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Messages - johnsondasw

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Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route
« on: October 18, 2016, 12:11:43 am »
We had a fantastic time, Olympia WA to Santa Monica CA, June 21 to July 10.  We are used to traffic and had few issues.

July is a great time, albeit there is lots of tourist traffic then.  Some roads have little shoulder, esp in Calif.  I recommend using a mirror and knowing how to use it.  The route is a good one, and you'll meet up with other cyclists.  The camping is very good, and very cheap in Oregon and Calif.  In Washington, there are no cheap biker sites like there are in the other 2 states.  The camping is so good in Ore and Cal, that you might decide that you don't mind it at all.  I would not hesitate in doing it alone.  Again, the main hazard is the roads with poor shoulders.  You must be experienced in highway traffic and in dealing with wide trailers and RV's coming form behind.  Also be aware that the route is very hilly, constantly up and down almost the whole way.  It'snot like in the mountains, where you climb a pass for hours and then you're done for awhile.  Instead, you often climb for 15 minutes, go down for 5 and then climb another one. 

The route has exceptional scenery.  I say go for it and have a great trip!

Urban Cycling / Re: commuting by bike
« on: October 09, 2016, 08:34:40 pm »
I bike from Seattle to Mercer Island every day. It's about a 15-mile round trip and when the sun is shining, crossing the I-90 bridge on the bike lane is glorious. On the way home it's always fun to pass all the cars that are moving at a snail's pace.

Love that ride! You are lucky (or smart, if you set that situation intentionally) to be able to do that!

Classifieds / Re: FS 2014 Burley Nomad
« on: October 09, 2016, 08:27:58 pm »
I have a Nomad too.  I bought it in 2005 for a long distance tour and thought I would never use it again considered selling it.  Several years later, I started using it for grocery shopping, and was impressed how it carries a heavy load of grocery bags.  I'm so glad I kept it.  I also now use it for short tours behind my CF bike.  You need to buy the alternate hitch to do this, but it's simple to use.  Just be sure you really won't want it ever before selling it.  I'm 68 and still finding it to be very handy.

Gear Talk / Re: Getting bike and gear to start of tour
« on: September 27, 2016, 11:38:25 am »
Yes,  on the Calif to WA route, we had to wait on a side track for a couple of hours for a southbound train to pass. They have allowed to rail infrastructure to deteriorate to the point that there was only one track that way.  Too bad--rail travel would be a good way to combat climate change. 

Gear Talk / Re: Getting bike and gear to start of tour
« on: September 27, 2016, 12:19:43 am »
Just a warning about Amtrak...I've used it twice, once across the country and once up the west coast from LA to Seattle.  Both experiences were disasters. Filthy conditions, WAY late on arrival, unfriendly and uninformed staff.  Etc.  I'll never use them again.  It sounds like others have had much better experiences, so maybe I just hit the wrong train two out of two times. 

Actually, the animal you need to be most concerned about is the distracted/drunk/stoned/etc driver. Your chance of encountering a cougar is infinitesimal compared to the dangers of the road.  I have biked and hiked thousands of miles in the west, mostly in WA, where I live in the heart of cougar country (and hike almost daily in the woods here) and have seen one very juvenile cougar (we think) at dusk, scrambling up a tree lightning fast to avoid us! Don't worry about it. 

General Discussion / Re: bike racks for car (trunk style)
« on: August 24, 2016, 11:31:04 am »
I've used rubber padding (old tubes, etc), rags,  and bungee cords to get bikes on racks when, for various reasons, the fit is not working.

Routes / Re: Why does the PC route bypass Olympic Peninsula?
« on: August 22, 2016, 01:59:31 pm »
I also don't remember any problems with the Sea Ranch area in CA.  And I rode it in mid summer--late June/early July time frame.  Also, no issues with Lake Crescent (July 12, 2004), but I would not want to do it right after chip sealing, with berms of loose gravel on the sides of the road! Most tours of any significant distance have dicey sections where you have to very alert.  It's part of touring. One of the most hairy sections I've ever been on was approaching Kalispell, MT, from the west on HWY 2 on a hot summer afternoon. You don't think of Montana as that sort of state.  Watch your mirror and stay alert, and, ergo, alive. 

