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Messages - jcostanz

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1
I have done several tours in the area and linking them together I would suggest if time is not a issue, starting in Green Bay and follow the Lake Michigan coast North East, cross the Mackinaw straight using the ferry to Mackinac Island (possibly staying a night on the island).  Follow the Lake Huron Shore down through Bay City, head due east across the thumb, I used Deckerville RD.  South along the lake shore and along the St Clair River, crossing to Canada at the Marine City ferry.  Heading South East near Rondeau Park and then following Lake Erie shore thru Port Colborne.  At this point either heading North along the Welland Canal (nice paved bike path) to Thorold and then Niagara Falls, or keeping with Lake Erie and catching the Friendship trail (paved bike rail trail) to Ft Erie and then following the Niagara River to Niagara Falls. 

You could also head North after St Ignace and cross into Canada at Sault Ste Marie heading towards Manitoulin Island.  I did a tour this summer from Sudbury thru Manitoulin Island, along Lake Huron back to Niagara Falls, but I have no experience from Sault Ste Marie to Espanola other then some planning and remember that there is only 1 road and very desolate area.

A shorter route would be to take the Ferry from Manitowoc to Ludington and cross Michigian to Bay City, (I haven't done this).

Jeff

2
General Discussion / Re: Recumbent trike practicality on routes
« on: August 29, 2017, 11:40:45 am »
Unpaved trails tend to be slower on a trike than on a 2 wheeler as the 3 tracks tend to slow one down.  Some of the trails either have only 1 narrow clear path or 2 clear paths (no grass or loose material)  these really slow you down and take much more effort.  I did the C&O several years ago on a trike and it had quite a lot of distance where there were 2 clear paths but the center was grassy and higher, I had to ride with either the rear wheel in the high center or both front wheels in the high center and the rear in one of the low tracks. 

I have toured a lot on my Greenspeed GTE trike, (a very wide tadpole trike) the only issues I have had are
1.  on a bridge where you needed to use the sidewalk, the sidewalk at the top of the bridge became too narrow for my trike to fit.  (this was not on an ACA route). (South Grand Island bridge near Buffalo, NY)
2.  Temporary bridge closure having a shuttle bus across a nearby bridge that didn't have pedestrian/bicycle capability, the shuttle bus could not accommodate the width of the trike, causing a 20+ mile detour, (I don't know if it was on a ACA route, Maine/NH border). I knew of the bridge closure and had planned for the possible need of the detour.
3.  A ferry between Salem and Boston, trike was too wide for ramp and had to be lifted over the railings several times.  (not on ACA route).

When I looked into the Ferry for Key West to Ft Meyers, I was told that my trike probably would be rejected as they didn't have space for a non folding trike.  This was several years ago.

So with the possibility of the unpaved trails being more unfriendly for making good progress I would not consider most routes to be trike unfriendly unless they involve detours or restricted ferries.


3
Routes / Re: Detroit to Toledo to Sandusky
« on: August 23, 2017, 01:43:50 pm »
One big issue is crossing the border near Detroit/Windsor.  The bridges and tunnels do not allow bicyclists.  The tunnel may, at the bus drivers convenience allow you to use the rack on the front of the bus to cross.  The two closest crossing that specificly allow cyclists are the walpole Algonac ferry north of lake st clair and the Pelee island ferry.

I did a trip around Lake Erie years ago and there was also a no bicycle restriction on route 2 from Port Clinton to Sandusky which required a detour into Fremont.  My route was counter clockwise and left Lake Erie near Rondeau Park and then headed to the Sombra-Marine City Ferry to Michigan, headed west then south thru Ann Arbor thru Bowling Green and rejoined Lake Erie in Sandusky.

Also there is construction currently on the Peace Bridge that affects cyclists, see the post in the temporary ACA road closure forum for the Northern Tier/UGRR route.

