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Messages - walks.in2.trees

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People who are shy or introverted are used to it and spend a lot of time in their own head anyway.  I'd think that people who are more outgoing and crave constant interaction would have a more difficult time on the long lonely stretches

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Routes / Re: Adirondack Loop
« on: January 07, 2016, 11:16:13 pm »
Planning a 10 day bike trip in 2016. Looking at the Adirondack Loop. Any thoughts on which way to go?(clock/counter clock wise)  We would like to ride 40-55 miles/day. Are there campgrounds each day that fit into this mileage range? Any other helpful info. would be greats
There's TWO loops aren't there? I haven't ridden either one, but I was considering it this year as well

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Routes / Re: New improved route NY/CT border to Northern Maine
« on: January 07, 2016, 11:12:43 pm »

PLEASE ... remember that many of these small towns now have a serious heroin and prescription drug problem.  So sometimes it's better in some areas to just hammer away on 202 with the trucks , and then pick your home-town battles wisely.

Hi IKnowUrider,

Thanks for your thoughtful reply.  I just wanted to quickly reply to say that I think you're overstating the heroin thing. 

But I think the typical touring cyclist won't see any of the fallout from this problem, at least here in Maine. 

I wouldn't let the fear of drug or crime issues affect any part of your route through Maine.  It's really a nonfactor, in my opinion.

I should introduce you to the guy I worked with this past October on my tour in gorgeous  Greene, Maine, he lives in a beautiful house next to a huge  farm that his dad owns . He's a lobster fisher, launches out of posh Freeport. ($$$$)

 Turned out,  he is an ex felon, was a heroin addict (according to his buddies who I met later) so was his GF , who had been institutionalized. She went to a gorgeous women's prep school north of there.  They fought drunkenly  all night . Every night. I thought he was going to kill her one night.  He tried to rip the fly off my tent in the rain . Twice.

 I pray for him.

No, the "average touring cyclist " won't see this , but I assure you it DOES exist in Maine. Lewiston and Auburn are now racially mixed  "sanctuary cities" (as is my town here in CT)  I witnessed him driving drunk (I did not ride with him when he did this) to make more beer runs.  If you rode through this stunning  area you wouldn't suspect that the problem is there, but it is  .  There is a gorgeous town right down the road on a lake, Monson, I think it was.

To clarify, Again,  the intention of this route project is to get *TO* Maine without dealing with as many scary people . Towns like Willimantic CT, Westfield MA, Holyoke MA, Parts of Nashua NH, and especially Manchester NH (OMG!)  are no-nos for me on my touring bike.  Some of the smaller "Mill Towns" in MA demand some caution as well. But yes, use "common sense". 

I think the climbing gradient on my route is also much, much easier, but yes, coming past Barkhamstead res in CT (which the ACA also uses ) you'll need to harden up a little. but the scenery rocks. No syringes or shell casings in the road.

All I know is, when I arrived at the "first leg" of the journey in Maine this year, I felt a lot less stressed out from not  dealing with bridge crossings, Mill towns , etc.

RT  202 didn't bother me at all,  I made excellent time, without having to endlessly stop and check the maps on confusing backroads.  No issues whatsoever with truckers , (and it's not like 202 is a raging interstate, yes there are a few faster stretches outside of the towns)  Just ride smart,  don't take the lane when they are behind you on a climb. Simple.

I think I mentioned before that its no hassle to zip over to the coast from 202. Personally I enjoy the organic  farm scenery and quiet back country . I made tons of friends. Many were very patriotic, I like that.

 What you find "interesting" may be different from what I do.
Yeah I found out about it while doing an inventory project for Walmart in Manchester. Was warned to keep my equipment locked up at all times

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General Discussion / Re: Cost of a cross country USA trip?
« on: November 03, 2015, 01:13:11 pm »
The most expensive camping I found was private campgrounds in New England during the peak season (especially Maine). The woods in these areas are often so dense that I don't even know how you'd walk through them, let alone push your bike through them to set up camp. Public campgrounds are usually cheaper than private campgrounds, but you can't always find one. Occasionally you find a private campground with a discounted rate for cyclists.

