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Messages - adventurepdx

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Routes / Re: Great Parks North - Canadian Camping
« on: February 06, 2015, 03:22:18 pm »
May I ask - did you pre-book the hostels or just turn up and find space? And what time of year are we talking here? I've heard good things about these hostels so they'd certainly be another accommodation option.

Yep, I pre-booked them. I went in the high-high season (July) and they ran full every night, at least the smaller wilderness hostels outside of the "big towns" (which are Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff townsite, and Canmore). You may luck on a spot, but I wouldn't count on it. (The "big town" hostels may be easier to find space on the fly, but they still can book up.) When I toured the Icefields Pkwy a few years back, I designed the tour here to hop from hostel to hostel. It's pretty easy, since the biggest distance between hostels is about 40 miles.

As for price, if you are travelling solo, I found that a dorm bed in one of the wilderness hostels was not much more than camping. Campgrounds looked like they were running around $22 a night per site and dorm beds start around $25 (plus fees.)

You might not be able to do it all by hostels, but you might be able to squeeze a few in. And the bigger hostels in the "big towns" have good services (laundry!) when you need to take care of that stuff.

Routes / Re: Great Parks North - Canadian Camping
« on: February 06, 2015, 01:28:10 pm »
I can't comment too much on the camping in Canada, as when I rode parts of this route through Banff/Jasper I stayed at hostels. But the campgrounds were pretty busy, I will say.

But the thing I do want to comment on is length of tour. While on paper Jasper to Missoula could be done in two weeks, that's quite a hurried pace with several mountain climbs and lots and lots of things to see and do, especially on the Icefields Parkway. If I went back I might even try to go slower than the last time! What about just staying in the Canadian Rockies, or maybe Jasper to Glacier (MT)?

When I'm planning a tour in an area that may not be a typical bike-touring destination, I'll use Google Maps to see what legal camping options are available. Basically find a town near/on the route and search "Camping near x town". If you have a smartphone or tablet device, an app like Allstays is handy. While you have to pay a small fee for the Allstays app, the one big benefit is that it saves the information for an area you searched. This is really useful when you don't have WiFi or data coverage.

My two cents: Free camping is always appreciated, but I can understand why the National Park Service would want to start charging something for camping. Still, I think $5 per person for hiker/biker camping is more in line with what I've seen elsewhere, including other National Parks like Glacier.


The biggest change proposed for touring cyclists is for the hiker/biker sites along the path. Currently they are free, NPS is proposing a charge of $20, which would be the same proposed fee as drive-in sites.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Anyone ridden the John Wayne Pioneer Trail in WA?
« on: December 24, 2014, 06:36:17 pm »
Link to a Google Maps overview of this route - basically it's Seattle-Ellensburg-Yakima-Columbia River Gorge-Portland-Centralia-Tacoma-Bremerton-Port Angeles, 980km nominally. Two-and-a-half to three weeks, including a couple of days drinking beer in Portland.

Overall, your route looks decent, though I'm not familiar with the North Bend to Biggs section. One change I would recommend is in the Columbia Gorge. I'd get over to the Oregon side at The Dalles. While this means about 10 miles of freeway riding, you'd get the Historic Columbia River Hwy between Hood River and The Dalles. The Rowena Loops are not to be missed!

Food Talk / Re: vegetarian trek on the transamerica?
« on: December 12, 2014, 11:17:27 pm »
Yeah I should say I've had to turn down offered food which I always feel a bit bad about. Also because of that I never stay with Warm Showers hosts or anything like that.

To note: WarmShowers makes this stuff easier than the random offered meal. You can indicate in your profile that you have dietary restrictions. And when I contact a host, sometimes they ask about dietary restrictions or I let them know what mine are. And I never had any problems! I think a host would prefer to make food for a guest (if they are going to make food) that the guest can actually eat. Remember that it's not always about vegetarianism/veganism, but it can be about food allergies too.

