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Messages - cgarch

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Routes / Re: Pacific coast
« on: October 02, 2013, 02:27:27 am »
Again, sticking to the ACA routes will generally keep cyclists off the highways, even the ones with wide shoulders. There are spots with nil shoulders that simply cannot be avoided e.g. 101 south of Crescent City. My experience has been that motorists, whether they like it or not, will be as accommodating as possible. While it may seem daunting, it just is not that bad. Cyclists that are visible and that ride sensibly will have little trouble. It sure beats staying at home. If you're going to worry about this, then no amount of words here are going to assuage you. Like I said earlier, there are hundreds of cyclists that ride this route every year in sun and rain. There's very little to worry about.

Routes / Re: Pacific coast
« on: September 30, 2013, 04:32:09 pm »
Given the hundreds of cyclists on the Pacific Coast route, I'd say it is one of the safest and best routes around. ODOT has worked to improve the shoulders on the southbound side of 101 for cyclists. In Oregon it's pretty much a no brainer. California is a different story. I'd be more concerned about CA than OR. CA varies from no shoulders to huge shoulders. But in general cyclists have been riding this route for years with few problems. Follow the ACA route and they should be safe. If you want to know more about the route, please check out the journals on CGOAB.


I'm all for a reasonably light but strong bike for touring. We tour with our CF tandem (Calfee if you must know) with a Bob and a few panniers. Works perfectly fine. If I ever get around to my next single bike it will be a CF (custom) with the additional goodies for touring (eyelets, etc.).

California / Re: hwy 101 Orick to Cresent City
« on: June 24, 2013, 04:25:47 pm »
Of course you should stay on the Prairie SP scenic Dr. It has far less climbing and far less traffic than 101. And easy enough to do.

Routes / Re: Recommended Route San Jose to ACA Pacific Coast Route
« on: June 21, 2013, 11:12:33 am »
CA 92 to Half Moon Bay generally has heavy traffic. Riding it on a Sunday morning was probably wise. There are better ways to cross the Santa Cruz Mtn spine.


Routes / Re: Cycling the Pacific Coast Highway this summer
« on: June 11, 2013, 05:36:34 pm »
Most of the CA state parks are open. I second the recommendation to use the KOA at Manchester Beach - the state park might be one of the worst I've ever seen (a real embarrassment to the park system in my book). That part of the coast, Pt. Arena, seems to have a constant wind and the shelter of the trees in the KOA is welcome (not to mention the cooler with beer . .). The state park is completely exposed. As you get near the Sonoma Coasts, the county parks are quite nice - Stillwater Cove Regional Park is good logical stop before reaching Bodega Bay. Also there are lots of 1-way traffic controls through this area.


Routes / Re: Recommended Route San Jose to ACA Pacific Coast Route
« on: June 11, 2013, 05:27:09 pm »
If you didn't mind adding possibly a day to the route, go up to Portola Valley and pick up Old La Honda Road to the summit. Cross Skyline and continue on over to 84 and out to the coast. Old La Honda I believe is the lowest point crossing the Santa Cruz Mountains and has low traffic. And you get the bonus of a nice part of the coast and a superb tailwind (usually).

Page Mill is not the best if you're loaded - it's steep for long sections. 152 (Hecker Pass) is probably a bad idea and a non-starter. Looking at Google Maps there is a bicycle must exit sign at CA 129 west exit, so bikes are allowed between the 101 x 25 junction and 129. Granted it won't be fun . .  Otherwise it is the Los Gatos Creek trail as Bclayden has noted. Eureka Canyon is very nice and you can stop to fuel up at the Corralitos Market.


There's not much you can do. Having been in exactly that situation, make sure that you get far as you can and if you see traffic headed towards you, start waving at least one hand. Optimally the bike button will give you a longer green light but I know it isn't easy. If you can at least see the other end of the traffic control zone it will help oncoming drivers to recognize your predicament.

General Discussion / Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
« on: March 21, 2013, 04:38:39 pm »

3. ...This amounts to 80 miles/day. With your time plan, you need to cover 80-90 miles/day.       

Atozzi, you haven't spec'd whether you're camping or moteling . . If you take Western Express and expect to land at a town, your choices though Nevada and part of Utah are either 60-70 miles/day or 120 miles/day. Most of the towns across NV on US50 are just about 60 miles apart with nothing (I repeat Nothing) in between - no water, no shade, nada (and I-80 is actually not much different).

As for wide-open spaces, the Western Express can't be beat, but you will find plenty of similar wide-open terrain in Eastern Oregon. Don't be fooled into thinking E. Oregon is like the coast - not even close.


