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Messages - indyfabz

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General Discussion / Re: Washington, D.C. To Portland Maine.
« on: February 13, 2015, 10:14:14 am »
Forgot to mention that there is another campground in Portland, PA. It's on Turkey Bridge Rd. a short distance NW from town. Problem is, there is really nothing else in the way of services in Portland except a tiny gas station/"Food Mart" that I think has limited hours and a dive bar which may or may not have food. If you find you need to stay in Portland for whatever reason, you can cross the river via the pedestrian/bike bridge to Columbia, NJ, take Decatur Street north, cross over I-80 and go to the truck stop plaza. There is a McDonald's and a Taco Bell, and the place might have some groceries. Round trip it's probably 3 miles. To get to the bridge, to past the c-store about 50 yards and cross the railroad tracks. Even if you keep moving, it' worth walking out onto the bridge for the views of the river. BTW...Portland is the birth place of the guy who wrote the song "All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth."

If you have the time, can get adequate supplies and want to expend the energy, you can camp at Camp Taylor and then take a tour of the Lakota Wolf Preserve the next morning. The two are in the same location outside of Columbia, NJ.:

That's what I did the last time I toured down from Port Jervis. I awoke to howling wolves at dawn. The only issue with that is that you would probably have to walk part of Mt. Pleasant Road that leads up there from NJ 94. I cam down it and it is incredibly steep.

Finally, I would try to time your trip so that you ride the Conshohocken to New Hope section on a weekend day to avoid as much weekday suburban sprawl traffic as possible.

General Discussion / Re: Washington, D.C. To Portland Maine.
« on: February 12, 2015, 02:09:38 pm »
I am very familiar with short section between the Philadelphia area and the Port Jervis, NY area as I try to ride some or all of it every year.

For obvious reasons, there is nothing in the way of camping on or near the route north from Conshohocken until you get to the Milford, NJ area. From Milford, you can cross the river into PA and head back south about 1.5 miles to Dogwood Haven Campground. (Most of that 1.5 miles can be done on a bike path.) The place is a bit dated, but the owner is very nice. Last year he was still giving cyclists a discount rate of $15, which is cheap for that area. Milford has good pizza and a surprisingly decent grocery store for a town of its size.

Heading north from there you won't find any campgrounds until you cross the river from Belvidere, NJ to Mt. Bethel, PA. Driftstone on the Delaware is between Mt. Bethel and Portland, PA. Never stayed there, but I know it's wildly expensive. Over $30/night and possibly as high as $40. There is a historic old hotel in Belvidere, but it's expensive. The town itself is worth a look see. There are many nicely renovated Victorian house on the streets around the large town square. Grab a sandwich from Skoogy's Deli on Greenwich St. (the other location doesn't have a bathroom) and have lunch in square.

The next camping spot on route is the campground at Worthington State Forest, which you pass right by a few miles after crossing the pedestrian bridge along I-80 from Delaware Water Gap, PA into NJ. Nice place along the river. $25/night for non-residents. If you stay there, ask for the group site with the bear locker. There are a decent number of bears in that part of the world, and they can get very big. Not too long ago someone bagged an 800+ lb. bear on the PA side of the river not that far away. You will need to go off route a very short distance into the center of Delaware Water Gap, PA for food. No grocery store, but there is a convenience store with some canned goods. There is also a diner, a pizza place, great bakery that has BBQ on certain days during certain times of the year as well as a couple of other nicer restaurants.

North from the Worthington campground there are no food sources on route until you hit Port Jervis, a distance of about 34 miles. There are water and bathrooms at Old Millbrook Village, which is about 9 miles from the campground. If you desperate for something to eat, when you get to Peters Valley Craft Center you can stay on CR 615/Bevans Road instead of starting the climb. About 2 miles down that road you will come to Layton, where there is a very good place called the Layton Country Store. It was closed for a while but recently reopened. I was there in October and the food was quite good. Hope they are able to make a go of it. Reverse course to Peters Valley Craft Center and continue on route. Or you can take CR 560 directly from Layton and then make a right onto to Old Mine Rd. and you will be back on the route. I caution against that as CR 560 always seems to have a fair amount of fast moving traffic.

