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Thread: Newb advice!

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    freed psycho. RUN. freecycle's Avatar
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    Newb advice!

    Hi touring crowd, im usually a staple of Foo and SS/FG, but I have a few questions for you folks.

    Now im an avid camper, I love it to peices. But living downtown, I am completely car free. Im unable to rent vehicles, and have noone to borrow a vehicle from.

    My favorite neck of the woods is 400 km away (im being a little generous, probably about 350). Is this a feasible journey to make? What are your thoughts on how long I could go a day, how far? Perhaps training I should do to be able to make it? Whats a decent daily distance?

    Ive been toying with this idea for a long time now and this summer im considering bringing it to fruition. The bike isnt the most important, im poking around on what to start building, something with some good rackspace and gearing for me. And I am an experienced deep-woods camper, so travelling light is not really an issue for me. Id be heading to my campsite via canoe, so i dont need a bike capable to trailwork or anything, i just need to get to the damn park, and biking is starting to look really good.

    My biggest concern is what roads to take going up, two-lane high-speed roads, back roads? and where does one camp when along big old roadways?

    I know its a pretty big trip, especially if i only have a week or two to do it. Any and all input would really help me out, so thank you all!
    "This thing looks like Wavy Gravy binged on Kool Aid and jellybeans, took some bad acid, and threw up under a tree." --Bike Snob NYC

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    I generally like to do about 100 km a day, so I would do this in three or four days. it depends on what sort of cycling shape you're in, and how much sightseeing you want to do along the way.

    I see you're in Toronto, so if you say where you're headed, I might be able to give route advice. But generally I try to stick to the backroads whereever possible. Bare in mind that that will make the route longer than the highway route. There are lots of campgrounds all over southern Ontario, so finding a place to camp isn't a problem.

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    freed psycho. RUN. freecycle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul2 View Post
    I generally like to do about 100 km a day, so I would do this in three or four days. it depends on what sort of cycling shape you're in, and how much sightseeing you want to do along the way.

    I see you're in Toronto, so if you say where you're headed, I might be able to give route advice. But generally I try to stick to the backroads whereever possible. Bare in mind that that will make the route longer than the highway route. There are lots of campgrounds all over southern Ontario, so finding a place to camp isn't a problem.
    Good call on campgrounds, ill see how many are along the way. (Algonquin Park is the destination) Route advice would be a real help, it would give me a chance to chart a course from campground to campground and prepare for the journey. Im in pretty good shape, but will need to get my arse used to being in the saddle that long.

    My ideal stop would be at any outfitters north of the highway, opeongo would be nice, im familiar with the lakes in and around that area. However I dont have my park map with me (at work). Ill need to do some digging as far as precise route and entry point still. You think its a doable trek?
    "This thing looks like Wavy Gravy binged on Kool Aid and jellybeans, took some bad acid, and threw up under a tree." --Bike Snob NYC

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    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Hmmm, 4 days up and 4 days back. What about going most of the way by bus or train?

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    freed psycho. RUN. freecycle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    Hmmm, 4 days up and 4 days back. What about going most of the way by bus or train?
    Id like to, but i doubt theres a convenient bus/train route. Ill check now and see what i come up with. For that, huntsville would be ideal i think, i could take an early bus and sleep on it, then probably make it to a campsite by nightfall, make it to the outfitters and probably get a ways in before nightfall number two, spend a day or two, and repeat process in reverse. So that would make travel about a day and a half until i could get loaded in the canoe, which isnt bad actually.
    "This thing looks like Wavy Gravy binged on Kool Aid and jellybeans, took some bad acid, and threw up under a tree." --Bike Snob NYC

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    freed psycho. RUN. freecycle's Avatar
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    UPDATE: Ontario Northland does a coach between Huntsville and Toronto for 88.00 + tax round trip.

    so:
    Day 1: red-eye into huntsville, start off at dawn and make my way into the hwy 60 corridor. Camp around dusk in one of the car camping campgrounds, they would probably let me shack up on an empty one or the beach for a few bucks (car camping tends to be seriously booked)
    Day 2: wake at dawn, ride the hour or two into the outfitters, rent canoe and be waterborne by midday, paddle until the evening and set up camp (praying for good winds on Opeongo, can get pretty hairy)
    Day 3/4: camp happily, if not day three then day four, move closer to entry point
    Day 5: strike out at dawn again, paddle back to shore, return canoe, load up bike and head for campground again.
    Day 6: strike camp, take days journey back to huntsville, board bus, go home.

