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Messages - johnsondasw

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Routes / Re: Seattle to Boise
« on: April 01, 2015, 12:13:51 am »
I rode the section between La Grande and Pendleton in 2002.  There were some great frontage and side roads in the Meacham area that meandered along for miles, but basically followed the freeway.  They provided bucolic, scenic, traffic-free and quiet riding for a few hours.

Gear Talk / Re: What tires?
« on: March 22, 2015, 01:42:51 pm »
I like Continental 4000's 700x23c.  I know those are smaller than many recommend, but I tour only on pavement and have had great performance form them.  Everyone has their favorites--go with what you like.

This looks like a winner!  Keep us informed on this site.

General Discussion / Re: Newbie/Introduction
« on: February 11, 2015, 12:27:42 am »
Welcome!  You can find pretty much anything you'll ever need to know here.

General Discussion / Re: How picky are you?
« on: February 05, 2015, 03:05:15 pm »
I can fix the small stuff but I'm not much of a mechanic and since I have Campy stuff it's pretty unlikely a rural bike shop will have replacement parts for me.

I had a bike with Campy and broke a shifter on the first day of a 3 week tour on the Pacific coast.  No one, and I mean no one on the whole coast had Campy parts.  Eventually, I had to get a rebuild kit sent ahead and my bike mechanic partner fixed it (broken spring deal) after 2/3 of the trip.  In the meantime, I had to often hold the shift lever in place while grinding hard uphills to keep it from jumping out of gear.  Every shop had Shimano. After that experience, I will never tour with Campy again! 

Routes / Re: TransAmerica then Pacific Coast Summer 2015 (First Tour)
« on: February 04, 2015, 02:15:58 pm »
Upon reading my previous post, I thought I better add the caveat that you don't "take the lane" on high speed highways!  You do it in traffic on slower roads when it's not safe to try to ride on the right part of the lane.  There may be no shoulder, there may be junk in the riding area, etc.  Always check the mirror before moving left into the lane, and regularly while riding out in the lane.  All common sense stuff, but there's a lot going on when riding in traffic, and experience is the key.  I wish I had learned by riding with and experienced rider and avoided a few (non-severe) accidents and bent bike parts.

Routes / Re: TransAmerica then Pacific Coast Summer 2015 (First Tour)
« on: February 04, 2015, 01:47:29 pm »
I did the Pacific Coast from late June to mid-July.  There was considerable traffic in places, but no real problems. Of course I have over 50 years riding in all kinds of conditions and am used to traffic.  I would suggest you get some experience riding in traffic and get a mirror and know how to use it.  One of the most essential skills is knowing when to take to lane so cars can't pass you.  I know this is counter-intuitive, but you have a right to the road and to slow down the traffic if you feel like it's safer than scrunching over farther and farther to the right until you are pushed off the road.  There were a few places in Calif where I did this. Riding in traffic takes experience, as does riding highways, both of which you'll do on this ride.

In general. I would also suggest some 2-3 day trial tours in the spring before your trip.  You'll learn a lot about your equipment and  your physical condition for riding.  Make sure your bike fits right.  I paid $150 for a bike fit after I had quit riding for over a year due to aches and pains.  Now I've been back, riding as hard as ever (for my age-66) without any significant physical issues for three years. 

Anyway, go for it!  You'll love this adventure of a lifetime.  The cool thing is that with bike touring, you can have the adventure of a lifetime over and over and over........

General Discussion / Re: How picky are you?
« on: January 27, 2015, 02:51:46 pm »

Truth be told, I do very little maintenance on tour.

Same here.  I also do very little maintenance while not on tour.  Boschield for the chain when it "feels/sounds" a little dry, minor adjustments for brakes and gearing only as needed, and change the chain (with a cheap, i.e. $25-$35 one) approx every 2000 miles.  the exception to this is when things get dirty in the winter.  I ride where there is sand and dirt put down for winter traction, so after a wet winter ride I hose things down with nonpressurized water and relube.  I also clean the rollers on the derailleur and soft brush all around after wet and dirty rides. I find minimum maintenance gets just as good results as my old style which was much more continuous and obsessive cleaning.   

Routes / Re: Canada to Mexico through California
« on: January 02, 2015, 01:55:05 pm »
Wow! I hope you're in great shape.  Your mileages and elevation gains sound gnarly hard to me.  10,000 feet and over 100 miles in a day, combined with many other what I would consider very hard days.....  I did the Pacifiic Coast route when 56 years old, unsupported, hauling a Burley trailer.  We averaged 72 miles per day.  I was in good shape and had had 25 years of touring. Still, for me, I felt after the tour that I would have enjoyed it more at a 60 mpd average.  But that's me, and your crew may consist of much stronger riders.

I'm sure you will have a great time and hope you enjoy your trip through some of the world's best riding. All the best.

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers vs. BOB?
« on: December 30, 2014, 12:51:31 am »
Interesting about the speed limits.  I've gone up to 45 mph in a fully loaded Nomad with no problems and have often gone over 30. 

General Discussion / Re: Best Time to Leave
« on: December 16, 2014, 01:45:10 pm »
You could start in June and avoid those aforementioned Oregon passes by riding through the Columbia River gorge.  That's a great ride but would necessitate hooking up with your route to the east of the Cascades.

Temporary ACA Route Road Closures / Re: Pacific Coast Section 4, Map 43
« on: December 07, 2014, 01:41:54 pm »
That is really too bad.  It was a refuge for my partner and me after a long and harried day getting through the SF area.  Is there any known reason for this closure.  It is unfortunate that an effort has not been mad  to provide a substitute affordable situation for those choosing to travel is a healthy and ecological way. 

General Discussion / Re: That go-to meal
« on: November 23, 2014, 11:46:32 pm »
Even after a hard day of touring, I can't choke down cans of chili or spaghetti.  So my go-to meal requires more work--spaghetti made from noodles, a package of beef and a jar of spaghetti sauce.  On tour, I stop at a local grocery and buy these ingredients late in the afternoon and cook at the camp.  Of course, both the noodles and meat have to be cooked, but it really is easy and so much more palatable than the cans.  I always add plenty of cheese to the meal before eating.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier, highway 78 Glamis to Palo Verde, Ca
« on: November 17, 2014, 07:05:55 pm »
One of these criminals actually approached me on foot at a store in a western state, and told me what it was about.

Well, what did he say it was about?

General Discussion / Re: Useless advice/help
« on: November 15, 2014, 06:53:42 pm »
I have received repeated worthless advice on tour.  Most of it was about routes. One time I was in a small town in Western WA and asked at the ice cream shop about different roads out of town on the map.  The lady said she only had lived there three years and only knew one way out of the 4 or 5 on the map because she was afraid of getting lost and so only used that one route.  Also, she then told me she was not sure if it was hilly or not.

Another time we were in the far NE part of WA and met three locals who were walking along and we told them we were heading from Tiger over to Colville. They told us that we would have to climb Tiger Hill and that it was probably close to impossible to do that on a bike and it would take hours.  I got up that hill  in just over a half hour.

Another time we stopped in a bike shop in Oxnard CA to ask how to get south along the Pacific Coast because construction had affected the normal route. The guy working there just said something like "How would I know that?"  We later found the necessary trail over a dry creek bed about a half mile away.  Jeez! 

Locals often know little to nothing about local geography and especially about topography.  If you always driver everywhere maybe you lose all ability to notice ups and downs!  I've seen that over and over when asking about upcoming routes in the west. 

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