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Messages - tsteven4

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Routes / Re: Sierra Cascades - anyone done it yet?
« on: August 05, 2010, 02:43:02 pm »
We did part of Sierra Cascades section 2, from Hood River, OR to Prospect, OR on our way to Los Angeles via the California Coast.  On this section of the Sierra Cascades we didn't have issues with finding camping spots except on the 4th of July weekend.  Hiker biker sites are very rare but there are lots of forest service campgrounds.  Twice we had entire campgrounds to ourselves.  We did use our water filter.  There are some long sections with minimal services as mentioned on the map (but not nearly as devoid of services as the Western Express).  We love climbing and thought the climbing in this section was moderate.  On July 3 we camped off Hwy 138 in the "forest" north east of Crater Lake at about 4700 feet elevation, it was 26 degrees F when we woke up, our water bottles were partially frozen.  Typically it was much warmer.  Altitudes on this section topped out at Crater Lake at about 7700 feet, quite a bit above the level of the lake.  Crater Lake is spectacular.  Although other sources probably exist I wouldn't count on finding isobutane cartridges on this section except for Bend, OR.  You can see some pics here: and get a google earth file of any of the ACA routes here

General Discussion / Re: Camping in Pismo Beach?
« on: July 27, 2010, 08:42:37 pm »
I just returned from the Pacific Coast route.  I would recommend Morro Bay State Park, which has a nice hiker biker site.  I thought the Morro Bay area was much nicer than the Pismo Beach/Grover Beach/Oceano area.  The Pismo/Grover/Oceana area was densely populated with motorized RVs and campgrounds to support them.  From Morro Bay we rode to Lompoc in one day.  In Lompoc the city campground is fairly nice, not a destination but more than adequate for a night.  The Lompoc city campground has hiker biker sites.

We found almost all state park campgrounds on the coast in CA were full (except for hiker/biker), so I would definitely recommend aiming for the ones with hiker biker sites.  In CA this was from 7/5/10 to 7/23/10 N to S.  This was very different than  the Sierra Cascades section 2 which we did immediately before hand.  On SC section 2 we had entire campgrounds to ourselves twice!

As of June 20, 2010 Windigo Pass, and thus the Windigo Pass alternate, is impassable due to snow.  This does NOT effect the main route.

General Discussion / Re: Sierra Cascades - how tough a route?
« on: May 30, 2010, 09:08:51 am »
You can see all the adventure cycling routes on my web site at

The western express is a beautiful route but deserves significant respect due to remoteness and temperatures.

Wayne's original route link is broken.  He has the alternative (Reedsport, Crater Lake, Crescent City) available at

Thanks Wayne.

Routes / Sierra Cascades Online
« on: April 30, 2010, 11:12:16 pm »
I have added online maps for the new Sierra Cascades route that you can view with a geographic browser (e.g. Google Earth) or your web browser.  These files were generated from the Adventure Cycling Association National Bicycle Route Network GPS Data.  They are intended for browsing, not navigation.  I recommend the official paper maps when it comes time to get on the route in the real world.

They may be found on the main page
or a direct link for the geographic browser file is
and a direct link for the web browser map is

Thanks to everyone who made this route a reality.

Gear Talk / Re: Click driving me nuts
« on: April 02, 2010, 07:09:54 pm »
This happened to my wife.  She would have a creak, one around with the crank, under stiff climbing.  It ended up being a small rock covered in old chain lube that had wedged itself between two of the chainrings.  It appeared to just be another glob of chain lube/debris between the rings, but when I finally went to clean that out I discovered it was a rock.  Fixed!

Good Luck

Routes / Re: Jasper to Banff Alberta Canada
« on: March 30, 2010, 09:21:45 am »
We took the Brewster Calgary to Jasper Airporter (a bus).  In 2007 it was C$113 per person one way.  It is a long day as the bus stops many times to let people off and pick people up.  When we bought the tickets they assured us the bikes would be able to travel with us.  When we got to the Calgary airport they told us the bikes would be able to go, but maybe not the same day.  They said bikes were low priority luggage and it depended on how many other passengers they had and how much luggage they had.  In the end there was plenty of space and the bikes went with us.  We just left them in the boxes from the flight.  There is a recycling center in Jasper were you can recycle your bike box.

There are lots of bed and breakfasts in Jasper that you can book online.  You will get to Jasper late.  The driver was kind enough to stop the bus in front of our B&B to let us off saving us lugging the bike boxes around town.

