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4000-mile Big Loop

Old 12-16-18, 08:41 AM
  #1  
johnlink
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4000-mile Big Loop

I've created a page on my biking blog that contains information about the 4000-mile trip I will take next summer.

https://johnlinkbikingadventures.blo..._2lnA8FgcVSEVk
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Old 12-16-18, 04:49 PM
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Neat. How about you actually discuss it here instead of just linking to your blog?
what bike are you using?
how much touring have you done?
what inspired you to ride 4000mi?
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Old 12-16-18, 06:34 PM
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Im sure you have done the math already, but 6000km in 45 days is about 135kms per day, thats a hell of a lot for one day, let alone day after day after day after day.
I take it you have about 2 months to be away, so you may find that depending on how much riding you do beforehand, your "on paper" calculations may have to be flexible when real world stuff factors in, and there are a whole slew of stuff that likely will become apparent as you begin to ride with a load.

Ive never ridden in these parts of the States, but over the winter, look into the American biking associations and their route suggestions, as it can be hit and miss for chosing routes based on where friends and family are, ie roads that just arent that fun to ride on for various reasons.
Also, you want it to be fun, and as you havent toured before, you'll see that the route plays a big part in the enjoyment--although by any means if you want to do a personal sufferfest, thats up to you, Im saying this more from the angle that there are plenty of routes that could be more fun and enjoyable.
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Old 12-16-18, 07:01 PM
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Or did he mean that the 15 days off would be in addition to the 60 days riding? That's the way I read it. That would be 100 km /66 miles a day.
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Old 12-16-18, 07:38 PM
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oops, ya probably. Makes more sense, and more reasonable too.

all the best Mr Link with your planning and prep for your project. Ride, ride and ride, and get things sorted out beforehand during the training and setup phase.
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Old 12-16-18, 09:01 PM
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Unsolicited advise.....
Raise the handlebars on that bike.
My hands hurt just looking at it.
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Old 12-17-18, 11:39 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
Unsolicited advise.....
Raise the handlebars on that bike.
My hands hurt just looking at it.
I caved and clicked the link.

If the OP is going to use a Centurion Ironman for a fully loaded 4000mi trip, handlebar height is perhaps the least concern.
For a road bike, the saddle to bar drop isnt a lot in that pic.

an Ironman is made with light Tange 1 tubing, has no fender or rack brazeons, has a tight wheelbase, short chainstays, and relatively steep frame angles. Its a beautiful road bike for sure.

as Bob says way too often- you can tour on anything.
...but I would probably prefer something else.
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Old 12-18-18, 09:14 AM
  #8  
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Life insurance up to date? Because you have some miserable roads in there. PA 23 is one of note. No shoulder through Elverson. It also loses its shoulder and is very busy in the New Holland area. Same for the Bucktown area further east. Take Pughtown and Daisy Point instead to bypass that part. I'd also go up through St. Peters and through French Creek State Park (where you can camp) rather than staying on PA 23 to Morgantown. I can show you how.

Shoulder issues aside, PA 23 is busy and noisy. The small roads north of PA 23 starting just west of Morgantown go through the beautiful Conestoga Valley, which is Amish Country. This will take you to PA Bike Route S, which will take you into the center of Lancaster:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29058027

Do it on a Sunday and you are likely to encounter numerous buggies. There is even a covered bridge along the way.
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Old 12-18-18, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Life insurance up to date? Because you have some miserable roads in there. PA 23 is one of note. No shoulder through Elverson. It also loses its shoulder and is very busy in the New Holland area. Same for the Bucktown area further east. Take Pughtown and Daisy Point instead to bypass that part. I'd also go up through St. Peters and through French Creek State Park (where you can camp) rather than staying on PA 23 to Morgantown. I can show you how.

Shoulder issues aside, PA 23 is busy and noisy. The small roads north of PA 23 starting just west of Morgantown go through the beautiful Conestoga Valley, which is Amish Country. This will take you to PA Bike Route S, which will take you into the center of Lancaster:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29058027

Do it on a Sunday and you are likely to encounter numerous buggies. There is even a covered bridge along the way.
Testing with Strava Route Builder
Your post got me looking at the route. I picked a section from Harrisburg to Bowmanstown PA, to see what the Strava Route Builder would select.

The planned route is quite close to I-81 for 25 miles out of Harrisburg. I try to keep at least 10 miles away from interstates if possible, just to limit the traffic and avoid the commercial buildup. And it's riding on US22. I try to find local side roads and stay off US highways if feasible.

The Route Builder uses 2 years of strava recordings to pick popular biking roads. It'll go quite far out of the way, instead of picking the simple direct route to a destination.

Here's the route example. I picked the two end points and let it select the route. But that had a long steep climb in the middle, so I dragged the line over to the other side of the mountain (around mile 80).
Strava routes tend to have lots of turns, so using GPS navigation is kind of necessary.

