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Messages - PNWRider92

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Classifieds / Re: Complete set of Route 66 maps ($30)
« on: October 29, 2018, 07:27:54 pm »
Hi are the maps still for sale

Yes they are.

Routes / Re: GAP and C&O Canal Towpath Trip Report
« on: October 23, 2018, 10:48:43 pm »
I rode this ride last summer and also enjoyed it thoroughly. I was finishing the 2nd half of a cross country W-E.   From Sacramento I took Amtrak to Denver and rode from there.   This gave me the oppertunity to ride the Katy trail as well as the C&O and the Gap.  Both trails were highlighted by riding with other riders I met along the way.   The rest of the tour I rode alone which was also fine but I really enjoyed the time riding with others I met along the way on the bike trails.

I went alone but met a lot of people along the way and even rode with a few. It's a popular route so always had company at the campgrounds. Most of my tours have been alone and, while I liked it at first, I've come to realize I prefer to have someone to ride with. As they say, misery loves company. I did Route 66 this year and not sure I could have made it through the Mohave Desert (1 gas station for ~160 miles in 110*F heat) without the Italian guy I met up with in New Mexico and finished the route with. It was comforting knowing someone else was suffering with me most days.

Routes / Re: GAP and C&O Canal Towpath Trip Report
« on: October 23, 2018, 10:45:03 pm »
Thanks for the detailed ride report! This is on my list of rides I want to do in the future.

It's a great ride! I'd like to do it again when the C&O is fully open. I love history so the short days allowed me to stop by a lot of museums and visitor centers along the way. If you do it I'd highly recommend taking a day off in Harpers Ferry if you haven't been. Aside from the HF National Historical Park there's a great hike across the pedestrian bridge called Maryland Heights. Gives a great view of HF and the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.

Routes / GAP and C&O Canal Towpath Trip Report
« on: October 19, 2018, 09:38:46 pm »
Completed my GAP and C&O ride last week and thought I'd share my experiences.

I took Amtrak from Denver to Pittsburgh with a transfer in Chicago. It was $100 for the ticket and then $20 for the bike roll on service ($10 for each train). 30 hours but cheaper than flying and didn't have to deal with the hassle of dismantling my bike.

I had a lot of time so it was nice relaxing. My longest day was only 60 miles.

Day 1: Pittsburgh ----> Buena Vista: The GAP starts at Point State Park, a short distance from Amtrak. Camped at the Dravo Cemetery. Free hiker/biker sites with well water and vault toilets. Fire rings with free firewood also available. They had 3 or 4 wooden shelters for tents and plenty of grass/trees for tents/hammocks.

Day 2: Buena Vista ---> Ohiopyle: Camped at Wilderness Voyageurs. They offer free camping for hiker/bikers in the pavilion behind their business. I used their pavilion to hang my hammock .They have a bath house with free hot showers. It's open 24 hours but they don't have electricity. If you're going east it'll be on the right BEFORE you cross the pedestrian bridge into town. If you cross the bridge you can turn left onto the highway and cross the auto bridge and it'll be on your right as soon as you cross the train tracks... Speaking of which, if you're a light sleeper I wouldn't stay here. The camping is 10 feet from very busy train tracks. They run all night long and blow their horn 4x and it's on a curve so their wheels screech. It didn't bother me though.

Day 3: Ohiopyle ---> Meyersdale: Camped at the Maple Festival Grounds in town. $15/night. Hot showers, bathrooms with electricity, pavilion for hammocks and a huge yard for tents. The pavilion and stage have lights and electricity. Free firewood as well. WiFi works but not the strongest signal. This place is only available when the grounds are hosting the Maple Festival or other local events so be sure to check the calendar or call ahead.

Day 4: Meyersdale ----> Cumberland: Camped at the YMCA, a mile off the route on a busier road. $12/night. You have full use of the YMCA until they close at 10pm. Showers, bathrooms, pool, basketball courts etc. WiFi is pretty crappy. Pavilion with electricity and poles to hang hammocks. Large grass area for tents. Much like Ohiopyle, this is right next to the train tracks BUT they don't run as often and they're much quieter.

That's the end of the GAP. The trail was amazing... That's where the nice trail ends and the C&O begins.

Day 5: Cumberland ----> Hancock: Camped at C&O Bicycle. $15/night gets you a hot shower, WiFi, outhouses, a place to wash your bike (you'll need it if it rained recently), lights, power outlets and a bunk in their "chicken coop" behind a locked gate right off of the trail. Their "chicken coop" is a screen off area with ~20 beds (10 sets of bunks). Mattress pads provided. The C&O was really muddy this day.... We rode the paved Western Maryland Rail Trail (WMRT) the last 10 miles to Hancock. They're building more access points on the C&O to the WMRT so soon you'll be able to ride the last 12 miles to Hancock.

