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Messages - adventurepdx

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181
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.

182
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.

183
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.

184
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.

185
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.

186
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.

187
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.

188
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.

189
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.

190
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.

191
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.

192
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:
http://www.dot.il.gov/bikemap/bikehome.HTMl


193
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.

Yep.


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... ;)

194
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.

195
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) warmshowers.org 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.

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