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Messages - jcostanz

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1
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.

2
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

3
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.

4
Even better than the passcard is the Enhanced Drivers License, If your state has them.

5
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

6
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

7
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.

8
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

9
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.

10
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.

11
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

12
Gear Talk / Re: Mirrors
« on: March 22, 2016, 01:11:05 pm »
On 2 wheel recumbents I always use the take a look glasses mounted version. very adjustable and stable, when I tried handle bar mounted ones they vibrated so much that I could not see anything.  On 3 wheel recumbents (greenspeed or trident trikes) I use handle bar mounted ones with curved mirrors, Things are closer than they appear.

13
Underground Railroad / Re: Niagara Falls to Columbus, OH
« on: September 21, 2015, 02:17:17 pm »
I rode the route from Lewiston, NY (north of Buffalo) to Astubula, OH on my way to DC this summer, using the western reserve rail trail towards Pittsburg).  Most of the time the lake is not visible from the route. 

Jeff

14
The ACA route does take you thru Canada, from the Lewiston Queenston Bridge to the Peace Bridge in Buffalo.  There are a couple of ways to avoid this.  I skipped the Canadian part this weekend.  If you don't have a passport already I would suggest avoiding.

To avoid Canada and still see the Niagara Falls follow the ACA route until the intersection of Military rd and Upper Mountain RD, just before the on ramp to Canada.

Make a right on Military Rd.  Take to end and make a left on Rt 104
Stay on RT 104 past Niagara University, enter the Devils hole parking lot on Right go over curb and cross over pedistrian bridge.  Keep river on right and this path past the george Trail keyosk, you will pass another pedistrian bridge but instead of taking the main path to the end, take the one to the right, it goes down under the rainbow bridge, keeping the river on the right you will find a path that will take you to Buffalo Ave at I-190, the path ends here.  An option is to cross over Grand Island, you will need to use Google maps to map this as I have never ridden on the Island.  Or make a right on Buffalo ave.  Take this to river road at a 4 way stop, it has a Overpass just after the stop. Make a right on river road.  a couple of miles down river road you will see a park on the right and a bike path will be on the right.  Take the bike path.  This will take you to tonawanda creek, Take the bridge directly in front of you using the side walk, just after the bridge, take a right on the path and then a left at the river.  Take this path all the way around to buffalo.  take a left on Hertel ave and then a right on Niagara St.  Stay on Niagara Street and follow the detour (signed for bicyclists)  It will take you past the entrance to the Peace Bridge and will meet up with the ACA route.

Any further question please ask.

Jeff

15
The onramp onto the Lewiston-Queenston bridge to Canada that is on the route.  I don't recommend the signed detour that is marked for cars.  I suggest that at the light of upper Mountain RD and Military Rd, just before the right to Canada (it is closed for all traffic and the road is removed further up.  Make a Right on Military Rd.  Take this to the end and make a left on RT 104.  Pass by the to Canada detour sign and stay on RT 104.  After you pass over the NY Power Authority and Niagara University on your left you will come to Devils hole parking lot and entrance to the Robert Moses parkway.  Enter the parking lot and go over the curb and you will see a pedestrian bridge.  Cross the pedestrian bridge and then keep the river to the right.  There are bike route signs.  Take this to the end and at the stop sign at the end you will turn right to the rainbow bridge to Canada.  I always cross with the cars on this bridge.  After Canadian customs just keep turning right and you will meet up with the route.

Good luck

Jeff

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