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Messages - adventurepdx

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Routes / Re: SW Washington
« on: November 04, 2019, 01:53:48 pm »
Yeah, I have no idea why the ACA route stays inland practically to the Columbia River. The ride south of Olympia is OK, fairly quiet, country scenery, but nothing really spectacular about it.

I've ridden US 101 south of Raymond, and it isn't bad. I remember a decent shoulder for much of it, and traffic light. The one thing you DON'T see, though, is the ocean. That's because the Long Beach Peninsula creates Willapa Bay. Some parts are nice, but you are not going to see waves crashing into a beach until you get to Cape Disappointment.

I know that some folks will head from Olympia to Aberdeen to get to the coast, but another option is to use the ACA route south to Chehalis and then head west via the Willapa Hills Trail. It's a former rail right of way. The finished portion of the trail ends around Pe Ell, which is the crest of the Coast Range. (A pretty low crest, maybe 700 feet in elevation.) From there, one could bike on SR 6 to Raymond. The highway has some traffic, but not a lot from what I remember until right around Raymond.

Routes / Re: Tips for Oregon coast biking&hiking route?
« on: November 01, 2019, 12:23:20 am »
But not all Oregon parks have hiker/biker sites. Which ones do is easily seen on the web, so you can plan which ones to use. I avoided all parks that did not have H/B sites.

It is true that not all Oregon camping state parks have hiker/biker. But I don't think there's any Oregon camping state park on the coast that doesn't have a hiker/biker. The only exception in the past was Oswald West, but that's been closed to all camping for many years.

Routes / Re: Tips for Oregon coast biking&hiking route?
« on: October 31, 2019, 04:29:46 pm »
Then I realized that I could use f.e. Amtrak express service to send the bike back to Portland after I have finished the trip.

Please note that Amtrak Express is not like UPS/FedEx/DHL etc. You have to drop the box off at a train station that offers Express service, and pick it up from a train station that has Express service. There's not going to be anywhere on the Oregon (or California) Coast that you'll be able to do that. And I doubt a bike shop is going to want to go down to Portland Union Station to pick up a returned bike.

Seems like busses on California side can carry bikes as well so I could even reach the closest train station in Redding without riding a bike there from the coast - at first glimpse those roads between Aracata and Redding seemed bit bad for biking...

As far as I know, there's no Arcata/Eureka to Redding transit. You can take a bus south to the Bay Area and get on a train in Oakland or maybe Martinez.

Maybe I could post the bike back directly from Arcata or nearby as well avoiding the need to reach amtrak station, but anyway it seems there should a solution to avoid situation I would have to bike or travel back to Portland just to return that bike:)
There are some bike shops in Arcata/Eureka that could probably pack your bike up in a box and ship it via UPS back to Portland for a fee. But it might be wiser to NOT try to rent and return a bike. A good touring-ready bike to rent would at least set you back $350 for a month, and that's not including shipping it back:

If you got to Portland in March, you could probably find a used (80's-90's) steel rigid mountain bike or early hybrid for $200 or less, then spend a bit of money to put a rack on and tune it up. Then when you are done you can either sell the bike or donate.

I also checked that it seems that most of the camping sites were either open year round or opening at first of April, so that should be ok. Many sites seem to be recommending bookings beforehands...What do you think how big of a risk would it be that all camping sites on specific areas would be so packed up that not even a solo biker with a small tent could not fit in during late April - mid May without reserving well beforehands?

Pretty much all of Oregon state parks on the coast with campgrounds are open year-round. Pretty much all of Oregon state parks on the coast with campgrounds have hiker-biker sites which are exclusively reserved for people arriving on their own power. They usually run $6-8 a night per person. Even if the site doesn't have a hiker-biker spot, use on the Coast is pretty light in April. So I would not worry about reserving spots.

Routes / Re: Tips for Oregon coast biking&hiking route?
« on: October 31, 2019, 04:16:07 pm »
Regarding wind on the Oregon Coast:
  • The predominant direction of the wind in summer is from the north.
  • The predominant direction of the wind in winter is from the south.

