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1  Forums / Trip Planning / Need a partner / Re: Need a Shuttle for the Palmetto Trail dec 2011 on: January 12, 2012, 07:39:25 AM
I've come to a similiar practicle shuttle without bringing two cars. 

I found two other possible, though not practicle to me, options.  One is to ride into Charleston and take the Greyhound back to Columbia.  They have 3 trips a day for $30 but your bike has to be boxed and you have to ride from and to both bus stations.  The other is to have Enterprise Rent A Car deliver a vehicle to the trail end from the Charleston airport and drive it to the Columbia airport.  Those two locations will do a oneway rental but the cheapest vehicle that will carry a bike is about $150 per day after the oneway fee!

I'll be waiting to coordinate with some others or until we hear about a shuttle service. 

2  Forums / Trip Planning / Need a partner / Re: Need shuttle ideas for Palmetto Trail MLK weekend on: January 12, 2012, 07:23:01 AM
No problem!  PM sent.
3  Forums / Trip Planning / Need a partner / Re: Need a Shuttle for the Palmetto Trail dec 2011 on: January 11, 2012, 09:08:52 AM
Did you have any luck finding a shuttle?  I'm looking for options too.
4  Forums / Trip Planning / Need a partner / Re: Need shuttle ideas for Palmetto Trail MLK weekend on: January 07, 2012, 09:41:06 AM
Don I'd appreciate any assistance.  I could change my schedule to get done a day earlier or start a day later if it worked better for your schedule.  I'm hoping to have my plan together wednesday before I make the drive down from Asheville on thursday.  Stay in touch.

One option I want to research is leaving my car at an Enterprise car rental in Columbia, getting a ride from there out to Wateree, ride to Awendaw, call an Enterprise in Charelston to pick me up in Awendaw (they'll usually pick you up if you're within 30 minutes drive),  drive the rental back to my car and leave the rental at the Columbia Enterprise.  For that to work I'll need to figure out a ride to Wateree (any suggestions for that?), make sure a Charelston Enterprise will come out to Awendaw and that I can leave the rental in Columbia without it costing me an arm and a leg.
5  Forums / Trip Planning / Need a partner / Need shuttle ideas for Palmetto Trail MLK weekend on: January 06, 2012, 12:16:00 PM
Any suggestions on how I can shuttle the Wateree to Awendaw portion of the Palmetto Trail on MLK weekend?  I just landed a 4.5 day weekend and would love to get a trip in.

Short of the shuttle, my plan is to arrive at one end or another Thursday evening and end up at my car ready to drive home Monday afternoon.  I really don't like doing out-and-backs.     

6  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: The Pisgah Traverse on: July 25, 2011, 05:17:35 PM

It's great to see you got to do this finally!  I'll have to get the whole story later. 

You should bum a ride to either Linville Falls or Ivestor and ride about the same route you did, plus a little more, to the other.  Did that one once, from the door, and if you liked the route you did then you'll love the leg from HB to Linville... but if you didn't like it you'll HATE IT in a bad way  icon_biggrin

I need something to work on for this Fall.  You looking at anything?


7  Forums / Routes / Re: Bikepacking in the Mid-Atlantic - Routes? on: July 25, 2011, 04:33:42 PM
I really hope someone will point you to a few options because I'm looking for the same thing! Smiley  Here's the realization I've come to for now about mid-Atlantic BPing of that length:  If you don't think about a clear point-to-point like they get our west, but either think about circuitous loops or very serpentine point-to-points, you'll find several options.  (And now here's hoping that someone responds by saying I'm crazy and giving some examples!  icon_biggrin

I've messed around with a few selfmade routes but I haven't found anything that I think is worth recomending, yet.  I've done a few loops around the Pisgah National Forest in western NC and one of the aformentioned point-to-points from Ivestor Gap to Linville Falls that got to over 200 miles when including the ride home.  My biggest hope was for a route I plotted, then rode with my wife, from Damascus to north of Fincastle VA.   That general heading still has my interest but there were some significant sections that were on the NatGeo Maps but not on the - bear trail.  And some super slow sections that weren't HAB.

Good luck!

