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Routes / Re: Pittsburgh spur
« Last post by John Grossbohlin on January 16, 2022, 09:41:18 pm »
Thank you for your reply. After reviewing the ACA route and your suggestions I have decided to heed your advice and head a little west to avoid some huge climbing miles.
The ACA route is 150 miles, the route through Ohio to Astabula to Erie is only 175 miles with a lot less climbing. Google maps takes me through New Castle, Youngstown, Oh and onto the Western Reserve Greenway and on to Astabula.
Wish me luck while I venture astray.

Not sure you will see this, but how did the route work out for you?
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Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Route Alternatives in NY
« Last post by John Grossbohlin on January 16, 2022, 09:39:17 pm »
The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail is a very different trail today than it was in 2018. The north segment of the trail from New Paltz to Kingston was developed since then and is part of the Empire State Trail...

It is wider and smoother with a compacted stone dust surface. Bridges have been replaced or built along the corridor. There is a lot of history along the trail including cement caves, cement kilns, trestles and historic sites. Depending on the season there is also the Rail Trail Cafe that offers food and live music in the woods next to the trail as well as primitive camping.

The southern segment from New Paltz to Gardiner is in the process of being being developed. Sites such as the fire tower at Mohonk and The Gunks are visible from the trail.

WVRT has a connection to Walkway Over the Hudson and from there you can ride to Manhattan off road except for a short segment.  New Paltz is a college town and there are performing and visual arts there and in Kingston as well as lots of restaurants, breweries distilleries, and wineries in the area.

You can make good and safe time on the WVRT if you want, but you can also do some adventuring and see what is going on around it!
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Gear Talk / Re: The shoe dilemma
« Last post by ray b on January 16, 2022, 06:50:50 pm »
What do you use for shoes?
No rules. Figure out what you want to do, and get the right shoes and pedals out of the bin.

Long tours with gravel lots of hills and consistently long days - walkable natural foot shape mountain bike shoes (Bohn) with a pair of Keen closed toe sandals. (My favorite pedals are those I'm used to - Speedplay Frogs, but I suspect I have the few remaining unsused pedals and cleats. I've been using a pair of Crank Brothers pedals for some long weekend rides to get ready for a transition.) Ran into a lot of single-sided pedal riders this summer, who switched between flip flops and shoes depending on their mood.

No gravel - cleated cycling sandals instead of shoes. Backup sandals for walking.

Not in a hurry - Keen Sandals and large platform pedals. No additional footwear.

Snow and/or backcountry single track - Keen hiking boots and platform pedals. Backup sandals optional.

Have fun - I wouldn't waste a lot of time on this. The only bad combinations are those that involve poor shoe fit, or hiking in cleated shoes. And famous last words - "I'm really excited about next week's trip; I even invested in a new pair of shoes and pedals suggested by an expert on YouTube!"
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Routes / Re: Parks, Peaks and Prairies
« Last post by jamawani on January 16, 2022, 03:18:17 pm »
Christopher -

Not rude at all - it just helps to know where you are at.
I live in Buffalo and have ridden every inch of a rather large and remote state.

I'm guessing you're planning west-to-east from the way you list things.

The Bighorns are nothing to sneeze at.
Because of ridges on the east side it's not 5000 ft. of elevation gain, but 7500.
Some people ride from Ten Sleep to Buffalo (68 mi.) in one killer day.
Two reasons not to 1) It's brutal. 2) Camping up top is glorious.

<<<>>>

Yellowstone N.P. -
Canyon has the most stupendous hiker/biker sites - plus shower & laundry nearby.
And you have the visitors center, store, cafe.
Not to mention fabulous hiking in the area.

Madison - meh
Norris - pleasant, Norris Geyser Basin is sweet at dawn or dusk.
Bridge Bay - like a Walmart parking lot
Fishing Bridge - only RVs; closed for rebuilding in 2022 (?)

There is no tent camping betweem Bridge Bay in YNP and Rex Hale - 50 mi.
Grizzly regulations and thoughtless tourists is why.
National Forest campgrounds do not have hiker/biker camping.
You should try to plan your date and make reservations at either Rex Hale -
Or Clearwater which is a tent only campground - smaller, less used.
(But in mid-summer everything fills up.)
The Wapiti Valley east of the park is incredible cycling.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/32686548

Cody is a mega-toutist town, but has quite a lot.
The Buffalo Bill Museum is world class - pricey, but worth a few hours.
History and art of the American West, the best Native American collections in the U.S.
Downtown is quaint - the Irma Hotel & Saloon is a must.
Private campgrounds and motels busy & expensive.

