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Messages - indyfabz

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Yeah. Can't you just buy a few bottles of water and put them in your panniers on the days you need to carry extra water? If you are going to tour a lot in remote areas maybe think about water purification if there will be ample water sources.

Routes / Re: Norther Tier - options around the Great Lakes
« on: October 23, 2015, 08:40:12 am »
While it was 16 years ago, I don't recall anything of interest in IL or IN, period :) except for the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, IL, across the river from Davenport, IA. We were hosted by a couple in Davenport, which may be off route a bit. Took a rest day at their place. During the rest day I rode over to Rock Island and Moline. The John Deere Pavilion has combines and things you can climb up on. The kids there seemed to really enjoy it. So did I.

Oh. And you can have a Dan Quayle burger in Huntington, IN, which is his home town.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: TransAmerica and Cincinnati
« on: October 17, 2015, 09:46:12 am »
I wasn't familiar with the GAP Great Alleghany Passage.  Thanks! I just googled it and read a bit about the trail.  It looks like great. 

Really after reading my question again the main question is regarding suggestions for great route from Cincinnati to to the East Coast. I need to check out the PA Bike route next and also try to find out about the off road bike path into Cincy.  Thanks

Here is route S:

Click on the individually numbered sections to see detail. Heading east, Route S combines with the GAP but then leaves it at Rockwood, PA. I stayed on the GAP until its end in Cumberland, MD and then took a few local roads north from town to U.S. 220 and took that and U.S. 220 (Business) into the center of Bedford. (Map No. 13.) IMO, some fot the most interesting parts of the GAP and between Rockwood and Cumberland, and U.S. 220 was not bad riding. Nice shoulder all the way, and there is a campground just west of the center of Bedford.

If you decide on this option I can give you route details, including various diversions off Route S that make it a better ride. The abandoned PA turnpike section is a neat ride. There are two unlit tunnels. One is about 3,900' long. The other is more than a mile long. Very post-apocalyptic back there. So much so that the portal area of one of the tunnels was a shooting location for the film "The Road" starring Viggo Mortensen. Also, going that way avoids a monster climb out of Betzwood, PA. The western end of the trail is right along Route S. At the end of the 8.5 mile rideable section, it's easy to get back on Route S. You just need a decent light and a jacket as it is completely dark inside the tunnels and the ambient temperature is usually quite cool even on warm days.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: TransAmerica and Cincinnati
« on: October 16, 2015, 10:12:36 am »
Another option would be the GAP from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, MD then heading north to Bedford, PA (original home of Cannondale) and picking up signed PA Bike Route S (with a modification here or there, including incorporating an abandoned stretch of PA Turnpike) to the Schuylkill River Trail into Philadelphia. I did that two years ago. Except for the day from Bedford to Cowan's Gap S.P. it's not that arduous hill-wise.

Routes / Re: route maps
« on: October 16, 2015, 08:37:19 am »
IIRC, ACA's Northern Tier route goes through/near Sandusky. You could follow that along the lake and then drop down to Warren, OH. I have a route from the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport through PA that I could tie in to ACA's Atlantic Coast route down to FL. I did the PA section last year and camped every night. Some of the route follows PA Bike Route V. That route is signed and easy to follow. It also uses 23 miles of the Allegheny River Trail, which is quite nice and ,except for maybe .75 miles, is paved. It's PA, so you have to expect some hills. Most of them are on the short side, but they get steep and numerous at times.

Routes / Three States Mini-Tour
« on: October 15, 2015, 02:59:55 pm »
Some selected photos from last weeks three-day trip on ACA's Atlantic Coast route between Port Jervis, NY to Philadelphia with a detour:

Rented an SUV one-way on Thursday and camped along the Delaware River in Matamoras, PA, not far from Port Jervis. Dropped the car off the next morning, pulled the bike out of the back and began riding, crossing into NJ in about the first three miles and entering the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Spent the first night at a campground up on the ridge above Portland, PA, the home town of the author of the song "All I Want For Christmas In My Two Front Teeth."  The campground I found has wooded tent sites for only $10, which is extremely cheap for that area.

From Portland I followed the ACA route proper through Belvidere to Philipsburg, NJ. I had already ridden the roads between Philipsburg and Milford, NJ twice this year, and since I would be camping on the PA side of the river that night I decided to cross over into Easton, PA and ride a portion of the Delaware & Lackawanna Trail system down to camp in Upper Black Eddy, across the river from Milford. While the trail is scenic and offers some nice views of the river, the surface was mostly not fine crushed rock, which made for slower going.

