a trip last year:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/9779925995/in/set-72157635548910265

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/9779778496/in/set-72157635548910265


2
Food Talk / Re: Food budgeting help
« on: September 25, 2014, 01:24:04 pm »
I ended up not keeing track of anything, but dinner estimate goes like this:

$0.90 for pasta (half a 12 oz. bag of Whacky Mac)
$3.00 or so for the protein, such as pre-cooked chicken sausage, raw chicken or canned shrimp
$3.00 for a bunch of asparagus
$0.75 for a red onion

I broght my own garlic and olive oil from home. One day I made due with two cans of Beef-A-Roni for dinner. I had ridden in a cold rain for over 60 miles and was too tired to cook something more elaborate. Another day I had to carry food from nearly the beginning so I simply got two cans of canellini beans to go with the pasta. Actually quite tasty when you saute several cloves of garlic and then add the beans, some of the water from the cans and some olive oil, let it stew for a while and then season with salt and pepper.

Breakast was often a bagel with maybe some cheese or canned fish, like sardines. I would stop en route for lunch if posible or buy a pre-made sandwich for maybe $3.50-$5.50 to take with me at the start of the day. There were also assorted snacks, like pretzels.

I ate one dinner and one breakfast out.

3
General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: September 24, 2014, 03:46:25 pm »
I would not want to ride an interstate during rush hour in Jacksonville, FL or NYC.

I think what some people might not fully understand is that not all Interstate Highways are designed the same. As I noted above, portions of the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95), for example, are "walled off." If there were a disabled vehicle blocking the shoulder, your only option would be to enter into the travel lane. No lifting your bike over the guard rail and walking through some grass to get back on the shoulder. Good luck with that one.

And what happens when construction activity eliminates the shoulder? I recently drone some of very busy I-80 through PA into NE Ohio to start a tour. There were two stretches where construction required a lane shift and shoulder closure. In one such location, there was only one narrow lane of traffic. I felt unnerved sandwiched between semis and I was driving an SUV. Then there is the PA Turnpike (I-76) and the Northeast Extension thereof (I-476), with their shoulderless tunnels.

4
Routes / Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« on: September 24, 2014, 03:30:00 pm »
Something else occurred to me. If I recall correctly, the NYC spur of the Atlantic Coast Route passes through or near Somerville, NJ. You could take New Jersey Transit's Raritan Valley Line to Somerville and pick up the route there. (The same line serves High Bridge, which I mentioned earlier. However, it only goes out that far on weekdays.) While some midday service leaves from Penn Station in Manhattan, most of the Raritan Valley Line trains originate in Newark, NJ. You can get to Newark from Manhattan easily using the PATH train from the World Trade Center station, where there is an elevator to take you down from street level. There are some restriction on when you can take a bike on a NJT train. I think the same is true for PATH. If you want to take a train out of the city, I can give you links to the rules.

5
Routes / Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« on: September 24, 2014, 10:52:15 am »
A couple of things:

1. Have you taken a look at Section 3 of ACA's Atlantic Coast Route?:

http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/adventure-cycling-route-network/atlantic-coast/

Conshohocken is near KoP, and the route goes through D.C. with an option to avoid Baltimore and then on to Richmond. Section 4 continues south and comes somewhat close to VA Beach.

2. The only way to actually ride your bike from NYC to NJ is via the George Washington Bridge, which is up north in Manhattan. All other bridges are off limits to bikes. That can be a very difficult part of the world to navigate by bike if you don't have experience. New Jersey is the most densely populated of the 50 states and northeast New Jersey is the most densely populated part of the state. Making it all the way to KoP in 100 miles seems like it would be tough, but if you have a route mapped out I am willing to look at it.

Fortunately, there are several train options out of NYC. You can easily get as far south as Trenton, NJ via New Jersey Transit. You can also get as far west as High Bridge, NJ. Section 2 of ACA's Atlantic Coast Route has a NYC spur that utilizes a train line between Summit, NJ and NYC. There are also ferry options between Manhattan and places like Hoboken. Without local knowledge and experience, I highly recommend taking some form of Public transportation out of the NYC area.

Every year my local club does a ride from New Hope, PA, which is on ACA's Atlantic Coast Route, to Brooklyn via Manhattan that goes into Hoboken, NJ and reaches Manhattan via a ferry ride across the Hudson River. The ride is held the Sunday before Labor Day. To do during a weekday would be suicide since, among other things, it goes through the Port of Elizabeth & Newark, which is usually non-stop speeding truck traffic. (The Port is empty on Labor Day weekend.) There is a way to take a train beyond that point, however. Still, that would leave you with some miles to get to New Hope.

