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Messages - SwampYankee

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General Discussion / Re: Erie Canal Trail
« on: March 07, 2021, 10:09:35 am »
We completed the EC last August and I think you'll find lock keepers very welcoming and helpful from start to finish. Including allowing you to camp on premise. You'll love the EC. I've not ridden the C&O or Allegheny YET, but looking forward to it sometime in 2021 or 22. Enjoy, SY

General Discussion / Re: TOURING AFTER COVID
« on: February 21, 2021, 10:34:06 pm »
First, best wishes on your continued recovery. Getting back in the saddle will be a great way to strengthen yourself. My wife and I have toured over 1,000 miles since August last year (2020) from Boston to Buffalo and over 200 miles in Florida. She had her Rivendell Betty Foy converted to an e-assist motor on the front crankset (1 ring only) and no changes to the back cassette. The battery is 36v/21ah Bafang HL down tube type battery. She has ridden 60 miles and still had 10+% left in the battery (this was a flat ride, hills will drain it more but still gave her 50 -60 miles even through the New England hills). We plan to complete a cross country ride this summer from Buffalo NY to Astoria. Charging at a lunch stop even for 30-60 mins adds capacity and overnight has not been a problem either. We are in our 60s, so we'll focus on campgrounds with electricity or hotels/B&Bs or warm showers.

We looked at buying her a new e-bike, but our local shop recommended this conversion of her Rivendell since she loves this bike and did not want to leave it. We realize it may be heresy to convert a lugged steele frame of this quality to an e-assist - but hey, it's her ride.

This has worked better than we could have hoped. DM me if you'd like more information. I would at least recommend researching conversion of your existing bicycle to an e-assist.

Best, SY

jamawani, there are lots of choices. The sandhills are beautiful we took a trip (VW camper) through there in the summer of 2019. Plans are to leave Buffalo NY in Mid-May (we cycled Boston to Buffalo this August and September) and then pick up the PPP from MSP. My wife doesn't relish the idea of the TA as we've been through lower WY and the Great Divide Basin numerous times. So going through, Badlands, black hills, Devils Tower, Ten sleep, Gillette and the East Entrance to YNP is all new for us from MSP west so it's the front runner for now. Covid is the wild card - I see we are the same age, so hoping I get the vaccine before leaving, or have even considered flying home from MSP if available to get the shots.

Thanks again and keep the info coming, I truly appreciate it, SY

jamawani, thanks for that. I am very open going West from Missoula and leaning towards the TA but have been exploring various options. I was looking at taking the  Coeur d'Alene and dropping down to the L&C and out to the coast. But, headwinds in granny gear wouldn't do it for me, so, this was really helpful.

Thanks, actually, going to stay in that area 3-5 days. Have not been to YNP much at all and want to do some exploring and fly fishing. Also, going East To West, if I jump to the Lewis & Clark route from Missoula, how big an issue should I expect winds to be in the Columbia River Gorge? A lot I suspect?

John, I was hoping to hear from you. Very helpful and my first choice but was looking for someone with experience. I've been to Jackson many times over the years climbing and fishing, was more thinking of cutting through Yellowstone since I've spent very little time there. Thanks again, SY

Routes / West from Minneapolis - Northern Tier or Parks, Peaks and Prairie?
« on: December 05, 2020, 12:23:28 pm »
Hi all,
in planning a cross country ride East to West for 2021 (let's hope) I am wondering if anyone has perspective on the Northern Tier versus the P,P,&P? I do want to end up in Missoula - so might pick up the Lewis and Clark at some point. I think I may be asking which do you think is the more interesting trail and which is apt to have more cyclists next year?

Thanks, SY

General Discussion / Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« on: November 19, 2020, 12:11:29 pm »
Rhythm to my days
People I meet

General Discussion / Re: Erie Canal Trail in 2020
« on: August 20, 2020, 08:06:07 pm »
We went East to West. I realize this is not the "promoted" direction, but I would definitely do it again - here is why:
1. Best parts of the trail are Utica to Tonawanda. The rest if fine too - but leaving the best for the end was better for us.
2. Sun is at your back in the morning, not in your eyes
3. Headwinds are a controversial topic, we had a 10MPH one or two days - which was a relief in the heat

No real issues from the storm. We did see limbs down etc, but it was cleaned up by the time we went through.
Accommodations were easy. Places are not full - some campgrounds were open but we stayed at hotels and B&Bs.
People and places are open, clean and doing a great job at virus protection. Lots of people in NY State are wearing masks and hotels are booking every other room. We have points so could use hotels for nothing and added a day
Restaurants are well done and many are open - we actually had great meals along the way. There are still some places just closed but never had any problems with food.
Did not see a lot of bike shops open however. Melo Vello in Syracuse was open - great bike shop and cafe with meals and beer DEFINITELY STOP THERE
The road ride sections of this trip are nice - I enjoyed the mix of surface and being on trail and then some road. Wide shoulders and NY State even does rumble strips well with lots of room to the right of those rumble steps.
Lock Keepers are great to talk with too - friendly and helpful

Let me know if you want more information. I hope you get to go.

General Discussion / Re: Erie Canal Trail in 2020
« on: August 19, 2020, 10:30:12 pm »
Just finished the Erie Canal Trail... FAR BETTER THAN EXPECTED. Took 9 days due to heat on August 10/11. Great food, people, and accommodations were excellent. People in NY are being very careful and well behaved with covid-19 protection. The Erie Canal Trip Planner site was a big help:   you can follow on IG @muddybrookpotters.

General Discussion / Re: eBikes for touring
« on: July 30, 2020, 11:20:42 am »
As promised here is a small update on the e-assist conversion of my wife’s Rivendell. We added a battery (29ah) and crank set all of which weighed in at about 22lbs. Rode 54 miles with 1,850 elevation gain in 5 hours. Only used the easiest as assist on hills. It appeared the battery was about 95% spent when we were done.

I am not sure if this is helpful.  we are just learning but this gave us an indication that a 60 mile day trail is a doable. Planning to do Albany to Buffalo in August.

General Discussion / Re: Erie Canal Trail in 2020
« on: July 21, 2020, 08:23:36 am »
Thanks for the information canalligators - that is very helpful. I guess I'll leave the tent/sleeping pads, bags, & cooking gear home and force myself to air-conditioned, clean, rooms. Such are the sacrifices we need to make in a pandemic  ;)

General Discussion / Re: Are you postponing a tour to 2021?
« on: July 20, 2020, 09:25:47 pm »
I think the thread on old guys and bike touring is a GREAT idea.... go for it Hikerjer and Loumellini

General Discussion / Re: Erie Canal Trail in 2020
« on: July 18, 2020, 04:02:12 pm »
Thank you both. Coming from Connecticut so should be okay. That forum is very helpful and I had not found that. Have the tour book too. Looks doable and i see at least some lodging is open.

General Discussion / Re: eBikes for touring
« on: July 18, 2020, 02:56:44 pm »
We are hoping so.... just took my wife's bike (Rivendell Betty Foy) into a shop to be converted to an e-assist ride. Tech is telling me it will be a good option for 40 - 50 miles/day with assist only. Will give you all a review in a month.

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