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Messages - johnsondasw

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Routes / Re: Sierra Cascades or Pacific Coast?
« on: January 18, 2014, 07:31:29 pm »
[quote author=Cyclesafe link=topic=  If you are looking for a definitive answer, I'd strongly recommend S to N on the Pacific route and save the Sierra Cascades for when you are sick and tired of riding along the ocean.  The latter has several beautiful scenic areas, but other than the stretch going through LA, the Pacific Route, on average, is better IMHO.

I could not agree with this recommendation.  I don't think, under normal conditions (i.e. serious predominance of northerly winds), the south to north option makes any sense. These are not just gentle breezes! They are consistently 10-25 mph winds which for most can be very demoralizing and flat out exhausting. And they really do blow N to S much more in summer than the other way.

I have rode this in 2005.  I wish I had this description.  I think it is very well done.  Those who use it will benefit!  Thanks


Routes / Re: Sierra Cascades or Pacific Coast?
« on: January 16, 2014, 11:49:26 am »
I would not ride the coast south to north in the summer.  The headwinds are horrendous that way, whereas they are tailwinds for one travelling south.

The coast will be cooler, but is often foggy.  The SC route will have longer, bigger hills.  The coast is not, as one would expect, flat.  It is almost constantly rolling, which I found to be tiresome. The coast has very frequent, cheap camping all through Oregon and Calif.  This is a bonus.

I think there are reasons to ride both routes, but, again, I would take the SC in June, due to wind.

General Discussion / Re: Olympic Discovery Trail
« on: January 15, 2014, 12:36:17 pm »
As long as we're on the discussion, one of the best short tours (322 miles) I've ever taken was in 2004 when I went around the Olympic peninsula.  We started in Sequim an rode the ODT to Port Angeles then took 101 all the way through Forks and Aberdeen (where we picked up HWY 12) and then just west of Montesano took West Fork Satsop road to Matlock and from there through Dayton to Hood Canal and then north back to Sequim.  This was a continually spectacular and fun riding.  Cars and trucks were always polite and respectful and locals helpful and friendly.  Even the notorious section that winds around Lake Crescent was no problem.  Just wear bright colors and use a mirror.  Of course, these two rules go for any ride I take.

Anyway, this ride is highly recommended.  Check the forecast first; I took it July 12-15 and it was perfect but you don't want to be out there when a Pacific front moves in.  Been there, done that on beach hikes in the La Push area.

General Discussion / Re: Olympic Discovery Trail
« on: January 13, 2014, 03:20:17 pm »
I rode it for quite a while coming into Port Angeles back in 2004 and it was great then.  I remember enjoying the combination of woods and coastline.  I'd go for it for sure.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Anyone ridden the John Wayne Pioneer Trail in WA?
« on: January 04, 2014, 12:41:42 am »
It was mostly the Snoqualmie pass/North Bend to Ellensburg section I was wondering about that, as the alternative to the John Wayne is being stuck on I-90, which sounds unappealing and possibly impossible/illegal for bikes...

Those sections are very good, straightforward and nice surface.  I've spent a lot of time on it, because I live in the area.

General Discussion / Re: Road bike for touring??
« on: December 04, 2013, 12:02:28 am »
I agree Russ.  Nothing wrong with that.  I do most of my riding at this age (65) on unloaded one day rides, but can and do use my CF lightweight bike for tours on occasion and have not had problems hauling a Burley 2-wheeled trailer or motel (credit card) touring with light weights.

General Discussion / Re: Advice or Feedback for Pacific Highway Cycle 2014
« on: November 08, 2013, 06:10:13 pm »
I found that Seven Devils deal to be a huge waste of energy.  It has some of the steepest grades on the whole coast route.  I'd just stay on 101 if I were to do it again. Sometimes in order to avoid main roads, guidebooks  take extraordinary measures, and IMO, this is one such case.  Oregon's 101 is for the most part way safer than much of the Calif part.  Often in Calif there are no shoulders and there is considerable vacation traffic.  You should have experience in riding highways with fast traffic and little or no shoulder if you are planning to do this coast ride.  I would never do it without a mirror, but that's because I  like to know what's coming up behind me and what kind of driver it is.  Some don't seem to mind riding "blind" to oncoming rear traffic. That's ok. I'm just not one of them.

