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Messages - adventurepdx

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Routes / Re: Ideas from San Fran??? End of tour advice needed please.
« on: August 02, 2012, 03:06:05 pm »
i highly recommend heading north along the coast for a week.

The coast north of SF is indeed beautiful, but a thing to keep in mind is the wind comes out of the NW in summer, so if you head north you'll be getting a headwind.  If you can swing it, it would be good to start from the north and head south. You can take a bus to Eureka/Arcata and start there.

In the park there are hiker-biker spots at St. Mary, Rising Sun, Avalanche, Sprague Creek and Apgar. Think they are all $5/person. Don't know about Two Medicine.

There is indeed hiker/biker camping at Two Medicine, about six or eight sites towards the back of the campground. Two Medicine is a nice spot in the park to go to if you have the time, as it feels less crowded than other areas due to it not being on Going-to-the-Sun Road. (It's also the first place I ever saw a bear, incidentally.)

Gear Talk / Re: Handlebars
« on: July 30, 2012, 10:31:24 pm »
Can't comment on the handlebars but if you're wanting to raise the height of your stem, several companies make a stem riser. I bought one.

After what happened with my girlfriend's stem riser, I'd be wary to use one.

She put a stem riser on her Novara Randonee for the added height. It worked fine. Then she put a front rack on the bike and loaded it up for a tour. The added weight on the fork caused the stem to come undone from the stem riser, while she was riding the bike. It was a bit unnerving, to say the least. And no amount of tightening made it work again. So she had to get a new, longer stem.

Handlebar risers may work when you don't have a load on the front end of a bicycle, but I would be cautious about loading up the front.

General Discussion / Re: GDMBR, Butte to Roosville photos
« on: July 20, 2012, 07:39:23 pm »
Where are the photos?

1. I am having a hard time finding information on the cost of camping along the way.  If anyone who has done this portion of the route can advise me on this it would be very helpful.  I am on a limited budget and would like to have an idea for planning purposes.

Assuming that you'll be camping mostly in National Forests, plan on spending up to $20 a night in developed campgrounds. And "developed" campgrounds in National Forests usually mean pit toilets and a water pump. I've found that campground fees vary widely, even in the same National Forest. This because many National Forest campgrounds are run by contracted private concessionaires, and they are the ones who set the price. (In fact, there can be multiple concessionaires running campgrounds in the same National Forest.) Less developed campgrounds may be cheaper, a few may even be free. But these ones may not have a (treated) water source.

Of course, one of the advantages of riding through National Forests (and BLM land) is that you can pretty much camp anywhere for free. Check in with the local ranger station to see if there are any restrictions.

National Park campgrounds have a little more in the way of amenities. (Flush toilets! Sinks!) Looks like camping in North Cascades National Park run $10-12, don't know what it will be in other parks. (For comparison, regular campsites in Glacier (not on the Sierra Cascades) were $20, however, they had hiker-biker sites for $5 a person.) You can't free camp in a National Park, though.

Private sites are a crapshoot for prices, though $20 a night is a good average to prepare for.

Hope this helps.

Routes / Re: riding ACA northern tier
« on: July 07, 2012, 05:25:48 pm »
I guess this is where i am having some trouble when i think about where to begin on how to plan my route. In New York state, at least where i live, riding bikes on Hwy's is against the law. I dont know if it is just a Buffalo thing or New York State but i dont want to plan a route down a Hwy only to get there and find about that it is illegal.

I think you are confusing what jamawani is referring to as "highways" with freeways, which are not always one and the same. Most highways in the west are two lane roads. In the Northeast it's the vernacular to refer to what most of the country calls highways as "Routes".

And also to note: west of the Mississippi it is generally legal for bicycles to use freeways, with the exceptions usually in urban areas. In some parts of the west an Interstate may be your only option to get from point A to B by bike because the old road has been plowed over in the freeway construction. You can always check each state's DOT website for the specifics of bicycle restrictions. If a state has a bike map it usually spells out the restrictions on it.

We were pleased with the route...except for one small section that was almost our undoing, everything was a remarkably easy ride.  The one section that was extremely difficult was between Woodand and Kalama.  The only choices seemed to be Green Mountain Road, or I-5.  At the time, I did not appreciate the climb (and lots of pushing) we did to traverse that four miles or so.  Only after the fact did I wonder if we would have been allowed to ride onto I-5 and take the easy way around.

QUESTION:  Does Washington State permit riding on I-5 at that point?

Yes they do allow bikes. In that area the only sections of I-5 off limits to bikes is from the 205 junction south to the state line (and then also on the Oregon side until past Portland's southern suburbs) which is south of the section you are thinking, and then north of there for a few miles through central Olympia.

I toured through this area last month. Years ago I used Green Mountain Road and vowed never to do it again. I-5 is not thrilling but it is doable and goes by fasst.

Here's what my route looked like:

Routes / Re: Northern Tier September
« on: June 30, 2012, 02:38:26 pm »
hem, I never rode the NT in the East in September, but I spent many a September in the Northeast, and toured from New Haven to Montreal in late Sept-early Oct. The weather in that part of the country is pretty summerlike at least through mid-September. You can still get a hot day or two, but as the month continues things start to moderate and you can see some cooler nights and days as you get into October. In short, I think it would be doable, and a bit better than riding in July or August though the days are shorter.

Carchiba- I've gone from Eugene to Redmond (north of Bend) on OR 126, so I can offer some advice.

