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Messages - indyfabz

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General Discussion / Re: Trans Am Trail guidebook
« on: October 30, 2014, 10:17:42 am »
but they charge $200 for a bike to travel, plus then I would have to ship my travel case home or to the finish.

At the risk of sounding like a shill, I enjoyed my experience with They ship your bike via FedEx and have a deal with them. Back in June I used them to ship my large LHT, racks, stove and fule bottle in a CrateWorks plastic case from Philadelpia to Missoula. I didn't have access to a scale so I wildly overestimated the package at 90 lbs. Four day shipping was $73 each way, which included a $5 charge for picking the bike up at a local shop. If you can transport the box to a FedEx/Kinkos location you can avoid that charge. Before I purchased the service I played around on their web site. Had the weight been 70 lbs. the base charge would have been $63. My airline wanted $175 each way. I used the savings to have the bike professionally packed and then reassembled and tuned in Missoula.

As noted, you don't have to use a personal travel case. Have the bike professionally packed in a regular bike box, or do it yourself. Remember that your bike likely travelled half way around the world via boat, train and/or truck to get to the shop in such a box.

General Discussion / Re: leaving May 20 from Willliamsburg
« on: October 27, 2014, 11:13:25 am »
I would say you should be comfortable riding alone or with your own group as there are long periods of time when you are not with anyone, or riding styles differ enough that you don't stay in contact long.

Good point. In addition to timing affecting how many people you run into, things like differing paces, daily schedules and lodging choices can, too. I have had several encounters--both on the road and in camp-- with people heading the same direction on both the Northern Tier and Trans Am routes and I can only think of three instances when I actually rode with someone for any length of time, and those three instances involved the same tandem couple.

Also keep in mind that some people may prefer limited interaction with others. I think it's important to recognize that preference and respect it.

General Discussion / Re: leaving May 20 from Willliamsburg
« on: October 24, 2014, 12:47:08 pm »
On the MT section of the TransAm I have met several people who started in the east in mid to late May.

You can use Google Maps to find hotels/motels in Williamsburg. Go there and search for "motels near Williamburg, VA". There are also at least three bike shops in Williamsburg. You could ship your bike to one of them for assembly and tuning.

Another issue is crank arm length. What is the crank arm length of the Trek? At your size, you are likely going to want at least 175 mm and maybe even 180 mm.

Bar width? I have broad shoulders and currenty have 44 cm bars on my road bike. My Surly LHT came with 46 mm bars. They are more comfortable, and that size is what a professional fit said I should have on my road bike.

If you have to spring for things like a new crank, stem and bars, the price difference is going to shrink some.

General Discussion / Re: Philly to FL...anyone interested?
« on: October 17, 2014, 07:52:09 am »
I am not sure which route you mean.

The Lehigh Gorge Trail is not on Bike Route V. If you will be taking the trail instead of Route V to the river, it's a nice ride. There is one water source closer to the White Haven end and nothing after that until town. You can get into JT without riding on the road. Follow the park access road and then cross the rover using the old railroad bridge. One half is still used for trains and the other for bikes/peds. The trail continues to the municipal parking lot in the center of town. Don't think I am going p on Saturday. The weather does not look ideal.

General Discussion / Re: northern tier - how to start in bar harbor
« on: October 16, 2014, 01:45:16 pm »
I recommend both Canadian portions of the route if it's not too much trouble crossing the border. Niagara Falls, ON was fun. We stayed two nights at the Rainbow Hostel in the old downtown area of the city and took a guided bus tour to places many tourists who come for the falls don't visit. Out west, the towne campsite of Waterton Village, AB is along the lake with a dramatic view of the mountains. It's another nice place for a day off. There is a popular boat ride/hike combination you can take if you like. The route back into Montana via Chief Mountain Highway is very nice, albeit difficult.

