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  1. #1
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    my itinerary... too ambitious?

    Hey all,

    So I'm finally leaving for my NYC -> Montreal trip next week. I'm mapping out different distances and places to stay etc. I'm wondering though, if my mileage is too ambitious [or too wimpy ] and if I might regret my planning midway.

    I'm in very good (cycling) shape. I ride my bike everywhere and often take 40+ mile trips locally. I am also an avid backpacker - so used to the elements and camping etc. So I think my itinerary is feasible but I would appreciate your input. BTW, I'm riding a MTB . Here it is:

    day 1 - NY - 46 miles
    day 2 - CT - 67 miles
    day 3 - MA - 65 miles
    day 4 - VT - 56.3 miles
    day 5 - VT - 75 miles
    day 6 - VT - 61 miles
    day 7 - MONTREAL - 70 miles

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    I think that is reasonable. Sounds like a fun trip! How much does your stuff weigh?

  3. #3
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Sounds good too. Have you get time for a rest day in there? After that 75 mile day in Vermont you might want to take one and enjoy the scenery.
    This space open

  4. #4
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    your mileages look ok. But you haven't talked about your route. Massachusetts and Vermont has some pretty brutal hills. If you are following Rt 7 and Rt 22 through Vermont 75 miles isn't a problem. If you are following RT 30 you are going to have a tough day.

    BTW make sure you bring a birth certificate or Passport along with a picture Id when you cross the border. Getting back into the US can be a major PITA without those documents if Homeland security picks you to hassle.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, that brings up a good point. I'm not too familiar with the roads up in Vermont, so are there any suggestions for routes? I would like to stay off of very busy roads and enjoy scenery. I also don't want to be going up & down through the green mountains all day, although a few excursions into the parks would be fine.

    Yeah, I'm definitely bringing a Passport. I went on tour in Canada over x-mas last year. Everyone in the band only brought driver's licenses. They had us up at customs for 2 hours. Two of the guys had to pay $250 to enter the country. Man, it was a nightmare!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    wow, I had no idea it could be such a hassle! did you pay going into canada, or the states?

  7. #7
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    going into canada. coming back was a sinch. drove right through. That was at the Niagra Falls border though.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    did they get the money back~? was it like a deposit or something?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Shemp's Avatar
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    Going into and out of Canada through Vermont by bicycle was a 2 minute affair and required nothing more than driver's licenses. Not that I wouldn't bring a passport if I had one.

    I'm assuming you have slicks on that MTB? As noted, whether 75 is a big day in Vermont depends a lot on how much you're carrying, and what route your taking. Obviously, if you follow a major river like the White or Connecticut, it's going to be a lot easier than crossing the spine of the Green Mountains.

    Before anyone can recommend a route, is there a particular way you want to go? Up the east side, central or west? Any towns you want to pass through?

  10. #10
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    Ha! hardly. the Canadian customs found that those 2 had criminal records (minor charges, nothing serious). It was kind of a mess. They took each one of us to an interrogation room in back (except me, actually) and told us to pay the $500 if we wanted to enter.

    Scary thing is that before they interrogated us, they managed to investigate all of our histories, and find out where we were playing each night, where we had hotel reservations etc.... it baffled us how they found all that out.... most of the band didn't even have that info. big brother & rock & roll!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shemp
    Going into and out of Canada through Vermont by bicycle was a 2 minute affair and required nothing more than driver's licenses. Not that I wouldn't bring a passport if I had one.

    I'm assuming you have slicks on that MTB? As noted, whether 75 is a big day in Vermont depends a lot on how much you're carrying, and what route your taking. Obviously, if you follow a major river like the White or Connecticut, it's going to be a lot easier than crossing the spine of the Green Mountains.

    Before anyone can recommend a route, is there a particular way you want to go? Up the east side, central or west? Any towns you want to pass through?
    I would like to stay on the Western side of Vermont. Perhaps along the base of the mountains.

  12. #12
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    If you are taking a pretty much direct route to Montreal keep to the western edge of Vermont (rt7 and 22a) The main north and south routes are paved and busy but since you are on a MTB you can ride on dirt roads .You will see roads that paralell those routes which offer great riding and postcard views. Supposing you are coming up Rt 7 through Massachusetts to Williamstown You would continue to Bennington on Rt7 (has a good shoulder to ride on) then on RT7a to Manchester ( good shoulder most of the way) then take rt30 through Pownal to Poultney(great bike shop in Poultney) then rt22a through Fairhaven and across RT 4 to a left on Main road to a right onto Stage coach rd(dirt) From here follow the Lake Champlain bikeways route beginning with mile 10.4 through Benson and Burlington Vt to Chambly Quebec ( just east of Montreal)

    If you want the Green Mountain experince, From Williamstown take route 8 to Sears burg VT then east on Rt 9 to Wilmington and then north on Rt 100 to Stowe and then Rt 108 north to Frelighsburg Quebec, Good shoulder most of the way except for a 25 mile stretch south of RT 4. Lots of tourist traffic along rt100, This is also a popular cycling route ,

  13. #13
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    wow! well, thanks a lot! that helps me enormously. much thanks!

    i have slicks on my MTB. They're 1.5s. I don't know ho wwell they would handle the dirt roads?

