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Messages - indyfabz

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General Discussion / Re: 12 days - NY to Norfolk
« on: August 20, 2015, 09:46:26 am »
Yeah. If you look at Trip Advisor there are some bad reviews. Many of those had reviews sound like they came from people who were expecting to be camped in the shadow of Devil's Tower or among the trees of some National Forest. Indeed, one reviewer complained about not being able to sit outside the RV in the evening like they were expecting to have a campfire and roast marshmallows. It's Jersey City, for the love of Pete! Another interesting review complained about having to walk 1.5 miles to the ferry. Yep. No golf carts to take you to the campground office for the evening ice cream social. My walk to work is farther than that each way. Two weeks from Saturday we will drop a car off in Brooklyn Heights, walk nearly 2 miles to Red Hook for lunch and then to the Ikea ferry dock for a ride to Manhattan. Got to love a city where Ikea has its own ferry service.

General Discussion / Re: 12 days - NY to Norfolk
« on: August 19, 2015, 10:36:23 am »
If you want to visit NYC and camp, there is a campground in Newark,  New Jersey just outside New York.
The park is essentially a parking lot for RVs but they have a small grass area by the showers where you can put up a tent. They charge $50 a night for a tent with up to 4 people. They are about a 5 minute walk away from the PATH train which runs every 15 minutes to the centre of Manhattan. It's not a great place to stay, but it is cheap and we'll located.

Wow!  Thanks for sharing that information.  I know exactly where the Grove St. PATH stop is. Every year our club does a ride from New Hope to Brooklyn. We come east on Montgomery and then make a left on Barrow, which is one block west of Grove. The area inland from the water has undergone an incredible transformation over the years. Riding north on Barrow we would see more and more building rehabs being performed every year. The place is also close to the light rail line. You can ride to the Hoboken train station/ferry terminal and take the ferry to several places NYC on weekdays, although you have to go to 14th St. for the ferry on the weekends. That's how our ride gets to Manhattan.

I have said to my GF more than once that an urban campground might fly in Philadelphia. Then I would say to myself "Not enough people would go for something like that." Perhaps I have been wrong all these years.

General Discussion / Re: Atlantic Coast Trail Question?
« on: August 12, 2015, 01:37:20 pm »
Aug-Sept brings the highest possibility that a hurricane will affect your trip

Heh. How could I forget about that? I completed ACA's Northern Tier route in late August of '99. After a few days of rest, I started riding south along the Atlantic Coast route to my home in Philly. Before I reached the NJ border hurricane Floyd moved through.  I had to ride a few miles in a torrential downpour and then hole up in a motel. The upside is that the next day was gorgeous, and I had the roads though the DWG to myself.

General Discussion / Re: Atlantic Coast Trail Question?
« on: August 12, 2015, 08:23:37 am »
Well...It's pretty much mid-August now. The one concern I would have about that start date that far south is that the farther you go beyond Labor Day the greater the chance that some campgrounds up north will start closing for the season. I don't know how far up in NY you plan to go before heading west to MI, but if you are planning to ride through the Adirondacks, campground closures might be a real possibility. Also, it's not unheard of to have cold temps and even snow up there in September. When I rode through there during my Northern Tier trip we had a few 40 degree nights in mid-August. Even mid-October in the Delaware Water Gap in New Jersey can be cold at night.  A few years ago I did an organized event up there.  When we left the hotel for the 8:00 a.m. start it was a few degrees above the freezing mark.

Another vote for a warm hat. When I did my first tour (Northern Tier) I had never camped. I asked my friend who had done some touring what she thought I might miss the most if I did not bring it. She said a good flashlight and a warm hat. She was right. We hit sub-freezing temperatures during the first week. One morning during the second week it snowed a bit during breakfast.

General Discussion / Re: Getting home from Yorktown in Sept.
« on: August 10, 2015, 09:06:46 am »

Guess I'll just call bike shops when I get there. It's good to know that most will do this.

I recommend picking one at some point and making an appointment once your arrival date becomes clearer. I have shipped using shops and have had to wait up to a week even with making an appointment far in advance.

Also, you should check out I have had two good experiences with them. Shipped from Philly to Rapid City, SD in June. CrateWorks case with a wildly overestimated total weight of case, bike and racks at 60 lbs. was something like $47 (including $5 surcharge for pick up at a local bike shop) for 4-day shipping. Philly to Missoula last year was $71.

General Discussion / Re: Atlantic Coast Trail Question?
« on: August 10, 2015, 08:59:28 am »
When is this trip planned for? In mid-summer you can easily get flows out of the SE or SW, which would provide a general tailwind. Of course, such flows usually bring hot, nasty weather. In the end, I don't think wind will be much of a major factor on the PA, NJ and NY portions.

Send me a PM if you want some info. on part of that stretch. I have ridden between Port Jervis, NY and Philly a number of times.

Gear Talk / Re: Gearing for Touring Bike Followup
« on: July 31, 2015, 09:00:31 am »
I have 52/11 and very often wish I had a higher gear, and I have never raced.
My problem with the excessive use of 11T cogs is that you give up a far more useful interior cog to get it.

+1. I had a new road bike built this spring. DA9000. I wanted a cassette with 28t on the low end. The choice was between 11x28 and 12x28. I went with the latter for the more useful interior cog. If I get dropped on a flat road with a massive tail wind, so be it.

Routes / Re: Camping Facilities for Green Mountains Loop
« on: July 31, 2015, 07:32:01 am »
Now I really wanna do it, thanks for the reply. Sounds just like heaven. I was gonna do the Atlantic Coast for a similar distance Boston--Philly then after reading reviews online I thought, for my first solo tour that just sounds like hell. Now Vermont is supposed to have some nice quaint little towns and I am pretty excited about that.