8  Forums / Routes / Re: Question for the mapping wizards on: December 10, 2009, 08:24:07 AM
So, I stopped speculating on the problem and started looking it up.  Once I starting reading a bit the "Chinese postman problem" started to ring a bell, and sure enough:

It is solvable in polynomial (reasonable) time in the most simple case -- that where the graph is undirected with the same weight for each trail, regardless of direction.

I just learned a lot in those links.  I should have know, but didn't, that this is a mathematical problem as much as a "mapping" problem.  Coincidentally, I have two math professor friends.   One advises some masters students and has even asked if I had some mathematical problems (through my work) which they may be able to help on for projects.  I'll ask if this sort of thing is with in their realm.  Hum?
9  Forums / Routes / Re: Question for the mapping wizards on: December 10, 2009, 08:15:21 AM
FD:  I might be able get you a little data, but you might already have it.  Here is what I definitely have in vector format:

I might have some data on the Wilson Creek Area (not sure which district that is), but I'd have to check at home.

Interesting map jhl.  Is that something you made? 

Wilsons is in the Grandfather District.  I don't have much in the way of digital maps on it.
10  Forums / Routes / Re: Question for the mapping wizards on: December 07, 2009, 08:15:23 AM
FD:  can you identify where this 200 mile network of trails is?

Absolutely, and I see it'll be helpful to be more specific about what I'm trying to do.  I specifically have the Pisgah National Forest here in Western North Carolina in mind.  I only think that's one example of where this could be done, therefore a tool that could automatically repeat the process would be nice.

Here is specifically what got me thinking about this question.  Our local hiking club has a few standing challenges that I think are cool for many reasons.  Two of the challenges are to hike every trail in the Pisgah National Forest - Pisgah District and one for the Smoky Mountains National Park. 

During a tiny storm in my brain I decided it'd be cool to have just such a challenge presented by our local mountain biking club to ride every bike legal trail in the Pisgah National Forest.  The Pisgah that most people hear about is just one of three Districts in the Pisgah National Forest.  It's called the Pisgah District.  That's where most, but not all, the Pisgah trails are.  Some are in the Grandfather and the French Broad Districts as well.  Some of us locals have ridden the Pisgah Districts' 300 or so miles of bike trail enough that we could lay out decent routes to cover it all, but that doesn't go for the other two Districts.  Of which I'm very roughly estimating there's approximately 20 trails and 200 miles.  I originally thought about a Pisgah District Challenge, but why not make it interesting to even the hardiest of riders and include all the Districts in the Forest.

The hiking clubs challenge designates no time limit nor specific route.  As a result, most people section hike them over years, which is cool, but a very few go for it as fast as they can in one push, also cool.  For some reason I think if such a challenge was presented to the mtb community some of the first people to try it would try it as one push.  And if that first person was me, starting with an idea of the shortest route to connect them all would be a great asset to start planning from. 

BTW, jhl99, your help in laying out a track for my trip up through VA last summer was a good help.  I think a linear route, utilizing only some of the available trails in an area, like that route, is only vaguely related to what I'm thinking about here.
11  Forums / Question and Answer / Re: Trail side Coffee Alternatives on: December 03, 2009, 06:26:16 AM
Here's the fine print first:  I really like coffee and drink a little every morning I can...but my first line of bikepacking coffee defence is not allowing myself to be so addicted to it that I can't be comfortable with out it. 

Enough of that macho talk, after all good coffee can nearly always be available.  Case in point...

I second the good review on Via.  As much as I'm not a big fan of mega chain stores, I've got to admit it's pretty darn good.  And easy.  Tried Java Juice, not nearly as good.  If I'm going to take the time to heat water Via's my new way to go hands down. 

But for me, some times a cup of coffee in the morning woods is as much about just drinking something hot than it is about the coffee taste and caffeine.  So on some trips when I can handle not having something hot in the morning I've convinced myself that taking a really dark chocolate bar with coffee beans in it is a good substitute.  I usually carry some of that anyways; lots of calories per ounce and a nice treat. 

Oh, and sometimes I'll really treat myself and throw one of those 8 ounce cans of 5bucks coffee and cream, I think that's what it's called, in the pack for the next morning.  Wow, I see a theme here, I never buy 5bucks products except for when I'm bikepacking or occasionally on a road trip.

