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Messages - indyfabz

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Routes / Re: Is the NT a traffic nightmare?
« on: December 26, 2011, 09:41:42 am »
Did the entire NT in '99 and the portion to Glacier in '00.

You are going to have traffic in Glacier. But it's not a nightmare. Totally worth the trip.

In general, I think the cautions are simply that:  cautions about what you might encounter in certain places. For example, I did the section between Whitefish and Eureka mentioned above two years ago. Leaving Whitefish on U.S. 93 in the morning there was some traffic. Other than that, we didn't see very many cars on the portion of that stretch that uses U.S. 93.

That stretch of U.S. 93 had far less traffic than the section of U.S. 93 leaving Missoula on the TransAm.  The shoulderless East Side Highway to Hamilton on the TransAm was almost non-stop traffic. I just rode both of these stretches this summer.  The TransAm roads in Yellowstone were not exactly traffic free when I rode them in '00.  Neither was the road connecting Yellowstone with Teeton Park.  (I distinctly remember the map warning people to ride early in the morning to avoid heavy traffic periods in Yellowstone.) In contrast, the North Cascades Highway was nearly empty both times I rode it.  Same with the other passes in WA.

You also have to consider what "increase" means. A road going from empty to moderately busy is an "increase."

Yeah. U.S. 1 was not the quiet country road, but I never felt threatened. iI you are there after school starts traffic will be lighter.

Yes.  U.S. 61 in MN was busy in places, but I never felt threatened.

Yeah.  There was traffic in Cleveland, but that's to be expected.

Ask yourself this:  Do you think they would maintain a route that is an overall traffic nightmare?  You list 13 bullet points.  The route is what, about 4,400 miles?  Doesn't sound too bad to me. I am milling to be there are 13 areas of the TransAm that could be described in similar ways.  Indeed, I listed two above in a stretch of about 50 miles.

General Discussion / Re: Orlando to upstate NY
« on: December 20, 2011, 10:08:25 am »
No interest, but thought I would mention the Pine Creek Tail, which currently runs from around Jersey Shore, PA to Ansonia, PA. Ansonia is not that far south of Corning, NY:

General Discussion / Re: texting
« on: December 20, 2011, 10:01:20 am »
Cell phone useage as a cause of accidents is on the rise as is texting/emailing behind the wheel. A report released this month found that 18% of drivers admitted to texting/emailing while driving, and that's assuming people did not lie on the survey. In the age group of 21-24, that number jumps to nearly 50%. Id's say that's something.

Here is but a sample of research findings (see the bar on the right):

Routes / Re: Lewis & Clark
« on: December 19, 2011, 10:36:10 am »
It should have been vis Hwy 200 through the Knife River Indian Villages and Mandan Villages historic sites - crossing the Missouri at Washburn.

Stayed in Washburn and visited Fort Mandan in '06 during CANDISC. Neat place.

General Discussion / Re: texting
« on: December 15, 2011, 05:25:22 pm »
While bicycling on all roads.  PA just passed a state-wide no texting law. Since it seems very difficult to enforce I doubt it will make much of a difference. Philadelphia's hand held cell phone ban has been in place for nearly two years now. I see dozens of people violating it nearly every day. I heard that a recent study revealed that cell phone use while driving has increased even as more and more jurisdictions have banned it. And most people who do do it think it's safe when they do it but not when others do it. I am not sure that even changing the "I can do it safely" mindset will have a huge impact because people are still willing to take risks in the face of known dangers.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Southern Tier to NYC
« on: December 09, 2011, 04:24:40 pm »
Remembered that the cue sheet for the Brooklyn Ride that goes through Hoboken is on line:

It actually starts in New Hope, PA and quickly crosses into Lambertville, NJ.  (You can get to New Hope following AC’s Atlantic Coast route from the trail mentioned below.)  If you were to ride this on a weekday you would be taking your life into your own hands riding through the port (McLester, Lyle King, Corbin St.) and on into Jersey City by Doremus and U.S. 1 & 9 Truck.  But maybe you can modify it to avoid that area.  If you do get to Hoboken on a weekday, you need not go to the ferry terminal on 14th St. During weekdays the ferries sail from the NJT train station, which you ride past. It was built in the 30s and has been nicely restored. Worth a look.

Any tolerance for riding in traffic notwithstanding, I really would avoid U.S. 30 in the neck of the woods mentioned for safety (and scenery) reasons. While not ideal in places, PA Bike Route S takes you to the Schuylkill River Trail, which will take you into Philadelphia. The route from the end of the trail to the center of the city is not a bad one, and it’s very popular with cyclists. I can give you a better alternative to a portion of Route S in Lancaster County that that spends a little less time on PA 23, which has heavy traffic at times and has a narrow shoulder. The alternative spends a little more time in the Conestoga Valley (Amish territory) just to the north of the highway. Route S also passes near French Creek State Park, where there is camping. From there, it’s a relatively easy ride to the trail and then mostly flat into downtown. The route into town also gives you the option of climbing the infamous “Mannayunk Wall” that was once used in the U.S. championship race and is still used in a big one day race in the city.

General Discussion / Re: 100 dollar bills too large?
« on: December 09, 2011, 11:19:36 am »
I guess "a lot of space" is all relative.  Assuming U.S. bills are of a uniform size, (lxwxh), $2,330 in $10 bills would measure 6.1" x 2.6" x 1". (According to WikiAsnwers, a stack of 233 $1 bills is 1" high.) Even at a healthy spending rate of $100/day, that is a 23 day supply of cash, longer as the per day spending amount drops.

