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Messages - adventurepdx

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121
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.

122
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.

123
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.

124
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.

125
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: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/info_desk/route-maps/

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.

126
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.

127
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:
http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=9240.msg46341#msg46341

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:
http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?&a=316549&c=36638
http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?&a=316550&c=36638

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.

128
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.

129
Gear Talk / Re: Help. needed in Elma Washington
« on: June 25, 2012, 04:35:17 pm »
Pat, great to hear! And also good to hear that there is a bike shop in Aberdeen. I know the actual Washington Coast is pretty sparse on those. Other than going north to Port Angeles, there really isn't much out there. I've heard there is one in Forks but it wasn't open when I went by a few years ago and it didn't seem like it had official hours.

130
General Discussion / Re: Pacific Coast September 2012
« on: June 24, 2012, 02:36:54 pm »
If you have the time, I'd definitely check out some more of B.C., particularly the areas around Georgia Strait and over on Vancouver Island. Also, which way are you heading through Washington? The shorter (inland) route or around the Olympic Peninsula? I find that the riding on the Olympic Peninsula (US 101) isn't all that thrilling, but there are lots of worthy sidetrips into the National Park.

131
Gear Talk / Re: Help. needed in Elma Washington
« on: June 23, 2012, 10:36:58 pm »
I was just in Centralia, and I think their bike shop is closed. You'll have better luck in Olympia, many bike shops and a better shot of finding a 650 tire there.

If the tire is ripped near the bead I can't think of any other solution than getting a new tire.

132
Gear Talk / Re: Any suggestions for headlights that are tour-worthy?
« on: June 21, 2012, 06:38:11 pm »
I'm partial to the Princeton Tec EOS bike light:
http://princetontec.com/?q=eos-bike
  • Mounts to handlebars or helmet
  • With the provided strap, acts as a headlamp in camp
  • Uses 3 "AAA" batteries
  • 80 lumens, pretty bright. 3 solid beam settings (hi-med-lo) plus a blinking option.
  • And it's billed as being waterproof. I ride all year in the rainy Pacific Northwest with this light, and it lasts.

And not too spendy. Looks like REI has 'em for $50.
http://www.rei.com/product/792656/princeton-tec-eos-bike-front-bike-light
I use this light on all my tours. Great on bike, and works as my headlamp in camp.

133
Gear Talk / Re: free standing?
« on: June 11, 2012, 03:40:41 pm »
In places with no biting insects and it doesn't rain too often I like a bivy best.  I sleep on top of it unless it is cold or rain starts.  I do carry a tiny tarp (5'x5') for rainy nights.  It is easy to climb in and zip up if conditions change.  This setup is no fun if it will be hot and buggy though.

I like my bivy too, but only use it for short tours and for areas that I feel like there will be no/little bugs. Or if the forecast is dry. I wanted to use my bivy for my recent tour last week through Washington. But the forecast called for wet weather, and it pretty much rained every night that I camped. So I brought my small one-person tent. And while the NW isn't as buggy as say the Midwest or South, there were mosquitoes at a couple campgrounds. With the tent I had somewhere to hide from them.

The one plus about bivys that I really like is the ability to look up at the stars while in bed.

134
Gear Talk / Re: free standing?
« on: June 11, 2012, 03:36:45 pm »
Another thing to consider is some campgrounds have "upgraded" to camping pads filled with sand. Depending on how loose the sand is, it can make it hard to stake something down. I've seen a few USFS campsites in the NW with sand camping pads.

135
General Discussion / Re: Bike Transportation in Oregon
« on: May 25, 2012, 03:33:26 am »
According to the new Cycling Sojourner book by Ellee Thalheimer on touring in Oregon, here are the transit options from Brookings:Frankly, none of those options look particularly thrilling, but at least you have options.

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