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Messages - adventurepdx

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General Discussion / Re: Step thru frames
« on: November 19, 2012, 01:26:58 pm »
Make sure she rides this bike on enough long rides before she starts (with her gear) to be sure it'll be comfortable enough. To me, that's a much bigger issue.

Very good point. Is there anywhere nearby that can be a good overnight camping destination? Can she go on a short tour (3 days or so) before the big one?

General Discussion / Re: Step thru frames
« on: November 19, 2012, 12:07:22 pm »
pzyduck, my two cents: I'm a big proponent of "ride what you got", especially if you have no choice. And I understand being broke.  She might get through the ride with not a lot of major issues and have the time of her life. People have toured on worse.
Or, she may scrap the ride after a week because of discomfort and mechanical failures, and never want to tour again.

You're already talking about replacing wheels, and show concern for the frame. With all that, I would advise getting a different bike. It doesn't have to be a brand new touring bike, there are plenty of good used deals out there that wouldn't set her back that much. Is there any local bike co-ops around her? She may be able to get a good deal and learn how to work on her bike.

General Discussion / Re: Step thru frames
« on: November 18, 2012, 03:20:41 pm »
The traditional American Woman's frame with two parallel downtubes and no effective top tube is very flexible and unsuited to carrying heavy loads.  Whatever strength it has comes from heavy wall tubing so it will be very heavy and very few if any came with good components or suitable gearing.

The "parallel top/down tube frame" for women's bikes are not exclusive to US bikes, as there were many British bikes that had the same design, and European countries had some variation on the theme.

Speaking of "Step-Thru Frame Touring", back in June I ran into a German woman touring the Pacific Coast with her very Euro step-thru frame bike.

If I were to look for a step-thru style frame, I'd definitely go for a mixte frame.

General Discussion / Re: The TransAmerican for a beginner?
« on: November 15, 2012, 03:38:07 pm »
I crossed the North Cascades W-E in October one year in the pouring rain. Climbing was OK, the exertion kept me warm but descending from Rainy Pass to Mazama I came close to hypothermia.

Heck, I came close to getting hypothermia due to rain on Sherman Pass (along Northern Tier in Washington) in June!

General Discussion / Re: adding pictures
« on: November 15, 2012, 12:45:12 pm »
Forrest, to make a photo smaller, use a photo-editing program and reduce size. Something like Photoshop works. Photoscape is a free program you can download which works ok.

Or, you can upload your photos to something like flickr, Picassa, or photobucket and link the photos.

General Discussion / Re: Advice on Heading South in Winter
« on: November 14, 2012, 05:33:17 pm »
Haven, if you use the Amtrak provided box, you won't have to "strip parts" or any of that business. All you need to do is remove pedals and turn bars sideways. (Note: if your bars have enough flare, this may cause issues.)

You may be able to use the kitty litter panniers as check on baggage, but I've never done it so I can't speak from experience. When I've taken Amtrak, I usually check a couple of my panniers with checked baggage, and bring two on board as "carry-on". (When I have full panniers.)

More on Amtrak bicycle/baggage policies here:

Routes / Re: Calgary to Banff
« on: November 05, 2012, 10:08:52 pm »
Hey Christian-

My girlfriend and I biked from Calgary to Banff last year. There didn't seem like any easy way of biking out of the city. We used Hwy 1A, which is basically a freeway getting out of town (legal to ride). 1A remains a wide divided highway with ample shoulders until Cochrane, and from there it becomes a two lane with decent shoulders and low-moderate traffic, as most through traffic is on Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) to the south. There is about a 10 or 20 mile section of 1A that is shoulderless. We were warned about this section, but there was barely any traffic, so it wasn't much of a worry in that department. The pavement is crap on that section, however. 1A will lead into Canmore, the town on the outside of Banff National Park, and from there you can take a bike path all the way into Banff townsite. (It parallels the Trans-Can.) Not too much in the way of services on this route, besides Calgary, Canmore, Banff, and Cochrane there is some stuff in Exshaw. You could do it in a day, but it'd be a long one. Hotels in Cochrane and a provincial campground at Ghost Lake.

General Discussion / Re: Tales of Calamity and Woe
« on: October 31, 2012, 03:24:06 pm »
I once snapped my handlebars on tour.

Thankfully, it happened on an off day, when I was riding around town unloaded. And the snapping happened right when I started to pedal after the light turned green. It could have been a lot worse.

