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Messages - cgarch

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31
Routes / Re: Newbie Advice / Western Express
« on: August 29, 2012, 11:27:57 am »
If you would like to 'see' what current road conditions are, take a look at this journal (June 2012) on CGOAB. http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=1&page_id=285716&v=U9

cg

32
OK, but keep in mind that CA 44 is also closed between Shingletown and Viola. So that means you can't take I-5 to Anderson (or Redding) and then turn east on 44 to get to Old Station. But good news, they're saying 89 will reopen by 9 p.m. (the section above Greenville). So you could at least go that route and around. Best of luck.

Craig

33
Apparently 89 is also closed between Greenville and CA 36.

  [IN THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AREA & SIERRA NEVADA]
    IS CLOSED FROM 1 MI NORTH OF GREENVILLE /AT OLD HAUN RD/ TO 11 MI SOUTH OF
THE JCT OF SR 36 /AT BUTT LAKE RD/ (PLUMAS CO) - DUE TO A WILDLAND FIRE -
 MOTORISTS ARE ADVISED TO USE AN ALTERNATE ROUTE 

This positively sucks. It appears to me that you're left with having to take 70 (east) over to 395 to get to at least to Susanville. From Susanville head W on 36 to reach 44 to continue as previously noted.

Sources: Caltrans highway info: http://www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi
Fires (USDA Forest Service): http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3112/
http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3052/

34
Northbound - after leaving Greenville and making the climb (+/- 1000') to Lake Almanor, take CA 147 towards Westwood. Before you reach CA 36 (near Clear Creek Park), take a right at County Rd. A21 and continue through Westwood. After crossing 36 continue north to CA 44. Continue North/West on 44 until it intersects CA 89 at which point it rejoins the route. The only drawback to this is you will very likely be in the smoke plume from the fire - not the best. Suppose you could go further east before turning north at either CA 139 or as far east as US 395 (there's a fire out there too). CA 139 would take you to US 299 which you could then take to the west to pick up 89. It is a long way around and I cannot vouch for services on 139 between Susanville and 299. I've been studying the route but had not gotten to researching the services. There are some back roads in the 299 area that can keep you off 299 and headed NW. Services are few and far between once you're away from the main roads. I've ridden some of these roads, but not all. If you decide to go the 139 route I have a contact in Burney I can rattle to for some additional advice. Best of luck -from the incident page, it doesn't look like 89 through the park will open for some time.

Craig
Santa Rosa, CA

35
The great thing about this project is that it will eliminate the only and unnerving section of freeway riding between Cascade Locks and Troutdale. Beware too that there is quite the homeless encampment at the Moffett Creek bridge on the north side of the freeway. Westbound riders need to jump the vehicle access barrier when they see it, about 200 yds before the bridge. Someone painted an orange left arrow at the location - unless it fades, that's the spot to get on the freeway, for now.

Craig
@cgarch

36
Routes / Re: SF -> Yosemite in 2 days
« on: July 16, 2012, 07:09:45 pm »
A couple of comments, you seem to be mixing your highways and cities up a bit. CA120 runs out of Manteca -> Oakdale -> Yosemite. CA140 runs out of Merced -> Mariposa -> Yosemite. More importantly CA132 heads east out of Modesto ->Coulterville. I've driven (not ridden) all of these routes and would have these comments. 120 has some of the better shoulders and paving of roads in that area. I just drove it Friday. The only ringer is the climb at Mocassin to Groveland. Every highway leaving the valley seems to have one of these climbs but at least the grade, though long, is reasonable. 120 does have a fair amount of traffic.

140 is out of your way, pure and simple. It is a more exposed climb to Mariposa with little services. There is a great hostel though as the road drops down to the Merced River, Yosemite Bug. It would make a great overnight stop. The real drawback is that while you would have lower elevations to achieve to get to the park, you would then have to climb out of the park to at least 5000 ft. to make it to Camp Mather on the park road which does not have any shoulder - that is not attractive (to me at least). For this reason alone you would be better served to go 120. Not to mention that I doubt you could do this in 2 days on this route.

Your recently proposed route is an attractive option. While I've not traveled Keyes Rd., I have traveled CA 132 (Aug 2011) to Coulterville (which you will hook up on) and continued on to connect to 120 on J132. 132 has not seen much improvement since its construction but then it has little traffic. It is the classic undulating road to the Sierra. The kicker is that that nasty climb out of the valley here is much worse. The climb to Coulterville is steep (I'm going with 16%-20% grades) and exposed and the road that continues beyond has a similarly steep climbs in it. Again few services on this route.

