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Messages - Patco

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General Discussion / Re: Wireless computer on touring bike
« on: October 20, 2014, 02:54:01 pm »
I have not had a problem with interference with the wireless I purchased four years ago. It is in sleep mode until I begin riding, then as soon as the wheels begin turning it is on and providing information.

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Routes / Re: contemplating riding TransAm in 2015....so many questions!
« on: September 29, 2014, 01:02:08 am »
You mentioned "canned goods". No, do not carry canned goods, It is unnecessary weight. As a backup, as noted earlier, for emergency food you may wish to consider nutrition bars. I also carry two dehydrated packages of granola and blueberry cereal from Mountain House. Add cold water and you have a nutritious meal. I do not cook. Again, a weight thing, and I do not want to spend my time cooking. So, I will eat at restaurants and if not available, subsist generally on bars, bananas, and fig newtons.

For what its worth, east to west or west to east might depend on the time of year you wish to depart. Earlier in the 'season', then east to west may be a better choice. Leaving in mid June or later? Then perhaps west to east.

I now carry four bottles. One of my earlier rides, when I carried two bottles, resulted in my riding some 25 miles without water because the planned water source had a 'not potable' sign. I was not a happy camper. So I now overcompensate. It also makes it easier if I find myself having to dry camp. I would suggest at least three water bottles.

Also as noted earlier, if you keep your phone off except when you need it then it will last a long time. I personally do not take any extra batteries or power sources. I do not want the weight. I rely on the ac plug in. I use my phone three times a day. I check in with my significant other when I start my daily ride, midway through the day, and at the end of the day. Probably about six to ten minutes per day. It lessens her anxiety level.

Enjoy the adventure.

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Routes / Re: Possible route Seattle to Boise.
« on: September 07, 2014, 08:29:19 pm »
I can't speak for your Washington route, but once in Oregon I would suggest taking 206 off of US 97 then 19 to US 26 outside of Dayville. Otherwise, US 26 is okay. Generally light traffic, good road, and very light traffic once you are south of Unity. Once I was in Idaho I looked for more country roads that paralleled 26, but 26 is okay.

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General Discussion / Re: Pacific Coast Tour Oct - Nov
« on: September 02, 2014, 09:22:50 pm »
What is your intended route?

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Routes / Re: Bakersfield California to Darby Montana
« on: July 01, 2014, 08:06:23 pm »
I have biked some of the route you are suggesting through Northern California and Oregon. I biked 45 to 162 to Willows, then I took 99W to County Road A8 to Red Bluff. 45 was okay. Light traffic. No shoulders. I liked 99W. Some shoulders. Light traffic (generally) and while I could see
I-5, I could not hear it. From Red Bluff I joined SR 36 then took a number of local roads (Beegum to McCoy Rd to Hooker Creek Road to Bowman Road to Draper Road to Main Street in Cottonwood to Locust Road to SR 273) to travel to Redding. I had originally considered taking 36 to A6 to 44 as you are planning, but decided to use 299 from Redding. The challenge with the route I selected from Red Bluff was the McCoy Road section. This was gravel for about three miles.

299 from Redding was not bad. Yes, shoulders are minimal but generally drivers were considerate. I took 299 to Bieber. At Bieber, rather than continue on 299 to U.S. 395 to U.S. 20 in Oregon, I took I took the Lookout Hackamore road out of Bieber. This is a very lightly traveled road through ranch land and the Modoc National Forest. Excellent road. This road connected to SR 139 to Tulelake. A more traveled road, but with a good shoulder.

I continued on SR 139 to Oregon 39 to Oregon 140 to U.S. 97 to Bend. Good shoulders in Oregon. Traffic is not bad, even on U. S 97, which has, for the most part, excellent shoulders. I decided against U.S 395 because there is a whole lot of nothing on that route.

From Bend eastbound I decided against U.S 20 because, again, there isn't much on that route. I would suggest U.S 26 eastbound to pick up your route to Montana.