12  Forums / Routes / Re: Question for the mapping wizards on: December 02, 2009, 06:55:40 AM
Whoa guys, this is exciting and I don't have a clue what you're talking about, but it sounds like a plan is coming together, or not, but it's fun to try. Smiley   Thanks for entertaining my inquiry so far!

Yep.  I am thinking of offering it as a challenge in our local trail system here.

ScottM that's basically the same thing I was thinkering on when I posed this question.  Given my lack of original ideas I figured some others must have been thinking about similiar things Wink

Mike B,  icon_silent   icon_biggrin

Is there an online map of this area? I'm thinking a couple of hours with pen and paper would yield pretty good results Smiley

True, true, but where's the fun in that? Smiley  Actually, I've poured over maps the old fashioned way a lot and for a big pile of trails it takes a surprising amount of time.  Some of that work has resulted in a couple adventurous though less than ideal bikepacking trips through NC and VA exploring for a long east coast route.  Maybe such a tool could have helped that.  Though, that's not exactly what I'm looking for right now.  Primarily, I'm looking for the shortest way to cover every trail in an area and if we can sort by some quality standards then GREAT!

But of course I might be able to do the old fashioned way in this particular case because I am thinking of a particular trail system, but if someone wanted to do this same exercise for other areas, I think an automated tool would be nice to have.  Plus, my 20 trail-200 mile goal could expand a lot if I had a good tool that could assist.  This particular area doesn't have one online map that covers all the trails, but between a combination of stuff I have such as Nat. Geo. software maps, Forest Service shapefiles, a very few gps tracks, and hard copy maps that I could probably digitize into shapefiles, I think I can get everything into one format.

I don't think either of those programs will do what the OP is looking for.  Unless I am missing something and either of those can compute this problem?

ScottM, thanks for an analysis of those tools because I started reading about them and couldn't figure out how to do what I wanted with them, but honestly that was primarily because they look way above my CS rank!  If I'm wrong about their abilities, someone please let me know.

drwelby, thanks for the link and idea.  ArcMap frequently amazes me by what it has "hiding" in the background.  I'm fairly proficient with it for what I do regularly but Network and Spatial Analysis are not one of those things.  At the moment, I glance at that tutorial and am a bit overwhelmed with the idea of trying to learn it.  I went through this before with 3D Analysis just to find that my computer would crash every time I tried to run it at the scale I needed it to be useful.  I kind of don't want to do that again.  So, at the risk of sounding lazy, do you know of a link in that tutorial or elsewhere that shows an example of the final results of this sort of problem solved with these extensions?

If I can help in a practical way to develop something like this, as opposed to asking a lot of questions, let me know.  Thanks guys and looking forward to more brainstorming. 
13  Forums / Routes / Re: Question for the mapping wizards on: November 30, 2009, 11:09:02 AM
You would need the Spatial Analyst or Network Analyst extensions, neither of which are included in ArcMap.

Got 'em.  These extensions will allow me to do this if I can get all the trails of interest in a .shp file?  If so, do you know where I can find a tutorial or atleast an example?
14  Forums / Routes / Re: Question for the mapping wizards on: November 30, 2009, 08:20:30 AM
Gee, shaun- what could possibly have made you think to ask this question?  Smiley

Just thinking  Smiley
15  Forums / Routes / Re: Question for the mapping wizards on: November 30, 2009, 08:19:43 AM
All of the geekyness aside someone still has to have already mapped out the whole system to have all of the data in the first place.

That's definitly a hurdle to overcome first but someplaces are fully mapped...not necessarily by someone on a bike with a gps, but mapped none the less.

Getting everything in compatable formats may be another story as others have mentioned.
16  Forums / Routes / Re: Question for the mapping wizards on: November 30, 2009, 08:15:47 AM

ArcInfo will do that easily, but very few people have that software at home.

Dave54, do you think ArcMap 9.2 has the same capability?  I'm a frequent user and owner of it but have no clue how to make it do this. 

