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Messages - canalligators

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Gear Talk / Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« on: February 06, 2017, 12:44:39 pm »
I'm always more cautious when I'm responsible for two lives.

General Discussion / Re: Training program recommendations
« on: February 05, 2017, 08:15:24 pm »
I really like Brian Martindale's article from years back.  It's complete, customizable and no nonsense.  On this site go to Resources / How To Department / Bike Travel Basics / Getting in Shape for Touring.

It sounds like you've already done the first step. Next will be some strength training, then distance, then loaded distance.

Gear Talk / Re: Reflective Clothing; Jackets/Jerseys Etc (Warm Weather)
« on: January 31, 2017, 09:52:19 am »
HiVis+reflective vests are effective and inexpensive, but offer no insulation.  You can buy them at Wal Mart and the like.

Routes / Re: West to East - Indiana and Ohio
« on: January 31, 2017, 09:49:05 am »
Here is my RideWithGPS route for Chicago exit south:

The departure point is Union Station, but no matter where you are, get to the lake shore and get on the trail to start.  End point is where we spent our first night.  You can easily go directly east from there, or find your way south if you're picking up the Northern Tier route.  Either way, this map will get you out of downtown Chicago with only a little riding on moderate traffic streets.

Routes / Re: West to East - Indiana and Ohio
« on: January 30, 2017, 03:17:10 pm »
Sizeable Amish community in northeastern Indiana, around Shipshewana.

If you're coming down the 400 Trail and going through Baraboo WI, don't miss the circus museum.

There is a network of rail trails around and through Chicago.  The lakeshore trail is great.  If you need a good urban escape route south out of Chicago, I can supply it.

General Discussion / Re: Touring/Hybrid Bike recommendation
« on: January 30, 2017, 02:37:34 pm »
Can you tell us why you've ruled out the bike you have?  Maybe it's worn out, or you'd have to do expensive upgrades, or it just doesn't fit you well?  Or have you decided that a road bike isn't the right tool because it's a road bike?  (A road bike is perfectly suitable for true credit card touring.)

But to actually answer your question, almost any bike that fits you can be used for touring.  Here are the priorities:
1. Fit, therefore comfort.  I'm tempted to list this three times.  Insist on comfort!  A professional fitting might be money well spent.
2. A low enough low gear.  It can be as the bike comes, or change things to get there.  Often you can change just the freewheel or chainring.  Low gear should be in the 20-25 inch-gear range, even for credit card touring.`
3. Cargo capacity, which should not be an issue for credit card touring.  (A seat bag and handlebar bag should be enough.)
4. Sturdy wheels; for CC touring 32/wheel is enough.  No "designer wheels", i.e. low spoke count, fancy patterns.  If a spoke breaks on one of those, you won't be limping to a bike shop or fixing it in the field.

I'd go ride a bunch of bikes and get the one that's has low gears and at least 32 spokes per wheel, that's the most comfortable.  (Hint, you may wish to upgrade the seat.)

5. Finally, don't automatically rule out recumbent bikes.  They cost more and are harder to research and buy, but most of them make great touring bikes.

Routes / Re: East Coast Greenway or Atlantic Route
« on: January 26, 2017, 04:07:22 pm »
On (geographical) Long Island, I've ridden the Five Borough in NYC, Greenport to Orient Point, a little local riding around Bellmore, and Hither Hills to Montauk Point.  Also local riding around Montauk village/beaches.  I need to connect Brooklyn to Hither Hills, to say I've ridden E-W across New York State.  And sieze the opportunity to revisit our favorite lighthouse.  My stoker has no interest in riding on suburban Long Island, having grown up there, so it'll be a solo trip.

To complete a N-S traverse, I need to ride Lake Placid to the Canadian border, and across Staten Island.

Routes / Re: East Coast Greenway or Atlantic Route
« on: January 25, 2017, 01:11:47 pm »
I kinda figured that.  And I know the area, more or less, from Freeport to Massapequa.

Routes / Re: Redondo Beach (L.A. area) to Lake Tahoe
« on: January 25, 2017, 01:10:03 pm »
Always a good idea to check out some street views of your route, for shoulder conditions and general look of the neighborhood.

Routes / Re: East Coast Greenway or Atlantic Route
« on: January 24, 2017, 11:29:04 pm »
Sunrise Highway? Sounds suicidal. There are side streets to zigzag through, but I'm always looking for ideas. I have family to visit on south shoah.

Clipless are recommended for recumbents. You don't have to press to keep your feet on, so you get much less numbness.  Anyway, I have wide feet and straps make my feet numb. Glad to be rid of them, almost 20 years ago.

Routes / Re: East Coast Greenway or Atlantic Route
« on: January 23, 2017, 09:32:38 pm »
Papa Tom, do you have a good route from the Brooklyn Bridge towards Montauk?  I'd prefer to stay near the south shore.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring tandem: experience with different makes
« on: January 23, 2017, 12:41:33 pm »
I don't know if you're open to recumbents, but you can find a used Vision R82/85 for somewhere around $1500, sometimes less.  It splits in the middle and each part can be fit into a bike box.  Alternately, you can remove the wheels and pack the frame into one box.  It was a challenge to figure this all out, but here's one approach:  The notable travel hassle with recumbents is that you'll need a bag or bags for the seats, so you end up with more bits to carry along.

I'd take the ferry from Sandy Hook to Manhattan, then the west side bike path to the GW Bridge, then Bike 9.  The only dicey bit is north of Haverstraw, it has a shoulder but it isn't very wide.  If you can time it so you're not riding there during rush hour, that would help.  9W/Bike 9 between Fort Lee and Nyack is a nice ride.  We rode this route in 2005, southbound, but the street view shows conditions about the same today.

Routes / Re: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« on: January 11, 2017, 10:20:22 am »
... According to Google Maps, the auto road up Mount Washington is 30 to 40% grade.  I ruined a car with manual transmission trying to do that many years ago, and ruined the brakes and transmission on the way down. ...

Best way up is the Cog Railway.  A true historic gem and a story in itself.
Next best is to hike it.  Not an easy climb.
Next best is to take their shuttle.
Worst way is to drive your car.

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