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Old 12-31-04, 09:13 PM   #1
gpsblake
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Touring goals or dreams for 2005?

Mine is to go from South Carolina to Maryland via the Blue Ridge Parkway / Skyline Drive / C&O canal this year and return via US bike route 1.
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Old 12-31-04, 09:23 PM   #2
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This year I did a 7-day tour on a very flat rails-to-trails.

In 2005 I'd like to shoot for a 10-14 day tour that incorporates some more challenging terrain. Possible locations are points north and west of St. Louis. Probabably Illinois.
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Old 12-31-04, 10:02 PM   #3
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I'm thinking of doing the West Coast of the U.S. in the early fall.

Additionally there are several 2-5 day short tours I'm thinking of doing in the late spring early summer.

Last edited by Kodama; 01-01-05 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 12-31-04, 10:26 PM   #4
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My goal this year (2005) is to do my 20th MS 150.
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Old 12-31-04, 10:47 PM   #5
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More riding overseas. Sadly, a few days before the tsumani hit Indonesia, I was dreaming about going back to Sumatra, which I always thought was a beautiful place. That's out of the question now.

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Old 12-31-04, 11:27 PM   #6
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New Zealand -- South Island. Sometime around November. I'm also planning a hit and run visit to Hobart on the way back to ride the Ash Dash -- but that's an organised 200km day ride.

Koffee, I've had a few thoughts about touring in S.E. Asia at some point in the future myself. Thinking I might send a bit of a donation that way to help them rebuild for now, then in a few years, who knows?
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Old 01-01-05, 12:14 AM   #7
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Well, you can still go to Singapore and head into Thailand, avoiding the coast and go straight up into Chaing Mai (dang, my spelling is waaaaaay off!). And you can still do other parts of South East Asia- try countries like Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

I would chew off my foot for the chance to see Ankor Wat.

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Old 01-01-05, 04:21 AM   #8
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Two 1200km randonnees in the US, a 1000km randonnee here in Australia (starts tomorrow evening). And a short jaunt to Bruny Island south of Hobart with my best mate because we haven't done something like that together for ages.

2006 might see me either (a) Ride Cape York to Cockle Creek (Australia's north/south limits) over ~4500km... it will be about the ride, not the destinations along the way; or (b) I'll be fruit picking in yet another life sea change and riding between jobs; or (c) both!
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Old 01-01-05, 04:53 AM   #9
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Eh. Unfortunately, I only get a week here and a week there off so I can only go so far. The SO is supposed to be planning this year's trip so I don't know where/when that one is (usually at end of August) and it will probably only be a week.

I'll probably try to squeeze in one trip at the end of June that is a week long and probably about 800-1000KM (not sure on distance yet because I haven't figured out the whole route) but I was thinking of biking to Algonquin Park, then to the Kingston area and back to Toronto.
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Old 01-01-05, 07:33 AM   #10
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My biggest goal (after my unplanned non-touring 2004 is to work towards returning to what I consider good shape for touring by early spring, and then to wander off on a couple of short trips on my bike. While I'd love to take an extended trip this year, I'm limited to 3 weeks of vacation. Right now I'm thinking of 2 to 3 1-week trips (to spread out my vacation time). It's very possible that I'll use some of my unused 2004 plans - a short trip to Nova Scotia, and a week in the Canadian Rockies, riding from Jasper to Banff and then on to Calgary to catch a flight home - but it's also possible that I'll dream up something very different over the winter.
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Old 01-01-05, 08:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradw
This year I did a 7-day tour on a very flat rails-to-trails.

In 2005 I'd like to shoot for a 10-14 day tour that incorporates some more challenging terrain. Possible locations are points north and west of St. Louis. Probabably Illinois.
Bradw,

If you haven't already given this ride some thought, look into the Grand Illinois Trail ride (not entirely on "trails").

Regards,

msm
Northern IL
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Old 01-01-05, 09:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
..a short trip to Nova Scotia,
I have some suggestions for touring in Nova Scotia if you're interested. Just PM me.
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Old 01-01-05, 09:25 AM   #13
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Actually, if you could post them here, that would be great.

I am also thinking of doing a 10-day or so NS tour, and would love to hear about good areas to bike (I'm getting the www.atlanticcanadacycling.com book, but would appreciate all the info I can get).
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Old 01-01-05, 09:25 AM   #14
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My wife agreed to let me do the Blue Ridge parkway from NC to DC as a reward for weight loss. I promptly gained half the weight back :-(. Nonetheless, this is the plan for some time in the June'ish timeframe.

