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Messages - PeteJack

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General Discussion / Re: Anyone have any TIPS on Shimano SPD pedals??
« on: July 29, 2016, 01:23:49 pm »
Count on falling over twice, once within the first hour, and then once again once you get use to them but forget. It won't be long before clipping out will be second-nature; you won't even think about it.
+1 To minimize the chances of this find a gym or Y that has a stationary bikes you can use. (They often have pedals with SPD on one side and platform on the other or put your own SPDs on.) Then you can practice getting in and out without the risk of falling. I always tell people to make their first attempt at using SPDs on grass. I didn't and wished I had.

The experience of stopping at a light and being unable to get your feet off the pedals is not to be missed.

But persevere. Before long you'll wonder how you rode without them. Use long flat bits of your touring to practice 360 degree pedaling until it becomes 2nd nature. IMO it's like skiing, a learned skill but well worth it.

General Discussion / Re: Mississippi River barge ride
« on: July 01, 2016, 07:17:28 pm »
It surprised me how little mention of the war they made. Towards the end they mention some boys they knew in the military but I would have thought New Orleans would have been buzzing with wartime activity in 1943.

General Discussion / Re: Mississippi River barge ride
« on: July 01, 2016, 03:50:00 pm »
A couple of girls did that in 1943. Things might have changed since then mind.

Bicycle Route 66 / Re: 66 in Tulsa is dangerous
« on: June 18, 2016, 10:16:01 pm »
A friend of mine got rear ended on 66. Ended his tour too

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Whereabouts Nick? I'm thinking of going back and finishing it but some places e.g. OK City and Amarillo have me looking for a way round them

I've just had to abandon a tour in Tulsa OK and fly back to Seattle. A bike shop charged $80 to box the bike and FedEx shipping was $53 to my house. I started an account (free) with FedEx which saved me quite a bit. The estimate before having an account was $82. You can probably box your bike yourself for nothing using a free box from a bike shop. Get a duffel bag or a suitcase from Goodwill and put your panniers in that then you only have one bag to check on a plane. Toss the suitcase or whatever when you get to Portland or give it to another charity shop.

Mind you I like Amtrak myself. It's $25 for a bike box. You don't have to dismantle your bike; just turn the bars sideways and remove the pedals and the box is so big you just roll the bike into it. Be aware that bikes can only be loaded/unloaded at what Amtrak calls manned stations. e.g. The nearest station to Crater Lake NP is Chemult. it would be a great place to start a tour but you can't because it's not manned. The nearest manned station is Klamath Falls.

My wife, who is not really a cyclist, and I did the Natchez Trace from S to N and stayed in some delightful B & Bs. It's a great intro to bike touring for a tyro. There was one stretch where we ended up camping but with better planning you could avoid that. We used and they were great, we booked one day at a time so we didn't have to commit to a schedule which can be hard on a beginner if you overestimate your abilities. I highly recommend it. The booking service is quite picky about who it recommends and we found them excellent value for money.

At Hazelgreen MO (Map 22) on the ACA route on Hwy AB there is a sign saying "Road closed 3 miles ahead" and signs diverting Route 66 travelers onto the adjacent freeway, there's also a map addendum to that effect put out by the ACA. If you can lift your bike over a couple of two foot barriers there's no need to go on the freeway and you'll be rewarded with a several miles of traffic free road. If you stay on route here's what you'll find.

This is the bridge over the Gasconade River. That barrier is all of two feet high and you can ride to a similar barrier on the other side. When I got there I noticed pedestrians on the bridge (there's a swimming hole nearby) and there are no notices telling peds/riders to stay off. If the state really wanted that they would have put chain link fence up etc., but it is very much closed to motor vehicles.

i checked this out because several times I've come across road closures where a pedestrian or cyclist could easily get through. At worst I would have had a six mile round trip to satisfy my curiosity.

Bicycle Route 66 / Re: 66 in Tulsa is dangerous
« on: June 08, 2016, 08:54:01 am »
Although 11th in Tulsa can be an issue, Manchester in St. Louis is much, much worse. In spots along 11th, I either rode on the sidewalk or took the lane, depending on the situation.
That's what I should have done John. I agree with you that Manchester was bad. The ACA route through Joplin MO  was crummy too especially as there is the Frisco Greenway bike path that takes you to within a couple of blocks of the match line and avoids all the traffic, no need for insets or anything. I found that with my iPhone after following Historic 66 signs got me off route, no such luck in Tulsa.

Bicycle Route 66 / Re: 66 in Tulsa is dangerous
« on: June 07, 2016, 07:13:42 pm »
According to my iPhone it was between S. Louisville Ave and S. New haven Ave. And I have to agree with your comment about E of Claremore getting onto 193rd Ave was grim. I thought I'd got the worst over when I'd done that!

Bicycle Route 66 / 66 in Tulsa is dangerous
« on: June 07, 2016, 04:40:37 pm »
This happened to me in Tulsa on 11th St, on the ACA route, at 1 in the afternoon. I was rear ended by a van. 11th St starts off as rural and ends up a mad rush with no bike lane or shoulder.