Gear Talk / Re: Bushwhacker bags and panniers
« on: October 29, 2012, 10:39:07 pm »
I don't know anything about the Bushwhacker brand, but here's my two cents:

The Bushwhacker panniers depicted look like they could be ok. There are no dissatisfied Amazon reviews. And they have a retro pannier look about them, if that's your thing. But the photos don't show the mounting system, and zippers can be a problematic closing system. You have to have the things packed "just so", otherwise it won't close. A strap-down fastening system that most modern panniers have is easier to close, as the straps compress the load and also offer better opportunities for overstuffing the bag. (Not that it's advised... ;) )

If I were to pick up a set of bags in that price range and with the same capacity, I'd check out Axiom, which puts out some great budget gear. Maybe give these Axiom Seymour LX panniers a shot:
While I haven't owned this particular model of panniers, I've owned several sets of Axiom panniers over the years and put them through a lot. They didn't let me down. The mounting system looks pretty solid on the Seymour LX and it is fastened by straps.
You can most likely order the Axiom bags through your LBS.

General Discussion / Re: Tire Pressure
« on: October 22, 2012, 02:40:32 pm »
I'm no expert, but my advice would be to keep the pressure on the high side of that range if you're riding on paved streets.

If you want something more exact, check this out:

General Discussion / Re: First tour for Brits in US
« on: October 20, 2012, 01:42:17 am »
We also get the impression that just turning up at a campsite and asking for a pitch for the night and a shower is not always as straightforward as we're used to.

What do you mean by this? Are you referring to official campsites that you pay for? Government run or private?

I've done quite a bit of touring in the States and the basic protocol at most publicly-run campsites is show up and pay for a spot. Depending on where you are (say, the Oregon Coast), you may find sites specifically reserved for cyclotourists at a lower cost, known as "hiker/biker sites". Some campgrounds won't turn away touring cyclists even if the campground may be technically full. Then the park ranger/camp host will let you camp in an unofficial camping spot for the night. And some campgrounds don't have hiker/biker spots and will turn away cyclotourists. In my travels these tended to be privately run campgrounds (RV parks and the like) but I've heard of some state parks turning cyclists away too. It's best to do a little research on the campgrounds in advance, if you can. And you can always hope the park ranger/camp host will take pity on you.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Astoria to Boise
« on: October 16, 2012, 03:41:27 am »
Consider Estacada, Maupin, Fossil, John Day, to Ontario.  OR 224 turns into paved forest roads and tops out at Timothy Lake.

I rode from Estacada to Timothy Lake a couple years ago. There is about a 3-5 mile section of gravel before Timothy Lake, if you use the more direct Forest Service Road 5810. FS 58 is supposed to be paved the whole way, but is the longer routing. Still a beautiful, lightly trafficked ride in this area no matter what way you do it.

The gravel section of FS 5810 before Timothy Lake.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Astoria to Boise
« on: October 16, 2012, 12:09:15 am »
Hey Elbrento-

I've only ridden from Portland/Vancouver to The Dalles, OR, which is 100 miles west of Umatilla. My preferred routing would be skip SR 14 on the Washington side and ride the south (Oregon) side of the Columbia River Gorge at least until The Dalles.

SR 14 on the Washington side has its moments, but it can be narrow and busy, with narrow shoulders and more truck traffic than you want. Plus there is about eight tunnels to pass through between Dallesport and Carson.

If you travel on the Oregon side, you will have to ride on Interstate 84 for at least two sections, which is unavoidable and legal. The two sections are from Yeon State Park to Bonneville, about three miles (until they finish the trail in this section), and fifteen miles from Wyeth to Hood River. But you'll be able to ride on sections of the Historic Columbia River Highway (HCRH), with its spectacular views and low traffic. And some sections of the HCRH are off-limits to cars, so you'll have some peaceful riding! Crown Point, Chanticleer Point/Women's Forum, Multnomah Falls, and the Mosier Tunnels are just a few of the scenic highlights of the Oregon side. There is some great views on SR 14 too, namely Cape Horn, but the HCRH has lots more.

After The Dalles, I have no experience, but heard SR 14 is a better option than the Oregon side (I-84.)

Crown Point and the Columbia Gorge from Women's Forum.

Multnomah Falls.

LHT avec Horsetail Falls.

Gear Talk / Re: What kind of bike?
« on: October 06, 2012, 10:41:24 pm »
Sorry, I stand corrected.  I did get the discount during the Spring REI event, but this is a different sale.

Yeah. Sometimes bikes are included, sometimes they are not. I think they also have a special Novara bike sale at some point too. And I remember when I signed up for a membership, they give you a 15% off coupon for an REI/Novara branded item, forget if it worked for Novara bikes.

Classifieds / SOLD: Pletscher Twin-Leg Kickstand, silver color
« on: October 06, 2012, 07:51:13 pm »
Pletscher Twin-Leg Kickstand in decent condition. This kickstand mounts like most single-leg kickstands do, to the chainstays between rear tire and seat tube. When at rest, this kickstand tucks up near the left chainstay, just like most single-leg kickstands do. The big difference is that the two legs cause the rear (or front, depending on how your load is balanced) wheel to come off the ground, meaning the bike stays more stable than a regular one-leg kickstand. Great for touring bikes.


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