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Messages - indyfabz

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Routes / Re: Pacific coast elevations
« on: November 03, 2014, 10:14:40 am »
Get the maps and plot the route on something like Ride With GPS, which will generate a profile. If you map it in shorter segments you will get better profiles.

General Discussion / Re: circumnavigation of the U.S.
« on: October 31, 2014, 02:04:25 pm »
I am sure it's been done. You might seriously consider going counterclockwise if only due to the prevailing winds on the Pacific coast. That subject has been discussed in this forum plenty of times. I met a sister-sister duet on the Northern Tier who had started their trip by heading north along the Pacific coast. They said it was miserable and the wind had put them way behind schedule.

On that same trip I ran into a guy in Bowling Green, OH who was trying to circumnavigate the county using the route you describe, only he was going counterclockwise. The guy was from a suburb of Philadelphia, where I live. After many questions from him, we finally realized that he and I had were on the same club ride to New York City the year before. We had been on the same ferry across the Hudson River and later had dinner with a group of people at a place under the Brooklyn Bridge. I ran into him again at an event the following year. He told me he made it to somewhere on the left coast before packing it in.

Start in the south in early spring and follow spring north up the Atlantic Coast. Hang a left onto the Northern Tier at Damariscotta, ME, get to the west coast by late summer and then head south. Hang another left and cross the south at a time when it will likey not be as hot and humid.

General Discussion / Re: Choosing a Bike
« on: October 31, 2014, 10:31:17 am »
At 25", have you considered whether it would fit you?

As someone who bought a brand name touring-specific bike for his first tour and had a lot of wheel troubles, I advise you to spend the money to have your wheels properly tensioned, etc. Constant wheel trboule is not fun.

You might try Craig's List for a tougher bike like an old steel mountain bike. I see a fair number of these Denalis around town and they always look beat up, but maybe that's due to how people treat them.

General Discussion / Re: Philly to FL...anyone interested?
« on: October 31, 2014, 09:51:37 am »
Yep, I'm taking Route V from Hazleton to the river.  Is there a good way to get from Allentown to Philadelphia?  From looking at the map, it looks like my best route is to follow the Lehigh river past Bethlehem, link up with the Delaware river and continue to Philly, where I can go north to meet the Atlantic Coast trail.

Yep, I'm taking Route V from Hazleton to the river.  Is there a good way to get from Allentown to Philadelphia?  From looking at the map, it looks like my best route is to follow the Lehigh river past Bethlehem, link up with the Delaware river and continue to Philly, where I can go north to meet the Atlantic Coast trail.

Missed this. Hope you simply took Route V to where it ends in Portland, PA. That would have put you on the Atlantic Coast Route. In fact, if you did you joined the Atlantic Coast Route in Delaware Water Gap, PA. Both routes use PA 611 to Portland which, by the way is the birthplace of the guy who rote "All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth."

Routes / Re: Best Recommended Routes
« on: October 30, 2014, 04:08:57 pm »
If we do an average of approximately 60 miles per day how much time do you predict it can take? (Considering all the stops you suggested! :D)

Thank again!

If you go to the maps section of ACA's web site you can get a rough idea of some of the mileages between certain points on the different ACA routes. For example, you can get the mileage of the TransAm from Yorktown to Missoula from the summaries of Sections 4-12:

Sections 1-2 of the Northern Tier route gets you from Cut Bank, MT to Anacortes, WA, although the mileage from Glacier will be less since it's west of Cut Bank.

Don't forget to factor in rest days and potential short days and/or days off due to bad weather.

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.

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