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Messages - Patco

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If you are considering the Transamerica route, it intersects the Atlantic route north or Richmond, Virginia, which has a side route into NYC. See if that will work for you.

Gear Talk / Re: Handlebar Rearview Mirror
« on: July 26, 2016, 11:26:36 am »
Well yes, butterfly, of course. That would be a 'duh' on my part.

Gear Talk / Re: Handlebar Rearview Mirror
« on: July 25, 2016, 11:17:55 pm »
I have been using Cateye bar end mirrors on my drops for at least the last 25 years. The mirrors are not convex and I have never broken one but I have replaced one just because. Vibrations? Yes, but not so that I cannot ascertain what is behind me and it depends on whether I am in the drops or on the hoods and the road surface on which I am traveling.

Routes / Re: Wintertime Pacific coast OR Sierra C?
« on: July 03, 2016, 12:52:01 pm »
Take the Pacific Coast route. It may be wet, but roads will be open; services will be available; and temperature will not be extreme. The Sierra Cascades, in the winter, is not recommended. Closed roads because of snow; very cold temperatures; and closed campgrounds and services.

Gear Talk / Re: Continental Touring Plus
« on: June 24, 2016, 04:32:29 pm »
Like you, I do not enjoy riding on Schwalbe tires. I ride on Continental Gator Hardshells, 700x25 or 28's, and I have never had a problem. Flats will happen, regardless of the tire, but I have found that the Continental Gator Hardshell minimizes those inevitable flats (or, I have just been lucky since switching to Continentals about 10 years ago).

When I have traveled somewhere to begin a ride I have used UPS. I acquire a bike box, dismantle (somewhat) the bike (wheels, pedals, seat, turn the handlebars); pack into the box and surround with peanuts, then ship to a hotel where I will spend a day putting the bike together. I usually use a bike box for the bike and some gear and a second box for my wheels. I generally ship at least a week before I start the ride since I want to ensure the bike is at the hotel before I arrive. I don't like using the peanuts but they are light, fill the box to minimize movement and limit the possibility of damage during shipment. I also use hard foam to protect my derailleur. I hate shlepping stuff through an airport or finding transportation that will have room for my bike and gear if I do not intend to leave directly from an airport, and I rarely leave directly from an airport.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route North to South
« on: May 21, 2016, 11:42:58 pm »
September is a better month for weather, particularly in Northern California. Riding the coast in Northern California during the summer you will have a better than even chance to encounter fog and cold. Plan accordingly.

Routes / Re: El Nino impact on Sierra Cascade route this spring?
« on: March 26, 2016, 06:16:53 pm »
There are a number of pros and cons for riding on an interstate but I must ask, Jamawani, what the heck do you do to make it immoral? Should we be averting our eyes?

As for traffic on U.S. 97 in Central Oregon - as was pointed out, there are good shoulders. Insane traffic? Well, that has to be in the eye of the beholder. Traffic on 97 from K. Falls to Bend is anywhere from 4,000 per day to 20,000 per day as you approach Bend. The part of 97 that is on the ACA route has less than 10,000 vehicles per day. If you ride in any sort of traffic, you will likely not find this volume a bother. And again, good shoulders.

I agree that you may find the rim road and the north entrance to Crater Lake closed in early June, but if it is, you may wish to consider another road beside  Oregon 230 on the west side of the lake. For the most part, that is a narrow, no shoulder road, and while traffic is manageable, for me, when riding it, it can be stressful.

I second Jamwani's suggested route of Bieber, Lookout Road, and 139/39 to K. Falls as an alternative around Shasta. Good road. Not much traffic.

I hope you enjoy your visit.

Gear Talk / Re: Mirrors
« on: March 05, 2016, 10:48:27 am »
To remedy the reading glass issue, I now wear progressives so I have zero problem with seeing the road, the bike computer, or the bar end mirror that I use. You might wish to consider progressives.

Gear Talk / Re: How to pack my sleeping bag
« on: February 04, 2016, 12:03:08 pm »
I use a waterproof compression bag for my sleeping bag (same that I use when backpacking), and I attach it to the rear shelf. With the compression bag it packs very small, and with the compression bag being waterproof, I have been rained, snowed, and hailed on and my sleeping bag has stayed dry.

Just as an aside, I also use compression bags for my tent and fly. 

Routes / Re: Transamerica: West to East, are the passes open in May?
« on: January 22, 2016, 03:42:39 pm »
To reply to staehpj1 - from the Oregon Department of Transportation website regarding McKenzie Pass.

Routes / Re: Transamerica: West to East, are the passes open in May?
« on: January 22, 2016, 11:42:59 am »
McKenzie Pass is currently expected to be open to traffic the third Monday in June. As noted earlier, it it generally open to bikes a week or so before that date.

I see no problem with traveling west to east at that time of year if you are flexible with the route, for example, taking Santiam Pass instead of McKenzie (Santiam is always open) and alternating your route through the Rockies if the Trans Am passes are not yet bike friendly. Also, be open to riding in weather that may not be ideal, but it also will not be a deal killer if you have the appropriate clothing. I started one of my longer rides in early May riding west to east and had a range of weather, from rain, hail, light snow (no accumulation) to sunny and comfortable. You just need to perhaps carry more clothing than you find optimal.

I have always relished my solo tours. The solitude; traveling at my own pace, in whatever weather I wish to travel; the opportunities and joy of solo travel are many. And I always check in with my spouse every night when able, so you are never, really, alone.

Gear Talk / Re: Looking for a combination road / light touring bike
« on: November 14, 2015, 07:19:33 pm »
Similar to your thinking, not so many years ago I reduced the number of bikes I had and selected one road bike to reflect the type of riding I was, and expected to continue, doing most often. That riding was not unlike what you have expressed. I settled on a Waterford sport touring bike. I have eyelets front and rear for racks and fenders (which I install depending on the weather), STI, triple chainring, and gearing with a reasonable high end and much appreciated low end. I ride on 28's. Someone in this thread said that steel bikes were heavy. I suppose that is relative. I know that my bike weighs in at 25 pounds (frame, seat (sella anatomica), crankset, wheels, tires, bike bag), is responsive (not whippy), stable, and is a comfortable (again, a relative term) ride. This will never be mistaken for a 'go fast' bike, so if your ego requires you to always be in front, then this would not be a good choice. My spouse also decided on a Waterford, and while she liked her Trek, she is much happier with the Waterford. Downside to a Waterford, it is not an inexpensive bike, but then you get to decide on the components, color, wheels, etc., and you can customize to fit your needs.

General Discussion / Re: Dogs n' bears
« on: October 31, 2015, 12:14:30 pm »
There are more than 100,000 black bears in the western states (more than 200,000 in Alaska).  Some may consider that rare, I do not. What is somewhat rare is seeing a black bear. As to a bear container while biking, like others on this site I do not consider it necessary. However, I never keep food or anything with a smell (deodorant, toothpaste, energy bars, suntan lotion) in my tent when I am in bear country. I will hang it or place it away from the tent. Also, it isn't just bears, it is also squirrels, chipmunks and other rodent type animals that can be bothersome. They will chew through a pack to get to a sealed energy bar. I have seen it happen. So, keep any and all foodstuffs and any and all items with any type of odor out of your tent. It is all about camp safety when backpacking or camping while biking. You may want to read some backpacking books about camp safety. That is useful information whether backpacking, car camping, or bike camping.

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