I did the Atlantic Coast from Bar Harbor home to Philly. That was many years ago and the route has been changed some. There are some very nice stretches. The section from southern NY through NJ is wonderful. Just did a short portion of it (Belvidere, NJ to Frenchtown, NJ) last Saturday during a day ride. Earlier in the ride we saw a bear in Hunterdon County (4th wealthiest county in the country), although that was not on the ACA route. Even getting into Philly is not bad, at least on the weekends. With that said, it's not as nice as the Northeast Kingdom of VT.

Routes / Re: KVR - Carmi Subdivision (Trip Report)
« on: July 29, 2015, 08:16:57 am »
If you haven't already done it, you might like the Mickelson Trail in South Dakota. I rode it last month. Interesting experience. Probably not what some people think of when they think "rail-trail." Well worth the effort it takes in places.

Routes / Re: Camping Facilities for Green Mountains Loop
« on: July 29, 2015, 08:14:18 am »
I did a lot of the VT side as part of ACA's organized Cycle Vermont in 2010. Started and ended in Burlington and went through Middlebury., west to east over  Rochester and Middlebury Gaps. Prior to that I was looking at doing the route on my own. Depending on which option(s) you take, you might have to do a long day here or there to camp. And if you are dead set on cooking, you might also have to carry groceries some days. For example, the first night we stayed at Lake Carmi S.P. I don't recall any grocery source that was on route and close to the park, but a few miles off route there is one in Enosburg Falls. There is also a pizza place there and maybe other eating establishments. Lake Carmi was nice. Brighton S.P., where we stayed the second night, was also nice. It's close to the center of Island Pond, where there was a good grocery store and at least one restaurant. Burlington, of course, has everything, including a campground at the north end of town. We also passed through or close to several mid-sized town (at least by VT standards) where there were places to get food and drink, like St. Albans, St. Johnsbury and Newport. From Middlebury we rode northwest through a beautiful area, passing Vergennes to Button Bay S.P. Button Bay had some of the nicest grass I have ever seen at a campground. It was like camping on a well-kept golf course.

General Discussion / Re: Northern Tier or better idea?
« on: July 24, 2015, 12:07:07 pm »
Well, North Dakota isn't the most exciting place to ride. But if you want to tick off coast-to-coast, I suppose you better continue where you left off. Once you get to Minnesota, the riding will get better.

Heh. Yeah. ND can be quaint in many ways, but it's definitely not exciting unless you consider something like visiting the birthplace of Lawrence Welk exciting. MN was definitely more interesting.

OP: I believe that the NT route has changed since you last did it six year ago due to the danger posed by oil-related traffic. It now enters ND south of where it used to. If you want to continue on, maybe go all the way to the Davenport, IA area. That looks to be about 1,200 miles from the western border of ND.

Routes / Re: Missoula, Mt. to Bear Tooth Hwy.
« on: July 24, 2015, 11:51:25 am »
While I certainly defer to the experts, if you don't mind some "dirt" you could head east from Missoula to Rock Creek Rd. Not sure if there are through frontage roads all the way. We rode I-90 for about 3 miles from the start/end of Rock Creek Rd. to Clinton. Take Rock Creek for about 40 miles and hang a left towards Phillipsburg. From there, take MT 1 to Anaconda. Crackerville Rd. will take you to an I-90 interchange (No. 211), but you can follow frontage roads (Bossard, crossing under I-90 to Wild Horse Meadow and then Nissler, some portions are unpaved) all the way to a trail that takes you into the center of Butte. From Butte you can take Continental Drive to MT 2 over Pipestone Pass (not as hard going west to east) and continue east to Whitehall, which would hook you up with the L&C route. There is camping along Rock Creek, in Phillipsburg, Georgetown Lake, Anaconda and Butte.

Subsequently made this:

I have ridden all the roads at least once (some of them twice) in the opposite direction except the miles between 157 and the end. The on-line map does not show a through frontage road between Clinton and Rock Creek, but maybe it's wrong. IIRC, the forst 10 miles of Rock Creek are paved then it turns to dirt until you cross the creek for the second time and make the climb over the ridge to Phillipsburg, where there is a nice motel/campground on W. Broadway just of MT 1. Grocery store across the street and a short walk into the center of town. In Butte the route takes you by the Hotel Finlen. It's a nice place to stay if you want to stop in town for the night. A room in the kitchy motor lodge portion won't break the bank. Get a first floor room and roll your bikes in. There is a KOA in town, but it didn't look nice and it's right next to the interstate on Kaw Ave. As you can see, Pipestone Pass is very gradual. The descent should be fun. I had a head wind both times I climbed it in the opposite direction. The shoulder is somewhat small but the traffic was minimal. Heading east, I suspect it might be busiest in the late afternoon/evening with people leaving Butte.

Let me know if you would like more details.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier - Whitefish to Libby, Montana via Rt 2?
« on: July 23, 2015, 09:14:52 am »
We did not experience much traffic on U.S. 93 between Whitefish and Fortine, but perhaps that was due to the time of year. We started the Waterton-Glacier loop in mid-June of 2009. I would guess that recreational traffic picks up as the season progresses.

OP: If you opt not to ride U.S. 2, I recommend sticking to the official route rather than simply staying on U.S. 93 to Eureka. The portions off U.S. 93 are pretty (especially the portion between Fortine and Eureka) and should give you a break from any traffic on the highway. If you need food and/or water, the store slightly off route in Olney is worth a stop. It has a cool old collection of pop/soda bottles. And the Conoco in Fortine was amusing. There was a bar/casino in the back. There is a door leading to it near the bathrooms of the c-store. Opening it was like the scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy first opens the door after landing in Munchkin Land, only in reverse.

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