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Messages - johnsondasw

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General Discussion / Re: older riders
« on: May 10, 2009, 08:06:24 pm »
Well, I qualify--I'm 60 and still riding, despite 3 knee operations, and a pacemaker.  I love day rides and touring.  I've had to adjust my expectations some, as per miles per day and speed going uphill. I'm also realizing the importance of rest more now, too.

Welcome aboard!

General Discussion / Re: Pacific Coast Route vs. TransAm
« on: May 08, 2009, 10:51:33 pm »
I did the Pacific coast route from Olympia, WA to Santa Monica in 2005 and very highly recommend it.  I did not find it very dangerous except for the part from about 100 miles north of SF to maybe 30 miles south of SF.  Don't miss the part south of Big Sur.  It was great and not very dangerous at all, even in mid summer. I loved the big scenic, sunny hills there way out above the ocean. I also liked Southern Oregon, the Redwoods, and the Northern California coast with it's wild and free feel.  The whole thing took 3 weeks, averaging 72 miles a day.  If I do it again, I'll enjoy it even more and average about 55!

General Discussion / Re: Furthest Distance
« on: May 08, 2009, 10:39:36 pm »
My longest day was 208 miles dong the Seattle to Portland annual group ride.  It took about 15 hours, including breaks.  On tour, I did 116 with my loaded trailer in one day.  My longest tour was 1384 miles in about 20 days.

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. 

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!

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!

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.

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.

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!

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.

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. 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.   

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.

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

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.

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. 

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