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Messages - adventurepdx

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1
Routes / Re: Getting bikes to Canada from California
« on: April 23, 2015, 01:49:58 pm »
Are you sure the train is actually cheaper?  I have often found flying to be cheaper, so don't rule it out without checking.

If you left on Tuesday, July 16 from Los Angeles on the Coast Starlight to Seattle, the one way adult fare is $115, and from Seattle to Mount Vernon on the morning of Thursday July 18 it's $22. This doesn't include bike fees or the lodging fee for being in Seattle overnight.

2
Routes / Re: Getting bikes to Canada from California
« on: April 23, 2015, 01:45:55 pm »
No Amtrak to Victoria - need to get there by ferry. Several options exist and I think others can speak to that. There is a ferry from Seattle but my recollection is that it is $$$. You could take the Amtrak Cascade to Vancouver from Seattle and then take BC Ferries to Victoria - if you're coming up the coast via the Starlight that means an overnight in Seattle. I'm sure there might be some other options.

You can do that, but getting a bike between downtown Vancouver and the ferry terminal in Tsawassen is a major pain in the you know what. I've done it many a time, and I've tried the gamut of options, none of them are easy, fast, or convenient. Unless you want to check out Vancouver (and it is a city worth checking out), the easier ferry option via Amtrak would be this:
  • Take Coast Starlight from unknown city in California to Seattle, overnight in Seattle
  • The next morning, take the Amtrak Cascades to Mt. Vernon
  • Ride 20 miles west to Anacortes
  • Hop on the Washington State Ferry to Sidney, BC
  • Ride the 20 miles south on the Galloping Goose Trail to Victoria

Of course, since you're now on an island, you'll need to take a ferry from Victoria to start the coast route. Then you'll use the Black Ball/Coho ferry to get to Port Angeles, WA.

My tip: If you are going to make the point of starting the trip to Victoria, budget in the extra time to explore the San Juan (US) and/or Gulf (Canada) Islands up there. Worth it! There is also some nice exploring to do around Victoria.

3
Routes / Re: Getting bikes to Canada from California
« on: April 22, 2015, 04:36:49 pm »
You’ve got to respect the 50lb weight limit as well. The weight weenies in Seattle made sure I was aware of this the last time we traveled on Amtrak (and right now it probably is the last time sadly).

I agree that the 50 lb limit is somewhat annoying, but I'd refrain from calling them "weight weenies". I think that limit is in effect because at some small stations, there is only one ticket agent/baggage handler that has to do everything. They want to keep the baggage weight limit reasonable so one person can load/unload a train without help, and at a relatively fast speed, as they're trying to keep a schedule. (Insert snarky joke about Amtrak and schedules here.)

And to note: It's not just Seattle that will weigh bikes, I've had that happen in Portland too. And it doesn't need to be a tandem to tip the scales...

4
Routes / Re: Getting bikes to Canada from California
« on: April 22, 2015, 02:33:56 pm »
I believe the answer is no for tandems on Amtrak.

Yep.
http://www.amtrak.com/bring-your-bicycle-onboard

From the site: Recumbent, tandem and special bicycles over the standard bicycle dimensions and will not fit in a standard bicycle box are prohibited.

So if you can somehow fit your tandem into the Amtrak bike box, dimensions of 70" x 41" x 8.5", you'll be fine. If not, you're out of luck.

Someone could prove me wrong, but I highly doubt that Greyhound would be any better in regards to a tandem, and the same goes with airlines. You'd probably need a freight service to ship it to Vancouver, which, assuming you are based in the States, would be very expensive.

Hopefully someone who has toured with a tandem can chime in with some advice.

Another thing to note: Hwy 1 starts in Legget, CA, about 200 miles north of San Francisco. In WA, OR, and the rest of northern CA you'll primarily be riding on US 101.

5
Routes / Re: Touring From Seattle Beginning Early In May
« on: April 20, 2015, 12:09:18 pm »
I am assuming that it will be decently dry east of the Cascades. Is this a bad assumption to be making?

It's a good assumption, but not always true. I did two different tours in Eastern Washington and Oregon, both late May/early June, and encountered more rain than I wished for. Though this year it looks like a better chance of dry.

Is it feasible to bike comfortably in the vicinity of the I-90 corridor from Ellensburg to Seattle if I were to shorten the eastern loop?

Yep! Have you looked into the Iron Horse State Park? It's a rail trail along the old Milwaukee Road that parallels I-90 from outside North Bend to about Ellensburg. And there are several camping opportunities along the way.
http://www.parks.wa.gov/521/Iron-Horse
Please note that it is gravel, though doable on road bikes (so long as those tires aren't too narrow), and there are a few tunnels they close in the winter.

6
Routes / Re: Cross-US Trail-Based Route - Feedback Please!
« on: April 19, 2015, 02:04:55 pm »
A nice route west from Council Bluffs is to follow the Platte River to Kearney, NE, where the Oregon Trail route joins the river and follow the Oregon Trail to Portland, OR.

One thing to note if you follow the Columbia westward to the Pacific through the Columbia Gorge: The wind blows predominately from the west in the summer, creating quite a fierce headwind if you're heading westward.

Some challenges on your proposed route:
Journals from riders on the John Wayne/Ironhorse Trail state that much of it is loose ballast.

