Scouting Report 1
On July 4th through 6th I rode the first 320 miles of the 620-mile route depicted by the following Cue Sheet. I was scouting the route to see if the cue sheet was still accurate in 2017 since it hadn’t been used for some 5 years. And also to see if the roads were still reasonably safe to ride on. CLICK HERE to see the route I rode at RWGPS.
Let me say at the outset that I was able to ride my bike over every inch of the first 320 miles depicted in the Cue Sheet. There were two road closings that involved small bridges, but both were easy to walk a bike across. And both will certainly be fully repaired in the near future. They certainly will not be an issue in 2018.
At miles 66.4, 67.0 and 67.1 I disregarded the detour routing and instead continued straight on Cherry Valley Road/ Rt 2006. At mile 69.6 I was unsure what was the significance of “Single Lane Traffic.” Then when I got there on the bike I realized the road is only wide enough for a vehicle and a bike. A stop light exists there to manage the passage of vehicles and bikes. Do we really need a cue sheet entry for this?
At mile 82.3 I think the entry needs to be updated. The descent still has some potholes, but for the most part they have been filled in. This does not mean that the road had been repaved and is wonderful to ride on. But I don’t think “extreme caution” is really necessary.
When creating my GPX files for each of the route segments between controle points, I did not see a need to take note of the entries at miles 93.7 and 95.0. And when riding the road it seemed obvious to me to just stay on the main road absent any special instruction. These two line items could probably be removed from the cue sheet.
At mile 142 the road was a bit rough. There were many cracks and patches. Not fun to ride on at all. I’m thinking this was Towpath Rd. Only lasted for about 2 or maybe three miles. Then the road had either recently received or was just getting fresh pavement. Really nice. So the bulk of this road is now freshly (or will be) repaved. Was this the section of road that Tom had said big trucks doing fracking had destroyed the road surface? I bet it was.
At mile 188 the cue sheet description says “Caution: Several steep twisty descents ahead.” I don’t think the caution goes far enough. The road was rough. There were numerous potholes to contend with. The road was no fun to ride on.
At mile 190.6 I found myself on Route 106 at 5:15 PM (rush traffic). The road was very busy, and the cars didn’t always give me the proper room . And the speed was quick, too.
At mile 257.1 (Controle 8) the US Post Office is closed up. The postal district has been subsumed by neighboring Barton. So if a controle is necessary here, then a new one must be found. I didn’t really see a need for a control at this location.
A couple of things about Controle 9. First, this factory town is Towanda, PA (not NY). And secondly, I think the 24/7 convenience store called Dandy Mini Mart on the right at the intersection of US-6 and CR-1041 (mile 284.4) is a better choice for a controle stop instead of the Duncan Donuts. The donut shop is still in existence and it was open when I passed it around 6 PM.
With regard to the overall ride, I was not too happy with the hills between miles 120 and 200. I especially had a problem with having to climb as much as I did before dropping down into Controle 6 (Carbondale) and then having to climb my way out of that town. And it seemed while I was riding those roads that speed limit signs were posted merely for decorative purposes. So many drivers were speeding everywhere. I was actually telling myself while riding these hills (in the heat of the day) that too much effort was required here for a long ride. And all that effort just to get to a Dunkin Donuts?
If I did not make a specific reference herein above about a controle stop or road or whatever, then it should be assumed I was happy with the cue sheet depiction or the roads were good for riding.