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Messages - indyfabz

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Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Route - South to North?
« on: March 10, 2011, 10:23:03 am »
I agree. Northern New England in May has a few nice sunny warm days, but many more chilly wet ones. We do not plant our gardens until Memorial Day. And then there are black flies until about July 4! Some campgrounds will be open after Memorial Day, and all of them by July 4.


+1.  Temperature and rainfall in the north should be more of a concern than winds.  And as spring turns to summer, you will be happy you are farther north unless you like heat and humidity.

Routes / Re: Seattle Amtrak Station to Anacortes. Wa.
« on: March 07, 2011, 10:11:36 am »
Don't know if this is mentioned in any of the threads cited, but I took a ferry from downtown Seattle and got on AC's Pacific Coast Route.  Stayed at Kitsap Memorial State Park the first night, Fort Worden in Pt. Townsend the second night, took another ferry ride and then intersected with the Northern Tier just east of Anacortes, not far from Bayview State Park.  All three had hiker/biker sites.  Fort Worden is particularly nice and was a major location for the filming of "An Officer and a Gentleman."

General Discussion / Re: I don't like dogs! (around my bike)
« on: March 07, 2011, 10:02:14 am »
Yelling first and then water bottle second is the way I roll.

Only once have I had to use more drastic measure.  I was being chased by a fast, fierce looking doberman who showed no signs of letting up.  There was oncoming traffic and a shoulder on both sides of the road.  Feeling I had no choice, I cut across the road to the other shoulder to put traffic between the dog and myself.  While I had no love for this animal, I was glad he was smart enough not to run in front of the oncoming vehicles.

Used this same technique to shield myself from a potential bear encounter in Glacier N.P., but that's a different story.

General Discussion / Re: Coming soon to a theater near you...?
« on: March 04, 2011, 10:45:58 am »
I too was hoping for, and thought there would be more footage of, actual riding.  You need a larger crew than what they had.  I suspect they did not have a budget that allowed for that.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring weight
« on: March 02, 2011, 12:32:50 pm »
The calculator really jumped out at me also, as did all the extra bags and the hair brush.  The hammer really stuck out, too.  As someone noted, that's what rocks are for.

Also, make sure you don't carry large sizes of things like deoderant, shampoo, toothpaste and shaving cream.  Take the little travel sizes of stuff like that.  And as noted, there are products (like CampSuds) that can serve as dish soap, body soap, shampoo and even toothpaste, although I think it tastes nasty,

Routes / Re: The Great Divide Trail
« on: March 02, 2011, 12:11:22 pm »
I wouldn't describe it as a "trail" in the sense of a bike trail.  It's a route that is mostly off-road.  More from the map for Section 1:  "Particularly in dry summers, portions of the route can become quite washboarded, making for uncomfortable riding.  To prepare for it,, your bike should have at the very least a front shock absorber.  A fully suspended bike is even better.  The outfit of choice for most riders today is a fully suspended bike and a trailer, such as a B.O.B., in which to haul gear.  In addition to providing a smoother ride, this set-up permits you to carry a greater quantity of food and water, a real advantage in some of the more remote areas traversed by the route."

Also from the map, "We discourage you from attempting to ride this route solo; in fact, a minimum group size of three is strongly recommended.  If a rider is debilitated in the backountry, you will want to have at least one person to stay with the injured/sick rider, and another to go for help.

As for going north to south on the Great Divide route, the map points out that to complete the entire route at once, you would have to start in New Mexico before May 1, which would put you in the high country of CO while snow still covers most of the route.  Also, the map notes that going south to north would require you to negotiate some very tough uphills.  As such, AC recommends that you ride north to south.

Routes / Re: Cincinnati to NT route
« on: March 02, 2011, 11:43:31 am »
If it works for you, Monroeville is very welcoming of cyclists.  There is an air conditioned community center where you can spend the night.

Routes / Re: east coast tour route planning questions
« on: March 01, 2011, 10:40:57 am »
The Pleasantville/Northfield area is extremely built up.  Parts of Pleasantville are a dump.  While May's Landing isn't exactly paradise traffic-wise, I would work my way over there, avoiding U.S. 40, U.S. 322 and SR 50 where possible.  Take Somers Point Rd. to Zion, then make a right onto 559 Alt./Ocean Heights.  For a slightly longer but less trafficed route, make a right off Zion onto Robert Best, left on Steelamnville and then right onto Ocean Heights.  Cross U.S. 9, right on Buffalo, left on W. Ocean, right onto Bay Ave., left onto SR 152, which has a very wide shoulder.  At the light after the first bridge, make a right onto Ocean Drive.  The next bridge (no toll for bikes), which also has a very wide shoulder and nice views, takes you into Ocean City.  From there, follow Ocean Drive all the way to Cape May.  There are signs for Ocean Drive that read "Follow the Gull."  You may be able to ride the boardwalks in Ocean City, Avalon, Sea Isle City and Wildwood.  Don't know what the bike restrictions are that time of year.

Note that the prevailing winds in the afternoon blow up the coast from the south.

General Discussion / Re: Place names
« on: March 01, 2011, 10:08:31 am »
King of Prussia, PA

Cheesequake, NJ

Indiana, PA, birthplace of Jimmy Stewart and home to a school with an identity crisis:  Indiana University of Pennsylvania

I cannot think of Stryker, MT without hearing Leslie Nielsen's voice saying "Striker."

And my personal favorite:  Hungry Horse, MT, "The Best Little Dam Town."

Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Route, not much coast
« on: February 28, 2011, 10:02:18 am »
We plan to ride from Key West, Florida to Maine by tandem starting in April.  Looking at the ACA maps, it appears that we'll have to bring camping equipment although we plan to avoid camping whenever possible..  Will we have to include cooking equipment, or can we plan on finding restaurants and convenience stores? 

I can get you some of the way.  From Lancaster County, PA up to Lambertville, NJ you won't have much/any trouble finding places to eat and get snacks and drinks.  Indoor lodging should be pretty easy if you plan your days right, although you may have to go off route a bit.  There is a Best Western in New Hope, PA and the Lambertville Station Inn in Lambertville, PA.  Heading north from L'Ville, there is an inn in Stockton, NJ.  These places are not cheap.  Expect a minimum of $100/night during the week and possibly over $200 on weekends   There are also some B&Bs/inns north of New Hope, PA, but I think they are mostly on the PA side of the river.  These places are VERY expensive.  For example, the Black Bass Hotel, across the river from Bull's Island Recreation Area will cost you about $200/night during the week.  More on the weekends.  Advance reservations might also be needed as sometimes these places are used for weddings.  Personally, I would avoid the PA side of the river as PA 32 is twisty, narrow and can have heavy traffic at times.  There is food in Frenchtown and Mildord, NJ.  There are motels and places to eat in the Philipsburg, NJ/Easton, PA area.  These should be cheaper.  Just off route in Delaware Water Gap, PA there is the Pocono Inn.  Don’t think there is much between there and Pt. Jervis, NY area.  The Cornucopia Inn and Restaurant in Godeffroy, outside of Pt. Jervis, should be relatively inexpensive, and I am sure there are places in Middletown, NY.

Routes / Re: east coast tour route planning questions
« on: February 28, 2011, 09:29:56 am »
The Henry Hudosn Trail is 58 miles?  I always understood it to be about 23, including the unfinished gaps.  Also note that a section is closed due to remediation of a Superfund site.  It's scheduled to reopen in April of this year, but you know how those things can go.

What's your planned route from Cedar Creek to Cape May?

Routes / Re: Best Route - Philadelphia to Missoula
« on: February 25, 2011, 09:48:38 am »
United or Delta.  I am flying the former to Missoula in June to start a tour.   ;D

Have you considered taking AC's Atlantic Coast Route south to meet up with the Trans Am route?  I believe they intersect in or around Richmond, VA.  The section from Conshohocken to Richmond is 387 miles.  At 65 miles/day, that's six days.  Certainly faster than taking the Atlantic Coast route north to Maine to pick up the Northern Tier.  Besides, the Northern Tier doesn't pass through Missoula.  You would likely head south from Whitefish.  It's about 2-3 days from there to Missoula.

The Trans Am spur from Lolo, MT takes you right into Missoula.  Think it's about 12 miles.

General Discussion / Re: Coming soon to a theater near you...?
« on: February 24, 2011, 03:26:07 pm »
A local club sponsored several screenings during a weekend this winter.  The filmaker was there and gave a short introduction.  There was a reception afterwards, which I did not attend.

General Discussion / Re: Most interesting stretch and why?
« on: February 23, 2011, 02:38:29 pm »
I love weather, so I believe that going through some different storms will add some very memorable times to my trip. STORMS!!

If the hail starts (had it in MT) or you see a funnel cloud forming (like we did in MN), think about seeking shelter.  You can get messed up.

One day that stands out from a total experience persepctive is my 117 mile day from Goddefroy, NY to New Hope, PA the day after hurricane Floyd.  It was a beautiful day.  Sunshine and not a cloud.  I was expected at a friend’s house in Valley Forge on a certain day and lost a day while I taking refuge from the storm.  Through the Delaware Water Gap I had to slide my bike under two downed trees and walk across a swollen stream that brought water up to mid-calf.  Sticks and tree limbs littered most of the route.  I had ridden in New Jersey countless times, but never in that part of the state nor in the part of Pennsylvania I later passed through.  It was nice to see new areas, and the scenery was quite different from what I had expected.  The entire time I was moved by a sense of urgency due to the long distance I needed to cover.

As I was cresting a hill a young boy came off his porch and asked me for the time.  I did not have a watch, but my computer had a clock.  My face must have expressed curiosity at his question because he volunteered that the power was still out from the storm and none of the clocks in his house was functioning.  (Cell phones were not common back then.)  About 10 miles away from my intended destination, I picked up a stromboli and a bottle of wine for what I thought would be my last night of camping on a journey that had started in Seattle, had taken me to Bar Harbor, ME and was now taking me home to Philadelphia.  But when I got to the state park it was closed.  The camping area, which was down by the river, was flooded out.  I pled with a ranger to let me pitch my tent in the picnic area, which was on high ground, but he would not let me.  I was exhausted at that point, but I had to continue on.  After downing part of the stromboli I rode another 10 miles to a motel, finishing the day in total darkness.  Not exactly how I envisioned things going, but an epic experience just the same.

Routes / Re: Setting out from New York City.....Good idea or not?
« on: February 22, 2011, 01:31:53 pm »
Thanks indyfabz. i haven't ordered the Atlantic maps yet, so will check that route out when I get them. Not too sure I want to meet a bear though!

I am sure many people don't equate bears with the state of New Jersey, but in 2010 the state its first hunt five years.  Chances of a sighting are still low.  The chances of a close encounter even lower.  But they do exist.  Last year there was an 800+ lb. black bear killed across the river in PA.  That same bear had once been tagged at Walpack Bend, which is in the Delaware Water Gap Nat'l Recreation Area.  The point of mentioning bears was to give you an idea of how relatively unpspoiled the area is.

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