For my money, I would take 120. And since you only have 2 days, 120 makes more sense.

Edit: I would think twice too about riding 140 up to Mariposa and then turning north on 49 to get to the Priest Grade climb. That just adds a whole lot more climbing (to 2300' on 140 or so) that you could avoid by sticking to 120 (gradual climb from Oakdale to China Camp to Mocassin), not to mention going the long way around.


37
Gear Talk / Re: Help. needed in Elma Washington
« on: June 25, 2012, 08:09:28 pm »
We made use of the LaVogue Bike Shop in 2009 (it helps to remember to stock your patch kit . . .). It is actually in Hoquiam, across the river. It is well stocked and at the least, an interesting place.

38
Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Route - Dangerous Bollards installed
« on: June 07, 2012, 05:14:59 pm »
That . . is ugly. Painting them black is patently stupid. One thing to consider when you encounter a bollard installation that is questionable - check to see if it is 36 inches clear between the bollards. This is the minimum ADA clearance required by law. If it isn't you have a great case to make them remove them and install something easier to get through. I used this on Sonoma County (CA) to get them to fix 3 badly spaced bollards. They simply took the middle one out. ADA compliance is a great way to get pathways fixed for everyone.

39
California / Re: San Fran to Santa Barbara
« on: May 30, 2012, 06:36:18 pm »
This is a good suggestion. While you could make it from SF to Monterey in two days, there's little point in suffering some of the heavy traffic in between. Go for Salinas and enjoy the trip.

Craig

40
California / Re: Klamath River to Arcata
« on: May 14, 2012, 11:31:33 pm »
Hmm, very high quality as far as I'm concerned. 96 has generally excellent pavement, low traffic and some of the best views around. Supply stops are a tad thin, but from Happy Camp on, they're much better. Plenty of places to camp, the Klamath is drop-dead gorgeous, and there are some good side trips worthy of your time - e.g. turn up the road to Forks of Salmon from Somes Bar for a superbly scenic one lane road hugging a cliff. I have photos posted from a club tour last year here http://gallery.me.com/cgarch#100030  Wayne's journal is highly recommended as he also covers the stretch of 299 from Willow Creek to Arcata (in 2011) - not the best riding after 96 but what the hey? http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Cascadia and here's another one http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Klamath2008 . The only drawback I can think of is that it can get really hot in the river gorges but since you're generally riding downhill, I doubt you'll find it too bad. Searching on Klamath at CGOAB should get you additional results.

Craig
Santa Rosa, CA

41
Gear Talk / Re: Tire recommendations
« on: March 13, 2012, 04:09:36 pm »
Quote
Makes no sense.  A spare tire is carried for emergencies.  Not normal replacement of a worn out tire.
Err quite. <snip>
And this old fool never starts a tour without new tires fore and aft.

I've bought a new tire enroute and worn it out before getting to the destination. In the towns I went through, sure there might have been bike shops but I couldn't count on them having the tire I needed (based on experience looking for tires in shops). Getting one delivered the next day similarly wasn't a likely scenario. So I carry a spare I trust - cheap insurance. This old fool starts with new tires and carries a spare.

42
General Discussion / Re: Amtrack Question Seattle Area
« on: March 09, 2012, 04:23:44 pm »
Cgarch, thanks for the suggestion, your recommendation may make things easier but I have a few questions. I will have to assemble my bike for the trip from the Seattle station, however I seem to recall the Cascade will allow me to roll it on for the trip to Vancouver. Is this correct? Also how is the neighborhood around the Seattle station. I would probably spend the night at a HiSeattle hostel.

Best way to deal with the Cascades is to make sure you get a reservation for both you and the bike. They indicate that there is some limit to the the number of bikes on the train, so make it easy and get the reso. I recall that it is something like $5 for the bike. As noted by adventurepdx, roll-on no problem.

43
General Discussion / Re: Amtrack Question Seattle Area
« on: March 08, 2012, 09:51:36 pm »
I have taken the Amtrak twice and both times the experience was miserable.  In addition to dirty bathrooms and surly workers, the train was hours late both times.  The first time, it was so late I had to whole additional night there and then had to fight for a place on the train the next day! The next time, we were over 8 hours late getting into Seattle from LA and they lied to us the whole way about how we'd be there "almost on time" etc etc.  Never again for me.

