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Messages - indyfabz

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31
Gear Talk / Re: Long distance tour bike for small lady
« on: November 27, 2016, 10:47:33 am »
Smallest size Surly Long Haul Trucker fits my 5' tall ex pretty well.

32
General Discussion / Re: Surly Review
« on: November 27, 2016, 10:45:53 am »
You have an account with BF which indicates you have a Surly Disc Trucker. Plenty of discussion of Surly bikes in the Touring forum of BF. Just ignore troll Squeezebox.

33
Gear Talk / Re: LKLM & Krangear
« on: November 22, 2016, 10:03:46 am »
Sounds neat. I live in Philly.  I did the Lower and Ghost Town Trails back in '98 during Pedal PA's Penn Central tour, which was a Pittsburgh to Philly tour started by an old friend of mine. Stayed in Indiana, Penn State Altoona and Penn State main campus the first three days.

In 2013 I started in Warren, OH and rode home to Philly following much of PA Bike Route S to Bloomsburg and then headed south into Schuykill and Lancaster Counties before heading home. The route included the Allegheny River Trail from Franklin, PA to Emlenton. If you are ever up that way, it's a very nice ride, and it's almost all paved.

The Delaware Canal towpath is just o.k. Rode the portion from Easton to Riegelsville most recently back in September during a tour home from Brattleboro, VT. The surface is a bit gravely and dusty in places. My bike and body got bike filthy from just those short miles. Not sure what sort of shape it is in around the pedestrian bridge between the Black Bass Hotel in Lumberville and Bulls Island S.P. in NJ. At one point it was pretty much unrideable due to flood damage. Some repairs were made and it got damaged again by flooding. Don't know if that damage was repaired. The real issue with that trail is that if you start out on it and come to a section that is closed, the road alternatives of PA 611 and PA 32 are not good ones. I was riding it a few year ago during a tour and came to a section where a giant drainage pipe was being replaced. I was so unwilling to ride PA 32 that I walked down into the giant ditch/hole with my heavy bike and managed to get it up the other side and continue on down the trail.

If you do get back to Easton and ride it, Mark, the owner of Dogwood Haven campground just off the trail on Lodi Hill Rd., is a nice guy. The place is nearly all quiet, seasonal campers, but there are a few regular sites. The place is a bit, uh, "rustic," but it's serviceable and completely shaded, and Mark charges cyclists only $10/night. He has a day job so he doesn't arrive back at the place until 4:30 or so. Ride up the gravel driveway. If he's not around, head straight down the gravel road to site A, B or C (A is the best), pitch your tent and flip him $10 when he shows up. He'll probably be enjoying a beer by the time you find him.

34
Gear Talk / Re: LKLM & Krangear
« on: November 21, 2016, 03:45:34 pm »
and two through the rolling hills of Pennsylvania.

Where in PA?

35
General Discussion / Re: Connecting with other members to ride trans am
« on: November 21, 2016, 10:18:03 am »
Thank you. That is very helpful. The idea of riding solo is appealing. I guess there are a lot of riders along the way to keep company with.

I have done some of the MT portion of the TransAm three times in the last few years, including back in June of this year. Met lots of other people along the way. Thus June I met two guys who were travelling together who had hooked up informally with a solo rider. A few days later I spent two nights at the Bike Camp in Twin bridges. Two solo riders and a group of three stayed there. All were heading east. In 2014 I camped in Jackson with more than a half dozen other riders doing the TransAm.

I also agree that riding alone or with maybe one or two other people tends to lead to more "intimate" interaction with locals. My first tour was ACA's group Northern Tier tour with a total of 13 people. The neatest interactions with locals happened when group members were on their own or with one or two others. For example, me and one other guy had taken a side trip in Indiana to visit a bike shop. While we were on our way to meet up with the rest of the group, we stopped at a café for breakfast. We ended up talking to a farmer who was the town's former mayor. After he left for work, we asked for out check. The waitress told us the farmer had paid for our breakfasts. Doubt any of that would have happened if there had been a half dozen or more of us.

After that trip ended, I rode home down the east coast alone and was the recipient of far more offers of kindness that I did when I was with the entire group.

36
Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Traffic - Bar Harbor going South in May '17
« on: November 17, 2016, 08:34:58 am »
BTW...If you want to take a day off in Philly to see the historical sites there is a HI hostel that's a pretty easy bike to downtown:

http://www.philahostel.org

37
I routinely ride unpaved roads on my Surly LHT. Some of them are rough, mountainous roads. As the decal on the chainstay reads "Fatties Fit Fine." I use 37c Conti Top Touring II tires, but you can go wider.

Hard to tell, but the washboards on this road in MT were very bad:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349603@N05/27981608346/in/album-72157667672266654/

Several other unpaved stretches can be seen in the album. About 40 of the 545 miles of that tour were unpaved. I also did almost the entire Mickelson Trail, which ain't exactly smooth. I have even done Gibbons Pass on that setup. I can post some photos of that later.

38
General Discussion / Re: The Schwarzenetruber Amish.
« on: November 16, 2016, 12:50:33 pm »
A federal judge has ruled that preventing horses and wagons from using the roads is a violation of the religious freedom clause of the United States Constitution.

BTW...Got a case name and/or citation? I have been unable to find either.

39
General Discussion / Re: The Schwarzenetruber Amish.
« on: November 16, 2016, 12:09:52 pm »
FYI...You wrote "federal judge." That implies District Court. The decision is only binding in the area that court covers. Even if it's upheld by the Circuit Court of Appeals for that district, t will only be binding in the areas under that circuit's jurisdiction.

