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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend of mine and I are planning a ride from NYC to Maine for this August...

Does anybody have a suggestion for a good route from NYC to Boston?

Also, neither of us have done a multi-day ride like this before...any pointers on how to carry extra clothes, good gear to get / bring that we might not think of? Generally, any pointers?

Thanks
 

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Some obvious things come to mind, and since your level of experience was not clear, I will take a stab at it. I am surprised that, after three days, no one on this forum has responded. They all are out riding I guess.

1- Make sure you take the absolute minimum of things, and the stuff you do take, buy the lightest version possible. You can wash clothes along the way.

2- Once you get your bike and gear set up, do a long day in the saddle (typical of what you plan to do), and work out any bugs before you take off.

3- Get some touring/ commuting type tires that will not flat and hold pressure well. The Gator-skins and Swalbe Marathon Supremes are two good ones, but you can do a search on this forum and the cyclists on here have listed some solid choices. Ride your tires at close to the max pressure to reduce pinch flats and resistence.

4- If you plan to ride in the dark or rain storms- get some cheap LED lights. Get your bike tuned up before you go and ride a few days to make sure it is all ready to go.

5- If you are into GPS, you could program the days rides, but since I don't do that I am not sure if that will be worth the effort. NYC- um you might need pepper spray..............MTT :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thx

Yeah...I was a bit surprised by the lack of enthusiastic advice...

I am planning to get a tune-up and some new tires, tubes, saddle, and pedals before the ride...will probably do it all about 2 weeks before which should be enough time to get in some solid days and work out any bugs...

Thanks for the suggestions on tires - I'll check those brands out...

Any thoughts on aerobars, bags to carry clothes, or where to get some good maps so we can plan a route?
 

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Atlantic Coast route

dnmoss said:
A friend of mine and I are planning a ride from NYC to Maine for this August... Does anybody have a suggestion for a good route from NYC to Boston?
The Adventure Cycling Association (www.adventurecycling.org) has their Atlantic Coast route that runs between Key West, FL and Bar Harbor, ME. It passes west and north of NYC, entering CT from Millerton, NY on US 44, and entering NJ from Port Jervis, NY. You could pick this route up wherever it was convenient and take it all the way to Maine. You need Section 1 and Section 2 maps of the Atlantic Coast route. Maps are $9.75 per section for ACA members, $12.75 for non-members. The maps include turn by turn instructions, lists of campgrounds, motels, bike shops, groceries, hospitals, emergency services, etc. They also list items of local interest, weather tips, geography, history, etc of the areas you ride through.
 

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As far as bags go everyone has a different style they like. Typically touring guys tend to go for the kind they hang on the bike- penniers (spelling is wrong but close). I don't like those, but at least they keep gear off your back. I like backpacs, but the NW doesn't get very hot.

As for routes, you could post on the forums of the states you will ride through? I imagine going east on LI and then grabbing a ferry would be more fun than the coast of CT, but then there might be some nice routes either way. You are going through some major cities, so it will be a challenge, but because of that there might be some great bike paths?

Maybe you should start a blog or post updates to this forum? I am interesting in your trip. For routes have you tried asking around at the local bike shops? Typically they have books with routes, and the guys in there might have some suggestions on how to plan a route. I don't do long tours like that, so I can't help you there....................MTT
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again for the advice...

Haven't thought about a blog, but will post details to this thread when we get back...

As for bags - I don't like the penniers (sp) either - does anybody have an opinion on the larger seat bags? I think Epic Designs makes some


We're going to get the Adventure Cycling maps...I will post the route once it's final

The plan right now is to head out to Orient Point; then ferry across to CT and go east to Newport; then head north to Cambridge, then head up to Maine...hopefully the maps provide some good insights that track that route, otherwise we'll have to replan...
 

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You can't go wrong with Adventure Cycling maps. It's their passion and their job.

If you're inclined to go inland more, I wonder if Route 22 would work. I would *not* recommend 22 in Westchester County because it's narrow and twisty and would be a hassle. Instead take the Metro North train from Grand Central to Patterson and ride Route 22 from there (eventually shares route 44). From Putnam County all the way towards Lake George, it's a beautiful drive through rolling farm country. Classic upstate NY territory...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the heads up on the Newport Bridges...I cant imagine they are any less friendly that 5th Ave in Manhattan - but we might consider a more inland route through Providence instead...

We are hoping to plan the final route next week - I will post details once it's done...if anybody wants to join us for part of the ride the more the merrier

Still trying to figure out the bag situation - as much as I didn't want to do a camelbak or backpack, that might be the final decision...

Also, does anybody have strong feelings on saddles? I am on a Selle Italia racing saddle right now, but dont think that is going to be very comfortable for these longer rides...Was looking at some of the other Selle Italia and the Fi'zi:k saddles... :confused:

What do you use?
 

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Backpack?

dnmoss said:
Still trying to figure out the bag situation - as much as I didn't want to do a camelbak or backpack, that might be the final decision.
It is highly unlikely that you will want to have all that weight on your back. And you don't want to find that out half way into the first day. I'd strongly advise against it.
 

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dnmoss said:
Thanks for the heads up on the Newport Bridges...I cant imagine they are any less friendly that 5th Ave in Manhattan - but we might consider a more inland route through Providence instead...
Unfriendly in the sense that they have 55 mph speed limits, no shoulder, and a foot wide sidewalk.

It's been a while since I was biking around RI so I can't give you many details, but the western half of the state is pretty rural, and the back roads should be pretty good for riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
An Update

It looks like we might go with Route 22 and then pick up the Adventure Cycling branch to Boston...still working out the details and timing

Went with the Camelbak H.A.W.G. to haul gear and clothes - dont think it will be the most comfortable option, but didnt want to get panniers and at least this gives me another few liters of water...am betting I will regret that decision by the middle of day 3, but hopefully not...

