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Messages - jwrushman

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Routes / Re: NYC to Fargo
« on: October 07, 2023, 12:43:44 pm »
I did a modified Northern Tier in 2019 and the first half of my route is very similar to yours.  I started at Sandy Hook in NJ - because I live in NJ and wanted to start at the Atlantic Ocean.  My route was:
    * Sandy Hook to Albany NJ along the Hudson River (crossing over at Bear Mountain bridge and at Albany).  Moderately heavy traffic.  Since my wife is from the mid-Hudson valley, I had places I wanted to visit and friends to see.
     * Albany to Niagara Falls along Erie Canal - Lovely.  Much of the time I stayed on the "parallel" highway.  I didn't like the dust/dirt from unpaved bike path, and the traffic was light.  Through Rochester, I stayed on the bike path to avoid city traffic.  I recommend the Muddy Water Cafe in Palymyra NY.  Owner was very helpful when I needed to attend to a medical issue.  Also, Palmyra was the home of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon religion.  Even though I'm not Mormon, I found it interesting to visit the significant sites of this religion.  Crossing into Canada was a non-issue, w.r.t. customs and bridge traffic.
* Niagara Falls to Algonac across southern Ontario via Lake Erie Connector. Lovely. 
* Modified route across Michigan to visit friends and relatives. Campground at Otter Lake Michigan was free to bicyclist (at that time). 
* Badger ferry from Ludington MI to Manitowoc WI.  I understand that the ferry is now closed due to mechanical problems.  Hopefully it will be available for you.
*  North Lakes from Manitowoc to Taylors Falls (just north of Minneapolis).  Lovely riding.
* Nothern Tier to Fargo via Fergus Falls leg, and then on to Anacortes.  Lovely riding throughout Minnesota.  Wonderful bike paths much of the way.  Courteous drivers (Wisconsin and North Dakota too).  Be sure to visit/use Donn Olsen's bicycle hostel in Dalbo.  Jordies Trailside Cafe in Bowlus was excellent.  Scandinavian Heritage Museum in Morehead MN (just across the river from Fargo is nice if you have the time.

I started my trip on June 1st and had comfortable weather.  Didn't have HOT weather until I reached North Dakota.  Had some cool mornings in Montana and Washington in July, but generally had great weather.  A few days had strong head winds which prompted me to shorten the route, but generally the wind was not a issue for me.  I mostly stayed in motels, WarmShowers (I don't particularly like camping!) so I can't comment much about campgrounds along the route. 

General Discussion / Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« on: August 28, 2023, 05:24:58 pm »
I'm starting to think of riding the TransAm in 2026.  Anything going on at ACA with regards to a semiquincentenial even?

Bikecentennial / Re: My 1979 Journal (partial)
« on: July 24, 2023, 07:17:42 am »
Am enjoying your journal.  How much has changed, and not changed, with bicycle touring.

General Discussion / Re: Amtrak Bicycle Loading presentation
« on: May 26, 2023, 09:49:27 am »

General Discussion / Re: Empire State Trail to NY City
« on: May 25, 2023, 03:13:28 pm »
The logistics might not work out for your if you're staying in Poughkeepsie.  I stayed at the Bear Mountain Bridge Motel - in 2014 when doing the AT - it was $88.  In 2017, in my modified Northern Tier, I stayed there again for $96.  It's a tiny place, but clean. 

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Across Michigan to Pittsburgh
« on: May 24, 2023, 08:16:26 am »
My suggestion would be to take the ferry from Manitowoc to Ludington, Lake Erie connector across Michigan to Marine City (or wherever the ferry is currently ), across Southern Ontario, ferry across Lake Erie to Sandusky, pick up Northern tier to rest of Erie, Pennsylvania, Underground Railroad Pittsburgh spur south to Pittsburgh.

Once you get to Manitowoc, you're on well-curated ACA routes , the rides across Michigan and Ontario are easy, and you get a couple more ferry rides!

