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Messages - indyfabz

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General Discussion / Re: Traveling the TransAm spring of 2013
« on: September 16, 2012, 05:59:34 pm »
I guess it's time for the fall, 2012 iteration of this question.  Most all the answers will be, "Do it like I did it."


As noted, your start date screams E-W. We were on the TA heading east from Missoula for a few days last year at the end of June and met people who had started east mid-May. They were having a fine time.

At a minimum, you want to experience McKenzie Pass in OR, which will almost certainly be closed if you start in the west mid-May.

New England / Re: North Atlantic Coast Camping????
« on: September 05, 2012, 11:31:54 am »
It sounds rediculous, but that's what most places charge up that way. I came down from Bar Harbor to Philly after crossing the country. I don't recall any cheap camping except for maybe a state park outside of Freeport, ME, and that was in '99.

This spring I did a 3-day on the ACA route from Port Jervis to Philly. I camped at a commerical place on route just south of Port Jervis. The owner gave me a price break because I was on a bike. Think he charged me $15. The campground at Worthington State Forest on Old Mine Road is a great place to stay, and the ride there from Port Jervis is sweet. $25 for non-NJ residents. While there are almost no services between Port Jervis and the campground, you can drop your gear and ride the relatively short distance into Delawar Water Gap, PA. There is a diner and pizza place there along with a couple of other more expensive places to eat. No grocery store, but there is a C-store with limited selection of groceries. I would not recommend stealth camping in the Delaware Water Gap Nat. Rec. Area unless you take serious anti-bear measures. There are a lot of them up that way. Worthington in on the AT so there are group sites with bear lockers. An employee there told me they would never turn a cyclist away, so no need to make a reservation.

I also camped at Dog Wood Haven on Lodi Hill Road on the PA side of the river across from Milford, NJ. (The campground is listed on the map addendum now that Bull's Island campground is closed.) The owner is a nice guy. He also charged me $15 since I came on a bike and offered me a beer. The local grocery/liquor store in Milford may not look like much from the outside, but it has a good selection of groceries. And the pizza place in town is good.

In theory, you can stealth camp along the D&R trail between Frenchtown and Stockton, but you have to look carefully for s spot as the area between the trail and the river can be rocky, overgrown and/or not level enough for a tent. South of Stockton, things get a little more developed, but I can see maybe fiding a secluded spot if you look hard enough. Forget it once you hit L'Ville as the trail runs behind houses and right against the canal.

Send me a PM if you would like more info. on this part of the route.  BTW...I was just in the Summit area on Sunday. Our club does an annual ride from New Hope, PA to Cobble Hill in Brooklyn.

General Discussion / Re: Bike shipping / Lesson learned?
« on: September 05, 2012, 10:59:03 am »
After looking at various options on this forum and others out there in internet land, I'm pretty well convinced that BikeFlight is the way to go for shipping our tandem cross-country next month. I was wondering if there is anyone amongst the forum that has used a CrateWorks  shipping box. Rather expensive, however I wondered if my percieved ease of packing (looks like everything you need is there, no stuffing the bike /equipment in via the narrow top )  and the added protection of it's design is worth the protection. Any further recomendations/comments in addition to ideas posted above?


My custom IF is sitting at home packed inside a CrateWorks box (the poly one) at this very moment. Going to Cycle Oregon on Friday.

I first used one to fly to Spain in '00. Not only did it hold my 63 cm Cannondale T-700, but also my tent, sleeping bag and helmet. For reasosns I won't bore you with, I ended up abandoning it there.

Bought a second one back in '02. This will be it's fifth flight. It has also been used twice to ship my 60cm Surly LHT to Montana via UPS. Still holding up strong. They are roomy boxes but sitll "legal." Easy to load. The internal tie downs can be positioned to best secure your particular frame size/geometry. Mine came with a diagram affixed to the inside showing you how to position the bike and tie it doen. And you can replace certain parts of they get damaged.

While I like the internal compression straps, I am less than enthusiastic about the outer h-strap system. TSA at my airport doesn't have a large scanning machine, so they open bike boxes. Some employees have had trouble figuring out how to re-secure the straps. One time, I got the box back with two of the straps tied in a knot.

