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Messages - johnsondasw

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I have ridden with a small "teardrop" shaped soft backpack, at times up to 80 miles in a day.  I would not, definitely not, carry sleeping bags, tents, et cetera in a pack.  I can carry up to maybe 15 pounds in one and be OK with it.  I just do this for winter or very sketchy weather.  On fair weather rides, I can fit all my needs for the day in the 3 jersey pockets.  Once in summer, I was riding over a mountain pass for about 90 miles and the prediction was for drizzle, so I had to take the small pack with food, fluids, raincoat, etc.  The weather report was wrong and it was a hot day--low to mid 80s.  The pack on the back became a real irritant--hot and sticky and very uncomfortable.  And this was with maybe, at most 15 pounds. 
For overnighters, I use a trailer and ride free of the weight on me or the bike itself.   

General Discussion / Re: Neck and shoulder pain
« on: September 22, 2009, 12:24:03 am »
You may have to live with neck and shoulder pain and aspirin. Almost every book I have read on touring mentioned it. On all my tours I've had it. There are various sports stretches which target the muscles and bones in those areas. They can relieve tension and stress. Many complained of pain in the lower back-spinal area, most particularly when climbing hills. Every form of transportation has its tradeoffs. Every form of refuge has its price.
In addition to getting the fit right, I have to do a whole series of stretches several times a week.  They seem to help a lot for the activities I do.  biking seems to be one of the hardest on the body.  I have to stretch for achilles, hamstring, lower back, and neck problems.  I seem to have reached the place where, with the fit right and the stretching, and some work with light weights, things are good.  I'm also 61 and was touring and riding a lot 30 years ago with very few of these concern. 

Another thing that really helps is to not get too obsessed with one sport--I mix it up and in that way give the critical spots a break.  There are, of course, some books on staying fit and healthy for riding.  Do your research and keep riding!   

General Discussion / Re: Neck and shoulder pain
« on: September 19, 2009, 12:30:01 pm »
You need to go to a bike shop that has someone trained to fit people on bikes.  If you keep riding with this kind of pain, you may get injured to the point where you'll be out for a long time.  These issues can usually be fixed if you go to someone who knows what they're doing.  Call around to bike shops and ask if they have someone trained to fit people on bikes.  Most of us who have ridden a lot have faced these and other aches and pains.  The worst thing is to ignore it, keep riding, and hope it goes away. 

Good luck.  You can get this worked out and get on with the touring! 

Gear Talk / Re: B.O.B. trailers
« on: September 18, 2009, 09:26:08 pm »


I'll roger that.  We towed a BOB to Grand Canyon with a Tandem Two'sDay.  Poor choice.  We then bought a two-wheel trailer.  It worked much better, no wig-wagging back into the bike.

Yup!  The Nomad's the one for me.  It is also easier to access your stuff and stands up by itself.  I've never used the one-wheeled types, but have toured with people using them, and it seemed to me (and even them) that the two-wheeled Nomad was the better choice for tracking and convenience.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Anacortes-Seattle, the long way ...
« on: September 17, 2009, 12:52:36 am »
The San Juan Islands are a great idea, as mentioned by FredHiltz.  This week, it may be wet Fri-Sat, and should get better late Sat and Sunday.  The San Juan area is drier than most of the  Western Washington due to the rain shadow provided by the Olympic Mts. 

I have ridden around the Oylmpic Peninsula, mostly on the main highwayt 101.  It was a great ride of 322 miles.  It will probably be quite wet Fri-Sat, especially on the western parts.

You can also ride from Anacortes down Whidbey Island, another rain shadow area.  On Whidbey, you can take a ferry across to Port Townsend. and then work your way back to Seattle by, for instance Bainbridge Island and Windslow ferry.  Check the maps, ask locals, etc.  This is all great biking country, when not too wet.

Have fun!

Routes / Re: SE to NW or NW to SE - ?wind direction
« on: September 15, 2009, 09:03:26 pm »
Very generally, air moves west to east across the country.  I emphasize, generally.  Here in the NW, it is more true than some other parts of the US.  Personally, I would go NW to SE.