We've taken the Starlight 3 times and it was on time on each trip. Have taken the Zephyr and had the same experience. Staff was always courteous but yeah the bathrooms can be miserable as you get closer to the end of the run. As an alternative, we've spent the night in Seattle (note that the train arrives around 9-9:30 p.m.) and taken the Cascade the next day (early departure). The Cascade's are pretty nice and would sure beat getting into Vancouver in the middle of the night.

As you will be boxing your bikes, be sure you watch their weight. We've been able to load 'em no problem down here in the bay area, but the handlers in Seattle are really finicky and made me repack my tandem in two boxes, even though it says in their rules they can exceed 50 lbs..

44
Routes / Re: touring route for california
« on: January 24, 2012, 12:39:11 pm »
Valygrl's route is an excellent route. I've ridden that several times and it does not disappoint. I posted some pics from this area on a discussion at CGOAB last year regarding the CA 1 closure at Big Sur. http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/forum/board/message/?o=R&thread_id=207858&page=1&nested=0&v=16 and scroll down.

Not sure I 'd agree with Wine Country not being that great. If you're in Napa that would be correct, but Sonoma County has many more roads that are quiet and very pleasant and away from the busier Marin roads.

45
Routes / Re: touring route for california
« on: January 24, 2012, 01:13:06 am »
What I'm thinking is that you could do a figure 8 loop. Do a south of SF loop for a week, followed by a north bay loop for the second week. The south bay loop may not be as interesting as the north bay loop but that's just my prejudiced opinion, being a north bay guy.

Here's a suggested North Bay loop. Get out the map.
SF via Ferry to (or coming out of the south bay loop) Vallejo, ride up 29 (and some other roads) to Napa. Vallejo to Napa will suck but there's no other really good way to do that (unless someone has suggestions).
Napa to Calistoga via Silverado Trail and some other side roads. For side roads consider going out to Chiles and Pope Valley and come back over the hill into St. Helena. Calistoga then is a likely overnight.
Continue north of Calistoga on CA 128 to Jimtown thence to Healdsburg. Or on up to Geyserville and then come back to Healdsburg.
Consider staying in Healdsburg for two nights, using the next day to do some loops in the area, or join the local bike club, www.srcc.com for some local flavor. Moseying around Dry Creek Valley is pretty sweet and there are some great Zins in the neighborhood. If you like beer, Bear Republic Brewing is there and well worth the stop.

Couple of options from Healdsburg:

1) Ride Westside Road to Guerneville. Don't take Sweetwater Springs unless you like climbing. Ride to Bodega Bay. consider two nights in Bodega Bay so you can ride to Occidental, Valley ford, Freestone before continuing on back to SF. Don't miss the bakeries in Tomales and Freestone - seriously - look for the bikes.

2) Ride to Sebastopol then up to Occidental (Graton Rd. or Occidental Rd. either one works, Graton rd is preferred). Stay in Occidental. Again consider staying 2 nights in Occi and do the Coleman Valley loop to Bodega Bay -> Bodega -> Freestone -> back to Occidental. Next day, Occidental -> Freestone -> Valley Ford -> Tomales -> Pt. Reyes Station -> SF. There are more steep climbs on this route, and don't take CA 1 from Valley Ford to Tomales, even though it is the ACA route. Lots of traffic, narrow road with no shoulder and steep climbs. Locals don't ride this stretch and neither should you. Take either Franklin School Rd or Whittaker Bluff. Both have steep stretches but zero traffic and great views.

3) Ride directly out to the coast on Skaggs Springs to Stewarts Point. Skaggs is hors de categorie (sp?) in steepness and nasty climbs but spectacular. If you're heavily loaded I would skip this. Lodging is a good guess and I can't offer any suggestions. However CA 1 south has some great scenery and wicked climbs. After you reach Bodega Bay you would continue as described in option 1.

I don't have a good south bay loop, but thinking out loud, the thought that goes through my mind is something like this: SF -> Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz around through Watsonville ->Morgan Hill -> San Jose; over Mt Hamilton and on to the Mines Road to Livermore; Livermore up through the San Ramon Valley to Martinez (or Crockett?); cross the Carquinez Strait (bike routes on both the Carquinez and the Benicia Bridges) and make your way over to Vallejo to pick up the route above.

Give that some thought and let me know what you think.

Craig
Santa Rosa, CA

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