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Messages - adventurepdx

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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...

Routes / Re: Portland to San Francisco in 15 days, starting May 7th
« on: April 11, 2014, 03:37:03 pm »
Well, we don't know what the OP's definition of "best route" is. If it's drier and shorter, than the "Valley" route could be better, though it can still rain in the Willamette Valley in May, and there's the whole Siskyou/Klamath Mountains between the valleys to pass through. But if best route means more in the way of scenery and campgrounds, it would be hard to beat the Pacific Coast Route, especially for someone who isn't from the area.

Routes / Re: Portland to San Francisco in 15 days, starting May 7th
« on: April 11, 2014, 02:18:24 pm »
Well, that's pretty easy: Go down the Pacific Coast! You can follow the ACA Pacific Coast Route!
With your timeframe, you can easily accomplish the route with 50-60 mile days.

As for getting to the Oregon Coast from Portland, 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 from Portland to the coast. It is very rural and very quiet in terms of traffic and people. It drops you off in Astoria, the northernmost point on US 101 on the Oregon Coast.
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.

There are also two bus options from Portland to the coast: The NW Point bus to Seaside/Astoria, or the Wave to Tillamook.

General Discussion / Re: 2 General Questions
« on: March 25, 2014, 11:31:06 pm »
There really is no good way to bypass Portland on the L&C Route.
Portland is extremely bike friendly - but it is a big city, nevertheless.

The Lewis and Clark route bypasses most of Portland, even when in Portland. The only city neighborhoods that it goes through is St Johns and portions of North Portland, which has plenty of services, including bike shops and groceries. But they are mostly residential "streetcar suburb" neighborhoods and not really "big city" like. The rest of the way through the metro area is along Marine Drive, which is nice because it's pretty straight and flat and much of it is separated bike path. But you'll see very little of actual Portland unless you detour from the route. If you don't detour, you may wonder why everyone makes such a big deal about Portland.  ;)

Finally, I rode Hwy 14 on my first X-USA trip in 1987.  It has way more traffic now.
I've ridden Hwy 14 a couple of time since and have driven it, too.

Definitely agree on the "more traffic". Quite a bit of semis, not too much shoulder either, at least from the Camas to Bingen section. East of there, not as bad. And if you ride 14 the whole way through the Columbia River Gorge, you miss most of the scenic attractions.

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