General Discussion / Amtrak Bicycle Loading presentation
« on: May 23, 2023, 07:46:43 am »
Did anyone else participate in the bicycle loading presentation by Amtrak? I admire the dedication of the presenters.  But a word comes to mind - Sisyphean. All the different bicycle options - eBikes, tandems, recumbents, trikes, children's, fat tire, trailers... And all the different train car and platform configurations. The best I think we can hope for is improved communication/documentation for the question "Can I get from A to B with this gear?"

Routes / Re: Northern Tier to the Empire State Trail
« on: February 21, 2023, 07:46:02 am »
No need for camping along the Erie Canalway - enough motels, hotels, B&B's.  But camping is readily available too.

It's easy to stay on roads that parallel the canal. Not as picturesque, but faster and cleaner than the gravel.  The path through Rochester is paved, so no need to deal with city traffic there.

Routes / Re: Cycling to Long Island
« on: February 07, 2023, 07:56:29 am »

Routes / Cycling to Long Island
« on: February 03, 2023, 11:42:28 am »
After living in northern NJ for 45 years, I visited Montauk and eastern Long Island, albeit by car, last November.  Then I got to pondering "Would it have been possible to bicycle there?".   After looking around on the internet, I found a few posts about bicycling to Montauk, mostly from Manhattan or taking the ferry to Long Island.  From northern NJ, it looks like the only realistic way to ride is via the George Washington Bridge and then, somehow, working one's way to Long Island.  I've given up on the idea of bicycling from NJ to Montauk.  Even though it might be possible, I think it would be quite dangerous due to traffic (suicidal?!).  So my question is "Is Suffolk County or New York State doing or planning anything to make Long Island more accessible to bicyclists?"  Canalligator, I think you were looking into this problem years ago.  Did you have any luck?

Routes / Re: camping on the Northern Tier
« on: September 12, 2022, 12:08:40 pm »
I enjoyed reading your blog. just curious why you decided to ride the older northern tier route to Wolf Point Montana from cut Bank?

Gear Talk / Re: Bluetooth speaker
« on: August 24, 2022, 09:02:46 am »
I ended up replacing it with the same speaker. I guess I shouldn't expect more than 5 years for an inexpensive speaker.

Except for in the noisiest conditions, the speaker has been adequate in terms of volume. In addition to directions, I have RideWithGPS. give me an alert every mile, just to make sure the phone hasn't fallen asleep.

Gear Talk / Bluetooth speaker
« on: August 03, 2022, 01:34:51 pm »
Over the past 8 years, I've been using the Buckshot 2.0 speaker from Outdoor Technology. They've worked well for me when bicycling, but seemed to die after 4 to 5 years - no longer charge, no longer maintain a charge.  Maybe that's the expected life for an inexpensive speaker, but I'm wondering if there's something that might work better.

   $30 or less

On uninteresting rides around home, I use it for listening to Pandora. When touring, I use it for turn by turn directions from Ride with GPS.  My Android phones speaker is just not adequate if there's much road noise / wind noise.


I'm sorry I won't be able to join you for a stretch of your ride.  We just adopted a new doggie.  Wife wouldn't be pleased if I were to take off for a week!

Will you be posting a journal someplace?  CrazyGuyOnABike?

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS or ACA app, or both?
« on: April 22, 2022, 05:27:38 pm »
For my modified Northern Tier, I purchased ACA maps and manually inputted the route into RideWithGPS.  I did this so I could use RideWithGPS's turn-by-turn directions - sometimes helpful, but mostly not needed.  And by entering the route into RWGPS, I became more familiar with the route and was aware of congested areas where I'd need to pay better attention.   I do not have a Garmin so I don't know if it would be beneficial, but I managed quite nicely with my Android phone.  I've not used OSMaps but imagine it can be used for navigation similar to RWGPS.  I also had ACA's Bicycle Navigator app but mostly did not use it.  I found the paper maps and RWGPS to be very adequate.

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