Jeff

4
Canada / Re: Northern Ontario — Lake Huron
« on: August 02, 2017, 01:10:51 pm »
I just did a tour from Sudbury Junction down the Lake Huron shoreline thru Manitoulin Island.  There were some short sections with an existing multi-use trail along the road.  I don't remember seeing many if any trail signs.  The Waterfront Trail is not a off road trail, it is a route that follows the waterfront and uses off road trails when possible, some of these trails are not usable for road touring as they can be muddy. (in St Cathrines West of the Welland Canal).  Most of the time there was a reasonable shoulder, and only 1 area with road construction, it was on a bridge.  Traffic was minimal. 

5
General Discussion / Re: Waiting for a bike ride
« on: July 19, 2017, 01:25:02 pm »
As for coming from Toronto, you have several options to get to the US.  2-3 days is not unreasonable to get to Niagara Falls.  Follow the Waterfront Trail.  Another option is to use the GoTrain Excursion trains from Toronto to Niagara falls On, these run Friday night, Saturday and Sunday and holidays thru September.  The excursion train allows one to roll the bike on to the train. 
As for crossing the border in Niagara Falls area, you can use the

 Peace Bridge in Buffalo/Fort Erie, this bridge you cross using the pedestrian sidewalk, there are signs on the road under the bridge on the Canadian side for pedestrians and cyclists. 

The rainbow bridge in Niagara Falls, you cross with the cars and enter from the street, the sidewalk is closed to bicycles.

The Lewiston-Queenston bridge in Queenston/Lewiston, on this bridge you cross with the cars and the bicycle entrance on the Canadian side is under the bridge on the Niagara Parkway, there are signs  It requires you to go thru the parkinglot for the bridge offices and then cross the traffic into Canada between the Customs booths and the Toll booths and then merge with the US bound traffic.  After the US Customs inspection you take the first exit ramp and then the first exit onto Lewiston RD RT104.  The Canada bound route is to take the on ramp at Military RD/Upper Mountain rd to Canada and then at the toll booths in Canada take the right most open toll booth as you will then hop onto the sidewalk on the toll boths and follow the sidewalk around to the right and the parking lot for the bridge.  Do not go straight after  the toll booths as you will be on the QEW!

The whirlpool bridge is closed to all traffic except cars and everyone in the car must have the NEXUS card including any children.  Even if you have a NEXUS Card, the Whirlpool bridge is closed to cyclists.

I would suggest using the Rainbow bridge as being the most bicycle friendly/accessible.

6
Canada / Re: Canada EH??
« on: May 08, 2017, 11:20:53 pm »
Note that the only Legal crossing in Detroit is in the tunnel using the bus with at the drivers convenience.  There are 2 crossing North of Detroit, the ferry north of lake st Clair and the Marine City Ferry, closer to Port Huron.  If you want to avoid larger cities, go thru Canada at the Marine City or Pelee Island Ferry and follow the waterfront trail to Queenston.  Going thru the US allows you to stop at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.  My preference would be for going thru Canada.  I have circled Lake Erie using the Marine City Ferry and then avoided Detroit and Toledo, reconnecting with the lake near Sandusky.  US 2 had bicycle restrictions West of Sandusky when I did it, so avoiding Toledo was almost required.

Jeff

7
do you have  a link where it says that Customs/Homeland security is phasing out the Enhanced drivers license?  Current border patrol sites still list Enhanced DL as acceptable Land/Sea crossing documents.

8
Even better than the passcard is the Enhanced Drivers License, If your state has them.

9
Routes / Re: Help Building a Trip
« on: April 22, 2017, 05:43:46 pm »
A route from Rouses Point (NY/VT/Quebec) border to Montreal is mostly low traffic and easy.  Then Leave Montreal following the bike route along the St Laurence.  This will connect tot he Waterfront trail (both on road and off road)that will take you Toronto right along the waterfront.  At Hamilton you need to decide if you want to head towards Niagara Falls or West.  If you head to Niagara Falls, I would follow the waterfront trail thru Niagara On The Lake and join the Northern Tier route in Queenston and either take the Northern Tier south along Lake Erie or take the Lake Erie Connector along the Northern Shore of Lake Erie and then connect to the Northern Tier with the Pelee Island Ferry mentioned on the Lake Erie Connector.  Avoiding Detroit is mostly required as it hard to cross the border on a bicycle in Detroit.  (it is only with the bus driver discretion on the tunnel crossing in Detriot.)  The options for crossing between Ontario and Michigan in that area are on the Algonac Ferry North of Lake st Clair and the Bluewater ferry (Sombra /Marine city).  It is possible to cross the Bluewater bridge in Sarnia/Port Huron, but requires a ride from the bridge authority at their convenience.