17  Forums / Routes / Re: Question for the mapping wizards on: November 24, 2009, 07:30:06 AM
Scott, thanks for the geeky answer to my geeky question  icon_biggrin  I kind of thought that might be the case on the potential for a tool like that.  It amazes me what computers today can do but I guess it still amazes me what they can't do.  If you come up with something, I'll be happy to test it for you on a project I've been thinking about.
18  Forums / Routes / Question for the mapping wizards on: November 23, 2009, 10:45:36 AM
Okay, this question comes as a result of my latest pie in the sky mind wanderings so forgive me if it's plum crazy.  But if this exists, it'd be awesome.

Does anyone know of a way to automate the process of selecting the "best", or at least shortest, route when the goal is to cover all bike legal trails in a given area? 

For instance, given a National Forest with 20 bike legal trails that total 200 miles which intersect in many places, is there software or something that will plot a route that is the shortest way to hit it all? 

And best yet would that tool have a way to set up some quality standards like "trail X needs to be riden east to west because of a nice climb/downhill/etc" or even being able to put in some sort of "prediction of least effort expended" equation that would automatically take into account slope, climb length, etc?

BTW, of course we all lay out such routes all the time on our well known trails based on experience with the area.  But in this case I'm looking for a way to lay out a route in a short time frame for an area that is either to big to wrap your head around or an area unknown by you and with little local info. 

Any insight on such a tool?
19  Forums / Winter bikepacking / Re: Small Efficient Stoves on: November 14, 2009, 04:37:41 AM
I am talking cold... to 30,40 below.

Yikes!  At those temps, all my alcohol stove recommendations are worthless.  Stick to the white gas for those temp reasons and because you'll be there all night trying to melt enough snow with alcohol even if you did get it to work.

On another note, a side by side test of Heet versus this methanol I've got really puts Heet to shame.
20  Forums / Winter bikepacking / Re: Small Efficient Stoves on: November 13, 2009, 09:13:45 AM
I'm a big fan of simple alcohol stoves these days and think nearly everyone who's carrying a campstove should check them out.  I packed away my Whisperlite International about 5 years ago and have never missed it. 

That being said, what Pivvay said is important for alcohol stoves because of vapor pressure issues.  With a simple acohol stove you basically are relying on chemistry and environment to vaporize the alcohol so it'll burn well as compaired to the pump pressurized fuel of the WL and other pressurized gas stoves which eliminate (mostly) the temp and altitude factors.

By environment I mean just what Pivvay said, altitude and temp.  The higher your altitude are and the colder the air the slower the alcohol vaporizes and the slower it burns.  As some point it's probably not practicle, but I don't know where that is.

Sounds complicated to me, but here's the most beautiful thing about simple alcohol stoves...they are CHEAP, as in pennies, small and light.  So it's easiest to just try one out in the environment you're interested in.  If it works, great, if not no big loss. 

After experimenting with variations of the Pepsi Can stove, I got lazy and now use an open dish tealight stove.  Works good for me.  My most extreme experiences with it are only into the mid 20's F  and up to 5000 or so feet.  Works fine there, but boils slower than it does in the summer and uses a little less than twice the fuel (from the usual 1/2 ounce up to about 1 ounce) to boil my 450ml mug of water with lab grade methanol.  That methanol is the real good stuff and it makes a differance. 

I haven't dove into the science of it, but I feel that by keeping a little bottle of alcohol inside my clothes when it's cold as sort of a prewarmer helps a bit.  Also, I experimented with using a heat convector to transfer the heat of the flame down into the fuel in the stove.  All that was was taking a 3/4 inch long roofing nail, put a dab of JB weld on the head and stood it up in the bottom center of the stove with the point above the fuel line.  It certainly gets the fuel hot fast and burns the fuel faster but I'm not sure it saves any fuel, it may save time by a tiny bit though.   

You can cut the bottom 1/2-1 inch off the bottom of any small aluminum can (Starbucks Shot, Red Bull, 5.5 ounce V8, etc) and try that if you want more fuel capacity for larger pots and more extreme environments.  When I do another sub freezing trip, I'll do that so I don't have to refill my stoves fuel just as it starts to steam. 

Here's the site where I got the idea.  He has a lot of variations.
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