East Coast USA & Hawaii Summary 2014

Lewis sitting on a bench looking cool and texting

August 11, 2015 | Posted in Hawaii, New York City, New York State, North Carolina, Places, Summary, Vermont, Virginia | By

New York (24 nights: May 2-7; May 16-19; Jun 24-27; Jul 1-14)

Distance cycled:123 mi / 198 km / 799,961 RJP
Elevation gained:3,845 ft / 1,172 m
Elevation lost:4,063 ft / 1,238 m

Naturally we started our trip in New York. Although homeless now, we used NYC as our home base for travel and concerts until mid-July when we finally got the hell out of there. We rode around the city quite a bit, but I only included miles to and from the train station and the Phish shows at Randall’s Island. We also did a mini-tour between a festival in Vermont and some shows upstate.

Lewis sitting on a bench looking cool and texting

This is what you do when you’re funemployed in NYC.

New Jersey (1 night: May 7; May 16; May 19-20; Jun 24)

We were in New Jersey several times, passing through to/from Virginia or the Newark airport. We spent one night there before catching our flight to Hawaii.

Pennsylvania (May 7; May 16; Jul 14) Transit only

We passed through Pennsylvania on our way to/from Virginia as well as on the train to Ohio.

Maryland (May 7; May 16) Transit only

We passed through Maryland on our way to/from Virginia.

West Virginia (May 7; May 16) Transit only

We passed through West Virginia on our way to/from Virginia.

Virginia (7 nights: May 7-16)

Our first trip out of New York was to visit Brandy’s folks in Virginia and drop off a vanload of crap we decided to keep. We did no cycling in Virginia. We drove through the night on the way back. That night is not attributed to any state.

Lewis hanging laundry

North Carolina – Lewis only (1 night: May 13-14)

I took a day trip down to Raleigh and Chapel Hill to visit a friend while Brandy stayed behind to finish some sewing projects. I ate good BBQ, went to a brewery and did no bicycling.

Approaching an iron bridge with Jersey barriers blocking it off.

I guess my map is out of date.

Spray painted on the road of the closed bridge, "If I find out who cut my ropes down Im'a fuc#"

 

Trays of BBQ and other delicious fixin's

Almost makes me want to eat meat again

Georgia (1 night: May 20-21)

We were stranded in Atlanta after we missed our connection to Hawaii, until we remembered that my cousin, Matt had just moved there. Luckily he had randomly chosen to take the day off work and we had a nice surprise visit with Matt and his family.

Hawaii (33 nights: May 21-Jun 23)

Distance cycled:36 mi / 58 km / 232,645 RJP
Elevation gained:1,542 ft / 470 m
Elevation lost:1,542 ft / 470 m
Broken spokes:3

We were lucky enough to come across some insanely cheap tickets to Hawaii in the months leading up to our trip. In the past we’d skipped similar deals because it just didn’t seem right to go there for only a week. Finally! We’d have enough time to give Hawaii our full attention. We spent over a month there and visited all but one of the populated islands open to the public. The people we met were incredible and showed us that the aloha spirit is still alive. Each island is unique and magnificent in its own way and we absolutely intend to return, possibly to live. We only did a small amount of cycling, on crappy rental bikes on the very bike-able island of Molokai. The bikes were in such poor condition that I broke several spokes on mine.

We paid for accommodations for 11 of our nights there, including 5 nights of backpacking on the Na Pali Coast. Our 19 nights of camping ranged from squatting with a homeless guy in Kona who claimed to be the deposed king of Hawaii to some of the most beautiful spots we have ever been. Of those, 13 nights were on the seashore.

A huge forest fire from the plane on the way to Hawaii

A huge forest fire from the plane on the way to Hawaii

Lewis in the distance on a tiny road along the coast

Vermont (4 nights: Jun 27-Jul 1)

Distance cycled:68 mi / 109 km / 438,646 RJP
Elevation gained:4,101 ft / 1,250 m
Elevation lost:5,016 ft / 1,529 m
Ass kicked by bike:1 time

