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Advice: please evaluate the route of my first tour

Old 05-10-20, 10:38 AM
  #51  
indyfabz
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Originally Posted by eddie_the_K View Post

Even if the soil on the C&O is "clean dirt" it's out of my trip.

- Ed
Your bike isnít going stay clean on a wet GAP either. Ask me how I know.
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Old 05-10-20, 12:01 PM
  #52  
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That sounds like it was a fun trip...

I guess that's true, as I recall it's some kind of crushed stone and sand hard pack. But it seems likely that sandy dirt could be sprayed off with a garden hose, then the bike wiped down with a cloth? Or is it going to stick like glue?
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Old 05-10-20, 06:47 PM
  #53  
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Ed, don't over think it, bring a rag and some chain oil and concentrate on keeping the drivetrain and rims clean.
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Old 05-10-20, 06:50 PM
  #54  
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Re chain lube, the lighter, thin, less messy lubes are nice for lots of dirt riding. You usually need to apply it more often but compensated by a lot less gungy chain etc.
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Old 05-11-20, 05:20 AM
  #55  
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I dunno, overthinking is my talent. Seems like a good idea for touring.

​​​​​​​I was asking about how hard it is to wash GAP dirt off the bike in general. I used Pedro's Bike Lust for the first time earlier this month and now I have a hard time getting it to stay put in the workstand. That's gotta make it easier to de-mud before bringing it inside.

I am planning on Park oil and Boeshield. And a red shop rag.

- Ed
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Old 05-11-20, 06:36 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by eddie_the_K View Post
I dunno, overthinking is my talent. Seems like a good idea for touring.

I was asking about how hard it is to wash GAP dirt off the bike in general. I used Pedro's Bike Lust for the first time earlier this month and now I have a hard time getting it to stay put in the workstand. That's gotta make it easier to de-mud before bringing it inside.

I am planning on Park oil and Boeshield. And a red shop rag.

- Ed
Do you have fenders? If you do, don't worry about it. I ride the GAP all the time. I have fenders, it is a non-issue. My wife's bike did not have fenders, her drivetrain was always needing cleaned. Her bike now has fenders.

If you stop at Rockwood for the night, there is a campground, and a house available. The house is set up for bikers riding the trail. The same owner owns that campground. The house has provisions for washing bikes. If you stay in the house, or the campground you can use it. They also have laundry facilities and a computer.

Honestly though, don't worry too much about it, as long as you have fenders. I don't remember the last time I washed my bike, and it's been on the GAP a lot. I do maintain the drivetrain, but probably only really clean the entire drivetrain once a year. Fenders make a huge difference. On tour, wipe the chain, and lube.

The bike was probably washed well last year on my tour across Indiana and Ohio, as it rained on me.
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Old 05-11-20, 07:29 AM
  #57  
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and Ed, lots of people put too much chain lube all over an already dirty chain, so rag wipe your chain clean as you can before. Dont over do it, heck only the two rubbing parts of a chain link need lube going in, you shouldnt gloop the stuff all over the entire chain.

wipe after putting on

wipe after a short ride, there is always excess that ****ers out, so wipe it off, it takes a few seconds and all the extra ****ery stuff does is get dirt stuck to it

way more work if you overlube and ignore it
like cleaning dishes in the kitchen, leave it to pile up and harden and its waaaaaay more work

regular wiping of chain, chainrings, jockey wheels and flossing cassette sometimes is fast, and is just plain less work and not having a gungy mess of a drivetrain that wears faster and uses more force to ride.

and yes, more wiping if you're on dirt, but hey, no a biggee
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Old 05-11-20, 09:10 AM
  #58  
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and Ed, lots of people put too much chain lube all over an already dirty chain, so rag wipe your chain clean as you can before. Dont over do it, heck only the two rubbing parts of a chain link need lube going in, you shouldnt gloop the stuff all over the entire chain.
I'm sure it will get grimy even on a dry GAP. I usually start with the Boeshield as a flushing agent, wipe it off well, and finish with some oil. I've tried Teflon lubes but I don't go through it fast enough, and the Teflon seems to come out of solution and clogs the dispenser. Now I stick with Park oil.

