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Messages - jwrushman

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1
Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Katy Connector Route Network
« on: June 11, 2024, 06:14:19 am »
WOW! They don't pay you enough!

2
General Discussion / Re: Newb advice
« on: May 27, 2024, 05:43:48 am »
Will need more details. Are you planning to ride on paved roads? Or gravel and dirt too? Are you interested in van supported group tours? Or self supported with camping?  Overnights to a local park? Or extended cross country adventures?

3
General Discussion / Re: How much water to carry?
« on: April 14, 2024, 08:37:05 pm »
I think davidbonn and Google AI can both be correct. Camel up when you're at a water source and then use your saved water at regular intervals and as needed.

4
Gear Talk / Re: What's your rain riding plan?
« on: April 03, 2024, 08:02:13 am »
My contention is that if you ride in the rain you're going to get wet and that the goal is not so much to stay dry, but to stay warm. If a fabric is truly waterproof, the rain may not penetrate, but you're going to be equally wet from the perspiration you generate. And my experience is that fabrics that are touted as breathable, don't breathe as fast as I generate sweat.

I've been generally pleased with my Showers Pass rain gear. But I wish their "pit zips" were even more substantial.  I've tried neoprene socks for warmth when bicycling in the winter , but they were too bulky. I would have had to purchase a larger pair of shoes. Instead, I wear my usual Darn Tough socks with my cycling shoes and add shoe covers from a company called Deflect.  This works well for me in rain as well as cooler weather.

And like one of the previous posters, I plan my ride so that I'll be staying someplace warm at the end of the day.

5
Gear Talk / Re: How warm should your sleepingbag be?
« on: March 30, 2024, 06:54:02 pm »
The best advice I have is to try out whatever you're going to be using in your backyard as many times as you can. On warm nights . Cold nights. On rainy nights. The more that you practice, the more comfortable you'll be with your equipment and know what works and what doesn't work. And you'll be much more adept at setting up camp and taking it down. At what temperature do you need a balaclava? At temperature do you need down booties? Long underwear? Thin sleep pad versus thicker?

6
Routes / Re: Backside of Glacier??
« on: March 14, 2024, 09:13:32 am »
Tom, which section are you concerned about traffic volume? At the beginning of July 2019, I rode from Browning to East Glacier on Rte 2, then north on 49 and 89 to Saint Mary before starting Going To The Sun.

From Browning to East Glacier, there was moderate traffic volume, but there was a good shoulder and a passing lane on the long uphills.

Route 49 heading north out of East Glacier was narrow, hilly, and winding, with little to no shoulder, but it was lovely.  If my memory serves me correctly, the road was closed to large vehicles, and it seemed that the locals took another route, so the traffic volume was not bad.

Going to the Sun road east of Logan pass had very light traffic at 10:00 in the morning and this was on July 4th.  But Logan pass was mobbed and the west side of the park had a moderate amount of traffic not all of which was courteous to bicyclists. Especially in the tunnels.  And you're probably already aware that the road from lake McDonald to West glacier is closed to bicyclists from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. due to traffic volume and lack of shoulders on the road.


7
1) allocate 60 to 90 minutes each night for the journal (and reviewing the next days route ).

2) accept that you're not a professional, so the blog need not be "professional" quality. Proofread to avoid sloppy blunders. Consistency counts.

3) consider a drone.

I did the northern tier in 2019. Most of the people I wanted to stay in touch with were on facebook, but a good number were not, so I sent out a daily email as well.  I allocated an hour to 90 minutes in the evening for sending out my daily updates and planning for the next day's ride. Most days, I stayed in motels/ hotels so internet access, good lighting, and power source was not an issue.  I didn't worry about quality as much as consistency when sending out my updates. But I'm always amazed at the high quality of the blogs of the more experienced travelers. I'm not that experienced, so I'm fine with the amateur quality of my blogs.

