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Messages - johnsondasw

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601
General Discussion / Re: Safety issues for solo biking
« on: April 30, 2009, 11:40:28 pm »
My wife made me get a cell phone after a bad accident I got into due to lack of attention.  I got too far to the right and off the pavement into sand, and crashed, hitting my head above the right eye just below the helmet.  The resulting concussion left me not knowing where I was or why my riding friends and companions were not there.  (It was a solo ride.)  After about 5-10 minutes, I started to remember and figure out where I was and what was going on.

 I like having a phone with me now. 

602
General Discussion / Re: Tour Planning - Ten months out
« on: April 30, 2009, 11:34:15 pm »
Best of luck, and have a great ride.

One quick consideration--think about using a mirror, if you're not already.  I wouldn't ride the roads, city or country, without one.  I've been riding bikes for 50 years, and for about 35 of them with a mirror.  There have been several times I've had to take evasive action, i.e., riding off the road onto the shoulder or into the ditch, because of approaching cars from the rear looking like they're going to hit me.

I know most riders don't use them.  I've got a friend who claims he can tell by the sound if a car is coming too close.  Bou, I sure can't hear well enough to tell if a car is coming a foot or two closer to the right where I'm riding!

Again, all the best!

603
Routes / Re: Pacific Coast or Calgary to Denver through the Rockies?
« on: April 27, 2009, 12:16:50 am »
I agree with Geeg. It would be great to fit in parts of both rides.  On the Pacific Coast, I thought the best parts were from Southern Oregon to just north of San Francisco and from Monterey to San Simeon.  These are not to be missed, especially given that camping on the route is always from $2 to $5 a night, with showers for an additional few quarters!

604
Routes / Re: Tour of the Hiawatha, northern Idaho
« on: April 20, 2009, 12:05:11 am »
Be sure to check out the Coeur d' Alenes trail.  it's spectacular easy riding with lots of wildlife.  And it's well maintained. It can work for all experience and skill levels.  If you're a real gnarly gung-hom rider, you can just do it round trip in one day--about 150 miles.  If you're a 20 mile a day type, there are lots of places to stop and you can do do your 20 a day.  It's certainly worth checking out.

605
General Discussion / Re: Safety issues for solo biking
« on: April 19, 2009, 11:58:59 pm »
I think the main danger is getting hit by a car.  I always use a mirror and watch the oncoming cars in it.  Experience really helps here--knowing what could happen and being a very defensive rider.

As for personal safety, i.e. weirdos, common sense and prudence will take care of most of that.  Sometimes you get aggresive, weird people who clearly don't like the idea of bikers at all.  On a bike, you have very little power, so I just do my thing and try not to aggravate them further. 

It makes sense to be careful where you camp.  I've had a couple of sketchy experiences in this regard, and now camp in designated campgrounds or make sure I'm hidden well, especially from nearby roads.

606
Routes / Re: Theme based tours
« on: April 13, 2009, 11:48:08 pm »
Thirty years of touring with no particular themes--just adventure with friends and family and memories in great detail about each one!

607
I agree about the Nomad.  I toured with one and two of my partners had Bobs.  The nomad was better for ride characteistics (more stable), parking, and convenience in getting to stuff. The Bob guys even thought so by the end of the trip.  I also toured for 3 weeks straight with the nomad and just came to appreciate it more as the miles rolled by. It is very reliable and well-designed.

608
Gear Talk / Re: bike security
« on: April 11, 2009, 12:44:04 am »
I use a very thin cable with the tubular combo lock and a 6 foot cable with a master combo lock.  These fit easily into a jersy back pocket on day rides along with all the other stuff.  I never leave the bike to go into a store, restaurant, etc without taking wallet, ID, etc important stuff with me.  Bicyclegifts.com sells waterproof plastic holders for cards and money cheap.  They are advertised in the Adventure Cycling mag monthly.  I find them useful for biking, travelling, and climbing.   

609
Urban Cycling / Re: why bike?
« on: April 07, 2009, 11:44:01 pm »
I ride for health, ecological, transportation, and fun reasons.  Plus, there's something about the machine that just fascinates me--smooth, quiet, efficient, fun.  The overall economy of the bike thing is inspiring.

610
I vote for the trailer for convenience and riding characteristics reasons.  The eternal discussion continues!

611
General Discussion / Re: Living on my bike
« on: April 07, 2009, 11:29:13 pm »
On a 3 week tour down the west coast, I gained 5 pounds and about 1 inch around each thigh.  I was 57 at the time, and I've never lost the weight.  We ate over 5000 calories daily after the first week, because I got very weak for several days at about that time and realized I was not getting enough fuel.  It was fun from there on to be able to eat all we wanted and basically anything we wanted.  I know now to really load up early in the tour so as not to get in a calorie deficit situation and have to ride with that constant awful tired feeling all day.

612
General Discussion / Re: Carrying Pepper Spray
« on: April 06, 2009, 11:45:59 pm »
I don't see where all this sympathy for bike-chasing dogs is coming from.  I love dogs, have owned several, and think they're wonderful animals.  I controlled my dogs, taught them decent behavior, and never had problems with aggresive behavior from them. 

But when it comes to chasing bikes, I think they need to be dealt with in whatever means necessary, within reason, to protect oneself and deter them from repeating the behavior.  If this causes pain to the dog, well, pain aversion can be a good thing if it means the dog stops chasing bikes.  A dog chasing a biker can get in front of the bike and causer an accident, as happened to me.  Fortunately just severe road rash and bruising on that one.  Or the dog can cause the biker to fall into traffic, resulting insevere injury or death.  Or, as happened to a dog that tore out into the road to chase a friend of mine, the behavior can result in death to the dog--it was hit by a semi passing the biker.

Owners need to control their dogs if they live by a road.  With the stakes being as high as they are, I just can't get into the "don't hurt the dog" thing.  Hurting the dog may teach it to change the behavior, and if the behavior doesn't change, there may be a disaster in the making for bikers, drivers, and dogs.

Again, it's not about cruelty to dogs.  It's about deterrence of dangerous and irresponsible behavior. 

613
Routes / Re: Riding North on the Pacific Coast
« on: March 31, 2009, 11:34:21 pm »
It's a very big deal.  That wind will cut you down like a knife.  Most years it is steady and hard all the way, and consistently from the north.  I would definitely recommend finding a way to ride north to south.  I would venture to say that you will do at least twice as much work going souith to north, and will go half the speed or less!

614
Urban Cycling / Re: Walmart Electric Bicycle Affordable To The Masses
« on: March 21, 2009, 01:04:12 am »
Very interesting.  How does that 40 mile range work? Is that with no pedalling, or some "average amont of pedalling or what?  Any other technical specifics you picked up?

615
General Discussion / Re: Carrying Pepper Spray
« on: March 21, 2009, 12:56:39 am »

As for dogs, I've been using the same defense for years.  If they get close enough, I have my foot unclipped and kick 'em in the head.  It's been very successful.  They seem to usually sense the danger and back off.  I think they can feel that I'm not afraid of them and am willing to be the "aggressor-in-defense".  Occassionally, they get too close, and get nailed.  I hate dogs that chase bikes, and do not feel bad in the least about teaching them a hard lesson.

There is a hazard in this.  You have to be an experienced, steady rider so you don't throw yourself off balance and swerve into traffic or off the road, or worse, fall.  None of these have ever happened to me.

I have also, in the past, carried rocks when I know there's a bike-chaser on my route.  This has also worked well, especially when I've used the handful of small rocks shotgun approach.

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