I do have SKS fenders, so I think I'm good. One less thing to be obsessive about.

I looked at the campground. $50 for a well-equipped house, nice. Unfortunately the mileage doesn't work out right, I'm going from Cumberland to Ohiopyle.

The bike was probably washed well last year on my tour across Indiana and Ohio, as it rained on me.
Is your route posted somewhere? I'd like to see it.

- Ed
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Old 05-11-20, 10:02 AM
  #59  
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funny that ****ers out gets censored out, when all it is is g o o b e r s
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Old 05-12-20, 05:45 PM
  #60  
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I took the advice of the experienced tourists and padded my schedule a bit. I added one day to the trip, and walked the start date back one day, to September 5. 14 days total, ride 6, rest 1, ride 7. Arrive with one day to spare before the event, so I can let things slide one day if needed. Looking at it now I see that I was too ambitious on the second half of the trip, because I was trying to hurry.

This will be much more pleasant. Still somewhat ambitious and a tight schedule but it won't blow up so easily.

Thanks again for all the help.

-Ed
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Old 05-12-20, 10:39 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Your bike isnít going stay clean on a wet GAP either. Ask me how I know.
A damp rag can clean most of the dirt off frame & wheels. After the C&O and/or GAP segments, one could remove chain, scrub with degreaser & water & then relube & have a fairly clean & smooth chain for the rest of the tour.
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Old 05-13-20, 06:42 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
A damp rag can clean most of the dirt off frame & wheels. After the C&O and/or GAP segments, one could remove chain, scrub with degreaser & water & then relube & have a fairly clean & smooth chain for the rest of the tour.
That sounds do-able. After leaving the trails, I'll get out my ziplock bag with a Drivetrain Care Kit:
rags (wipe down after each step)
small bottle filled with citrus degreaser; chain scrubber (low weight & I have plenty of room in 4 panniers)
small dispenser of WD-40 to drive water to the surface, wipe & allow to dry
Boeshield to flush the WD-40
top off with a little Park or Phil oil

ride for a few minutes to get the ****ers out. brush & wipe off the rest of the drivetrain.

Then get out the rags for frame & wheel wipedown.

Basically what I do at home. I'll be flyin' down the road with the cleanest chain on tour. The hardest part will be finding something to lean the bike on so I can spin the crank. I should be done by beer o'clock.

This almost reads like sarcasm. No, I'm serious. It's an overplanned plan, just my style.
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Old 05-14-20, 07:48 PM
  #63  
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That does sound a bit elaborate, heh, but with small bottles it should be fairly compact. Lately, at home, I've been using those heavy-duty blue paper towels (from auto-parts store or Costco) for wiping greasy drive-train stuff--might be handy on tour too.
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Old 05-14-20, 08:02 PM
  #64  
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Not over the Mississippi but I'm giving a shout-out to the Woodrow Wilson interstate bridge that crosses the Potomac just south of DC. Previously no bike/ped access but they rebuilt the bridge a few years back & included a deluxe wide bike path with clear plastic shielding from wind & noise, there's even a little park on one end:


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Old 05-15-20, 05:40 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Lately, at home, I've been using those heavy-duty blue paper towels (from auto-parts store or Costco) for wiping greasy drive-train stuff--might be handy on tour too.
I like them too. I ended up with a cubic foot box of them on my kitchen counter during the Paper Products Crisis. Rough and tough. Try blowing your nose on one.
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Old 05-15-20, 08:53 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Not over the Mississippi but I'm giving a shout-out to the Woodrow Wilson interstate bridge that crosses the Potomac just south of DC. Previously no bike/ped access but they rebuilt the bridge a few years back & included a deluxe wide bike path with clear plastic shielding from wind & noise, there's even a little park on one end:
Post was supposed to go on another thread though technically one could stay at a National Harbor hotel (Oxon Hill MD), cross the Wilson Bridge into Alexandria & then up to Key Bridge/C&O start, about 12 miles.
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Old 05-17-20, 09:21 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by eddie_the_K View Post
I'm sure it will get grimy even on a dry GAP. I usually start with the Boeshield as a flushing agent, wipe it off well, and finish with some oil. I've tried Teflon lubes but I don't go through it fast enough, and the Teflon seems to come out of solution and clogs the dispenser. Now I stick with Park oil.