I ended up in the ER and it finished my tour. Try and find an alternate to 11th St.The guy at Lees Bikes who helped me ship my bike back said he wouldn't dream of riding 11th St. I wrote to ACA about it and heard nothing back. So I can't help with an alternate. FYI my injuries were not too bad and it could have been a lot worse.

Routes / Re: El Nino impact on Sierra Cascade route this spring?
« on: April 21, 2016, 10:18:06 am »

This was on July 1 attempting to cross Elk Pass near Randle WA. The slushy snow was up to the hubs. It was in the 80s in the valley. This is a FS road which are not plowed like regular roads thanks to budget cuts so check with the FS before attempting passes on their terrain. See I ended up making a very long detour to get back on trail at Cascade Locks. ( Some kind correspondent with local knowledge told me I couldn't have picked a worse route to the Locks. See the correspondence in the CGOAB article.)

You'll probably be able to get across Crater Lake NP but not be able to ride round the lake if it's a heavy snow year. That's what happened to me.

(Edit. Sorry my pic doesn't display. Dunno why, it did in the preview before. Go to my CGOB link to see pics)

General Discussion / Re: Bike shops near Seatac airport
« on: March 23, 2016, 09:36:38 pm »
I've decided to take the ferry from Seattle to Bremerton and follow the "Pacific Coast" route to a point just west of Anacortes.  It looks like a nice ride (with the exception of down town Bremerton) with lots to see and some camp grounds along the way.

Your snap of the Washington Pass ascent reminds me of what I'm in for - Both fun and not so much fun.
Should be nice. On the ferry keep your eyes peeled in Rich Passage on the way to Bremerton. If you're lucky you'll see orcas + Bald Eagles (America's emblem) are to be seen thereabouts.

Stock up on food in Concrete; there isn't a supermarket worth the name until you get to Winthrop. Newhalem has a store but it's not up to much. if you're a reader Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life is about growing up in Concrete. A redneck in a Concrete cafe told me "Some people round here not too keen on Tobias Wolff" When I mentioned his name. It's a great read and you'll see why he caused a stir. But I digress.

Here's Back Street Bike Repair.

You can see where the name comes from. I was there today. They seem a very good outfit. Plus they stock the Compass Tires that I'm planning on fitting for my next tour.

Edit: Oops. If you modify Photobucket (in my case delete some pics) it messes up the locations of all the other pics it seems.  :-\

General Discussion / Re: Rain gear in the summer: Why carry it at all?
« on: March 21, 2016, 03:02:42 am »
OK, it seems that I have been EXTEMELY lucky during all my trips in the US.

You certainly have. I took rain gear from Jasper to Portland last summer with blazing sun all the way and not a second of rain. The guidebooks did say you could get snow in June on the Icefields Parkway ( the name gives a hint). I didn't regret taking it, it's just the cost of safe touring IMO. I got hypothermia in the North Cascades when rain turned to sleet and my rain gear was defective (Gore Bike Wear actually replaced it) Never again

General Discussion / Re: Bike shops near Seatac airport
« on: March 21, 2016, 02:43:56 am »
I use Photobucket, it's free if you don't have too many images. Load images you want to show here into Photobucket then copy the text labelled IMG that Photobucket provides for your image and just paste it into your text. Don't use use the insert Image icon thingy above the text box.  At least that's how I do it and it seems to work 8)

Here's Frankie the 15 yr old greyhound and his trailer that I met on the same trip. Just to make sure the above i correct.

I was just finishing the NT W->E when I took that pic.. So, how are you getting up to the NT route?

General Discussion / Re: Bike shops near Seatac airport
« on: March 20, 2016, 04:19:27 am »
How are you getting onto the NT route from Seattle? there's a couple of options comes to mind. The easy way is to take the train to Mount Vernon, it's about 10 miles from there to Sedro Wooley (love that name) and you can join the ACA route just before SW. There's a bike path shown north of the Skagit River on the ACA map, the official route is to the south. Resist the temptation to try the bike path, it's horrible: soft gravel and pretty much unrideable on a road bike. Unless you go back to Anacortes from Mount Vernon you'll miss the about 15 miles of the whole NT. By the time you get to Bar Harbor you won't miss it.

OR you could go the scenic route to Anacortes. Catch the ferry to Winslow from downtown. Head up Bainbridge Island to the Hood Canal Floating Bridge and thence to Port Townsend. From PT catch another ferry to Whidbey Island and across Deception Pass to Anacortes. The ACA route to PT goes through Bremerton (it's part of the Pacific Coast route from Vancouver BC). There is another ferry to Bremerton but wouldn't recommend going that way; Bremerton is a bit of a dump and the traffic is awful. There's camping at PT and Deception Pass State Park and lots of motels in the towns.

If the weather is hot when you go over the North Cascades make sure you have plenty of water when you leave Newhalem, it's 60 miles before you can get any more, in Mazama. There's a few creeks by the side of the road but you should purify or you takes your chances. Newhalem is where the climbing starts. It's this stretch that will give your legs their first proper workout. The whizz down from Washington Pass is a treat, it's about 15 miles of downhill.  Here's the start of it.

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