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Messages - PNWRider92

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1
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.

2
Bicycle Route 66 / Re: 66 in Tulsa is dangerous
« on: August 05, 2018, 04:07:59 am »
I’ll second pnwrider - I rode East to West last year (springtime) headwinds were brutal in the southwest in particular 20- 30 mph headwinds day after day - New Mexico especially ! By no means would I recommend east to west and the daily headwind

It seemed to get worse (for the most part) for us the further west we got with Arizona being by far  the worst. New Mexico second worst. Texas 3rd. Oklahoma 4th. California 5th. Kansas 6th (although with only 13 miles of 66 the data I collected from my single night there is very incomplete), Illinois 7th and Missouri the least windy at 8th.

Absolutely demoralizing day after day. Even days with no wind forecasted it was 10-20 sustained randomly. My Italian friend whom I finished the ride with from Tucumcari kept saying “Why must life be so hard?” as the wind blew.

We rarely ever got a break.

3
Bicycle Route 66 / Re: 66 in Tulsa is dangerous
« on: August 05, 2018, 04:01:33 am »
The wind were terrible going E-->W. I'd never recommend someone go that way and I never will again. They were sustained at 25, 30, 35 mph on days.
Prevailing wind in any location depends on the time of the year. Even then, it can vary substantially from one day to the next. When I did Route 66 westbound, I did encounter slightly more headwinds than tailwinds, but it wasn't an overwhelming difference. In fact, more days than not had no significant wind either way.

Cycling is virtually impossible for most riders (certainly for me) against a sustained 35 MPH headwind, if by "sustained" you mean for hours on end without any breaks. When I have a particularly bad headwind on one day, I typically cut that day short and hope for more favorable winds the next day.

Sustained as in most of the day. The winds peaked in Arizona at 31-35mph sustained with gust in the upper 40s. We still managed to make our destination every day though. It was just slow going especially on days with a lot of uphill. Another day we had sustained winds of 28-32mph but it was mostly downhill. It was downright brutal at times. Demoralizing.

We had consistent headwinds of 10-15mph an average of 4 days a week, and then 0, 0-5 and 15+ all an average of 1 day a week. In my journals I keep track of the daily weather fairly detailed.

I heard/read somewhere that Arizona had the windiest May in over a century. I can’t comfirm that though. May have just been a fellow traveler saying so with no proof.

Thermal density/wind is a factor too.

Sadly those aren’t even the worst headwinds I’ve seen. That belongs to the stretch between Keystone and Rapid City, SD in 2016. I’ll never forget it and hope to never see sustained winds that bad again 🤦🏼‍♂️

4
Bicycle Route 66 / Re: 66 in Tulsa is dangerous
« on: August 04, 2018, 04:12:06 pm »
Yep, sorry.  I meant to say the westbound riders complain so you should head eastbound from the Pacific.  Let me clarify.  Due to the strong winds during the riding season, the winds are either from the W, SW, or S for most of the route depending on where you are on the route.  Therefore, if you leave the Pacific and head toward Chicago, you have a much greater chance of direct or at least slight tailwinds as opposed to direct or slight headwinds.  The further east you get the more the winds come from the south so right about when you you start angling to the NE near Oklahoma City, the winds are typically out of the SSW.  As you near Chicago, the winds are more variable but at least it is flatter and you should be strong by then.

Thanks for catching the contradiction!  John

The wind were terrible going E-->W. I'd never recommend someone go that way and I never will again. They were sustained at 25, 30, 35 mph on days.

5
I-40 on both sides of Williams is undergoing construction. All traffic is being diverted to one side of the highway that has been temporarily divided and has one lane going each direction. Because of this, the shoulder is extremely narrow, about a foot at most places. It is expected to be finished by fall 2018.

When we came through it was a Sunday and they weren't working so we rode on the closed section of Interstate 40. I feel lucky because the shoulder looked pretty dim on the open sections.

6
Routes / Re: Green Mountains Loop-Middlebury B&B
« on: August 04, 2018, 03:52:20 pm »
The Swift House Inn in Middlebury is the one of the most accommodating B&Bs for bicycle touring I’ve ever encountered. It’s also right near downtown. It turns out, owner Dan Brown is himself a long-haul bike tourist. He and co-owner, Michele Brown, understand and anticipate bicycle tourists needs. They provided a secure place to store our bikes, the Gatehouse garage, which includes bike parking, and a professional Park bike repair stand. We stayed close by in the Gatehouse. And the breakfast served in the main house was superb and ever changing. The restaurant, Jessicas, is considered the best in town. Unfortunately, it isn’t open on Monday or Tuesday, when we stayed. We liked staying here so much, we extended another day (well, the awful weather forecast also helped in our decision to lay over).

I went through Middlebury on my 2016 tour and camped at Rivers Bend Campground north of town on Highway 7. There was a terrible storm shortly after I got there. Giant hail and fierce winds. If you like cider be sure to check out Woodchuck Cider! I continued south on Highway 7 the next day and stayed at Emerald Lake State Park in Dorset.