I have a year and a half before I do the trans Am. So I'm considering getting a drone. I've seen so many amazing shots from people who've used them. But I imagine there's a steep learning curve on how to use them with facility

8
Routes / Re: NYC to Fargo
« on: October 07, 2023, 12:43:44 pm »
I did a modified Northern Tier in 2019 and the first half of my route is very similar to yours.  I started at Sandy Hook in NJ - because I live in NJ and wanted to start at the Atlantic Ocean.  My route was:
    * Sandy Hook to Albany NJ along the Hudson River (crossing over at Bear Mountain bridge and at Albany).  Moderately heavy traffic.  Since my wife is from the mid-Hudson valley, I had places I wanted to visit and friends to see.
     * Albany to Niagara Falls along Erie Canal - Lovely.  Much of the time I stayed on the "parallel" highway.  I didn't like the dust/dirt from unpaved bike path, and the traffic was light.  Through Rochester, I stayed on the bike path to avoid city traffic.  I recommend the Muddy Water Cafe in Palymyra NY.  Owner was very helpful when I needed to attend to a medical issue.  Also, Palmyra was the home of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon religion.  Even though I'm not Mormon, I found it interesting to visit the significant sites of this religion.  Crossing into Canada was a non-issue, w.r.t. customs and bridge traffic.
* Niagara Falls to Algonac across southern Ontario via Lake Erie Connector. Lovely. 
* Modified route across Michigan to visit friends and relatives. Campground at Otter Lake Michigan was free to bicyclist (at that time). 
* Badger ferry from Ludington MI to Manitowoc WI.  I understand that the ferry is now closed due to mechanical problems.  Hopefully it will be available for you.
*  North Lakes from Manitowoc to Taylors Falls (just north of Minneapolis).  Lovely riding.
* Nothern Tier to Fargo via Fergus Falls leg, and then on to Anacortes.  Lovely riding throughout Minnesota.  Wonderful bike paths much of the way.  Courteous drivers (Wisconsin and North Dakota too).  Be sure to visit/use Donn Olsen's bicycle hostel in Dalbo.  Jordies Trailside Cafe in Bowlus was excellent.  Scandinavian Heritage Museum in Morehead MN (just across the river from Fargo is nice if you have the time.

I started my trip on June 1st and had comfortable weather.  Didn't have HOT weather until I reached North Dakota.  Had some cool mornings in Montana and Washington in July, but generally had great weather.  A few days had strong head winds which prompted me to shorten the route, but generally the wind was not a issue for me.  I mostly stayed in motels, WarmShowers (I don't particularly like camping!) so I can't comment much about campgrounds along the route. 

9
General Discussion / Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« on: August 28, 2023, 05:24:58 pm »
I'm starting to think of riding the TransAm in 2026.  Anything going on at ACA with regards to a semiquincentenial even?

10
Bikecentennial / Re: My 1979 Journal (partial)
« on: July 24, 2023, 07:17:42 am »
Am enjoying your journal.  How much has changed, and not changed, with bicycle touring.

11
General Discussion / Re: Amtrak Bicycle Loading presentation
« on: May 26, 2023, 09:49:27 am »
Yes

12
General Discussion / Re: Empire State Trail to NY City
« on: May 25, 2023, 03:13:28 pm »
The logistics might not work out for your if you're staying in Poughkeepsie.  I stayed at the Bear Mountain Bridge Motel - in 2014 when doing the AT - it was $88.  In 2017, in my modified Northern Tier, I stayed there again for $96.  It's a tiny place, but clean. 

13
Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Across Michigan to Pittsburgh
« on: May 24, 2023, 08:16:26 am »
My suggestion would be to take the ferry from Manitowoc to Ludington, Lake Erie connector across Michigan to Marine City (or wherever the ferry is currently ), across Southern Ontario, ferry across Lake Erie to Sandusky, pick up Northern tier to rest of Erie, Pennsylvania, Underground Railroad Pittsburgh spur south to Pittsburgh.

Once you get to Manitowoc, you're on well-curated ACA routes , the rides across Michigan and Ontario are easy, and you get a couple more ferry rides!

14
General Discussion / Amtrak Bicycle Loading presentation
« on: May 23, 2023, 07:46:43 am »
Did anyone else participate in the bicycle loading presentation by Amtrak? I admire the dedication of the presenters.  But a word comes to mind - Sisyphean. All the different bicycle options - eBikes, tandems, recumbents, trikes, children's, fat tire, trailers... And all the different train car and platform configurations. The best I think we can hope for is improved communication/documentation for the question "Can I get from A to B with this gear?"

15
Routes / Re: Northern Tier to the Empire State Trail
« on: February 21, 2023, 07:46:02 am »
No need for camping along the Erie Canalway - enough motels, hotels, B&B's.  But camping is readily available too.

It's easy to stay on roads that parallel the canal. Not as picturesque, but faster and cleaner than the gravel.  The path through Rochester is paved, so no need to deal with city traffic there.

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