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Routes / Re: Eugene Or. TransAmerica vs. Lewis & Clark to Missoula
« on: May 16, 2014, 02:26:37 pm »
I will be the contrarian...I do not consider 97 traffic as being heavy, and the shoulders are quite good. The further north you travel on 97 the less traffic you will find, particularly once north of Madras where you will have a variety of options - such as taking 197 to The Dallas (Cycle Oregon used this route from Tygh Valley to Dufur a number of years ago), or taking 218 to Fossil before heading north. However, given the choice, I would follow the TA to Baker City to Missoula. Since this is your first trip you may wish to use a route that others have already blazed for you. 

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Gear Talk / Re: 11-32 vs 11-34
« on: April 18, 2014, 12:38:01 am »
My touring bike has the same setup that you are contemplating (except I ride on 700X28's). I have elected to have low end gears I may not use versus high end I use on the downhills only. I haven't experienced the need to walk on the steeper and longer climbs....but that doesn't mean I don't stop for a break.

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General Discussion / Re: Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« on: April 15, 2014, 08:36:54 pm »
Another thought for your consideration. I have generally packed my bikes in cardboard boxes built for shipping bikes (as has been suggested, a box for the bike and a box for gear, although I generally have three boxes since I ship my wheels in a separate box) and then I use UPS and have them delivered to my first night destination (generally a hotel near the airport of my start point), where I put the bike together, take a test ride, and leave the following morning. I have never had a problem with a hotel accepting the boxes for a future guest. I generally ship so that the boxes will arrive two days before I arrive. I want a cushion. I have found the cost to be less, and the hassle to be less.

9
Routes / Re: Gravel Road Touring in Napa Valley with a 4 year old
« on: February 25, 2014, 12:38:41 pm »
I am not aware of any significant gravel roads in Napa or Sonoma County, particularly for a four day trip. The roads in those counties are generally paved, small to no shoulders, and loaded with traffic, some of which are exploring the hundreds of wineries in those two counties. Of the two counties, Sonoma would be a better choice for biking (Alexander Valley, Dry Creek, Russian River) or, perhaps, Mendocino County (Anderson Valley). 

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Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route Northbound
« on: February 14, 2014, 06:55:25 pm »
I have one comment regarding traveling north - while in California it does not too much matter, but in Oregon the shoulder on 101 when traveling north tends to be narrower than if traveling south. Also, the prevailing winds from May through October are from the northwest. The Oregon DOT suggests traveling north to south. The Oregon Coast Bike Route map from the Oregon DOT indicates that improvements are concentrated on the southbound shoulder.

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Agree. It is reasonably safe. As said earlier, Oregon is very bike friendly. Nice shoulders. Accomodations are easy to find, particularly at the time of year you are considering. California roads do not provide the same type of shoulders but I still consider the ride as "safe". I do use a mirror and I am aware of what is coming up on me.

As to climbing - I consider the short climb out of Charleston (Seven Devils Road) as strenuous but there is no rule that says you can't stop on the ascent for a break. The climb over the Crescent City Hills south of Crescent City is just long and, again, minimal shoulders. A number of climbs in Oregon, as you would expect, but nothing out of the ordinary. As I thing about it, if you take the Three Capes Scenic Route (I do suggest this alternate) there is a rather steep climb. My gearing is rather low because after a number of trips I decided I would rather have low end gears I do not use rather than high end gears I will never use when touring. The descents can be exhilerating. On one of my earlier trips, on the descent from Cape Sebastian I reached 53.9 mph, and the whole time I was thinking, 'this is sooooo stupid'.

In addition to the CGOAB site, the Tom Kirkendall and Vicky Spring book, Bicycling the Pacific Coast, is a good guide. Oregon has a specific bike map for the coast trip. You will likely find that very helpful. California does not have a specific map (at least I haven't been able to find one).

A final thought - whenever an alternate route is suggested that will take you off of 101, take it. I have never been disappointed.

