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Messages - johnsondasw

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General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: September 24, 2014, 01:14:46 pm »
  The major danger on Interstates is at the entrance/exit ramps and cyclists have to be very aware at these points.

And another insidious danger is the debris on the side of the road.  You must be very vigilant about this and constantly be scanning the shoulder ahead.  We have all seen large pieces of lumber, chunks of angle iron, car fenders. etc etc.  Hitting these kinds of items could easily result in catastrophic accidents for cyclists.  Also, not cool to suddenly hit the start of rumble strips that you did not see coming!  Those buggers could throw you.

General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: August 30, 2014, 09:26:46 pm »
I live in central WA state and have ridden at least hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles on I-90 near my home.

But the I-90 bridge over the Columbia at Vantage is an example of what many people are talking about - a death trap. No shoulders, heavy traffic, high speeds and high winds at times. 

Yup!  Did that once, in 1991.  It is a problem.  I have seen folks walking alon with bikes, squeezed against the guardrail.

General Discussion / Re: Quick fixes for cyclist's palsy?
« on: August 30, 2014, 03:26:39 pm »
Getting a pro fit saved me from this problem and several others (back, neck, knees...).  After the fit session, I took off on a ride and all of the above issues had disappeared.  I have since ridden thousands of miles pain free.  What a difference!

General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: August 30, 2014, 03:22:57 pm »
I live in central WA state and have ridden at least hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles on I-90 near my home.  There are times I have chosen to ride on the freeway because of the wide shoulders and the lack or really good alternatives.  I don't think it is more dangerous than some of the rural roads around here, but it is less peasant.  I especially don't like the little metal wires that are a product of deteriorating truck tires and give me flats. They can be very hard to find.  I also have come to dislike the noise of the interstate and now chose to use it less than I did 10 years ago.  Back in the late 70s, I was ticketed (warning ticket) for riding on the freeway but the law has changed since then.  I have found lots of bungee cords (hundreds!) on the side of freeway along with some great tools and one time over $200 in a wallet that did have ID in it so I was happy to return it to the owner.  Anyway, the freeway can be a useful alternative at times in some places. Each to his own.

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers vs. BOB?
« on: August 03, 2014, 05:26:12 pm »
If you decide on a trailer, be sure to check out the Burley Nomad before buying the Bob. They are different.  i use the Nomad, and have been on rides with folks using the Bob.  I would choose the Nomad 2-wheeled option for stability and loading/finding stuff ease. I agree with Staephi about the drafting issue.  I think it is a big deal, esp for me, as I am a real wind wimp! therefore, when not touring alone I'd prob go with panniers, but use ultralite technology.

General Discussion / Re: dogs and security
« on: August 03, 2014, 05:15:27 pm »
I have gotten very good at kicking dogs in the head with either foot and have done it many times.  I live in a rural area and have been attacked probably 20+ times in the past 40 years.  I make no apologies about this.  If a dog attacks, the rider could easily end up on the road under the wheels of a passing vehicle.  That the mortal danger, much more serious than the dog bite danger.  A word of warning--for the inexperienced, the thrust of the kick can throw one off balance and cause  a crash which could also cause one to end up under a car.

I hate the fact that dog owners allow their pets to get into the road.  It's not the dog's fault, but they get the penalty.  I have found that dogs learn and have known ones that have received the kick penalty in the past come charging out, see who is riding past, turn tail and run back into the yard.  To me, that's success for all involved.

Gear Talk / Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« on: July 03, 2014, 08:59:12 pm »
My most appreciated items are mirror, headlamp and book.  I usually read well into the night, and sometimes when waking up in the middle of the night.

My algorithm is pretty dirt simple. When a tire is worn out, I replace it. I try not to overthink this.

Ditto.  I watch the two little wear holes on my Continentals.  Also, sometimes a rear tire will keep getting frequent flats and then I change it.