Finally, March can be iffy depending on the type of winter we have been having. It could be decent or it could snow, especially if you are talking about early March.

Have I confused you enough?

6
Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Route - Florida
« on: September 23, 2014, 03:17:44 pm »
Try searching Google Maps for "campgrounds near [insert name of town along route]". I just completed a 500 mile trip across PA with eight nights of camping using this method. Once I had the basic route down, I used this method find camprgounds, making adjustments to the route where necessary.

For example if you do the above for Fort Pierce, FL, which is on the ACA route north of Seven Mile Bridge, you get a number of results. You will need to weed out the mobile home parks and other non-applicable results this method sometimes produces, but overall I think it works rather well.

BTW....If you need any suggestions for the section of the route from the Philadelphia area to Port Jervis, NY, get in touch when the time draws closer. I am very familiar with that portion.

7
General Discussion / Re: Strange sounds from below
« on: September 19, 2014, 10:43:53 am »
I had a periodic knocking last year. Turned out I had a crack in my cassette body cover.

8
Routes / Re: CDT Ride - Anaconda MT area (2-3 day)
« on: September 18, 2014, 10:32:02 am »
Many of the Interstates in that area are not that bad. I have ridden along I-15 south of the BLM camground I mentioned and crossed under I-15 in Melrose. From what I could see, the traffic was very light. There are frontage roads along I-15 heading north from Divide towards Butte, but I don't think they go all the way through, so you have to eventually get on the highway for a stretch. Check it out on Goggle Maps. Even the three miles of I-90 I rode between an interchange west of Butte and the exit for MT 1 were tolerable.

Will you be staying up by the lake on in Anaconda proper? If the former, note that from Anaconda up to Gerorgetown Lake is about a 10 mile climb. It starts our gradual and gets progressively steeper until you approach Silver Lake, which is a few miles east of Georgetown Lake. However, the climb never gets overly steep for any significant distance, and it's scenic. Both times I rode it, the wind out of the west was the real factor.

Finally, if you find yourself in Butte needing a place to stay, the motor lodge portion of the Hotel Finlen is a good value. It's located in the Uptown section of the city, which has some interesting old buildings.

9
Routes / Re: CDT Ride - Anaconda MT area (2-3 day)
« on: September 17, 2014, 02:46:30 pm »
The closest established U.S.F.S. campground south on the Byway from Wise River (4th of July Campground) is 11.5 miles. If you head east on MT 43 towards I-15 about 9 miles, there is a BLM campground on the right just before MT 43 crosses the river. You have to take the gravel road past the day use area to reach the campground. The ride from Wise River through the canyon is also scenic. You could then ride the frontage roads and/or I-15 back to Butte.

You can get from Butte to MT 1 near Anaconda without riding on I-90 at all. Follow the frontage roads on the south side of I-90 and then cross under I-90 via Bossard Rd., which looks like a drainage tunnel. Continue along the north side of the highway until the interchange. Cross back over to the south side of I-90 and bear right at the first road (unsigned), which is Crackerville Rd. (not the road to the hot springs resort) This will take you straight to MT 1. Turn left onto MT 1 and you will be in the center of Anaconda in a few miles.

10
Many years ago I did much of what you have laid out, only in the opposite direction. Seattle north to the NT just outside of Anacortes. Took that all the way to Glacier NP to climb up the west slope to Logan Pass. Then I doubled back to Columbia Falls and took the GPN to Missoula, then the TA to Fairplay, CO where I picked up the GPS and took that all the way through Dolores to Cortez. (I did the entire NT the year before that.)

Overall, I enjoyed it very much. Didn't like the traffic in Tetons/Yellowstone areas and in some parts of CO, like heading towards Breckenridge. I highly recommend the detour to Glacier. Going to the Sun is a spectacular ride. It would only add about 3 days to go off route, ride the west slope the following day, and then return to the NT route in the Whitefish/Columbia Falls area.

In addition to the WA passes noted, you will have other challenges. The route from Dolores to Telluride is a long slog up. Then you will have Dallas Divide, Monarch and Hoosier Passes. The latter two are over 11,000'. Strong winds in WY, Togwotee Pass at nearly 9,700’, and there is a long stretch (Rawlins to Lander) with few services. The climb out of Ennis, MT is a bear.

