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Thread: PA/NJ Hangers:

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  1. #1
    Member joehasbeard's Avatar
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    PA/NJ Hangers:

    Pretty nasty weather we've been having these past few days, has anyone been out in it? I was working today and looking out the window at a particularly fierce thunderstorm and thought to myself, "Wow, I'd really love to be under a tarp right now making coffee and playing harmonica." If it turns out like this again tomorrow I might just have to set up in a local park. I doubt anyone will notice me.

    So, anyone got any stories to share?
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    Bearing more woe than all his sins deserve.

  2. #2
    Senior Member jbphilly's Avatar
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    Terrible weather. Especially because I've got 2 weeks till I start my new job and have been hoping to use them for some bike camping trips in the woods around Philly. And it looks like it's supposed to keep doing this throughout the 10-day forecast.

    I'd be a lot more happy about camping in this if I were more confident in my tarp and my ability to hang it, unfortunately. Still, I'm planning to bike out to the Pine Barrens tomorrow for an overnight, then maybe head up the Schuylkill Trail to Port Clinton or so at some point.

    I did get to bike through Saturday night's 2 am downpour, about 10 miles, most of which was through Fairmount Park. Once I realized I was getting wet no matter what I did, it was actually pretty fun.

  3. #3
    Member joehasbeard's Avatar
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    Wow, Port Clinton's 80 miles from Philly, how long does that take you on a bike? I really want to get into bike touring but I don't think I've got it in me for an 80 mile ride just yet.
    Only the dreamer venoms all his days,
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  4. #4
    Senior Member jbphilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joehasbeard View Post
    Wow, Port Clinton's 80 miles from Philly, how long does that take you on a bike? I really want to get into bike touring but I don't think I've got it in me for an 80 mile ride just yet.
    It's 80 mostly flat miles (at least as far as I know), with "flat" being the operative word. Admittedly I haven't ridden much past Valley Forge along the river, so it could get nasty further up, but it's a river valley so I doubt.

    If you don't bike often, you would have to work your way up to an 80 mile ride, but it's a lot easier than it sounds if you ride regularly and keep pushing yourself to longer and longer distances. And in any case, 80 miles on flats (or very gradual uphill as this would be) is way easier than 40 or 50 miles in a place like Lancaster County where you're always going up or down a big hill.

    I still haven't gone on any real bike tours, these will be my first, but I'm hoping to do some longer ones when I have both money and time.

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    Senior Member Deadphans's Avatar
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    Ugh I have been so bored. No money to afford gas to go anywhere and the rain has finally stopped about an hour or two ago.

    I just sat around and kept thinking about my trip in 1 1/2 weeks. The Forks, Maine for rafting trip class V's and IV's, and then to Gulf Hagas (the grand canyon of Maine) for a two or three night backpacking trip. That kept me going for these passed few days hehe. Then the semester begins and back to the old grind.
    "In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy." -D'Signore's, Tide Mill Farm, Edmunds, Maine.

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    Senior Member Deadphans's Avatar
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    Dang thats pretty good JbP

    I been thinking about biking a new trail that opened up by my college as part of the Rails to Trails program. Its about 70 miles long or so. I was planning on putting that in 2-3 over nighters. You would just gobble that thing up LOL.
    "In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy." -D'Signore's, Tide Mill Farm, Edmunds, Maine.

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    Senior Member jbphilly's Avatar
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    I'm guessing you guys haven't biked much...80 miles is really not that far. (Again, depending on terrain). People on bike tours, fully loaded with camping gear and everything, often ride 100 or more in a day. People on unloaded bikes do double centuries, although that's definitely hardcore. If you start biking for a bit, you'd be surprised how far you can go in a full day's biking.

    Of course, off-road also adds a level of difficulty onto it.

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    Senior Member G.L.P.'s Avatar
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    where do you plan to camp in Port clinton... if your only off the road i would join you depending on the day.... let me know
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Deadphans's Avatar
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    I actually bike quite a bit but definitely not that far. I always ride my bike to work, college, and the food market and liquor store and since I live downtown of a small town its all within a 2 minute bike ride. I ride provided the weather is decent. I never have tried anything long distance full day, but definitely plan on it.

    Do you have saddlebags or do you wear a backpack
    "In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy." -D'Signore's, Tide Mill Farm, Edmunds, Maine.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jbphilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadphans View Post
    I actually bike quite a bit but definitely not that far. I always ride my bike to work, college, and the food market and liquor store and since I live downtown of a small town its all within a 2 minute bike ride. I ride provided the weather is decent. I never have tried anything long distance full day, but definitely plan on it.

    Do you have saddlebags or do you wear a backpack
    Biking for short distances is pretty different than for long distances, the same way carrying stuff a block or two is different than lugging a backpack around, but it's a good start and you can gradually build up. Still, if you're riding only a mile or two, you can be comfortable on just about anything, but once you've been in the saddle a while you really start to feel it if the bike doesn't fit or the saddle isn't appropriate (comfort rule of thumb: the firmer the saddle, the better, at least as far as I'm concerned. Cushy is BAD)

    I have a large saddlebag and two panniers, and my bulky sleeping bag bungee'd to the top of the rear rack. It's enough to carry a short trip's worth of stuff, but if I added more changes of clothes and other supplies for more than a few nights' camping, I'd need more space. Though if I had more water bottle cages I could free up some space in my panniers. Incidentally, I got the panniers recently for 30 bucks on craigslist. They were in almost new condition, and when I looked them up, I found they're no longer produced but a couple years ago were selling for $125 a pair. Not bad!

    Quote Originally Posted by GLP
    where do you plan to camp in Port clinton... if your only off the road i would join you depending on the day.... let me know
    No idea. My plan was to ride the Schuylkill trail up there, walk up the AT a bit, and find a good place to set up camp. A group hang there could be a fun idea as Eagle Eye suggested.

    Quote Originally Posted by joehasbeard
    I don't do much riding aside from to and from work but in the absence of a car bike touring is my only option if I really wanna get out there and camp. Any suggestions on a good bike to start out with?
    Look on craigslist. You can find plenty of decent old road bikes on there, though they tend not to have that many gears, especially in the low end. This becomes a pretty big disadvantage in hilly areas. Lancaster county beat me with a stick. A better idea might be a hybrid, or, bike touring forum people usually recommend looking for older steel mountain bikes, which often have the braze-ons needed to attach a rear rack. Those would have gears more appropriate to longer, loaded rides, and are probably more comfortable on a long haul than an 80s road bike.

    I have such an 80s road bike with said lack of low gears. I just got back from a 80 mile camping round trip to Jersey (Atsion Lake) and even having the weight of my food and camping gear on my back made it a good deal harder riding than normal. I would be pretty afraid to take this bike on a tour into any location with hills much bigger than anything in Philly, and I'm planning to get a "real" touring bike (Novara Safari or maybe Long Haul Trucker) later this fall once I've got some savings. The place I camped in Wharton State Forest was a real nice location though and the ride out is mostly flat.

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