The cheapest camping is city parks. On the TransAm, there are many city parks that are listed as okay to camp in. I sometimes also camp in city parks that are not listed for camping, and I've never been chased away. City parks often have showers (associated with the swimming pool), and bathrooms that they'll leave open overnight if you ask them too. They will also usually turn off the sprinklers for you if you can find somebody to ask. If I can't find somebody to ask, I often pitch under the pavilion as that's usually safe from sprinklers.

Hiker/biker sites are wonderful, but they exist in a limited number of places. They are plentiful along the west coast, and some (but not all) national parks have them. Of course I'd like to see more of them.

Thanks for the information. I'll only be in Maine and the New England area for about a week as my final destination is Portland. Unless you count New York as New England as well. In which case I will be there much longer. I'm from Germany so forgive my lack of east coast knowledge! I'm not taking the TransAm but instead designed my own route as noted above but it's good to know you can camp in most city parks without issue along it. I've done the same without an issue as well. I have taken the liberty of emailing all of the towns I plan to stay in along my route asking of their policy. Yes, it took hours but everyone that says "yes" is money saved. Even ones who charge I don't mind just because of convenience.
Never hurts to ask!  Better to ask than get arrested! Or shot at...

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General Discussion / Re: Cost of a cross country USA trip?
« on: November 03, 2015, 01:04:52 pm »
PS: I'm disappointed to hear you only saw a few farmers markets on the TA! They seem to be everywhere where I live but I guess this part of the country is also a little more environmentally friendly than the rest or at least they make that claim!
Don't forget, you're talking about leaving in April... Around here, there'll probably still be snow on the ground if this year's going to be as bad as they're saying. It should be gone by the time you get here,  but plants take time to grow. Some of the bigger farmers markets have stuff shipped in though
$2000 is definitely doable.  I was well under that on the Trans America and also on the Southern Tier.

I read where folks say that they often use roadside stands and farmers markets.  I do too when I see them, but in my experience they are very infrequent on most routes.  I really only remember very few, like maybe 3 on the entire Trans America.

I can't imagine you will pass all that many Krogers stores and I don't know about you but I hate to carry a lot of food.  I try to buy food for individual meals as close to meal time as possible rather than carry a bunch of weight.  On the TA we were given a lot of food.  I carried a bunch of it and mailed forward three packages to myself care of general delivery.  Truth be told if I had it to do over I might just say thank you, but no thank you.  It was more trouble than it was worth to me.  That said maybe when you are at a Krogers you can make yourself care packages to mail ahead.  Sending stuff general delivery does work OK.  If you decide you are not ready for a package you can forward it further ahead for no extra charge.  You can do this from any post office.  It doesn't need to be the one the package was sent to.

I mapped my own route from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine traveling through 22 states with a total of 79 planned stops over roughly 100 days while passing through over 600 towns/cities. Taking my time and doing my own thing seeing the country. I hate carrying a lot of food with me. Enough to get me through a day or two (there is a three day stretch on my route that I wont pass a single store; even a gas station). It seems like mailing food ahead of yourself wouldn't be cost effective? Wouldn't it be cheaper to just buy food in that town?

The gift cards are good at all Kroger owned stores, not just Kroger themselves. Kroger owns Cala Foods, City Markets, Dillons, FoodsCo, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs, Food 4 Less, and Smith's Food and Drug.

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General Discussion / Re: Cost of a cross country USA trip?
« on: November 03, 2015, 12:54:27 pm »
Costs vary widely depending on your choices.  I can't say what you will spend on food since that will depend on your choices.  You can go pretty cheap or pretty expensive.  On the TA campsites ran us less that $5 per person day on average since we camped for free most of the time.  None of that required stealth.  Some trips I got rooms more and spent more as a result.

