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Messages - cgarch

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121
Hi Matt, first post eh? I have to politely ask the question - have you done your research? Not to rag on you in particular but this about 4th or 5th post this year asking the same question. I'd like to suggest you check this forum for those similar questions and answers. And take a look at crazyguyonabike.com for many similar route journals. Do a little research and I think you'll eventually find the answer to your question. As well as the cornucopia of the experiences of others. And Yes you can do it in the time frame. But you aren't specific about your trip plans - inland or coastal, camping or moteling,??? There are a lot of variables. I (we?) can't write your trip for you - planning it so it works for you is part of the great fun of a trip. Reading the journals of others can tell you what to avoid and what to include. Good luck!

122
Routes / Re: Roads from San Francisco to Yosemite NP
« on: May 12, 2010, 04:03:05 pm »
Your English is fine. Notes about crossing the bay are correct. I see a couple of problems with this route. CA 4 from Discovery Bay to Stockton is not a road you want to ride. I drove it once and understood why I never even drove that road. it has zilch shoulders, lots of heavy truck traffic and is pretty frightening. Take a look at Google Maps and drop the little man in for a road level view. I don't have an alternate suggestion for that area either. I like CA 4 east of Stockton - nice road, goes from good shoulders to no shoulders, and a pretty ride. One suggestion would be to turn right at Milton Rd. (before Copperopolis) head south then east on E. Sonora Rd. - nice quiet low traffic ride and you can avoid some steep hills to Copperopolis and from Cop to Sonora. Be sure to fuel up in Farmington (intersection of 4 and county road J6). Then take CA 108 to the 140 junction to continue. Be careful too as it can be quite hot (100F - 38C) at the time period you're riding in. Climb at Groveland is quite stout. Otherwise check out crazyguyonabike for plenty of other suggestions. Good luck.

Craig
Santa Rosa, CA

123
Pacific Northwest / Re: Cycling from Olympic peninsula south on 101
« on: May 09, 2010, 01:42:01 pm »
Going back to your original question, the plan is solid. Getting from Seattle over to the Olympic Peninsula is straightforward. If you want to get out on the coast you can easily make it to at least San Francisco and beyond in the time frame you've mentioned. It won't be until you're near the SF Bay Area that you can make it over to Amtrak in either Martinez or Emeryville. It will cost you a little more than $10 - $15 these days. You'll be in striking range of Amtrak until you reach the Monterey area. Obviously on the Big Sur Coast you'll away from public transport until you reach San Luis Obispo. After that access to Amtrak isn't too far away. Only word of caution is that the Coast Starlight often books up months in advance so don't plan on pulling up to the train station and expect to hop on the next train. FYI, Coast Starlight leaves the Bay Area fairly late in the evening. FWIW, our Amtrak trips have been great with only one being really late.

As for hilly, the coast can easily be as hilly as any inland route. You can expect several 3,000 ft days.

124
Routes / Re: first timer- highway 1 from oregon to san francisco!
« on: May 07, 2010, 06:01:04 pm »
The coastal route is truly wonderful. Easy camping, easy to get supplies. Only trick would be how are you getting from Ashland to the coast? There are two ways. You could head over to US 199 to Crescent City - or -head south of Ashland and pick up CA 96 to head west. 96 follows the Klamath River and is quite scenic with little traffic. There might be a third alternative - riding west of Medford and then taking the road south to Happy Camp. There was a Cycle Oregon recently that used this route - worth searching for. In either case heading west of Happy camp you'll be rewarded with some spectacular scenery on low traffic roads. Services however are a little sparse until you reach the coast. At the coast you pick up US 101 and won't reach CA 1 until Leggett. Indeed crazyguyonabike has many journals for rides on that route, including our trip from last year. I'll dig up the Cycle Oregon link later and post.

Don't worry about the twisty and sharp curves and poor shoulders. Where the road is like this no one is going that fast. Put it out of your mind and relax and enjoy the ride.

Happy Trails

125
Routes / Re: Getting from SFO (San Francisco Aiport) To Half Moon Bay?
« on: April 27, 2010, 09:37:27 pm »
One last comment. Since HMB is not the destination, consider Valygrl's comments and add this. Consider turning onto Pescadero Rd after La Honda. There is a short steep climb section but the remainder is worth it. Before reaching Pescadero, take the Butano Cutoff to Cloverdale Rd. and head south for some nice quiet riding. This keeps you away from 1 for a little longer. Takes Gazos Creek finally out to the coast. Once at the coast you should be able to count on a strong tail wind to blow you to Cruz.

Update: If you watched the Tour of California, you would have seen them riding exactly these roads.

126
Routes / Re: Getting from SFO (San Francisco Aiport) To Half Moon Bay?
« on: April 20, 2010, 11:57:50 pm »
You are wise to be suspicious of 92. Heavy traffic and a lot of uncomfortable riding with miserable shoulders in many places. Unless there is some reason to be in Half Moon Bay, the recommendation from here would be to work your way to Woodside, start up CA 84 West but turn at King's Mountain Road. Cross Skyline (CA 35) and descend Tunitas Creek Rd. to the coast. This will put you well south of HMB. Cannot vouch for the grade on King's Mountain Rd.. Another alternative is Old La Honda Rd., cross CA 35 and continue to reconnect with CA 84 west. Don't try to ride up 84 out of Woodside to Skyline. Old La Honda I believe has the lowest summit crossing the Santa Cruz Mtns. Once at the coast Santa Cruz is around 30 some odd miles. Good luck in your journey.

