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Messages - johnsondasw

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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

General Discussion / Re: Motivation: why ride?
« on: October 02, 2013, 07:13:27 pm »
Why wait 20 years?  Since I turned 50 I've had 2 knee operations, a pacemaker implant.....etc.  I'm still riding, though, but it would have been easier to do a coast to coast 15 years ago when I was 50!

Routes / Re: Pacific coast
« on: October 02, 2013, 11:59:19 am »
Are they using mirrors?  I found a mirror to be essential on that route.  I could see the traffic coming from behind and react accordingly. After a while, a rider with a mirror can even kind of sense what riders coming from behind are going to do with just a glance. If they are not using mirrors, I would suggest they get them at the next bike shop on the route.  With experience and with mirrors, the ride should get safer and safer.

General Discussion / Re: Motivation: why ride?
« on: September 27, 2013, 12:22:24 pm »
What John said.  I tried to think of other reasons but he had pretty much covered them all. 

General Discussion / Re: New to touring - planning a January FLA trip
« on: September 21, 2013, 12:27:38 pm »
I would suggest you get the bike fitted for you so you don't get unnecessary aches and pains or, worse, injuries.  This make s the rental idea more expensive because a real professional fit can cost $150 or so.  I rode too long on a bike that was poorly fitted for me and had to quit riding for awhile until my back, neck, wrists, etc healed up.  This was after a LBS guy told me how to do bike fitting and supposedly "fitted" me to the bike.  Then when I got really fitted by a real professional, the difference was night and day.  Sometimes they have to change out parts; for me that included a new stem.

General Discussion / Re: bicycles on the roadways
« on: August 21, 2013, 10:08:00 pm »
Good reminder, Bikerjohn.  I ride in Seattle a lot and will often be waiting for a red light to change when another cyclist will come up, look quickly, and proceed right through.  This gives us all a bad name and in Seattle there is now a constant "hate the bikes" theme going on.  People are tired of bikes not following the rules.

Likewise, every time I ride I see motorists who are not following the rules.  The most common infractions by the cars are failing to signal for turns, failure to yield right-of-way to bikes and speeding.  The failure to signal is especially irritating because on a bike we need to know what the cars are going to do!

I always ride with a mirror.  It allows me to know what is going on all around, not just in front and on the sides.  With this awareness, I can have more control of the situation, which in some cases means taking the lane.  Without a mirror, I would feel completely at the mercy of motorists, many of whom are drunk, texting, tired, etc.  No way am I venturing out on the roads without the protection a mirror provides.

I've done light touring with a CF Specialized Roubaix and a Burley Nomad trailer.  I have a triple and am glad I do.  It all worked great, even though I use 700x23c tires.

Rocky Mountain / Re: Review of Ride Idaho 2013
« on: August 14, 2013, 09:38:34 pm »
I rode it once, in 2010 and was not impressed for exactly the problems (and even a few more) you have listed.  You pay more for an ACA ride, but in my one experience, there were no problems of this sort at all.  Everything was really dialed in well.

  Washington (and Montana), on the other hand, do a decent job of chipseal, using small, often rounded, gravel.  The ride isn't quite as smooth as well paved fresh asphalt, but it's usually quite tolerable.  Much better than asphalt over old concrete, for example.

This is not true in Kittitas County in Central Washington where I  live. Here, they will take roads that are in good shape and ruin then with chip seal that uses sharp pieces of basalt.  When you ride into it, you can watch your speedometer immediately drop 1-2 mph.  Also, they use so little oil that the sharp rocks fly all over the place and when they do stay put the sharp points stick way up. 

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