There was time for one last festival with our buddies Austin & Elyza. The Frendly (sic) Gathering in Vermont attracted a much younger crowd than other festivals, but was a good time nonetheless. The festival fit in logistically well with the Phish three-night run at Saratoga Springs so we made a small cycle tour out of it. The Green Mountains were our first true climbing with loaded bikes. Just getting to the festival entrance was challenging enough, but we were shocked to learn that there were another seven miles and 900 feet of elevation gain to get from the check-in to the actual festival. The choice of riding or taking the yellow school bus was easy and provided some unearned downhill coasting when we left the fest on Sunday. Perhaps to pay us back our insolence, the road hypnotized Brandy to forget to unclip from the pedals going into the campground that night and she toppled over onto her poor knee. It was pretty bashed up, but luckily it was superficial and she was able to ride the next day. Sleeping arrangements ran the gamut on this ride: state park, free camping next to a creek in the woods, escaping a storm in our tent behind the house of a friendly jogger, Warm Showers hosts, stealth camping behind an Amtrak station.

Our friends chilling in a hammock in the woods

Hammocking it up with A & E at the Frendly Gathering.

Lewis at a rocky stream in the woods

This stream filled up with lightning bugs at night.

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USA / Canada Summary 2014

The full moon rising over a wall of sunset highlighted mountains in Arizona

August 3, 2015 | Posted in Canada, Places, Summary, USA | By

Well, we’re back in the USA for the summer. What better time than now to finally post the summary of our travels in the USA last year?

What follows contains excessive quantification of our activities from my last day at work, May 2nd, 2014 until we crossed the border to Mexico at Douglas, Arizona / Agua Prieta, Sonora on Christmas Eve, 2014. I kept track of a bunch of random useless information with respect to our cycling, sleeping, breweries visited, transit used and other stuff so put on your nerdiest glasses and get ready for the good times. I have broken it into the following posts:

Whole Country Nerdy Stats (this post)
East Coast & Hawaii
Midwest
Northwest
Southwest
Arizona

This post contains our overall numbers for USA/Canada for a bunch of different categories. The regional posts contain brief-ish reviews of what we did in each state and some photos.

Closeup of a spring tree bud

This is what we did with our first free day together – sat around in a park looking at blossoms and watching people play frisbee.

Moving the last of our stuff across town from our apartment by bike

Packed up and ready to move out of our apartment

We entered 24 US states and 1 Canadian province, but 3 of those were drive-thru and 5 were train-thru:

–       New York (May 2-7; May 16-19; Jun 24-27; Jul 1-14)
–       New Jersey (May 7; May 16; May 19-20; Jun 24)
–       Pennsylvania (May 7; May 16; Jul 14) Transit only
–       Maryland (May 7; May 16) Transit only
–       West Virginia (May 7; May 16) Transit only
–       Virginia (May 7-16)
–       North Carolina – Lewis only (May 13-14)
–       Georgia (May 20-21)
–       Hawaii (Jun 21-23)
–       Vermont (Jun 27-Jul 1)
–       Ohio (Jul 15)
–       Michigan (Jul 15-17)
–       Indiana (Jul 17) Transit only
–       Illinois (Jul 17-22)
–       Wisconsin (Jul 22-Aug 27)
–       Minnesota (Aug 27-28) Transit only
–       North Dakota (Aug 28) Transit only
–       Montana (Aug 28-29) Transit only
–       Idaho (Aug 29) Transit only
–       Washington (Aug 29-Sep 3; Sep 8-18)
–       British Columbia (Sep 3-8)
–       Oregon (Sep 18-Oct 9; Oct 16-18)
–       California (Oct 9-16; Oct 18-31)
–       Nevada (Oct 31-Nov 4)
–       Arizona (Nov 4-Dec 24)

We cycle toured in 12 states: New York, Hawaii, Vermont, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona; and 1 province: British Columbia. This brings our state cycle touring total up to 17, with the inclusion of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Maine and one duplicate, Wisconsin from previous tours.

