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Messages - rootchopper

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I've done both trails too.  The C&O has its rugged charms but the GAP has a much better surface and more services near the trail.  The kids would love the train. Lots of smoke and noise would be a great contrast to the quiet during the ride. 

Routes / Re: routes in pennsylvania/New York
« on: April 26, 2011, 01:41:55 pm »
One idea, go to the PA DOT website and look for the PA bike routes. Route S goes along the southern edge of PA. It must intersect the ACA Atlantic Coast Route east of York PA.  Switch over to the ACR and follow it to NYC

Routes / Atlantic Coast Route Changes?
« on: April 26, 2011, 01:16:18 pm »
I am planning a trip from Albany NY to Washington DC, mostly on the Atlantic Coast Route.  I have some old ACA-ACR maps that I am planning on using but am a little concerned about major route changes such as bridge closures.  I know that there is a new pedestrian bridge across the Hudson at Pughkeepsee that I am planning to take and a new rail trail here and there.  I can't seem to find online any changes to the route that would cause me woe. Do you know of any?

Routes / Re: Upstate NY to CT
« on: April 22, 2011, 09:28:25 pm »
Google New York State Bike Routes.  You may be able to follow NYS Bike Route 17 from south Ithaca down to the NYC area. It's a start anyway. 

General Discussion / Lower Potomac River Crossing
« on: September 19, 2009, 07:55:09 pm »
Greetings from Alexandria VA

As you may know the Potomac Heritage Route has a bit of a glitch caused by the lack of frequent ferries across the lower Potomac River.  The ferries are needed because there is no on-road bicycle crossing south of Alexandria near Washington DC.  This is also one reason why the Atlantic Coast Route goes through the DC area.  This could change if the Governor Nice Bridge north of Fredericksburg Virgina is modified to include a bike lane.  The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is planning to improve the bridge in the near future and is seeking comments.  If you're interested in giving the MDTA a nudge in the right direction you can tell them here:

John Pickett

Connecting ACA Routes / NYC to Cleveland: PENNSLYVANIA
« on: June 26, 2008, 12:17:20 pm »

You have a few options.  The State Departments of Transportation for both NY and PA have mapped out bike routes to the west.  NYS Bike Route 17 roughly follows the southern border of upstate NY.  Google NY Bike Route 17 for specifics.  Pennsylvania Bike Route Y goes across northern PA.  Check out for more info.

You could hook up witha PA bike route using the NYC  connector to the ACA Atlantic Coast route.

I hope this helps.

Good luck with your trip.

Urban Cycling / New Cyclist to DC
« on: September 22, 2008, 02:47:52 pm »
I live in Mount Vernon and commute to DC quite frequently.  The Mount Vernon Trail is great for commuting.  You could look into apartments in the Belle Haven area just south of Alexandria and near the MVT.  I agree that there is nothing cheap so no guarantees on cost.

BTW check out for lots of useful info on bike trails, commuting, etc.  They also have a very active Yahoo forum.

Urban Cycling / top bicycle-friendly cities and towns
« on: November 27, 2006, 10:29:34 am »
I would agree with Char2006 that Washington DC is pretty hard to beat for a city its size, especially in the Eastern US. We have a growing network of hundreds of miles of bikeable trails including the Mount Vernon, Capital Crescent, Washington and Old Dominion, and Rock Creek Trails, and the C&O Canal towpath.  DC can't hold a candle to Davis California however. I visited Davis in 1979 and I was amazed.  Bike lanes and facilities everywhere.  A community that is totally committed to bikes as transportation. Great weather. And flat terrain.

Gear Talk / A recumbant for centuries and possible touring
« on: September 29, 2006, 05:08:18 pm »
I ride a Tour Easy recumbent (2 wheeler).  It costs about $2000. I bought it four years ago.  It has 20,000 miles on it.  Needless to say, I think it's working out for me.   I've done three tours on it and about 400 commutes.

I like it so much I am having a great deal of difficulty selecting my next bike which will almots certainly be a recumbent.

Another possibility for you is to look for a Burley recumbent. Burley just discontinued manufacturing recumbents so you may be able to get one at a substantially reduced price.

Gear Talk / Recumbent advice?
« on: September 29, 2005, 04:53:54 pm »
I had the same physical problems you are having and then some.  I have been riding a recumbent for three years and rarely touch my old touring bike anymore.

The best one for you is the one that you enjoy riding the most.  I recommend you go to a well stocked recumbent bike shop with a helmet and a water bottle and ride as many bikes as you can. (Let them know you are coming in advance.) I rode 10 different recumbent bikes, narrowed that down to the 3 best, then came back a few days later and did a ride off. My 3 best were the Green Gear's Bike SatRDay, the Sun EZ Sport Lite, and the Easy Racer's Tour Easy. The Tour Easy won.  I have ridden my Tour Easy nearly 16,000 miles in about 3 years including three multi-day tours.  I am a happy camper.  

