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Messages - johnsondasw

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She should be in raise of the bikers because by riding, they reduce the car traffic and therefore reduce gridlock.  That said, there are many many rude cyclists that give us a bad name.  I see this a lot in Seattle.  They do arrogantly run red lights and sometimes ride side by side, holding up traffic.  I too have become irritated at them when driving. They need to get a clue and realize they are a part of the road scene, not above it.

Routes / Re: Traffic on the California section of the Pacific Coast Route
« on: February 28, 2013, 10:02:31 am »
Traffic seems to pick up quite a bit south of San Francisco. Some of the people I met along the way seemed to have hostile attitudes. The ride was fantastic. The people sucked in general, but some were fine.

On our ride the traffic was bad on the northern half of Oregon and then for about 100 miles north of SF to about 50 miles south of it. 

Again, get a mirror and take a lot of rides getting used to its use.  It allows you to not only know what's coming but to take control of the situation, i.e., know when to "take the lane" and when you can give it up oe even when to dive off the road.  Much of Calif has little or no shoulder so skill and experience with a mirror is, to me, essential.

General Discussion / Re: Campsites and bike theives!
« on: February 26, 2013, 09:49:44 pm »
Another good deterrent is to remove and hide the front wheel.  Psychologically, it just does not attract the thief like a "whole" bike would.

Routes / Re: Traffic on the California section of the Pacific Coast Route
« on: February 22, 2013, 10:51:28 pm »
I rode it from Olympia WA to Santa Monica and was never really worried.  I used a mirror and kept an eye on it like I always do.  It helps if you have lots of experience riding highways. Our ride was from June 21 to July 10.  It's a great ride.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Touring vs Backpacking
« on: February 18, 2013, 07:03:00 pm »
For paved roads, the east and midwest have the western states beat.  There are numerous county and state paved roads connecting all of the small towns in the east and midwest.  All of the farm towns up and down every river.  The west does not have many towns.  And the few roads connecting the few towns are main, highly traveled roads.  The west does have the advantage of every paved road being a scenic road through the mountains.

I find these claims to be kind of bizzare.  I've toured all over the West and never felt the need for more towns! And the West has, to my liking, much superior weather in the summer months.  There are many fairly cool places in the West and even the hot ones may be similar temps to the East but with much lower humidity.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Touring vs Backpacking
« on: February 09, 2013, 10:02:13 pm »
Would (or did?) he prefer backpacking or bike touring? It is curious to ponder that many great physicists and mathematicians love to walk.

Well, I guess I can't lay any claim to greatness, but I've been a mathematician for the past 30 uyears or so, and I love to walk, bike and climb.  In fact quite a high proportion of climbers are into mathematics, science, and other technical fields.  I find solving the problems and meeting the challenges in climbing and mathematics to be metaphorically quite similar. 

If anyone's interested, there is a delightful biography on Einstein by Walter Issackson.  I listened to it on CD on a road trip a year ago.  It's worth a read if you're into math/physics/etc.

Youth Bicyle Travel / Re: taking the family across the country?!?
« on: February 06, 2013, 10:54:53 am »
The biggest problem I see here is the wife's reluctance.  I would get past that before going by doing 2-3-4 day shakedown trips well before the big one.  If you don't get that problem resolved, you'll fell like you're "pulling" her the whole way and also possibly feel responsible for every little thing that goes wrong. And things will go wrong every day.  However, if she's enthusiastic, you can solve problems together as a family and the whole thing will be a great learning experience for all, not to mention fun.

Gear Talk / Re: Bicycle alarm innovation
« on: February 06, 2013, 10:42:31 am »
I could noit tell what the locking mechanism is. I prefer a combination lock.  I don't neede another key to carry around! Also. the cable part should be at least 3 feet long.  If not, it won't fit around many things, like small trees.  The cable I have now is 5 feet long and is very handy for trees, telephone poles, etc.

Good idea and good luck!