40
General Discussion / Re: Which Route Would You Suggest?
« on: November 14, 2016, 01:31:52 pm »
My suggest is to start in Missoula, MT (it has an airport)

And a campground about 3 miles from the airport. And an REI (OP: Outdoor store where you can pick up last minute things like stove fuel) about a 3 block walk from that campground.

41
General Discussion / Re: Which Route Would You Suggest?
« on: November 10, 2016, 10:58:33 am »
If you're looking at ACA routes, the western (and northern!) parts of the TransAm or Great Parks North would be good.  You might start at Anacortes and take the Northern Tier to Glacier NP, then head south to Yellowstone and the Tetons, before flying out of Jackson.  If you've got a bit of extra time, head south into Colorado.

Did just this many years ago, although I started in Seattle. Finished on the Great Parks South at Cortez, CO because I had the time. (If you can make it that far, you can ride another day to Durango, CO for a flight.)

If you want to cut down on the climbing and/or don't want to deal with the crowds at Yellowstone, you could do the beginning what's suggested above but then take the L&C route from the TransAm and end up in North Dakota. (Airports in Bismarck and Fargo. Don't know about Minot.) Or just the Northern Tier proper, but I think that would be less scenic.

42
Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Traffic - Bar Harbor going South in May '17
« on: November 10, 2016, 10:30:33 am »
The scenery is beautiful and the small coastal fishing villages you go through are worth the trip on their own.

What small fishing villages does the route pass through? There are sections of the route that are not even along the coast (e.g., Freeport to Kennebunk).

43
Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Traffic - Bar Harbor going South in May '17
« on: November 10, 2016, 08:39:11 am »
You could do Richmond if it's convenient to fly into.

The route does not go anywhere close to NYC unless you were to take the spur to N. Jersey. The regular route through NJ (with a bit of a foray back into PA between Mt. Bethel and Delaware Water Gap), is quite scenic and mostly traffic-lite. Worthington State Forest in NJ is a must-stay, IMO. Weekdays there are best. Weekends can fill up far in advance, and you cannot reserve for one night on the weekends. They do have overflow space for people arriving under their own power. I was told to call the park itself (not Reserve America) ahead of time and reserve a spot there. Sites 11 and 12 are the best for cyclists. Private, right on the river and close to the bathhouse, where there is a camp sink. You will need hang your food, etc., or stash it in one of the bathrooms as there are a good number of bears (and other critters) in Worthington and neighboring Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. When I was there in September a raccoon tried to run off with one of my panniers. I think it had the lingering smell of everything bagels in it. I did some car camping there last month and a fox ran through my site--twice.

44
Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Traffic - Bar Harbor going South in May '17
« on: November 09, 2016, 04:15:14 pm »
Couple of things:

1. I did the AC route from Bar Harbor south to my home in Philly back in '99. I wasn't thrilled with most of the riding in "Down East" Maine. I can only imagine that things are the same or worse development and traffic-wise.

2. Unless you are a low daily mileage person, two weeks is a long time to do Bar Harbor to Boston. Section 1 of the AC Route goes as far south as Windsor Locks, CT and is only 439 miles. From Bar Harbor to Ayer, MA and thence via the Boston Spur to Boston looks to be noticeably shorter. With that much time, maybe consider flying into Philly, Baltimore or D.C. and heading north. I did a portion of the AC route back in September heading south. Blazed my own trail from Brattleboro, VT and picked up the AC route in N. Canaan, CT. From there, it was five medium distance riding days to Philly, although I took a day off at a state forest in New Jersey to do some canoeing and because I didn't want to ride into the city on a Friday. All campgrounds that I stayed at along that stretch, including two state parks, will be open by mid-May. (Lone Oak Campground, in E. Canaan, CT has a hot tub and changes cyclists only $20.) The mileage between Lambertville, NJ and Port Jervis, NY is quite nice and should have mostly low traffic. The section between Otisvile, NY and New Paltz, NY is also quite nice. Just bring some climbing legs. There were some sections in NY and CT that I was glad I wasn't riding in the opposite direction. North of N. Canaan, CT (e.g., Richford) I hear it gets hilly again.

With one detour to ride a portion of a trail in PA, this photo to the one at the end of the set were taken between E. Canaan, CT and Milford, NJ:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349603@N05/29779268701/in/album-72157670896460903/

45
General Discussion / Re: summer sleeping
« on: November 04, 2016, 10:21:02 am »
My advice may be worthless in this matter.  But...  The Atlantic route is near the ocean.  So you will have cooler temps from the ocean and breezes blowing in from the ocean will be cooler.

Some of it (e.g., the portions through PA, NJ, NY, CT & MA) is nowhere near an ocean.

Agree with the others that a bag might come in handy. I used mine in late August while finishing the Northern Tier, which merges into the Atlantic Coast route around Damarriscotta, ME. New England can have somewhat chilly nights even in August. The two nights I camped before the start of d2r2 in westerns Mass. in mid-August it was chilly enough for a bag. if you trip gets pushed past Labor Day a bag would highly advisable. This past September I rode from Vermont to Philadelphia starting the Saturday after Labor Day and hooked up with the Atlantic Coast in N. Canaan, CT on the second day. Temps dropped in the 40s that night.

During sweltering night in the Midwest I would not get in the bag but rather lay it on top of my mattress. It was nice to have something with some cushion to it.

BTW...Send me a PM if you'd like the skinny on the portion of the Atlantic Coast route north from PA to N. Canaan. I am particularly familiar with the portion between Philly and Port Jervis, NY.

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