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Messages - canalligators

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Routes / Re: East Coast Greenway or Atlantic Route
« on: April 13, 2016, 01:01:25 pm »
Personally, I'd do my own route.  I would prefer to stay close to the coast. I'd shuttle across the Chesepeake Bay Bridge, ride to Lewes DE and ferry across Delaware Bay, ride up NJ to Sandy Hook, take the ferry to Manhattan, use the NYC bike routes out to Long Island, ferry from Orient Point to New London, then ride from there to RI.  On Long Island, plan on connecting a lot of local/county routes instead of using major roads.  NY DOT has a couple of bike routes you might use.

You can make a decent route using Google Maps, select Directions and Cycling or Walking options.  Go to street view to check a questionable road for shoulders.  Go to satellite view to find park roads and parking lots you can cut through on your bike.

Routes / Re: Erie Canalway Towpath trail
« on: April 13, 2016, 12:53:24 pm »
I wrote a guide to the canal and alternatives here  I update it about twice a year, last done a couple of months ago.

Gear Talk / Re: Installing rack and fenders tomorrow, quick question
« on: April 11, 2016, 12:47:29 pm »
Losing a rack or fender bolt on tour is common.  They vibrate loose and fall out.  Do three things: use blue Loc-Tite on the bolts, check them every week or so, and carry a couple of spares.

Gear Talk / Re: Wheels without spokes?
« on: April 11, 2016, 12:44:08 pm »
I second the sturdy wheels idea.  A conservatively built spoked wheel is not inherently problematic, in fact it's the opposite.  So you should not fear spokes.  Build wheels with strong rims, lots of spokes (36 for single bikes), a good brand of spokes, and you will be trouble free.

The trail is closed for three miles west of Macedon, NY.  The closure is between Wayneport Rd. and NY 350.  This closure is due to bridge replacement and trail improvements at Canandaigua Rd.  This project is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2016.

I've inquired of DOT as to how long the closure will be in effect, and whether a detour will be posted.  I'll update here when they respond.

The bridge construction also changes access to a commercial campground, Twilight on the Erie RV Resort.  The resort may still be accessed by detouring on the south side of the canal using NY 31.  Detouring to the north using Quaker Rd. will not give you access to this campground.  This facility has tent camping and two cabins, and RV parking if you're sagged.

Free camping at the hiker/biker site, at Lock 30 in Macedon, should still be available.

Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight Slip-Jaw Pliers?
« on: December 08, 2015, 12:54:31 pm »
Pliers are generally the tool of last recourse.  The only use I could think of would be to lift a hot pot when cooking.  And there are much lighter aluminum handles for that.

You can get a lot of different opinions on what tools to take, but I recommend only taking tools for the likely repairs: flats, broken spokes, broken cables, lost mounting bolts.  But along with this advice, I add that you should never tour on a bike where replacement tires can't be bought at WalMart.  And always make sure everything is in good working order before you leave: no "iffy" wheels, no old chain/cassette, properly broken in seat, etc.

Routes / Re: Western NY to NYC and the Atlantic route
« on: December 08, 2015, 12:40:22 pm »
... I have the hardest time trying to find maps for the NY bike routes on line. Maybe you will have better luck.

Only one of the access points actually puts up the interactive map with state bike routes annotated:

I've complained, but although cycling does get consideration in my state, fixing a usability problem isn't critical and probably won't get done.  I may have to contact the bike and ped people directly (via a department employee who knows these folks...)

Trikes suitability due to width is a myth.  A trike is about as wide as the panniers on a two-wheeler.  You can cower to the right a little farther with a bike, but you should not be doing this anyway.  I recommend reading a good gude to Effective Cycling, such as the Pennsylvania Bike Drivers Manual  Then try it - it all works amazingly well.

Gear Talk / Re: List of tools
« on: September 22, 2015, 12:46:27 pm »
Decide what repairs you wish to do in the field and bring the tools  needed to do only those repairs. The most common repairs are tire and tube, spoke replacement, cable replacement, lost mounting bolts. Don't bring tools for repairs that can wait, things that you get warning for, like brake pad replacement. Why carry tools for a low-probability failure?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Gear Talk / Re: A folding bike for touring?
« on: October 18, 2014, 11:26:09 am »
The real beauty of a folder is being able to take it on other transport modes, portaging if you will.  They have real advantages there.  And some good folding bikes also make good touring bikes, though they won't be cheap.  Lots of people use and enjoy touring on them, especially the Fridays.  You have to decide whether a folding bike is the right tool for your situation.

This whole discussion seems to be off on picking apart the idea of using folding bikes to tour.  Both rational and irrational reasons are presented, but the only ones that have merit were the cost and possible fit issues.  I note also that the naysayers are mostly people who haven't really given one a good try.  I may be misjudging, but that's the tone I heard.

As for folding bikes looking funny, the same thought process scares people away from recumbents - and many of them make exceptionally good touring bikes.  Let's keep our minds open, friends.

General Discussion / Re: Toe clips? Clipless? None of the above?
« on: October 18, 2014, 11:01:46 am »
A third option is Power Grip straps.  I haven't tried them, but they have a small, dedicated following.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Question
« on: October 17, 2014, 11:18:47 pm »
You can tour on lots of different bikes.  If the fit is good, the gearing is adequate and you can carry your gear ok, the bike will work for you.  Also, good commuting bikes generally make good touring bikes, and vice versa. 

But I see two shortfalls with that bike.  It doesn't have low enough gearing for any loads or hills.  And it doesn't have a way to load gear using panniers, though you can use a trailer with it.  If the bike fits you well, though, you could have a triple (and probably a different derailleur and shifter) for a couple hundred dollars.  Changing the rear cassette will give a little lower gearing, but you really need to get down into the 25 inch-gear range for loaded touring.  It will take a triple to do that.

Routes / Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« on: October 01, 2014, 01:18:02 pm »
There are two other routes that you might consider.
  • Take the ferry to Sandy Hook NJ then go west to connect with AC Atlantic Coast.  You could connect anywhere south of Lambertville.  You could also connect with the Delaware and Raritan Canal trail somewhere near Princeton and take it to AC in Trenton.
  • The second idea is to ride down the actual coast.  Take the ferry to Sandy Hook, ride near the coast of New Jersey, take the ferry across Delaware Bay from Cape May.  Then ride across Delaware and take the Tangier Island ferry to Reedville VA, and find a backroad route to AC near Richmond.
These would take some research, but could be fine routes - especially the second one, which is on my radar.

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers vs. BOB?
« on: September 23, 2014, 01:05:28 pm »
Single wheeled trailers have maximum speeds specified, and for most riders and machines it is a very good idea.  So if you're planning to descend Washington Pass at the 40 mi/hr that is possible, don't use the BOB or its clones.  Two wheeled trailers do not generally have this restriction.

Also look at the Extrawheel.  I understand (but don't know for sure) that it can safely operate at higher speeds.

We have used both, and have come to mostly prefer panniers.  Our BOB weighs more than the equivalent large pans and rack, so it will take more effort to climb.  It's a good choice in flat land for long trips.  In any case, strive to reduce your load first, then worry about packing after.

General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: September 23, 2014, 12:49:39 pm »
Speeding traffic on a back road may be driving 50 mph.  On an interstate it'll be 80-90.  That's three times as bad if you get hit.  (Square the velocity!)

Don't forget that the higher the speed differential, the shorter the reaction time.  Even if you see it coming, in front or in the mirror, your ability to evade is reduced.  This one isn't a v-squared problem, but once you've used up your reaction time, what's left over to actually move is a lot less.

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