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Messages - adventurepdx

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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.

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.

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.

Routes / Re: Route from Winnipeg Canada to Northern Tier
« on: May 17, 2012, 02:02:58 pm »
To reverse my route, get to PR-100 & MB-200 and head south... At junction of 200 & 305 (near St. Agathe, restaurant), continue south on 200 (begin 8.5 miles of decent gravel) all the way to border crossing just west of Emerson.

I actually rode from Winnipeg towards the Northern Tier last year. One thing to note: There was a section of 200 closed south of the junction of 210 at Saint Adolphe. (I think it was a bridge was out.) This was August of 2011. I don't know if it's been fixed yet.

The route that I took:
  • South on PR 200 out of Winnipeg (use city map to figure out how to get there.)
  • East on PR 210 at St. Adolphe.
  • 210 intersects PR 59. I headed on 59 south for about ten miles and would not recommend doing it. High traffic, gravel shoulder. (Manitoba REALLY likes their gravel shoulders, meh.) If I did it again, I'd stay on 210 and then head south on PR 206.
  • West on PR 52.
  • South on PR 216.
  • You can take 216 all the way back to 59. Or, a few miles before that, take a left to get to St. Malo Provincial Park for some nice, inexpensive camping and a lake for swimming. (For some reason google maps is not showing the name of the road to turn onto.)
  • Back on 59 south. The traffic is very light the rest of the way to the border. PR 59 becomes US 59 at the border, and continues south through Minnesota. Still light traffic, still no shoulder.
  • You can camp at Bronson Lake State Park, a few miles off route, about 20 miles south of border. Swimming as well.
  • Intersect the Northern Tier on 59 south of its crossing of US 2.
Just to note, there ain't much but farms on this route. There's usually a small town every ten miles or so with a small store. Thief River Falls, MN would be the largest town on the way, a good place to resupply. There's also some other small campgrounds along the way as well.

Also, we took US 2 towards Lake Itasca to connect with the Northern Tier. This is shorter than heading south on 59 to connect, but may not be as scenic. 2 is a four lane divided highway with humongous shoulders for the most part through here, so this might not be your cup of tea.

Routes / Re: Connecting Northern Tier to Chicago
« on: May 16, 2012, 02:46:03 pm »
Illinois used to put out an eight map set of bike routes in the state. I can't find anything on their website about this, but they do have some interactive maps on their website:

Gear Talk / Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« on: May 07, 2012, 01:54:52 pm »
Anyone really tour on an LHT with full packs?   Is the frame stiff enough for full packs? Credit card trips don't count.  Supported trips don't count either.


Almost 4,000 miles on tour last year. Front and rear panniers plus more. No support, though I did pull out my credit card from time to time... ;)

Gear Talk / Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« on: May 05, 2012, 02:58:20 am »
Considering what you would spend on a Surly or LHT you might consider having a custom bike made. You'd get exactly what you want and a perfect fit to you body size.

While I don't disagree that having a custom bike would possibly fit you better, I agree with Russ regarding price issues. You can get an LHT complete for around $1200, whereas most complete custom touring bikes I've seen are in the $3000 and up range. We're talking two to three times as much as an LHT. That's a significant difference.

The money you spend would also benefit your local economy and not China's!

Actually Surly bikes are built in Taiwan, not mainland China. Built by Maxway, I believe.

General Discussion / Re: Roadside stand/ camping/ B and B
« on: May 04, 2012, 03:49:03 am »
Hello Dameyon!

My two cents:

1) How far are you from a bike shop? If it's a ways away, it might be nice to have a few spare tubes and patch kits available for sale. No need to get too elaborate if it's not your thing. And how about some postcards of the area for sale?

2)With all those amenities, yeah $8-10 per person would be a fair rate. Without all those, maybe $5 a person?

4) Folks might take a detour/break day if there was something of interest in the area.

5) is a great hospitality network for touring cyclists. However, since you will be charging for services you wouldn't be able to list on it.

