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Messages - adventurepdx

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1
General Discussion / Re: Application for keeping a journal
« on: February 20, 2017, 05:00:37 pm »
I'm more of a digital guy, but I like the postcards idea if you want to save battery... Helps keep the entry short circuit you not to ramble, limits the time spent doing it, you don't have to carry it with you— just mail it home, plus getting postcards along the way gives you excuses to stop when you otherwise might not have.

True. I try to send a postcard to myself one to two times a week when I'm on tour. It's a nice way to encapsulate your thoughts of the moment, and also a nice little memento of the trip.

2
General Discussion / Re: Application for keeping a journal
« on: February 20, 2017, 04:59:07 pm »
Nope. Post cards and a 3"x2" spiral notebook.

Well, the author is looking for something their friends can access along the way. Postcards are nice (and I still do them!) but it's maybe not the best way to let a bunch of people know what you are up to.

To the OP, do you plan on using this journal just for a tour? Or for other things? If the former, go with Crazy Guy. But if the latter, I'd look at a platform like WordPress, which is what I currently use. Blogger is there too, and is a Google product, so should integrate seamlessly if you use things like Google Plus.

3
General Discussion / Re: Recommendations for a tour beginning in Chicago
« on: February 20, 2017, 02:24:13 pm »
Are you thinking the segment method just isn't worth it? 
I'd like to use the ACA maps for my first bike tour.  Maybe I could find a loop that keeps me close to home but uses ACA routes.

Section hiking is a bigger deal with long-distance hiking because there's basically three long distance trails, and completing any of them in one season can be difficult due to the length of time it takes, and the weather.

"Section biking" has never really become a thing, probably because as cyclotourists we are not limited to a handful of very defined route options. Also, "I biked the Northern Tier" doesn't have the same ring or importance as "I've completed the AT" or even "I biked from coast to coast." Granted, biking the complete NT does mean you've biked coast-to-coast, but more people care about the coast-to-coast part, not what particular line on a map you followed.

I'd encourage you to use your nine days at a time to do a couple local tours first. You might not even know if you like to tour or not. And trying to break down a long-distance tour in seven (or less) day chunks with the headaches of figuring out how to get to and from each segment may suck all the joy out of the actual tour.

As for local and ACA routing, besides Route 66 and North Lakes Loop, the Northern Tier comes pretty close to Chicago. You may be able to take a train out to a nearby point, then ride westbound. The NT through Iowa and southeast MN hugs the Misssissippi Valley, which is quite scenic. And you could make it to a place like La Crosse or St Paul where you could hop on Amtrak back to Union Station in Chicago.

4
General Discussion / Re: Recommendations for a tour beginning in Chicago
« on: February 18, 2017, 12:40:53 pm »
Is your heart really set on completing one route in chunks? If so, ending wherever can be pretty remote, and the logistics of getting back home could be tough, even if you're thinking of renting a car. And there's the expanse of the Plains. You'll have a few chunks that will be strictly the Plains. It might be a bit daunting to know that you have to return to complete another section of this area before you hit the mountains. Of course, you may love the Plains and then it wouldn't be a big deal.

Have you thought of the Pacific Coast? It isn't starting from Chicago, but it is scenic for most of it, and it's not logistically impossible to complete it in chunks, as there are transportation options.

5
Routes / Re: Camping near border crossing on PCR
« on: February 10, 2017, 01:03:57 pm »
Thanks to both of you for the input.  I found out later this afternoon that there is an issue with the train tracks, so I may not get north of Seattle on the Amtrak.  If they won't load my bike on the bus I may have to bail in Seattle, ride to Bellingham and connect to my route there.

The tracks north of Portland are notorious in winter. There are two spots where the Cascades line hugs the Sound with steep slopes on the other side, one between Olympia and Tacoma, the other between Seattle and Everett. It's a fairly regular occurrence for the tracks to get covered in a landslide, and with how wet it was this week...There is a reroute they are working around the Tacoma area, but the Seattle-Everett section will still be prone to slides.

Have you checked BoltBus? It goes all the way to Vancouver, and they take bikes.

6
General Discussion / Re: Bike security - Southern Tour camping trip
« on: February 09, 2017, 01:48:19 pm »
For me it's partly about peace of mind..  If we don't lock the bike I lie awake in the tent imagining someone walking off with it.  We will check out lighter alternatives to our big D lock and thick cable, but it sounds like we are a little more risk averse than some.

I think this is the heart of the matter. While theft on tours (at least States-side) doesn't happen often, you still have to be okay with the idea of a lesser locking system if you go that route. If it makes you more comfortable bringing a U-Lock (which is what we call D-Locks this side of the pond) with you, then do it and don't sweat the extra weight.

Me? I bring a U-Lock, the same thing I use in the city. I don't worry about theft on tour as much as I do in the city, and I try to feel out the situation first. But it is there if I need it, esp. if I go into a bigger city or college town.

And theft does happen. A tourist I met had their bike stolen from their campsite overnight while they were asleep. That's not a great way to end a tour.

7
Routes / Re: Camping near border crossing on PCR
« on: February 09, 2017, 01:24:41 pm »
Birch Bay State Park would be your best option. It's just a little under 10 miles south of Peace Arch:
http://parks.state.wa.us/170/Birch-Bay

8
Routes / Re: Utah Road Cycling Restrictions ?
« on: February 08, 2017, 10:10:37 pm »
I googled "Utah bicycle restrictions on highways" and got this post from a Utah bike lawyer from a few years ago:
http://www.utahbicyclelawyers.com/riding-restrictions-and-safety
I'm assuming that the info is still valid.

