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Messages - BikeliciousBabe

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General Discussion / Re: Shout Out
« on: September 10, 2021, 01:57:01 pm »
You mean you didn't keep going down the shore? How could you?!?!

General Discussion / Re: What cyclists see, and nobody else.
« on: September 02, 2021, 01:27:46 pm »
Oh yeah, the last post reminds me that I see turtles shufflin' cross the road from time to time.

The last time I saw a turtle in the road this spring in South Jersey. It was a very large snapping turtle. Shell was at least 2'. A motorist and I both stopped. I tried to pick it up by the back of the shell to move it out of harms' way. The thing went nuts. So strong. I dropped it like a bad habit. Add "Picking up a large snapping turtle" to the list of things I will never try again.

County maintenance guy comes along driving a front end loader. Pulls over, finds a large piece of tree branch and starts pushing the thing towards the grass. What drama. The turtle was trashing around and snapping like a 'gator. Motorist says something like "Careful. Don't hurt it." Guy responds "You can't hurt these things." He finally got it off into the grass.

General Discussion / Re: What cyclists see, and nobody else.
« on: August 30, 2021, 10:05:31 am »
Saw about a 16" snake om the side of road during a day ride yesterday. seriously doubt a motorist would have noticed it had there been any on that road.

General Discussion / Re: Staying out of the breakdown lane; staying safe
« on: August 18, 2021, 02:13:11 pm »

Coincidentally The city park in Lander was the same place where we got "sprinkled".  It was really pelting out tent.  I put a cook pot over the offending sprinkler, put something heavy on it, and went back to sleep.

At the Bike Camp in Twin Bridges, MT there is a map hanging on the wall inside the shelter telling people where to not pitch their tents because of the sprinklers. It was not all that conspicuous. One of the times I was there the groundskeeper suggested to a few people that they should move. The last time I was there I let a couple of people know before they pitched.

General Discussion / Re: Staying out of the breakdown lane; staying safe
« on: August 18, 2021, 11:18:25 am »

For me, "here" -- Philadelphia, Fishtown, E. Dauphin St, about 2 miles from Kensington  -- will almost always be more dangerous than "there." 

Based on your user name I guessed you are in Philly.

For those who don't know:

I was West Philadelphia born and raised. Except for a couple of year, I have been lived in Spring Garden or Fairmount since '92.

General Discussion / Re: Staying out of the breakdown lane; staying safe
« on: August 18, 2021, 11:12:21 am »

By the way look out for sprinklers that come on on timers at night.  In much of the west and the great plains, anywhere with green grass is sprinkled.  Most of us have been awakened by sprinklers coming on at one time or another.

And during the day. Camped at the city park in Lander, WY on the Trans Am. Guy there had left his tent fly open the previous while he went to visit his riding buddy at the hospital the day before. (Buddy had crashed and the two were waiting for the wives to drive out from MN to pick them up.) He told me when he returned his had at least an inch of water in his tent.

General Discussion / Re: Staying out of the breakdown lane; staying safe
« on: August 17, 2021, 03:58:35 pm »
I keep my chain lube (NFS, the best lube in the galaxy) in a sandwich bag along with a small cloth. Does the job. As mentioned, lube when it makes noise.

I have only had two questionable experiences in municipal parks. Had to shoo off who appeared to be an itinerant tweaker in Montana who stopped by as I was making coffee early one morning during a rest day.  Sherriff came around looking for him later that morning after a resident called to report a suspicious acting person in town. On the flip side, that afternoon a family was having a picnic in the park and offered me food.

In another incident, in Vermont, a guy was walking around looking into car windows at a town campsite. Shined my bright headlamp on him for a bit (I was outside my tent late reading) and he moved on.  That was in Burlington, which is not exactly a small town.

As noted above, people are more likely to check on you. Happened to me just two years ago in a small town in Montana. It was raining. Guy came over from one of the businesses across the street to let me know it was fine to pitch my tent under the small pavilion.  And a couple of folks riding ATVs to get around town waved to me as they were laving the bar/restaurant.  Even had a visit from a friendly local dog.

General Discussion / Re: Deciphering AMTRAK
« on: August 13, 2021, 04:33:04 pm »
But their bikes-as-baggage language has me befuddled.  Any comments on what to expect?  If they don't have walk-on service do they want you to box your bike? If the rack is full are you off the train?  In general, what is their organizational demeanor towards bikes; helpful or airline-hostile?

It's all pretty well summed up here:

Folding bikes aside, there are three types of service:

Trainside Checked, where you hand your bike to an employee and he or she loads it into one of the newer baggage cars that are equipped with a rack to hang bikes. You must remove all large bags from the bike. A bike space reservation is required, so you are guaranteed a spot. I used this service last year to go from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to start a cross-PA tour. Went smoothly. Even left my lightweight tent attached to my rear rack.

Carry-On service, where you bring your bike onto the train yourself. How that is accomplished differs between some services. I have twice taken my bike on the Vermonter, which offers this service.  On that train, there are "cubbies" near he end of certain cars. (Those cars are marked on the outside with a bike sticker near the door.) You bring your bike on and hang the bike by its rear wheel. Because my touring bike is large with a long wheelbase, I have to remove the front wheel.  There is a mechanism to secure the bike so it does not swing side to side. Again, you have to remove large bags like panniers. A bike reservation is required (except on two of the services noted), so you are guaranteed a spot. Since you very well may have to remove your panniers before entraining it is useful to put them in something like a strong garbage bag so you can get them on board all at once. I use a sleeping bag storage (not stuff) sack. Extremely light and compact so it adds nothing for the ride home.