Routes / Re: Seattle
« on: February 04, 2013, 04:33:11 pm »
Recycled Cycles might be a good option. Also Greg's, which has a store in Bellevue, east of Seattle. There is even a good bike shop in downtown NB called, I think, Singletrack.  Recycled Cycles is near routes that lead you out of Seattle via the I-90 bridge bike lane toward North Bend.  If you are going to NB, I assume you are planning to go over Snoqualmie Pass on I-90, which has had major construction going on for years now and in places has been clsoed to bikes.  Stevens Pass to the north (HWY 2) or White Pass or Chinook Pass to the south of I-90 might be better choices.  Also, these other three options are not major freeways and are quieter and the roadside is less dirty.  I have always gotten lots of flats on I-90. You can check with WSDOT aboiut the status of I-90 and the other passes. 

For routes out of Seattle, some of them  are kind of complicated but all are good bike routes if you know where you are going.  You may get good info and even maybe maps from the Cascade Bicycle Club at

Best wishes! Sounds like a great time to me! 

Colorado / Re: Worst experience across the US was in CO
« on: February 03, 2013, 03:43:05 pm »
[quote author=
As for CO, there are easily two different Colorados.  The most disturbing is how often I have heard the "N-word" in western CO, after almost never hearing it in the modern South. 
That's the mountain west. You meet the nicest people everywhere you go.  But I can't count the number of pickups I've seen in Idaho and Montana sporting the confederate flag (and roaring by with no consideration of leaving any room for the bike. ):

And there's some nice quiet countruy SE of Tucson, out near Thombstone. 

You know where the weather's nice.  I like to just grab a road atlas and check out the roads marked as scenic and go on the adventure. The southwest has countless areas that would work. Just do a weather check first, because some of the area can be high elevation and be cold (like N Arizona and New Mexico).

Colorado / Re: Worst experience across the US was in CO
« on: February 03, 2013, 11:39:19 am »
I've spent some time in Virginia Beach.  It's potentially the perfect bike town.  Weather is fairly benign, albeit somewhat muggy in the summer.  It is absolutely flat in every direction you can see.  But you can spend a whole week there and not see one bike rider.  I saw no bike lanes or trails and most of the roads have no shoulders, even the ones out of the commercial areas. Just cars, cars, cars (and their attendant pollution and noise) everywhere.  It's such a waste of good potential.  This would be a good area to help cut our oil dependance, not to mention to increase local health metrics!

General Discussion / Re: When You Are the Only Cyclist in the Family
« on: January 29, 2013, 01:12:08 pm »
Even in the busiest times when the kids were little, I always set up one 3-day weekend tour with my buddies every spring.  It makes a real difference when you know that it's going to happen and it's been reserved months in advance.  We also did a lot of hiking, but that was easier to arrange because we could carry the kids (at least when they were small enough). 

General Discussion / Re: When You Are the Only Cyclist in the Family
« on: January 22, 2013, 07:16:37 pm »
I've spent over 40 years balancing my passions for family, biking, hiking and climbing.  When the kids are very young, it's tough. There were times a 45 minute ride or quick hike or ski was all I could get after work. (In fact, I often went out crosscountry skiing or biking at night, after thee kids were in bed.) 

My wife is very supportive and we've kept open communication through the years.   That's necessary, if you are both going to work it out so you can have a healthy family, marriage and personal life. Believe me, it gets weird if you don't have that.  I definitely can't say it was always easy.

As the kids grew up, they became part of these activities, and we've had many family hikes and bike rides.  Now, I've got sons who carry some of my stuff.  25-30 years ago, I was carrying them! It's great to see them enjoying active lives doing pretty much the same things I was doing so many years ago, and still do, albeit on a more relaxed level than they do.  And it's wonderful to see them excel at these pursuits. 

General Discussion / Re: Traffic burnout?
« on: January 22, 2013, 07:03:41 pm »
  These days I'm getting back into rock climbing--an original passion of mine--and I'm thinking about long-distance back packing, too.  NO cars on wilderness single track!

I'm doing more climbing and hiking than biking these days, even at age 64. I sport climb once or twice a week in season and hike regiularly, too. I bike usually about once a week. If you are around WA, and want to colimb, let me know.

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