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Messages - geegee

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Routes / Quebec
« on: January 01, 2006, 06:14:37 pm »
There are many ways beyond the Route Verte (RV) to go from Quebec
City to Kingston. My personal preference would be to follow Highway
138 (part of the RV) from QC only up to Saint-Sulpice, then skip the
urban sprawl of Montreal by following the l'Assomption River on small
rural roads parallel Hwy 158 to Saint-Jerome then continue to Lachute.
From there, continue west along Hwy 148 (also part of the RV) through
Montebello to Masson where you can take a ferry across the Ottawa
River to Cumberland, Ontario. From there find your way towards the
riverside bike paths that will take you straight into downtown Ottawa.
From Ottawa, take any of the scenic routes along the Rideau River all
the way to Kingston. This route in my opinion will provide a wide
variety of scenery compared to just following the St-Lawrence River,
and would take 1 week at 100km/day, to 2 weeks if you want to stop
and smell the flowers.

MapArt sells some detailed maps of
Eastern Ontario and Quebec regions that show the quiet rural roads.
They also sell a good Quebec road atlas, if you dont mind carrying the

Let me know if you want more info on this route.

This message was edited by geeg on 1-3-06 @ 7:56 PM

Routes / Canada route help!
« on: April 09, 2006, 07:35:21 pm »
VIA Rail will take bikes on trains with baggage cars only. There is a flat
fee of $15 ($30 for tandems) regardless of any transfers you have to
make, so even if you have to switch trains in Montreal, there is no extra
charge. The problem is that not all trains have baggage cars all the
time and your bike may have to wait for one. The "Ocean" which runs
from Montreal to the Maritimes always has one.

The steep hills in Quebec City are pretty short. You can "avoid" them by
sticking to the bike path on the rivershore to the lower city and walking
up to the upper city or by riding up the gradual incline on the Grande
Allée which could be quite busy with traffic.

The Petit-Témis is part of the
Route Verte. As for cycling along the Saint-John river valley, just follow
Route 144 to Grand Falls, 105 to Fredericton, 112 to Moncton, 134 to
Shediac. Take the coast road (950/955) towards the bridge to PEI. The
admin building where you take the bridge shuttle is on that road
towards Bayfield, just past the overpass at Hwy 16 (do not go on Hwy

NS route 7 is really pretty and offers classic Nova Scotia views of coves
and lighthouse points, much like route 3 to the south but quieter. No
shoulders mostly but the drivers are careful.

I'll be riding most of this route again from Ontario in late July as I'm
heading off to a highschool reunion in Cape Breton.

Routes / Canada route help!
« on: July 19, 2005, 04:35:03 pm »
A bit more on preferred routes:
Between Montreal and Quebec city, the north shore of the St Lawrence
River is the way to go. I've biked this several times and it is quite flat
except the approach towards Quebec City. There are some steep hills
within Quebec city but there are ways around them. Past Quebec City,
take the south shore route by taking the ferry across to Lévis.

You can get to New Brunswick in two prefered routes, depending on
the experience you want.
1.  From Rivière-du-Loup you can take the Petit-Temis bike path which
is an old converted railway (so the grades are gentle) and then you can
cycle the interior of New Brunswick via the St. John River valley
2. You could cycle farther downstream on the St Lawrence to Mont-Joli
and take the Matapédia valley via Causapscal to Campbelton, NB, then
cycle along what is called the Acadian shore or the Northumberland
strait - this is a pretty area of sand dunes and French fishing villages.

Nova Scotia organizes it routes in "themes". i.e. the Lighthouse route,
Evangeline Trail, etc. The tourist office will give you detailed info on

If you are going to Prince Edward Island, don't get ideas about cycling
the 17 km Confederation Bridge.  There is a free bike shuttle from the
administration building. Some cyclists try to sneak and bike across but
they end up sending a truck to pick you off the road and possibly fine
you. Too bad, the bridge has nice wide shoulders, but I guess it gets
too windy that it can be dangerous.

Routes / Canada route help!
« on: July 18, 2005, 12:02:37 am »
It's good that you've already looked into the Route Verte. Quebec is the
only province to have such a comprehensive network of bike routes. As
with the roads in the Maritime provinces, what you see on the map is
what you got. However, New Brunswick has great highways to bike on
with really wide shoulders, much better than Quebec's. Nova Scotia's
highways are mostly coastal, with very rare shoulders but drivers seem
to expect cyclists on them and are very courteous. Likewise with PEI.
Most of the larger towns have decent services throughout Eastern
Canada and free-camping opportunities abound.

Routes / Combining L&C, Trans-Am & North. Tier
« on: July 06, 2005, 09:01:43 pm »
I'm thinking of heading off across west to east using the L&C section 7
and Trans-Am section 4 then making my way to Mt. Rushmore and across
the plains to hook up with the Northern Tier route from sections 8 and 9.
Anyone with thoughts on the route between Yellowstone NP and Mt
Rushmore and on to Iowa?

Also, I've biked across the continent before but up on the Canadian side
where the passes are much lower. Just wondering how much steeper the
climbs are on the American Rockies seeing that the passes are almost
twice as high.

