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Messages - indyfabz

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Routes / Re: Google biking maps
« on: October 18, 2012, 04:31:37 pm »
Agree with Josh. Another thing it sometimes does is route you out of your way to put you on bike paths, sometimes for short distances.

One time out of curiosity, I asked for directions between two points on the Trans Am route. Can't remember the starting point (maybe, Wisdom, Dillon or Twin Bridges), but the end was W. Yellowstone. The rotue was remarkably different than the ACA route. As Josh describes, it chose a remote route with many miles of unpaved roads and very few (if any) services).  I suspect that's because it's not considering the needs of the self-contained cyclist. That type of route is fine as long as you know what you are getting into and can prepare properly with things like sufficent water and nourishment. But if that's not your thing, you have to scrutinize the chosen route with care.

General Discussion / Re: In praise of rest days...
« on: October 18, 2012, 04:21:39 pm »
So many fun times.  Let's see....

After finishing the Northern Tier in Bar Harbor I took a few days off before heading down the coast for home. Took the bus into Acadia and walked along the beach to Thunder Hole. Saw two movies in town. That forgettable one with Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy.  Can't even remmber the name. Bo something or other I think. But it was in a nice, old theater. The next night I saw "Summer of Sam" in a combination theater-pizza parlor. If you ordered food, you got to sit down in front in old living room furniture. When your food was ready, a light lit up on an old bingo board and you went to pick it up.

A few days from home I was forced to take a day off in a Goddefroy, NY motel as hurricane Floyd moved through. The proprietor was incredibly nice. I had no food with me. After the brunt of the storm had passed, she drove me to an open deli so I could get a sandwich.

In Glasgow, MT we got to partake in the customer appreciation day BBQ at Gordon's Warehouse Grocery Store. Met quite a few insteresting locals.

Took a boat tour on Lake Itasca during which we saw a loon family and a bald eagle pair.

Took several days off in Ronda Spain during Semana Santa and got to see the evening precessions. Being from the U.S., the hoods and robes were unnerving at first. Absent the colors, they look just like KKK garb.

Both times I crossed the North Cascades Highway, days off in Winthrop to recover in the warmth was quite nice.

Hiking in Glacier N.P. waiting for Logan Pass to open.

Toured Rock Island and the John Deere center during a day off in Davenport, IA then had a 22 oz. stuffed pork chop at The Machine Shed.

Spent and evening at a county fair in Bowling Green, OH.

In Niagara Falls, ON we stayed at the Rainbow Hostel. They had a multi-hour tour on a Merry Prankster-like bus to lesser-visited attractions, including a brewery and a winery, where I tried ice wine for the first time. Everyone was pretty much snockered by the end.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling/Touring companion
« on: October 17, 2012, 10:44:57 am »
Right next door to Portugal, Andalucia has a lot of nice cycling. A good road network and little traffic in many places. Can't comment on the current suitability due to the economic climate there. The Rough Guide travel book series has an entire book devoted to the region, and Michelin makes a great map showing even the tiniest roads. Just don't go during the height of summer unless you like extreme heat. April was terrific weather-wise. The second half of March was hit or miss, with some of the more mountainous areas like the Alpujarras being cold and wet.

Mid-Atlantic / New Jersey Wolf Preserve & Campground
« on: October 15, 2012, 02:53:23 pm »
While on a day ride that included some of ACA's Atlantic Coast Route in the area of Delaware Water Gap, PA and the National Recreation Area of the same name I came across a neat place that you might want to visit on a side trip:

Who'd have thunk it in NJ?

To get there...A hundred or so feet north of the gas station on Rte. 611 in Portland, PA, which is a about 4 miles south of Delaware Water Gap, PA, there is pedestrian bridge to Columbia on the NJ side of the river. The wolf preserve is about 5.5 mile from there. Here is a map:

While on your way, if you make the right on Station Rd. from SR 94 and travel down it a short distance will see the Paulinskill Viaduct. When complteted in 1910, it was the largest reinforced concrete structre in the world. It used to carry DL&W's Lackawanna Cutoff, but it has not seen a train since about '79. New Jersey Transit has long range plans to reactivate the line all the way to Scranton. PA.


General Discussion / Re: Libraries and Touring
« on: October 15, 2012, 01:59:15 pm »
I use libraries mostly to check and send email since I don't carry a computer or "smart" gadget. During a 10 day trip in MT last year we stopped at two public libraries. During Cycle Oregon this year we hit one public library. We would have hit a few more but they were closed on the days we were there. I do on-line research into businesses/services and sometimes ask librarians for local information. I have visited libraries on several other supported and unsupported tours, both long and short.

If there is a donation jar, I always leave something.

Routes / Re: Timing and weather
« on: October 09, 2012, 01:43:24 pm »
My mention of humidity was in relation to direction. Personally, having to deal with very high humidty during summers, I would start in early June in the east to avoid as much east and midwest humidity as possible. Riding all day in what feels like a wet diaper with nothing evaporating and no associated cooling is something I like to avoid. Those are my thoughts.