I do have SKS fenders, so I think I'm good. One less thing to be obsessive about.

I looked at the campground. $50 for a well-equipped house, nice. Unfortunately the mileage doesn't work out right, I'm going from Cumberland to Ohiopyle.



Is your route posted somewhere? I'd like to see it.

- Ed
No, I doubt I can remember my exact route. I woke each day, looked the app WikiCamp, and decided where I was going and how I would get there.
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Old 05-17-20, 09:24 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
funny that ****ers out gets censored out, when all it is is g o o b e r s
Yeah, but it looks even worse when censored.
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Old 05-18-20, 07:31 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
No, I doubt I can remember my exact route. I woke each day, looked the app WikiCamp, and decided where I was going and how I would get there.
That's a level of enlightenment I will never reach by retaining control and booking rooms in advance. That's a true adventure. All comments about civilized behavior aside, I admire it in those of you who do it. But I still ain't sleeping on the ground.

-Ed
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Old 05-18-20, 11:00 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by eddie_the_K View Post
That's a level of enlightenment I will never reach by retaining control and booking rooms in advance. That's a true adventure. All comments about civilized behavior aside, I admire it in those of you who do it. But I still ain't sleeping on the ground.

-Ed
I have never really enjoyed planned trips. I tour by motorcycle as well, and have found that not having a solid plan has allowed me to see things I would have missed had I planned. It is also more relaxing overall to not follow a schedule. On the bicycle it is definitely interesting though, you cannot simply ride another 50 miles if you cannot find a place to stay. Thankfully I haven't had much of an issue. The worst I had was having to ride another 12 miles, to go to a different campground after being told I wasn't allowed to hang my hammock at a KOA. That was annoying since I had a problem with my eye, it turned out to be a scratched cornea and needed to find a place. I was riding with one eye closed that day. Thankfully I found a fantastic old campground, whose owner and employees, as well as campground residents and other campgrounds treated me wonderfully. I was able to get to a doctor in Angola, who then sent me to an ophthalmologist the same day. I stayed and rested at that campground for two days. The eye was bad. I could barely make out the E at the top of the eye chart with that eye. The doctor cleared me to ride though, telling me it would heal fairly quickly, but the vision wouldn't clear up for a while. He was right. I couldn't see out of that eye for almost another two weeks.

That campground was Buck Lake Ranch in the Angola, Indiana area. I would have missed it had I been following a set schedule, and that would have been unfortunate. It is an old campground from the 40s. Almost anyone who was anything entertained there. Minnie Pearl performed there when she was a teenager. The Three Stooges, George Hamilton, Gene Autry, Alabama, Elvis, basically everyone performed there. It was a really cool old campground, and I will be back. The people there treated me so well. I truly enjoyed it. It is old, and not a place one might choose when planning, but it was a gem for me.

The eye problem was another reason a schedule sometimes gets screwed up. You cannot plan for that type of thing. I was able to simply sit back and take the time to deal with it, without calling ahead and changing plans.

Definitely do the trip, and enjoy. When you get through the Pittsburgh area, let me know, if I am home we could meet up for a bite to eat or a drink.
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Old 05-26-20, 08:35 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
That campground was Buck Lake Ranch in the Angola, Indiana area. I would have missed it had I been following a set schedule, and that would have been unfortunate. It is an old campground from the 40s. Almost anyone who was anything entertained there. Minnie Pearl performed there when she was a teenager. The Three Stooges, George Hamilton, Gene Autry, Alabama, Elvis, basically everyone performed there. It was a really cool old campground, and I will be back. The people there treated me so well. I truly enjoyed it. It is old, and not a place one might choose when planning, but it was a gem for me.
Wow, pretty amazing campground. Didn't know Minnie Pearl performed as a teenager. I hope they had doctors on hand for the 3 Stooges--imagine all the kids with nose bleeds & eye pokes after trying to imitate the stunts!