In a nutshell, state highways are rideable, except freeways in urban areas. Most of the restrictions are Salt Lake metro and the other cities along I-15 in the northern part of the state, along with restrictions on I-15 around St. George and Cedar City. It doesn't say anything about I-70, but that freeway doesn't touch anything that can be considered "metro", so you should be good to go.

As a general rule of thumb, interstate highways in the West allow cyclists on the shoulder, unless it's through a metro area or there's a significant stretch of shoulderless highway.

9
Routes / Re: Pros and Cons of Northern Tier vs. Lewis and Clark in Pac NW
« on: January 29, 2017, 05:49:13 pm »
In Washington State, the big pro of taking the Lewis and Clark is it's a low elevation route until you get into Idaho and start climbing. If you are heading east, you'll have the added benefit of a strong tailwind in the summer. (Going west in the Columbia River Gorge in the summer can be a chore.) The Gorge is the scenic highlight here. Going east the landscape dries out and flattens a bit, but there are moments.




The big pro of taking the Northern Tier is the mountains and the associated scenery. But it is a lot more work, esp. coming from sea level to Rainy and Washington Pass in the Cascades.



You could take the L&C to Missoula MT, then use the Great Parks North route to get on the Northern Tier at Glacier National Park. As John Nelson mentioned previously, it's the scenic highlight of the area!

10
Routes / Re: Pros and Cons of Northern Tier vs. Lewis and Clark in Pac NW
« on: January 29, 2017, 05:41:11 pm »
The L&C misses Glacier National Park, the jewel of the Northwest.

...though the OP could get off the Lewis and Clark in Missoula, MT and take Great Parks North to Glacier, where they would link up with the Northern Tier.

11
Pacific Northwest / Re: Crossing the Columbia River
« on: January 26, 2017, 09:07:46 pm »
Thanks adventurepdx, that's the kind of info I'm looking for. Didn't know there was a shoulder. Do you by chance know if the should is cleaned much or does the wind do that? I figured the wind could be a problem, do you know the better times of year for less winds? Right now I'm thinking May or June.

The shoulder seemed OK when I rode it, but it's been a few years. I'd give a call to the local bike shop (Bikes and Beyond, if I'm correct) before you go. They should hopefully be able to give you a better status report.

12
Routes / Re: Looking for a multi-day wine/beer/bike trip in Pacific NW
« on: January 26, 2017, 08:25:00 pm »
Like Jennifer says, a loop incorporating the northern Oregon Coast and up the Willamette Valley will take care of scenery, wine, and beer. Start in Portland metro (either city itself, or maybe on the west edge of the metro in Forest Grove so you avoid the riding through westside suburbia), head to the coast around Tillamook, south to at least Newport (Rogue Brewing), then inland there (or further south) and north through the Willamette Valley. Going counterclockwise will mean catching the prevailing wind out of the NW on the coast.

And definitely pick up Cycling Sojourner for good bike tours in the NW! There's one for Oregon and one for Washington.

13
Pacific Northwest / Re: Portland Local Riding
« on: January 26, 2017, 08:11:25 pm »
Thanks for those links, adventurepdx! The links are very helpful; I've never heard of these groups before. I've checked Meetup frequently, but I agree with Biggus Duckus--there isn't much activity there. Yes, I'm relatively new to Portland. I moved here 1.5 years ago from Salt Lake City. I'm planning to bicycle the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route this July and also need to get in shape. It would be great to meet and ride with other fellow bicycling adventurers. I'm working on my terminal project for grad school this spring, so my schedule will be little packed until June, but I'm willing to organize some rides. Meetup.com seems like it would be an ideal venue to organize rides, but I'm open to other suggestions.

Great Divide sounds fun!  :D

I'd be willing to meet up with other like minded bike campers/tourers. I hope to get something together for National Bike Travel Weekend in June.

And I'm actually going bike camping tomorrow!  8)

14
Pacific Northwest / Re: Crossing the Columbia River
« on: January 26, 2017, 08:10:01 pm »
I've crossed the Columbia River via the Astoria-Megler (US 101) Bridge several times. Yeah, it's long (4 miles!) and it's high at the south end, and the shoulder is less than 3 feet wide. But I never had any issues, and would do it again, so long as there's not a fierce crosswind. Traffic tends to be moderate.

There is the option of a bus that crosses the bridge four times a day weekdays, and has a bike rack. I've used it a couple times:
http://pacifictransit.org/routes/rt24.html

You can go inland and use the Westport ferry (the ACA routing). The ferry is definitely cool, the last one operating on the lower Columbia. And there is camping in Skamokawa. http://vista-park.org/ However, this adds about 80 miles to the trip, another day or so. And it's not like US 30 from Westport to Astoria is really any better than 101 trafficwise.

And if you are going that way, Cape Disappointment is a great campground and beach with a hiker/biker site.

Hope this helps!

15
General Discussion / Re: Trangia Stove / Meths
« on: January 24, 2017, 11:30:43 pm »
BUT...  do you know you can get a gas burner for the Trangia?...In fact there are advantages over meths:  controllable, no sooty pots...

Y'know, I haven't had an issue with "sooty pots" with my Trangia. At least when I use HEET in the yellow bottle, which is the easiest methyl alcohol to get in (most parts of) the States in smaller amounts. However, I have used one type of denatured alcohol which was a bit sooty.

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