On the food issue, I typically eat quite a few diner breakfasts and have lunch pretty often at a diner, Subway, or whatever.  I actually don't find that it typically is much more expensive than cooking nice meals.  It is nice to eat the regional foods and a good chance to rub elbows with the local folks.  I often find that the local food and the people are a big part of the trip.  I know that the Mexican food, barbecue, seafood, and Cajun food were one of the saving graces of the ST, the other was the people, many of whom I met at food stops.

I find that it is pretty easy to live on $20 per day, but I can get by on less or splurge more depending on the trip.

Thanks for the reply! I tend to eat pretty cheap and not very often on bike trips. More snacking than anything. I frequent farmers markets when I can on trips. They're great  and I end up talking to everyone so my "I want to ride 100 miles today" turns into "Oh crap I've been here 3 hours so I'll be lucky if I make 50 miles" which is totally worth it in the end.

I have $2000 saved up plus I'm being sponsored by a rather large grocery chain (Kroger) that will be supplying me with a nearly-$200 gift card once a month. I understand there will be long stretches where I wont run into a Kroger owned store but when I'm near one it'll come in handy!
  might be a good idea to look up all the Kroger locations ahead of time. Pretty sure there's none in the Northeast. You might be able to get Pricechopper to do it too though, they cover a huge territory out here. $200 a month isn't much by itself but as supplemental it can go pretty far

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Gear Talk / Re: Shoes/pedals for a cross country ride?
« on: November 03, 2015, 12:41:53 pm »
I just finished a ride from San Diego to Phx Az. I used clipless shimano touring shoes with a walkable rubber sole .. There were some spots that I had to push my bIke up hills .. Even though the shoe cleats are recessed in the sole they still came in contact with the roadway and you could hear and feel the grinding of the small pebbles against the metal cleats .. Hearing and feeling that gave cause to the thought ..was I damaging the cleat and thus creating a potential problem .. The other "Con" I found was while in granny gear stopped on a busy road with heavy traffic (semi's included) companied with a significant grade and narrow shoulder "Clicking" back into the pedal was precarious and down right dangerous at times .. I have since re evaluated my pedal choice and have switched over to Blackspire flat pedals which I think will  alleviate those issues .. I should mention that I have always cycled with clip or clipless pedals ..but for touring I think I,m making a change ..Glenn
I use SPD "City" pedals which are not two sided. Flip it over so you don't clip in by accident for situations like this

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Gear Talk / Re: Shoes/pedals for a cross country ride?
« on: November 03, 2015, 12:31:59 pm »
I also like SPD cleats. There are plenty of SPD shoes that recess the cleats so you can walk in them. I look for shoes with very stiff soles. The stiff soles spread the force from the pedals across a large area of your foot to prevent "hot spots". The shoes get the clips recessed by placing a border of rubber (or similar) around the edge of the sole. I look for shoes where the rubber is soft and grippy, so the shoes won't be slick if I walk into a store. There are plenty of SPD pedals and shoes, because they are frequently used by mountain bikers. You should be able to get decent pedals and shoes for less than $200.

Make sure you ride in these a good amount before starting your tour. You want your feet to acclimate to the shoes gradually.

When learning to learn how to ride with clipless shoes, there are two kinds of people -- those who have fallen over, and liars. ;) The problem is, you have to remember to clip out before stopping. Most people do OK when they first start. After a while, they think they've got it. Then they lose their focus, forget to clip out, and fall over as they stop. My fall happened next to a car of attractive young women. It hurt my pride. This is just another reason to ride your new shoes a good amount before starting your tour.
Ha-ha I did pretty much the same thing. When trying it out the first time, I was warned, so I practiced a bit clipping in and out. But its different when you actually ride, so I still fell over :D

I always take one foot out, sometimes both well before I have to stop. It'll be the emergency stops that get me I think. My shoes are good for walking a little, but I can't wear them to work, I have to bring shoes for being on my feet all day.