Gear Talk / Re: Helmet with face protection?
« on: August 28, 2012, 09:54:21 am »
Road helmets don't prevent your head hitting the road.

Huh? I crashed back in June when someone kicked up a stick and it lodged between the outside of my front wheel and inside of the fork. I went flying. My helmet hit the ground. My head did not. No broken skin whatsoever, which is nice because I take blood thinners.

While I don't know how far camping is spaced along it, look into the trail through Pine Creek Gorge in PA:

These folks provide shuttle service over the entire length of the trail, so you could ride one way and have your car waiting for you at the end:

Or you could ride both ways. I have used their shuttle service in the past for backpack trips. There are two state parks with camping (one has primative camping only) near the northern terminus of the trail, which is in Ansonia. As you can see, you could also do some canoeing if you have the time. Nearby Wellsboro is worth a look. Some of the streets are lits with gas mantle lamps.

Another option closer to home is the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail, which runs between the St. Albans and Richford and passes near Lake Carmi State Park, which is nice:

I stayed at Lake Carmi as part of ACA's Green Mountains Loop. You will have to do a few little hills to get from the trail to Lake Carmi. The trail is only 26 miles, so that might be too short. On the other hand, it could be a good test run for something longer. You could ride from Ritchford to Lake Carmi, then to this place in St. Albans, which looks neat:

I think the kid(s) would enjoy the ferry ride.

Routes / Re: Tour Divide 2013
« on: August 21, 2012, 10:57:32 am »
Wouldn't 16 days be a new record?

Gear Talk / Re: map cases
« on: August 15, 2012, 09:57:29 am »
The ACA maps have a lot of great features, but I couldn't read one while I'm riding, especially through plastic. The details are too small. If you really plan to use the ACA maps while you ride, you'll probably have to stop to give the map a careful look, which means storing the map in a jersey pocket would work as well as anything.

+1. And you don't have to dismount to read it when stopped if you carry it in your jersey  pocket any more than you need to dismount to reach a Cliff Bar in your back pocket.

The maps are extremely hardy. I have front rack with a platform and have always secured the day's map under the bungee cords that secure my sleeping back to the platform. Never found the need to protect them with a map case, even in all day rain.

BTW...The maps also make handy insulators. If you get sweaty climbing a pass, stick one inside the front of your jersey for the descent.

Gear Talk / Re: Stem leaks
« on: August 15, 2012, 09:50:15 am »
Tubes from Kenda, Giant and WTB, so different manufacturers.

To quote a line from a Porgy & Bess tune, "It ain't necessarily so." Different brands, but they could all be made by the same manufacturer.

Routes / Re: NYC to Baltimore?
« on: August 15, 2012, 09:39:55 am »
Indyfabz's advice is sound but I have a couple of additions. The old bridge over Great Egg is closed but the last time I went that way I ignored the closing and went on over it. I figured if people were fishing off it I could bicycle it. Of course it may be impassable by now.

Unless something has changed in the last few months, the bridge is impassible. I was down that way this spring. The draw is maintained in the open position to avoid the need for a tender. The prevailing plan being considered is to dismantle most of the bridge, leaving some portions as fishing piers.

Note that if you find yourself in Ocean City, MD, you will need to get across the Chesapeake Bay to get to Baltimore unless you ride way north again.

General Discussion / Re: Gross maximum trailer weight
« on: August 15, 2012, 09:28:12 am »
but instead haul a tent all day that lacks real protection (ie, bears, dogs, storms, etc) at night.

Heh. Even black bears routinely force open car doors to get the goodies inside. (Glacier N.P. recently "put down" a bear after it broke into a couple of cars.) Same with garage doors. Ever seen a bear box? They are made of heavy steel for a reason.

Routes / Re: NYC to Baltimore?
« on: August 13, 2012, 10:05:31 am »
Ferry from Cape May to Ocean City (assume you mean Ocean City, MD, not Ocean City, NJ)? Unless there is a new ferry service I haven't heard about, the ferry from Cape May goes to Lewes, DE.