    So in essence, I think I could pull off a Saturday to Sunday weeks trip and get both a long tour, and a nice canoe trip in. With added option of extending the canoe trip by a day if I found the ride to be faster than i expected. +added return bonus of being lighter on food than when i started out!

    What do you think?
    "This thing looks like Wavy Gravy binged on Kool Aid and jellybeans, took some bad acid, and threw up under a tree." --Bike Snob NYC

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    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Although I suggested mixed mode travelling (bike and bus or train) there are still big logistics to address. To transport your bike you might need to box it and where would you stash the box in Huntsville? It would be easier to travel with a folding bike in order to get it on the train or bus, but the folders that are capable of carrying you and your gear would be very expensive, like Bike Friday. Maybe some people in the Folder Forum would have some suggestions.

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    freed psycho. RUN. freecycle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    Although I suggested mixed mode travelling (bike and bus or train) there are still big logistics to address. To transport your bike you might need to box it and where would you stash the box in Huntsville? It would be easier to travel with a folding bike in order to get it on the train or bus, but the folders that are capable of carrying you and your gear would be very expensive, like Bike Friday. Maybe some people in the Folder Forum would have some suggestions.
    I was pondering the folding route, however in my experience most coaches dont care, Canada Coach lets you chuck your bike in the back unboxed. I think the 11:45 bus out to North Bay will probably be pretty dead.

    Im picking up a folder for the girlfriend, I may steal it as a camping bike, it has the added bonus of packing neatly into the canoe too.
    "This thing looks like Wavy Gravy binged on Kool Aid and jellybeans, took some bad acid, and threw up under a tree." --Bike Snob NYC

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    Quote Originally Posted by freecycle View Post
    Good call on campgrounds, ill see how many are along the way. (Algonquin Park is the destination) Route advice would be a real help, it would give me a chance to chart a course from campground to campground and prepare for the journey. Im in pretty good shape, but will need to get my arse used to being in the saddle that long.
    I've cycled from Toronto to Huntsville on nice quiet roads that parallel highways 48 and 11, so that is quite doable. If you decide not to take the bus, I can give to details.

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    freed psycho. RUN. freecycle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul2 View Post
    I've cycled from Toronto to Huntsville on nice quiet roads that parallel highways 48 and 11, so that is quite doable. If you decide not to take the bus, I can give to details.
    how long did it take you? im pretty open to suggestion, i plotted a few possible routes by poring over googlemaps for a while, it definately looks rideable, im just trying to squeeze the journey into about a weeks time. I could probably do two weeks, or a week and half...

    I dunno, its a big ole brainstorming session for now, im still trying to decide on a touring bike build as well, that will take some time.
    "This thing looks like Wavy Gravy binged on Kool Aid and jellybeans, took some bad acid, and threw up under a tree." --Bike Snob NYC

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    Quote Originally Posted by freecycle View Post
    how long did it take you? im pretty open to suggestion, i plotted a few possible routes by poring over googlemaps for a while, it definately looks rideable, im just trying to squeeze the journey into about a weeks time. I could probably do two weeks, or a week and half...
    It's an easy three day ride to Huntsville. Toronto to Sibbald Point Provincial Park is about 85 km from my house. Sibbald Point to the Gravenhurst KOA is about 112 km, and Gravenhurst to Arrowhead Provincial Park, just north of Huntsville is about 76 km.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul2 View Post
    I generally like to do about 100 km a day, so I would do this in three or four days. it depends on what sort of cycling shape you're in, and how much sightseeing you want to do along the way.
    +1.

    Quote Originally Posted by paul2 View Post
    I try to stick to the backroads whereever possible. Bare in mind that that will make the route longer than the highway route.
    It will also make for a nicer trip! Backroads are so much nicer and quieter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by freecycle View Post
    UPDATE: Ontario Northland does a coach between Huntsville and Toronto for 88.00 + tax round trip.
    They have a train for about the same price.

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