General Discussion / Re: New Reality Show About Racing
« on: May 02, 2012, 11:45:36 pm »
It's like a tour with 100 of your closest friends.  Of industrial parks.  And the first one to reach the end of the ride doesn't have to do any camp chores.    :D

Ah, thanks for the clarification!  ;)

Routes / Re: Possible Route Change...need help!
« on: May 02, 2012, 03:17:13 am »
I don't want to go down to Astoria but want to get on (connect) to the TransAm route as quickly as possible starting from Bellingham.

If you're looking at expediency, I would look at some variation of the RSVP/STP/Willamette Bikeway option. This would take you along the I-5 corridor for the most part, and be fairly (but by no means wholly) flattish.

The RSVP route (Vancouver BC to Seattle) is an annual ride put on by the Cascade Bike Club. Map and cue sheets here:

STP is the annual Seattle-To-Portland ride, also put on by the Cascade Bike Club.

That'll get you into Portland. From there, you can use this routing to get to Champoeg State Park, the start of the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway:

And from Champoeg, ride to Eugene to connect to the Trans-Am via the WVSB:

A few notes about all of the above: It will still take you about a week to get from Bellingham to Eugene (still don't know what the mileage per day you are aiming for.) You won't get to see the actual ocean on this route but you'll see some of Puget Sound between Tacoma and Bellingham. Some of the route is fairly meandering, so there are ways to straighten things out a bit, or detour off the route for more scenery (like Whidbey and Vashon Islands.) But all of the different routes above are well mapped, whereas detours not so much.

General Discussion / Re: New Reality Show About Racing
« on: May 02, 2012, 02:58:31 am »
Um...what does this have to do with bike touring?

Routes / Re: Possible Route Change...need help!
« on: May 01, 2012, 02:53:55 pm »
If you are set on getting from Bellingham to Astoria, you can use the ACA Pacific Coast Section 1.

Another option is to use the Kirkendall/Spring Bicycling the Pacific Coast book routing. The third edition had a route starting in Vancouver, going through Bellingham, and then crossing over to the Hood Canal. It then turned westward at Shelton to the coast at Aberdeen, then south along 101 to Astoria. (If I remember correctly they changed the routing of the "Inland Option" in the fourth edition.)

Either route is going to take about a week to get to Astoria. How far each day do you hope to be travelling?

Routes / Re: Astoria to Portland non-ACA Route
« on: April 28, 2012, 01:40:56 am »
Okay, one more time and I'll shut up (for now ;) )

If you didn't want to go into Hillsboro and the westside Portland suburbs from the 47/202 option, simply take a left onto Scappoose-Vernonia Highway after Big Eddy Park. This road will bring you to US 30 just north of the town of Scappoose which is north of Portland. There's quite a climb on Scappoose-Vernonia Hwy but not much traffic, and 30 between Scappoose and Portland, while not thrilling, has ample shoulders. The turn is before the town of Vernonia with its grocery store but there is a big Fred Meyer market in Scappoose.

Routes / Re: Astoria to Portland non-ACA Route
« on: April 28, 2012, 01:21:12 am »
And somewhat tangentally:
I wish that ACA either used the 202/47/Banks-Vernonia option (or some variation of it) in their Lewis and Clark routing, or offered it as an alternate. I'm guessing that they wanted to stick to 30 since it hugs the Columbia River, which is the route Lewis and Clark used to get to the coast. But 30 through here is less-than-pleasant, and 202/47/Banks-Vernonia is such a better routing, in my opinion.

I also would love it if Spring and Kirkendall would include the 202/47/Banks-Vernonia Route if/when they update their great Bicycling the Pacific Coast book. They also have given 30 or US 26 (meh) as the options for getting out to the Coast from Portland. Feels more like an afterthought than anything else.

Routes / Re: Astoria to Portland non-ACA Route
« on: April 28, 2012, 01:14:20 am »
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.

I agree with Jamawani that Cape Disappointment on the WA side of the Columbia is a good place to  camp. The four-mile Astoria-Megler Bridge is feared by some, but I didn't find the bridge to be that horrible. (However, the Lewis and Clark Bridge at Longview, while shorter, I find worse.) If you don't want to ride across you can always take the city bus:

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