Most sources are going to tell you to bike north to south on the coast because they assume you'll be biking in summer.
April is right in between summer and winter.

According to this source:
The wind direction in Cannon Beach during April is predominantly out of the south from April 1 to April 22, the west from April 22 to April 28, and the north from April 28 to April 30.

So it looks like if you wanted to travel from south to north on the Oregon Coast, the earlier in April the better. However, there's going to be more chances of stormy weather in the earlier part of the month. And be prepared for headwinds no matter which direction you bike.

General Discussion / Re: Lyme Disease Tick Spray Inquiry....
« on: August 15, 2019, 03:08:47 pm »
FYI: Deet doesn't go bad. I had a bottle of Ben's lying around for a few years, and I contacted them to see if I should replace it. They said no, since the active ingredients don't go "bad". That's good...and also not so good when you start thinking about it... :o

My personal opinion is staying on 84 on the Oregon side. The new open trail is okay, but is not great shape in spots, lots more climbing it seems, and adds mileage. I have gone thru the gorge twice now, both times 95% all on I-84.  Better views, smoother pavement and easy to get food & water, places to stay

For what it's worth, the ease in getting food and water is probably better on the Historic Columbia River Hwy and Trail. You'll be passing by several parks with bathrooms/water. The old highway and trail parallels 84, so you basically get to the same places to stay. (84 has the advantage of access to Memaloose State Park.) And the Historic Highway has the views from Crown Point, Rowena Crest, and more. You don't get those same views if you stick strictly to I-84.

Vista House at Crown Point

Rowena Crest

I live in Portland and ride out to the Gorge regularly. Like Jennifer said, there are pros and cons to each. But I'd recommend the Oregon side for a few reasons:
  • It's got the better highlights and scenery. You'll get some great viewpoints like Women's Forum/Crown Point, the loops from Hood River to Mosier, and Rowena Crest. Plus, there's all the waterfalls. If you do the Washington side, you'll get one great view at Cape Horn and more overall views of the river.
  • There are some pretty nice car-free segments like the one Jennifer mentioned, plus those Mosier loops. They keep on adding more car-free sections on the Oregon side. The Washington side has nothing.

There are definitely cons to the Oregon side, like the sections of I-84 shoulder that you still have to ride for now.* Plus, there's a set of unavoidable** stairs near Eagle Creek that will be a pain if you have a recumbent/tandem/trailer/etc. But WA 14 is so busy nowadays, and there isn't a lot of shoulder. I rode a section of 14 between Beacon Rock and Bridge of the Gods last weekend, and it was pretty hairy, with lots of big trucks. I'll do 14 if I need to, but not by choice.

WA 14 is pretty good east of The Dalles, with a nice wide shoulder for the most part. So you can do Oregon side from Portland to The Dalles, then 14 east of there.

*Wyeth Bench Road between Cascade Locks and Wyeth is pretty steep, so I'll probably keep on riding the shoulder of 84 in that area.
**The only way to avoid it is by getting on 84 as it goes through shoulderless Toothrock Tunnel. Or hopping on the bus.

General Discussion / Re: Use for old maps
« on: July 22, 2019, 01:27:54 pm »
How old? If they are pretty current, I'm sure someone wouldn't mind buying your set.

Adventure Cycling also sells wallets made out of old maps:

FYI: The Bike Inn in Clatskanie has closed and camping is no longer allowed in the City Park. However there is camping at Hudson-Parcher County Park a few miles west of Rainier.

Dang, that's a shame. I had hoped to check out the Bike Inn at some point, I heard a lot of good things about it.

There's been a couple other casualties, too. The bike hostel in Baker City, Oregon only lasted a season, then (from what I heard) the owners decided to go the standard AirBnB route. Appears that the place in Mt Vernon, Ore. is also gone.