The stretch from Cody to Basin is remote and pretty darn empty.
There's the little Mormon community of Burlington.
General store, pizza place open to 9 in the summer.
In the past they have let cyclists camping the town park.
(Ask about when and where the sprinklers go off - it's what keeps the grass green.
Most newbies from back east get slammed by sprinklers at 3 in the morning.)
Otherwise there is BLM land out by the cemetery.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/32686561

*Basin has a funky motel and a funkier RV park.
But it does have a fairly nice grocery store where you can stock up.

You can either do a long day to Ten Sleep or shorter to Medicine Lodge.
Medicine Lodge is not on the listed PPP route but is well worth it.
Native American petroglyphs on the cliff walls.
Beautiful red rocks and lush cottonwood-shaded creek coming out of the canyon.
Unbelievably peaceful after the crowds of Yellowstone.
Follow Hwy 31 almost to Hyattville, then paved county road to park.
(Hyattville has a bar/cafe)

Otherwise it is a long upgrade to Ten Sleep.
But Nowood Road is very quiet and scenic.
Ten Sleep has camping, motels, groceries & cafes.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/32686579

Ideally, I would camp at the base of the  Bighorns at Leigh Creek before heding up.
You can ride the unpaved old road which has almost no traffic and more shade.
It's a little more work but quieter and with more expansive views.
US 16 isn't bad, either, with moderate shoulders.
(Although guardrails do make it harder riding a bike with panniers.)

Many places to camp -
Sitting Bull Campground - little store at the Meadowlark - great hiking into East Tensleep Lake
South Fork Campground has walk-in tenting on the creek and a lodge/cafe across the highway.
A ride/hike into Circle Park offers stunning views.

Late June is THE best time for wildflowers.
Because of the checkerboard pattern of meadows and forest,
one could argue that the Bighorns have the most magnificent wildflowers in the world.

Buffalo has all services including a bike shop at the Sports Lure.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/32686608




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Routes / Re: Parks, Peaks and Prairies
« Last post by John Nettles on January 16, 2022, 03:18:04 pm »
The parts i'm talking about are:
Deer creek, WY in Buffalo, WY to possibly spotted horse(no camping or hotels on map)
In Basin WY is the closest place greybull?
I rode the PPP eastbound before it was officially the PPP.  I stayed in Greybull.  I recommend.  I don't know why they didn't go there as the roads are not bad to Greybull and the local road Orchard Bench Rd. is paved so it was fine also.  Greybull to Ten Sleep.

As I mentioned above, I would ride from Buffalo (home to Jamawani) to Leiter then to Gillette.  Yes, there are a couple of EMS related places between Buffalo and Gillette.  I have had luck with them and you being in "the family" I would think you would have better luck.  Perhaps, bring proof of some type to show you are in EMS, i.e. a business card, letter from a supervisor on laminated letterhead, etc. The town of Arvada might be a place to stay as it has a fire department I think.

After Gillette, I stayed at Keyhole SP on east side of Keyhole Reservoir.  I rode the fairly scenic but somewhat wash boardy CR-180/187 north back to US-14.  Basically, do not be worried about going "off route" in this part of the country as the  roads are mostly low-traffic.  Just be sure to confirm if your intended resupply place (grocery, cafe, motel, etc.) is open as it is not uncommon for places to permanently close and then a new place opens elsewhere but is not on the maps yet.  If truly remote, I call the day before and/or the morning of to re-confirm.  Libraries, Police Stations, and Post Offices are pretty good sources of information if "un-listed" places exist.

I hope you have a wonderful trip!
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Routes / Re: Parks, Peaks and Prairies
« Last post by CWBurcar on January 16, 2022, 01:26:29 pm »
Christopher,
I have ridden parts of the route (Yellowstone to Rapid City and parts of Minnesota).  When I rode thru the thriving metropolis of Leiter, WY, this summer, I stopped and had lunch at the bar.  They also have a free primative campground (donations are encouraged) but will let you shower if one of the cabins are available.  Check the ACA updates page for contact info/hours. This is a more reliable place than Spotted Horse. 

I also stopped at the The Spotted Horse.  While the owner was super great for me, she may not allow cyclists to camp there much longer.  She has gotten a bit fed up with cyclists who complain about having to pay for bottled water (the locals do not even drink the tap water as it will make you have an upset stomach due to the strong sulpher(?) smell/taste).  So if you stop at Spotted Horse, be polite, be willing to pay for the water, and if you are allowed to camp there, offer a donation. The food was pretty good at the bar/restaurant.

Beyond Rapid City, I did my own route which mostly paralleled I-90 along local or state roads with an occasional bit on the interstate (legal and it was fine).  As a result, I missed the other barren stretch between Rapid City to Interior.  However, I did drive this section in 2020 and it did lack many services at all.  Carry plenty of water and at least one day's supply of food.  When I stopped at "The Country Store" east of Caputa, SD, the owner was not there but the cashier said that "sometimes" cyclists can stay there, depending on the mood of the owner. 