This route is 100 miles or more, compared to the planned 80 miles.
https://www.strava.com/routes/16475616


Screen shots

This section of the original ridewithgps route:


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

First try with the route builder, with just clicking the end points. See the big climb near mile 70.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Drag the route line -- it's the dot near mile 80.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Minimum elevation selection. This can often route way out of the way, avoiding even small hills. (In this area, it didn't save a lot of climbing!)
This is the one I saved as the link above. The dragged location was off this selected track, so there's a little stub there.


Last edited by rm -rf; 12-18-18 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 12-18-18, 03:29 PM
  #10  
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I'm biased, but unless you enjoy spending 2-3 days in the concrete jungle that is Chicagoland, get to Milwaukee and take the ferry to Muskegon, and come through Michigan. That part of West Michigan is going to be much more pleasant than Northern Indiana and Ohio as well. Riding through Gary IN on a bike is on my never to do list, I can;t get through there fast enough in a car.
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Old 12-18-18, 03:33 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Neat. How about you actually discuss it here instead of just linking to your blog?
what bike are you using?
how much touring have you done?
what inspired you to ride 4000mi?
I'll be riding my
that I bought from my brother in 2009. I've upgraded the brakes, brake levers, shifters, derailleurs, and cassette to Dura Ace series 7400; the pedals to Dura Ace series 7400; the crankset to a 175 mm Holdsworth 48-34; and the stem and handlebar to Cinelli. My cassette is 12-14-16-18-20-23-28. In the 70s I took four trips of up to 300 miles. Since 2016 I've taken nine trips, also up to 300 miles. The inspiration for the 4000-mile trip next summer came from watching the movie Inspired to Ride.

Last edited by johnlink; 12-19-18 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 12-18-18, 03:34 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
Unsolicited advise.....
Raise the handlebars on that bike.
My hands hurt just looking at it.
It fits me perfectly.
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Old 12-18-18, 03:40 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Im sure you have done the math already, but 6000km in 45 days is about 135kms per day, thats a hell of a lot for one day, let alone day after day after day after day.
I take it you have about 2 months to be away, so you may find that depending on how much riding you do beforehand, your "on paper" calculations may have to be flexible when real world stuff factors in, and there are a whole slew of stuff that likely will become apparent as you begin to ride with a load.
My current plan calls for 59 riding days and 17 rest days for a total of 76 days. I'm allowing three months to complete the trip, so I have 14 days to spare. My current route is a total of 4062 miles, which implies an average of 69 miles per riding day.

Ive never ridden in these parts of the States, but over the winter, look into the American biking associations and their route suggestions, as it can be hit and miss for chosing routes based on where friends and family are, ie roads that just arent that fun to ride on for various reasons.
Also, you want it to be fun, and as you havent toured before, you'll see that the route plays a big part in the enjoyment--although by any means if you want to do a personal sufferfest, thats up to you, Im saying this more from the angle that there are plenty of routes that could be more fun and enjoyable.
I have toured before, and I'm quite aware of the importance of riding a good route, and will refine my choices over the coming months. The earliest I would leave is May 24th, so I have plenty of time.
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Old 12-18-18, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
I'm biased, but unless you enjoy spending 2-3 days in the concrete jungle that is Chicagoland, get to Milwaukee and take the ferry to Muskegon, and come through Michigan. That part of West Michigan is going to be much more pleasant than Northern Indiana and Ohio as well. Riding through Gary IN on a bike is on my never to do list, I can;t get through there fast enough in a car.
I grew up in Chicago and have loads of family and friends there, so bypassing Chicago is not an option. Anyway, the ride along the lakefront is beautiful.

Last edited by johnlink; 12-18-18 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 12-18-18, 03:49 PM
  #15  
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all the best then on the route planning, and most importantly, have a fun time planning it and doing it, that's all that matters.
From your past touring trips, you'll know the pluses of making sure the bike is in great shape, new tires, chain and all that stuff, and that your load of stuff is carried well and that your gearing suits the total bike weight, realistic expected terrain climbing wise, and taking care of your knees.
I bring up the last bit as we are probably similar in age, and we aint 25 anymore, and our knees appreciate lower gearing.

again, good luck
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Old 12-18-18, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Life insurance up to date? Because you have some miserable roads in there. PA 23 is one of note. No shoulder through Elverson. It also loses its shoulder and is very busy in the New Holland area. Same for the Bucktown area further east. Take Pughtown and Daisy Point instead to bypass that part. I'd also go up through St. Peters and through French Creek State Park (where you can camp) rather than staying on PA 23 to Morgantown. I can show you how.

Shoulder issues aside, PA 23 is busy and noisy. The small roads north of PA 23 starting just west of Morgantown go through the beautiful Conestoga Valley, which is Amish Country. This will take you to PA Bike Route S, which will take you into the center of Lancaster:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29058027

Do it on a Sunday and you are likely to encounter numerous buggies. There is even a covered bridge along the way.
I've ridden from Manhattan to Lancaster and back and recall how unpleasant PA 23 was. I'll see about incorporating what you suggested. Thank you.
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Old 12-18-18, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
all the best then on the route planning, and most importantly, have a fun time planning it and doing it, that's all that matters.
From your past touring trips, you'll know the pluses of making sure the bike is in great shape, new tires, chain and all that stuff, and that your load of stuff is carried well and that your gearing suits the total bike weight, realistic expected terrain climbing wise, and taking care of your knees.
I bring up the last bit as we are probably similar in age, and we aint 25 anymore, and our knees appreciate lower gearing.

again, good luck
Thank you. My (48-34) x (12-14-16-18-20-23-28) gearing works well for me.

