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Messages - johnsondasw

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Routes / Re: Gen. impressions of Washington coast and Mt. Hood, OR?
« on: March 08, 2009, 09:37:55 pm »
Touring the Washington coast is great, if you hit the weather right.  One of the best tours I ever took was around the Olympic Peninsula, starting in Sequim and ending there 4 days later.  I particularly liked the part from Forks to Aberdeen, about 103 miles of beautiful coast, forests, etc.  Traffic was light and respectful and this was perfect weather in July, but NOT on a weekend.  The Washington side of the Columbia is better for biking than the Oregon side because it's a secondary type road rather than a freeway.  Be sure to be going upriver in summer because of fierce west winds. 

The ride you're planning will be gorgeous.  These are wonderful areas to tour in.  Traffic, however, could be a problem on weekends.  Have fun!

Gear Talk / Re: Bike Question - Specialized Roubiax
« on: March 08, 2009, 09:25:22 pm »
Yup, sorry, I meant I replaced both wheels.  My mistake!  I don't spend that much on tires.

General Discussion / Re: What roads can you cycle on?
« on: March 05, 2009, 10:10:00 pm »
You can ride I-90 all the way across Washington state, and most of it is pretty good--wide shoulders, rumble strips so the cars know when they're drifting to the edge.  The main drawbacks to me are the the noise and the amount of junk on the shoulders.  When i've ridden a lot of freeway, I've always gotten lots of flats.

Routes / Re: East to West
« on: March 03, 2009, 09:40:21 pm »
I agree with ztmlgr about Amtrack.  I've taken 2 long trips on Amtrack and will never do it again.  Both times, schedules were a joke, employees were unfriendly, bathrooms were disgusting, and decent sleep impossible.  And the cost was about the same as flying.  We were also repeatedly lied to about when we would arrive at destinations.  Not my idea of a great way to see the country.  That's been my experience!

General Discussion / Re: cardiac pacemakers and touring
« on: March 03, 2009, 09:25:39 pm »
Congrats for getting back up and going for it.  I feel the same way--don't give up, attack your challenges and find a way to keep biking, hiking, whatever it is that feeds you.  Life keeps throwing challenges at us, and the trick is to figure them out.  My heart rhythm issue has been through may different stages over the past 2 years.  I'm developing confidence that i will be able to continue to adjust.

Gear Talk / Re: Bike Question - Specialized Roubiax
« on: March 02, 2009, 08:27:03 pm »
I use a Roubaix for touring now with a 2 wheeled Burley Nomad trailer with the alternate hitch.  It's great because it's light and smooth.  I have yet to take any long tours with it, but intend to do so.  I agree, the wheels that came with it are the weak link--just last week I broke the flange on the rear hub where the spokes attach.  This was after about 9000 miles and 3.5 years of riding.  I replaced both front and rear tires at a cost of about $400.

I really like the combination of the CF bike with the nomad.

Happy touring!

General Discussion / Re: Osteoporosis and long distance cyclists
« on: February 25, 2009, 10:21:59 pm »
PS  I also eat lots of dairy and take supplwmental calcium.

Gear Talk / Re: Sore butts
« on: February 25, 2009, 09:55:19 pm »
Recumbents may be in my future.  I think they look really cool--as cool or cooler than traditional bikes.  The one thing I wonder about is visibility on the road, especially in city/high traffic areas.  Is it an issue with you bent riders?  It seems they are way lower and would be harder for drivers to see.

General Discussion / Re: cardiac pacemakers and touring
« on: February 24, 2009, 10:59:58 pm »
Roger: It's great you have found a solution!  My situation seems to run all over the family.  I am able to do all the biking I want now, and am even getting stronger than I've been for some time.....the wonders of a consistent blood supply to the muscles!  So the story's good for now.  I enjoy each ride, and have started touring again (actuallyu last May).  Hopefully this will continue, however, I'm learning you never know with cardiac rhythm stuff.  For now, the doctors see no reason why I should further problems. 

Gear Talk / Re: Sore butts
« on: February 24, 2009, 10:49:11 pm »
In my 50 years of riding, I've found that there are several ways to mitigate the problem: good fit, expensive shorts ($100 or so), change position often (especially some stand up time), good saddle, chamois butter and take a break once in a while to enjoy other forms of exercise.

General Discussion / Re: Osteoporosis and long distance cyclists
« on: February 24, 2009, 10:35:37 pm »
There is lots of evidence that you need weight bearing exercise to maintain bone density.  It's a good idea to mix up your exercise program with different types of activities, for many reasons.  It will work other muscles, help to avoid overuse injuries, improve flexibility, etc.  Don't get so obsessed with bike miles/year (it's easy to do) that you fail to use a variety of activities.  I try to split my program between biking, hiking, rock climbing, and light, high-reps weight training.  Whenever I get too focussed on one of them, I start to lose motivation and get aches and pains.  Of course, I'm 60 years old now.  I used to be able to overdo it with fewer consequences than I can now! In short, common sense rules.

Urban Cycling / Re: top bicycle-friendly cities and towns
« on: February 09, 2009, 10:57:24 pm »
Seattle is a great bike town, once you get to know the routes, traffic patterns, etc.  It is very scenic, too.  There are hills on many of the routes, buts lots of areas with few hills, too.  I've enjoyed countless hours getting to know the bike system there and keep going back for more.  The 50 mile ride around Lake Washington hasw to be one of the most beautiful, fun day rides anywhere!

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route Camping
« on: January 24, 2009, 11:07:31 am »
The hiker/biker sites are wonderful.  We paid between $2-$5 every night in Oregon and California.  We rode the route in June/July of 2005, and the sites were never crowded, until Southern California where itinerants sometimes "live" in them.  Generally, the sites were clean and  had a friendly feel.  Bring quarters for showers.  We enjoyed hot showers every night.  Washington does not have the hiker/biker site system, unfortunately.  You have to pay way more, like $10-$20 per night, often the same as a car.  It would be nice if the rest of the country would get on board and encourage bike travel with better deals for bikes.  After all, we don't in any way cause the impact a car does.

Gear Talk / Re: B.O.B. trailers
« on: January 21, 2009, 10:37:24 pm »
Try a Burley Nomad.  With a carbon bike and the lack of pannier weight, the weight issue is about a wash.  I've toured for 30 years with panniers and the nomad (the past couple of years) and will now stick with the trailer for handling and convenience.  It tracks very well and is so much easier to load and find stuff in. 
This is an endless discussion and the only way to resolve it is to try different ways and decide for yourself as to your preference. 

General Discussion / Re: Biking from the West Coast in May: too early?
« on: January 09, 2009, 09:12:36 pm »
Hey all.  I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on touring from the west coast, Seattle specifically, in early May.  Is it too early to brave the mountain passes?  We've had record snowfall this year to top it off.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks much.

I live in the middle of the Cascades on Snoqualmie Pass in Washington.  I have had great bike rides on both Snoqualmie and Stevens Passes in May.  However, if you hit the wrong day, you could be in rain, snow, etc.   So anything's possibe from beautiful spring weather to a gnarly late-winter storm.  Good luck!

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