Day 6: Hancock ---> Harpers Ferry: Rode the WMRT until about a mile before it ended (the last access point to the C&O) and dealt with the mud until Williamsport. I wanted to see Antietam Battlefield so in Williamsport I jumped onto local highways to get to the battlefield. It was a nice change of scenery and vehicle traffic was minimal. A bit hilly and shoulderless in places but a great ride. Stop by the visitor center in Brunswick for detour directions if it's still closed. I got back onto the C&O at Dam #4. The C&O between Williamsport and Dam #4 was, at the time I was there, one of the worst sections. That played into skipping that section too. The last miles to HF were nice and not too muddy. I spent 2 nights at the Harpers Ferry/Civil War Battlefields KOA. It was extremely expensive. $65/night. Nice for hammocks but their tent sites are on a hill. They don't enforce quiet hours and overall it was a miserable experience. I spent my day off touring the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. $5 entrance fee for pedestrians. It was worth the day off.

Day 7: Harpers Ferry ---> Leesburg: Rode the C&O to Brunswick where the trail was closed. The official detour to Point of Rocks was along hilly country roads (nothing more than a 5% grade) with okay shoulders and minimal vehicle traffic once you leave the city. The C&O from Point of Rocks to Whites Ferry was the best section of the trail IMO. At Whites Ferry I took the ferry across the Potomac ($2 cash only fare for pedestrians) to Virginia. It runs 365 days a year unless the Potomac is flooded from about 6am to 10pm. Highway 15 was a nice ride into Leesburg until it spilt to the regular highway and the business route. The shoulder here disappears and the fog line becomes the shoulder for about 500 feet in the VERY heavily used stretch of highway. I waited until there were no cars coming and gunned it. Stayed the Red Roof Inn on Market St. $75/night in a newly remodeled hotel within walking distance to everything the town has to offer.

Day 8: Leesburg ---> Washington DC: Part of the reason I chose the Red Roof Inn was because the Washington & Old Dominion Trail (W&ODT) runs right behind it. The W&ODT is a paved trail that runs between Purcellville and Arlington. I rode this to Arlington and it was great. It's heavily used and towns are no more than 10 miles apart. In Arlington where the train ends you have to cross the street and go to your right. From there get onto the Four Mile Run Trail and follow the signs for the Mt. Vernon Trail. Once you're on the Mt. Vernon Trail follow the signs for Washington DC. It'll take you across the Arlington Memorial Bridge and drop you off right next to the Lincoln Memorial. A friend of mine lives in Dupont Circle in DC and that's where I stayed for 2 nights before flying home out of BWI.

Happy to answer any questions etc!

General Discussion / Re: San Juan Islands - what's to like?
« on: September 16, 2018, 10:09:55 am »
Everything.... The San Juans are one the most beautiful place in the country in my opinion. A friend owns a home on Vashon (not part of the San Juans but a short distance away) and have spent a lot of time cycling up there.

PNWRider92, could you explain why you think it's beautiful and why you like cycling there?  Is the cycling beautiful, or is it the friend's home that makes you like the area?  (IOW, would you like it so much without a landing pad there?)

My friend doesn’t live in the San Juan’s, she lives on Vashon. I thought made that clear in my reply, sorry. So thats irrelevant to how much I like it.

The scenery is great and the roads are quiet. Hard to get both in one. Seeing the orcas and the sunsets are some of the best I’ve ever seen. It’s relaxing to me.

Routes / Re: new to touring; in Colorado; off route or not?
« on: September 14, 2018, 04:41:09 pm »
HI would suggest you get to the bike path that parallels I-70 from Golden to Grand Junction.

I agree with what John says except I'd start in Boulder instead of Golden... The ride (using the US-36 Bikeway) from Boulder to Golden is beautiful. That path itself ends in Westminster but from there you can pick up a series of trails (Greenway, Cherry Creek, Clear Creek, Lakewood Gulch etc) to get to Golden. I've added some links below to help you out.

City & County of Denver Bicycle Paths --->

US 36 Bikeway --->

State of Colorado Bicycle Paths/Routes ---->

General Discussion / Re: San Juan Islands - what's to like?
« on: September 14, 2018, 04:33:10 pm »
Everything.... The San Juans are one the most beautiful place in the country in my opinion. A friend owns a home on Vashon (not part of the San Juans but a short distance away) and have spent a lot of time cycling up there.

Therefore why opinions are great, everyone is entitled to his/her own.

Routes / Re: Surprise present
« on: September 12, 2018, 09:38:26 pm »

As for bicycles - I always like my own bike best - it fits me and I know its ride.
Yes, its expensive to ship them.
If you rent - rent in Portland - and plan to fly into and out of PDX.
When you finish in SFO, take Amtrak overnight back to Portland - $10.
(Or fly back to Portland or ship bikes bike shop to bike shop.)

Have fun.  Jama

Unless things have changed it'd be a bus from San Fransisco to Emeryville and a train from there to Portland. In order to bring your bike onto the bus portion you'd have to box it. The Coast Starlight from Emeryville to Portland does offer roll-on service.

Tickets are between $70-$100 with an additional cost of $20 per bicycle.

Otherwise.... Barbs; His dates are really accurate. I lived in the PNW for a few years and lately summers have been starting earlier it seems every year. It can also rain well into July. Great place to visit in the summer and nice place to live if you can survive not seeing the sun and nearly constant rain for 8 months straight  ???

