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Messages - wildandcrazy

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Routes / Re: Circumnavigating Lake Ontario
« on: April 05, 2010, 07:05:18 pm »
Lake Ontario is right.  I'm retired, so we don't have many time constraints.  We like to start from home.  We don't need to arrange transportation to the beginning of the tour, and it gives us a few days close to home if we forget something or problems develop.  I often visited my grandparents in western New York, and I still have a cousin in Oakfield (near Batavia) that we may stay with for a day.  We are on warm showers also, so If you ever do Lake Huron, or take the Lake Erie connector to the ACA's Northern Tier, we can help.

Routes / Re: Circumnavigating Lake Ontario
« on: March 28, 2010, 09:51:42 pm »
My wife and I are planning the same tour this summer, so I will be watching this forum as close as you are.  We have done Lakes Huron, Superior, and Michigan.  We've always gone clockwise.  I wasn't sure why either, but on our last trip I realized that the clockwise direction is almost always a better ride as we are right next to the shoreline.  We aren't seeing it across several lanes of traffic.  We'll probably leave Bay City, Michigan sometime in June.  If you are on the road then, perhaps we'll cross paths.  Good Luck!

Routes / Re: cross-country WITHOUT ACA Maps
« on: March 24, 2010, 01:56:54 pm »
Google Maps has recently added "bicycling" to its directions.  It is still in testing, but it appears to know about rail trails.  It looks like italso  routes on low traffic roads.  I have used the "walking" feature, but the new "bicycling" option looks better.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Michigan Hiway 23 to Mackinac bridge
« on: August 18, 2009, 08:09:09 pm »
Update:  Parts of US-23 from Standish to Tawas used to have a center passing lane.  These areas have been changed into 4 lane roads with the new lane provided by narrowing the shoulders.  The road is still rideable, but it is not as good as it used to be.  Good News:  It appears that work is being done to add the wider shoulders back in these areas.

Routes / Re: Need South Bend to Chicago
« on: May 19, 2009, 09:01:08 am »
Thanks for the suggestions and maps.  The Michiana Map looks very promising.  We plan to post the journal on CGoaB.

Routes / Re: Chose my next bike route!!!!
« on: May 07, 2009, 09:16:09 pm »
Hi WildandCrazy, I appreciate the idea.  Did you do any kind of journal of your trip?  I would love to see more about it.  How were the winds being so close to the lake? I'm guessing since you're riding in a circle, they would probably average out.

Our journal and pictures are at .  We are not "driven" tourists, more happy go lucky types.  We met a lot of people and saw lots of the sights.  We didn't get to hike along the coast in the Bruce Peninsula National Park this time.  I wouldn't miss it, if you have the time.  The TransCanada highway, route 17, can be a little busy at times, but the drivers were great, and the traffic comes in bursts so you can wait until it goes by.     

Routes / Re: Chose my next bike route!!!!
« on: May 05, 2009, 10:11:06 am »
Maybe it is because it was out first major tour, but we had a great time going around Lake Huron.  At 40+ miles per day it is easily doable in a month.  With few exceptions, the roads are decent.  The roads run near the lake almost the whole way, so the roads are mostly flat.  There will be some great color in the fall, so the weekend traffic might be busy.  There will be a ferry ride across the Georgian Bay.  You will need a passport this year to get back into the U.S.  The weather starts to get cool in October, but the lake effect keeps the changes from being too severe.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier next summer
« on: April 30, 2009, 10:15:01 am »
The ferry from Manitowoc to Ludington runs more often in the summer.  The schedule is at .   We crossed the blue water bridge in 2007 going west from Sarnia, ON to Port Huron, MI.  The bridge authority gave us a pickup ride.  There is also a ferry you could take across the river from Marine City, MI to Sombra, ON about 22 miles south of Port Huron.  Remember that border crossings into the U.S. from Canada are going to be tougher starting in June.  You will need a passport or the equivalent. 