We camped on the parkway.  Some of the water in the national park campgrounds required purification, you may want to bring a filter.

Enjoy, the scenery is incredible.

Gear Talk / Re: Bicycles for off-road riding
« on: March 25, 2010, 06:05:48 pm »
It is amazing what you can do with a little skill and a 700c touring bike with larger (x35, x38) tires.  For example we did the Cinnamon pass 4WD road last summer on our Bruce Gordon BLTs with 700cx37 tires fully loaded.  You can always walk a little.

Lately I picked up a used BG RNR EX, the 26" tires should make this sort of thing easier and reduce the probability of taco-ing a wheel, but I have some concern about the highway sections with the 26" tires.  Time will tell.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Cover
« on: March 25, 2010, 05:53:44 pm »
A disposable hotel shower cap works great on the seat for keeping the rain off when the bike is parked.  We keep one readily available in a pannier pocket.  They are very light and very small.  Keeping the rain off helps keep your shorts dry, which helps keep your rear healthy.  I like getting out of the goretex as soon as possible, certainly before the seat would have a chance to dry.

I can't imagine carrying a bike cover.  The bike is going to get wet while you ride it anyway.  My bias is bike cover = brick, but to each his own.

Routes / Re: Going To The Sun Highway
« on: March 09, 2010, 07:53:15 am »
We went in the morning E to W.  Due to the conditions on the summit shown in the background of we rode to the top from the west on a rest day we took at Lake McDonald.  Again, we rode in the morning.  It is worth doing twice in a row!  You can see other photos here dated 2007-7-19 and 2007-7-20.  Nice hiker biker setup at Sprague Creek on Lake McDonald.


"Can I ride my bicycle on the Going-to-the Sun Road?
Yes, but there are some exceptions. From June 15 through Labor Day, the following sections of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are closed to bicycle use between 11a.m. and 4 p.m.:

    * From Apgar turnoff (at the south end of Lake McDonald) to Sprague Creek Campground
    * Eastbound from Logan Creek to Logan Pass.

Due to ongoing road rehabilitation on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, portions of the roadbed may not be paved. Bicyclists should use caution riding on gravel portions of the road."

Gear Talk / Re: loose spokes
« on: December 02, 2009, 07:42:21 pm »
I once had a new hand built wheel that did the same thing, and it is annoying!  I took it to the shop, and they put a small drop of low strength loctite on the threads of every spoke by the nipple and tensioned all the spokes.  The use of loctite on the spokes seems to be a bit controversial, but the wheel has worked fine for over ten years of loaded paved and unpaved touring with no further problems.

General Discussion / Re: elevation website?
« on: November 29, 2009, 08:12:44 pm »
Here is another method.

1) create driving directions in google maps (, Get Directions, ...)
2) click the link icon on the google map, copy the  contents of the  "Paste Link in email or IM" box (
3) paste the link into the page at in the box "Or provide the URL of data on the Web:"
4) select "From best available source" in the "Add DEM elevation data"
5) push the "Draw the Profile" button.

Routes / Re: camping on the pacific coast route
« on: August 28, 2009, 08:48:13 pm »
You are going to a place with some of the most beautiful and most economical camping for cyclists of any place I have visited in 30 years of cycle touring.  The hiker biker sites in Oregon and California are fantastic.  I believe the 2008 rates we paid were $4/person including showers in Oregon, and $3/person w/o showers in California for hiker bikes sites at state parks.  Another advantage is that no reservations are required, most of the sites are simply shared by the cyclists and hikers that show up.  This sites are often segregated from other campers which can result in a quieter experience.  The state parks in OR and CA along this route are quite plentiful, giving you considerable freedom to decide how far you want to ride most days.  The hiker/biker sites are a great place to meet other cyclists.  The WA state parks are not nearly as cheap.  I think it would be a shame to miss out on the exceptional camping experience offered by the hiker/biker sites at state parks.  I also think wild camping would be more difficult than other less populated places.

Gear Talk / Re: First trip - need tire advice
« on: August 26, 2009, 07:57:28 pm »
Our current favorite is the continental contact 700x37  We use these on and off road.  This summer we took them over Cinnamon Pass with loaded bikes, a 12,600ft 4wd road.  You can see some pics of the conditions at  My wife has used the travel contacts and prefers the standard contacts.  I have no knowledge of the HH Dike, but I believe the standard conti contact would work well.

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