Recumbents come in an amazing number of configurations so keep an open mind and try as many as you can.  You may find that some recumbent designs look great but don't match your body very well.   Others may look unimpressive but fit like a glove.

Good luck.

Gear Talk / Saddle Advice
« on: March 30, 2004, 06:33:48 pm »
Every one's anatomy differs.  My experience was that foam or gel cushioned saddles worked fine for an hour or two but were torture on long rides.  

Years ago most bikes were sold with leather saddles.  Over time manufacturers replaced then with lighter weight foam and gel saddles to save weight and cost.  

I recommend that you try a leather saddle with or without suspension (springs on the underside).  Ride it a month or two to break it in.  Then go for a long ride. You may come to the same conclusion that I did; leather is much more comfortable.  And you will not have (saddle-induced) problems with your DrScience baby making apparatus.  

You can find Brooks saddles on the internet at Harris Cyclery (Newton Mass), Bike Nashbar, and Wallingford Bicycle Parts.

Good luck.

Gear Talk / tires
« on: January 07, 2004, 01:01:28 pm »
I have been using Avocet II's (with kevlar belt) on my Sequoia for years.  They come in 700 X 38 which gives a nice cushy ride.  I use a Chengling kevlar belted tire (700X35) on the rear of my tour easy recumbent.  

My experience with tire liners was very negative.  I had no conventional flats, but did experience side wall blow outs.  Give me regular old flats anyday.  (I took the tire liners out.)  For a complete blow by blow (pun sadly intended, see, and click on the seventh day of my trip into Rockwood, PA.)

I know Conti Top Touring tires are very popular but I thought they didn't roll as smoothly as the Avocets.  Still they are extremely popular with tourists and commuters.  

Gear Talk / tools - cross country
« on: January 05, 2004, 02:17:01 pm »
Bike touring puts stress on your bike big time so think about the worst disaster you can deal with and plan accordingly.  Anything beyond your mechanical capabilities will have to be dealt with by other means (such as hitching a ride to a bike shop).  (So if you don't know how to remove a cassette don't bring the tools.  They'd be dead weight.) On my recent trip (see which includes a list of equipment) I took:
assorted allen wrenches, a Swiss army knife, electrical tape,  spare tubes, a patch kit, assorted nut drivers, tire levers, a spoke wrench, kevlar replacement spokes, replacement cables, some spare nuts and screws, a Zefal pump, and a chain tool.  

I wish I had taken spare tires and duct tape.

Good luck.

Gear Talk / Any suggestions on which bike is best for ....
« on: January 05, 2004, 02:07:45 pm »
Whether you buy a mountain bike, a traditional touring bike, a hybrid, or a recumbent, my advice to you is to find a bike that fits you.  You are going to spend a whole lot of time riding this machine and there is no sense in being uncomfortable while you are doing it.  

Ride before you buy.  Any good bike shop including REI will let you do this.

I commute most days by bike in DC and I use either a Tour Easy recumbent or an old Specialized Sequoia Touring bike.  My quess is that recumbents will generally be out of your price range.  I love mine and wouldn't thhink of touring without it unless I was going off road most of the way.

You should also consider a few essentials such as braze ons for attaching essentials (racks, fenders for and aft,and water bottle cages).  A wide range of gearing is a must.  Then you need to think about all the stuff you will be attaching and carrying.  A lock, pumps, basic tools, panniers, etc.    

But more than anything, fit is important even if it means spending a few dollars more.  Many years ago I went shopping to replace my trusty old Raleigh Grand Prix 10 speed.  As I test rode the lower end chromoly road bikes, my wife took the sales clerk aside and said "Sell him a better bike."  I ended up spending about 30 percent more than I planned for an alluminum Trek 1200. I rode it for about 10 years and never regretted the extra expense.  (I sold it to a freind who is still using it 5 years later.) So if you really plan to ride a lot (and it sounds like you do) a nicer bike will be worth it in the long run.

Good luck.  

Routes / East coast...but wich one!?
« on: December 27, 2007, 06:24:53 pm »
You have lots of options.  How about this one:  Take La Route Verte to NYS state Bike Highway 9 south until it intersects with the Adventure Cycling East Coast route (ACAECR).  Follow the ACAECR to the DC area.  Then you can take either the C&O Canal towpath or the W&OD Trail to the Blue Ridge Mountains where you can hook up with Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway. (Or follow the ACAECR to the TransAm outside Richmond.  Then follow the TransAm west to the Blue Ridge Parkway.)  

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