On bike tours I like to plan things but on car trips etc have seen some interesting stuff just by wandering around.
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Old 05-26-20, 08:55 PM
  #72  
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Hmm... I remember posting a reply to phughes but now I don't see it here... clearly I forgot to do something....

Thanks for the invitation. The closest I will get to Pittsburgh is Hendersonville, on the Montour trail. It sounds like you are likely to be out adventuring but in case you are home and if it's not too far I'll buy the first round.

-Ed
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Old 05-26-20, 09:33 PM
  #73  
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I just found this thread in the New Posts feed.

Your route from Xenia to Greensburg is fairly flat but not very interesting. Lots of corn and soybean fields, with occasional small wood lots.
It's 125 miles, 2700 feet. Just 21 feet per mile.

I drew an alternate route. It's more interesting to ride, but hillier.
120 miles, 4300 feet. 35 feet per mile, not bad. But there's some steeper grades along the way. I don't think I would route this way for loaded touring, but it could be quite nice for light weight credit card touring.
It's 6 miles of a slight downhill grade on the Little Miami Trail out of Xenia, just enough to notice. And 5 miles downhill at mile 72, with maybe a 1% downhill on that bottom half, soft pedal it.
Most of western Indiana that I've ridden has extremely low traffic away from the main highways, which can be busy and annoying. Some roads are chip-seal, a thin tar layer with gravel embedded. It can be annoying to ride when it's fairly new, but it does wear down a bit smoother. Indiana counties seem to chip-seal roads at random--some are smooth asphalt, some are older smoother chip-seal, some are new and buzzy.

The purple sections are roads where I'm somewhat familiar with the area, but didn't always know which road to choose from the alternatives--could use a little more research.
The green line is the river road to Brookville, very scenic and quiet, but rough pavement on part of it. Tires that work on the GAP trail will help, but it works with road bike tires.
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/32776803

It might not fit your time and distance schedule.

Last edited by rm -rf; 05-26-20 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 05-26-20, 09:45 PM
  #74  
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Strava Heat Map
Strava colors in roads based on uploaded Strava rides. It's two years of rides. They mentioned that last year they recorded 700 million miles in the USA.
Bright white for the most popular roads, dim red for least popular, gray for no activity.
Here's the URL for Dayton - Cincinnati - SW Indiana. Click the Bicycle icon and click Labels to see road and town names.
https://www.strava.com/heatmap#10.13...41910/hot/ride

I like the Heat Map for planning rides in unfamiliar areas. Strava also has a Route Builder that uses the heat map data to select the best route, often routing way out of the direct path. But it's now only available on the paid strava subscriptions. And they've made it follow only the most popular roads. I used to get a reasonably good route just by clicking the start and end points, but now it routes way out of the way without clicking quite a few waypoints to force it a different way.

The Heat Map itself is useful and free. I use it as much for staying off bad roads as for picking the best roads. Dim red roads, low popularity, with nearby bright white popular roads are the ones to avoid!
A lot of these rides are single or group road bike rides. Not necessarily the best choices for touring.

Last edited by rm -rf; 05-26-20 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 05-27-20, 11:01 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by eddie_the_K View Post
Hmm... I remember posting a reply to phughes but now I don't see it here... clearly I forgot to do something....

Thanks for the invitation. The closest I will get to Pittsburgh is Hendersonville, on the Montour trail. It sounds like you are likely to be out adventuring but in case you are home and if it's not too far I'll buy the first round.

-Ed
Sounds good. Drop me a message when you are near. If I'm around I'll come out and see you.
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