A road in a state

A road in a state

 

Total USA & Canada Cycling
Distance cycled2,080 mi / 3,347 km / 13,516,150 Ron Jeremy Penises (RJP)
Elevation gained62,106 ft / 18,930 m
Elevation lost64,608 ft / 19,693 m
Cycling days70
Sleeping
Total nights236
Paid (inc. camping)43
Lodging TypeNights
Home141
Camping72
Hostel7
Hotel6
In Transit6
Vacation Rental3
Business1
Sleeping SurfaceNights
Bed101
Tent67
Couch31
Air Mattress12
Floor10
Hammocks5
Train4
Camper2
Cot2
Plane1
Drove All Night1

We were in a bed almost half of the nights of our trip, which seems crazy when I look at it, but it makes sense considering how much we visited friends and family. The hammock nights were woefully few because we kept chasing autumn down the west coast and nights were a bit too chilly. Luckily we were able to dust them off once we got to the coast of Mexico.

An immaculate bedroom

Our first Warm Showers hosts had an immaculate house that reminded us of a B & B and made us nervous to bring our filthy asses in there, but they were so welcoming that we quickly felt at home.

Our hammocks strung up in a beautiful oak grove with tons of afternoon light

Our poor neglected hammocks got used a couple times, such as this incredible stealth spot in Wisconsin.

Host TypeNights
Friends88
None82
Family39
Spontaneous host12
Warm Showers8
Couchsurfing7

We spent the most nights with friends (thanks guys!), including a handful of nights with friends of friends. We had no specific host on 82 nights, but this category is varied because it includes wild camping, park camping, hotels and hostels. Family put us up for 39 nights, which is actually a bit less than I thought it would be.

A great night highway shot with blurred lights as we pass a semi

We took a photo of every place we slept, or spent the night, as was the case when we drove all night back from Virginia.

Other Miscellaneous Crap

Here is some more miscellaneous crap we kept track of.

Water FeaturesNights
Seashore17
River / Stream12
Lakeshore5
Arroyo (inside)3

Yes, I know camping in arroyos is foolish, but it’s also the best place to camp for every other point aside from being washed away in the night.

The full moon rising over a wall of sunset highlighted mountains in Arizona

Sweet moonrise from our cozy little arroyo

ActivitiesNights
Fires22
Backpacking14
Hot Springs2
Concerts23
Music Festival4
Mosquitoville4

We would have loved to have way more fires than that, but I’m pretty conservative about the conditions in which I’ll build one, especially in the desert. The backpacking nights come from four hikes: Na Pali Coast; Pololu Valley (I barely count this because it was a 45-minute hike in and out); Lost Coast Wilderness; and Superstition Wilderness. All four of these places demolish anywhere else I have backpacked in amazingness factor. Most of the 23 concerts are Phish, but we did also see Primus on the Primus and the Chocolate Factory tour, which was one of the best concerts I’ve seen. Two weekend music festivals make four nights and very good times. Mosquitoville nights are nights where the mosquitoes are “out of control” and are not good times until you’re in your hammock laughing maniacally watching the bastards bouncing off the net.

A huge bonfire shoots sparks into the night visible through the silhouettes of other revelers.

Our most badass fire (note, I did not build this)

Closeup of the boys playing at Bill Graham from our sweet spot on the floor

Phish at Bill Graham Auditorium in San Francisco (sorry to cut you off Page)

We spent 38 nights on public land (5 in official Wilderness Areas). Below is the breakdown by agency or type.

Public Land Management EntityNights
State Park19
National Forest7
BLM6
National Park3
County Park2
Other state land1
The trail is a thin line in the middle of a cliff, with steep drop offs to the sea. Tiny hikers are barely visible.

Approaching ‘Crawlers Ledge’ on the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast in Hawaii

The bright sun casts rays through the mist over an empty, still dark bay from behind the mountains hugging the coast. Huge wave lines come in perpendicular to the camera and stretch off to the horizon.

Sunrise from camp in the Lost Coast Wilderness in California

Looking up at Brandy staring off at epicness, sharing the view with desert vegetation

The complex beauty and epic scenery and feelings of the Superstition Wilderness in Arizona cannot be captured in a hundred photos, but this one actually tells a lot of the story if you let it sink in.

