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Messages - indyfabz

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General Discussion / Re: Blatant Anti-Cyclist Comic in Today's Paper
« on: February 13, 2012, 10:39:49 am »
I'm so glad I don't live in a big city.

The flip side is that during much of the year I can do on a bike or on foot what so many people have to use cars for. Get to and from work. Go shopping. Go out to dinner and a movie. My car is 17 years old.  It has just over 104,000 miles on it. And for much of it's life it was shared between two people. I primarily use it to drive to day rides thatr start outsiide the city. Still gets 30 mpg on the highway, which is mostly where it is driven. I cannot remember the last time I bought gas. Sometimes I forget where it's parked.

I often feel more threatened riding in suburbia and exurbia. Higher speed and impatient people who have to drive everywhere and expect to get around unimpeded. More and more motorists in the city are realizing that it makes no sense to squeeze past me only to be stuck behind the cars in front of me or have to stop at the next corner for a stop sign or red light.

Now if we could just get the police to engage in some meaningful enforcement of the hand-held cell phone ban. If I look, I can see dozens of people violating in during my 1.5 mile walk to work alone. Some people apparently think they are legal if they have the phone on speaker yet are holding it up in front of their faces while they are driving.

Routes / Re: Riding through Pennsylvania
« on: February 10, 2012, 02:23:11 pm »
I have driven from Williamport and on to PA 14 at Trout Creek. You will steadily gain altitude as you head north from Williamport.  PA 14 wasn't in the best shape the last time I was up there about 4 years ago. What shoulder there was was deteriorated and/or covered with gravel in a lot of places. However, traffic was light.

Outside of Williamport, there is a something called the Pine Creek Trail:

It takes you through the "Pennsylvania Grand Canyon." It would take you west of Route J, but I believe at the trail terminus in Ansonia it's relatively easy to get back onto Rte. J. Just take U.S. which is part PA Bike Route Y in that area, east to intersect with Route J. One problem up in that part of the word is the proliferation of truck traffic associated with gas drilling.

I have also driven U.S. 11/15 north from Harrisburg. Expect heavy traffic in places when you are on it, especially in the Selinsgrove/Shamokin Dam area.

Furhter south, U.S. 322/22 is a divided highway. Use Google Street View for that road around Duncannon and see what I mean. Again, I have driven that road. I would never want to bike it. Certainly avoid it during rush hour. It's a main route into Harrisburg.

From where you cross the river at Duncannon, PA 147 on the east side of the river looks infinitely nicer and less travelled. You could cross back over to Shamokin Dam at Sunburry.

General Discussion / Re: NEW BICYCLE QUESTIONS
« on: February 10, 2012, 01:27:46 pm »
Assume you will be taking the Empire Builder. Enjoy the ride. If the train is on schedule it will still be light when you cross Marias Pass and skirt the boundary of Glacier N.P. Sometimes you can see mountain goats from the right side of the train, especially at Goat Lick. Early the next morning, grab a seat in the observation car for the ride through the Cascades, but don't look down if you are afraid of heights. You'll also go through the 7.8 mile Cascade Tunnel. It's longest railroad tunnel in the U.S.

Don't forget a tool to put your pedals back on once you reach Everett.

General Discussion / Re: Blatant Anti-Cyclist Comic in Today's Paper
« on: February 10, 2012, 01:01:38 pm »
Just because a community paints a white strip on the side of a road and calls it a bike lane does not mean I will be using that lane. To often that "lane" is the part of the road that has broken and cracked asphalt, unfilled potholes, rocks, broken glass, leaves, and all sorts of stuff that has been pushed to the side of the road into the "bike lane". A car would move over into another lane when faced with a road conditioin that we face, more often than not, in the bike lane. When a communty paints us into a corner, so to speak, and does not keep the condition of the bike lane to the same level of the vehicle lane, forcing the bicyclist into the vehicle lane, then the community is placing the bicyclist at risk from drivers who are angry because we are not in the bike lane. The "cartoon" reflects that anger, and it is a misplaced anger.

Have you ever seen this?:

It's short. Watch to the end.

General Discussion / Re: Blatant Anti-Cyclist Comic in Today's Paper
« on: February 10, 2012, 11:17:43 am »
Can't wait to see what happens when Pennsylvania's 4" passing law takes effect:

Hope you mean 4', 4" sounds like some of the yahoos around here!

Ooops!  Thanks for picking that up.

BTW...Philly has many one-way streets with parking on both sides. Many of those streets are not particularly wide. My block is one of them. I have to wonder whether a car could give a cyclist 4' when passing on street like mine.

