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Messages - johnsondasw

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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. 

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!

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?

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.

General Discussion / Re: House Bill 3008 Oregon
« on: March 19, 2009, 01:07:01 am »
Washington does not have a license fee like this, but the city of Seattle keeps talking about it.  I agree with the previous writer that biking helps the whole transportation system in several ways, not to mention reducing the load on the health care system by keeping us healthier.  This country should do everything in its power to make using bikes more attractive and get out of out archaic hangup on the motor vehicle.  And $54 is a lot, even if it's for two years.  Sometimes people ride bikes because they can afford no other mode of transport.

Gear Talk / Re: How many people tour with non-touring bikes?
« on: March 18, 2009, 12:59:49 am »
I've never had any special touring bike.  I use a carbon fiber road bike now with a Burley Nomad trailer if I'm going unsupported.  Use whatever you're comfortable with and what you can afford.

Routes / Re: cross-country WITHOUT ACA Maps
« on: March 18, 2009, 12:52:59 am »
I guess I'm like the previous writer.  In 30 years of touring, I've never used ACA maps, just road maps you can get anywhere.  However, reading about the features of ACA maps, I just might start.  Maybe I've missed out on a lot of useful info on trips and created hassles that could have been avoided.  For example, on the Pacific Coast Route in 2005, there were places that were hard to figure out, and the level of "adventure" sure went up around
Santa Barbara because the book we had was kind of out of date.  We wasted a couple hours on a 116 mile day!  I'll have to check these maps out next time I'm on a designated ACA route.

Routes / Re: cross-country WITHOUT ACA Maps
« on: March 14, 2009, 12:29:37 am »
]The weirdest thing I have found over and over is that locals usually know ver little about the geography and especially the topography of their own area.  I have received bogus info over and over from locals and, often, an "I don't know" in response to very basic queries about the local area.  Anyone else have this same experience?

Youth Bicyle Travel / Re: Kids on Pacific Coast Route?
« on: March 10, 2009, 01:11:40 am »
You don't indicate what route you intend to take. If you're talking about road bikes on the highway 101 route, I wouldn't take kids that age on it.  It's a highway that's great for experienced adult riders, but that kind of riding with kids is taking a chance.  You can't at times drift in the lane or, like most highway riding, be anything but super steady--cars and trucks go by 60-70 mph, etc.  And around Lake Cresent on the north part of the Olympic Peninsula, there is a 10 mile section, very curvy, with no shoulder.  You need to be a savvy, mature, esperienced rider to do this kind of riding.

That said, I admire the idea of getting the kids out there on adventures.  I suggest the Trail of the Couer d' Alene, 150+ miles of paved trail  )round trip) in gorgeous mountain/forest country across N Idaho--with easy RR grades and no car traffic!  Google it and check it out.

Good luck, and have fun.

Routes / Re: Gen. impressions of Washington coast and Mt. Hood, OR?
« on: March 09, 2009, 12:37:55 am »
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 09, 2009, 12:25:22 am »
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 06, 2009, 12:10:00 am »
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, 11:40:21 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, 11:25:39 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.

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