General Discussion / MB Touring
« on: January 02, 2009, 01:49:39 pm »
You could consider getting a Surly Long Haul Trucker frame and
building it up with mountain bike parts.

I've toured on a mountain bike before (a Kona Kilauea) and it was OK
but not great. I think they work better if you are the BOB trailer type.
I'm not a physics expert, but I find MBs are a bit more wobbly when
they are loaded up with panniers, which I attribute to three
First, the lower top tube and seat stays usually mean that the rack
brackets are more extended, and since this is the flexible part of the
rack, there is more tendency for the weight to shift left and right.
Second, the tighter triangulation on real hardtail mountain bikes mean
that the centre of gravity of the bike itself is lower to the ground, and
balanced with the weight of you and your panniers on top, the mass
distribution is more polarized. Third, the shorter wheel base (shorter
chain stay and straight fork) that give mountain bikes the quick
handling and tighter turning radius makes the bike really squirrelly
when it is loaded.

The generous geometry of a good touring bike means the frame is
really rigid. This means the force you exert is transmitted more
towards moving you forward on the bike as opposed to being wasted
on flexing or shock absorption which are issues that are more
important in mountain biking.

This message was edited by geeg on 1-2-09 @ 11:01 AM

General Discussion / What Touring bike would you suggest?
« on: January 01, 2009, 01:54:28 am »
It's an exterior faucet winter cover I found in the Anchorage Home Depot. I came
across it as I was looking for the pipe insulation and thought I'd experiment with it.
I hacked it up to snugly fit around the derailleur and act as a bumper, distributing
any impact forces on to the chain stay and the gear cluster instead of the derailleur
and hanger. The McGuyvering worked relatively well:

This message was edited by geeg on 12-31-08 @ 11:12 PM

General Discussion / What Touring bike would you suggest?
« on: December 31, 2008, 12:44:17 am »
I had to retire my custom touring bike a year and a half ago (a 15 year
old Marinoni). Itching for good tour last summer I had to quickly decide
on a readily available bike and settled on the Trek 520. I was lucky to
find one with flight-deck shifters installed instead of the bar end ones.
The bike is an incredible workhorse, and performed well on its maiden
ride up to the Yukon and Alaska. I found the gearing to be quite
sufficient, even on the challenging Top of the World Highway which
had miles and miles of unpaved hilly stretches.

Here it is functioning as a water filtration station by a creek beside the
Klondike Highway (where there were no taps for 100+ km sections):

I also devised a quick and cheap way of packing it for the plane using
pipe insulation and regular airline bags when I got to Anchorage. It
arrived without a scratch despite a transfer in Toronto.

This message was edited by geeg on 12-31-08 @ 9:22 AM

General Discussion / Cycling Goggles
« on: October 23, 2008, 09:16:14 am »
Since you are in Canada, check out MEC's
Espresso glasses. I
have several pairs with clear and tinted lenses and they are really durable.
When I'm on tour I usually carry only one frame since the lenses easily
snap on and off, and I end up having both clear goggles and sunglasses
without taking too much room.

General Discussion / Tour Planning - Ten months out
« on: January 02, 2009, 12:38:58 am »
I have a Whisperlite but I use it mostly when I am kayak-camping. When I solo
tour on a bike I prefer taking a Primus
Express Stove
because I personally hate carrying liquid fuel in my
panniers. This thing is so incredibly small when folded up and the integrated lighter is
super handy. The stove and fuel cartridge fit conveniently into a
Litech Trek Kettle Pot.
I wrap the cartridge in a microfibre cloth before slipping it into the pot to keep from
scratching the non-stick surface, and it doubles as a dish rag. This is the most
compact cooking set up I've come across so far. I've pulled off the side of the road
and boiled up some ramen noodles in no time flat, ate out of the pot and just wiped
up the pot until I could get to the next place I could properly wash it out.

I've gotten good at making one-pot meals. I guess like a lot of cyclists I've met,
my favourite food staples revolve around variations on pasta or rice. Macaroni
and Cheese is always easy and I jazz it up with a can of smoked oysters or flaked
ham. On my last tour I came across a roadside stand that sold dried morel
mushrooms and they were awesome cooked with rice, then a bit of butter stirred
in. yum!

This message was edited by geeg on 1-1-09 @ 10:02 PM

General Discussion / Racism
« on: February 17, 2006, 06:36:59 pm »
RubyTopaz, I'd like to know where you are from and where you've
toured. I'm not sure where you get your impressions and fears
regarding touring in the US. I'm not downplaying the dangers but the
USA is so diverse. If you travelled across the north, I'd say your
encounters with racism would be very slim.

I had the same concerns when I toured eastern Europe. I'm Asian and
the chances of seeing an oriental face in Slovenia and Croatia are pretty
rare. Add to that my complete ignorance of any slavic language and the
fact that my rig probably totalled a year's wages in some of those
countries. Aside from some rude service I got in eastern Germany and
some guy in the czech republic staring at me and humming a
stereotypical pentatonic scale, I encountered no harm and had a really
great time. I realized a lot of my fears were imagined.

This message was edited by geeg on 2-23-06 @ 6:23 AM

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