In any event, I would carry some ones, fives and tens if/when you think you might be staying in campgrounds, such as BLM, U.S.F.S  and state park campgrounds, with "iron rangers." The fees can vary and are often odd amounts. For example, the fee at a BLM camground we stayed at this summer was $6. A U.S.F.S. campground we had planned to use (turned out to be closed) was $13. I'd hate to find myself at a place like that unable to crack a large bill.

General Discussion / Re: Choice of bike
« on: December 06, 2011, 01:10:55 pm »
"Surly Long Haul Trucker Disc - new for 2012, I haven't yet seen these in any shop."

Word 'round the campfire is April of '12.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Southern Tier to NYC
« on: December 01, 2011, 02:49:50 pm »
US 30 to Philly/Trenton, rt 27 in NJ to NY
(obvious skipping some connecting roads for brevity)

1.  What sort of life insurance do you have? A portion of U.S. 30 around York, PA heading east through Lancaster is a multi-lane, limited access highway with intense traffic. It them narrows down to two lanes but still carries heavy traffic depsite the fact that there are various stages of by-pass expressway.  The riding would pretty much suck big time from at least York all the way to the Philadelphia city line, where U.S. 30 becomes a city street (Lancaster Ave.) with a bike lane in places. U.S. 30 eventually  combines with I-76 and then I-676 before crossing into NJ. Both roads are off limtis to bikes. (You can cross into NJ on the pedestrian/bike path of the Ben Franklin Bridge.)  I suggest taking a look at the PA bike route maps. Being familiar with the area, some of the roads are not the greatest, but they beat the hell out of U.S. 30 in that part of the state.

2. How do you plan to get to Trenton from Philadelphia?

3. SR 27 in NJ looks like it would be no fun at all from a traffic and scenery perspective. Some of the most densley populated real estate in the most densley populated state in the nation.  I have an cool route from Lambertville, NJ to Hoboken, NJ (ferry to NYC) if you are interested, but it can only be ridden on a weekend, and there is no camping.

4.  What is your ultimate destination?  If NYC itself, note that the only way you can actually ride a bike into NYC from the east is the GW Bridge. There are, however, rail options.

General Discussion / Re: Cross Country with a 13 year old boy
« on: December 01, 2011, 02:13:58 pm »
I've read that the "southern route" is the shortest cross country route. Is this correct and would it be suitable for 2 rookies?

I would be hesitant about doing the southern tier in the middle of the summer unless you can tolerate extreme heat and, in some places, humidity.

General Discussion / Re: Best cycling town/area on Atlantic coast?
« on: November 28, 2011, 11:02:42 am »
NW NJ and along the Delaware River is lovely country although often hilly. You'll get a good workout.

+1. I cycle in Hunterdon and Warren Counties in NJ fairly often. Some really beautiful areas up there. (Some really expensive real estate as well.)  Lambertville, NJ was recently voted one of the nicest historic towns in America.  You are not that far from NWK or PHL airports. There are shopping centers not that far away. (In fact, there is one across the river in New Hope, PA that you could reach via bike). And you have the canal path system that runs for dozens of miles along the Delaware River and Raritan canal. Of course, you will get winter weather. And, as noted, it can be very hilly if you climb out of the river valley.

Heading further north along the Delaware is also nice. Places like Carpentersville, Foul Rift and Belvidere. We recently did an organized century that went through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, which is further north on AC Atlantic Coast Route. But you will get even more snow up there. 

I would be wary of living right on the river, at least in places, as there has been some major league flooding over the years.

Routes / Re: Milwaukee, WI to Jasper NP
« on: November 28, 2011, 10:36:23 am »
Make sure to take in Fort Union at the mouth of the Yellowstone near Williston.

A few of us took a detour off the NT to go there.  Neat place. Then we rode past the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone.

OP: If you are going to be in Whitefish, I recommend riding to Glacier N.P., riding up and then back down the west side of Going to the Sun and then back to Whitefish. Take you three days round trip.

One limiting aspect of the AC maps is that they don't show many roads other than those comprising the route. It's often helpful to get a state DOT map so you can get a broader view of the state.  This comes in handy if you want to (or need to due to road closure) go off the AC route to see something. You can usually get the maps from a chamber of commerce-type office when you enter the state, or write away for them in advance.

Also, ask questions of the locals. That restaurant, campground grocery store or motel that is shown on the map may have recently closed, especially in this economy.

Gear Talk / Re: Tents
« on: November 22, 2011, 02:03:19 pm »
A big negative on a tent for me is one that the poles are in sleeves most of the way.  These are easy to assemble but can be a real pain to remove in the morning.

+1.  They can be a real pain in the YKW when the sleeves get wet. The poles can adhere to the sleeves causing the sections to come apart when you try to extract the poles. I had a North Face tent that was particularly offensive in that regard.

Gear Talk / Re: Belt drives?
« on: November 19, 2011, 11:26:25 am »

There is a Gates belt drive option with a low gear equivalent to a 22x34.

I seem to recall an article on the belt drive version in a relatively recent edition of "Adventure Cyclist."

General Discussion / Re: Edinburgh - Lisbon (Winter) Possible?
« on: November 01, 2011, 01:40:12 pm »
See if you can fly down to Madrid Spain and just ride around southern Spain instead.

From The Rough Guide to Andalucia:  The winter months - particularly December and January - can often be dismal and wet as well as cold at altitude...."

Spent 7 weeks touring there from mid-March through the end of April. Some places were quite nice that time of year, including Almeria province, Cordoba province and the area immediately around the city Sevilla. Others, not so much. Chilly and rainy, even in a few places along the coast. At higher altitude, there was definitely a chill.  I saw snow still clinging to some relatively low mountains, and it was snowing in the Alpujarras, which lie between the coast and Granada.

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