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Topics - jwrushman

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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 / 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?

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.


General Discussion / Advice on purchasing a fat bike
« on: April 21, 2021, 07:09:55 pm »
ACA's Bike Bits had a paragraph about a group in Browning Montana looking for fat bikes.  I'd like to help, but know nothing about fat bikes.  I see that Amazon has several by Mongoose for less than $500.  For example "Mongoose Dolomite Mens Fat Tire Mountain Bike, 26-Inch Wheels, 4-Inch Wide Knobby Tires, 7-Speed, Steel Frame, Front and Rear Brakes, Multiple Colors" and "Mongoose Aztec Mens and Womens Fat Tire Bike, 18-Inch Steel Frame, 26-Inch Wheels, 4-Inch knobby tires".   Would these just become a pain-in-the-a** or are they a reasonably priced bike?  Would they be difficult to service?   Nice if Amazon provides free shipping and they're pretty good with returns.  Or are there other options to consider?  I was thinking about getting something in Browning, but they don't have a bike shop. 

General Discussion / Route map with elevation profile
« on: December 14, 2020, 07:45:33 pm »
I'd like advice on a little project I'm working on...

I recently purchased a map of the U.S., had it mounted, and put map tacks along my 2019 modified-Northern Tier route (Attachment 1).  What I'd like to do is export the RideWithGPS elevation profile (Attachment 2),maybe into Excel, where I can adjust the X and Y scales, and mount it as a strip along the bottom of the map showing my route's elevation across the U.S.  Can the elevation info be exported?  I'll also try the staff at RideWithGPS for their assistance.


General Discussion / Maximum/minimum speeds
« on: October 11, 2020, 09:29:34 pm »
canalligators wrote in a post "...One of my keenest memories of my Northern Tier was coming down passes in the Cascades at 40+ mi/hr..."

Not touring this year, I've got lots of time on my hands.  I started looking at last year's New Jersey to Northern Tier ride.

Fastest speed 40.0 mph - heading west from Diablo Lake viewpoint to Colonial Creek Campground in North Cascades.

Day with the slowest average speed - 6.8 mph from Medora to Beach ND.  Was planning to ride 65 miles to Glendive but gave up after 25 miles!  But it worked out okay.  The next morning, shortly after leaving Beach, I met up with two other cyclists heading my way, Parke from Denver and Doug from Virginia.

I don't think I'm obsessive.  I'm guessing others track many more stats. 

Routes / Route around the Great Lakes
« on: July 08, 2020, 05:45:15 pm »
I was looking at the ACA overview map, thinking about loops I'd like to take, and wondered if people have done routes around Lake Huron and Lake Superior.  I did a car trip with my family (50-ish years ago) around Lake Superior.  Roads were a little rough then.  I wonder if ACA is considering venturing north.  Except for the short stretches near Lake Erie and Glacier, it seems to me that ACA's focus is US only.  I think I'll check out CGOAB...

Gear Talk / Touring capable road bike
« on: June 23, 2020, 02:09:00 pm »
Just starting research on a new bicycle for my wife and would like recommendations and suggestions of considerations when buying. 

My wife is now 70 and has had road bikes rather than touring bikes.  Her last one has to be, I'm guessing, over 25 years old.  It is a Cannondale SR400.  She's no longer doing triathlons and would like a sporty bike that's capable of being used for touring.  I did the Northern Tier last year, but I suspect future tours for the two of us will be shorter - 7 to 10 days timeframe.  She's done weekends in New England with me, but is willing to try something longer.

My thoughts.  I have a Surly Disc Trucker that I love, but it's heavy, not sporty.  I think her Cannondale is in the 22 lb range.  I don't think she'd like a steel frame bike, so I'm thinking an aluminum frame bike suitable for touring.  That is, with lower gears and capable of carrying panniers.   The Cannondale has downtube shifters.  Will likely change to brifters with indexed shifting.  The Cannondale has rim brakes.  Will want to change to disc brakes, probably mechanical.  Will need a wide range of gears.  The Cannondale has a 42/52 chainring and 12-32 cassette.  Her lowest gear is 34 gear inches.  Would like something closer to 20.  Budget <= $2k. 


General Discussion / Use for old maps
« on: July 22, 2019, 08:21:38 am »
I've just completed my modified Northern Tier trip - New Jersey to Anacortes.  I'm looking for ideas on what to do with the maps I've used.  I was considering something like a mural, piecing the map panels together, end-to-end, but I think this will be WAY too long.  Perhaps a collage. 

Does someone with artistic ability have thoughts?  What have others done?

General Discussion / Lodging listings on paper maps
« on: July 15, 2019, 10:12:20 pm »
What determines the order in which lodging establishments are listed on the paper maps? It doesn't seem to be alphabetical. Is it based upon user feedback?

Routes / Westbound Northern Tier, east of Glacier
« on: June 29, 2019, 04:45:02 pm »
I looking to modify the Northern Tier route going from Cut Bank to Browning before heading up to St. Mary's, thus avoiding the loop up to Cardston.  It looks like Starr School Road is paved the entire length from North Browning to its western terminus at Hwy 89.  Can someone confirm this?  I'm guessing there's a website that lets one know the condition of a road, e.g. paved versus dirt versus....   I don't trust Google Maps.  In Wisconsin, I started down a paved road that turned into a sandy ATV trail!

I know this topic has been discussed before but I can't find the answer I'm looking for. It seems that there are several options for getting from cutbank to Saint Mary's. The Northern Tier route has one going into Cardston Alberta. Is this route more scenic than the more direct routes that stay in Montana? Or does it have less traffic? I was just curious why that route was selected.

The bike shop in Sauk Centre Minnesota is closed. I stopped by today to have some work done on my bike. A neighbor told me that the owner passed away this past spring. This shows up on Northern Tier section 5, map E, Trails alternate and also on the electronic version.

I'm assuming he ACA cartographers watch this forum for updates, but should I email them too?

Route G near Cumberland Wisconsin is torn up and is to be resurfaced within the next week per construction personnel I spoke with today.   4 miles of Route G from 22 and a half Avenue is dirt gravel and sand and is a challenge to bicycle on. An additional mile has been milled and I imagine we'll be torn up later today. The construction ends at Polk Barron Road at the County Line.

I don't see a good way to detour around the section of Road. It's passable, but we'll just take you longer and rattle your bones and bicycle!

General Discussion / Combination sunscreen and bug repellent
« on: June 07, 2019, 10:23:13 pm »
While riding in the hot Wisconsin sun today (85F in Clam Lake) and being attacked by deer flies, I came up with the idea of a product containing sunscreen and bug repellent. But alas, someone else had the same idea. On Amazon I see a product called Sunsect. Has anyone used this? Is it reasonable for a sweaty bicyclist, or will it get into your eyes and sting? Any other products like this?

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