Three or so miles before you cross the NY state line there are two campgrounds on the right side of CR 521. From what I have read, the first one you pass (Cedar Ridge) is a dump, assuming it's even still in business. The second one (Rockview Valley) is a little hickish, but o.k. Check their web site for opening dates.

It seems the full-service grocery store in Port Jervis is out business. If you cross the river into Matamoras, PA and head a but west on U.S. 6 there is a large grocery store (Price Chopper) on the right and just about any other service you could want. It's actually an interesting if you understand local economics. Taxes in NY and generally higher than in PA so people drive across the river from NY to PA to save money. Where it's particularly visible is with cigarettes. There are several tobacco outlets on the PA side of the river. Gas is the same way. There is one small station in Port Jervis but several of them in Matamoras as gas is noticeably cheaper in PA.

North of there, ACA changed the route some since I road home to Philly from Bar Harbor many years ago. I have the new map at home and will check to see how it compares to what I did. But in general, I would say that 60 miles/day is a reasonable number assuming you are in decent shape. The section from the bike trail in Conshohocken to New Hope, PA is not overly hilly, and there are no long, hard climbs. When you cross from New Hope into Lambertville, NJ, you can take the D&R Feeder Canal trail all the way to Frenchtown. That is basically flat. I recommend it as the surface is good and it's shaded. Also, NJ 29 has no shoulder between Lambertville and the north end of Stockton. If you find the trail boring, you can get back on NJ 29 at Bull's Island Recreation Area, where there are water and bathrooms. At that point, NJ 29 has a wide shoulder all the way to Frenchtown. The rest of the way up to Port Jervis has some ups and down and includes two steep climbs in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, neither of which is more than a mile. Outside of those and the mega-steep but very short "bump" out of Mt Bethel, PA a little ways after you cross the bridge from Belvidere, NJ, the climbing is not really arduous. The only bad traffic area is in and around Philipsburg, NJ. The section between P'Burg and Belvidere is a sheer delight. Very little traffic and pretty. And due to narrow, overhead railroad bridge passes, you don't get any trucks.

General Discussion / Re: Washington, D.C. To Portland Maine.
« on: February 12, 2015, 10:28:51 am »
I am starting to plan to ride my bike to Maine from Washington, D.C. in May. I am trying to find people who have done this route before.

Do you mean Adventure Cycling's Atlantic Coast route?

General Discussion / Re: Question About Minimum Stay Requirements
« on: February 09, 2015, 02:49:35 pm »
Thanks, everyone, for your feedback! We're heading up to the Adirondack and Green Mountain loops.

As an aside, if you are on that part of the GM loop, I recommend Brighton State Park outside of Island Pond, VT. There are groceries and at least one place to eat in Island Pond. Stayed there during ACA's Green Mountains Loop tour in 2010. Lake Carmi was also decent, but there was not much around. IIRC, you would have to go off route a bit to Enosburg Falls to get food, etc.

General Discussion / Re: Traveling the Transam Supported by RV
« on: February 06, 2015, 09:23:09 am »
In case no one has mentioned this, many Walmarts allow RV camping in their parking lots. Obviously not ideal, but if you are in a bind it might be useful information.

Routes / Re: Rt. 2 across North Dakota
« on: February 03, 2015, 10:14:03 am »
Thanks for the info. on Noxon to Clark Fork. I'll make a note on my map.

I would have to dig out my old map to confirm, but I think it was this:

Routes / Re: ROUT HELP! Chicago, IL to Hilliard, OH
« on: February 02, 2015, 03:56:38 pm »
If you can drop south to Ashkum, IL you could pick up ACA's Northern Tier route to Monroeville, IN and then slice diagonally SE to Hilliard. There is an air conditioned community building in Monroeville, where cyclists can stay for free if it's not being used for a function.

When is this trip planned for? The reason I ask is that you say you are newcomers and are planning between 105 and 125 miles/day. That could be trying in the height of summer. When I did the Northern Tier with a group of people there were days over 100 degrees in IL and IN with very high humidity. That was around the end of July. Topped out at 107 in Huntingdon, IN. The low in Fletcher Lake, IN was 85 with incredibly high humidity and no breeze. To top it off, there was very little in the way of shade. Rode most of that stretch without my helmet. A couple of days some of us started out before sunrise to get in as many miles as possible before the sun burned off the morning fog and began roasting us.

