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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 01-28-12, 09:35 PM   #1
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Time for more touring!

On my doc's advice, I've been riding more. And the best way to get myself to ride more is to plan another bicycle tour. (Because I train for them.)

I'm in Central NJ, have been all over the state on a bike (well, most of it - see the journal links in my sig), so I'm looking for inspiration. Any ideas on a great long weekend tour?
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Old 01-28-12, 11:06 PM   #2
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Cape May?

If you can get there, southern Delaware is nice.
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Old 01-29-12, 03:30 AM   #3
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how many days are your tours? Would love to meet up with you sometime.
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Old 01-29-12, 06:54 AM   #4
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how many days are your tours? Would love to meet up with you sometime.
Click on the link in his signature line and read his journals. Neil F.'s touring resume is impressive by any standard. The two of you would hit it off well.
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Old 01-30-12, 01:27 AM   #5
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how many days are your tours? Would love to meet up with you sometime.
Have done week long tours and weekend ones. PM me? We can set something up.
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Old 01-30-12, 07:04 AM   #6
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Never done touring at all but can join you for a little riding one or two days. Even if I meet up with you, park, and ride for a while and then I can ride back.
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Old 01-30-12, 08:23 AM   #7
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On my doc's advice, I've been riding more. And the best way to get myself to ride more is to plan another bicycle tour. (Because I train for them.)

I'm in Central NJ, have been all over the state on a bike (well, most of it - see the journal links in my sig), so I'm looking for inspiration. Any ideas on a great long weekend tour?
You've probably done this a million times already, but I'll throw it out there anyway: The towpath from New Brunswick to Princeton to Trenton (I think), then up the Delaware to Lambertsville, then cross over to the PA side to New Hope, and back down the Delaware. I'm planning this as my virgin tour, in the April/early May timeframe. It's pretty flat, but I need to get used to riding for multi-hours, see what I need to carry, etc. If my progress continues, I'll be under 200 lbs by then. (Another 15 lbs to go, lost 12 so far...)

The one that seems really interesting is the ride that starts at High Point, and goes diagonally through the state and ends up at Cape May. This one: http://www.state.nj.us/transportatio...ntcapemay6.pdf

I'm nowhere near ready for this one yet, but you probably are (if you haven't done it already). This one is my stretch goal, hopefully by next fall. If not then, the following Spring.
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Old 01-30-12, 01:28 PM   #8
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We are hoping to do Port Jervis, NY to Philly Easter weekend following AC's Atlantic Coast route. One night in Worthington State Forest near Delaware Water Gap, PA and one night at Bull's Island if the camprgound re-opens. There was serioius damage from Irene and/or Lee. Riding down the Gap is really nice. (Just missed seeing a bear during the Black Bear Century back in October.) The stretch along the river from Water Gap to Frenchtown is a hidden gem. And there's the trail to Bull's Island and L'Ville.

Not sure how we are going to get to Port Jervis. Believe it or not, full rail service from Hoboken has been restored. Our first choice is to find someone who is willing to drive us and our bikes up there, for a fee of course.
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Old 01-30-12, 01:32 PM   #9
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We are hoping to do Port Jervis, NY to Philly Easter weekend following AC's Atlantic Coast route. One night in Worthington State Forest near Delaware Water Gap, PA and one night at Bull's Island if the camprgound re-opens. There was serioius damage from Irene and/or Lee. Riding down the Gap is really nice. (Just missed seeing a bear during the Black Bear Century back in October.) The stretch along the river from Water Gap to Frenchtown is a hidden gem. And there's the trail to Bull's Island and L'Ville.

Not sure how we are going to get to Port Jervis. Believe it or not, full rail service from Hoboken has been restored. Our first choice is to find someone who is willing to drive us and our bikes up there, for a fee of course.
Is that mostly on the towpaths? It sounds like a beautiful ride.
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Old 01-30-12, 02:57 PM   #10
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I've been tempted to do this ride for the last couple years. It gets great recommendations from some folks I ride with. Might not be the actual kind of touring you're looking for, but might be worth a look...

http://mariettariverrendezvous.weebl...ride-info.html
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Old 01-30-12, 06:37 PM   #11
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You've probably done this a million times already, but I'll throw it out there anyway: The towpath from New Brunswick to Princeton to Trenton (I think), then up the Delaware to Lambertsville, then cross over to the PA side to New Hope, and back down the Delaware. I'm planning this as my virgin tour, in the April/early May timeframe.
My 11 year old godson, who begs to go for a ride on the Schuylkill River Trail every time he comes to visit Philly, just asked me about a camping tour. Now, I think his idea of touring is about 25 miles, and while I have pannier to carry my camping gear, I don't see myself carrying gear for both families... so a ride up the Delaware, an overnight at a New Hope B&B, and a ride back the next day sounds about right to me.

Tony, if you go, could you let me know what the conditions/paths are like?
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Old 01-30-12, 08:39 PM   #12
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My 11 year old godson, who begs to go for a ride on the Schuylkill River Trail every time he comes to visit Philly, just asked me about a camping tour. Now, I think his idea of touring is about 25 miles, and while I have pannier to carry my camping gear, I don't see myself carrying gear for both families... so a ride up the Delaware, an overnight at a New Hope B&B, and a ride back the next day sounds about right to me.