General Discussion / Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
« on: March 20, 2013, 04:17:19 pm »
Agreed. Traveling along Interstate 80, while possible, is not the preferred choice. But let's not forget that eastern Oregon can be mighty hot too at that time of year.

Gear Talk / Re: Selle Anatomica Titanico X
« on: March 19, 2013, 04:06:57 pm »
Big fan here. At 250 lbs for me, this is the best saddle I've ever owned. Have one on 3 bikes including the tandem, where I spend far more time on my butt. Wish I had had one on our first touring trip down the coast. On the negative side, I have broken the rails on one of them. But then I've broken rails on every saddle I've owned, and a few other parts as well. But overall, easily the most comfortable saddle I've owned.

On a sidenote, Tom Milton, the developer, was a frequent rider of the California Triple Crown, so he knew what it meant to spend long hours in the saddle.

Routes / Re: Traffic on the California section of the Pacific Coast Route
« on: February 20, 2013, 04:26:07 pm »
We traversed this route in 2009. As others have noted most of Oregon is a no brainer. South of Crescent City is another matter. 101 south is your only choice and the climb of about 3 miles is pretty hairy - there is no shoulder and the descent on the other side is very rough. Traffic depends on the time of day. An early start is a really good idea. After that it isn't too bad except for a short narrow stretch south of Orick. There is no alternative other than Newton B. Drury Parkway (following the ACA route). Once you reach Trinidad, there are numerous side roads and trails to keep you off the freeway.

South of Eureka, I had few problems with the route. Pay attention to the side roads on the ACA route and you will do fine. There's a narrow stretch at Richardson Grove. The so-called dreaded climb at Leggett isn't that bad. The one after that though is (not for traffic though). Start early. Logging traffic has diminished substantially in CA and CA 1 is much better south to Ft. Bragg. I would agree with other comments about that area. There's no getting around the fact that a lot of CA 1 is narrow with limited shoulders. By the time you reach this area, your confidence will be up and you won't be thinking about this. Thinking about it is much worse than the actual experience. And remember too that "Bicycling the Pacific Coast" is a little long in the tooth and things have changed.


P.S. consider having your blinker taillight on in the Humboldt Redwoods - even though the traffic speed is slow, the darkness of the area and the distraction of the tall trees makes for inattentive drivers. Be seen.

2. If your bike has a threadless headset, buy a Problem Solvers Locking Headset Spacer.  You have to remove the bars and stem to pack the bike and, without the locking spacer, the fork will want to fall out too.  The spacer retains the fork and keeps your correct headset preload adjustment.

4.  Park sells a small light pedal wrench (RW-1) that is a great take-along.  Otherwise a 15 mm cone wrench is also usable.  Pedals don't have to be that tight.

Couple of comments - I've traveled with our tandem on Amtrak several times. On Amtrak it is only necessary to remove the bars. I turn my 10 degree up threadless stem over so it fits in the box better. No retainer needed and it makes is easier to maneuver the bike into the box. No reason too that you couldn't spin it around and lash to the top tube. Now that Amtrak no longer takes tandems my investment in S&S couplers is paying for itself. Be sure you have the little clicking torque tool for the bars.

The S&S wrench includes a 15mm slot for pedals (in case you were wondering what that slot was for) . . no extra wrench necessary unless you have pedals that don't have a wrench face (some Shimano SPDs are like this). If you put the pedals on with this wrench, you will most likely be able to get them off.

Santa Rosa CA

General Discussion / Amtrak changes baggage and bike policy . .
« on: September 11, 2012, 01:32:56 am »

"WASHINGTON – Effective Monday, Sept. 10, Amtrak is implementing a "refined" baggage policy which reduces the number of free checked bags per ticketed passenger from three to two and raises the extra bag fee from $10 to $20. A limit of four bags may be checked, instead of six previously. This comes from an internal memo citing significantly higher baggage volumes as a result of increased ridership.

In addition, free checked bags will be limited to 75 linear inches, including length, width, and height, compared with a prior restriction of 36 inches on any one side. A $20 charge will now apply for items between 75 and 100 linear inches. Boxed bicycles as checked baggage will now cost $20 and tandem bikes and kayaks will no longer be accepted."
This is a deal-breaker for us tandem owners and really not acceptable. It is getting harder to move a tandem around without having one that comes apart. I'm lucky that our has couplers, but not many do.

Edit: see also this link - it appears that the bike charge is $10, not $20.

Santa Rosa, CA

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