General Discussion / Re: Free Ranging Dogs and the Cyclist
« on: August 29, 2018, 12:10:21 pm »
To me the worst dog is the one who is quiet, doesn't breathe heavy, and all you here is the clicking of the toe nails as you look down and see a big dog only a few feet behind you.  Usually scares the bejeebees out of me.

Agreed! Getting caught off guard is no fun. Those non-barkers give me a quick moment of panic almost every time. 

General Discussion / Re: Free Ranging Dogs and the Cyclist
« on: August 29, 2018, 12:02:42 pm »
Usually a quick "STOP GO HOME" works and they retreat.
A friend of mine thinks a loud angry "GET OFF THE DAMN COUCH" works pretty well since that is what the master may yell at the dog.  Funny thing is that it seems to work fairly often.

haha Maybe I'll have to give that one a shot.

The one that baffles me is the people who live on known ACA routes and still let their aggressive dogs run wild. They see thousands (or at least hundreds) of cyclist a year and you'd think they'd be more concerned for their dogs safety. On that section of Route 66 noted above I saw more dead dogs than I'd seen on any other section. I couldn't help but think how many of them were hit after chasing after a cyclist. On one occasion I was sure I was going to get caught but an oncoming car laid on their horn and the dogs retreated.

Otherwise.... I've also had dogs run up to me on tour and follow me for a distance. On one stretch this year a big dog followed me from one town nearly 5 miles to the next town despite me stopping several times and trying to make it go home. At the next town the cashier at the Family Dollar said "Oh I see (dogs name) followed you here!" I guess it often follows ACA cyclist on the route. Those friendly dogs make me happy :)

General Discussion / Re: Free Ranging Dogs and the Cyclist
« on: August 29, 2018, 11:49:36 am »
I haven't had too many issues with dogs in all of the miles I've ridden. There's a set outside Big Hole Battlefield in Montana that chased me two years ago and also chased my friend last year. He let his bear spray out on them. There was also a stretch on Route 66 for about 40 miles in Missouri where I was chased aggressively by at least 20 different dogs. That section of the route isn't on 66/40 but well off the beaten path into rural farmland. I believe the ACA routes cyclist that way due to a lack of a shoulder on 66/40. It's by far the worse day I've ever had. The number of dogs that day was more than the rest of the days on the route combined.

Otherwise only the occasional dog has ever come after me. In certain areas I expect to be chased and then it's a relief when they don't chase me. I've discovered if I'm expecting it then it doesn't bother me as much when it happens. Usually a quick "STOP GO HOME" works and they retreat.

People seem to worry more about a little 100lb dog than they do about the 2,000lb chunk of steel constantly passing them.

I'll focus on the later.

General Discussion / Re: Idaho hiker/biker campsites
« on: August 21, 2018, 01:06:38 am »
Planning a trip from Estacada Or to Whitefish MT. Oregon has a lot of Hiker/Biker campsites. How about Idaho and Montana??

What's your route?

I never rely on H/B campsites but consider them a bonus when I come upon them.

General Discussion / Re: How to contact Adventure Cycling???
« on: August 18, 2018, 05:25:22 pm »
Maybe it's me but I cannot find an email address after searching the website. Trying to ask some questions about my membership. Going to be outside the country so trying to do via email.

Hey Tom, I sent you the membership directors email in a private message. She's a friend of mine and gave me permission to pass it along.

General Discussion / Re: First Tour: Portland Maine to NYC
« on: August 18, 2018, 05:19:59 pm »
Due to the heavy congestion of the area you are talking about, I would seriously consider just using ACA's Atlantic Coast Route and/or the last section of the Chicago to NYC Route.  They have done all the research so it makes your ride a lot easier.  Hope you have a great tour!  John

Mission accomplished! Quite a challenge, but worth it.

I did use the ACA iPhone maps for about 2/3rds of the ride, from Portland to Millerton NY, and then took the easy way to the city, mostly on Route 22 and county trails.

This was a real learning experience as I encountered much more hilly terrain than my usual rides and rode for a day and a half in rain. That builds character...

Can't wait for tour #2.

Congrats. The hills out east tend to be steeper but not as long as the ones out west in my opinion. The route I took in 2016 to reach Portland went through all the states you went through and also Vermont although via a different route...

I went north in New York (from Pennsylvania) into the Adirondacks over into Vermont's Green Mountains then south into Massachusetts, south into Connecticut, east into Rhode Island, back north into Massachusetts, and then up the eastern seaboard into New Hampshire and Maine.

Bicycle Route 66 / Re: 66 in Tulsa is dangerous
« on: August 05, 2018, 11:11:02 am »
Thanks for the additional information PNWRider. What device do you use to measure wind speed?

I have a DAM100B Anemometer that I keep in my gas tank bag. It’s not the best (they can get pretty expensive) but I took some meteorology courses in college so the data I kept is fairly accurate. I tried to pull out the anemometer anytime I stopped to measure wind speed, humidity, air mass and temperature mainly.

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