Tony, if you go, could you let me know what the conditions/paths are like?
Sure. The plan is to go in late April. I have ridden parts of the path near New Hope, on the PA side, about 18 months ago. Conditions were great at that time. I'm also planning to do the B&B thing in New Hope, maybe even hang out for a day, hit the shops, etc, then head back the next day.
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Old 01-30-12, 09:06 PM   #13
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Not quite a tour, Neil F, but worth doing is the Lehigh Gorge Trail. From just north of White Haven to Jim Thorpe is about 26 miles. Jim Thorpe is a lovely little Victorian town, and I think you and your wife would enjoy spending an afternoon or morning there.
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Old 01-30-12, 11:57 PM   #14
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You've probably done this a million times already, but I'll throw it out there anyway: The towpath from New Brunswick to Princeton to Trenton (I think), then up the Delaware to Lambertsville, then cross over to the PA side to New Hope, and back down the Delaware. I'm planning this as my virgin tour, in the April/early May timeframe. It's pretty flat, but I need to get used to riding for multi-hours, see what I need to carry, etc. If my progress continues, I'll be under 200 lbs by then. (Another 15 lbs to go, lost 12 so far...)

The one that seems really interesting is the ride that starts at High Point, and goes diagonally through the state and ends up at Cape May. This one: http://www.state.nj.us/transportatio...ntcapemay6.pdf

I'm nowhere near ready for this one yet, but you probably are (if you haven't done it already). This one is my stretch goal, hopefully by next fall. If not then, the following Spring.
I've done the High Point to Cape May thing, sorta, in lotsa small bits over the years. Never did the entire state route, though.

Done the towpath, although not all in one shot. Neil B and I did our first 50-mile ride there some years ago, it's very nice. There are stretches of it that were damaged in the hurricane last year, though - and this is right after they resurfaced it very nicely. I understand you still want mountain bike tires for the Trenton to New Brunswick half, or at least some of it.

The towpath is a great way to train for distance riding, despite the off-road aspect: The lack of hills makes it a kinder, gentler training ride. You may still want to do some hill training on top of that.
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Old 01-31-12, 12:00 AM   #15
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Not sure how we are going to get to Port Jervis. Believe it or not, full rail service from Hoboken has been restored. Our first choice is to find someone who is willing to drive us and our bikes up there, for a fee of course.
I took the train there from Union, NJ (changing in Secaucus). Not sure how the new rules about bikes only on accesible platforms affect the service to Port Jervis, though; it's complex, considering that MetroNorth runs part of that line. But if you can confirm train service, it's a good way to go.
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Old 01-31-12, 12:06 AM   #16
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Not quite a tour, Neil F, but worth doing is the Lehigh Gorge Trail. From just north of White Haven to Jim Thorpe is about 26 miles. Jim Thorpe is a lovely little Victorian town, and I think you and your wife would enjoy spending an afternoon or morning there.
That looks quite nice. Is there camping on either end of the trail?
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Old 01-31-12, 07:31 AM   #17
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Done the towpath, although not all in one shot. Neil B and I did our first 50-mile ride there some years ago, it's very nice. There are stretches of it that were damaged in the hurricane last year, though - and this is right after they resurfaced it very nicely. I understand you still want mountain bike tires for the Trenton to New Brunswick half, or at least some of it.
Oops! When you say "mountain bike tires", do you mean knobbies? Or just "not skinny road bike tires". The bike I was planning to use for this is an old rigid-frame MTB, but it's got fat slicks on it. I may have to change my plans for the "virgin voyage"...
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Old 01-31-12, 07:38 AM   #18
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That looks quite nice. Is there camping on either end of the trail?
No camping, but motels and B & B nearby. There's camping about ten miles from the north end at Hickory Run State Park. PA Bike Route Y, or L, I forget which, runs through the park and will take you into White Haven. The hills on the PA Bike Route are fierce, however - one of them is a 14 per cent grade.

If you camp at Hickory Run State Park, by all means see Boulder Field.
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Old 01-31-12, 12:57 PM   #19
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No camping, but motels and B & B nearby. There's camping about ten miles from the north end at Hickory Run State Park. PA Bike Route Y, or L, I forget which, runs through the park and will take you into White Haven. The hills on the PA Bike Route are fierce, however - one of them is a 14 per cent grade.

If you camp at Hickory Run State Park, by all means see Boulder Field.
You can camp at Mauch Chunk Lake Park. It's about 5 miles outside of Jim Thorpe up (and I do mean up for mucg of the way) W. Broadway/Lentz Trail/E. White Bear Dr.

There is also this place that's closer to town:

http://www.jimthorpecamping.com/

However, from the reviews it sounds like the owners can be a bit psycho.

You could probably get away with scamping. About 4 miles north of the southern trail terminus is a spur rail line with a path along side it that runs to Weatherly. Take that path a few miles along the creek and you will find some secluded spots. The biggest problem might be finding level ground to pitch a tent.