I got the impression that the OP will be heading west on the Iron Horse from Ellensburg WA to Seattle over Snoqualmie Pass. This is the well-maintained gravel section of the trail, and people regularly ride it on road bikes. The section of the John Wayne east of the Columbia River to the Idaho state line is the unimproved section that has loose ballast and closed trestles.

7
Routes / Re: Alternative to TransAm for OR to KS
« on: April 13, 2015, 05:46:47 pm »
Are you totally set on riding back? You could do TransAm then Pacific Coast route from Astoria to the Bay Area, then fly/train back to KS.

8
Routes / Re: Alternative to TransAm for OR to KS
« on: April 13, 2015, 02:01:30 pm »
60 days seems like a tight timeframe for going from KS to OR and back again, but I don't know how many miles a day you average.

If it were me, I'd get all the maps you need in advance, but at the very least get the maps you'll need up until getting to ACA headquarters in Missoula.

9
Routes / Re: Alternative to TransAm for OR to KS
« on: April 13, 2015, 01:39:42 pm »
What's your timeframe?

From Astoria, going south along the Pacific Coast is nice. But if you intend on biking back to Kansas, unfortunately that means you'd be heading east across the deserts in the middle of summer. What about heading north from Astoria into Washington to ride the Northern Tier, then head back to Kansas via Great Parks to TransAm? Or you could do the Lewis and Clark route that starts in Astoria? That would bring you at least to Kansas City.

10
Routes / Re: Minnesota to West Coast route options?
« on: April 07, 2015, 08:50:02 pm »
Going into Canada and back to the U.S. is entertaining if for no other reason than to see the different levels of security at the border crosssing. The Canadian officials are friendly Dudley Do-Right, down-home people. The U.S. officials are stern, all business.

I've crossed the border several times, and don't feel it's as cut and dry as Canadian Customs "good", US Customs "bad". I've had good and bad experiences with both. And while it may seem that you'll have a better shot of a "good" interaction at a small, out-of-the-way border crossing, sometimes you'll get that bored, humorless officer on a power trip.

11
Routes / Re: Seattle to Boise
« on: April 02, 2015, 07:55:24 pm »
You could get the official ODOT map, which shows highways and roads, posted routes, mileage, interstate exit numbers, rest areas, cities, towns, counties, State and Federal lands, water features, parks, campgrounds, airports, lighthouses, fish hatcheries, winter recreation areas, and historic/national trails.

Here's a link to ODOT bike maps:
http://www.oregon.gov/odot/hwy/bikeped/pages/maps.aspx

To note: The print copies of the statewide bike map are currently out of print, and should be back in stock by summer. And they no longer print the Columbia Gorge map. But you can look at the PDFs online.

12
General Discussion / Re: Pac Coast Ride
« on: March 31, 2015, 10:48:06 pm »
1) I'd like to make it a week long trip.  I was thinking of starting in Crescent City and ending in San Fran (412 mi).  I average without gear around 18.5mph and ride 100 miles a week.  Based on that is this trip doable in 5-6 days time?

As John says, six days is doable, but seven would be better. If I were to do it in five, I'd start at Arcata/Eureka. You'd miss Redwood National Park, but be less stressed for time. (And to note: Redwood NP isn't the only place you'll see big redwoods en route!)

And as will be noted, you definitely will go a bit slower with gear.

2) Best way to get gear from Atlanta, GA over to starting point.  I'd like to bring my own bike.  Is it better to ship it or fly it out?

Are you planning on flying into Portland (PDX?) If so, how do you plan on getting to Crescent City?

You can ship a bike via Amtrak Package Express for maybe $75-100 one way. You can have it shipped from Atlanta to Union Station in Portland, then back from either Oakland/Jack London or Emeryville in the Bay Area.

3) Camping on the coast, good idea?  It sounds nice, but am I going to be fighting crowds of people to get a good spot?  Better to reserve a camp site or just wing it?

Great idea! The crowds don't come out until after Memorial Day, and many of the places you would camp on the route have specific hiker/biker sites.

4) In regards to the above ^, bivy sack and a ENO hammock enough to get by?  Probably a rain tarp too?

You probably won't go hurting for trees, but it's wise to have a non-hammock backup, esp. if you run into any hammock prohibitions. If your hammock doesn't have a rain fly, get one.

5) Outside of regular riding clothes and tools, any essential gear that you think is crucial?  I was going to bring a JetBoil with for coffee and food, rain gear, and a book.

Rain gear!

13
Routes / Re: Seattle to Boise
« on: March 31, 2015, 10:33:02 pm »
Yeah, construction can be an issue. A better way to find out more info is check out the ODOT District Map, find the districts you'll pass through, and contact the specific district(s).
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TD/TDATA/pages/gis/odotmaps.aspx#odot_district_maps
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/OOM/pages/about_us.aspx#district_contact_information

And Oregon TripCheck will show all current construction activities and what they entail, along with other road issues:
https://tripcheck.com/Pages/RCMap.asp?curRegion=0

14
Routes / Re: Seattle to Boise
« on: March 31, 2015, 06:55:59 pm »
Louis, it is legal to bike on I-84 in NE Oregon. The only freeway restrictions in Oregon are in the Portland metro area and in Medford in SW Oregon.

15
Routes / Re: Seattle to Boise
« on: March 31, 2015, 05:05:00 pm »
This is a better source for info:
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/docs/freeway_ban.pdf

I-84 is open to bicycles it's entire length in Oregon east of the Portland metro area (Troutdale.)

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