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Messages - johnsondasw

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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!

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.

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