Rode the much of the TA between Missoula and Twin Bridges this past June (and in '11). The free cyclist-only Bike Camp in Twin bridges rocks. There is a good grocery store in town and a library with computers. Jackson Hot Springs, west of Big Hole Pass, is a nice place to stop for the night. They have rooms or you can camp. Either way, the price includes use of the pool (and a towel) which is fed by a hot spring. There is bar food and a more formal dining room. There is also a café across the street that I think serves Mexican food. Don’t camp in Wisdom unless you have some heavy duty mosquito repellant. If you do stay there (there is a screened picnic shelter in the park where they allow camping), The Crossings at Fetty’s serves up good grub and adult beverages. The climb from Wisdom to Chief Joseph Pass is long, but most of it is not steep. The Gibbons Pass Alternative is a relatively easy climb up, but the west slope was very bumpy/rocky when I did it in June. And it’s very narrow. If you are up for that sort of riding, the scenery is worth it. The store at the campground in Sula closes at 5 p.m. and has very limited groceries. Darby has a good grocery store and is a better option. The Old Darby Alternative between Darby and Hamilton is well worth the seven or so miles of unpaved riding and gives you a rest from U.S. 93. The road was in good shape when I was there in June.

An alternative to Big Hole Pass and Jackson Hot Springs is to take the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway, which starts on your right between Badger and Big Hole Passes. The summit is 7,900’, but only the last five miles of the climb are difficult. Then you get a very scenic 27 mile descent into Wise River. There are a couple of U.S.F.S. campgrounds with water along the descent but no food source. However, before the summit, at the Grasshopper Inn, which may or may not be open (It was this year when I passed through), you can go off route a short distance to Ma’s Country Store or whatever it’s called and pick up groceries there. Wise River has a nice bar/restaurant and a small grocery store. From there, you can head west on MT 43 to Wisdom to get back on route. This alternative is more effort but worth it in my opinion. The meadows you pass through during the descent are gorgeous.

I could go on a bit more, but I recently got back from a 9-day trip across PA and need to dig out from under some work.

11
Routes / Re: CDT Ride - Anaconda MT area (2-3 day)
« on: September 16, 2014, 05:19:03 pm »
I don't have my map handy, but IIRC, that section includes the famed Fleecer Ridge, which is quite a steep slope down heading south.

The Wise River Club is a neat place with good food and adult beverages. There is also a small mercantile in town. This summer I did a road tour through there after crossing the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway south to north. Saw a bunch of participants in the Great Divide MTB Race while I was there. There is no established tent camping in town that I know of, but I recall reading a journal on Crazy Guy where the rider got permission from the club's owner to camp out back. If you head south on the Byway for a while, there are some U.S.F.S. Campgrounds, but that would take you out of your way.

I know there is a paved option from Wise River back to Anaconda that I believe crosses the CD. You head west on MT 43 then make a right onto MT 569/Deep Creek Rd. That will take you back to MT 1 just outside the center of Anaconda.

12
Food Talk / Re: Food budgeting help
« on: September 03, 2014, 08:22:42 am »
Buy inexpensive food basics, like rice, beans, pasta and oatmeal, and add to that. $15 for one meal out should be doable depending on your tastes and where you happen to find yourself. You are not going to get a good steak for $15, but that should buy you a decent burger, fries and a good beer.

I am leaving for a tour on Friday. I always promise myself that my next tour will be the one where I write down all my expenses, including food expenses. If the past is any guide, I will grow tired of doing that by the second day at the latest.

13
Gear Talk / Re: A folding bike for touring?
« on: September 02, 2014, 01:40:28 pm »
We did over 500 serious miles together. The only downside to them seemed to be that the tires wore quicker than 700Cs

I commuted on my BF New Word Tourist. About 20 miles/day, three days/week for two years. Rode Schwalbe Marathons.  The tires did wear quickly, and I only carried a relatively light load in a messenger bag.

14
General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: August 29, 2014, 10:26:16 am »
In 2009, the Goethels Bridge eastbound to Staten Island carried an average of over 38,000 vehicles per day. Over 2,700 of those were large trucks. The decision to ride a bike on that Interstate (and many others) should not be left to the individual.

15
General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: August 28, 2014, 02:08:11 pm »
Again, all interstates are not created equal. I have ridden on I-80 in Wyoming, I-94 in North Dakota, I-90 in a couple of places in Montana and I-84 in a couple of places in Oregon.

That's a lot different than, say, trying to cross the Goethels Bridge into Staten Island, NY, which has only two narrow lanes, no shoulder and plenty of big rigs. That's a lot different than riding on the New Jersey Turnpike, where you very well might find the shoulder blocked by a disabled vehicle and a concrete wall preventing you from getting around it on the right and thus having to venture into the travel lane with vehicles flying past at speeds of over 80 mph. I could go on and on.

The blanket suggestion that all interstates should be open to bikes is not supportable from a safety (or any other) perspective.

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