Also, last year I rode about 1700 miles. This year, now that I'm bike-commuting, I'd like to end up somewhere between 2500 and 3000 miles.
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Old 01-01-05, 09:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMittens
I have some suggestions for touring in Nova Scotia if you're interested. Just PM me.
MsMittens -
I'm definitely interested in hearing your suggestions.

My current thoughts are to use Nova Scotia as a long weekend (and early season) escape from the Boston area. I know, I know, it deserves more than a couple of days, and my plans could always change... I don't like the idea of a 12 hour boat ride, so I'll probably drive from my home in the Boston area to Bar Harbor so I can take the high speed cat. I won't be taking my car with me to Nova Scotia; instead I'll plan on touring the eastern end of the island - with a quick day trip around Acadia National Park when the ferry returns me to to Maine.
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Old 01-01-05, 10:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpsblake
Mine is to go from South Carolina to Maryland via the Blue Ridge Parkway / Skyline Drive / C&O canal this year and return via US bike route 1.
that sounds absofreakinlutely awesome man. I think that would be so freakin baddass. I love riding on the blue-ridge, I've hiked (along th AT there...but the road is more scenic) and driven on skyline drive, and hiked on the c&o canal...that would be really awesome.
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Old 01-01-05, 11:22 AM   #17
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I am also thinking of doing a 10-day or so NS tour, and would love to hear about good areas to bike (I'm getting the www.atlanticcanadacycling.com book, but would appreciate all the info I can get
I got that book. It was a good reference but was kinda useless for me since there were no trips that went from Shediac, NB to Halifax (primarily via Highway 2). I would recommend a provincial map. Visit http://www.novascotia.com/ and order the various books and maps (all free last time I checked). I also got a map book and photocopied the pages I need (map books I find tend to be more detailed). There aren't too many back roads and you might need to share with the logging trucks but otherwise it's pretty decent cycling.

The book did help for the other portion of my trip (Halifax to Digby). It was supposed to be Yarmouth but a busted rack stopped that. That said, however, Highway 1 is the best to take from Yarmouth to go from east to west via the north-east side of the province if you want a direct route. You can also take the 3 on the south-east side as that will take you through all the fishing villages but can be a bit tougher from what I heard. (I haven't done this one as I never had enough time).

A bit of warning about the 1 however. It does merge on occassion with the 101, which is the main highway. There is a rough gravel (stone? rock?) shoulder (it's the bumping and jarring from the shoulder that caused the break on my rack I suspect). I would recommend going to Digby and the Digby Neck for whale watching (lots on the Neck itself). Digby is famous for it's scallops and there are a couple of places I can recommend:

Food
  • Royal Fundy Seafood Market (they cook scallops freshly caught)

    Shoreline (I think this is the one -- it has a lighthouse -- spaghetti and meatballs is HUGE! I think they give you about a pound of pasta -- and they were rather surprised when I ate it all)

    Chez Christophe (we never got to it but it was on the list -- this is traditional Acadian food. I recommend, if you are going to try it, rappie pie or toutiere. Being an acadian, this is comfort food to me but may be new for you)

Accommodation
  • Bayside B&B (very nice and great view -- I recommend the room at the top and they are bike friendly -- bikes, however, stay in the enclosed back area).

    Digby Campground (not fancy and tad rustic but is within 5 min walk of downtown Digby and has a view of the Bay. Good for those on a budget).

    stay at private campgrounds rather than provincial ones as the private ones tend to be closer to services (avoid Yogi Bear's campground -- $32CDN a night for a tent!!!)

I hope this helps. If you have more direct questions, perhaps we could start a new thread in the touring section. If you are able to go longer, I can highly recommend the Cabot Trail. I recently found some old photos when the SO and I did it in '98 and I'd like to go back to do it again -- properly (I wasn't prepared back then -- then again, I don't think I'm ever prepared). It is considered to be one of the most challenging tours in Canada and it lives up the name. Food is good and the views are amazing.
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Old 01-01-05, 05:09 PM   #18
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I have a few plans for this year. First I am going to get over to Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand on January 16, 2005, and tour from there back to Bangkok sort of going along the Cambodian border and maybe into Cambodia for a while. It will be a 10-12 day trip or so.

Then I will do several 2-3 day trips into the Los Padres here in So Cal in which I will ride on fire trails and camp out on the tops of peaks. Because I will camp on the top of peaks I might have to carry my bike up parts of really big hills. Doing that is preperation for my next plan...