    Also, right now I have front suspension on the mtb. I was thinking of going in this week to get a fixed fork instead. Would it be stupid to do this trip with front shocks?

  14. #14
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    I tour on 1.5 IRC's and have ridden those same roads many times. They should work just fine. if you have trouble locating camping let me know, I know most if not all of the campsites along the Lake Champlain route

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    That sounds like an awesome trip, and I am jealous.

    I do not know how hilly the terrain is on that side of Montreal. I would budget some extra time, which you may have done already, so you don't feel pressed for time if some days take longer than you expect.

    So are you camping out or staying at motels? Do you plan to do some wild camping?

    I live about a day and a half ride west of Montreal, so I would be interested in the details of the tour when you get back, if you are so inclined to share them.

    I hope you have an awesome ride.

  16. #16
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    yes, i plan on camping the whole time. i quickly jotted down some campsites along the route. any input would be appreciated.

    night 1 - beaver pond, stony point NY - 46 miles
    night 2 - Lake Waramaug State Park 30 LAKE WARAMAUG ROAD - NEW PRESTON CT 06757 - 67 miles
    night 3 - Mt. Greylock State Reservation
    30 ROCKWELL ROAD PO BOX 138
    LANESBOROUGH MA 01237 - 65 miles
    night 4 - Emerald Lake State Park East Dorset, VT 56.3
    night 5 - DAR State Park, Addison, VT 75 miles
    night 6 - North Hero State Park North Hero, VT 61 miles
    night 7 - MONTREAL 70 miles

    and yes... i'll have notes when i return. btw, i am thinking of riding back to burlington from montreal and flying jetblue ($50) back to NYC. any thoughts on this? I guess i need to get me bike boxed somewhere in Burlington.

    thanks everyone for your input!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    I want to know what you are taking with you!

  18. #18
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    Oh right... sorry.

    tent
    camping stove
    pot (cooking pot that is )
    towel
    toiletries
    a few clothes
    snacks
    2 water bottles
    thermarest
    repair kit
    small med kit
    will shop in towns for food - so dinner at the end of the day

  19. #19
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    cool, thanks!

  20. #20
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    I have camped at Emerald Lake, DAR Addison and North Hero. all are good but Emerald lake and North Hero fill up quickly on summer weekends, If you don't have reservations and the campground is full a little pleading usually gets you in when you are on a bike. The DAR at Addison usually just gets overflow from Kings Bay. There is Great general store at West Addison a couple of miles before the DAR campground if you need food.

    BTW bring mosquito repellant, the Vermont state bird is the mosquito!

  21. #21
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    awesome! thanks for the tips... i've taken note.

    btw, anyone want to answer my question about front suspension before I go dish out $200 on a fixed fork?

    thanks!

  22. #22
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    Opinions vary but I see lots of people touring long distances on suspended MTBs and they seem to get along just fine. Besides your MTB is probaly lighter than my touring bike (32 lbs without racks).
    Save the $200 for partying in Montreal.

  23. #23
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velonomad
    Save the $200 for partying in Montreal.
    ... Or to cross the border.

    Did they tell you why you had to pay to cross the border? Background check?

    Nashbar sells a cheap rigid fork corrected for suspension.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  24. #24
    Senior Member Shemp's Avatar
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    If your fork has a lockout, definitely skip the rigid, if it's adjustable, error toward the stiff side, if none of those are options, I wouldn't worry about it. If you're worried about reliability for a one week trip, don't.

    It's starting to sound like you need to do a shakedown ride near home first so you can test out the distance while loaded, and how the fork will react while riding loaded.

  25. #25
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    OK. Here's my revised itinerary. Man, It's been really tough making these plans over labor day especially trying to get campsite reservations. So I'd like your feedback (especially Vermonters) because it's really easy sitting here and figuring out mileages per day without knowing the terrain. I'm planning on taking route 7 (and maybe some side roads) almost all the way up. How is traffic on that?

    I'm especially interested in the Button Bay to N. Hero stretch and the Danby > Vergennes stretch. They are both pretty big mileages.

    day 1: pound ridge, NY - 54 miles
    day 2: Lake Waramaug State Park, CT - 67 miles
    day 3: Pittsfield State Forest MA 01201 55miles
    day 4: Savoy Mountain State Forest - 30miles
    day 5: Otter creek campground Danby, VT 55miles
    day 6: Button Bay State Park, Vergennes, VT - 71 miles
    day 7: North Hero - 61 miles
    day 8: Montreal - 71 miles

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