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Messages - johnsondasw

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General Discussion / Re: Cycling in Snow
« on: October 09, 2009, 11:36:16 pm »
Some people actually have studded tires.  You should have a mountain bike with off road tires.  I ride a road bike with skinny tires and don't continue riding if the snow's sticking on the roadway.

Hi - just wondered if it was possible to start W to E in late April or will I hit snow/real cold? 
You will probably hit snow in the Cascades and Rockies in the early spring.  Also, count on lots of cold nights and rain off and on.  I've done several short tours at this time of year in Washington.  It is cold in the mountains!  We bring shoe covers, waterproff coats, insulation layers, ski gloves, etc.
I've been snowed on many times in April in the Cascades where I live.

Routes / Re: northern tier or transam?
« on: October 08, 2009, 10:06:21 pm »
Since you live in Winthrop, it would be very convenient to just head east on the NT!

PS Ever hiked the Maple Pass loop out of Rainy Pass parking lot?---Beautiful!

General Discussion / Re: Newbie with a really dumb question
« on: October 08, 2009, 09:48:27 pm »
Your "really dumb question" isn't very dumb.  I've been thinking about the same thing with my Trek Madone 5.5.  I use a trailer, too, and don't want to buy another bike for touring, so I appreciate your question.

And as far as safety goes, I felt safe on almost all of the Pacific Coast ride. The few exceptions were around the SF area, for the most part.  On any route, you are really only as safe as you make it.  Wear a helmet, use a mirror, keep aware of the flow of traffic around you  As a cyclist, you really have to be a very defensive "driver".  I avoid accidents every year.  Most of the potential accidents are from cars pulling out in front of me or passing me and immediately turning right on me.  Constant awareness of the dynamic "geography" of traffic and the alertness to "what could happen" will keep you riding for many happy years.

It's way better than it was 30-40 years ago!  Back then, motorists were just not used to bikes being on the road.

General Discussion / Re: Potential Resale Value
« on: October 01, 2009, 10:54:46 pm »
the morality and honesty of what you describe are very poor.  It sounds just like fraud to me.
Well put.  I had the same thought.  It never pays in the end to not do the right thing.

If it's an official trip, the state patrols or departments of transportation for the states involved may have an idea so their whereabouts.  I would think people on such a ride would arrange some sort of contact process.

General Discussion / Re: boredom on cross-country?
« on: September 28, 2009, 11:39:24 pm »
Nope, never been bored on tour.  I've been too hot, too cold, tired, sick, bonked out, but not bored.  A good bike trip is like any great adventure--the agony and the ecstacy, always exciting.  On most tours I've been on, I agree with Staephi--sad to see it end.  I get pretty excited just looking at maps and planning rides. 

General Discussion / Re: Problem shifting to low gears
« on: September 27, 2009, 09:10:37 pm »
And if you can't figure it out, take it to any bike shop, and they should be able to take care of it in a few minutes.  It's probably a simple screw adjustment, as indicated by geeg.

General Discussion / Re: Neck and shoulder pain
« on: September 27, 2009, 09:03:43 pm »
I think it makes sense to continue the discussion.  Almost all serious bikers will, if they ride more than a few years, experience problems of this type.  We can all learn from the input of others.  I know I've picked up a lot of valuable tips and information on this forum even when I may not have been the person starting the topic.  I have also learned and enjoyed the conversation when the thread has at times meandered away from the original focus.

I have not ridden the route--just most of the Washington and parts of the Idaho and Montana sections.  I can't speak for the  whole thing, but prevailing winds in the NW are from the west. This can be a big deal.  Also, winds move generally west to east, but some of the journals I've read said overall, it's about even going west to east or east to west.

Another consideration is the time of year--if leaving early in the spring, you can hit snow and cold in the western mountains, big time.   

General Discussion / Re: older riders
« on: September 24, 2009, 11:32:39 pm »
  Several people stopped to ask me questions, as I was the only one around who was traveling by bike, and I hope those who said they wanted to do bike traveling will do so. 

It's always been amazing to me how many people are fascinated by bike tourers.  They want to know all about you, your route, bike, etc.  I've even had people ask me how I get up the big hills!  One of the most common laments I've heard is that "Well, I wish I had done that when I was younger, because I'm too old now."  Most of the guys saying this are in about their 40s. 

I haven't tried a backpack, but I cant imagine it being terribly comfortable. 
It's not to bad for a 30-40 mile winter ride with some essentials (15 lbs or so) but it's no fun in summer--the warmer the temperature, the heavier it seems to get!  It is truly amazing how much stuff you can fit in the jersey pockets, seat bag and, if necessary, seatpost mounted rack/bag.

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!   

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