As for restocking supplies, that likely won't be needed. There was never any real trouble finding food each day so there was no need to carry multiple days worth of food.

Routes / Re: Rt. 2 across North Dakota
« on: February 02, 2015, 03:01:00 pm »
Bull River Campground (U.S.F.S.) just before the junction of MT 200 and MT 56 was nice.

Assuming it still goes that way, I recommend following the official Northern Tier route on the south side of the river between just beyond Noxom and Clark Fork, ID rather than staying on MT 200. Nice and quiet back there. There was some packed dirt both times I rode it, but nothing bumpy or technical. From Google Maps, it looks like the old truss bridge across the river into Clark Fork has been turned into a bike/ped path. That river crossing was one of my favorite little gems of the Northern Tier. I can still see the giant Osprey nest atop the old bridge.

General Discussion / Re: Logistics for GDMBR
« on: February 02, 2015, 01:40:41 pm »
For auto rentals, you might try Enterprise Car Rental. I have seen cargo vans of theirs and they rent minivans and SUVs.

I'll let people more experienced with the route give better detail, but I am pretty sure that some of the route is not accessible by automobile while other portions are.

Routes / Re: Trans american--western express
« on: January 30, 2015, 10:06:02 am »
You could have snow and/or icy roads in the east in March, especially if you are talking early March. For example, the average nightly low for Berea, KY for all of March is about 32F. Or it could be unseasonably warm. As they say about March, in comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.

General Discussion / Re: folders
« on: January 28, 2015, 04:52:33 pm »
    • They can be really noodley with the tall masts for seat post and stem.

    That's how I feel about my Friday New World Tourist, which I bought when I had to commute via train and bike to a different state. The thought was that if I ended needing a ride part of the way home I could fold it to fit in a co-worker's trunk. I cannot imagine riding it with weight on it, but it clearly works for some people. In fact, in Glacier N.P. I crossed paths with ACA's North Star tour on its way to Alaska. One participant was riding a NWT.

    I have also never felt all that comfortable descending on it. Fortunately, my commute was mostly flat so that wasn't a big issue.

    With that said, for 40-50 miles unloaded, something like a Friday might work for the OP. Maybe something geared higher with drop bars might be better than the NWT.

    General Discussion / Re: Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA
    « on: January 26, 2015, 01:53:47 pm »
    The Atlantic Coast route has a D.C. connection and passes through Statesboro, GA. A quick check of Google Maps bike directions shows that Statesboro to Atlanta is about 200 miles.

    Once you get a general route idea you can search for campgrounds and/or motels using Google Maps. For example, for the first day, pick a point that's about a day's ride (based on what you think you can handle mileage-wise) from D.C. and, in Google maps, search for "campgrounds near [name of town]." If nothing comes up, pan out to widen the search area. Check any state parks which may show on the search results to see if they have camping. You can do the same with restaurants and grocery stores.
    Fine tune your route based on services you locate. I find this method works pretty well.

    Thank you for the response. Will I be able to input such a customized route into an 800 series or touring series bike mounted Garmin? I'm not sure if you have any experience with those and how to go about that? Can a customized route be uploaded to the Garmin through website?

    Sorry. I use the "Garmin" I was born with and paper maps and/or cue sheets.

    General Discussion / Re: Can I rent or buy a bike?
    « on: January 19, 2015, 10:56:31 am »
    It doesn't seem to make sense to pay for shipping NY to Florida when it close to exceeds the value of the bike.

    Another shipping option is

    The philanthropy issue aside, buying a bike and donating after the tour seems to make little economic sense.

    U.S. 283 south from U.S. 24 would take you to WaKeeny. If you were to get on U.S. 40 at that point you would be on I-70 since they are combined in that area. (U.S. 40 joins I-70 further west at Oakley.) There is Old Rte. 40 east from WaKeeney that turns into SR 147 and then E. 10th through Ellis before turning back into Old Rte. 40. into Hays. It continues east of Hays, roughly paralleling U.S. 40/I-70. East of Hays you can see the road on Google Street View. At Ellsworth it appears to be renamed Avenue J/SR 140 to Salina, where it becomes E. Old Rte. 40 and then Old Rte. 40 again. Google suggests it goes as far as Junction City. From what you can see on Street View, it appears to be mostly a narrow road with no shoulder but light traffic.

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