Still looks like the Spoke'n Hostel in Mitchell, Ore. and the bike hostel in Dayville, Ore. are going strong. Then again, they are non-profits in churches. It's probably a tough business model to only appeal to cyclists, even if you are on the Trans-Am.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Shop in Astoria OR
« on: April 17, 2019, 01:59:32 pm »
I don't think there is any other bike shop in Astoria proper beyond Bikes and Beyond.

Google search brings up a shop across Young's Bay from Astoria in Warrenton called Bike Envy.

General Discussion / Re: Warm Showers Reliability
« on: April 13, 2019, 08:37:25 pm »
Good response  :)
Finally, we had a bad year in 2017 with Warm Showers, 4 requests, one looking to do a cider tour with their friends, nope. Another turned up on foot, didn't even own a bike and had no intention of ever hosting. Another did the contact multiple contact thing (hence the comment) The last though was the worst. They booked , we agreed, and as we do we prepared the room, I arranged an earlier finish from work and we bought something for dinner (OK it's not in the rules, but that's what we do) She E Mailed 2 hours before arrival saying they were feeling strong, so would stay somewhere else.
When it works it's a beautiful thing, we used the original USA list in 1999 before Warm Showers. Maybe 250 Nationwide and we stayed with 5 families on a 7 month trip. It added to the holiday and we have fond memories of every stay. Today 200 sign ups to warm showers when an article talks about it, yes folks it's too big, what's needed is a core list again.

I agree with mucknort, a "reboot" isn't needed, it's about parameters.

I've used WS for almost 10 years. The good experiences outweigh the bad, on both the hosting and hosted side. As for hosting I try to be as clear in my profile description of what i can/cannot do:
  • I try to give a good li'l snapshot of me and my touring history. So many WS profiles are barely two sentences and no photo.
  • I note that I need a certain amount of warning to host. I'd rather have the bandwidth to be able to engage with my guest, rather than simply giving them a bed or floor space.
  • After getting one request by someone who was not on tour, I made it explicit in my description that I'd only be hosting people on a bike tour
  • And I keep my address and phone number turned OFF so I don't get anyone randomly showing up or those last minute text messages

General Discussion / Re: Updated ACA website
« on: February 27, 2019, 01:43:05 pm »
It may be old-fart-ian of me, but it's really nice to have a navigation bar up top... And doubly so if you're looking at it on a mobile device with a small screen and no scroll bar.

I just checked the main website on my phone, and it is optimized for mobile. In fact, the navigation bar and search are all at the top.

However, this forum is definitely not optimized for mobile. It’s a chore to reply on the phone.

The new website looks OK to me. My big gripe is the ACA blog: I think they’ve changed it at least twice over the past decade, using a whole new platform each time. I remember it being blogspot years ago and I don’t know what the platform is now. It’s a pain because they pretty much “kill” off the old blog each time they redo it. I’ve linked to old ACA blog posts, and those links are now dead. I don’t know if they’ve migrated these posts to the new platforms or not, and even if they did, it’s a pain to repair all these dead links.

General Discussion / Re: Best tire width for TransAmerica (middle) route
« on: January 18, 2019, 03:28:28 pm »
I’ve had success with 32’s on the C&O and GAP trails and currently have brand new 35 width Schwalbe Marathons but I initially thought that might be overkill on roads? On further reflection, I suppose a little more width over the long haul helps with comfort and durability and opposed to losing a smidgen of speed. Sound right to you? I appreciate your input:)

Yep! I couldn't feel any speed lost. Anyways, it's touring, not racing.

General Discussion / Re: Best tire width for TransAmerica (middle) route
« on: January 18, 2019, 02:40:33 pm »
You're probably going to get a lot of different answers, but my take:
Go with the widest tire you possibly can.

Schwalbe Marathon Plus will be a good choice in the way of durability and flat protection.

General Discussion / Re: Impact of Bikers (and hikers) on a small town
« on: December 25, 2018, 06:29:45 pm »
Looks like that link is wonky, this one should work:

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