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Messages - indyfabz

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Routes / Re: West from Pittsburgh to Ohio
« on: Today at 09:11:17 am »
March? If that's correct, be advised that the Big Savage Tunnel on the GAP has variable opening dates. It might not be open until as late as the second week in April. There is no easy work around.

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: November 24, 2015, 04:07:37 pm »
This sounds terrible but I just cannot do the color.  I figured since I was building the bike I would truly make it mine.  The powder coat company is very well known and has a great reputation.  They do bikes and when speaking to the guy it sounded like he knew exactly what I was talking about.  Im going to call him back, maybe this morning, and make sure he clearly understands.

Do they do Cerakote applications? Back in May I had my custom ti road frame colored with Cerakote. It's a ceramic coating that is allegedly stronger and lighter than paint. Some of the builder's MTB customers have been using it. The colors are matte, but if they are custom blended them with the gloss white you get a sort of pearl finish. The downside is that if you do get a chip you cannot purchase touch up "paint."

The stuff is primarily used to coat firearms, but more and more people have been using it for bikes:

This is the bike my builder built for himself last year. The photo doesn't do it justice:

Paintbytodd also did my frame.

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: November 24, 2015, 03:49:24 pm »
The frames are built for 26" wheels through 54CM, 56CM starts the 700C wheels.

A point of clarification in case it matters to you: For the regular LHT, you can get the 26" version across the full range of sizes. In the Disc Trucker, you can get 26" version up to 58cm. Thus, if you can get a 56cm for either 700c or 26".
Yes but the OP is trying to AVOID 26" wheels.  His problem is that the 54 cm Disc Trucker only comes with 26" wheels and he wants 700c which start at 56 cm.
DOH! Sorry. Missed that crucial detail.

Routes / Re: Western NY to NYC and the Atlantic route
« on: November 23, 2015, 10:06:01 am »
You can forget about quiet roads the closer you get to NYC.

Something totally slipped my mind about the PA option. Before it gets to Matamoras, PA Bike Route Y passes through Milford, PA. From there, it's a short hop across the Delaware River via the ped path on the U.S. 206 bridge to join ACA's Atlantic Coast route south through the Delaware Water Gap. I just rode from Port Jervis, NY to Philly using that route last month. Mostly quiet roads, pretty roads. There are bike trail options in PA and NJ that probably total close to 40 miles.

There are decently spaced campgrounds up to Upper Black Eddy, PA. You can reach Philly from there in one day. No camping near own, but there is a HI Hostel in the park that is within biking distance to the center of town:

You could make it from Philly to the NJ shore in one day or break it up into two days. I know a nice state forest with camping along the way to Ocean City, which would be a good place to end the trip (unless you want a beer at the end).  Riding through Camden, NJ is not fun, but there is a short train option (bikes allowed) that allows you to hop over that area.

Once "down the shore" as we say, you can ride north to Atlantic City for a train ride (bikes allowed) back to Philly for transportation home.

Routes / Re: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« on: November 19, 2015, 10:06:56 am »
I was referring to the labeling of Idaho and Wyoming, in case that wasn't clear. E.g., Driggs is shown as being in WY instead of ID.

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: November 19, 2015, 10:01:16 am »
The frames are built for 26" wheels through 54CM, 56CM starts the 700C wheels.

A point of clarification in case it matters to you: For the regular LHT, you can get the 26" version across the full range of sizes. In the Disc Trucker, you can get 26" version up to 58cm. Thus, if you can get a 56cm for either 700c or 26".

Routes / Re: Trans Am Yellowstone bypass
« on: November 17, 2015, 08:11:54 am »
I believe the ACA tours cannot go through Yellowstone and I believe their route is similar to this one;

Heh. Check your map borders.

Routes / Re: Western NY to NYC and the Atlantic route
« on: November 15, 2015, 08:09:25 am »
BTW...NY and OH don't border each other.

One option would be to take PA Bike Route Y to the end (Map 29B):

That will put you in Matamoras, PA, which is right across the Delaware River from Port Jervis, NY. IIIRC, if you go from there to Middletown, NY (U.S. 6 is most direct, but U.S. 209 and NY 211 should be quieter) you can take NY Bike Route 17 to Bike Route 9. The latter takes you into NYC. I have the hardest time trying to find maps for the NY bike routes on line. Maybe you will have better luck.

Routes / Re: Western NY to NYC and the Atlantic route
« on: November 13, 2015, 04:31:24 pm »
While I can't tell you a good way to get to these places, maybe Coney Island or somewhere along the south shore of Long Island, like Rockaway Beach. Maybe you could hitch a ride there. :) Three are also ferries from Hoboken/Jersey City and Manhattan to Atlantic Highlands, NJ, which I hear is nice.

Coming from the west, the G.W. Bridge is the only option to actually ride into Manhattan.

Another option you may not have considered is to ride the Philly area and then continue to the S. Jersey shore area.

Personally, I wouldn't want to drag by bike across an expanse of sand just to dip a wheel.

General Discussion / Re: camping sites in the Western USA
« on: November 13, 2015, 09:34:45 am »
Be careful and make sure they haven't got sprinkler systems that provide an unwanted alarm clock.

Heh. Many years ago I stayed at the city park in Lander, WY on the TransAm. Not long after I pulled into the park another guy camping there warmed me to keep my tent fly zipped up. He had been riding with a buddy who crashed going into DuBois. His buddy was in the hospital in Lander. The day before I arrived he went to visit his buddy and had left his tent fly open. The sprinkler system came on. He returned to his tent to find 2" of water inside and everything soaked from the spray.

