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Messages - jcostanz

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Currently all non essential travel to canada is banned.  The ban is thru at least july 21.  Canada has not failed to extend it monthly since it started.
I can give turn by turn directions for rerouting to avoid the canada portion from niagara falls to buffalo.  Much of this detour is on paved paths.

Routes / Re: Maps for trans-Canada trip?
« on: July 14, 2020, 01:18:09 pm »
The route verte is good for Quebec and does connect with the waterfront trail thru Ontario.  The trail is mostly on roads.  Ss for anything like maps comparable to adventure cycling. I havent seen anything close.

General Discussion / Re: 2020 Tours Where and when?
« on: June 20, 2020, 09:35:55 pm »
I plan on doing a loop starting with the Ohio - Erie trail from Celveland to Cincinatti then north along the border with Indianna then back to Cleveland.  Leaving on July 1st.  trip is about 1/3 Hotel, 1/3 Air B&B and 1/3 Camping due to available overnights.  This is the first time in 5 years that my yearly trip has not involved Canada, but with the border between the US and Canada still closed and not reopening until late July, if then.  A trip into Canada is not an option.  Doing a trip in New York is not practical currently as tent camping is only scheduled to open this comming weekend and most state park campgrounds are already fully booked.  Depending on the area resturants have only been allowed to open for indoor dining at 50% capacity and min 6' distance as of last Tuesday (western NY).  Further east some areas are further behind on opening.

Routes / Re: Heading out of South Florida (Broward County) north.
« on: June 17, 2020, 11:18:42 am »
many years ago when I did a loop around Lake Okeechobee.  I came back using 76 to  710 to 706.  There was a wide shoulder on the roads until you hit the Welcome to Jupiter town line where the shoulder went from several feet to nothing at the sign.  Traffic was very light once you got west of the Turnpike and 95.  But my experience with this area has always been during the winter.
I remember that there is a path and sidewalks on the west side of US1 most if not all the way from Jupiter light house to Jonathan Dixon State park.

Routes / Re: Heading out of South Florida (Broward County) north.
« on: June 16, 2020, 07:59:50 pm »
Going up the coast, the hills you will run into are the bridges over the Intercostal.  During the winter I ride a lot North of 706 along the coast up to Stewart.
Even during the higher winter traffic, if you stick to the coast using A1A or Beach Road on Jupiter island the traffic is minimal on these roads and most of the time when you are stuck on US 1 there is a wide sidewalk, almost a bike path along the road,  the one exception is on US1 bridge next to the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse.

Routes / Re: NYC westbound
« on: June 02, 2020, 10:14:20 pm »
Just a word of warning about any plans for New York State.  Tent camping is not scheduled to be allowed unit Phase 4(as all restrooms and showers are ordered closed)  Self contained RV's are allowed if preexisting reservations/leases .  Restaurants for dine in is not scheduled to Phase 4, with many completely closed or reduced hours/days for takeout only.  A couple of areas near the finger lakes region entered Phase 2 on June 29.  Most of Western NY reached Phase 2 Today.  Each phase is at least 2 weeks per the Govener. Further East in New York it is closed further. The Border between the US and Canada is Closed for all non essential traffic until at least mid June.  All these closures will affect overnights in New York.

If you do go thru Niagara Falls, you will most likely need to stick to the US side and not cross over to Canada as the ACA Norther Tier route does.  I have posted directions for routes to stay in the US, but some of the route has been changed and the detour signed on the roadside is incorrect.  (New York State has removed the road, added tall curbs, fences and dumped several feed of loose dirt over the old road the detour is still marked.) Also Google maps has not updated their maps including bike maps of the area.

Routes / Re: Buffalo to Erie
« on: February 06, 2020, 03:41:37 pm »
There has been a new (end of 2018) paved multi use train opened up from Ridge Road and RT 5 to the old steel plant entrance(called the shoreline trail), just north of the railroad bridge.  This leaves a gap on Route 5 without shoulders and no sidewalk south bound but it is not prohibited. to cyclists.  There is a new traffic light where this trail ends, on the other side of RT 5 there is a narrow sidewalk under the railroad bridge.  This short section of route 5 is not very cyclist friendly, 2 lane wide road southbound no shoulders or sidewalk.  South of the rr bridge the road widens and has a shoulder, just before the overpass and circle at Mile strip road a multi use path starts on the lake side of route 5.  This trail has been adjusted in the past couple of years, it now parallels rt 5 and then turns into Hoover RD, which doesn't connect to RT 5 anymore and then ends at big tree rd.

Routes / Re: Cycling Around Washington DC
« on: January 28, 2020, 05:35:59 pm »
For inexpensive overnights, there is, not in my comfort level,  Campgrounds, but pricing and restrictions vary.  Some are listed as seasonal only, some will not accept tents, some have minimum number of night reservations, especially around holiday weekends.  It is not unusual for State park campgrounds to have a reservation fee from $5 -$15 per reservation.  Airbnb is a great option in many locations where options are few.  you can usually find hostels in the cities,  Washington DC has one reasonably close to the main attractions.  Finally hotels and motels.

