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Messages - adventurepdx

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You could do the Pacific Coast from outside of Portland, Oregon to San Francisco in about two weeks (heading southbound). So that indeed is a good option. And the logistics of getting a bike to/from Portland and SF are not that complicated.

If I had two weeks, I'd probably ride the Icefields Parkway and areas around it in Banff/Jasper National Parks. Of course, that is Canada, not the US...

Gear Talk / Re: New bike questions
« on: May 28, 2013, 02:16:22 am »
Are we talking "subjective" or "objective" differences? Feel vs numbers? If it's the latter you should check out a site that has Miyata catalogs and then check out the specs for each year. Here is one:

Pacific Northwest / Re: route
« on: May 26, 2013, 01:57:54 am »
Yep, Amtrak is an easy option from Seattle to Mount Vernon. If you want to start at the true start of the NT in Anacortes, this will require about 20 miles of backtracking, or taking the Skagit County Transit bus out there.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Camping in St. Helens Oregon
« on: May 26, 2013, 01:55:35 am »
I found out the City of St. Helens has McCormick park that has 10 tent sites on a first come - first served basis for $10 per night.  This includes a shower.  Neat!!

Ooh, good to know! Here's more deets:

+1 on the "locks." A fairly light cable and small lock are all you need to deter opportunistic theft. And keep in mind that a u-lock doesn't come in that handy outside the urban setting.

I guess I'm the "dissenter" when it comes to locks as I bring the same locking system (U-Lock plus cable) that I do in the city. For one, it's in the same spot(s) it would be for around town riding. And because its always a part of the bike, I don't think about removing it. I realize that yeah it weighs more than a fairly light cable lock, but I'm more for peace of mind than weight reduction with this one item. It's also worth considering where exactly one is touring. Through rural areas I don't always lock my bike (or sometimes I just "hobble" it.) But my tours tend to incorporate some cities so I like that security. And it doesn't always have to be big cities, sometimes college towns are pretty notorious for bike theft (Eugene, OR for example.)

General Discussion / Re: Tents
« on: May 01, 2013, 12:45:10 pm »
The one vs two door tent is definitely a matter of personal preference. To counter staehpj1 and bogiesan's outtake, the first two years that my girlfriend and I toured we had a one door tent. When we started on our four-month long tour in 2011, we switched to a two-door tent with a bit more space. We vastly preferred the two-door tent. Yes, we could have made do with a one door, but it was a lot better when we got two doors. But as they say on the internet, YMMV.

Routes / Re: East Coast Greenway--Will my bike be ok?
« on: April 30, 2013, 10:59:24 pm »
Jasmine, with an organization like ECG that has an aim towards accessibility, I'd imagine that any unpaved sections are still pretty nice, most likely paved with crushed limestone. If a trail is pretty gnarly they'd most likely note it. However, I wouldn't assume anything so you might want to call/email them to double-check. I've ridden many a crushed limestone trail and they are usually pretty nice. It'll be slower going than paved, though, especially when wet.

As for tire width, yeah, getting wider tires couldn't hurt. I currently run 35 mm wide tires on my touring bike, and don't regret it.

Routes / Re: East Coast Greenway--Will my bike be ok?
« on: April 30, 2013, 08:48:38 pm »
To note: only 25% of the ECG is an off-road trail, so that means most of the riding you'll be doing is on regular roads with traffic. You should definitely check out their website for more info:

General Discussion / Re: How to Blog? Crazyguyonabike?
« on: April 28, 2013, 03:17:40 pm »
Additionally the CGOAB journals read like a book whereas a blog is reverse chronology presentation.

I think a good distinction to make between CGOAB and blogging templates like Blogger, Wordpress, etc. is Crazy Guy is a site for travel journals. which isn't always the same as a "blog". (At least in my head.) CGOAB is a community of travel journals all about bicycle touring. So if all you want to do is talk about bicycle tours, it's probably the best place to go.

However, if you wanted to talk about bicycle tours and other stuff that may or may not be related to bicycling, a personal blog on a blogging template like Wordpress, Blogger, etc would be the way to go. These sites have the the added benefits of customization of design and all that, something CGOAB doesn't provide.

As for "reading like a journal", there are ways to create linear-reading journals with Wordpress, Blogger, etc, usually by creating "categories". A good example of using Wordpress to do that is here, check out trip reports on the right of the page:

General Discussion / Re: Tents
« on: April 26, 2013, 10:51:14 pm »
Its a bit on the heavy side which worries me (Total Weight - 2,9 kg; Trail Weight - 2,63 kg ), but hopefully I'll manage!