California / Re: Pacific Coast Sections 4 & 5
« on: June 18, 2014, 04:28:50 pm »
Cool. I got that, I guess I just want some reassurance that if I show up the likeliness of being left standing there looking stupid is minimal. I've never stepped foot on a train, let alone with a tandem bike in tow.

Just don't believe the schedule.  My two ( and last two) Amtrack experiences were horrible, and one was on the coast route.  Both times they were way behind schedule. (We were supposed to be in Seattle mid-afternoon and got there at 1 am.)  Also, the bathrooms were disgusting, rarely cleaned, and the attendants were unhelpful and unfriendly. They even repeatedly lied about where we were and when we would get to our destination! The last time I rode on the Amtrack was 2005, so things may be better now......

Pacific Northwest / Re: Bears on Pacific Coast Ride?
« on: June 18, 2014, 04:20:16 pm »
Raccoons, however, will raid your food supply all the way down if it is not secured. 

General Discussion / Re: Fantastic Commuting Infrastructure
« on: June 01, 2014, 07:26:03 pm »
Bike riding is still fun and safe dedpite the lack of government assistance.
The safe part is relative, depending on where you are and what your skill level, experience level and tolerance levels are.  I ride in a lot of different environments from busy urban to single lane mountain roads with no traffic, and I have to adjust, of course, depending.  My mirror allows me to feel much safer in the traffic areas.

As far as the bike accommodations in the US compared to European countries, we are way behind many of them.  Our culture is built around cars and the ability to go anywhere at any time in a car.  And our tax rates, especially on the rich, are very low compared to the social democracies of Western Europe and compared to our own 50-60 years ago.  There just is not the money to spend on so many things. When I was a kid, camping was free, as were national parks, state parks, etc.  Now we can't even afford decent veteran care and we have bridges collapsing on us. Think there's much money left over for bike amenities?  We have financial structural problems that preclude such frivolities.  Meanwhile, the richest of us have second and third homes, yachts, etc.  The European democracies with high tax rates have the highest standard of living in the world, better health care, etc, and , yes, better accommodations for getting around without cars.

Don't expect our situation to improve a lot until we get a more equitable tax structure and we have the funds available like we did in the halcyon days of the mid-twentieth century when deficits were manageable and benefits and amenities generous.

Gear Talk / Re: solo bike security
« on: April 08, 2014, 01:53:57 pm »
I live my in a small western town and know of several bike thefts here over the years.  I always lock my bike when going out of sight even for a few seconds.  When I know I won't be able to see it for any more that a few minutes, I double lock it with a medium and a light cable and, if particularly worried about the situation, remove the front tire and lock it to the rest of the bike or take it into the building. The idea is to make it a hassle to untangle the bike and get away with it.

My son had his bike stolen in Seattle.  He had leaned it against a large window outside a building and was inside talking to a client on the other side of the window.  A thief jumped on the bike and my son chased him of foot until they got to a downhill and the thief was able to speed away.  If he had just run his helmet strap through the rear wheel (another thing I do to increase the hassle for potential thieves), the guy would never have been able to get on the bike and get away that fast.

General Discussion / Re: Tools for adventure
« on: March 25, 2014, 12:13:29 pm »
I always have a couple of zip ties of different sizes with me and they have been very useful twice.  I also save my old cleats for my shoes and bring a couple along.  They saved my partner once, but never me.

General Discussion / Re: touring in the rain?
« on: February 21, 2014, 08:53:55 pm »
I ride in it unless it's too miserable.  I have several times waited it out under overpasses.  I do carry shoe covers for most of my rides because they often include mountains of the NW.  I used them in wet snowstorm in Montana in June!

Urban Cycling / Re: top bicycle-friendly cities and towns
« on: February 21, 2014, 08:49:16 pm »
I visit the Carmel/Monterrey Calif area regularly due to relatives.  Over the years, I have found some great routes in the area, oftentimes incorporating parts of the Pebble Beach roads, which you can ride on free on a bike but cost $10 for cars!  That always feels good. I just got a map and made up routes.  It's a hilly area, though.

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