Unless you are a particularly strong rider, I would recommend breaking it into at least two days, if not more. The most direct route between the two using 126/242/20 is about 120 miles (195km) and crosses McKenzie Pass, elevation elev. 5335 ft/1623 m. From Eugene which is near sea level, there is a lot of climbing to do to get to the pass, and parts of the climb are steep. You could instead cross the Cascades at Santiam Pass which is lower at 4817ft /1468 m but is longer (126/20) at 130mi/210km.

Traffic can be heavier on 126 closer to Eugene, but after McKenzie Bridge it drops off. Santiam Pass is busier than McKenzie. Shoulder conditions vary.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast - 1st leg via San Juans, and then?
« on: June 28, 2012, 04:35:14 pm »
Would it also be necessary to make reservations for the biker campsites?

As jamawani noted, any hiker-biker site (at least in the Pacific NW) is first come, first served. But they usually aren't full. It's the general policy of state parks at least to find a spot for a touring cyclist even if the campground itself is technically full. Municipal/county campgrounds could be a different matter. Never hurts to check with the agency managing the campground in advance to see what the policy is. In the San Juans they should be used to us touring cyclists by now.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast - 1st leg via San Juans, and then?
« on: June 28, 2012, 04:32:38 pm »
- some here on this forum said that the stretch south of Shelton isn't the most interesting.

To most it isn't, but it's mostly because no matter how you do it, if you are riding the "inland" portion through Washington around the Puget Sound, you're going to have to go through some "non-coast" area to get to the actual coast. And while this area is rolling to hilly, it isn't really mountainous, not in the sense of the Cascades to the east. Pretty much any route between Shelton or Olympia on the Puget Sound to Astoria is going to be a mix of trees, rolling land, farms, small towns, hills in distance. Even crossing over the Coast Range in SW Washington isn't that big of a deal, as this is the lowest part of the Coast Range.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast - 1st leg via San Juans, and then?
« on: June 26, 2012, 06:20:08 pm »
Bicyclists pay the passenger fare so it's much cheaper than automobiles. See the WA State ferries pages for more info:

To clarify: a bicyclist would pay the passenger fare, plus a bicycle surcharge. Looks like surcharge for the Anacortes-San Juan ferries is $4, Anacortes-Sydney BC is $6. I think that's as expensive as the bicycle surcharge gets, other ferries are less. For example, for the Coupeville-Pt Townsend Ferry (which I believe is on the ACA Pacific Coast Route) is only 50¢.

BC Ferries and the Black Ball/Coho (Port Angeles-Victoria) also have bicycle surcharges.

Routes / Re: Help - Is there a safe route from Portland to the sea?
« on: June 26, 2012, 03:41:31 pm »
Pat, a thing to consider when deciding what route to "The Coast" to take is where on the coast do you want to start (or does it matter)? Each route out to the coast ends in a different place. If you really want to do the whole Oregon coast (a worthy endeavor), then you should choose one of the two routes that go to Astoria, either US 30 or 202/47/Banks-Vernonia (which I heartily recommend.) Astoria is a cool little town worth a visit.

If you are more pressed for time and/or don't mind skipping sections of the northern Oregon coast, then you should use 6/8 or another southerly route like Nestucca River Road.

Routes / Re: Help - Is there a safe route from Portland to the sea?
« on: June 26, 2012, 03:26:18 am »
I am sorry if this is an old topic - I am on tour, and only have a Kindle, and topic searches are torture.

No problem. Hope you don't mind that this reply is recycled, then:

Here's a pertinent link to an old forum post that contains other pertinent links to other older forum posts:

I do recommend taking the 202/47/Banks-Vernonia trail into Portland. It is very rural and very quiet in terms of traffic and people. Links to maps:

I've never taken 30 the full way from Astoria to Portland, just the portion from Portland-Rainier and Clatskanie-Wesport, so I've missed the worst parts of US 30. But even that little bit makes me prefer the 202/47/Banks-Vernonia routing.

There aren't many services, but there's just enough. Make sure you're stocked when leaving Astoria, as there isn't another full service grocery until Vernonia, about 70 miles down the road. Only a couple of country markets with short hours in between.

The route from Astoria to Hillsboro (Portland westside suburb) is 100 miles. You can break it into two days by camping at Big Eddy County Park which is about 60 miles in. Few, if any, lodging options are found on this route so if you are doing a credit card tour you should be prepared to do the 100 miles in a straight shot. Possible, but there are two small passes to contend with on the route.

Banks will put a $2 to $3 charge on ATM withdrawals.  That can eat into your budget.  An alternative is to get cash advances with your grocery store purchases.  Most grocery stores, Wal Marts, Targets will let you get a cash advance on your debit card at no charge.  They usually have a maximum amount that they'll let you get (usually in the $60 range).  If your debit card looks like a Visa or Mastercard, you should be able to get cash at no charge at grocery stores and the like.

I wonder if that would work with a non-US bank/ATM card. I know that different countries have different ways with dealing with debit/bank cards.

For example, when I've traveled in Canada they have a debit card system (Interac) not linked to a Visa card. So I couldn't use my American debit card linked to a Visa to pay for things in a store, nor could I get cash back with a purchase. When I used my bank card in a store I had to make sure to tell the clerk to swipe it as a credit card only. I could only get money out of bank ATMs (meaning fees) because those little dinky "independent" ATM machines were only linked to Interac. It made it hard sometimes to get cash as a lot of small towns wouldn't have a bank, just one of those independent ATMs. I tended to take out larger amounts from bank ATMs when I could, partially because of the fees and partially because I didn't know when I'd be able to find an appropriate ATM again.

So I would urge the OP and anyone else traveling outside their home country to check with their bank and see how their ATM/debit/bank/etc card will work out of country, rather than assume it's going to work the same way.

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