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Messages - rootchopper

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Routes / Atlantic Coast Route - Dangerous Bollards installed
« on: June 07, 2012, 12:38:00 pm »
The Atlantic Coast route uses the Mount Vernon Trail bewteen Washington DC and Mount Vernon.  About 7.5 miles south of DC, the route passes under the enormouse Woodrow Wilson Bridge.  Recently a number of bollards have been placed across the path. These bollards are black and spaced quite closely together.  Three of them are at the base of a hill. 

See for more details. 

General Discussion / Re: Shakedown Trip, still concerned
« on: April 28, 2011, 09:39:03 am »
Keep an eye on the humidity too.  In the eastern and southern US, high humidity is as big a concern.  (I live near Washington DC. It can feel like a swamp here on an 80 degree day.)

Regardless of whether it's heat or humidity, when you feel like it is getting to you, find an air conditioned place and hang out while your body recovers.  I chatted up a convenience store clerk in Pennsylvania once for a good 40 minutes all the while standing under a massive air conditioning register.  You'd have thought I was Larry King for all the gabbing I was doing but that cold air felt GREAT!

Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Route Changes?
« on: April 27, 2011, 02:22:56 pm »
Well it seemed a little silly to carry all the addenda for 2 map pages going back to 2001. (I didn't see any earlier addenda.) So no harm in buying some new maps.  I will check for addenda just before I leave.

I also plan on calling the campgrounds to see if they are open.  Otherwise I might just find a "CLOSED FOR THE SEASON" sign.

Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Route Changes?
« on: April 26, 2011, 08:29:34 pm »
Thanks for the info.  I checked my maps which I thought were 5 years old.  They are over 10 years old! So I just bought new ones today.

I've done both trails too.  The C&O has its rugged charms but the GAP has a much better surface and more services near the trail.  The kids would love the train. Lots of smoke and noise would be a great contrast to the quiet during the ride. 

Routes / Re: routes in pennsylvania/New York
« on: April 26, 2011, 01:41:55 pm »
One idea, go to the PA DOT website and look for the PA bike routes. Route S goes along the southern edge of PA. It must intersect the ACA Atlantic Coast Route east of York PA.  Switch over to the ACR and follow it to NYC

Routes / Atlantic Coast Route Changes?
« on: April 26, 2011, 01:16:18 pm »
I am planning a trip from Albany NY to Washington DC, mostly on the Atlantic Coast Route.  I have some old ACA-ACR maps that I am planning on using but am a little concerned about major route changes such as bridge closures.  I know that there is a new pedestrian bridge across the Hudson at Pughkeepsee that I am planning to take and a new rail trail here and there.  I can't seem to find online any changes to the route that would cause me woe. Do you know of any?

Routes / Re: Upstate NY to CT
« on: April 22, 2011, 09:28:25 pm »
Google New York State Bike Routes.  You may be able to follow NYS Bike Route 17 from south Ithaca down to the NYC area. It's a start anyway. 

General Discussion / Lower Potomac River Crossing
« on: September 19, 2009, 07:55:09 pm »
Greetings from Alexandria VA

As you may know the Potomac Heritage Route has a bit of a glitch caused by the lack of frequent ferries across the lower Potomac River.  The ferries are needed because there is no on-road bicycle crossing south of Alexandria near Washington DC.  This is also one reason why the Atlantic Coast Route goes through the DC area.  This could change if the Governor Nice Bridge north of Fredericksburg Virgina is modified to include a bike lane.  The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is planning to improve the bridge in the near future and is seeking comments.  If you're interested in giving the MDTA a nudge in the right direction you can tell them here:

John Pickett

Connecting ACA Routes / NYC to Cleveland: PENNSLYVANIA
« on: June 26, 2008, 12:17:20 pm »

You have a few options.  The State Departments of Transportation for both NY and PA have mapped out bike routes to the west.  NYS Bike Route 17 roughly follows the southern border of upstate NY.  Google NY Bike Route 17 for specifics.  Pennsylvania Bike Route Y goes across northern PA.  Check out for more info.

You could hook up witha PA bike route using the NYC  connector to the ACA Atlantic Coast route.

I hope this helps.

Good luck with your trip.

Urban Cycling / New Cyclist to DC
« on: September 22, 2008, 02:47:52 pm »
I live in Mount Vernon and commute to DC quite frequently.  The Mount Vernon Trail is great for commuting.  You could look into apartments in the Belle Haven area just south of Alexandria and near the MVT.  I agree that there is nothing cheap so no guarantees on cost.

BTW check out for lots of useful info on bike trails, commuting, etc.  They also have a very active Yahoo forum.

Urban Cycling / top bicycle-friendly cities and towns
« on: November 27, 2006, 10:29:34 am »
I would agree with Char2006 that Washington DC is pretty hard to beat for a city its size, especially in the Eastern US. We have a growing network of hundreds of miles of bikeable trails including the Mount Vernon, Capital Crescent, Washington and Old Dominion, and Rock Creek Trails, and the C&O Canal towpath.  DC can't hold a candle to Davis California however. I visited Davis in 1979 and I was amazed.  Bike lanes and facilities everywhere.  A community that is totally committed to bikes as transportation. Great weather. And flat terrain.

Gear Talk / A recumbant for centuries and possible touring
« on: September 29, 2006, 05:08:18 pm »
I ride a Tour Easy recumbent (2 wheeler).  It costs about $2000. I bought it four years ago.  It has 20,000 miles on it.  Needless to say, I think it's working out for me.   I've done three tours on it and about 400 commutes.

I like it so much I am having a great deal of difficulty selecting my next bike which will almots certainly be a recumbent.

Another possibility for you is to look for a Burley recumbent. Burley just discontinued manufacturing recumbents so you may be able to get one at a substantially reduced price.

Gear Talk / Recumbent advice?
« on: September 29, 2005, 04:53:54 pm »
I had the same physical problems you are having and then some.  I have been riding a recumbent for three years and rarely touch my old touring bike anymore.

The best one for you is the one that you enjoy riding the most.  I recommend you go to a well stocked recumbent bike shop with a helmet and a water bottle and ride as many bikes as you can. (Let them know you are coming in advance.) I rode 10 different recumbent bikes, narrowed that down to the 3 best, then came back a few days later and did a ride off. My 3 best were the Green Gear's Bike SatRDay, the Sun EZ Sport Lite, and the Easy Racer's Tour Easy. The Tour Easy won.  I have ridden my Tour Easy nearly 16,000 miles in about 3 years including three multi-day tours.  I am a happy camper.  

Recumbents come in an amazing number of configurations so keep an open mind and try as many as you can.  You may find that some recumbent designs look great but don't match your body very well.   Others may look unimpressive but fit like a glove.

Good luck.

Gear Talk / Saddle Advice
« on: March 30, 2004, 06:33:48 pm »
Every one's anatomy differs.  My experience was that foam or gel cushioned saddles worked fine for an hour or two but were torture on long rides.  

Years ago most bikes were sold with leather saddles.  Over time manufacturers replaced then with lighter weight foam and gel saddles to save weight and cost.  

I recommend that you try a leather saddle with or without suspension (springs on the underside).  Ride it a month or two to break it in.  Then go for a long ride. You may come to the same conclusion that I did; leather is much more comfortable.  And you will not have (saddle-induced) problems with your DrScience baby making apparatus.  

You can find Brooks saddles on the internet at Harris Cyclery (Newton Mass), Bike Nashbar, and Wallingford Bicycle Parts.

Good luck.

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