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Messages - adventurepdx

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General Discussion / Re: Fighting off boredom?
« on: June 23, 2014, 11:56:35 pm »
I can't say I'm ever bored on a tour.

Agreed. There's not a heck of a lot of time for boredom to set in. And if it does, it might be saying something about your tour.

I generally bring a book with me on tour, one that I intend to read, yet rarely do I ever open the cover. Yeah, I probably shouldn't bring with me next time...

Even on my off days, I find little time to be bored. I'm usually consumed with restocking needed supplies, finding out information, getting bike repairs, etc. If I have time left over to do nothing, it's just nice to "do nothing" for a bit.

OP, I take it when you say "Credit Card Camping", you mean staying indoors at hotels and the like, not actually camping. (Though I would love to see someone tour by actually taking a credit card camping tour and set up tents inside motel rooms each night.  ;) )

I looked over a couple sections of the Sierra Cascade Route, namely sections 1 and 2, from Sumas WA to Crater Lake. Yeah, it looks like you can do it for that length, but there will be those long stretches sans service like zzzz mentioned. And you'd probably have to book space far in advance, as the lodging options are either small, or in a touristy area, or both. So you would be "locked" into a schedule. Still, it would be safe to have a camping setup as back-up, just like zzzz plans to do.

I've done parts of the northern part of the Sierra Cascades, and it is definitely a beautiful route, but challenging.

General Discussion / Re: Mailing to Myself On the Road
« on: May 30, 2014, 02:41:44 pm »
Also, it is nice to still have a usable map even when your phone batteries are dead.

+1 or what have you. I was going to write something more detailed, but staehpj1 pretty much covered it.

Anyways, a full set of ACA maps for a route do take up some space, but not a heck of a lot, especially compared to other maps. I'm guessing weight-wise it's probably about a pound and change.

General Discussion / Re: Mailing to Myself On the Road
« on: May 28, 2014, 02:14:27 pm »
Another option: If you happen to be staying with any Warmshowers hosts along the way, you can ask one if they are willing to accept and hold a package of maps for you.

I think you're striking out because you're "barking up the wrong tree", so to speak. It's better to look at one of the bike rental companies in town. But I will have to say, it's harder to find a touring-ready rental than just a city, hybrid, or road bike.

Pedal has Jamis Auroras for rent, which is a touring bike. Though it says they have a 57cm size in stock, it doesn't hurt to contact them to see if they have other sizes;

Waterfront Bicycles has Fuji touring bikes.

Everybody's have "road" bikes, but they deal with used bikes, so they may have a touring ready bike in there, or a mountain bike ready for touring.

Of course, it's going to cost ya. You're looking at $100-$165 for a week rental on a bike that you don't know. If it was me, I would look more into the options of bringing your own bike. Yes, airlines are a pain, but you may be able to ship your bike to/from via UPS or FedEx, or even ship it via Amtrak.

General Discussion / McKenzie Pass: open to bikes?
« on: May 05, 2014, 02:31:12 pm »
Looks like the reports show that they plowed that one lane on the McKenzie Pass Hwy (OR 242) so it's open to bicycles. The official open date for cars is Monday June 16. That's 1 1/2 months car-free!

General Discussion / Re: My First Tour (Need tips)
« on: May 05, 2014, 02:27:21 pm »
All the above advice is good. And since it looks like you have a month or two before you go, check out your local library and see if they have any books about bicycle touring.

When you say "trekking bike", are you referring to the type common in Europe for touring? If so, you're going to be hard pressed to find that style of bike in the States, even in Portland. But if when you say "trekking bike" you mean any bike capable of touring, then you're going to have more options, as you should be able to find some touring bikes, mountain bikes, cyclocross bikes, or "sport touring" road bikes that fit the bill.

Generally, the best place to look for used bikes and get the best prices is Craigslist:
But there will be some back and forth, and you might need several days to do it. Sometimes you get lucky and can grab a bike the same day, but since it's just ordinary folks selling stuff, you'll need to figure out date/time/place/etc.

As for shops that sell used bikes, here are a few to check:
There are other shops, for sure.

Be aware that because bikes are in such demand in Portland, the prices for used bikes are generally higher than they are in other places.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast: Vancouver or Bellingham?
« on: April 29, 2014, 01:06:50 pm »
Itinerant Harper's recommendations are also good, though it will add more time to the trip. There's a lot of good touring opportunities around the Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia and all the islands within.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast: Vancouver or Bellingham?
« on: April 28, 2014, 09:51:41 pm »
...If you do fly into Bellingham and feel that you have to start your ride in Canada you can do that one of three different ways... 2. Ride to the border at Blaine, continue on to Tsawwassen, catch the ferry to Swartz Bay and take the very nice bike route, the Lochside Trail, to downtown Victoria where you can take a ferry across to Port Townsend and start the ride south. 3. Bike SW to Anacortes and catch a ferry to Sidney on Vancouver Island and then take the Lochside Trail to Victoria.