The last is checked baggage, which requires that you box the bike and is only available between stations with checked baggage service.

General Discussion / Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« on: August 13, 2021, 03:54:35 pm »
.... What about descending Hoosier Pass at 40 MPH in 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Going to be comfortable?
I tend to agree but when I was in a similar situation (eastbound Going to the Sun in fog), I stuffed some discarded newspapers under the jacket and that helps tremendously.  Better to be prepared but in a pinch, it does work.

Funny. The second time I did GTS I went up and back down the west side. Cold rain on the way up. I was over in a corner swapping some clothes for the descent when a ranger opened the door to what turned out to be sort of a break room. She invited me inside. There was a fire going. Looked over and saw a cardboard box full of newspaper for kindling. She allowed me to help myself. Lined my jersey and leg warmers with paper. Between that and my rain jacket, I was warm enough.

Pro tip for some of you: The ACA maps make great chest insulators for descents. I first tried using one on Loup Loup Pass in WA on the Northern Tier. It was sunny but on the cool side, and I had gotten quite sweaty on the climb. Partially unfolded one of the maps and put it between my chest and jersey. Instant windbreaker.

Buying a touring bike in these times would not necessarily be an easy task.

My first unsupported tour was across the country and then some. While I got the bike early, I did not get by racks and panniers until about three weeks before I headed out west to start the trip. Rode the bike fully loaded only once before that. However, I had loads of cycling experience, including some week-long supported tours. I was also with a group of 12 others, so there was knowledge I could pick up along the way. I would not recommend my path to a newbie.

Agree with the above about the fires.

General Discussion / Re: Laundry
« on: August 11, 2021, 08:02:06 am »

BTW - It is usually helpful to have something dry to wear on the way back.
Heh. One time I left my off-bike pants back at my campsite.

General Discussion / Re: C&O trail
« on: August 04, 2021, 04:02:10 pm »
Again, if the NPS "improves" other Historical Parks like Colonial National Historical Park (Yorktown) and Saratoga National Historical Park (NY) with paved paths, roads, concessions, etc., what is so wrong about grading and applying a layer of crushed granite on the C&O?

Your "improving" is someone else's "diminishing".

Take urban expressway construction in the 1960s & 1970s.
Entire neighborhoods - usually minority, including my grandmother's - were levelled.
So that suburban commuters could get to work that much quicker.
It was great for middle class White folk - not so great for those who lost their communities.

We live in very different parts of America with different values and views of the natural world.
Most of us in Wyoming - Dem & GOP - are perfectly content to experience the natural world as it is.
When they paved Western highways after WWII, they would cut trees so people could have vista points.
You know - just pull off the road and shoot a Kodak picture.

In order to accomplish what you are suggesting, you would need to industrialize the trail.
To apply a crushed rock surface would require heavy equipment with the potential for damage.
Then there would be the need for maintenance - and then - and then -
Same goes for putting in pressurized water systems.

A person riding at 8 mph is no more than 2 hours from services, even on the western sections of the C&O.
Given how rare such an undeveloped environment is in the East, why alter it?
Because development tends to be unidirectional.

The Western Maryland Trail attracts a range of users that is different than C&O users.
I would guess that bike speeds are 50% to 100% faster on the WMT than the C&O.
It becomes a different experience.

There are dozens of paved and crushed rock bike trails in the East.
Why does the C&O have to be like them?


I think the some of the disappointment/frustration has its roots in considering the C&O a bike trail that is expressly maintained for cyclists. It's not. It's a former canal path one may experience by bike, among other means. As noted, there are competing interests that need to be balanced. And let's see what the recently improved section looks like in a few years.  I rode the GAP again last year and even that had some crappy sections due to rain, etc.  Having done the Hiawatha, the former right-of-way leading to it from Avery, ID, the east slope of the NorPac, some of the Olympian and most of the Mickelson, I have learned to take the good with the bad.  Definitely avoid those trails if you will be disappointed by not having consistently smooth surfaces.

General Discussion / Re: C&O trail
« on: August 02, 2021, 01:38:28 pm »
I think they should at least grade it and place crushed granite so it is like a regular rail trail.  Heck, charge a fee if needed like the National Parks. 

It's not a rail-trail. It is a National Historic Park devoted to preserving the history of the canal as a once significant piece of transportation infrastructure. And are there not water taps in campgrounds in season?

General Discussion / Re: Laundry
« on: August 02, 2021, 01:27:40 pm »
I did a variety of things.  Sometimes I used an actual washing machine at a campground, motel, or even at a coin operated laundromat.  Sometimes I just rinsed things out in a sink.  Sometimes I washed them in the shower while I was showering.

Just did a three-day this passed weekend. 60 mile, very warm and very humid first day. Washed the riding clothes in the shower with some CampSuds.  Hung them up at my sight to dry.  Have employed the other methods listed above.

General Discussion / Re: Question about Leg Shaving
« on: August 02, 2021, 01:22:01 pm »
I am a guy. (Profile names always mean what you think they do). I shave during cycling season for a couple of reasons:

1. I take blood thinners. Ripping out hair can increase the nastiness of wounds.

2. As noted, applying and removing bandages is easier.

3. It feels and looks better to me.

The initial shave in the spring takes a while.  After that, I can usually get away with easy maintenance once/week while showering.

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