More to come...
 

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dnmoss said:
A friend of mine and I are planning a ride from NYC to Maine for this August...

Does anybody have a suggestion for a good route from NYC to Boston?

Also, neither of us have done a multi-day ride like this before...any pointers on how to carry extra clothes, good gear to get / bring that we might not think of? Generally, any pointers?

Thanks
Don't get eaten by bears....Mr C
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
well on our way

So we our three days and 190 miles into our tour...

Day 1: 75 miles

We took the LIRR out to King Point Long Island and began our path East towards Orient Point. The ride was great - through wine country for most of it and pretty flat...about 40 miles in we had our first flat...at the 60 mile point I crashed...made a very rookie mistake of drafting a bit too close and could not react in time to my friends warning of a pretty large hole...tried to swerve to avoid it, but the rode was about 2 inches higher than the shoulder, caught my edge and spilled - walked away from it with no more than a bruised hand and road rashed ass..very lucky...learned my lesson...:idea:

Made it to Orient Point and took the ferry to New London...

Day 2: 65 miles

Day 2 was completely uneventful (thankfully) compared to day 1. We took all backroads from New London to Providence. The route was incredibly scenic and there were some serious climbs...The day started off with us seeing some deer, then ducks, then cows, then horses, and then a fox...oh, and sheep - Nature Channel has nothing on a ride through the NE country side...my favorite number this day was 48 and 5.8...many of the climbs were completed with me barely maintaining 48 RPMs and 5.8 mph...definitely a grueling but great day in the saddle...

Day 3: 50 miles

We worked our way from Providence to Cambridge...another uneventful day with no flats or crashes...legs felt great today...we were cruising at 19 mph at times...got cheered on by a few truckers and some police...was nice to get support from motorists - the encouragement definitely gave me a little boost...

Day 4: about 80 miles

Tomorrow we head from Cambridge to Cape Neddick, Maine...we're planning to take 1A for a good part of the trip - goes along the water and should be a pretty incredible day of riding...


Will be posting a bunch of photos and more details (including the route) when I get back to NYC late next week...:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Final Ride Report and Link to Pictures

http://picasaweb.google.com/dnmoss/20080812BikeFromNYCToME


All in, we rode 266 miles over 17 hours or so. Just and incredible experience and can’t wait to do it again next year. If anybody is interested in the route we took for any portion of the trip, just post to this threat and I will send you the route.

Day 1: 75 miles from Kings Park to Orient Point, Long Island

We started by taking the long island rail road from Penn Station to Kings Park, Long Island. The plan was to ride 75 miles, partly through wine country until we reached Orient Point on the eastern tip of Long Island. Although the forecast was for rain, the weather held off the entire day. None the less, we got stuck with one flat tire (incredibly, the only one of the trip) and one crash. About 55/60 miles in I crashed while trying to avoid a pothole and some debris. Was lucky to walk away from it with only some road rash and a bruised hand (pictures of both included). We learned 2 really important lessons from this. The first, was to not ride too close to the person in front of you when you don’t know the roads that well. The second, was that between me on a bike and a Mercedes, the Mercedes will always end up in better shape. Anyway, we made it to Orient Point and took the ferry across to New London, CT. After a quick stop in a local bike shop we checked into the nastiest Red Roof Inn in America. The woman in the office there told us there was an Outback Steakhouse and Chili’s around the corner, but we opted for the local favorite – Gridlock Grill. This turned out to be a pretty big mistake. Both of our steaks were cooked to the consistency of shoe leather and covered in some flavorless sauces that represented tomato paste in one case and powdered gravy in the other. Not our best meal of the trip.

Day 2: 65 miles from New London, CT to Providence, RI

Day 2 was by far the hardest day of the ride. We used all back roads to work our way out of New London. The riding was extremely scenic, but also very hilly. Within the first 5 miles we had a dozen solid climbs and this was just to the start of a very long day. I wish we had stopped to take pictures of some of these climbs, but we didn’t – so you’ll just have to believe me. At one point, my two favorite numbers we 48 and 6.5. One many of the climbs, no matter how hard I pushed, I couldn’t keep my RPMs above 48 and my pace was a mere 6 mph. For those who ride, you know this is a painfully slow way to work up a hill. This was also our day of seeing lots of animals. We saw goats, sheep, cows, horses, deer, and even a fox (not including the various “flattened” animals like badgers and possums). Anyway, we made it to Providence and were thankfully staying in much nicer accommodations – a Marriott. We had lunch at a great sandwich place near Brown University and dinner at Union Station, which is owned by the same group that runs John Harvard’s in Cambridge.

Day 3: 45 miles from Providence, RI to Cambridge, MA

This was the easiest day of the ride. We ended up on more traveled roads, but they had decent shoulders and were relatively flat – especially compared to the day before. With the tail wind from traffic we were cruising at upwards of 20 mph for part of the ride. Really don’t have much to say about this day – it was entirely uneventful, and felt more like a rest day than anything else. For the Cambridge contingent, we had lunch of Cambridge 1 and dinner at Grafton. My buddy is starting at HBS this fall so we were able to crash at his new house.

Day 4: 80 miles from Cambridge, MA to Cape Neddick, ME

The best day of the ride. First half of it had pretty poor weather – grey, cloudy, and cold – but as we worked our way towards the coast line things cleared up and the sun came out. The last 45 miles or so were almost entirely along the coast, which was absolutely amazing. It’s much hillier than the coast in NJ, but that creates some dramatic views. The scenery, combined with the great weather, made me forget about the miles. Before I knew it, we were turning onto the Shore Road, where my friend’s family rents the house that would be our final destination.
 
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