The Bolder Field is a neat place. There is also a steep but very nice hike at the Glen Onoko trailhead at the southern terminus. It takes you up through the woods to a multi-tiered waterfall. The trail is poorly marked and sort of amorphous in spots, but you can usually find your way.
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Old 01-31-12, 01:15 PM   #20
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I took the train there from Union, NJ (changing in Secaucus). Not sure how the new rules about bikes only on accesible platforms affect the service to Port Jervis, though; it's complex, considering that MetroNorth runs part of that line. But if you can confirm train service, it's a good way to go.
Forgot about that new B.S. If we cannot get transport we might ship the bikes to Port Jervis. A bit of a pain, but I really want to do the ride. For me it would be a ride down memory lane. Coming hom from Main after crossing the country I had to take shelter at a motel north of Port Jervis thanks to Hurricane Floyd. That was a Thursday. I had to be at a friend's house in Valley Forge (just off Betzwood) on Saturday. So Friday, under a beautiful sky, I set out from Godeffroy, NY for Bull's Island. I had to negoatiate a swollen stream and slide my bike under two downed trees in the Recreation Area, and I got yelled at by a bridge troll for skateboarding my bike across the walkway of the bridge from PA to Belvidere, NJ depsite the fact that the walkway was so narrow that walking a bike with four panniers would have been difficult. After waiting for what seemed like forever for a stromboli in Frenchtown, I arrived at Bull's Island shortly before dusk only to find that the campground was flooded. A ranger would not let me pitch my tent in the day use area despite it being well above water. I had to continue on and ended up riding on U.S. 202 in the dark with no lights to the Best Western motel above New Hope. 117 miles in all. But I made it to Valley Forge on time.
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Old 01-31-12, 06:10 PM   #21
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Oops! When you say "mountain bike tires", do you mean knobbies? Or just "not skinny road bike tires". The bike I was planning to use for this is an old rigid-frame MTB, but it's got fat slicks on it. I may have to change my plans for the "virgin voyage"...
I mean "not skinny road tires." Knobbies are nice awesome on this trail, but a friend of mine rides it on 700x32 touring tires. (He's a little crazy, but he does it.) Slicks should be okay, I think, though you may want to be careful where the gravel gets slipper.

My 700x34 light knobbies are, I think, the perfect combination of speed and traction for this trail.
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Old 02-01-12, 08:03 AM   #22
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I mean "not skinny road tires." Knobbies are nice awesome on this trail, but a friend of mine rides it on 700x32 touring tires. (He's a little crazy, but he does it.) Slicks should be okay, I think, though you may want to be careful where the gravel gets slipper.

My 700x34 light knobbies are, I think, the perfect combination of speed and traction for this trail.
Thanks, Neil. My tires are pretty fat - 26x1.9. I guess the trip is still on. I have to admit, the idea of doing this has been a real motivator for me, so I'm glad.
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Old 02-02-12, 12:07 AM   #23
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All this talk about touring has given me the itch - and not the kind you get from the shower at a hostel when you forget your sandals.

Let the planning commence!
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Old 02-02-12, 12:39 AM   #24
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All this talk about touring has given me the itch - and not the kind you get from the shower at a hostel when you forget your sandals.

Let the planning commence!
I think you and Neil F. should tour together. The two of you have much in common. Including, for better or worse, me.
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Old 02-02-12, 10:21 AM   #25
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Is that mostly on the towpaths? It sounds like a beautiful ride.
Very little on paths. The plan is to take the trail from Frenchtown to Bull's Island on day 2 and then again from Bull's Island to L'Ville on day 3. Other than that, it's all on-road, although some of the roads can be so devoid of traffic that they ressemble trails.

Here are the first two days:

http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/pj-worthington

http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/worth-bi

I think the altitude data is exagerrated. (At least I hope they are.) If the N.P.S. repairs a washed out road in the Recreation Area I may be able to smooth out the first day a bit.

BTW, and someone may have mentioned this, some of the D&R path below L'Ville was damaged. We drove up that way over the holidays and it was still not passible, which forces you onto SR 29. Not the optimal situation. I would also check on the status of the path in PA. Above New Hope it's dreadful is some spots despite all the money they poured into it. Hopefully the portion below New Hope is still in better condition. Don't know if it was affected by last summer's storms.

If you want to have a decent, affordably priced dinner in the area without the pretense, go to Bell's (cash only) in L'Ville, which, IMO, is far better than New Hope:

http://www.bellstavern.com/

Makes for a nice walk. Go early as it can get crowded. When we have done out annual Easter weekend trips to Bull's Island we have ridden down the path to Bell's for dinner Saturday night. We have then ridden the 7 miles back in the dark. Pretty spooky, especially when the rabbits and skunks have been out.

Afterwards, go to the Boat House for drinks. It's down the alley from the Blue Raccoon furniture/interior decor store. Really cozy, two story place covered wall to wall and floor to ceiling with old maritime and rowing-related stuff. In addition to the bar, there are comfy couches and chairs. And they only let in enough people to just fill the place. People have to leave before they will let more in.
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