127
Pacific Northwest / Re: Blaine, WA to Astoria, Oregon
« on: April 13, 2010, 02:06:13 am »
Can't imagine how the weather could be better. When we rode it in July last year we still got 3 days of rain out of 5 . . . South of Forks: Bogachiel State Park, about 10 miles, is one choice, though haven't camped there - others have. Next is Kalaloch CG, but has no HB sites nor showers, and sites are often reserved. Probably less of a problem in May than in summer . . There is another campground about 3 miles south of Kalaloch but it is more primitive. There's a convenience store at Kalaloch Lodge, has enough stuff to get by on. The trading post in Queets is better but it is also about 7 miles down the road. Next stop is Lake Quinault. The walkin campground, July Creek, on the north shore was closed last year and presumably is closed this year as the sign looked rather permanent. The USFS Falls Creek CG is pretty nice and showers are a mere 1.2 miles away. Since we made the trip last year perhaps you should visit this http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/TWS for what we experienced.   There are other trip posts that have stopped at Bogachiel - suggest you check those out. Other than the long sprint from Lake Quinault to Twin Harbors, there are sufficient campgrounds to make the trip. There are also campgrounds on the coast north of Grays Harbor that we did not check out but have been listed in other resources. Suggest you also look at the bible, Bicycling the Pacific Coast. FYI, the ferry across Grays Harbor is not functional. Overall though, it is a pretty trip. Good luck.

128
Routes / Re: Packing a Bicycle Trailer
« on: April 10, 2010, 10:12:19 pm »
OK, I'll bite. First you want heavy items at the bottom to lower the center of gravity. Second you want the load balanced across the center line of the trailer.  Putting heavy things up front may not be the best idea. Evenly balanced front - rear would again be best. That's the optimal scenario. Reality is often different. Sometimes just getting stuff in the trailer is half the trick. You do plan to load the trailer and test ride to experiment with how it's loaded, right?

129
Routes / Re: Pacific Coast or new Sierra - Cascades route?
« on: April 01, 2010, 12:14:11 am »
One other consideration, since you mention you are new to touring. The coast route is a dream for a first tour. Seems like every SP has an HB site, they aren't that far apart, and services are relatively easy to obtain. I'm not sure that there are campgrounds/state parks in the volume and spacing you see on the coast in the inland areas. When you look at other routes, you can see how sweet the coast route is. Highly recommended for a first tour. And you won't be short of company.

130
Routes / Re: Pacific Coast or new Sierra - Cascades route?
« on: March 31, 2010, 04:07:29 pm »
On the other hand...
Maybe consider taking the Sierra Cascades route to Sisters and then the TA to Florence and follow the coast south from there.  Three weeks is probably a bit tight on the time for that though.  Check the mileage and decide if that can work for you.

I'd support that suggestion and agree timing might be a little tight for three weeks. Given late July, inland temps can be quite hot - that might also be something to consider.

131
General Discussion / Re: Camping in NP
« on: March 25, 2010, 10:14:19 pm »
I think you need to check with the park you plan to land at or hope to get lucky. Not all apparently offer this accommodation. Check out this blog: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=RrzKj&page_id=119704&v=m3

132
Routes / Re: portland to SF realistic time frame and advice needed
« on: March 10, 2010, 04:00:57 pm »
Suggest you check out http://www.crazyguyonabike.com for this route (Pacific Coast). Plenty of journals that cover this stretch complete with experiences and time frames. We took three weeks and we're happy with it. One suggestion  - if you have to stop at Manchester Beach SP, near Pt. Arena, CA, suggest you use the KOA. The state park is in poor condition with no showers. The KOA has showers and laundry.

133
Routes / Re: Moab Utah to Cortez Colorado(Mesa Verde)
« on: March 08, 2010, 10:55:00 pm »
Likewise, I drove it back in Dec 2007. I actually happened to take some photos from the car and on checking those a very ridable shoulder is visible. My recollection from driving it is that it would indeed be very ridable. You can bet there is the usual variability in shoulders. Nearing Monticello and headed east to Cortez, indeed the scenery is pretty barren. At one point east of Monticello, there is a small forest of small pines (I think) but not for long. If it is clear you can see the San Juans long before you reach them. The barren wide open spaces have a grandeur all their own.

134
General Discussion / Re: maximum weight 2
« on: February 10, 2010, 12:21:56 am »
I'd agree with the other posters. Can't think of many bikes or tires that won't support your weight. I weigh 240-250 (i'm 6-5) and don't have any issues other than I don't ride small tires (<23). I ride 23s at 120 psi just fine. On the tandem (carbon, combined weight 375, somewhere north of 400 when touring) we ride 25s for local rides and 28-30s for touring. No issues but then since both bikes are custom, they were made with my size in mind. But still there are plenty of guys racing that are heavier than you. 160 is a non-problem.

cg

135
Gear Talk / Re: Big Agnes vs Theramrest
« on: January 28, 2010, 04:40:40 pm »
I've had Thermarests for years but for our first Pac Coast trip in 2009 we got a pair of the Big Agnes, primarily because of space considerations. They packed well and we both slept quite well with the BAs.  Only drawback was I didn't want to be blowing the bloody things up everyday, so I brought a small hand pump that was originally for the Fit Ball and I made an adapter to match the BA valve. If I had had more time I would have made an adapter to work with tire pump then I would have only had 1 pump instead of 2. Regardless, it worked well. FWIW, my BA is the extra long and wide version - I'm a big guy - and again no complaints.

Trying to figure what we'll do with the ThermaRests.

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