PA 32 along the river is not a particularly safe cycling route, so at the start of day three I went back a few miles and crossed over into Milford to again pick up the ACA route proper, opting for the wide-shoulder NJ 29 over the parallel D&R Trail until Stockton, where the shoulder disappears and the road becomes very rough in place. Picked up the trail alternative in Stockton for about 4 miles to Lambertville before crossing the Delaware one final time for the final segment home.

Overall, it was a great trip. Wildlife sightings included a large, pileated woodpecker, numerous deer and a flock of about a dozen wild turkeys. I would have liked to have spent the first night at the riverside campground in Worthington State Forest, but the place was packed to the gills for the holiday weekend. (I am going to contact the state about creating a few hiker-biker sites or at least having an overflow area for hikers and bikers. Seeing that the facility is close to the AT and directly on the Atlantic Coast route, it's a prime candidate for such sites.)

I did this section this section (with a few modifications not shown here) this past weekend:

It wasn't my first time riding these roads. Except for the trail between Frenchtown and Lambertville, NJ and one or two other areas, you are pretty much going up or down hill. The elevations are not high, but there are some steep grades, especially in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

A few years ago I mapped out the route from Philly to CT hoping to ride to my high school reunion. I remember things getting hiller, especially once you climb out of the Hudson River Valley north of Poughkeepsie, NY. I actually rode the route south from Bard Harbor to Philly, but that was back in '99 and I know there have been some changes since then. I also took a detour from Windsor Locks, CT to visit a friend at Yale. That detour avoided what I understand are the tougher hills of western CT.

I don't have any of the maps for the portion of the route south of Conshohocken, but I know some of the areas the route passes through. Again, you won't find and big mountains, but you will definitely encounter some hills in PA, such as in Lancaster County.

It's hard to raise money unless you have a unique angle and a talent for attracting media attention. Some (not many) just seem to have a knack for that.

Fat Guy Across America is a prime example of that talent. He's managed to get himself featured in, among other places, the "New York Times" and raise more than $15K (It could be much more than that by now. I stopped following the story a while back because it nauseates me. Since he has been soliciting funds outside of his GFM page, there is no way to determine how much he has raked in.) to cover his expenses even though he's only ridden maybe a couple hundred miles in something like 5 months.  (Many even question whether he's ridden the miles he claims to have ridden.)

Google him if you don't know the story. He's been the subject of several now-locked threads on

General Discussion / Re: camping sites in the Western USA
« on: October 07, 2015, 10:53:48 am »
" Search "campgrounds near [name of town and state]". Zoom out to widen the results if nothing shows up. The results will not be exhaustive since the search will not return town parks that allow camping, but it is a good start."

This does work usually with regular Google searching, not Google maps.

Huh? I do it all the time with Google Maps. I planned an entire 8-day trip across PA last year because the maps for the PA official bike routes don't show campgrounds. In fact, I just did it yesterday to search for alternative places to stay when I discovered my planned stop on Saturday is booked solid. Give the specific I have for Wise River a shot. Seeing them in Google Maps allows one to see their locations in relation to roads, towns, etc.

FYI...The subject of tax liability recently came up on another forum in connection with a guy who was seeking (and getting) a sizeable amount of money for allegedly riding across the country to lose weight and win back his wife.. (I say "allegedly" because there was at least some indication, and belief by some, that the thing was a stunt to for personal financial gain and publicity. Last I checked he had been on the road for some three months yet only managed to ride about 150 miles or so, and even that was subject to some doubt. His expenditures also seemed imprudent in many cased. But I digress.) One could donate either though a GoFundMe account or directly though the person's PayPal account. One forum member provided a link to an article discussing IRS implications. The article indicated that if you raise money for the purpose of defraying expenses incurred as a result of the trip (e.g., food and lodging), it's possible the IRS would consider that taxable income. In the case referred to above, the GoFundMe page expressly stated that the guy was seeking donations to cover the cost of the trip. I am no CPA, so I cannot speak authoritatively. But I found it interesting and though I would throw it out there.

In any event, over the year I have written fundraising letters for a weekend charity event. They were directed at friends and co-workers and sought donations to the charity at issue. There really is no magic formula. Just include what you are doing, why you are doing it, that you are looking for donations and the mechanics of donating. (E.g., sending a check made out to whom, donating on line, etc.).  I would give you an example but I stopped doing the event, and it looks like I deleted my form of letter from my directory. I recommend that you limit it to one page.

General Discussion / Re: camping sites in the Western USA
« on: September 30, 2015, 11:18:48 am »
Thanks , Do the ACA maps identify suitable camping spots along all the routes ? As I get older I find the uncertainty of looking for camping spots late in the day a real pain and am keen to avoid this.