Tip: get pedals that are SPD on one side and normal on the other, I got them on a whim, but if you're riding through a city, stoplight to stoplight, clipping in is impractical and probably dangerous. I flip my right pedal over so I can't clip in by accident. Also always use the same foot to stop with, or you'll confuse yourself and fall over

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Then i would plan for worst cases. And another thing to do in that regard is to look up the record temps at various  key points along your route on Weather Underground where you can look up all kinds of data by day, month, or year (desktop version only). For instance, the  worst low temp ever for Albany NY was -34*F and in the Adirondacks was -40_something_*F that same day which was in mid-late January i think.  So i figured I'd be ok planning for -40*F for my winter  quilts.

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I don't know much about hammock camping because the couple of times I've tried my back got chilled and the slumped over position with my feet arced upwards resulted in the worst nights sleep I think I've ever had,
I can recommend an excellent sleeping bag for touring. Probably the best, lightest, most versatile and comfortable sleeping bag that I've ever come across: the Western Mountaineering Terralite. Well under 2 lbs, good down to 25 degrees (-4c), and wide enough so you can sleep with your knees completely bent. It's only downside is the price: $475.
The brazillian hammock sleep-style, at an angle, prevents sleeping with your feet in the air.

Some people sleep on a pad, but a quilt-set for hammocks suspends an underquilt below the hammock, which you sink into, and you're covered by the top quilt which is designed similar to an unzipped mummy bag, with a footbox and no hood. It has less material though because the underquilt keeps  your back warm. It's warmer than a sleeping bag because your weight isn't compressing the insulation.  For even colder times, I replaced the foam back padding in my pack with a 36" wide by 72" long sheet of reflectix, folded up. I take that out for  strong wind and deep cold.  I'm going to  try to suspend it below my underquilt rather than sleeping directly on it to keep the condensation down. 

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I don't know much about hammock camping because the couple of times I've tried my back got chilled and the slumped over position with my feet arced upwards resulted in the worst nights sleep I think I've ever had,
I can recommend an excellent sleeping bag for touring. Probably the best, lightest, most versatile and comfortable sleeping bag that I've ever come across: the Western Mountaineering Terralite. Well under 2 lbs, good down to 25 degrees (-4c), and wide enough so you can sleep with your knees completely bent. It's only downside is the price: $475.

I have two bags and not sure which one I am taking. One is 1.8lbs and rated for 30 degrees and the other is 2lbs and rated for 40 degrees. The cold doesn't bother me so I'm thinking the 30 degree bag might be too warm. I grew up where it was super cold most of the time so even in my 40 degree bag I sleep with it open in the 30's.
I would take the 30, you can always vent it.  Plus, watch the weather forecast as you go,  You can always have someone ship the other bag to a future stop along your route if you find it is too warm. Hammocking or tent camping, a down quilt set is much much better for less weight and pack space.

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Another possibly useful site is I'll probably try and meet up with you, maybe even ride up and come back, but it'll all depend on my work schedule at that time

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It's @ and you'll learn more than you ever needed to know about hammocking ;) its also accessible with the tapatalk app, just like this one is

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The coldest I've hammock camped in, that I've recorded, was 7 degrees and was comfortable zipped up in my 40 degree bag. Do you have any idea of how much your bag weighs?

What part of Upstate NY are you in? My ride is taking me through that part of the state. Might have to hit you up if you're nearby my route!

Wow that's some 40* bag! 45* bag is synthetic fill, 3.3 lbs; 0* bag is synthetic fill, 3.7 lbs. The 850 down hammock quilt-set I recently ordered from will be about 3 lbs total.

I live near Albany NY.  When are you expecting to come through? Are you also a member of hammock forums?

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Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Section 1, Map 14
« on: October 17, 2015, 11:40:57 am »
Have only ridden portions of Rte 20 in the Albany ny area, and driven portions of western MA (Berkshires). Rte 20 is a main rte for both cars and bicyles that goes coast to coast from town to town, and tends to be well maintained with wide shoulders, at least on the portions I've been on. Once out of the Berkshires going eastward it shouldn't be too bad as far as climbs or descents go, and I see cyclists on 20 making the climb over from NY to Hanncock, MA all the time

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