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Topics - Spokey

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General Discussion / Bon Ton Roulet
« on: May 26, 2012, 12:51:48 am »
Anyone here done this ride?

I have signed up for this year and have a couple questions.  I've always done self supported bicycling and this will be my first 'luxury' tour.  The questions I have are specific to the Bon Ton Roulet procedures, not general questions.

General Discussion / I-78 Excess Tolls Warning
« on: October 02, 2011, 06:23:35 pm »
I was looking over my EZ-PASS statement yesterday and noticed  a large toll for crossing the Delaware.  As this was about 10 days ago, I knew exactly what I was doing.  I was carting my brother and his bicycle back to Reading PA.   I have a 2003 Camry with  Thule roof rack.

Instead of the recent 33% increase, I was treated to a $6.50 toll, a 766% increase.  I also had a toll from a few days earlier and had been charged the expected $1.00.  While trying to figure this out, I went to the rates page and noticed that one of the truck rates is $6.50.   I couldn’t find any other $6.50 charge on the web site.

I can only come to two conclusions.  One is that DRJTBC has decided to detect a sedan with a bike on top as a 2 axle truck.   The other which of course is more likely is that my brother has really worn out his welcome in Pennsylvania in a mere 14 years and government officials are trying to make sure anyone bringing this detritus into Pennsylvania will be assessed a surcharge complying with some provision of the Clean Air Act.

But in the event that I’m wrong and it is the bike on the roof, I thought I’d warn anyone using this bridge.  I have filed a dispute on their web site.  We’ll see how it goes.  I did have my brother look at his statements and he has a couple $5.75(?) charges from before the toll hike.  We’re not sure, but all of these might have come from the relatively new high speed toll lanes. 

Temporary ACA Route Road Closures / Outer Banks Open?
« on: September 08, 2011, 05:25:54 pm »
Anyone know the condition of the outer banks.  My brother and I are leaving from NJ to Key West next week and had planned on taking the outer banks alternate.  We plan to reach there around late Sep.  Maybe as late as Oct but probably late Sep.

I know they have a tourist / visitor bureau.  I will find / contact them but often 4 wheels don't understand 2 wheels well sometimes over estimating sometimes under estimating what they can do so I figured if another cyclist had info, that would be better.

Routes / Addenda Confusion
« on: August 25, 2011, 06:29:09 pm »
I'm a little confused about addenda.  I copied this from the Atlantic Coast (AC) section 6 2007:

To update an older map, you must download ALL newer addenda for maps subsequent to this map. The BC number incorporates the update year in the last two digits: e.g. 07 means the map was reprinted in 2007. (Oct 2009)

As I understand it, if I have the 2007 version, I should combine the addenda for 2007, 2009, & 2011.  Except there is no 2011, but the 2009 addenda has August 2011 entries.  Shouldn't those be in a 2011 addenda which doesn't exist?

Also, I guess this needs input from an ACA staffer.  There are two addenda listed for AC-Sec7-2011.  Neither works.  I did a contact yesterday but haven't heard anything.  If this isn't fixed shortly is there any other way to get this?  I'm leaving in 2 weeks for Key West.

Connecting ACA Routes / Chesapeake Bay Tunnel to ACA AC Route
« on: August 09, 2011, 05:23:13 pm »
My brother and I are heading for Key West starting mid-Sept.  We have planned a route to Cape May NJ -> Lewes Ferry -> Assateague (camping) -> Chesapeake Bay Tunnel -> ACA route.

I read a blog a couple years ago that you could call the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel folks and for the price of the toll, they would cart you to Virginia Beach.  I think that I called them at the time and verified this and my brother is going to do it again (soon I hope), but was wondering if anyone here could verify this and/or provide other information.  How long did it take?  How well did it work?  How much advance notice?  etc.

I would also appreciate the advice of anyone who has done something like this or who lives in the area with tips.

This is the route we have planned at this point

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Routing Software
« on: June 22, 2011, 06:24:52 pm »
Ok, I'm frustrated.

Hopefully this doesn't turn in to a rant.  I'm looking for software to create routes.  Below is my take on using various products so you know where I'm coming from.

I find Google maps non-workable.  You can't change bike routes and there are other problems with it.  It clogs up my Droid with old crap that I can't get rid except by uninstalling updates and reinstalling them.

I've looked at some online alternatives and don't see a good solution.  The best idea is at  Except I can't get it to work well.  It goes berserk (that's the only way I can explain it) when I try to change the route (like my relatively straight route turning in to a starfish).  or I move a point and nothing happens.

I have used DeLorme in the past but probably the most recent version is probably 2002 or so.  I found it hard to use, but that may be because I've been using (& writing software for) windows since around '85 (yeah I actually owned windows 1). 