It is due to this barren stretch and the others east of hear that I went from Rapid City to Wall before dipping down into the Badlands NP/Interior then back up to local/state roads that paralleled I90 all the way to LaCrosse, WI.  The services on my route were adequate overall with no really special planning and the traffic was very reasonable east of Box Elder, SD all the way to LaCrosse except a few portions near larger towns.

While I know this didn't answer all your questions, I hope it helped some.

Tailwinds, John

Thanks John,

I have heard of people staying at Spotted Horse before but being it's not on the interactive Map or paper maps I didn't want to bank on it and was looking at alternatives. I live in the rural area, and we have wells, I completely understand not wanting to drink the water from the tap and only using bottled. I have no Issue paying for water as long as it's not insanely expensive. I just don't want to find myself stuck somewhere between towns trying to race the sun.

I work in EMS and have also thought about calling ahead an seeing if the local Fire/Ambulance stations wouldn't mind if I set up a tent behind the station. Again, not something i'm banking on but I enjoy planning ahead. I understand bike issues, weather, health etc play a part in tours as well. Thanks again for all your input and advice. I appreciate it.

Christopher
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Routes / Re: Parks, Peaks and Prairies
« Last post by CWBurcar on January 16, 2022, 01:18:01 pm »
I assisted in developing this route.
Where are you talking about in particular?
What's your experience level and average mileage?
40 mile days? 60 mile days? 80 mile days?
Do you prefer motels with the occasional campground?
Or camping with the occasional motel?
Are you willing to rough camp?
That would help me help you more.

The parts i'm talking about are:
Deer creek, WY in Buffalo, WY to possibly spotted horse(no camping or hotels on map)
In Basin WY is the closest place greybull?
Rapid City SD to Wall SD
Midland SD to Kennebec SD I didn't see anywhere with the exception of 1880 town
Huron SD to Redwood Falls MN (although I did find a camp in Hendricks today)

I'm on the newer side only doing smaller tours
I like to average around 60 miles per day but it 100% depends on elevation, wind, how I feel etc
I prefer to camp often and stay in a hotel/motel once per week for my rest day
I am open to stealth camping but wouldn't turn down a campground with a shower haha


I apologize if I missed places or if I came off rude, I'm a planner an enjoy setting stopping spots in advance even though I fully understand sometimes its out of my hands.

Thank you in advance,

Christopher
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Gear Talk / Re: The shoe dilemma
« Last post by jamawani on January 16, 2022, 11:24:29 am »
Not to mention that USPS mailing rates have sky-rocketed.
(Yeah, I know the Post Office is going broke ...)

In years past, I would send an inflatable raft ahead to do river sections.
Nothing technical, town at the put-in, town at the take-out.
Often I would skip a gnarly section of road in the process, too.

Camp on a river island and save camping fees -
Which would cover some of the mailing costs - about $27 each way.
Now it woud cost $125 to $175 to send the raft ahead - each way.
I suspect the boots would cost about $25 each way depending on location.

General delivery used to be great for packages. Less so now.
And nobody, absolutely nobody, sends snail mail letters any more.
30 years ago I would print off general delivery addresses for friends/family.
And would get cookies and cards galore. Old-timer here.
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Gear Talk / Re: The shoe dilemma
« Last post by staehpj1 on January 16, 2022, 07:31:22 am »
So if you want to go on hikes spontaneously this won’t do you much good. But if your passing thru 1 or 2 or 5 spots on your tour that you’d like to take some time off the bike and get some hiking in, General Delivery can work pretty well.
I think that is a pretty good idea.  Plus, General Delivery will hold it for 21-30 days (call actual office to confirm) and if for some reason you have to skip the hike or the tour gets canceled before you get there, they will forward or "return to sender" the package for free typically.
Yeah, I'd definitely consider that in the future.  It is a great solution especially for those who have a pair of hiking boots they are really attached to.  It would have worked great for my stay in the Yosemite Valley, but I just bought some light trail runners there.  I have not typically done enough hiking in one place to warrant that approach, but I probably should have.  On hind sight I missed some great opportunities to mix and match riding and hiking trips.  On the other hand my trips were great as they were.
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Gear Talk / Re: The shoe dilemma
« Last post by John Nettles on January 16, 2022, 12:39:38 am »
So if you want to go on hikes spontaneously this won’t do you much good. But if your passing thru 1 or 2 or 5 spots on your tour that you’d like to take some time off the bike and get some hiking in, General Delivery can work pretty well.
I think that is a pretty good idea.  Plus, General Delivery will hold it for 21-30 days (call actual office to confirm) and if for some reason you have to skip the hike or the tour gets canceled before you get there, they will forward or "return to sender" the package for free typically.

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