Last edited by johnlink; 12-19-18 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 12-18-18, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Testing with Strava Route Builder
Your post got me looking at the route. I picked a section from Harrisburg to Bowmanstown PA, to see what the Strava Route Builder would select.

The planned route is quite close to I-81 for 25 miles out of Harrisburg. I try to keep at least 10 miles away from interstates if possible, just to limit the traffic and avoid the commercial buildup. And it's riding on US22. I try to find local side roads and stay off US highways if feasible.

The Route Builder uses 2 years of strava recordings to pick popular biking roads. It'll go quite far out of the way, instead of picking the simple direct route to a destination.

Here's the route example. I picked the two end points and let it select the route. But that had a long steep climb in the middle, so I dragged the line over to the other side of the mountain (around mile 80).
Strava routes tend to have lots of turns, so using GPS navigation is kind of necessary.

This route is 100 miles or more, compared to the planned 80 miles.
https://www.strava.com/routes/16475616
Thank you for the suggestions. I'll study them and see how I can use them to improve my route.
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Old 12-18-18, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
The small roads north of PA 23 starting just west of Morgantown go through the beautiful Conestoga Valley, which is Amish Country. This will take you to PA Bike Route S, which will take you into the center of Lancaster:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29058027
Where is PA Bike Route S? I don't see it on your route.
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Old 12-18-18, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Testing with Strava Route Builder
Your post got me looking at the route. I picked a section from Harrisburg to Bowmanstown PA, to see what the Strava Route Builder would select.

The planned route is quite close to I-81 for 25 miles out of Harrisburg. I try to keep at least 10 miles away from interstates if possible, just to limit the traffic and avoid the commercial buildup. And it's riding on US22. I try to find local side roads and stay off US highways if feasible.
I've modified my route to use 443 to Marstown rather than US-22 to Fredericksburg. It adds 4.5 miles but is clearly superior. Thanks again.
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Old 12-19-18, 07:35 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by johnlink View Post
Where is PA Bike Route S? I don't see it on your route.
The route I mapped out uses Route S from about Weaverland Rd. west.

This map is supposed to show all the official PA bike routes, but it's not working for me. Could be my work browser, which is old.

https://www.penndot.gov/TravelInPA/R...le-Routes.aspx

They are a start, but in some cases not the best, especially in developed areas. For example, it uses PA 23 west of Morgantown far more than it needs to. My understanding is that the state decided to stick to state-maintained highways so it did not have to deal with local municipalities to put up signs.

Heh. Checked the map again, which was open in another window and it finally loaded. My work machine is really slow.

Last edited by indyfabz; 12-19-18 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 12-19-18, 07:37 AM
  #22  
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Look me up when you get to Atlanta and ride the Silver Comet Trail.

PM sent.

The trail is 11 miles from my house. I'll come down and ride, will buy you a nice lunch.


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Old 12-19-18, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
As I wrote, the western end of what I mapped out connects with PA Bike Route S. That's why you don't see it as part of my route.
I meant that I didn't see it on the map of your route. Now that I've selected "OSM Cycle", I do see it.


This map is supposed to show all the official PA bike routes, but it's not working for me. Could be my work browser, which is old.

https://www.penndot.gov/TravelInPA/R...le-Routes.aspx

They are a start, but in some cases not the best, especially in developed areas.

Heh. Checked the map again, which was open in another window and it finally loaded. My work machine is really slow.
Thanks for the link to the PA bike routes.
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Old 12-19-18, 12:17 PM
  #24  
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Interesting route. And kudos for doing a home to home ride. For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to do coast to coast. In the summer of 2019 I'm taking a sabbatical, and a riding friend and I, he's recently retired, will be doing a bike tour. After a good deal of thought, I shelved the fly out and fly back idea for a home to home, Twin Cities to St Louis to Taos to Yellowstone to Twin Cities ride. Same distance, about 3800 miles, and 0 carbon footprint.
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Old 12-19-18, 12:25 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by revcp View Post
Interesting route. And kudos for doing a home to home ride. For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to do coast to coast. In the summer of 2019 I'm taking a sabbatical, and a riding friend and I, he's recently retired, will be doing a bike tour. After a good deal of thought, I shelved the fly out and fly back idea for a home to home, Twin Cities to St Louis to Taos to Yellowstone to Twin Cities ride. Same distance, about 3800 miles, and 0 carbon footprint.
I hope you'll post in this forum about your trip next summer. Will you be blogging?

As I wrote in https://johnlinkbikingadventures.blo...s-next_10.html, I had been considering a coast-to-coast trip on the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail. It bothered me that I would have to start a bike ride with a plane flight. My home-to-home loop avoids that problem. But maybe another year I'll ride coast-to-coast.

Last edited by johnlink; 12-20-18 at 03:06 AM.
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