Routes / Re: Devil's Slide Hwy 1
« on: September 14, 2009, 11:37:06 pm »
Gawd!  We hit it during afternoon rush hour, and it was gnarly.  On the whole PCH ride, that was probably the worst part.  I always wear very bright, visible jerseys, ride defensively, and use a mirror.  I was ready to ride into the ditch at any time on that one, but didn't have to. 

Routes / Re: camping on the pacific coast route
« on: September 14, 2009, 11:30:57 pm »
No politics here, just worry!

Mr. Bent
And justified worry, I think.  I would not want to be stealth camping in parts of that route.  In fact, There were places in Southern
Cal that I felt were a little sketchy in the campground.  My partner and I took turns watching the bikes and stuff so we could take showers, etc.

I sure hope Califonia figures it out so riders can continue to enjoy one of the world's best long rides and have cheap, safe camping!

Gear Talk / Re: Minimalist overnighter
« on: September 13, 2009, 06:06:29 pm »
I ride a lot around Kent's home area, Issaquah, WA.  He has a good area to ride in!  I live about 60 miles east of him just over the Cascade Mountains in Roslyn, WA.  We also have wonderful camping opportunities in our "backyard", even literally 15 minutes away.

Kent does mention in one of his replies that, among other critters in his area, are scorpions.  This is interesting, as I've never heard of scorpions in western Washington.  In the 34 years I've lived on the eastern, drier side of the Cascades, I've heard of someone seeing one once, down along the sagebrush country on the Yakima river near Ellensburg.  Kent, have you seen scorpions around Issaquah or its environs?

Gear Talk / Re: fenders....fairly lame question.
« on: September 13, 2009, 05:53:04 pm »
In my experience, most people on longer tours use fenders.  They tell me they keep them quite a bit drier.  However, I've never used them. I don't want the extra hassle, weight  (which is quite minimal), etc.  And if it's wet, I guess I'm just willing to get a little wetter than I would if I carried fenders.  Like most issues in touring, I think it's a matter of preference.

Routes / Re: Biking across America this fall: doable?
« on: September 07, 2009, 07:04:44 pm »
I'd go for it.  You may get some interesting weather challenges you would not have in the summer, but if you're flexible you can adjust to them.  Have fun!

General Discussion / Re: Tips on keeping a touring group together
« on: September 03, 2009, 01:45:44 am »
We would agree to go our own speed and meet at the PO in the next town.
I am not sure why you would tour with someone unless you were going to ride with them.  Care to elaborate on the advantages?  Do you just camp the same place with them?  Share cooking?  Something else?
I've toured several times with people of differing abilities.  Sometimes we would ride together, and other times someone would get ahead for awhile.  On a long tour, I was with a partner almost half my age, who also happened to be a racer.  He was often ahead, but sometimes we'd ride together, and always had main meals together and camped together.  We greatly enjoyed each other's company and had a blast. I liked being alone and also riding with him.  He felt the same.  We both felt free to go our own pace.  It was probably my best ride.

General Discussion / Re: Tips on keeping a touring group together
« on: September 02, 2009, 12:09:59 pm »
Cell phones are a big help.  I've always agreed on how far we expect to get each day.  Also, almost every town has a post office.  We would agree to go our own speed and meet at the PO in the next town.  This works in rural areas and where. towns are small.  As others have said, the makeup of the group is most important.  I felt like leaving a partner once because he would not use common sense and stick with the simple agreements about how we would meet.  And this was only a 3 day trip; if it had been a long one, I would have gone on alone.

General Discussion / Re: older riders
« on: September 01, 2009, 11:31:46 pm »
I think most of us feel that way.  That's why we're on this forum.

Gear Talk / Re: Bicycle Head Light ?
« on: September 01, 2009, 11:30:20 pm »
Yea, I've done it that way too and it works fine.  However, I prefer the handlebar mount ones--one for light and the other on blink mode to be visible.

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