Yes. They are well-documented. I like to know my options so I don't have to look for camping spots at the end of the day. Over the years I have done the entire Northern Tier route (shorter segments more than once) and parts of the Pacific Coast, Great Parks North, Great Parks South, Great Divide Mountain Bike (very short portion) and the Atlantic Coast routes and have always appreciated the camping information. And since I cook dinners, knowing where there are grocery stores is also very helpful to me.

County and town camping sites such as parks and fairgrounds are often free or low cost. Knowing where they are could defray at least some of the map costs.

Routes / Re: which route in usa
« on: September 29, 2015, 11:24:14 am »
The last two times (2011 and 2014) I was on a short portion of the TransAm in Montana riding east, nearly everyone I met heading west had started in the east in early to mid-May. I think one guy had started in late April. Shortly before the 2011 trip I read the journal of a guy who started in early April and got massively snowed on riding in the mountains of Montana. He had to get a ride over the pass from Ennis west to Sheridan. The day I started my 2014 trip in mid-June I met a woman who told me a few days before she had driven over Lost Trail Pass, which is on the TransAm, in slushy conditions. The point being is that, depending on your pace, you might want to time things so you don't end up out west "too early." I got rained, hailed and snowed on during the third day of my 2014 trip at close to 8,000'.  Wasn't the nicest experience.

My 2011 trip started around June 22nd, nearly a week later than my 2014 trip (June 16th or so.). I rant into many more westbound riders during the former trip than I did during the latter. I must have hit the sweet spot on the former trip. The former trip also had much drier and sunnier weather. YMMV.

General Discussion / Re: camping sites in the Western USA
« on: September 29, 2015, 11:05:50 am »
If you have a specific or general route idea, you can use Google Maps to search for both public (e.g., forest service, BLM, state parks) campgrounds) and private campgrounds. Search "campgrounds near [name of town and state]". Zoom out to widen the results if nothing shows up. The results will not be exhaustive since the search will not return town parks that allow camping, but it is a good start.

For an example I used when planning a tour in Montana search Google Maps for "campgrounds near wise river, mt". The search will yield you numerous results, including several U.S.F.S. campgrounds and even a motel that has camping.  You can then Google the campground names and often find specific pages about the various facilities. For example, the above-search includes Divide Bridge Campground. If you Google that name you get, among other hits, the following, which details the amenities of the place:

Routes / Re: Solo ride from the Bronx to Boston
« on: September 24, 2015, 10:53:21 am »
The OP stated that she has purchased Sections 1 and 2 so I assumed she is considering following the route proper, including the NYC spur. That spur heads south from the Summit, NJ area to Lamberville, NJ and then up the Delaware River to Port Jervis, NY. It then ends up crossing the Hudson in the Poughkeepsie, NY area. It does eventually go into CT and MA, but not along the CT coast nor near Northampton, MA. IIRC, there is a spur from the Ayer, MA area that takes one to Boston.

A good number of private campgrounds along the way can be very expensive. Driftstone on route in NJ, is at or close to $40/night. The KOA in Cuddebackville, NY will run you about $37/night for a basic tent site. One place outside of New Paltz, NY is $44/night. NY state parks appear to be on the less expensive site. For example, a tent site at Mills-Norrie, just north of Hyde Park, is only $15/night.

Routes / Re: Solo ride from the Bronx to Boston
« on: September 22, 2015, 03:37:47 pm »
All NJ state parks are $25 for non-residents.

Even for cyclists setting up a tent for the night?  Wow.  I realize every motel in the northeast is $175 minimum.  But it still seems exorbitant.

Yep. Just did a three-day to a NJ state forest campground this past weekend. It's $20/night for residents and $25/night for non-residents. And dig this: They now use for reservations. It charges a $9.50 transaction fee on top of the nightly rate. I live in PA, so my two nights of camping cost me $59.50. I consider reserveamerica to be the TicketMaster of campground reservations. The site for NJ state parks is really obnoxious in that it doesn't list a reservation phone number. They obviously want to frustrate people to the point where they will set up an account and reserve on line. The obvious reasons are: they get your email address and it saves on labor costs.

But wait! There's more! If you don't make a reservation and simply show up and request a site at the office they charge you a "reservation fee" even though you didn't make a reservation.  IIRC, when I did that at the same state forest last year they charged me a fee of $5/night.

Neither PA not NJ have hiker-biker sites. PA parks tend to be a bit less expensive. It varies by park. I think the fees are usually in the high teens to low 20s. Same rate for non-residents. When I crossed PA last year I stayed in mostly private places. I think I paid $26/night for the most expensive place, $18 or $19 for one state park and between $22 and $24 for the other private places. One place--a township park along a popular trail--was free.

You can find cheap motels if you know where to look. I know a couple of places in the Delaware Water Gap area that are $100/night or under depending on the day.

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