If you are thinking you will take a month for the ride, you should have an incredibly enjoyable trip. Plenty of time to stop and enjoy the coast and the redwoods.

My best to you.


12
From earlier trips near that time frame you are contemplating, temperatures on the Oregon Coast for a May/early June trip from Astoria to SF will likely be in the low 60's; a better than even chance of cloud cover; and better than even chance of some precip. You will likely be riding with long sleeves and cycling tights, and keep your rain gear close. In Northern California, once on US 1, rain will be rare but there will be fog. I would strongly suggest a flashing rear light for the bike. It will be cool in SF and along the Sonoma coast. I have never considered US 1 as being very bike friendly. It is narrow with limited shoulders.  Traffic will increase as you move south of Ft. Bragg. Similar to an earlier poster, I am not generally intimidated by traffic so what may not be an issue for me may be an issue for others. That said, the Oregon section of the route has very good shoulders. The two Oregon tunnels get my heart rate. Be sure to activate the "Bikes in Tunnel" warning lights and then do not dawdle.

The Oregon portion of that route is one of my favorite rides. California is okay - scenic but because of the roads I consider it less bike friendly than Oregon. Enjoy the ride.

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Early to mid September. Weather is generally very pleasant in Washington and Oregon, and in Northern California the chance of the cold fog along the coast is greatly diminished. There is a reason why September and October are the best times to visit Northern California and San Francisco.

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Gear Talk / Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« on: January 23, 2014, 12:47:45 am »
I have travelled with a two person tent, freestanding, for the extra room but on my last trip I opted for a single person tent that would pack smaller and lighter. I went with Big Agnes' Copper Spur UL1. Packs small, less than three pounds with footprint, and while not as spacious as the two person tent, it was okay (I am 6 feet tall). Easy to set up and I was comfortable during those times when nature decided to become rowdy, but I did stake the tent when there was any hint of inclement weather. Okay vestibule.

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General Discussion / Re: Advice or Feedback for Pacific Highway Cycle 2014
« on: November 09, 2013, 03:47:33 pm »
I have ridden from Seattle to SF seven times using the coast route. Each time the route I have taken has been a little different.

I strongly suggest using the Seven Devils Road from Charleston to Bandon. On my second trip I decided to bypass that route and take 101. Big mistake. There were sections south of Coos Bay where the shoulder was nonexistent, and when a shoulder existed, it was narrow. That was a stressful stretch. Yes, there is a steep climb out of Charleston on the ACA route, but it is not that steep and not than long and once on top there are no significant climbs. Plus, the climb is worth it for the solitude and lack of traffic. A much more pleasant way to reach Bandon.

The Astoria Bridge was challenging but I found the drivers were accommodating.

I have elected to walk my bike across a few of he bridges in Oregon using the sidewalk, particularly the bridge north of Coos Bay. I liked the calmness of walking and stopping on the walkway to see what I was crossing. 

In Oregon you have two tunnels. Be sure to use the warning lights at the beginning of the tunnels then pedal hard.

Whenever possible take the alternative route that will keep you off 101, particularly in California. As an example, in Oregon the route from Neskowin to Otis through the Siuslaw National Forest over the back shoulder of Cascade Head is a joy. Traffic is nearly nonexistent and the forest seems primeval. Also, the Three Capes Scenic Route from Tillamook is a much better option than staying on 101. More climbing but much more scenic and far less traffic.

Your May/June date will find the weather still iffy and likely extensive fog on CA 1 in Northern California. If you have not already done so, I suggest a flashing rear light for safety. And as already discussed, I have found a side mirror very helpful.

As others have said, this is a wonderful bike route. Oregon is very bicycle friendly. Great roadside parks (the park on the southside of Florence is incredibly nice). California is less bicycle friendly in that the roads have less of a shoulder and, in the case of CA 1, zero shoulder. The Washington part of the ride is okay and the shoulders are better than California.

Enjoy the journey.

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