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Good route ideas; Portland ME - Lowell, MA

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Good route ideas; Portland ME - Lowell, MA

Old 10-23-08, 07:51 PM
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Lukaduke
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Good route ideas; Portland ME - Lowell, MA

Hey fellow New Englanders... thinking about making the journey home for Thanksgiving via bike. Few questions regarding routes...

1) Anyone know if the Eastern Trail is well marked from Portland to Strawberry Bank Portsmouth

2) Is just cruising rt 1 the whole way a bad idea...I commute through South Portland/Scarborough for work everyday and wouldn't say its the most bike friendly route

Any ideas are good ideas..

Thanks in advance for any input...

Whhhheeeeeelout
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Old 10-25-08, 06:19 PM
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The ET is pretty well marked. I've ridden the upper and lower portion and have driven the whole thing. I'd personally avoid Rt 1 in late Nov.

Good luck!
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Old 11-10-08, 07:32 PM
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I swear by Rubel bike maps and maybe not swear but certainly grumble when I have to put my reading glasses on and pull out the map again because my memory is good for only 3 turns.
I did some planning for my Sherborn, MA to Durham, NH ride using Google Maps, and the new "walk" version to come up with alternative routes. I also use a handheld GS but found Rt 62 and Rt !25 were better than expected. I was west of you though.
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Old 11-11-08, 09:46 AM
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If you want to actually not think about the major route planning, the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) maps of the Atlantic Coast route goes not far west of Lowell, MA and it'll easily get you to Kittery and beyond. I've gone as far as Kennebunkport before heading inland to Sebago Lake but they offer cuesheets and lodging choices. and you can just buy the section that you need.

Having said, that, I second the Rubel bike maps as they are excellent and probably better idea than ACA, since it'll have maps of all eastern MA rather than a linear corredor as the ACA maps are.

...and the Rubel maps list ice cream stores, which is highly important. :-)

Jay
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Old 11-12-08, 06:46 AM
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Jay H. good info even if you down play the role ice cream plays in a successful ride.
It might be Berger's bike shop in York, ME that sells bikes and ice cream. Not sure, might have been a dream....
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Old 11-12-08, 10:56 AM
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Berger's does sell both.
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Old 11-12-08, 12:12 PM
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Shoot, I've biked through York, but never saw Bergers... I wonder if they are hiring, I could work there.. :-)

Jay
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Old 11-12-08, 04:54 PM
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You could try RT1A South to Sailsbury SP in MA and follow 1A to Gloucester and Salem. Salem Rt 114 to 1a to a "T" stop to get you into Boston. Then use the Rubels maps to Lowell. I can send you my cue sheets on this ride i did last year.

Ed
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Old 11-13-08, 08:24 PM
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ice cream bikes

Originally Posted by Jay H View Post
Shoot, I've biked through York, but never saw Bergers... I wonder if they are hiring, I could work there.. :-)

Jay
I would think they always need someone to clean the bikes. Mint chocolate chip with a scoop of Parlee and a scoop of Serrota. I forget, is there anything else in life?
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Old 11-13-08, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler View Post
I swear by Rubel bike maps and maybe not swear but certainly grumble when I have to put my reading glasses on and pull out the map again because my memory is good for only 3 turns.
I solved this problem by planning routes in Excel. Make columns for key points, then fill in rows like this (of course it's prettier in Excel):

at mile - turn - road ---------------and go
2.5 ------L ---- Rte 2A/Marrett Rd---2.0
...
etc


Size it so you can print the upper half of a sheet of paper (use multiple sheets or do some disassembly and flipping for long rides), fold it in half for rigidity, and tape around the flats of your bars. Turn to read as needed. Adjust the font size as needed to make it legible while riding - I like printing 'em tiny to fit more turns per sheet.

Last edited by kweichsel; 11-13-08 at 11:47 PM. Reason: spacing
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Old 11-14-08, 06:13 AM
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Good idea! particularly the selectable font size.
and put it in a zip lock.
Can you cut and paste or do you literally type in the route?
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Old 11-14-08, 08:45 AM
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When I biked to New Brunswick (CA) from NJ, I took the ACA maps and a zerox machine and shrinked them down to as small as possible (the cue sheet, not the map) and still readable and then just used clear packing tape and taped both sides of the plain paper. A poor boy's laminate! Worked great and was inexpensive.. However, if you were using a regular 8.5x11" map that you can't shrink, you can always use a ziplock bag...

Jay
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Old 11-14-08, 04:14 PM
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I deduce from y-all small font fans you are still immortal and haven't reached the age of age and reading glasses. I'm mortal moments away from reading glasses for my GPS. There must be a business opportunity for large font maps and displays or bicycle sunglasses with lower reading lens.

Anyway, in the context of use full navigation techniques and tips for Lukaduke, tell us about CA to NJ! You carried shrunken, taped ACA! Wow. When was this? How long, how many days? What route and how many pages of navigation?
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Old 11-17-08, 05:27 AM
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Thanks for all the input boardies...haven't checked in ina bit. I have found that the Eastern Trail is marked from Portland to Kittery/Portsmouth. It will make a good alternate route to rte 1. I will however take rte 1 from Portsmouth - Newburyport then hop on 113 to 133 into Lowell.

Has anyone riden the rte 1 stretch through Portsmouth Salisbury and Hampton...if not Ill let you know how it goes !
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Old 11-17-08, 05:53 AM
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I would recommend working your way over to Salisbury Beach and following the beach up to Portsmouth.
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Old 11-17-08, 09:24 AM
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OK, I guess I was being vague.. It was New Brunswick, canada, which I guess in the internet speak is prefixed with.ca not California. I did that so not to confuse some NJ-ites who may know of New Brunswick, NJ...

As far as the pages, I shrunk each cue sheet from the ACA down into small sizes, probably about 3" square max and then laminated them via my poor man's lamination technique mentioned. I imagine I had about 15 different squares but obviously did not have to have every square on every day. I used one of those acco fasteners to one of my brake lines on my MTB/tourer and used that to navigate. I also had a GPS with a basemap of North America but that was not used for primary navigation. that was a good tool to find out roughly how far I was to a city (usually would estimate 40% more than the straight line distance). And I did use it once when i got a little lost in Old Town, ME where i wound up on some island of some indian reservation because there was a right turn sign for Rt 2 that I missed. Nice tour though of the island. :-)

This was i think 2 summers ago. Took us about 8 days to go from northern NJ (Passaic Cty) to the town of Orient, ME which is on the border.. so one day, my friend who has a camp there, simply biked over to the border, crossed into Canada and came back (just to say we biked into Canada) our goal was Orient, ME..

Jay
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Old 11-17-08, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Ritehsedad View Post
I would recommend working your way over to Salisbury Beach and following the beach up to Portsmouth.
like taking rt 1A probably a better alternate from the Thanksgiving traffic ! Good call thanks !
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