General Discussion / Re: Advice or Feedback for Pacific Highway Cycle 2014
« on: November 07, 2013, 11:55:36 am »
The Olympic Peninsula is much more scenic than the inland ACA route, but as you cut towards Oregon, the scenery is not so great.  You still need to cut in (East) to the official route to cross the Columbia unless you brave the Astoria Bridge
Yup, the Astoria bridge--the only time I've ever seen a road kill starfish.  We crossed it in twilight on a rainy June evening.  On the Astoria side, there were no campgrounds unless we rode another 10 miles.  A nice resident of the town we met in a pizza place let us sleep in the attic bedroom of her house.  This turned out to be quite an adventure, as my partner managed to plug up the only toilet on the house the next morning and it took about an hour to get it working again.

General Discussion / Re: Road bike for touring??
« on: November 05, 2013, 11:35:31 am »
Good post, Staehj.  I guess that's my point.  This all started because I don't think we have to go out and get a special bike for touring, but can often make use of the bike we have. I  have seen people out there touring with all different configurations, bikes, loads, wheel sizes, etc.  I have a friend who tours sometimes on a Bike Friday, and another one who uses his mountain bike.  I've used a rack that clamps on to the seat post and put panniers over that. My sister toured down the Calif coast from Seattle to SF in the early 1970s and carried almost all her stuff in a backpack!  At that time she did not know there were any alternatives. The list goes on.   As in so many things in life, each to his own. 

General Discussion / Re: Road bike for touring??
« on: November 05, 2013, 12:46:59 am »
Well, for me 10% is hard.  I have ridden consistent mountain grades of 10-14%, but I'm slow at them. The two hills mentioned in the preceding post were very low grades for the first half but in the second halves had consistent 6-9% grades.  The Specialized did come with a triple.  I like that.
I'm not feeling disparaged.  I'm happy being out there at 65 years old biking, hiking, and rock climbing most days of the week.  In crap weather, I'm often in the gym lifting weights or indoor climbing.

There are huge commercial pressures to upgrade and buy the best, most expensive, newest, etc.  In the past I have gotten caught up in that a little.  I almost always regret it and have learned to make do with what I have, ergo the touring on whatever bike I have and making it work. I'm not saying that's the way for everyone, but buyer beware.  For a while I had an expensive CF Trek that cost more than double the Specialized.  It was fast, responsive, and, sad to say, fragile.  Sometimes the value curve does not rise proportionally to the cost curve.


General Discussion / Re: Road bike for touring??
« on: November 04, 2013, 12:16:43 am »

If you were able to tour on a road bike with standard OEM gearing while pulling a trailer I assume you limited your self to relatively flat areas or are extremely strong.
I don't know what OEM gearing is but the Specialized has a triple in front.  The terrain was extremely hilly with a 14 mile 2000 foot gain to start the first day.  I'm not extremely strong, in fact on that tour was 59 years old. I also had just received a pacemaker implant that was miscalibrated (I found out later) and did not respond well to exercise, allowing my max heart rate to rise to only approx 120 bpm.   I do have a strong will and will keep plugging away for hours if necessary.  Two days later, we had a 18 mile gain of about 2800 feet.

General Discussion / Re: Road bike for touring??
« on: November 03, 2013, 01:04:03 am »
My touring has been on a 1969 Dawes (cost $120) a 1976 Nishiki 10 speed (cost $200, used panniers), a 1997 Bianchi Eros (cost $1100, used panniers) and a 1995 Specialized carbon fiber Roubaix (cost $1850, used Burley Nomad trailer).  All of these worked great.  We can get too hung up on the idea we need a special touring bike. If you are planning on going off pavement a lot, then yes, you want a different bike than any of these four I have used.  Otherwise, I have just always ridden the one bike I had at the time and made it work. I have never specially outfitted a bike for a tour--no gearing changes, no special mounts, etc.

General Discussion / Re: Road bike for touring??
« on: November 02, 2013, 02:28:22 am »
I've been using road bikes for 33 years touring and have used both panniers and trailers.  I've always used 700x23 (or equivalent) and have never had a problem.  I have toured only on paved roads, however. I always carry several extra tubes and an extra tire.

General Discussion / Re: Titles
« on: October 12, 2013, 07:09:29 pm »
I think it's just based on how many posts you have.  I don't know the cutoff numbers for each title though.  Perhaps an ACA person will enlighten us1

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