General Discussion / Re: Philly to FL...anyone interested?
« on: October 16, 2014, 01:34:12 pm »
Absolutely!  I'm leaving Hazleton PA on Sunday.  When were you planning on leaving?

What route are you taking? Note that Sunday is the final day of the final fall foliage weekend in Jim Thorpe. Be careful if you pass through there. Traffic can get crazy around the center of town, although this Sunday is supposed to be chilly and windy, so the crowds might not be as bad as usual. Thinking about going up Saturday to ride the Lehigh Gorge Trail.

It just occurred to me that you could follow PA Bike Route V from Hazleton to Delaware Water Gap to pick up the Adventure Cycling Route, which is a nice, relatively easy way to head south. The sections between Belvedere, NJ and Philipsburg, NJ and between Carpentersville and Lambertville, NJ are quite nice. The guy who owns the campground in Upper Black Eddy, PA, just off route at Milford, NJ, charges cyclists only $15. Let me know if want any info re: that area. I have ridden from DWG to Philly a couple of times and have done Belvedere to Frenchtown and Lambertville many more times.

Gear Talk / Re: Looking for a good touring shoe.
« on: October 14, 2014, 09:39:22 am »
I have a pair of Shimano MT-33L touring shoes. Bought them around 2011. Tour and commute with them. Thousands of miles in all sorts of conditions. The soles and uppers show little wear.  Descent to walk in, and they have laces, which I like. They have been discontinued, but you can still find some on eBay and Amazon.

General Discussion / Re: northern tier - how to start in bar harbor
« on: October 08, 2014, 11:14:32 am »
Hertz rents oner way from Boston Logan Airport to Hancock County Airport, which is between Ellsworth and Bar Harbor. I priced a mid-sized SUV for May 19th and got a total rate of about $175 not including any coverages you might want. The next size up, which you might need for two people and two bikes and gear, up was about $250. This is based on age 25 or older. If there is no public transit from the airport, you could drop your gear, drive to the airport with the bikes and then ride back to Bar Harbor. Distance is about 22 miles.

The closest Avis gets to Bar Harbor is Bangor, ME.

General Discussion / Re: 29er tubeless tires for Great Divide
« on: October 07, 2014, 10:40:43 am »
When you're in the backcountry you need total reliability and easily field-repairable gear.

Stans tubless rims are compatible with regular clinchers. It's pretty easy to put a tube in a tubeless tire that won't seal properly on its own, boot the tubless tire, and replace the tubless tire with a clincher if need be.

Routes / Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« on: October 02, 2014, 10:58:13 am »
These would take some research, but could be fine routes - especially the second one, which is on my radar.

Note that the former private drawbridge that carried U.S. 9 across Great Egg Inlet is no more. You either have to go way inland to NJ 50/U.S. 40 in Mays Landing or get back to the coast proper at somewhere like Ocean City, which is preferable to the bike-unfriendly Atlantic City. There is a bike path that runs from the Pleasantville area to Somers Point. With the rebuild of the 9th St. causeway (NJ 52), you can now bicycle that route into Ocean City. The better route, however, is to take NJ 152 from the north end of Somers Point towards Margate, make a right at the light after the first bridge and then take the bridge into the north end of Ocean City. That's the route the 7,000+ participant MS City to Shore ride takes. It's better because to access NJ 52 you have to navigate a busy area at the south end of Somers Point.

Routes / Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« on: September 30, 2014, 01:43:11 pm »
But 100 miles a day in March is really difficult because of the limited daylight available.

Good point that slipped my mind. On March 31, 2015, sunrise in NYC will be at 6:42. Sunset at 7:20. Seems like a lot of time, but to make the most of it you would have to ride at dawn and dusk, which are dangerous times. Also, you are talking about riding through some areas with heavy traffic, like NYC/N. Jersey and King of Prussia/Philly suburbs, during the busiest times of the day. Traffic and lights in urban/developed suburban areas will slow progress.

Routes / Re: contemplating riding TransAm in 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:

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.

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.

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