Beautiful area!

7
Routes / Re: GAP and C&O Canal Towpath
« on: August 03, 2018, 10:55:05 am »
My brother and I did the GAP and C&O together a couple of years ago. We did two days for the GAP and 3 days for the C&O. Depending on direction you’re heading there’s definitely hammock camping on the C&O and along the Yough. If you can work the distances out definitely at Ohiopyle State Park. I lived for years in Maryland so be prepared for the possibility of it being pretty chilly at night and even more so hammocking in October. Enjoy the ride it’s beautiful.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

What’s the Yough?

Youghiogheny river.

Thanks for the clarification:)

8
Routes / Re: GAP and C&O Canal Towpath
« on: August 02, 2018, 11:19:50 pm »
My brother and I did the GAP and C&O together a couple of years ago. We did two days for the GAP and 3 days for the C&O. Depending on direction you’re heading there’s definitely hammock camping on the C&O and along the Yough. If you can work the distances out definitely at Ohiopyle State Park. I lived for years in Maryland so be prepared for the possibility of it being pretty chilly at night and even more so hammocking in October. Enjoy the ride it’s beautiful.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

We’re going west to east.

Day 1: Pittsburgh —-> Buena Vista
Day 2: Buena Vista —-> Connellsville
Day 3: Connellsville —-> Rockwood
Day 4: Rockwood —-> Cumberland
Day 5: Cumberland—-> Paw Paw
Day 6: Paw Paw —-> Big Pool
Day 7: Big Pool —-> Harpers Ferry
Day 8: Harpers Ferry —-> Potomac
Day 9: Potomac —-> Washington DC
Day 10: Washington DC —-> Baltimore

I’m riding with a 14-year-old so only 40-50 miles a day. She can’t do much more than that. We fly home out of BWI on Day 11 so that’s why we’re biking up to Baltimore. We’ll hotel near BWI the night before.

What’s the Yough?

I prefer chilly nights over warm ones. I sleep better.

9
Routes / Re: GAP and C&O Canal Towpath
« on: August 02, 2018, 05:07:17 pm »
Maybe the recent C&O damage, including a giant washout, will be repaired by then:

https://www.nps.gov/choh/planyourvisit/conditions.htm

That's a lot of closures! Thanks for the link.. I sent a message to the bicycle shop listed and the GAP to see if they knew of any predicted opening date. Will print it off for now and check it again before I leave.

10
Routes / Re: GAP and C&O Canal Towpath
« on: August 02, 2018, 05:05:54 pm »
I did the C & O as a quick shake out ride when I got a new bike for the Great Divide. It's a lovely ride, very low key.

The only thing I can add is to buy a bell. There are A LOT of people walking on the tow path.  Many deep in conversation or contemplation. Not just down by DC but 70-80 miles upstream. I felt like a jerk a good part of the time because there seemed like no universal good way to let them know you were coming up behind them. Say something too far away you were being annoying, too close they jump.

When I thought about it I decided that a bell would have allowed me to give a little ring from 50 yards away and if they missed that one, then another until I got a sense they knew I was coming up on them.


pm

I have no interest in getting a bell but I appreciate the suggestion. I live in the city and am use to dodging people on the local MUPs. I don't ride aggressively (on MUPs anyway) and slow down before I pass them if it's unsafe to do so at my normal speed.

Thank you for the heads up though!

11
Routes / Re: GAP and C&O Canal Towpath
« on: July 31, 2018, 07:21:56 pm »
I enjoyed both but preferred the GAP especially.  My wife joined me on the GAP so we went only about 30-40 miles per day (she doesn't ride much) and it was more CC touring.  Plus the surface was MUCH nicer.  Parts of the C&O are probably not much different than they were when they were used as a tow path, maybe even worse due to all the roots on the trail.  BTW, you can check out Weather Spark to get a good idea of the detailed weather averages for a lot of places in the world and basically anywhere in the USA and Europe.  I would think October would be cool, i.e. highs in the low 60s.  We did the GAP in mid-September and had quite a few cool days (10 degrees below the average) so be forewarned.  Weather Spark will help you with the high and low bands of the highs and lows (look at the website so that makes sense). 

Best, John

Thanks for all of the information. I spoke to the people who take care of the GAP and they said October would be a great month. The weather is nice and it's peak leaf peeping season. I purchased the book for the two trails and my tickets to Pittsburg and home from DC. Catching Amtrak from Denver on 9/28 and arriving into Pittsburg on 9/30. Will leave the same day and spend the next 8 or 9 days meandering my way to DC. Flying home on 10/10. Will be a nice leisurely ride.

12
General Discussion / Re: Planning to go Portland > EAST somewhere
« on: July 30, 2018, 07:12:24 pm »
Hi there~!

I just signed up and on to this site and forum. I'm currently living near Portland, Oregon and wantin' to bike across country to the east coast somewheres. Where precisely, is TBD as I've a couple friends in different states that I wanna visit. Likely will be North Carolina.

