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Cruising the Commonwealth

This topic contains 22 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  emma 11 mos.

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hardtravelin

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Mar 3 2013 at 4:43pm #

I think we’re gonna ride the Crush the Commonwealth route in May but at a much more leisurely pace. Figured this concept deserved its own thread away from those looking to CRUSH the route.

Thinking maybe taking 6 days to do the route. We have family and friends in York, so probably stop there for a bit.

Any good things to check out along the way? Things to avoid??

Are there reasonable places to camp? Or should we just travel light and stay in hotel/motel/holiday inns?


floggingdavy

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Mar 4 2013 at 11:27am #

There are some beautiful sights to see close to the route in Michaux State Forest/Pine Grove Furnace/Caledonia. Shaffer’s Rock is beautiful and there is camping/rustic cabins for rent. There is also a hostel that services the AT. Gettysburg is close, too, and super fun to bike around. Be sure to check out the haunted covered bridge and Devil’s Den. The Ragged Edge Coffee Shop is a nice spot that sometimes has live music. There is a banjo place in town, too, that has jam sessions similar to our Banjo Night sans booze.

If you take 234 near East Berlin you will be passing within a couple miles of my parents place. They’d be happy to put you up in a spare bed room and give you access to laundry and a shower.

This sounds like a blast!


emma

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Apr 7 2013 at 6:56pm #

Huzzah! Bringing this thread back up near the top since we’re only a month away now!

I am really looking forward to getting some longer rides under my belt in the next few weeks. Winter dragged on so long that I almost forgot what it was like to just ride around with no destination till today.

I think we’ve got our stopping points mostly figured out. Any suggestions for miscellany during the days?


reddan

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Apr 8 2013 at 5:47am #

emma wrote:I think we’ve got our stopping points mostly figured out. Any suggestions for miscellany during the days?

Mr Ed’s Elephant Museum, just east of Chambersburg, is interesting, in a candy shop/Americana/roadside attraction sort of way.


emma

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Apr 8 2013 at 7:01am #

Yes! That’s exactly the kind of miscellany I am interested in!


that guy

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Apr 8 2013 at 10:07pm #

Husky Haven campground in Rockwood is highly recommended.

Eat at Roburrito in York as well.

I’ll think of more, I’m sure.


hardtravelin

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Apr 24 2013 at 8:12pm #

So we are definitely taking 6 days to cross the state.

Day 1 – get to Confluence and camp there
Day 2 – get to Bedford. Probably stay at Judy’s Motel cuz they have a super cute video of themselves on their website.
Day 3 – get to Caledonia State Park and camp there
Day 4 – get to York, stay with my sister
Day 5 – short day, get to east of Lancaster, stay with old friend
Day 6 – rest of the way to Philly.

My main concerns:
1) obviously weather. hoping we get a decent week.
2) is the connections on and then off of the abandoned turnpike obvious? or is there something special we should know about finding it and then knowing where/when to get off of it?
3) obviously there are hills, but are there specific crushers that we should be aware of/prepared for? i’m guessing for the most part that they aren’t necessarily steep, just long and continuous.

I had forgotten that Mr Ed’s Elephant Museum is along this route. That’ll be good to check out.


reddan

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Apr 24 2013 at 8:54pm #

hardtravelin wrote:2) is the connections on and then off of the abandoned turnpike obvious? or is there something special we should know about finding it and then knowing where/when to get off of it?
3) obviously there are hills, but are there specific crushers that we should be aware of/prepared for? i’m guessing for the most part that they aren’t necessarily steep, just long and continuous.

The connections aren’t bad. Eastbound, just keep heading through Breezewood on 30…once you get through town, there will be a road leading off to the left (Tannery Road), with a dirt parking lot. The path up to the western end of the abandoned turnpike is right there at the intersection of 30 and Tannery Rd. On the eastern end, make your way out to the main road (unmarked Pump Station Rd) and turn left, then make the first right on Hess Rd in less than 1/2 mile. Now you’re back on Bike Route S.

Coming out of Somerset, you’ve got some solid climbing up to the crest of Dividing Ridge; then, once you get through Bedford, there’s some fairly tough hills on the way to Breezewood. In general, you’ll not see much over 10%, but you may see miles and miles of 5-8%.
Once you get through Chambersburg, turn onto 234, and get through the orchards, the route will trend downhill most of the way to Philly. Not to say there’s no hills, but you’ve gotten through the worst of ‘em at that point.


hardtravelin

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May 10 2013 at 9:34pm #

thanks for the tips. we head out in the morning. gonna probably be a wet first day, but it looks promising after that.


steevo

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May 11 2013 at 6:09am #

Q – Once you ride through breezewood (like the turnpike exit)… you will
go up over a hill and it gets quiet. YOu are on 30. This is what you see.
The path in the middle puts you to the tunnel. There may actually be
a small sign. Its like 1 minute past the turnpike exit.


scott

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May 11 2013 at 7:07am #

Good luck Q and Emma!


hardtravelin

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May 13 2013 at 8:31pm #

3 days in. At a hotel in Chambersburg. Feeling pretty beat but also pretty great. Much respect to all those folks who CRUSH this cuz cruising it is still incredibly tough.


stefb

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May 13 2013 at 8:33pm #

I passed you on Saturday morning on the GAP


hardtravelin

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May 19 2013 at 9:06pm #

so we successfully made it thursday night about 5:15. full ride report coming soon, but here’s a set of photos if anyone is interested:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hardtravelinq/sets/72157633538818812/

stef — i thought that was you.


scott

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May 20 2013 at 7:11am #

Oh man, that looks like so much fun. I’m so glad that I’m investing in a touring bike this summer. Thanks for sharing your pics with us.


salty

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May 20 2013 at 5:23pm #

You already have the same touring bike as him, scott :)

Cool pix, looks like fun!


Drewbacca

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May 20 2013 at 6:16pm #

Neato! Thx for sharing!


durishange

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May 20 2013 at 8:29pm #

didn’t realize you finished it already….doh


edmonds59

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May 20 2013 at 8:56pm #

Such a great trip. Thanks for sharing.


hardtravelin

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May 22 2013 at 9:08pm #

I typed up a quick account of the trip, here


salty

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May 22 2013 at 10:26pm #

Nice writeup, I think the length/detail is just right.

Hm, I hadn’t really considered a 1-way rental to get home but looking around it doesn’t look like it’s really any more expensive than Amtrak for 2 people + bikes. Driving all that way would suck but I’ll have to think about it.


hardtravelin

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May 22 2013 at 10:38pm #

Yeah, with my folks living out there, we’re pretty used to doing that drive. Not a big deal for us.


emma

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May 23 2013 at 10:13pm #

I wrote up a little trip summary too — maybe it’ll feel like the same thing, or maybe it’ll be cool to read two different peoples’ accounts of the same trip:

Here’s mine.

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