Public Transit

Amtrak
Ethan Allen Express: Saratoga Springs, NY-NYC
Lakeshore Limited: NYC-Toledo, OH
Wolverine: Jackson, MI-Chicago, IL
Empire Builder: Columbus, WI-Seattle, WA
Coast Starlight: Eugene, OR-Oakland, CA
California Zephyr: Richmond, CA-Truckee, CA

Napping in Montana on the Empire Builder to Seattle

Napping in Montana on the Empire Builder to Seattle

Regional Rail
Metra Union Pacific North: Clybourn Station Chicago, IL-Kenosha, WI
Sounder: Seattle, WA-Everett, WA
BART: Oakland, CA<->Berkeley, CA
BART: San Francisco, CA-Richmond, CA
Caltrain: Bayshore Station San Francisco, CA-Palo Alto, CA
Caltrain: San Jose, CA-22nd Street Station San Francisco, CA

Awesome roll-on bike car with tons of capacity on the Caltrain

Our bikes make some friends on the Caltrain

Ferry
East River Ferry: Wall St-Greenpoint (home from my last day of work)
East River Ferry: Randall’s Island Special
Washington State Ferries: Anacortes, WA-Orcas, WA
Washington State Ferries: Orcas, WA-Friday Harbor, WA
Washington State Ferries: Friday Harbor, WA-Sydney, BC
Washington State Ferries: Sydney, BC-Anacortes, WA
Washington State Ferries: Clinton, WA-Mukilteo, WA
Washington State Ferries: Edmonds, WA-Kingston, WA (on a bus)
San Francisco Bay Ferry: Alameda, CA-San Francisco, CA

On the Washington State Ferry to Orcas Island, bicycles are leaned against the wall in the car bay.

Our bikes enjoying a break on the ferry to Anacortes

Intercity Bus*
Kauai County Bus: Lihue, HI-Hanalei, HI
Kauai County Bus: Hanalei, HI-Kapaa, HI
Kauai County Bus: Kapaa, HI-Lihue, HI
Hawaii Island Hele-On Bus: Kona, HI-Hilo, HI-Pahoa, HI
TheBus: Pupukea, HI-Honolulu, HI
Olympic Bus Lines Dungeness Line: Seattle, WA-Port Angeles, WA
The Wave (Tillamook County): Tillamook, OR-Portland, OR

*I believe that all of these but the Dungeness Line are operated as local, fixed-route bus services, but I am categorizing them as intercity because of the distances.

An old school bus all tricked out

Sadly not in revenue service

Local Transit
We had our bicycles with us for the most part, so generally did not use local public transit, despite my professional interest. However, we did use local transit in the following cities:

NYC, obviously
Atlanta, GA (rail)
Chicago, IL (bus & rail)
Milwaukee, WI (bus)
Phoenix, AZ (rail, we tried to use the bus, but after three passed us with full bike racks, we just rode the 25 miles)

Phoenix Light Rail

Phoenix Light Rail

Multi-Use Trails

These are all trails we rode on for more than some short, half-assed amount. What that cutoff means is chosen arbitrarily of course.

TrailStateLocation
East River TrailNew YorkManhattan
University Parks TrailOhioToledo
Centennial TrailOhioToledo area
Lakeshore PathIllinoisChicago
Pike Bike TrailWisconsinKenosha
County Bike TrailWisconsinKenosha & Racine Counties
Root River PathwayWisconsinRacine
MRK TrailWisconsinRacine County
WE Energies TrailWisconsinRacine County
Oak Leaf TrailWisconsinMilwaukee County
Ozaukee Interurban TrailWisconsinOzaukee County
Eisenbahn State TrailWisconsinWashington County
Sheboygan Interurban TrailWisconsinSheboygan County
Friendship TrailWisconsinCalumet County
Fox River TrailWisconsinCalumet & Brown Counties
Wiouwash Trail WisconsinShawano County
Mountain Bay TrailWisconsinShawano County
51/29 TrailWisconsinMarathon County
Green Circle TrailWisconsinPortage County
Wisconsin River TrailWisconsinWood County
Southwest Commuter PathWisconsinDane County
Badger State TrailWisconsinDane County
Capital City TrailWisconsinMadison
Highway 2 Bike PathWashingtonSnohomish County
Centennial TrailWashingtonSnohomish & Skagit Counties
Tommy Thompson TrailWashingtonSkagit County
Lochside Regional TrailBritish ColumbiaVancouver Island
Galloping Goose TrailBritish ColumbiaVancouver Island
Interurban TrailWashingtonSnohomish & King Counties
Cheshiahud Lake Union LoopWashingtonSeattle
Olympic Discovery TrailWashingtonClallam County
Waterfront Park TrailOregonPortland
Eastbank EsplanadeOregonPortland
(San Francisco) Bay TrailCaliforniaSan Mateo County
Guadalupe River TrailCaliforniaSanta Clara County
The Wiggle*CaliforniaSan Francisco
Pioneer TrailCaliforniaNevada County
I-225 East Beltway TrailNevadaVegas Area
St. Rose Parkway TrailNevadaVegas Area
Amargosa TrailNevadaVegas Area
UPRR TrailNevadaVegas Area
Arrowhead TrailNevadaVegas Area
River Mountains Loop TrailNevadaVegas Area
Arizona Canal TrailArizonaPhoenix
Sun Circle TrailArizonaPhoenix Area
Other unnamed canal trailsArizonaPhoenix Area
The LoopArizonaTucson
Aviation BikewayArizonaTucson