You might want to include the state in several of the cities listed, as several towns with the same name in the area but in different directions and may not be the ones commonly thought of.  Cumberland is usually thought of as the one in Maryland at the C&O canal- Great Allegheny Passage rail trail trail, north west of Washington, not the Virginia.  Newark New Jersey is more well known than the Newark Delaware which I believe is on your route. 

Going by your towns listed, from Washington to Charlottesville you are heading well into the mountains, you might want to look at the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway,  These are lower speed limit scenic roadways but can be very hilly! and are close to your listed towns.

It looks like you will be going up the Atlantic coast from Norfolk.  You will need to catch the shuttle across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel as cycling is not allowed for safety.

Crossing the Susquehanna river at Harve De Grace, North East of Baltimore, is unknown as several years ago there was a pilot program to allow cyclist to use this bridge during limited days and times, the nearest crossing was west near Berkley on US 1.

As for must see,  I definitely recommend the Holocaust memorial/museum in DC.  The Air & Space Museum both in Washington, DC and the one next to Dulles airport, the Steven F Hdvar-Hazy Center.  Any of the other museums/sites depending on your interests while in Washington, DC.  It is very easy to spend days visiting all the sites in DC alone. 

Near you route, near Norfolk is Colonial Williamsburg, a 1600-1700 recreation site.

When do you plan on touring?  Finding accomidations late May (Memorial day weekend), Early July (July 4 Independance Day) and Early Sepetember (Labor Day) can be tricky and costly.  If you are touring on July 4th you will find most towns and cities having firework displays.

I have been using Delorme PN series GPS units for years and now mine are locking up and not working.
With Garmin's purchase of Delorme years ago, the devices are not in production.
I have been using the TOPO program that came with the units for route planning for multi day rides.
As the software is several years old, It has stopped working on most of my computers.
The features on the software I use are the ability to add roads(ie c&o and Gap trail) for routing and also  roads that either are broken or incorrectly listed as not usable for cyclists (Lewiston-Queenston Bridge (Google Maps still doesn't route on this bridge)).  And the ability to estimate end of day distances from last end of day.  This allows me to find an area to search for accommodations near the distance, then shows an icon at the next distance after making a stopping point.
Does anyone have any recommendations for a replacement for the Delorme TOPO program?
I have tried Google maps, but I haven't found how to do an estimated end of day stops, and transferring to a gps unit doesn't seem possible.

Also a replacement for the PN series gps units.
I do prefer replaceable batteries to rechargeable as recharging during the day or every night can be problematical while multi day touring.


Routes / Re: Northern tier #10 Cananda alternative
« on: August 25, 2019, 01:23:51 pm »
On niagara st. The sidewalk on the riverside is very wide. Probably in excess of 8ft.

I haven't  crossed to unity island. You can see if it is mentioned in any cgoba trips.  You also shoud search for squal island as this is what it was called up to a couple of years ago.  The sothern bridge to the island is a draw bgidge while the norther mbv bridge is a rotating bridge. That has a rail line and car lanes.  Both bridges still operate.

Time wise you are talking about 60 miles on route along river.  So 6 hrs without any sight seeing.  Options for overnightin are non existant between biagara falls and lockport unless you head into lewiston

Routes / Re: Northern tier #10 Cananda alternative
« on: August 19, 2019, 11:37:16 am »
For the most scenic  and simplistic routing, I would Take RT 5 to Big Tree RD, make a left on Big Tree RD, turns right onto Hoover Rd in Hamburg,  Take a left before getting back to Lakeshore rd, just past a UAW building, this is a dead end road but pickups a bike path for a short distance along RT 5 at Woodlawn beach state park Park, either take the pedistrian bridge or cross over RT 5 at 7th street, first intersection after end of path.  Follow RT 5, can be high traffic, but there are 3 lanes and a sidewalk going this direction.  Shortly after the old Bethlehem steel plant, Rt 5 will become a elevated highway, there is a off ramp with sign saying bicyclist must exit.  Make a elft at stop and then a right after going under bridge this is Fuhmann blvd, you will pickup a bike path on the left just before the road turns right under the highway. 

You have a choice to make here.  You can continue straight and take the Bicycle Ferry or you will want to make a right onto Ohio Street, Ohio street connect to the small boat harbor near the far end of the marina, it goes under the highway.  Stay on Ohio street, going over the lift bridge and straight towards the street car maintaince buliding,  There is a path between the river and the street car bldg thru canal side,  This is where the bike ferry will reconnect.

For the bike ferry continue straight, there should be a sign on the right about the bike ferry just before the coast guard gate.  It will take you across to Canalside and the Naval and Military Park.

From Canalside go past the naval park (can't miss the large Cold war era missile ship Little Rock, WW2 era Destroyer The Sulivans and the WW2  era Submarine.  stay with vetrans park, at end make a right on Erie St.  Just before Erie st goes under a bridge make a wide left onto the path/sidewalk at lakefront blvd, stay with path , it will eventually go over a highway and under the peace bridge and ends on Busti Ave, turns into Niagara St, make a left.
As Niagara st goes under to on/off ramps and over a small creek, make a left with niagara st, rt 266,  the sidewalk/path is on the left side of the road.  Make a Left on Hamilton St, after it goes under the highway the River front trail will be on your right.  This trail will take you all the way to Tonawanda, staying along the river.