Jeff

10
The Lewiston-Queenston bridge allows bicycles.  There are signs in Canada on how to use the bridge.  On this bridge you cross the same as a car, using the car lanes.  On entry to Canada there is a toll, I believe $.50, pay the toll using the right most open lane, and then before clearing the toll lane take the sidewalk around.  do not go straight as it is highway.

It has been a couple of years since I crossed the Peace bridge, The last time I crossed, from Canada to the US there was a large gate that was released by the border patrol that I was able to wheel the bicycle thru.  On the Canadian side you will see signs for bicyclist from the road next to the river, just south of the bridge.  This bridge you are required to cross as a pedestrian using the sidewalk.

The rainbow bridge in Niagara falls, I cross using the car lanes as the trike I use probably would be an issue using the pedestrian sidewalk.  There is a toll into Canada, I believe about $.50

I believe the main reason for routing thru Canada is to shorten and make easier the route as staying in the US either requires crossing the Grand Island bridges or going around Grand Island.

You might see a listing for the Whirlpool bridge but this bridge doesn't allow pedestrians or bicyclists and also requires all passengers in a car to have a Nexus card.

Jeff

11
General Discussion / Re: ti trike
« on: December 27, 2016, 08:51:15 pm »
I ride a greenspeed Trike has gearing from 22 in the front and Mega rear cassette, 35 tooth in the rear.  with 20" tires it will climb just about anything,  It is very hard to walk a hill that it cannot climb.  Just compare it to a standard bike w/ 26" wheels, with 20" rear wheel it is about 25% lower gearing.

12
Canada / Re: Bike transport by train
« on: December 08, 2016, 11:40:57 am »
I did a trip using Via rail this past summer with a recumbent trike.  It involved taking the train from Toronto to Quebec city(actually Saite-Foy).  It had a train change in Montreal.  I did have to use a train with baggage car and train stations with Checked Baggage service.  In Montreal I didn't have to deal with the bike or checked bags during the layover.  The time it took on the train was near what it would of taken to drive and I didn't need to rent a car/U-haul to transport the trike one way as I rode the bike back home.  Cost was less than rental/drive even with business class from Toronto to Montreal, only economy class or sleeper class avail from Montreal to Quebec City on trains with baggage cars.  I am looking at using the train for next years trip, I just have to figure out where to go.

Jeff

13
Routes / Re: Northern Tier Alternate
« on: June 20, 2016, 06:48:49 pm »
A slightly longer route but flatter would be to follow the Erie Canal to Albany and then follow the Hudson River south.  The finger lakes area is often very hilly with steep inclines, especially around Ithaca.

14
Routes / Re: Crossing the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge on a Bicycle
« on: June 01, 2016, 03:10:22 pm »
As a cyclist crossing with cars you wait in line with the cars.  The only exception is if you have a NEXUS card and there is a NEXUS lane.

15
Routes / Re: Crossing the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge on a Bicycle
« on: June 01, 2016, 10:46:56 am »
This past Sunday, 5/30, I returned from Canada on the Lewiston-Queenston bridge and it is exactly as described, except I would change the wording about the orange cones to the road to the right of the currency exchange in the picture.  Into Canada, use the lane with the least traffic until the end of the bridge on the Canadian side.  The right lane is for trucks, buses and cars with NEXUS,  bikers with NEXUS cards can use this lane when open, I used it several times already this year.  There is currently on NEXUS lane into the US on this bridge.

Jeff

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