I've always biked everywhere I live, never really considered it a joy of mine but rather a mode of point A -> B and back again. Some events in my life have led me  to the choice of biking across country not just as a recreation, but a general .... live life thing. I want to see the country and do it by my own power.

That all said, I'm very new to this notion of extreme distances. I've been in the process of paring things down for months anyways now, and saving money. so I'll be pouring my all into my bike once I purchase it (next week! Eeeee!) I've gotten support from the friends I've told my plan to and have been looking over the Adventure Cycling site for checklists of what is good to bring with and what's just excess.  My free time's to be spent at the apartment complex's gym on the exercise bike to practice long ride times and build up endurance AND I'm lookin' into bike maintenance classes to keep my babby goin'.

What are the realistic perils / needs / pros/cons of doing this? Mind you I'm generally a shuttered up hermit who just cringes at the notion of doing social things. .... But I love people, oddly enough. I just gotta find the right enthusiastic strange ones, I suppose.

ANYways. Any advice for someone looking to do such a feat for the first time? Wisdom? Where's the ideal places to pitch tent for sleep? Where/how to avoid bear maulings?

I look forward to adventuring (relatively)soon!

Welcome to the forums Alynx! I worked at Nike and lived in Beaverton (170th & Elmonica) until relocating to Denver last November. In 2016 I did a ride for cancer awareness called Portland 2 Portland. I took the MAX downtown and started at Pioneer Courthouse Square and rode 5,177 miles to the City Center in Portland, Maine in 96 days (71 days of riding and 25 days off). It was also my first long distance tour.

I've posted a link below of my route. I zigzagged around to visit friends and speak at hospitals for my charity so it wasn't the most direct route.

My favorite thing about bike touring is seeing the country better than you see it in a car. It's relaxing to me. The people you meet along the way are great too. There's just something about a loaded touring bike that makes people want to talk to you.

With that said, it's not all fantastic. You'll have nasty headwinds on days, hills that never seem to end, idiot drivers etc. None of those are things that should scare you away though. I'd say a majority of the days I've been on the road (I've since done two more long distance tours) are beyond great! If you can survive those occasional crappy days you'll be fine.

As for where to sleep? Some campgrounds have a hiker/biker area so that's a good place to start. If you're following a ACA route many of the towns along the way will have hiker/biker campsites in city parks etc. I've often contacted churches and asked to camp on their property. They're usually okay with it or will at least tell you another church to contact. If I'm really in a pinch I've camped at police and fire stations or in city parks but those definitely aren't my go to places. 

As for bears? I wouldn't worry about them unless you intend to cycle through Yellowstone or Glacier in the summer. Even then you can rent or buy bear spray and carry it in a cozy in one of your water bottle cages. The reality is that bears want nothing to do with you and wont bother you. Your chances of getting attacked are slim to none.

If you have any questions feel free to ask. There's a lot of seasoned tourist on this website :)

Best,

Ty

https://www.travellerspoint.com/member_map.cfm?user=Ty0604&tripid=893835

13
Routes / Re: GAP and C&O Canal Towpath
« on: July 29, 2018, 10:23:12 am »
I have done both but in different segments.  The C&O you can definitely do a hammock.  You could probably do a hammock on the GAP but definitely harder as it is more "groomed" areas and commercial areas. Have you checked out the their websites?  You could check over on CrazyGuyonaBike.com and review the journals of the route also.
Best, John

Hey John, I assumed you'd be the first one to reply :)

I've read a little on their website and plan to send them a message after work today or tomorrow. I haven't checked out the journals on CGB but will do that later as well.

Did you enjoy both segments?

Thanks for the reply!

14
Routes / Re: Using google maps to save mileage?
« on: July 29, 2018, 10:01:23 am »
I've had some bad luck with Google Maps on tour... They've lead me onto dead-end roads, down roads to a river with no bridge, onto controlled access highways, onto dirt roads not even suitable for mountain bikes etc.

Even here where I live if you ask Google Maps to route you from Wheat Ridge to Boulder it takes you down Sheridan Blvd, a crazy busy 4 lane road where the bicycle lane appears and disappears at random. That's important because less than .5 mile away there's a bicycle path that runs all the way from Wheat Ridge to Boulder without getting onto any roads, except the .5 mile from my house to the trail. It's 28 miles long from my house but Google doesn't want me getting onto it until mile 20.

Otherwise, have a great tour! :)

15
Routes / GAP and C&O Canal Towpath
« on: July 29, 2018, 09:50:20 am »
Who here has done the GAP and C&O Canal Towpath?

I was thinking about doing it this October and was looking for some feedback. Which way did you go, how long did it take you, etc? Would you recommend it? Did any of you hammock camp without any problems? I'd be more interested in doing it if I could use my hammock instead of my tent.

I read somewhere that October is the driest month (and May the wettest) on the route. Cannot remember where I read that though....

I was looking to take about 10 days off of work... 1 day on each end to travel and then 8 days of the tour while taking a single day off. So it'd end up being about 50 miles/day.

Are there any other week long routes you think I should consider doing instead? I live in Colorado and want to get out of the state.


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