I will go back to Thailand make my way up to Nong Khai, across from Vientiene, Laos. The I will warm up with a five day ride across NE Thailand, enter Laos at Mukdahan take Highway 9 towards the Vietnam border but somewhere between Phin and Xepon will cut south and follow remnanats of the Ho Chi Minh trail to Attapeu. From there work west to at least Ubon Ratchtani if not further. This will be in November.

And you my fellow dreamer are invited to join me, send me a PM if you have an interest.
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Old 01-03-05, 10:21 AM   #19
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I started off New Year's Day with a pedal to the Toronto International Lester B. Pearson) Airport, a 84 kim round trip run.. Just as a matter of interest the airport is EXTREMELY non bike friendly.

That was just a warm up for my October tour of Southern England (Reading to Gloucester). I'll be planning that for some months but will be taking weekend trips such as Toronto to Paris (Ontario) and Toronto to Niagara early this spring.
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Old 01-03-05, 10:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
I would chew off my foot for the chance to see Ankor Wat.
Angkor Wat is magnificent! I went there in spring 2000 with a couple of friends. No cycling, sadly, but a great trip in all. More experienced sightseeing tourists place Angkor right on a par with the Pyramids in Egypt. I have not seen those, so I cannot compare, but the entire temple area is quite simply unbelieveable. Lots of reasonably priced accommodation, good food etc, and the terrain around Phnom Penh - Siem Reap looked quite bikeable. The roads were not in great condition, but I imagine most of the potholes would be easily avoidable with a bike. The heat would be a problem for me, but probably you guys have more experience with that. Also already back in 2000 Cambodia had its share of western hippie-type people "relaxing" around (i.e. using every narcotic substance available to stay absolutely stoned) and I would expect that has not got any better during these years. So the sooner you go the better, IMHO.

Personally, I plan a domestic kayak-bike combo tour. Maybe 10 days of biking with kayak on tow, and a 2 week paddling tour somewhere in the middle. I have done enough short trips with the bike-trailer combination to gain experience on its manouverability (sp?) and drag. Methinks I'm ready to increase the mileage.

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Old 01-03-05, 10:46 AM   #21
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That looks good. If I could find a way to make it from St. Louis to some point along the loop, that would be great. I like to start and finish at home.

I have the State of Illinois' bike maps for the entire state, so I should be able to find some route. Probably the Great River route from Alton heading north.

Now if I can actually cram all of those miles into 14 days


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Bradw,

If you haven't already given this ride some thought, look into the Grand Illinois Trail ride (not entirely on "trails").

Regards,

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Old 01-03-05, 10:47 AM   #22
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I'm also interested in any additional information that you have on touring Nova Scotia. I'm thinking of either a solo summer trip from Montreal to Halifax or joining a group to go from Vancouver to San Francisco in the fall
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Old 01-03-05, 10:49 AM   #23
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What I"m going to say isn't impressive but it is a start for me. Just got my first road bike (usually just mtb only) a Redline Conquest Tour and all I want to do is 1000 miles this year. Won't be much compared to most of you, but that is alot more time in the saddle than I usually spend. Also just got my wife a specialized crossroads to turn her onto biking and she loves it. So that is one more for our cause.
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Old 01-03-05, 11:03 AM   #24
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I'll be planning that for some months but will be taking weekend trips such as Toronto to Paris (Ontario) and Toronto to Niagara early this spring.
The Toronto-Niagara. Is that part of the TBN?

And I'm not surprised that the airport is not bike friendly. I don't think it's car friendly either. Toronto is just too damn big sometimes.


Quote:
I'm also interested in any additional information that you have on touring Nova Scotia. I'm thinking of either a solo summer trip from Montreal to Halifax or joining a group to go from Vancouver to San Francisco in the fall
Perhaps we need to start a thread for ideas on touring through the East Coast of Canada or specific provincial threads (touring in Ontario, touring in Quebec, etc.). The CCA had published a great book but haven't updated it on bicycling in Canada. It's unfortunate but it seems, to me, the bicycle touring has waned somewhat. When I went past Five Islands, NS (nice, HILLY area) they told me that the number of cyclists was drastically less than previous years.
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Old 01-03-05, 02:18 PM   #25
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My summer bike trip is just starting to come together. I hope to do a 10 to 14 day cycling trip in Quebec.

My itinerary may be something like this: Take a train to Quebec City, cross to the south shore, travel east along the St. Lawrence River, head inland across the Gaspé Peninsula (passing over the Notre Dame mountains), and then follow the coast of the Gulf of St. Lawrence -- east and north to Gaspé.
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