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Messages - johnsondasw

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Pacific Northwest / Re: Spokane to Kennewick
« on: January 02, 2010, 12:05:13 am »
I've ridden some around the area. The back roads are wonderful.  I'd try something like Spokane-Rockford-Tekoa-Colfax-Dusty-Dodge-Waitsburg-Burbank.  These types of roads have wonderful rural flavor and friendly natives.  We use this part of Washington for yours sometimes, as the southern protions have the warmest weather in the state in early spring.

General Discussion / Re: Your first long distance tour...
« on: December 28, 2009, 11:11:21 pm »
Excitement on the first question about the tour to come and excitement on the second question about tours to come.  I'm still excited, 30 years later about touring, and still doing it every year.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Greetings
« on: December 26, 2009, 04:39:17 pm »
Southeast Washington is one of our choices for early season bike trips due to its "banana belt" climate, for Washington  state, anyway.  I live on the east slopes of the Cascades where it's often still winter in March/April.  In the NW, we have to choose rides for part of the year based on both climactic averages and specific weather conditions.   

General Discussion / Re: Rockies in June [was Re: Midwest Icebreaker]
« on: December 23, 2009, 08:19:49 pm »
The Rockies in the second half of June is as favorable as it gets. That's the optimal time to be there. There should be plenty of sunshine, with a fairly low chance of rain. Depending on where you are ("the Rockies" covers a lot of ground), it can be as hot as the 90s F in the day and below freezing at night. But in general, the weather is great. Cycling in the day can usually be done in shorts and a short-sleeve jersey. But of course you need to watch the weather forecast and plan for cold descents from the passes (i.e., carry some warmer stuff up the passes with you).

I've been snowed on hard in the passes of the western Rockies in late June.  You can do it, but be prepared to wait it out if there are cold storms in the passes.  In the lower elevations, it can be great riding, with warmth and plenty of sunshine.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Greetings
« on: December 23, 2009, 08:16:46 pm »
I have ridden south of Spokane in mid-March and had a great time.  We went from Dusty to Pullman then took the steep, windy road  from Pullman down to the Snake River.  From there, we followed the river to Lewiston, west over Alpowa Summit to Pomeroy, then back up to Dusty.  It was a combination of warm and cold experiences, lots of hills, and lots of fun.  It was about a 2.5 day trip.

Welcome to the PNW forum.

The high pases in Washington in early June are variable.  You get beautiful, warm sunny days and rainy days, occassional wet snow even.  It is rideable then, but be prepared for these unpredictable conditions.  It sound like a fun adventure to me, if the east coast in early April is OK.  I'm not familiar with the weather conditions there. 

Gear Talk / Re: cold feet! Recommendations?
« on: December 14, 2009, 11:11:53 pm »
Shoe covers help, but they're not the whole answer.  I have some "Sidekick " ones that are fairly thick but they ride up off the toe often and if you don't notice, your toes start to freeze.  Then I have Pearl Izumi thin and hard to get on ones that help and do not come off the toe, but more insulation would be nice.  My latest trick is to but those little hand/foot warmer chemical pads that warm up when exposed to air.  I put one in the toe of each show so my toes go over it.  That helps a lot.  A friend told me to put a layer of aluminum foil under the shoe insert.  I think the real solution is to get larger shoes for winter (they make a winter bike shoe--looks a little like an ankle top hiking boot) and with that you could get thicker, warmer socks in there.  I haven't wanted to spring the $100 or more for them.  When the tempurature's under about 38 degrees or so, I just keep my rides down to about 20 miles or so.

Routes / Re: TransAm starting in mid Aug?
« on: December 13, 2009, 01:01:03 am »
NOvember in the western mountains is not a good idea.  I live in the Cascades in the NW and we get cold rain, snow, etc in October. Some years there is considerable snowfall in November as low as 2000 or 3000 feet.  The passes are higher than this.  If you could veer south about about the time you're getting into the western mountains and end up going down near the Southern Tier, it would be a lot warmer.

General Discussion / Re: Bonking on tour
« on: December 12, 2009, 12:35:19 am »
  As others have said - know your limits.

And remember, as you age, your limits will change.  This can be an unpleasant surprise.

General Discussion / Re: Advice for a cross-country trip
« on: December 10, 2009, 10:11:15 pm »

Different strokes, but I personally have found that I prefer to take no full off days.  I'd rather take short mileage days when I need a break or want to do something.  I consider them half days.  I only take a full day if I need to do something fun, like whitewater rafting or something, and even then prefer to ride a short ways.  The key for me is to not push so hard that I need a day off the next day. 

Well put.  I feel the same way.  I like to do something daily, and it so far has always involved riding, at least a ways.


By the way, what's PB?

Peanut butter.  One of the two food groups.  The other one is chocolate.

I like the cake idea.  I substitute, well, a chocolate bar or chocolate chip cookies, etc.

General Discussion / Re: Advice for a cross-country trip
« on: November 30, 2009, 11:18:21 pm »
Some of my favorite times on bike tours are the times not riding--hanging out with friends, meeting new people, reading, enjoying rest stops in beautiful places, etc.  I've ridden on tours where we had to max out day after day.  Not any more. 

« on: November 29, 2009, 08:42:19 pm »
One huge convenience about road touring is that you can send stuff home if you bring too much.  We have also done this on a tour where we went from north to south in early summer.  Clothing and gear (fenders) we needed in Washington, were superfluous  in California.  Don't carry much food.  You can buy it, usually daily, on the road.

Get a mirror, and make sure it's adjusted correctly and you have practiced with it.  Otherwise, you are taking yourself completely out of control of the continuingly changing geography of the traffic passing you.  You don't want that control to be in the hands of thousands of total strangers each day!

You can get great lightweight tents at reasonable cost and sleeping bags that squish down to the size of a large loaf of bread. 

General Discussion / Re: Keeping Clean
« on: November 29, 2009, 08:32:49 pm »
In addition to all the above great ideas, it's a real treat to stop in a town and wash everything in a laundromat.  I only takes an hour and a half or so, and we sometimes get it going around lunchtime in a nearby cafe, or on a park lawn if we're having lunch out of out bags. 

Routes / Re: Oregon Coast ACA route
« on: November 29, 2009, 08:28:59 pm »
  Also, do you guys think that I would have trouble getting into a hiker/ biker campsite? I'm not hiking or biking, but I would still be touring, just in a different way.


Just do it.  No one's going to argue with that!

It would be safer if you can find a way to have a mirror.  Try a biker glasses mounted one. 

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