Routes / Re: Timing and weather
« on: October 08, 2012, 02:51:57 pm »
Interesting that you are focussing on weather from a cold perspective. Are you familiar with/acclimated to riding in extreme heat and humidity, which you could very well enounter in the midwest and east based on your timing? Having once done it, riding through the midwest in 90-100+ temps (topping out at 107 in IN, with a low the night before of 85) and oppressive humidity for at least two weeks straight is something I would try to avoid.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier / TransAm Start Date Question (E to W travel)
« on: October 07, 2012, 01:16:40 pm »
I was on the Trans Am heading east for a few days last year. Left from Missoula on June 29th and rode to the eastern base of Big Hole Pass. On July 4th we spent the night in Twin Bridges, which is also on the Trans Am. We met several western-bound people who had started early to mid-May.

As noted, conditions can vary from year to year. When we arrived in MSO is was rather chilly and the weather had been not so nice all spring and summer up until then. The week before our trip, snow showers were forecast in some of the areas we were to ride to. Fortunately, we hit the first extended stretch of dry, warm weather.

Having done the the entire Nothern Tier, the western section to Glacier a second time and much of the OR section of the Trans Am to Florence, I can recommend taking the Trans Am to MSO and then jumping on the Great Parks to Whitefish. Form there, head to Glacier, make camp and ride up and back down the west side of Going to the Sun. Then head back west and finish on the Northern Tier. Sort of the best of both worlds. You would miss McKenzie Pass in OR, but GTS more than makes up for it IMO. Plus, I wasn't a big fan of the high desert of eastern and central OR. The WA mountains were more interesting to me.  From near the end of the Northern Tier you can pretty easily get to Seattle, which offers plenty of transportation options home.

Routes / Re: Detailed maps
« on: October 05, 2012, 02:16:29 pm »
When we were touring in Montana last year we got a pretty good Department of Transportation map for free. Some local chamber of commerce office had a pile of them. At least in better times, states would print them and give them out like water.

I believe this is the on-line version:

It's a large PDF that I find cumbersome to work with.

General Discussion / Re: Overcoming butt pain
« on: October 04, 2012, 09:24:09 am »
Another vote for the Terry Liberator. If you can get one from R.E.I. you can return it for a full refund if it doesn't work for you.

Routes / Re: TransAm to Western Express, VA to Califorinia
« on: October 04, 2012, 09:18:48 am »
Try looking through here:

Query: Might a start date of mid to late May put one in the NV desert in July?

Gear Talk / Re: front platform racks: Surly Nice or Old Man Pioneer?
« on: October 03, 2012, 03:54:17 pm »
Did you rule out the Nitto Big front rack from Rivendell? Very strong, attaches to the eyelets down low and using p-clamps up top, places panniers at mid-level, or you can attach them to the top rail for even greater clearence and gorgeous. However, it ain't cheap.

Routes / Re: Allegheny Loop Info
« on: October 03, 2012, 03:49:03 pm »
Great journal. I bought the map a few years ago and keep saying "I'll get to it." After reading your account, I definitely need to get my rear in gear. I have plans to ride to my 30th high school reunion in Mass. next year. I should be able to carry over enough vacation days to do both and still have time for a trip with the GF.

Routes / Re: Route from California to Canada - WIND DIRECTION?!
« on: September 26, 2012, 02:19:09 pm »

Just climbed from Fort Klamath up to Crater Lake, rode around the rim and then down to Prospect a few weeks ago on Cycle Oregon. The day after that we did Prospect to Ashland. After a rest day we climbed out of Ashland the same way we came in--on Dead Indial Memorial Rd., which is what I believe the ACA route uses. The climb is arduous. It was early in the morning, so wind was not a factor, but after the short descent from the summit, we hit some headwind. Not intimately familiar with the ACA route, but if it goes from Prospect up to Crater Lake via Rte. 62, that's a 30 mile ascent of one degreee or another. Wind was not a factor. Once you are up at the rim, anything goes. We had a headwind for a while going clockwise from the lodge to the park road that leads down to Rte. 138. I climbed that road 5 years ago into a headwind.

In short, I think the hills will be much more of an issue than the wind. The heat, too. It was at least 90 F in Ashland on 9/12 and 9/13. It cool up on the rim road this year, but pretty darn warm five years ago despite the altitude and early September date.

Routes / Re: Emergencies on paved rail-trails??
« on: September 25, 2012, 10:56:41 am »
Have seen them on several occasions on the Schuylkill River Trail, which is used on your spur into Philadelphia and which is the I-95 of trails in this area.

By "can" I assume you mean is it physically possible. Access and response time could be affected by remoteness and surrounding topography. For example, the 23 or so mile trail through the Lehigh Gorge State Park has only a few access points. The Pine Creek Gorge trail is another one that comes to mind. Trails are often managed by government agencies or authorties who be expsoing themselves to liability if they were to unduly hamper emergency vehicle access with things like bollards that cannot be quickly removed.

Regarding "may," I have seen numerous trail rules publications that prohibit motorized vehilces except emergency response and other similar vehicles.

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