Food Talk / Re: to cook or not to cook?
« on: August 20, 2016, 02:24:25 pm »
Like others, I like to tour both ways.  With the new Jetboil system and freeze-dried meals, cooking takes way less time than going to a restaurant.  I use it for backpacking, and the water boils in 2 minutes, then you have to wait a little for the mixture to "cure"--10 or 15 minutes, which can be used for other camping chores. Also, there are no pans to carry. And with oatmeal/PB/fruit, breakfast is done in a jiffy, too. Again , no pan, as the oats are poured into the boiled water in the cup provided as part of the unit.  It all packs up neatly and weighs little.  (No, I have no financial interest in the technology.  I'm just amazed at the difference 45 years has made--we used to have frying pans, cans of gas, pan scrubbers, etc, etc....)  Because of this simplicity, I will now cook more than in the past, when it was a real chore.

Routes / Re: Why does the PC route bypass Olympic Peninsula?
« on: August 17, 2016, 12:21:36 pm »
i disagree with  those posters who think the peninsula is not great unless you do the side trips.

Well, I guess we agree to disagree.  ;)

I will have to say that 101 was for the most part manageable on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula (from about Port Angeles down to Aberdeen), when it came to traffic levels or grades--no real steep or high areas for the most part. But for me, I could do that style of riding (quietish riding through rolling hills with a mix of forest and clearcut) in plenty of places down here in Oregon. If I go up that way, I want to see the highlights of the peninsula--and Olympic National Park--which means for me doing side trips.

We had four days. It would be ideal to have 8 days and do it all.  Of course, you'd need an 8 day window of decent weather, which is achievable in mid summer, some years.  I did and 8 day mountaineering trip in the heart of the Olympic Mtns (Bailey Range Traverse) in early August 1993 and we had rain on only the 7th day.

Food Talk / Re: Best Foods for Training
« on: August 14, 2016, 01:01:00 am »
  I'm sure some of it is just general good nutrition, but I need to start somewhere.

That's it.  You don't need anything else, IMO.  I've been mountaineering and cycling for 50 years have tried a few things.  A lot of it is just a market looking for customers.  You really don't need all that fancy expensive stuff.  If you're a professional athlete, well, maybe, but for most of us out climbing or biking all day, not so much.  I eat energy bars when I'm looking for convenience.  Eat a well balanced diet, stay hydrated, and, for me, get sufficient salt.  That's my only supplement.  If I don't do that, I seriously hit the wall in the heat of summer.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Overnight Parking for Iron Horse Trail
« on: August 14, 2016, 12:52:09 am »
Several times in small towns I have used street parking and asked people in local houses if they'd keep an eye on the car. 
Every time, I have received enthusiastic help.  Duvall is a cool town, and I bet the response would be good. 

Routes / Re: Why does the PC route bypass Olympic Peninsula?
« on: August 14, 2016, 12:48:19 am »
I live in WA and have ridden just many many loop rides in the state over the past 36 years.  These have included several in SW WA.  In 2004 i did the Olympic Peninsula loop in 4 days.  The next year I did the Pacific coast road from Montesano WA to Santa Monica.  i disagree with  those posters who think the peninsula is not great unless you do the side trips.  We did the main highway the whole way except the southern part of the peninsula around Satsop, where we short cut from Montesano up to Hood Canal.  I thought 101 was a fantastic ride--scenic with great roads, lots of convenience stops, good grades, polite traffic, etc.  It rates up there with anything we did on the whole west coast.  Also, the infamous Crescent Lk section was no problem with a mirror, experience, and some patience.  I would definitely include this section in any ride nearby if the weather forecast is good.  If not,!  We had stellar weather July 12-15, including favorable winds 3 out of the 4 days.

Gear Talk / Re: Handlebar Rearview Mirror
« on: July 26, 2016, 11:40:59 pm »
I've tried many handlebar mirrors and only Third Eye seems to have optics that I like. No vibration if you install it correctly.
I have it on 3 of 4 of my bikes and feel naked riding the one without it.

Same here, mine being a bar end type.  Sorry you can't use one of these.  I can't ride w/o a mirror, and bar end is the only type that has ever really worked for me.

I know this is a big controversy here, but I don't see how anyone could ride without a mirror.  I just don't trust the thousands of motorists that pass one in just one day.  They could be texting, drunk, eating, etc.  Also, the mirror allows one to take the lane when necessary, and it is often necessary.

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