I actually liked Microsoft Streets and Maps (2002 version) the best from a usability standpoint.  A couple problems with that is that it won't allow you to add a road like DeLorme so you're stuck where they think a car will go.    That version also doesn't do GPS.

I have the Garmin Mapsource software that I think came with my newest non-gps heart monitor but I have a couple Garmin devices so I'm not sure.  I think it is a toss up between Garmin and MS for actually drawing a route.  But Mapsource doesn't have much else in it I guess because you're supposed to upload it to a hardware device.

My ideal software would let me:

1 - identify a start and end.  click a button and have it auto route. 

2 - take 1 above and drag it around either having the software auto route based on my stops / way points or just let me manually do it.

3 - create a cue sheet.  The normal total miles, incremental miles, directions (TR, TL, STOP, etc).  Local notes would be nice (e.g. TR at the 7-Eleven).

4 - Talk to my Droid.  Maybe upload to Google maps too.

It would be nice if the current versions of DeLorme or Microsoft does all this for their 50-100 price.  But for the right software, I'll go a few hundred  now.   It seems like there are quite a few products that have pieces or some with all the pieces but don't work.  Are there any good bicycle routing products?

Any suggestions?   I saw that you can download the current MS for a trial.  I know that will probably nuke my current version, but I may try that if I don't find anything else.

What does AC use?  Is in anyway a consumer product?

Gear Talk / Click driving me nuts
« on: April 02, 2010, 01:27:12 pm »

I have been trying to elminate a click since last fall.  Since then I have replaced the BB.  I recently put another set of pedals (NOS) and thought it went away, but of course it's back.

I'd swear that I can feel it though my shoe sometimes.  I have thought about new cleats (SPD) but I think I can get it when not clipped in.  It's a little hard to pedal that way so I'm not quite sure about that yet.  It does not occur if I unclip and let my left foot hang.  Just pedal with my right foot.  I think it tends to go away with constant pressure (i.e. push down and pull up on the pedal stroke).  I think it occurs more with a light/moderate effort.

So I'm thinking of trying Locktite on the pedal threads and the crank arm.  Any thoughts on which or both and which level?  I'm thinking that 'blue' might make the most sense.

Routes / What are the current map versions?
« on: March 04, 2010, 02:47:52 pm »
I'm about to buy Atlantic Coast maps 4-7 to replace the older ones I have.

As I am going to buy individual maps, I thought I'd look to ensure that all have been updated but I can't find the current version in the store.  It only has the non-version portion.  For example, Atlantic Coast section 4 shows BC-1401 but not 05L, 06L, 08L etc. 

The addenda for 08L runs two pages so if there is an 09 version, clearly I would buy a new one.  But the changes prior to 08 are less significant so if 08 is the one currently being sold, I might just merge the addenda in to one sheet.

Seems to me that there should be a list of the most recent printed map versions on the site somewhere.  If someone from AC responds, at this point I am specifically interested in sections 4-7 as noted above.


General Discussion / Gators in FL
« on: March 02, 2010, 09:28:37 am »
My brother and I are planning a ride this summer from central NJ to Key West. 

The original idea was to take a ride and have a margarita afterward. 

This has developed in to seeing the final shuttle launch on 9/16 and getting to Key West to have a couple margaritas to celebrate my coming retirement.  Or my birthday.  Or perhaps anything else I can think of.

We will be riding through the Delmarva Pen., then over to Williamsburg, and then joining up the AC route in that area. 

I am somewhat concerned about gators.  I have heard that they can scoot along for short distances at 30 mph. 

Is there reason to be concerned?  If we see one on the side of the road, should we turn around and run?  I certainly don't plan on stopping.  I suppose if it were as bad as my imagination is currently blowing it up to be, I'd hear more attacks or perhaps there wouldn't be any humans left in Florida.

Words of wisdom from Florida residents would be appreciated.

Mid-Atlantic / DelMarVa to Williamsburg to AC route
« on: February 22, 2010, 10:49:45 pm »
My brother and I are traveling to Key West beginning late August from central NJ.  We are planning to take the Lewes ferry onto DelMarVa.  Originally we were going to go all the way down and across the bay tunnel, but have changed to going across at the Tangier / Smith Island point.  From there we will go to Williamsburg and from there on to the Atlantic Coast route all the way to Key West.

It looks like we can get boat travel over to the mainland.  I would appreciate thoughts from anyone who has done this or lives in the area and is familiar with getting across the bay.

General Discussion / Kennedy Launch
« on: February 22, 2010, 09:24:59 pm »
Has anyone here ever gotten to see a launch at the Kennedy Space Center while on tour.  They tell me we can't bike in on launch day.  So I guess we'll have to rent a car.  They also insist on FedEx delivery of materials.  It looks like we'll be well on our way before the tickets are for sale (last shuttle launch in september) so we'd need to figure out how to get that stuff to us.

Or anyone see launches from outside?  Where?  Any info is welcome.

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