Where to go? (1 Viewer)

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So, after a great summer Im ready to pack my bike up and head somewhere/anywhere!
Some possible options-
Get dropped off in upstate New york and head towards maine, then hop over into Canada. I have cold weather gear so no worries there.
Or, get dropped in W Virginia and he down the coast and then west.
Any other ideas?
Thanks!
 
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Barf

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I've been all over except Upstate Ny, Vermont and Maine.
Northern Vermont and Maine are both nice places. Burlington is a straight shot to Maine.

It's Bernie country and them folks do a good job looking out for/feeding travelers. Don't be surprised if you see people speaking French.

Take advantage of the 0% sales tax when in NH(home state of GG Allin).

Happy and safe travels to ya, comrade.
 

Older Than Dirt

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Northern New England is already fairly cold, and getting colder every day (and night!). You have about a month til heavy snow starts, which will last no longer than March or April (or late May in a cold year).

You say you have winter gear, but many roads may not be very rideable for months at a time. Even with very fat studded tires, riding a loaded bike in snow/ice is very very difficult, and no fun at all. Without very fat studded tires, it will probably not even be possible. Schwalbe makes good snow tires in most sizes if you decide to give it a go.

Heading south down the coast from WV might be a better option at this time of year. As Jonathan Richman said, "I love New England", but spring aka mud season, or better yet summer (basically July and August (in a good year)), or early fall are much better times of year than now.

Also, coastal areas are much flatter. Upstate NY -> Maine involves traversing some pretty big mountains- nothing compared to the Rockies of course, but you may get a bit winded at times. The mountains start in NY and end at the Maine coast, so your whole trip will be steep.

I list my location as "Upstate" but that is a joke- on the streets of NYC, "to be upstate" means "to be in prison". I'm really only 90 minutes north of NYC. If you are that far south in NY, PM me for shower food place to crash etc.
 
OP
ResistMuchObeyLittle
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@Older Than Dirt Now you've got me thinking- not sure if I really want to risk getting stranded somewhere, or dying of hypothermia in the middle of nowhere. I was hoping to make it up to Canada and ride thru there, but, I do know it's not exactly the season to be doing that.
I've got about a week to figure out the best options. Bike is loaded up and ready to go.
Maybe get dropped in Pennsylvania or WV then head south. It's been awhile since I've done a bike tour, so quite nervous. Heading out and not knowing anyone(as always).
 

brando

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@Older Than Dirt Now you've got me thinking- not sure if I really want to risk getting stranded somewhere, or dying of hypothermia in the middle of nowhere. I was hoping to make it up to Canada and ride thru there, but, I do know it's not exactly the season to be doing that.
I've got about a week to figure out the best options. Bike is loaded up and ready to go.
Maybe get dropped in Pennsylvania or WV then head south. It's been awhile since I've done a bike tour, so quite nervous. Heading out and not knowing anyone(as always).
Weather's been decent in PA so far, but October is always a crapshoot here. You'll probably eek out a few nice weeks of riding weather with near to slightly below freezing temps at night. The foliage by the border is getting awesome right now, so there's that...
 

brando

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Weather's been decent in PA so far, but October is always a crapshoot here. You'll probably eek out a few nice weeks of riding weather with near to slightly below freezing temps at night. The foliage by the border is getting awesome right now, so there's that...
Northern border that is.
 
OP
ResistMuchObeyLittle
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I'm thinking maybe I'll need to get an even better sleeping bag. Like -10 degree one. My current one is 15 degree north face. I'm pretty set on clothing. Mostly wool shirts, wool socks, down jacket, moisture wicking base layers, etc. Now I'm wishing I'd left way sooner. Such is life.
 

brando

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I'm thinking maybe I'll need to get an even better sleeping bag. Like -10 degree one. My current one is 15 degree north face. I'm pretty set on clothing. Mostly wool shirts, wool socks, down jacket, moisture wicking base layers, etc. Now I'm wishing I'd left way sooner. Such is life.
Main thing is staying dry. I use a bivy bag over my sleeping bag with either a tarp or tent when I have to. Sounds like between your bag and the clothes you should be warm enough for a while.
 

SaltyCrew

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Where are you currently with your bike? You've stated a few times youre going to get "dropped" somewhere...not sure I comprehend this...if you have your bike and gear with you, already loaded ready to go as you say, why aren't you riding already? Why do you need to get "dropped"? This close to winter, I'd be asking myself where I plan to stay for winter season. Riding my bike into Canada is probably the last thing I'd be considering doing this time of year. What length of time are you planning to be on your bike on the road?
 
OP
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@SaltyCrew I'm not riding yet because a job I took on isn't over with for another week. Yes, My bike and gear is loaded. I'm having a friend drop me somewhere. Length of time- Not sure. I wouldn't be the first person to be on the road and staying in various places during the winter season. Heading south is sounding like the best option. I was hoping the season would stay warmer later since we kind of had a late start to summer, but it's not looking that way.
 

SaltyCrew

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The annual Jambo is being held in NOLA this year. Sometime in November I believe. You probably have time to ride there.

Good luck, have fun. Just ride.
 

Older Than Dirt

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West Virginia has a lot of mountains, that's all i know. But less snow, and much warmer, than northern New England and Canada.

If your bike is good on gravel and dirt roads, the C & O Canal towpath from Cumberland Md to DC is 184.5 miles of flattish no-cars riding with campsites and water every 5 miles or so. You can start in Pittsburgh if you want to go over the Appalachians.

i did about 20 miles of it in a heatwave in July before concluding that riding a loaded bike with 20" wheels on dirt sucks, and turning back. I will definitely go back and do the whole thing (on a more suitable bike) next spring/summer.

The path is across the river from WV for the first bit.
 
OP
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@Older Than Dirt Thanks for the tips! Right now I'm rolling 700x38c tires. They seem to do good on pavement and gravel. If anyone on here has toured thru W Virginia(say, Harper's Ferry) going south I'd love some input.
 

Maxnomad

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If you're worried about yout bag, you can pick up a liner for a lot cheaper than a new one. They're usually silk or merino, buy you about ten degrees, and i feel like you could find one pretty cheap on ebay or something. Craigslist, etc.
 

Older Than Dirt

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Also those space blanket bivvies, which you can use as a vapor barrier liner inside the bag, or outside the bag but you risk the bag getting wet and freezing you if you do this. i have used a silk liner also, but if you need more like 20-30 degrees, a vapor barrier liner is good. They are way cheaper than a silk liner.

As i mentioned above, spring is very late in arriving in northern New England. I slept comfortably though a sudden late April snowstorm, and below freezing temps, in a 45 deg rated bag and tent that was basically a bug net and fly due to the space blanket bivvy.

A 15 degree bag ought to have you covered for a southern winter unless you are up very high.
 

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