General Discussion / Re: Weather Extremes
« on: February 09, 2012, 02:17:25 pm »
I will say that that first glimpse of the Tetons when descending the west side of Togwotee Pass was awe-inspiring and a special treat for west-bounders. Unfortunately, there was enough of a westerly wind that kept us from experiencing what should have been a nice downhill into the national park. Stunning nonetheless.

While riding W-E I camped at the joint Adventure Cylcing/U.S.F.S. cyclist-only campground located off the road about 4 or so miles up the climb from whatever that town is at the base. It offers an unobstructed view of the range. Amazing. Lot's of wildflowers, too.

General Discussion / Re: Blatant Anti-Cyclist Comic in Today's Paper
« on: February 09, 2012, 02:08:14 pm »
Someone posted the cartoon to our local club's list. As one member noted, we have a lot of bike lanes in Philadelphia that put you in the "door zone." In some cases, you have to ride outside the lane to avoid the zone completely. On some streets, the second lane has been converted to a bike-only lane. Many motorists, especially drivers for FedEx, UP and the like, find these to be most convenient stopping places.

Can't wait to see what happens when Pennsylvania's 4" passing law takes effect:

General Discussion / Re: Weather Extremes
« on: February 06, 2012, 04:06:46 pm »
Assuming you are talking about AC's Trans Am, you could get some really hot and humid weather in KY and VA in late July/early August. MO might be hot and humid as well. If you are not used to high humidity, you might find it very draining, especially if you sweat profusely like I do.

General Discussion / Re: Short colorado ride.
« on: February 04, 2012, 02:59:14 pm »
36 is unpleasantly busy between Lyons and Estes Park, especially going uphill.

Rode that in '00. Couldn't agree more. Non-stop traffic in early August.

General Discussion / Re: First long distance ride?
« on: February 03, 2012, 01:55:31 pm »
FWIW, I discovered during lunch that there is an article in today's NYT about crime on reservations. It mostly focusses on the failure of a recent crackdown on reservation crime (which I had no idea had existed) to stem the crime rate on the Wind River Reservation in WY, which I believe is on/close to the Trans Am route. Sounds like the crime is primarily "internal" in the sense that it is not directed at passers through.

General Discussion / Re: First long distance ride?
« on: February 03, 2012, 10:01:29 am »
I would not recommend carrying one for protection against grizzly bears.  Unless you're carrying something high caliber, you'll just piss him off.


Also, what part of your route gives you grizzly worries? Will you actually be in any particular areas that are known grizzly habitats? For example, there are grizzlies in MT, but only in a relatively small portion of the state. So the simple fact of riding in MT doesn't mean you will have the chance of having a run in with a grizzly.

I have ridden thourh several Indian reservations. The only reason I knew I was on a reservation was because the map told me I was. I have read that there are some restrictions about wandering off the rode in places, such as for hiking. For example, there is some nice hiking in the Looking Glass Hill area (MT route 49), which is on Blackfoot land. According to one travelogue I read, you are free to use the road, but you need a permit if you want to hike off the road.

Routes / Re: New York - Buffalo to Albany Options
« on: February 03, 2012, 09:40:17 am »
Hi Lynn. Your concerns are valid. My experience there is 12 years old now, so I cannot speak to flood damage. I found the Erie Canal towpath to be slow and boring, although one very often can take parallel rural roads. The scenery is mostly rural and not terribly interesting.

+1. Even with 37c tires it was a pain in some places. Ended up getting off and taking roads into Brockport. I remember the rest of it we did to be pretty boring. Eventually headed north through Mexico to Lake Ontario.

Is there some reason you want/need to go to Albany? You could just follow the NT all the way to Bar Harbor.  The trip into Canada is worth it, IMO. You pass through Ticonderoga, where you can visit the fort. And the route through VT and NH is very nice.

I find it hard to believe that Surly would sell the CC with a triple crank minus the small ring. What would be the point?
The point would be to simplify their inventory.  One crank fits all.

But why leave off the other ring? Cost?  Insignificant.  Weight?  Same.

Routes / Re: Cell phone
« on: February 02, 2012, 09:27:31 am »
Have you checked Verizon's on-line coverage map? I checked the map before last summer's trip in MT. It seemed a bit "conservative" in the sense that I had a good signal in at least one area where the map suggested I would have problems. Where I was supposed to have a signal I always did.

I see the LHT and Cross Check come with the same crankset.

I would check on that. While the model numbers listed are the same for both bikes, the photos show two different cranks. Perhaps the crank model number is inccorrect on one. Or perhaps there are double and triple versions of the ASC124 (or whatever it is) crank. I find it hard to believe that Surly would sell the CC with a triple crank minus the small ring. What would be the point? Next time I am in Trophy Bikes I will ask.  They usually have at least one CC in stock.

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