For the southern portion of NJ, at that time of year (and unless you need camping) it would be nice to ride through the shore towns of Ocean City, Strathmere, Sea Isle City, Avalon, Stone Harbor, and Wildwood on the way to Cape May. All those towns except Strathmere and Stone Harbor have boardwalks that allow you to ride with along side the beach. The Wildwood board walk in particularly interesting if you have never seen it. Very carnival-like. Crossing between islands you usually see a lot of wading birds and sometimes ospreys.

You can enter Ocean City from Somers Point by taking NJ 152 east until the first traffic light then making a right towards the big bridge that takes you into the north end of town. I can draw you a map taking you down to Cape May if you would like.

If you need camping, you will have to look inland along the U.S. 9 corridor for the closest campgrounds. Be advised that U.S. 9 now combines with the Garden State Parkway to cross the Great Egg Inlet and thus is not open to bikes for that stretch. (There is an old brigde that you used to be able to pedal across but it is closed due to structural problems.) Unless you ride down through Ocean City, NJ and cross into Strathmere via Corson's Inlet (you can see all these places on Google Maps), you will have to go way inland to May's Landing in order to cross the Great Egg River before you can continue south. The reconstruction on NJ 52 between U.S. 9 and Ocean City, NJ was recently completed. The old causeway and bridge were very narrow and off limits to bikes. I cannot tell you if bikes are permitted on the new facilities. Even if they are, that route in the main way into town. I would take the 152 route noted above.

Note that there is a huge (around 7,000 people) MS fundrasing ride that ends in Ocean City, NJ on September 29th. Accomodations in the town will be at a premium. N. Wildwood/Wildwood/Wildwood Crest have the most accomodations out of the shore towns mentioned

Routes / Re: ACA Denali route?
« on: August 13, 2012, 09:29:21 am »
I did ACA's Cycle Vermont organized tour back in '10 which primarily followed parts of the Green Mountains Loop. We were provided with cues and maps for each day, but they were not the official Green Mountains Loop maps you can buy. I suspect that since the shorter ACA tours have a pretty set itinerary, there is no need for maps like those you can buy for "roll your own" rides which show all the various services along the route. And as Fred notes, the time and expense required to create such maps is very significant. They also require maintenance going forward.

Gear Talk / Re: Tobus Rack Mount - Advice Please
« on: August 09, 2012, 11:05:45 am »
Get in touch with Wayne at the Touring Store:

A real person who will answer any questions regarding Tubus racks, including mounting options. He will sell you one at a good price. And he will provide service after the sale in the event there are any problems.

Without reading the regulations I expect electric bikes are allowed on regular automobile roads but not on trails.  They are probably in the same catagory as motorcycles.

Makes total sense.

OP:  Note that the C&O is not inclusive of the GAP, which runs between Pittsburgh, PA and Cumberland, MD, where you pick up the C&O. Thought I would point that out since some people plan to ride both and think the C&O includes the GAP, and vice versa. The GAP is not a NPS facilitiy. "Motorized vehilces" (except for wheelchairs) are prohibited. Don't know how that term is defined. If the GAP is in your plans, you should contact the ATA for more details:

General Discussion / Re: Transporting a bicycle
« on: August 07, 2012, 10:17:51 am »
Have had my LBS box my bike up several times for shipment to bike shop at start of tour.  No complaints about the process.  The LBS doesn't charge a lot and do a great job at minimizing box size which saves a few shipping bucks.  It's an inexpensive luxury to get off a bus in a faraway town and roll out a few minutes later with your assembled bike.

+1. For out last two tours far from home, which were loops out of cities in MT, we used local shops at both ends to pack and re-assemble. For the second one, we even shipped a B.O.B., a stove and my racks in a third box. Each time, the total shipping cost was less than what the airlines wanted for two bikes. We used the savings to offset the cost of packing and assembly. In the end, the total cost was more, but not exhorbanantly so. And it was nice to have the bikes ready to go when we arrived and to be able to drop them off at the end and not have to deal with things like packing and airport transportation. Plus, the shops held our boxes free of charge.

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