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Messages - canalligators

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16
Routes / Re: Northern Tier for the Non-Camper
« on: November 12, 2013, 10:55:22 am »
I've looked into this, and the other place you might have trouble is Rainy/Washington Pass.  That's at least 75 miles and a tandem pair of mountain passes.  We considered riding from the west, bringing a cheap tent and sleeping bags, camping at Colonial Creek, then either giving the tent and bags away or seeing if someone would mail them out for us.

17
The Erie Canalway Trail is under rehab between Pittsford and Fairport, NY.  This is on Northern Tier.  Construction is to last through 2014.  Per Canal Corp. press release, sections will be closed only as necessary.  I don't know if detours will be posted, but I'm presuming not.  A reasonable alternate route is to use NY 31, Ayrault Road and Turk Hill Road.

18
Routes / Re: NYC to Monticello NY Route
« on: October 24, 2013, 04:37:20 am »
Where are you starting in NYC?  The common way out is to take the west side bike trail to the GW, then north on 9W (Bike Route 9).  On first glance, I'd research Bike 9 to Bear Mountain, 6 etc. to Monroe, county roads and NY 42.

Google Maps is good for this sort of planning.  Start by clicking Directions and the cycling icon, that will highlight the trails and posted bike routes.  When you have a tentative route, use street view to inspect the candidates; look for wide shoulders, which are common in New York.

Another good option is NY DOT's interactive bike route map https://www.dot.ny.gov/display/programs/bicycle/maps.  Click on the Use The Map tab.

19
General Discussion / Re: Newbie, just signed up for the TransAm tour!
« on: October 24, 2013, 04:19:57 am »
I always recommend that you have and do what you need to get a good night's sleep.  Sure, you'll be tired, but if you need a pillow or a good ground pad to sleep well, do it.  You can take a lot more stress during the day if you're well rested.

20
General Discussion / Re: Day Jobs?
« on: October 24, 2013, 04:13:27 am »
Consider section-riding an epic route.  I crossed the Northern Tier in 2-week sections.

21
General Discussion / Re: bicycles on the roadways
« on: September 25, 2013, 05:55:13 am »
Life is risk.  Figure out the worst scenarios and avoid them or mitigate them.  John, do you find yourself being even more careful when captaining the tandem?  I know that I am, because I am then responsible for two lives.  (BTW, we also ride a DV.)

22
For riding within Quebec, refer to the Route Verte page.  http://www.routeverte.com/routeverte_carte/index.php?langue=en

The direct route from Montreal to NYC is via Route Verte 1 & 2 to the US border, then using New York State Bicycle Route 9.  I have ridden from Albany to NYC and this is a good route.  Most roads have wide shoulders and the scenery is good.

New York bike routes have an interactive map at https://www.dot.ny.gov/bicycle/maps, click on "Use The Maps" tab.

As an alternative, you could ride through the Adirondack Mountains.  The high peaks region around Keene has some short but challenging climbs, but most of the area has more gradual climbs.  The scenery is great.  Route 30 from Malone to Northville is a great ride.

Another choice would be to ride through Vermont to Fair Haven, VT and Whitehall, NY.  It is flatter than the New York side and still very pretty, with nice views of Lake Placid and the mountains in NY and VT.  Switch to NY Bike 9 at Whitehall. 

23
Routes / Re: Canada mortorists
« on: January 28, 2013, 11:14:10 am »
If there is any generalization about drivers, it's that suburban arterials and commercial zones are the worst, cities are ok if you keep your wits about you and ride predictably, and country is good as long as you can avoid the high volume traffic with no lane space.  IMHO, of course.  But even at that, it's all a generalization.  You have to learn to read the conditions.

24
General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Touring vs Backpacking
« on: January 28, 2013, 11:07:33 am »
I just find the speed of travel from walking to be too slow.  Maybe I just haven't learned to slow down enough, I've only backpacked a total of about four weeks in my life.  We'd probably all agree that travel by car is too fast, you don't see anything.

25
General Discussion / Re: Bicycle tourism route mapping advice and examples?
« on: December 19, 2012, 01:32:31 pm »
I have seen shoulder widths broken down into less than or more than four feet.  You also have to consider rumble strips in some areas.  Consult the Montana bike map http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/docs/bike_map.pdf for an example of roadway ratings.

Common sense tells me that four feet is really a minimum as a useable shoulder width.  Perhaps a foot of rumble strip and three feet of unencumbered shoulder might be a practical minimum.  Five feet useable is much better.  But you really have to consider shoulder width AND traffic volume levels to rate a road.

26
General Discussion / Re: Tales of Calamity and Woe
« on: December 19, 2012, 01:24:57 pm »
Had a threadless stem slip and dumped myself and stoker on the ground; she took the brunt of it with bruises and abrasions, but it wasn't a tour ender.  Though the stem had an unusual clamping system, that's no excuse; I had failed to check it recently, and I am suitably humbled by it.  The other one was a spill on a wet unpaved trail, this time I took the brunt but we were able to continue.  We now avoid any unpaved riding in the rain.

27
General Discussion / Re: Advice needed!!!
« on: December 19, 2012, 01:17:13 pm »
But trust me on the sunscreen.

A skin cancer survivor...

28
General Discussion / Re: Stupid Hotel Question
« on: November 28, 2011, 09:24:44 am »
A good resource: http://motelguide.com/.  This lists the non-chain motels, by state and town.  We have used this quite a bit, and almost all of the places we have used have been decent or better.  Properties will generally be better in more rural locations.

29
Routes / Canal Trail, Rochester NY
« on: June 15, 2011, 08:04:47 pm »
The Northern Tier uses the Erie Canal Trailway from Lockport NY eastward to Palmyra NY.  The section from western Rochester to Pittsford is paved, and suffers from an ongoing problem that comes and goes: tree roots causing sharp bumps in the pavement/tarmac.  Unlike a rail trail, canal trails are not lined with deep ditches and built on soil that was polluted for decades with coals from steam locomotive fireboxes; they are on good dirt with minimal drainage and lots of water nearby.  Thus, the trees actively grow roots and cause upheavals in the pavement.  (This is not a problem on the unpaved parts.)

When the pavement gets too bumpy the Canal Corporation scares up some money and repaves it.  This alternates as sections get bumpy.  Right now, one section has gotten bumpy enough that you need to exercise caution: between Kendrick Road and East Henrietta Road.  I would still recommend using the canal trail, but watch your speed and avoid the bumps if you can.

The road alternative over this part of the trail, NY Bike 5, is a horrible route.  It uses Elmwood Avenue and Monroe Avenue, both of which have no bike lane and four lanes of medium-to-heavy traffic.  Drivers on western Elmwood, around Strong Hospital, seem to always be impatient and intolerant of bikes.  So stay on the trail, but stay on your toes.

30
Gear Talk / Re: Uncomfortable seats
« on: December 16, 2010, 11:13:15 am »
See http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=RrzKj&doc_id=6231&v=2q for an article comparing recumbents to diamond frames.

BTW, being seen on a recumbent isn't an issue, in actual practice.  I wouldn't ride a low racer in traffic.  And some of them sit higher than others.

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