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Topics - rvklassen

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Classifieds / For Sale: ACA Maps
« on: February 11, 2012, 02:50:00 pm »
Purchased for trip in 2011.  Trip cut short, only some maps used.  Even the used maps, being plastic, are good for many more trips.

New and unused:
    Northern Tier section 7. (minor evidence of having been carried but we didn't actually follow that route)
    Pacific Coast sections 1-3 (Northern border to San Francisco) [Section 1 sold]
    Western Express complete (sections 1-4) [Sold sections 1-3, section 4 still available]
    Trans-America sections 7, 8 (Pueblo, CO to Girard KS)
    [SOLD] Atlantic Coast, sections 4-6 (St. Augustine, FL to Richmond, VA).
    [SOLD] Southern Tier sections 6 & 7. [SOLD]

$US11.50 ea., shipped within the USA; $CDN12.00 to Canada.

Used once, but still in good condition:
    Northern Tier Sections 6,8: Monroeville IN to Grand Rapids MN.

$US8.50 ea., shipped within the USA; $CDN9.00 to Canada.

Elsewhere, price may be slightly higher, depending on postage.

rvklassen at-sign gmail period-symbol com

Classifieds / Sold: Pacific Coast 2: Astoria, WA to Crescent City, CA
« on: January 01, 2011, 11:43:22 am »
New, unused.

2010 printing (BC-1612)

$10 including mailing, anywhere in the US.  
$10.50 gets it to Canadian addresses.

rvklassen at gmail dot com

Routes / Saskatoon to Vernon, BC
« on: August 11, 2010, 03:50:37 pm »
I'm looking for routing between Saskatoon, SK and Vernon, BC.

When I go to Google Maps, the 'car' route goes via Banff and the Trans-Canada (Highway 1).
When I switch to 'walking' it changes to preferring the Crowsnest highway (3A mostly), with an alternate going through Jasper and taking the Yellowhead.

It's not clear why it suggests the latter as an alternate where it is so much further.  The Crowsnest route and #1 seem the two better choices.  But I'm not finding much more by way of details.

At one time in the past when I asked Google Maps, it sent me via the northern US.   I think I was asking about Saskatoon to Vancouver, but I'm wondering whether that might be a better alternative as well (turning north into the Okanagan valley).

The key criteria are:
- Paved only (or nearly so);
- Less steep climbs, going east to west [tandem];
- Availability of camping, services, etc.

Less critical, but nice to have/know
- road conditions (surface, shoulder),
- traffic level,
- avoid steep, tightly winding descents when going eastbound.

Any reason(s) to choose the Crowsnest over #1?  It's about 130 km further.

Routes / Northern Tier along Erie Canal - by road
« on: May 26, 2010, 07:28:31 am »
We just completed a section (two day trip - there 'n back) along the canal, and because of a) the amount of increased rolling resistance - hence work per mile, and b) the amount of dust kicked up on the bike, including its drive train, generally stayed off of the unpaved portions of the trail.  This did mean more hills, and sometimes less scenic.  At other times, there is a road either on the same side, adjacent to the towpath, or on the other side of the canal, but right next to it, so for scenery nothing is lost.

I found the ACA map less than ideal in planning a route off the towpath, however, as it only shows major roads when they are not the route itself.  Information about services is good, but it would be nice to have an "on-road alternate" marked on the map, for those who prefer - for one reason or another - to ride on paved surfaces.  I would be able to detail a route from Middleport NY to the other side of Rochester - Palmyra or perhaps Newark - NT turns north somewhere around there - if there's interest.  Not having ridden it, I would have to guess about the part between Middleport and Lockport, where the route leaves the stone dust for good.

Routes / Circumnavigating Lake Ontario
« on: March 26, 2010, 06:03:45 pm »

I'm looking to put together a route that starts/ends in the vicinity of Rochester, NY, and circles Lake Ontario.  For some reason I'm thinking clockwise, but I don't know why.   As I see it, the most challenging part will be from the Niagara crossing to just the other side of Toronto.   As we're on a tandem, going up and down the Niagara Escarpment multiple times is just not something to be embraced.  So what this means is either going down close to the shore at Niagara On The Lake, and then staying at or near lake level until Toronto, crossing Burlington Harbour on the lift bridge, or doing the whole thing above the escarpment dropping down either in Hamilton, or beyond. 

It gets a bit tricky routing around Hamilton and Dundas, without going way around or getting into some heavily urban - and therefore high traffic areas.  But that might be the way.  I'm thinking of possibly spending the night in Bronte, so the route would be following the lakeshore from there on regardless.

The little experience I have of that area was Highway 20 from Niagara Falls Ontario to Ancaster.  On paper that doesn't look too bad, but the traffic is heavy, to the point that communication on the tandem is impaired.

A corresponding negative of following the lakeshore is that there might be significant stretches of following the QEW service roads, which is safer (and more legal) than the QEW itself, but still going to be noisy due to the proximity to the QEW itself.  If there's a way of wending our way through wine country while generally staying on "good for bicycling" roads, that would be great.  Some amount of urban is an acceptable price to pay, esp. if someone has a recommended route with good paving and not-too-heavy traffic.

Thoughts?  Ideas?  Recommendations?

Routes / Crossing the Rockies west-to-east - how late?
« on: March 01, 2010, 06:23:41 pm »
We're hoping to do most of a loop starting in Pittsburgh PA in July (not this year), across western Canada to Vancouver or thereabouts, and then turn south.  Herein lies the question.  The last part of the route, which can finish in December, is some combination of Southern Tier and Atlantic Coast.  We'd like to connect via Kansas, which means either Transam or Western Express to Transam to Great Rivers or some alternate.  We should have no trouble getting across the Rockies on the western leg before the weather turns.  What's our approximate deadline for heading East, and are we better off riding further south (to the Western Express), or will the time it takes to ride south make up for the gain in later arrival of winter?

The ACA notes on the TransAm say  "This route can be ridden from May through September."  I would assume that means that the high altitude portions are best avoided after September 30, but once you're past (where, Pueblo?) you should be able to go into October, and then at some point we're heading south off the TransAm, well before hitting the eastern mountains.

Similarly the notes on the Western Express say "This route can be ridden from mid-May through October, depending on weather. "  Where would we have to be past by the end of October?  And with the more rugged terrain, would it be slower?  And just how long does it take to get from the western terminus of the TransAm to the western terminus of the Western Express?   If it takes a month, but buys us a month we might as well go for the TransAm (we're on a tandem, so the steeper routing is not a plus).

I just noticed another option, which is to take the Northern Tier to Whitefish, drop down to Missoula on the Great Parks North, and then proceed on the Transam.  This would presumably get us back across the mountains sooner.  Better? Worse choice?

We're not afraid of cold, even tiny amounts of snow, but any significant accumulation, or big wet flakes that stick to the sunglasses are just plain dangerous.

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