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Route Advice?

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Old 11-18-13, 04:43 PM
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Tandem Tom
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Route Advice?

I had recently started a thread " Phili to the Ocean". Thanks for the many replies! It seems like trying to start from Phili and go to the ocean in order to go from "sea to sea" is making our planning a bit too complicated.
So yesterday I pulled out the map of the US and started looking at options. And here is what I came up with. We will get our bikes down to Dover, Delaware and then ride south to Rehobeth Beach area dip our wheels and and then head west. We would cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge via a shuttle service and then make our way toward DC. Then using the C&O & GAP we would head toward Pittsburgh. I spoke with a shuttle service today and they do a fair number of cyclists.
So just a few questions and a request. has anyone used a service to cross the bridge? And does anyone have a suggested route across Delaware then Maryland to the bridge?
It is great to have access to touring cyclists for your advice!
Thanks!
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Old 11-18-13, 08:44 PM
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indyfabz
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Can you get you and your bikes to Cape May, NJ? There is a nice ferry ride to the cute town of Lewes, DE. From there, it's an easy ride to Rehobeth, some of which is via a pretty bike trail.
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Old 11-18-13, 09:19 PM
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jamawani 
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You are going to pay somewhere in the range of $60 for the shuttle across the Bay Bridge.
There used to be an Annapolis bus route that was cheap.
I would encourage you to write Maryland DOT and request a written response.
Ask them whether there is any public provision for bicyclists on the bridge.
They have service vehicles that transit the bridge regularly - yet they refuse to shuttle.
So two cyclists end up paying $60 ($120 r.t.) which motorists pay $6 r.t.
The Maryland bike/ped coordinator has been remiss on this one for years.
It seems clear he/she represents the interests of MD DOT, not cyclists.

I agree with Indyfabz on using the Cape May-Lewes Ferry.
A great way to start a cross-country trip - plus camping at Cape Henlopen.
There are two bus routes that connect Philly to Cape May which permit bikes.

I wholeheartedly support your going "ocean to ocean".
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Old 11-18-13, 09:36 PM
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jamawani 
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You know, there's another wonderful way to get across Chesapeake Bay besides the Bay bridge.
If you already have to fork out outrageous money to use the bridge shuttle -
What about taking the passenger ferry to Smith Island from Crisfield?
There's year-round service from Crisfield to Smith Island - multiple times.

Service to the mainland is trickier.
There's seasonal service from Smith Island to Cape Lookout - limited runs.
(Most years, Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends only)
The ferry to Reedville, Virginia used to run more frequently but the website is gone.
You can also connect via Tangier Island from Crisfield to the Northern Neck of Virginia.

Same day connections give you only a short time on the island.
Overnighting at any of the inns or B&Bs is a bit pricey - but takes you back 100 years.
Day visitors all arrive in a horde - but after they leave the islands are magical.

There is great riding into DC from Cape Lookout.
There is good riding in the Northern Neck, but getting into DC is trickier.
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Old 11-19-13, 06:34 AM
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indyfabz
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Please clarify whether you will be riding singles or a tandem. I got the notion it was the latter, but in this thread you wrote "bikes." It can make a huge difference as I noted in another thread. If you have singles there is no reason why you cannot easily ride from Philly to the S. Jersey shore and then to the ferry to Lewes and on to Rehobeth.
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Old 11-19-13, 06:50 AM
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Sorry about the bike confusion. When I first signed up here at BF we rode/toured on our tandem. This Summer while on a month long tour in Denmark my wife said that for our cross country tour in 2014 she would like singles. Something about not wanting the view of my butt for an extended period of time!
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Old 11-19-13, 12:43 PM
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indyfabz
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
Sorry about the bike confusion. When I first signed up here at BF we rode/toured on our tandem. This Summer while on a month long tour in Denmark my wife said that for our cross country tour in 2014 she would like singles. Something about not wanting the view of my butt for an extended period of time!
Well then you could easily fly into Philly and the next day ride to somewhere near or at the S. Jersey shore, take the ferry to Lewes and then ride to Rehobeth. The bridge and public transit concerns I raised in the other thread were all based on the assumption you would be on a tandem. Last weekend I took the PATCO train from the center of the city to the end of the line to avoid having to ride through Camden and then rode about 50 miles to a state forest campground in Woodbine, NJ. Another 15 miles or so and I could have been at the coast in Avalon. From there, it's maybe 20 miles down the coast to Cape May. The ferry ride is nice. Takes about 1.25 hrs. Lewes to Rehobeth is maybe another 12 miles, IIRC. This summer the GF and I stayed at her parents' house in Avalon. Took a day trip to Rehobeth and back using the ferry. Met a first cousin of Louis Garneau on the way over and saw a big group of dolphins on the way back. Ocean City and most of the towns south of it have boardwalks along the beach that you can ride in the mornings. Wildwood's is kitchy with its amusement piers, cheesey shops, arcades and carnival style games. In between towns you cross tidal areas and inlets where you can see scores of wading birds and ospreys.

If camping, Philly to Woodbine (Belleplain State Forest) would be an easy first day. The next day could ride down the coast to the ferry with plenty of time to make it to the Lewes/Rehobeth area. There is state park camping in Lewes and some places in the Rehobeth area.
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Old 11-19-13, 12:51 PM
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BTW...If you want route advice in DE and MD, I would get in touch with someone in the White Clay Bicycle Club:

http://whiteclaybicycleclub.org/

(Use the "About Us" tab.) There are several people in the club who organize tours in DE, MD and PA. I did an overnighter from Middletown, DE to St. Michaels, MD with them several years ago.
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Old 11-19-13, 01:13 PM
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raybo
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Should you be interested, I crossed the Chesapeake Bay by taking the ferry from Reedville to Crisfield via Tangiers. This pretty much takes all day as the connection between the ferries requires a couple hours spent on Tangiers Island, which doesn't have much in the way of commerce or entertainment. Here is the journal entry for that day.

I also took ferry from Lewes, DE to Cape May, NJ. I started that day in Ocean City, MD. This ferry runs many times a day and I rode a good distance to it and than was able to ride many miles after it. Here is the journal entry for that day.
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