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Messages - indyfabz

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General Discussion / Re: Charging iphone for maps while touring
« on: March 26, 2015, 10:07:20 am »
I think he's planning D.C. to Maine. Charging should not be a problem. In addition to the options mentioned above, many campgrounds, including state parks with modern facilities, have electrical outlets in the bathrooms. Picnic facilities like covered pavilions in campgrounds may also have electrical outlets.

Unless you plan to "wild camp" I don't think charging will be an issue.

$40/day average might be doable if campgrounds are chosen carefully. Camping can be relatively expensive in the northeast. As I mentioned, NJ state parks are a flat $25 for non-residents. The KOA in Cuddebackville, NY, a bit north of Port Jervis, wants $40/night for a non-hookup site. The Jellystone place near New Paltz, NY is $44. A few years ago I stayed at this place, which is on route. They charge $30 but the owner gave me a deal since the place was only half open when I stayed there:

There is a place off route on the NJ side of the river south of Portland, PA that charges $45/night. When I came down from Maine I was shocked to pay nearly $30/night at a place on route near Caanan, CT. That was in '99. They now charge between $40 and $45/night. At that price, I made sure I spent a lot of time in the hot tub.

Then again, the state park a bit north of Poughkeepsie, NY is only $15/night. South of Philadelphia, things can get expensive in places like Lancaster County, but there may be some relative bargains to be had. Unfortunately, I don't have the map for that section.

OP: If the route goes through or near French Creek State Park in PA, I recommend it. IIRC, it's a bit over $20/night. There is not much around in the way of food, but I can show you a grocery source that might be useful.

Routes / Re: Need additional Rider or Riders ASAP.
« on: March 24, 2015, 01:05:18 pm »
The reason we need a minimum of three people is because we are two high school students.

Don't want to get too far off track, but I thought I should mention that some state camping facilities (e.g. , NJ and PA) and even some private ones require at least one person at least 18 years old in a party.

Summit station is wheelchair accessible so getting your bike on shouldn't be a problem. Note that you may not take a bike on a NJT train that terminates in Hoboken, Newark or Penn Station before 10 a.m. on a weekday. There are also restrictions on some holidays and days before holidays. Here is the policy:

IIRC, the lines that serve Summit don't go into NYC but rather Hoboken, NJ. That's o.k. as you can take a nice ferry ride from Hoboken to NYC. But if you get to Hoboken on a weekend there is no ferry from the train station. (Take a moment to admire the wonderful restoration of the 1934 Hoboken station.) You have to ride north through town to the 14th St. ferry dock. Take Frank Sinatra Way. It's a nice ride. You can also pass the bakery that was made famous by the reality show "Cake Boss."

Another option is to take the PATH train from Hoboken to the Word Trade Center stop or whatever they are calling it today. You may have to change PATH trains to do that. WTC is deep underground but there are elevators to get you to street level. PATH has some bicycle time restrictions as well.

In general, I would try to hit that area on a weekend. Less commotion.

Re: My response to your other thread, I have ridden Port Jervis to Philly in three days. Four weeks should be plenty of time unless you stay in places for a long time. Many years ago I meandered down the route from Bar Harbor, ME to Philly, with a detour to New Haven, CT, in about three weeks.  If you think you may have some extra time and want to take a detour in NJ to see a wolf preserve, send me a PM. It wouldn't add any days, only expense (and some climbing). There is a campground next to the preserve and in the morning you can take a tour. Camping is $30 and the tour is $15, but I think you might get a small discount on the cost of the tour if you camp there. When I visited a few years ago the wolves started howling early in the morning.

Routes / Re: Anchorage to Dawson Creek- Gradients?
« on: March 23, 2015, 10:24:57 am »
If you map the route on you will get a good profile. Run the cursor along the profile and it will display grades.

The only stretch where you might see a bear is in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Worthington State Forest, in New Jersey of all places. While I have never had the pleasure of seeing on during the numerous times I have ridden up there, sightings are relatively frequent. As noted, they usually try to avoid human interaction.

South of Port Jervis, NY camp at the campground at Worthington State Forest. $25/night for non-residents of NJ. At least one of the group sites has a bear locker. Use it if you stay there. The place is nice and along the river. Flush toilets and showers.