You can divvy up the tent parts between the two of you to equalize the weight, so it's not one person carrying the tent.

Gear Talk / Re: ACA & Smartphones
« on: April 24, 2013, 09:17:37 pm »
Getting back to one of the points the OP brought up, I think it would be nice to see a mobile-friendly version of the ACA website, though I'm sure that would be quite a bit of work to make it all work.

Routes / Re: Across North America
« on: April 18, 2013, 11:14:43 pm »
...go to Ottawa, ON on the Trans Canada Trail (300 miles)...and finish with the Trans Canada Trail again that will take us to Vancouver (720 miles)...

The Trans Canada Trail is more concept than reality at this point, as there are still many sections that need to be built. Before committing yourself to any of its routing, make sure you do your research.
Just looking at the map provided indicates quite a bit of unfinished routing between Jasper and Vancouver.

If the miles are added up we get something around 6000 miles.
We're ready to take a train or a ferry at some point during the trip, but I still don't know if this is a realistic project as a whole.

6,000 miles (which is nearly 10,000 km) is a pretty ambitious tour, especially if you have 3 1/2 months. If you rode every single day from June 1st to September 15th (106 days) you'd be looking at a mileage of 56.6 miles a day. That doesn't factor in any days off for doing other stuff, sightseeing (which there will be quite a bit of going through the Canadian Rockies), emergency/mechanical issues/unexpected stuff, or just plain break time. Some people can and do ride 60 miles a day, every day, for months on end. Some people can ride even more miles than that on a daily basis. But not everyone does.

General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: April 17, 2013, 12:07:14 am »
Campground hosts may not be entirely reliable, reference our stay at Newhalem, WA.  Bear signs, but no bear boxes, and we didn't have rope to hang food.  So I asked the host if there was some place we could store our (depleted) food, and he told me, don't worry about it, they haven't had a bear in the campground for 10-15 years.  So we left panniers on bikes overnight and didn't worry -- until we got back to civilization, and in contact with my wife.  She'd been cruising various journals, and somebody had taken a picture of a bear walking through that same campground a week earlier.  At least he didn't bother our stuff!

Was this the Colonial Creek Campground in North Cascades National Park? We got the same info from the camp host when we inquired about bear boxes. (And found out afterward about bears in the vicinity.) We hid our food in the "utility sink room" in the bathroom. (Fun fact: They had installed bear boxes when we were there in 2011, but they were all in one spot on the far side of the campground. Very convenient.)

But most of the National Park campgrounds I've stayed in have secure trash cans and dumpsters, including Colonial Creek.

This may be one of those motorist/non-motorist split kind of things.  The bears hadn't started to break into campers, cars, or even locked motorcycle boxes, so the host may have honestly thought there was no problem.

True, but if a campground has dumpsters and trash cans that aren't animal proof, the bears and other animals are going to go for them. What's inside a locked car is small potatoes compared to scores of garbage bags of food scraps in an unsecured dumpster. So if there are problem animals in the area, I'm guessing they would have found those dumpsters and trash cans by now, and the camp hosts would realize that.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Portland,or to Seaside
« on: April 16, 2013, 11:59:25 pm »
There is excellent, inexpensive, twice-a-day bus service between those two cities on Northwest POINT. The bus leaves from the same place as the train arrives. There's even TV and free WiFi on board. When I did it, I didn't take my bike with me, so you better call them to see what their policies are for that.

You can take unboxed bicycles for $5 and they go into the cargo hold beneath the bus.
This is for "regular" bicycles, though. Recumbents may be a different story. Best to contact Northwest Point.

General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: April 16, 2013, 12:20:47 am »
There are other places as well, but in generally all of the places where there is concern campgrounds provided bear boxes.  In regular campgrounds you can judge the risk pretty well by whether trash cans and dumpsters are bear proof .  If not you can probably assume that bears will not be a problem.

So true. I've been to a campground or two and saw some "be aware of bears" signs, then noticed that all the trashcans and dumpsters were not secured. So I didn't worry much, since the campground itself wasn't taking the appropriate precautions. And honestly, a bear is most likely going to go for the trashcans and dumpsters.

But as pdlamb said, "Keep your lawyers away from me!" Use your own discretion and not take my opinion as truth or law.

One thing to also be aware about when it comes to food is raccoons. There are some places that don't offer "bear boxes" but suffer from raccoon problems (the campsites on the Oregon Coast for example.) While raccoons don't pose as much a threat to humans as bears (well, the non-rabid ones), they do pose a huge threat to your food. And will go through great lengths to get to your food.

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