Routes / Need South Bend to Chicago
« on: April 30, 2009, 09:52:53 am »
Am planning a trip around Lake Michigan.  How do we get from South Bend to Chicago.  Safety is the main concern, want to avoid both traffic and crime danger.  Would consider public transportation if bikes are carried, if there is no other way.  Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Routes / Re: East to West
« on: March 13, 2009, 11:03:03 pm »
We've taken Amtrak on long distance trips several times.  Chicago to Portland.  Chicago to New Orleans.  Toledo to Washington, DC.  We have never taken our bikes, but we've enjoyed every trip.  If you are in to adventure, go by train.  There are people to talk to and there is country to see.  If you are a loner who tours for the solitude, and can't sit still for an hour, or someone who must live by a strict schedule, you won't like Amtrak.  If you are gregarious person who tours so you can meet people and see things, Amtrak may be part of the adventure.  You have the choice of sitting in something like a straight jacket for a few hours, staring at the back of the seat in front of you, or spending a few days in an easy chair looking at the countryside, that is, when you are not up walking around meeting people or enjoying a meal.  A lot of people are whiners when it comes to trains.  I guess I'm a whiner when it comes to air travel.  To each his own. 

Routes / Re: cross-country WITHOUT ACA Maps
« on: March 13, 2009, 04:49:06 pm »
I don't know if this helps, but google maps has a feature where you can specify walking as your mode of transportation.  It is in the testing stage, but it tends to show some back roads that could be useful.

Gear Talk / Re: Considering New Handlebar Setup
« on: March 10, 2009, 04:08:28 pm »
My wife and I are older tourers - in our 60s.  I know that drop bars are considered the way to go for touring, but we had trouble adapting from our experience with mountain bikes.  We just couldn't get used to the drop bars on our new Trek 520s.  I swapped them for mountain style riser bars.  The brakes are stock linear pull v-brakes, so we needed some new mountain type brake levers.  There is a device, "Thumbies", from Paul Component Engineering that will convert Shiamano bar end shifters into thumb shifters.  We wanted to do this but couldn't buy them anywhere.  The suppliers were out of stock and Paul Components didn't return messages.  We ended up exchanging the bar end shifters for Sram grip shifters.  Not what we wanted, but they let us leave on the tour.  We were also able to trade out our stems to take the mountain bars.  We have a set of trekking bars from Nashbar that I want to try out, but haven't gotten the wrenches out yet.  So the short answer is:  Yes, you can make all sorts of changes.  There is no guarantee, but you don't need to settle for whatever the manufacturer decides.  It is your bike after all.  The worst that can happen is that you may need to convert back again.   

Routes / Re: East to West
« on: March 03, 2009, 10:18:09 am »
Consider Amtrak.  The trip would take 3 or 4 days.  You will see some of the terrain that you will be riding, and it doesn't cost much to have your bike travel with you.

Gear Talk / Re: Sore butts
« on: March 02, 2009, 02:47:50 pm »
Here's my 2 cents.  Been on two 1000 mile tours so far.  The bike's fit is extremely important.  One half inch, one way on another, up or down, forward or back, and a few degrees of tilt can make a huge difference.  Get the fit right first, but don't be afraid to tinker with it.  Things change over time.  You can gain/lose weight or become more flexible.  You can spend all kinds of time and money trying to find the perfect saddle.  Just as a Brooks has a break in time, so does your butt.  The more you ride, the more comfortable you become.  Keep extending your distance, but give yourself enough recovery time between rides.  Your butt will adapt.  On our tours, my wife and I wear ordinary shorts and use the stock saddles that come with Trek 520s.  Our butts may be tender for the first few rides of the season, but quickly adjust.  We do use Ex-Officio underware and it makes a big difference.

I forgot to say that we are in our sixties.

There is no problem with recumbents if that's what someone prefers.  The question is about butt pain, so you can try things like simple adjustments and waiting a couple of weeks for your butt to adapt, or you can go right out and spend a thousand or more for a different ride.  There must be thousands of new bicycles hanging in garages that were only ridden once because they were sized wrong.  I don't know, but would assume that if the distance from the seat to pedals is wrong on a recumbent, you wouldn't want to ride it very far either.  Again - Nothing wrong with recumbents if that's what one chooses.  Limos are even more comfortable.

General Discussion / Re: How do you like the new forum?
« on: February 25, 2009, 12:23:01 pm »
Like it!  I never bothered posting on the old forum.  It would be nice if pictures could be sized automatically, so they would be accepted as attachments.

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