*Note that the Wiggle isn’t really a trail, but it’s cool enough to mention here. It is a signed route that “wiggles” through many blocks to follow the best grade east/west to reach the Panhandle and Golden Gate Park.

A selfie of both of us riding on the crushed limestone Friendship Trail

On the Friendship Trail in Wisconsin shortly before one of our stealth mosquitoville nights

The trail is a long wooden plank causeway across a bay

We are about to discover yet another blackberry motherlode on the Tommy Thompson Trail into Anacortes, Washington

The signage for the Wiggle is a squiggly arrow

The Wiggle in San Francisco

Breweries & Other Alcoholeries

We also visited the following breweries and makers of other fine alcoholic substances. I’ve noted where we filled a growler, just because.

Maker NameStateCity
Dirk the NorsemanNew YorkBrooklyn
Brooklyn BreweryNew YorkBrooklyn
Crank Arm Brewing CompanyNorth CarolinaRaleigh
Kona Brewing CompanyHawaiiKona
Grand River MarketplaceMichiganJackson (growler)
Haymarket Pub & BreweryIllinoisChicago
Saint Francis Brewing Co.WisconsinSt. Francis
Sprecher Brewing Co. WisconsinMilwaukee
Three SheepsWisconsinSheboygan
Red Eye Brewing Co.WisconsinWausau
Bull Falls BreweryWisconsinWausau (growler)
Hydro Street Brewing Co.WisconsinColumbus (growler)
Spinnakers Gastro BrewpubBritish ColumbiaVictoria
Tugwell Creek Honey Farm & MeaderyBritish ColumbiaSooke
Astoria Brewing CompanyOregonAstoria
Nehalem Bay WineryOregonNehalem
Pelican BreweryOregonTillamook
Hopworks Bike BarOregonPortland
Upright BrewingOregonPortland
Hair of the Dog Brewing Co.OregonPortland
Commons BreweryOregonPortland
Base Camp Brewing CompanyOregonPortland
Crux Fermentation ProjectOregonBend
Deschuttes Brewing CompanyOregonBend
Block 15 Brewing Co.OregonCorvallis
Flat Tail BrewingOregonCorvallis
Lost Coast Brewery & CaféCaliforniaEureka
Redwood Curtain Brewing CompanyCaliforniaArcata
Faction BrewingCaliforniaAlameda
Rock Wall Wine Co.CaliforniaAlameda
Magnolia Brewing Co.CaliforniaSan Francisco
Southern Pacific BrewingCaliforniaSan Francisco
THAT BreweryArizonaCottonwood
Mother Bunch BrewingArizonaPhoenix
Prescott Brewing Co.ArizonaPrescott
Beaver Street BreweryArizonaFlagstaff
Hops and Vines WineryArizonaSonoita
Hannah’s Hill WineryArizonaSonoita

 

Cool art produced by welding bicycle wheels and gears together adorns the wall at Crank Arm Brewery

Crank Arm Brewery Raleigh, NC

Brandy admires the art at Commons Brewery Portland, OR

Brandy admires the art at Commons Brewery Portland, OR

I could go into all sorts of additional detail with crazy maps and reviews and plenty of other crap, but I’m going to leave what remains of my eyeballs in my skull and leave it at that. The next post will begin the less detailed state summaries. The first will be the East Coast & Hawaii (Hawaii included because it was sandwiched in time by the East Coast).

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