These are two great suggestions. The ride on Vancouver Island is very nice, and Victoria is cool. Either the Tsawassen ferry or the Anacortes ferry is going to put you at the north end of the Lochside Trail (the Vancouver Island terminals are less than 5 miles apart.) I'd probably choose the Anacortes option as Anacortes/Fidalgo Island is cool, and you could stop at one or more of the San Juan Islands on your way. (Salt Spring Island would also be a worthy side trip.) An added bonus side trip would be riding the Galloping Goose Trail from Victoria out to Sooke or beyond and camping out there. Either option would be easier and more pleasant than getting through Vancouver suburbia (though you may see a little of that on the way to the Tsawassen ferry terminal.)

One note: the ferry from Victoria (Black Ball/MV Coho) lands at Port Angeles, not Townsend. It's a day ride between the two, much of it on the Olympic Discovery Trail.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast: Vancouver or Bellingham?
« on: April 28, 2014, 01:23:41 pm »
My two cents:

I love visiting Vancouver, and think it's a great city and worth seeing. However, the "getting out by bike" from the city is pretty hard, and I've used a number of different routes to get from the Terminal City to the US/Canada Border at Blaine/White Rock. None of them I consider great, even the ACA Pacific Coast Route. At most you'll get is "passable". There's a lot of suburban crap to get through between White Rock and the Fraser River, and then there are issues with crossing the river itself.

Things are much easier biking from Blaine south, and Bellingham is a good start point with all the services you would need.

So if you are a completist, or want to see Vancouver, I'd say start there. If you're not, then it's OK to start from Bellingham.

Another option: fly into Bellingham or even Seatac (where you may get even better fares) and take Amtrak north to either Bellingham or Vancouver. There are two trains northbound daily, and the Cascades service has roll on bike service. From Seatac you could take the lightrail to either downtown Seattle and take Amtrak at King Street Station (just a block away) or get on at Tukwila which is a pretty short bike ride from the lightrail.

General Discussion / Re: 'Housse' Bags
« on: April 27, 2014, 11:55:15 am »
I am planning on using it in both. I believe it fits the rules for Europe and provides a saving. With regard to the states their is a good bike in a box alternative but only for 8 of the 35 Amtrak routes.

There are more than 8 Amtrak routes that have boxed bike service. And there are trains that allow "roll-on" bike service, like Cascades here in the NW.

Before deciding to use the bag on Amtrak, I would advise checking out their bicycle policy page:
To note, they allow folding bikes as carryon baggage, but: "Regular bikes of any size, with or without wheels, are not considered folding bikes, and may not be stored as folding bikes aboard trains."

General Discussion / Re: 'Housse' Bags
« on: April 27, 2014, 01:49:43 am »
Hmmm...looks interesting. Haven't seen this one before.

But let me ask a question: Are you planing on using this in Europe, or in the US? If for the US, I can see it being problematic for using Amtrak. They are specific about what kind of bikes can be carried on a train, namely true folding bikes that fit a specified dimension while folded. Now that's not to say that you maybe could get away with it, as people have brought bulky bags as carryons so maybe the train crew wouldn't notice. But they have become more anal about bag size over the past few years.

And that bag ain't cheap. Looks like nearly $120 USD, not including shipping from the UK. May pan out if you use it extensively, but it only costs $25 ($15 for box plus $10 service fee) to box a bike and check it on Amtrak (when checked baggage service is provided.)

Can anyone fill me in on likely weather conditions in Mid-May on the Florence Alternate portion of the TransAm?  (This is in western Oregon). We don't want to cycle that far south along the coast before heading east if weather/road conditions aren't conducive to cycling.  Thanks...

Are you talking about the section between Florence and where you hook up with the main TA route in Eugene? If so, I wouldn't worry. While it is common that the Coast Range mountains get snow in the winter, it's nowhere to the level of the Cascades, and for nowhere near as long. I would only see some sort of freak, freak storm that would dump snow onto the Coast Range in Mid-May. However, it can be rainy.

Crossing the Cascades, McKenzie Pass may still be closed then, so you'd probably have to ride Santiam Pass.

Routes / Re: Seattle to Missoula
« on: April 21, 2014, 02:18:20 pm »
I agree that getting up to the Northern Tier and connecting via Great Parks North at Glacier to Missoula would be the nicer/more scenic option. But if the goal is to just connect to the TransAm at Missoula, it may be faster to take the Pacific Coast route south to Astoria, then east on the Lewis and Clark to Missoula.

Of course, you can just pick up the TA at Astoria...

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