There are not any services along the route from Port Jervis to Delaware Water Gap, PA except for water and bathrooms at Old Millbrook Village. When you get to Worthington, you can set up camp and make the relatively easy ride to DWG for supplies and then return to camp. There is no grocery store there, but there is a diner and a convenience store at a gas station. There are also a couple of other places to eat.

South of DWG there is not much in the way of camping except in/around Portland, PA, which is not that far from DWG. The next logical place to camp is Dogwood Haven in Upper Black Eddy, PA, slightly off route from Milford, NJ. The place is a bit dated but the owner is a very nice guy, and it's pretty quiet and surrounded by wood. At least through last year he was offering a discounted rate of $15 for cyclists. That's cheap when you consider that Driftstone on the Delaware, a bit south of Portland, charges some $35. Haven't been there this year so I don't know what he's charging.

I am extremely familiar with this part of the route down to Philly. Send me a private message if you would like more information that you will ever need.  ;D

General Discussion / Re: Getting from Seattle to Anacortes
« on: March 21, 2015, 12:44:51 pm »
Get the appropriate map section of ACA's Pacific Coast Route and ride to just east of Anacortes and head east from there. You can camp along the way at Kitsap Memorial Park, Fort Worden State Park and Bay View State Park. That's what I did twice.

General Discussion / Re: Here we go!
« on: March 20, 2015, 10:28:55 am »
It's snowing like crazy in Philadelphia and D.C. is getting hit, too. Not sure about NYC. But it should be gone by Monday. It's above freezing here so the snow is only sticking to the grass, and its' supposed to be 55 tomorrow. Hoping we turn the corner by Good Friday so I can take a three-day trip.

Enjoy the ride, and make sure to visit the High Line Park and nearby Chelsea Market in NYC.

Gear Talk / Re: Tubeless?
« on: March 17, 2015, 11:25:01 am »
I have been riding tubeless on my road bike for close to two years. Love the ride quality. Don't think sealant drying out is much of an issue unless you are touring for a long period of time. According to my mechanic, you don't need to replace the sealant for at least six months, if not longer. One issue could be  durability over a long trip. And you would be wise to always carry at least one tube as not all punctures can self-seal satisfactorily. I was on a week-long supported trip last year when I ran over a sharp rock and punctured. The tired eventually sealed but would not hold more than 60 psi. Anything above that would cause the puncture to re-open. Had to put in a tube for the remained of the trip.

Here is the link for the signed bike routes in PA:

Last year I rode Route V between Catawissa and Emlenton, PA. Not bad in most places, but be prepared for some days with of lots of shorter, steep ups and downs as well as a few longer climbs, especially heading west out of Clearfield, PA.

Two years ago I rode much of Route S east from Bedford to Philly. Easier than Route V but not as nice the further east you get. From Bedford west you can stay on Route S and pick up the GAP trail at Rockwood, PA to Pittsburgh.(Route S uses the GAP but goes off it before PGH.) Or you can take U.S. 220 (Business) and then U.S. 220 south from Bedford to Cumberland, MD and pick up the GAP there.

A caution about Route Y: Some friends of mine rode part of it a few years ago and said truck traffic from fracking activity made part of it unpleasant.

General Discussion / Re: Flushable wipes not good
« on: March 13, 2015, 02:25:42 pm »
Glad I didn't read that right after lunch.

Personally, I never use them for anything.

Gear Talk / Re: Surly LHT and fatties fit fine
« on: March 08, 2015, 12:27:08 pm »
Look up Breezewood, PA on Google Maps. You will see U.S. 30. Just after is passes under I-70 you will see Tannery Rd. Right at the start of Tannery is where the rideable portion starts. You can see it on Google. It's an unofficial bike trail. There is a small parking area and a low earthen berm with a well-worn track in it. Walk your bike up there, go through the Jersey barriers and you will be on the old highway.