Routes / Re: HWY 75 - Alligator Alley
« on: December 09, 2014, 04:14:34 pm »
That's Interstate 75. Unfortunately, you can't ride on Interstates in Florida, or states east of the Mississippi for the most part.

General Discussion / Re: Useless advice/help
« on: November 21, 2014, 05:40:20 pm »
I've definitely gotten my share of bad info in the distance/hills/service/etc. department. And I accept the info graciously, then take what has been said with a grain of salt. So it's easy to fall into the trap of all advice given on the road (that isn't from other tourists or cyclists) is bad. But sometimes it can come back and bite you in the posterior.

For example, when I toured the Pacific Coast in 2006, I ended up staying at the Point Reyes Hostel. This is a bit off the main route. When I called the hostel to confirm that I was coming that night, they warned me of the "big hill" between Point Reyes Station (the town, on route) and the hostel about six miles away. "Pshaw", I thought. I had been biking down the coast for two weeks, over many a hill. I made it up and over the Crescent City Hills and Leggett summit, the dreaded two "big hills" on the route (between Astoria and SF), ones they warn you about in "the book". I figured if I made it over all that, the "hill" the hostel staff mention should be a cakewalk, er, roll, right? Probably nothing at all.

Big mistake! That was quite the hill, almost 850 feet in elevation (starting from near sea level), and some of the steepest pitches that I encountered on that tour. I made it up, yes, but there was a section on the return I needed to walk. It was posted at 17% grade!

So I guess what I'm saying is: Don't get too cocky when offered advice from the locals. While a lot of it may be bad, sometimes they are right.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Getting bikes from Vancover to Portland
« on: October 11, 2014, 11:23:35 pm »
Why do you want to go to Portland? Portland is not on the coast. If you intend to do the coast of Oregon, you really want to get to Astoria.

Because Portland is the most accessible place to get to from other places, especially from overseas. There is a small airport in Astoria, but I can imagine the logistics/cost of getting twelve people and their bikes there from the UK would be prohibitive. (And they would probably have to take a connecting flight from Portland or Seattle anyway.)

There is a bus that runs from Portland to Astoria, the NW Point. It runs from Portland Union Station and Greyhound Station out to the coast. I'd guess getting twelve bikes on one bus trip would still be an issue.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Getting bikes from Vancover to Portland
« on: October 11, 2014, 10:28:11 pm »
Cool. And it's spelled Vancouver.  ;)

Pacific Northwest / Re: Getting bikes from Vancover to Portland
« on: October 04, 2014, 12:19:33 pm »
The easiest way would be to take the train! Amtrak Cascades has a daily train from Vancouver BC to Portland OR. Tickets will be around $50-80 per person, depending on dates and how far in advance you book. There are spots on the train for ten unboxed bikes. Each spot is $5 and requires an advance reservation. You can also put boxed bikes on the train for $10 each (if you need to buy a box from them, it's an extra $15.),0.pdf

General Discussion / Re: Handlebar Grips
« on: September 23, 2014, 02:24:14 pm »
I know the trend of this discussion thread is moving towards whether the OP has a properly fitted bike, but the main problem the OP is having (at least how I'm interpreting it) is mounting Ergon grips with a twist shifter.

And the solution is pretty simple: get an Ergon grip designed for use with a grip shifter. Something like this, for example:
It's shorter than the standard grip to allow for a twist shifter.

As for fit, sounds like the OP has a hybrid with straight handlebars. So an easy fix (besides new grips) would be to get a more swept-back bar.

General Discussion / Re: Nishki bikes
« on: September 19, 2014, 07:03:21 pm »
Here's the 1987 Nishiki catalog:

The Cresta GT is a true touring bike with cantilever brakes and front/rear rack mounts, though like most touring bikes of that era, it features 27-inch (630 mm) wheels. The Olympic looks to be a mid-range road bike with caliper brakes. If you're thinking of getting a bike for touring, I'd go with the Cresta.

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