General Discussion / Re: Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« on: November 12, 2015, 08:20:08 am »
Minivan cabs have become more popular in major metropolitan areas, at least in the east. Back in September I arrived at the Atlantic City, NJ train station on a fully-loaded bike only to find that a drawbridge up the line was stuck open. People were taking jitneys to the next station, but my bike would not fit in one. A minivan cab driver was happy to take me to the station. Took off the panniers, the driver folded down one of the rear seats and we tossed the bike in the back. Even if there is no minivan cab around at the moment, if there is a dispatcher, you should be able to have them call for one.

One again through the magic of Google:

Seems Dulles has an exclusive deal with one taxi service. Check out the end of their FAQ page. They have large vehicles. You can make a reservation. Note that you can also use other cab companies but you will have to make reservations on your own as other cab companies may not solicit business at the airport. There is also a bus to downtown D.C., etc., that appears to have a bike rack on the front. There is other bus service that takes you to a train line, which may allow bikes.

General Discussion / Re: Getting in shape for touring
« on: November 11, 2015, 01:49:26 pm »
Ride throughout the summer, increasing your mileage until a metric century isn't a rarity. I also recommend taking one or two short trips (1-2 days) so you know what to expect in terms of the effort required to push and handle a bike with a load. Are you planning to camp and/or cook? If not, you really don't need to carry much at all.

I did the GAP a few years ago as part of a cross-PA tour in mid-September. Pittsburgh to Connellsville the first day. Connellsville to Rockwood the second day. Rockwood to Cumberland and then north to Bedford, PA the third day. Until you hit the divide without 23 miles left, you will have a net elevation gain, albeit a gradual one. Rockwood to the divide is a little steeper than much of the other mileage. From the divide to Cumberland is a piece of cake requiring much less effort as it's a good net elevation loss as rail-trails go. Wind may also be a factor for at least part of the trip. The first day of my trip the area was under the influence of a weather pattern producing winds out of the SE. There were some open sections where I could feel myself pedaling into the wind. You also need to train your mind. You will likely be going slower than you do during road rides. You need to accept it and not push yourself too hard. Despite more than 15K touring miles I still sometimes start out too hard. It's good way to wear yourself out early on. During my Black Hills tour back in June I did 61 miles and nearly 4,800' of climbing in the first day. I was on the road for only 7.5 hours, including two extended stops and numerous shorter ones. Day 2 I did 71 miles, 41 of which were on the rugged Mickelson Trail, with a total 5,000' of climbing. Pushing too hard the first day made Day 2 very hard. I was pretty tired by the start of day 3.

BTW...Mid-September was a nice time to ride the GPA. I left PGH on a Saturday morning. Not much traffic on the trail, and I camped alone at Connellsville. Only saw one other person who was travelling loaded. Sunday I encountered a greater number of day riders, but not enough to cause any congestion. Had Husky Haven Campground all to myself.  Monday morning I saw two day riders heading in my direction and a family heading in the other directions. Days were warm but not unpleasantly so. Nights were cool, but not cold.  I really liked the two places I stayed. The dollar store in Rockwood had a poor grocery selection, but there are a couple of places to get prepared food, including an inexpensive pub on the east end of own. Just bring ear plugs if you are a light sleeper. Even though they are across the river from the campground, the trains can be very loud as they blow their horns at the road crossings in town.

General Discussion / Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« on: November 10, 2015, 09:27:45 am »
Brought to you by the magic of Google ("Alaska Airlines bicycle policy"):

Click on the internal link for its checked baggage policy. Looks like if you keep the linear dimension (l+w+h) at or below 115" and the weight at or below 50 lbs. the charge is $75. That's cheap, by American standards. I flew U.S. Air to Italy in 2013 and paid $200 each way. Back in the day (1995) Delta charged me nothing from NYC to Milan.

General Discussion / Re: camping sites in the Western USA
« on: November 01, 2015, 09:55:32 am »
Many thanks for all the advice. I like the idea of town parks. Its unheard of in the UK where  we often get screwed for poor facilities on  infrequent campsites.

If you will be doing the Trans AM I highly recommend the Bike Camp in Twin Bridges, Montana. It's free, but donations are appreciated. The place is a model facility. Huge lawn of lush grass for your tent right along the Beaverhead River. Indoor shelter with some used furniture and electrical outlets for charging things. Picnic tables. Flush toilet. Hot shower. Bike repair stand. Even a large camp sink with counter space for washing dishes. In the center of town (a 5 min. walk) you will find a very good grocery store for a town of its size, a couple of restaurants, a bar, laundry and even a library with free Internet access. The grocery store has a collection of things cyclists may want/need, like energy bars, inner tubes and travel sizes of things like sun block, tooth paste and bug spray (very important in that part of the world). It's also a good place to meet other cyclists. I met around 10 people in the three nights I stayed there during two separate trips in the area.

General Discussion / Re: Dogs n' bears
« on: November 01, 2015, 09:34:53 am »
There are more than 100,000 black bears in the western states (more than 200,000 in Alaska).  Some may consider that rare, I do not.

I'd add that in portions of the East there are quite a few as well.

Hunterdon County, New Jersey this past June:

OP: If there is a bear box, use it. Some places such as national parks require you to use them if they are provided. Ignore the safe storage rules in Glacier N.P., for example,  and you could easily be fined. Saw it happen. In a scene out of a Yogi Bear cartoon two campers at Sprague Creek left a picnic basket on the table of their campsite and walked away. Ranger happened by not 5 minutes later and wrote them up.

In the end, I think you will have are more trouble with rodents than with bears. On my first tour a squirrel ripped through the mesh of my tent to get a loaf of bread I left in there.

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