The rideable portion is about 8 miles. I started out going east in the westbound lanes because they were in better shape but at some point switched to the eastbound lanes. There are two unlit tunnels. One is about 3,500 ft. The second one you hit heading east is  over a mile and has a crown near the eastern end, so you literally cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel until you are near the end. A good light is a must. You can still see the old median stripe. I used a 122 lumen headlamp and followed the stripe. You may also need to put on a jacket. When I rode it, the temp was in the mid 80s and humid outside. Inside the tunnels it was probably in the low 50s. Not long after you exit the easterly tunnel you will see some more Jersey barriers on the left. Go through those and down an access road tat takes you to Pump Station Rd. Don't worry if you miss this exit. You cannot go much further because the bridge over Pump Station Rd. has been removed so the trail dead ends. If you make a left on Pump Station and do the short climb, that takes you to N. Hess Rd. Make a right and you are back on PA Bike Route S. One nice thing about taking this route is that it eliminates a stiff climb heading east from Breezewood.

I only saw two people walking on that weekday afternoon. You get a nice feeling of isolation. And the surroundings are a bit post-apocalyptic, especially at the tunnel portals:

Suppose that's why they used an area outside one of the tunnels as a shooting location for the film "The Road" starring Viggo Mortensen.

Gear Talk / Re: Surly LHT and fatties fit fine
« on: March 08, 2015, 09:57:33 am »
Planning to ride the C&O and GAP in June followed by a tour of Pa therefore I don't want to change my wheels but would like a wider tyre if I can fitted on the existing wheels.  Then swap back to my road tyres once I leave the GAP.  Doesn't need to be super wide just a bit more to ride the trails.

I have run 37c tires on my LHT with much room to spare.

BTW...A few years ago I did the GAP west to east as part of a tour across PA. 32c with inverted tread was plenty. The C&O might require more though.

If you find yourself near Breezewood, PA, I recommend riding the section of abandoned PA turnpike. Let me know if you would like the details.

Cannot be of two much help there other to suggest that you make your way from Columbus to the PA border just west of Bessemer (About 190 miles according to Google Maps bike directions) and pick up PA Bike Route V:

That will take you all the way to Delaware Water Gap, PA. From there, you could take ACA's Atlantic Coast route to somewhere like Windsor Locks, CT. You are on your own from there.

Last year I rode Route V from Emlenton, PA (Map 5) to Catawissa, PA (Map 21). It's not a bad ride. There are not a lot of long, hard climbs, but there are several sections over a couple of days with sections of constant, short, steep ups and downs. Decent private campgrounds and a nice state park with camping along or slightly off route.

The ACA route north from Delaware Water Gap through Worthington State Forest and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area to Port Jervis, NY is a splendid stretch that I try to do at least once/year. You might even catch a glimpse of a bear as there is a pretty healthy population in that part of NJ. Healthy enough for the park to have bear proof trashcans and a bear box at the nice campground in Worthington, which you pass by. Every October there is an organized century out of DWG. Nearly every year there is at least one bear siting. A few years ago the event photographer was taking shots of riders when two bears wandered out of the woods and photobombed a shot.

It's been over 15 years since I did the portion of the ACA route above Port Jervis, and it has changed some since then, so I am reluctant to comment, but I do remember CT being very hilly in places.

One option is to go from Columbus to Pittsburgh, PA and ride the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) trail to Cumberland, MD, the C&O Tow Path from Cumberland to D.C. and then pick up ACA's Atlantic Coast and then TransAm routes to Yorktown.

The GAP is a nice ride. It's popular and well supported by the communities is passes through. Plenty of places to find food and lodging/camping. Surface is primarily crushed limestone. It's mostly on former railroad rights of way, so the grading is easy. Mileage is about 150 to Cumberland. Very gradual net elevation to the eastern continental divide at around mile 125 and then an easy 25 miles down hill to Cumberland. I did it in under three full days of riding with a full load on 32c tires with little tread.

While I have never ridden it, it's my understanding that the C&O is more rustic. Most of it is dirt, and it can be very muddy after a period of heavy rain.

There is a good amount of information, including maps and services lists, for both trails here:

There is also an official National Park Service web site for the C&O Tow Path:

Pennsylvania Bike Route S uses part of the GAP:

If you don't want to ride into Pittsburgh, you could ride from Columbus to West Alexander, PA, pick up PA Route S, which joins the GAP in West Newton, PA and then stay on the GAP when Route S leaves it in Rockwood, PA. Google Maps bike directions gives a route from Columbus to West Alexander that's 178 miles with 3,888' of climbing, which is not bad.

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