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Topics - Mark Manley

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Routes / Pittsburgh to Buffalo route
« on: May 01, 2023, 11:47:13 am »
I am off on a ride along the C and O canal and GAP trail later this month and am undecided about what to do when I get to Pittsburgh, one option is to carry on to Buffalo then along the Erie Canal to Albany and was wondering if there is a bicycle friendly route between the two cities? I have found the Erie Pittsburgh Trail website but it seems to be several disconnected lengths of trail that are still under development, would this be a good route to follow and fill in the gaps myself? All advice gratefully received.

Routes / Questions about a possible tour of the NE US
« on: February 04, 2023, 01:39:23 am »
I am heading to Baltimore in the spring to visit a friend and make a trip down the GAP and C and O canal and am considering making it a longer circular route taking in part of the Atlantic Coast route, Northern Tier and Underground Railroad route to get me to Pittsburgh.
I estimate that this would be around 1,800 miles and I would allow at least a month to complete the trip and my first question is what would be the best month in terms of both weather and availability of campsites to do it? My options are May or June.
Second question do the ACA maps show campsites along the route? It sounds like the GAP and C and O canal where I would finish my trip will be the easy part with plenty of drop in first come first serve sites along the way, is this the case?
Any other thoughts or pearls of wisdom about this trip would be welcome, I am an experienced cycle tourist with a suitable bike and kit and plenty of experience of travelling in the US but usually by motorcycle so this would be something of a first in a way.

Routes / Definitive rail to trail map
« on: February 15, 2019, 09:12:04 pm »
Is there such a thing as a definitive rail to trail map for the whole of the US? I am planning a route from Washington DC to Washington state using trails where possible and have found the site very useful but get the impression that there are a lot more through the northern states not shown on this site.

Routes / Cycling Route 66 west from Flagstaff
« on: January 18, 2017, 11:56:09 pm »
I am attending Overland Expo West in Flagstaff this coming May and am planning my trip back towards California and would like to cycle along part of route 66 which runs through Flagstaff but it is national highway for part of it which I understand cycle are not allowed on. Does anyone now if there is a service road or cycle path which runs along this piece of highway 40 or have an alternative suggestion? I am from the UK so not entrely familiar with US traffic regulations.

Canada / Trans-Canada Trail V The Great Trail
« on: September 07, 2016, 01:31:23 am »
Can someone explain to me the difference between the two above trails or are they the same thing? I have looked both up and find conflicting information ranging between a great way to cross Canada mostly or entirely on traffic free trails to a dreadful commerical scam, yes that word was used, where you have to pay for maps and some of it is on busy and dangerous roads or trails that are shared with motorcycles and atv's.
Any links to ride reports or people's first hand experience would be appreciated, as with many things there seems to be a lot of opinion out there from keyboard warriors who have not actually ridden it which is basically useless.

Food Talk / Malnourishment on a long tour
« on: February 21, 2015, 02:28:16 pm »
I posted my experience relating to nutrition on another travellers forum after a tour of SE Asia a couple of years ago and it was recently resurrected by an interesting reply from a couple who had cycled from Canada to Panama on a vegan diet, I thought I would share it with you as it might be of interest.

General Discussion / Bristol bespoke bicycle show review
« on: April 16, 2013, 02:08:12 am »
Yesterday I visited the third Bristol bespoke bicycle show and was treated to some of the finest examples of the cycle builders craft I have seen.
There were cycles to suit all tastes, if not all pockets with frames made of not just steel, aluminium and carbon fibre but titanium, stainless steel and wood.
Along with frame makers there were a number of parts manufactures such as Brooks, Middleburn and Royce.
I did take some photos, until my camera battery ran out and you can see them here.

Here are a few to whet your appetite, enjoy.

General Discussion / Around the world cyclists killed in Thailand
« on: February 22, 2013, 02:13:43 am »
I have seen this tragic incident reported on a couple of forums but not here yet. Having cycled in Thailand and other Asian countries I can say that the standard of driving and respect for cyclist is not what it is in Europe and North America, no matter how bad we think that is here. A dreadful end to a dream trip.

Cycling Events / The UK handmade bicycle show 2013
« on: January 06, 2013, 03:26:04 pm »
I have just noticed that there is a bespoke bicycle show in Bristol in the southwest of England next April.
Full details here with a list of exhibitors, I knew that a lot of high end bicycle parts were made in the UK with several bespoke frame makers but never realised there were so many, I can feel my wallet trembling already.

Cycling Events / Cycling related adventure travel event in the UK
« on: October 03, 2012, 07:32:56 am »
The previously motorcycle orientated horizonsunlimited travellers meeting in the UK has been moved and broadened to include cyclist and drivers of 4WDs. It is at a new venue, Donnington park farm which is next to Donnington park racetrack in the midlands.
I have been to a few of these events and have found the presentations by other travellers interesting, informative and inspirational. Apart from talks about individual trips there have also been talks on trip preparation and other travel related subjects.
There was one talk by an overland cyclist last year which was well received but next years should include more talks specifically aimed at adventure cyclists so if you are in the area or want something to aim for if touring in the UK this could be for you.

Routes / Trans Canada trail or Trans Canada highway?
« on: July 14, 2012, 10:48:57 am »
I have just been looking at the bikingacrosscanada website and am considering the possibility of doing some or all of it next year. The routes listed include the trans Canada trail and trans Canada highway, does anybody have experience of either or both? The names suggest one is road and the other trail but I cannot find out much about how open the trail is to cyclists as opposed to walkers or degree of difficulty on two wheels.
I would be taking a hybred bike which has taken me on some fairly rough tracks fully loaded with camping gear, but would not want to end up having to carry the bike up or down some sections if they were only really suitable for hiking.
Your personal experiences and information gratefully received.

Gear Talk / High capacity, headstock mounted waterbottle
« on: May 26, 2011, 12:05:57 am »
A couple of years ago I saw a photo of a touring bicycle with a high capacity, 4 or 5 litre waterbottle mounted on the steering head, it was U shaped to wrap around the frame but I could not make out how it was mounted. Does anybody have knowledge of such a thing and where I might buy one?

Routes / Best source of information on Pacific coast route?
« on: March 16, 2011, 03:48:20 pm »
I am considering riding the Pacific coast route later this year and was wondering which was the best map/guide to the route. The choices I have so far are the Pacific coast bicycle route map, available from this site and bicycling the Pacific coast handbook which seems to get good reviews.
What do other members think? are there any other choices. If I make this trip it will be during September/October, is this a good time of the year to be doing this? any other advice on this proposed trip?

Routes / cycling in Burma
« on: May 23, 2009, 05:36:25 am »
I am a new member to this forum so am not sure if it is the right place to ask these questions but here goes.
Does anybody have recent experience of cycling in Burma? I am off on a cycle tour to South East Asia in November and am trying to find out if I can get into Burma with my bicycle. I am aware that in general you have to fly into Rangoon and are limited in where you can go, is it possible to travel from there out of the country overland to Thailand or Lao? or is it actually possibleto cycle in overland.
I am also aware of the arguments for not visiting a country with such a questionable record on democracy and human rights and am still debating the rights and wrongs of going.
any information on this will be greatly appreciated.
Mark Manley

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