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Messages - indyfabz

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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.

Routes / Re: Hwy. 49 from St. Mary, Mt.
« on: March 03, 2015, 04:22:10 pm »
+1 on Sprague Creek or Avalanche over Apgar. Sprague Creek has tent pads in the hiker/biker area (Avalanche may, too. Never stayed there.) and is within walking distance of the lodge, where you can grab a beer and drink it by the lake while gazing at the mountains. There is also a shuttle service between Avalanche and the lodge. Not sure how late it runs. Check the official park site.

Start the climb very early to beat as much traffic as you can. I think we started from Sprague Creek at around 5:30 a.m. in 2009. Make sure you get enough food for breakfast and snacks the day before as nothing will be open so early.

The first photo I linked to was taken near the top of the climb out of St. Mary. It will get your juices flowing.

Routes / Re: Hwy. 49 from St. Mary, Mt.
« on: March 03, 2015, 10:21:24 am »
BTW...I recommend sticking to the official ACA route between Whitefish/Columbia Falls to W. Glacier, especially if you go during peak tourist season. There is a section of U.S. 2 between Columbia Falls and Hungry Horse that has no shoulder. I have done both ways, but the year I took U.S. 2 it was before high season, so the traffic was lighter than normal. The official route (MT 486 to Blankenship Rd. to Belton Stage Rd.) has a unpaved section but it is manageable. It's definitely more pleasant riding than U.S. 2, which can get noisy. And you have a better chance of seeing a bear.

IIRC, the official ACA route turns off of Belton Stage Rd. at Lake 5 Rd. to get back to U.S. 2. When we rode this stretch in the opposite direction in 2009 we took the entirety of Belton Stage Rd. That eliminates additional U.S. 2 riding, although it does bypass a couple of campgrounds on the highway.

One more unsolicited piece of advice: If you are planning to camp in the west side of the park before crossing Logan Pass and cooking while you are there, I would shop at the store at the junction of U.S. 2 and Going to the Sun, before you enter the park. I found the selection there better than the selection available at Apgar and Lame McDonald.

Routes / Re: Hwy. 49 from St. Mary, Mt.
« on: March 03, 2015, 10:05:11 am »
The GF and I rode from St. Mary to East Glacier via U.S. 89 and MT 49 and then to W. Glacier via U.S. 2 back in 2009 because Logan Pass was still closed when we got to St. Mary.

Your day from St. Mary starts with a  good 5-6 mile climb. Then you basically roll up and down to the junction with MT 49. We took a road-side break at the junction. It's a bit of a ghost town, with some sort of old shop that is no longer in business. Mosquito repellant was necessary.

The climb up MT 49 (a/k/a Looking Glass Hill) is not that bad, although it is windy in spots, and the road had some lateral ruts in it when we rode it. The road passes through the Blackfoot reservation. No permit is need to ride it, but it's my understand that you need one if you want to stop and take a hike on reservation land. The scenery is wonderful. From the top of Looking Glass, it's mostly down hill (some of it decently steep) to E. Glacier, where there are several food options and a motel that also had camping.

We did this stretch in late June. Started out very early. U.S. 89 had little traffic at first and then light to moderate traffic at times as the morning progressed. I think we encountered maybe two or three vehicles on MT 49. Note that there are no services between St. Mary and E. Glacier unless you plan to take the detour to the Two Medicine area of the park.

These photos and the ones in between were taken between St. Mary and E. Glacier. You can see Lower Tow Medicine Lake in one of them:

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