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Messages - johnsondasw

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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.

I did it in late June-early July and found that to be a fine time.  We had a rain in WA on June 21 and that was the last of the rain for the whole trip.  Lots of people recommend going in the fall to avoid summer traffic, but I'm more traffic tolerant than most and rarely had a problem with it.  Fourth of July weekend in the area around San Francisco did get a little intense at times, but I still felt ok about it.  I use a mirror and was able to watch traffic coming from the rear. For the most part, drivers were very considerate and friendly.

Gear Talk / Re: payment for gear
« on: February 08, 2014, 02:21:05 pm »
I sold a bike for $1500 on Craigslist in Seattle.  I set it up to meet in a public place. I would never meet at my home to do this.  The buyer brought cash with him.  I was thinking he would have to go to a bank after checking out the bike and get the money but he said anyone buying off Craigslist for something like a bike knows to bring cash.  He just looked at the bike, did not even touch it (really) and peeled off 15 hundred dollar bills and rolled the bike over to his car.  We have been in contact over the past couple of years and he's been very happy with the bike.  This was literally a five minute exchange, max.  It sure worked out well for me. 

General Discussion / Re: Link to this forum is buried, why???
« on: January 29, 2014, 02:58:33 pm »
I have to agree with Indyfabz here.  It's not that hard to find the forums, and I have them on my favorites so they open right up there.  Maybe it's not designed as well as could be, but modern technology seems to often not comply with my "best wishes/case" scenario. Some of the previous posts seem to come from an anger a little out of proportion to the level of the problem, almost like the ACA folks are purposely trying to frustrate us users.  I don't think there is any such malicious intent.  I have met many of the staffers on a ride and in the office and appreciate their work, friendliness and commitment to the advancement of bike travel.  So, fix this little problem, keep up the good work, and move on.

Disclosure:  I do not work for ACA, nor do I have any relatives who do.  I do, however, often ride in an ACA jersey, which I like for its visibility, durability, and fit. I bought it at the ACA office in Missoula on the end of Ride Montana in 2009, where I was invited in and given a nice tour of the facilities and met some of the staff there.  I guess I therefore do consider them to be friends, although I'm sure none of them remember me!

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