As you go along the trail you will come to a pair of Tall bridges going over the Niagara River.  If you want to take the Grand Island route make a right between the bridges and cross river road, then the path will split to take either bridge to the Island.  After the bridge the paths will recombine, make a left on the path so the river is on your right. go straight around the roundabout onto grand island blvd.  Near end just before the road enters the highway there will be a path on the right, this will take you to the North Grand Island bridges, along a nature preserve.  Take either bridge across the river and make a right at end of bridge.  Just after going under the last overpass, make a right into the Lasalle Waterfront Park, you will catch a bike path that will take you right to the Niagara State Park,  the River road option reconnects here.

If you do not take the Grand Island Bridge route, stay along the path along the river.  It will make a sharp right turn just after a long stretch  of parks.  This is the start of the current Erie Canal.  You have a choice here to either head to Niagara Falls or head to Lockport.  To head to Niagara Falls, go under the first bridge, path will turn right, make a right onto Young st, and an immediate right on river Rd, going over the bridge, stay with river road, shortly there will be a bike path on the left side of the road.  This path will end at the farside of Gratwick Park, follow river road, it will change to Buffalo Ave, at end make a left on Buffalo Ave.  Follow Buffalo Ave until just before you go under a bridge, make a left into Lasalle Waterfront park and join the path along the river to Niagara Falls.

If you want to skip Niagara Falls, follow the Erie canal/Tonawanda creek path to Lockport.  (I haven't done this route).

After you arrive at Niagara Falls, This is where Google Maps is currently out of date,(New York State has removed a bridge and closed roads and paths for 2+ years so far on the Niagara Scenic Parkway), Do not go under the Rainbow Bridge as the path beyond is closed.  You will want to make your way onto the streets, best way is to keep trying to make lefts.  When you see the big blue green glass bldg, keep it on your right until you merge with the traffic from the rainbow bridge.  Make a left on Rainbow Blvd at Niagara St.  Make a wide right onto Main St. following bike path detours.  I generally stay with Main st/Lewiston Rd (rt 104) instead of turning at De Veaux Woods State Park, either way you will rejoin Lewiston Rd at Devils Hole State Park.  Google gets a little crazy with routing here.  Lewiston Road turns into a 4 lane road but traffic is usually light in this area.  Take Lewiston Rd over the Power plant, going under the Lewiston Queenston Bridge.  I like to make a right just after the church onto Meadobrook drive, and a left at the end on Fairway Dr then right on Military Rd, or  go to the light and make a right on Military Rd.   Make a left on Upper Mountain rd, this is where the Norther Tier Route reconnects.

Routes / Re: Ferry from Ft. Meyers to Key West
« on: August 14, 2019, 01:41:32 am »
A number of years ago I looked into using the ferry and was told that they basically strapped the bike to the railings on the ferry and they would only take "Normal" single bikes due to the way they carry the bikes.

Routes / Re: Northern tier #10 Cananda alternative
« on: August 06, 2019, 07:10:20 pm »
There are several Paved trails that can be taken to skip going to Canada.  A short new trail goes infront of the old Bethlem Steel plant headed towards the Buffalo  harbor state park.

Starting at Ridge Road and Rt 5 a paved trail along the outer harbor connects to either the Ohio Street bridge or to the Buffalo Bike Ferry, from there you will go past the naval park and this trail will follow the Niagara River.

 There is an option to cross over Grand Island  and head To Niagara Falls,as the bridge has side walks for bicyclists and they connect to trails on both sides of both sets of bridges. 

Or continue on to Tonawanda and either join the Erie Canal Path to Lockport or keep along the river to Niagara Falls.  The trail disappears for several miles from Gratwick park to the 190 overpass.

If you go to Niagara Falls, I recommend following the Niagara River towards Lewiston.  Note that the Niagara Scenic Parkway and the bike path next to are currently closed and have been for a year(google still tries to route you on it)  (a large bridge has been removed and will not be replaced).  You would meet up with the Northern Tier route just after it crosses back to the US at the Lewiston Queenston Bridge.

I can give more detailed direction if needed

General Discussion / Re: Lake Michigan tour advice
« on: July 07, 2019, 07:39:31 am »
Without your milage per day it is tough to make a suggestion.

I did enjoy my trip along the norther half of the lake.  I started woth the ferry from ludington then went thru green bay and followed the lake.  Took the ferry to mackinaw island  and then they traverse city towards  the ferry dock

General Discussion / NYC Layover day
« on: April 30, 2019, 01:13:52 pm »
I am planning a trip and looking to take the ferry from Highlands NJ into NYC for 2 nights.  Does anyone have any suggestions for a hotel/B&B ect that has secure bicycle storage in NYC?  I do not plan to use the bike to ride around NYC just from the ferry dock to the hotel and back.  The bike is a recumbent trike so putting in the hotel room is not a option.

All of my internet searches have only shown hotels with bicycle rentals.


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