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Messages - Kitsap_Bill

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Routes / Re: Lewis & Clark Trail: What is it like?
« on: November 13, 2017, 08:59:16 pm »

The above stuff is Ride with GPS related to the Olympic Discovery Trail. There are a couple of routes you should view, including Day 1,2, and 3. You can load Ride with GPS (free) and do a search for Port Angeles (location) and key word Olympic Discovery Trail. If you are not familiar with this program it also allows you to download the route onto your cell phone. This means you do not have to have cell service to maintain your route and progress, real time, through SAT Nav. The maps also provide distance, cues and elevation, gratis.
Enjoy, Bill Abbey, Poulsbo

"Mom and Pops" refers to small businesses either restaurants or groceries/trading posts. These businesses come and go in very rural settings or are open in an irregular manner. In more urban settings they are often referred to as "Stop and Robs" primarily because they are open very late further viewed as targets of opportunity.

Routes / Re: Cumberland Gap closed to cyclists.
« on: November 08, 2017, 04:26:38 pm »
you can always check the Alerts.
Then you do not get hysterical because you are aware ahead of time.

Routes / Re: Lewis & Clark Trail: What is it like?
« on: November 08, 2017, 04:16:39 pm »
go for it. I rode from Astoria to the winter camp and I've ridden from St. Louis to KC. You will probably be fighting headwinds from time to time, particularly the Columbia River Gorge. Take some tunes for afternoon letdown and boredom. Do not worry about bridges and traffic and such.There's always a way and besides, it is an insignificant portion of your ride. If you do not have a rear view mirror, glasses, helmet or handlebar mounted, figure it out. RVM's are indispensable. Wool and cotton for clothes. Take a day off every 7-10 days or more often for bike stuff, laundry and to go see a movie. Get off the bike. Take side hikes and play tourist.  Some people are EFI's (every ...inch) some aren't, you will figure it out. You'll have the opportunity to meet and talk to people. Please take full advantage and spend a few more minutes pursuing such activities. BTW you can mail items home AND by using small town General Delivery, can have items sent ahead to you. This route has the advantage of AMTRAK for large portions. Great for setting your next part up. They sell bike boxes and all you have to do is turn your handlebars sideways and take your pedals off. if you are riding , you may not even have to do that, which saves your wife a drive if she chooses. Have a great time. I envy you -doing your first tour. Also, check out if you are not familiar with it.

Here is a thought. if you ride the Olympic peninsula section (counter clockwise) you can connect with the olympic discovery trail which is nearly completely paved. It is spectacular and includes a portion along the Spruce Railway line, the back side of lake Crescent. This route eliminates the 101 section from Discovery Bay to Sappho which is the cutoff to Clallam Bay. I have to disagree with a couple of contributors about eliminating Washington coastline, but it is much less habituated. Camping areas are plentiful and unique. You will not be able to ride 500 yards and order Dominos or Starbucks. (I am positive about Dominos, not so sure about Starbucks -this is Washington). Shoulders are wide  and traffic is bicycle cognizant. Having done the Pacific Coast, self contained, twice now I firmly believe the Only/Disc trail from Port Angeles to Sappho will become the jewel of this entire PC route. BTW, there is a short 100 yard trail from tunnel #1 at Lake crescent that descends to the greatest swimming lagoon in the history of the world. You change in the green room, and there is plenty for modesty requirements. Camping or cabins at either end of the lake. There is a small store and food at Joyce, a small store at Fairholm, next real store is Forks. There are mom and pops along the way but they come and go. If you are pretty self sufficient, perhaps a little independent, try this route. If not, by all means stay on the PCH route. Oh. About the Astoria-Megler Bridge. It can be intimidating, but it is not bad. Lots of us ride it. It is not as steep as it looks, traffic is pretty slow, just remember to give yourself a meter from the curb and let overtaking traffic pass you when THEY choose. It seems to always have some kind of maintenance so construction and painting crews stop traffic regularly which allows you lower speeds and traffic window. 

General Discussion / Re: Green-lighted to go cross-country! (questions)
« on: February 16, 2015, 02:01:09 am »
My suggestion is to keep it as simple as possible. Load your bike, gear and take Amtrak to as close to your start as possible. If taking the C&O canal route through the Appalachians is an option, do it. If you need to shortcut the ACA route do it. The fact is, I always always lay out the ACA maps with a highlighter on a STATE map such as those produced by AAA. ACA maps are single purpose. They are excellent, well worth the money. The have several draw backs though. They avoid cities and towns like the plague. This means the ACA may not show services (like hotels and motels) when there may be several a short distance off route. It also means "the scenic route" is marked when a wide shouldered highway would cut off many miles. The AAA type map layout reveals these inconsistencies. You'll see what I mean. When you are following the ACA map, be sure to orient the north arrow. When we did the Atlantic Coast, the north arrow was actually pointing down (normally south) as the route weaved southwest at that point. I get very excited when I begin to layout the route. You do realize if you take the Express option, you will just have to head back and ride those other rivers, climb the passes you have yet to experience. This is a good thing. I see at least two more tours in the western states.

When you ride the Atlantic Coast, you can get a ride across the Chesapeake Bay toll bridge for the price of the car toll ($5 I believe)and avoid all the circumnavigational hassles. Make that three more tours. In the western states we have laws that mandate campsites for hikers and bikers. Generally they are free or very inexpensive. The powers that be decided that someone walking or riding a bicycle into a state or national campground probably really needed a place to stay. Adding another twenty miles is not an option for them, where as Mr Motorhome could drive to a Walmart pretty easily.  We do not need hook ups so smaller areas would work just fine. You will be amazed at some of the great places you'll get, particularly when you ride the Pacific Coast. Buy a platypus bag, perhaps two, for water. It will make you happy somewhere along the line.

I have found commercial drivers -Big Rigs- are the safest. I cannot speak to Kentucky or WV, but log trucks and tractor trailers give us plenty of room. The trick is to see them in your mirror first and try to be as courteous as possible by timing the traffic and their pass. I wave to them, avoid pinch points, and let them know when they are clear of me. Since they communicate with each other up and down the highway, they act as traffic scouts and no one is surprised or caught unaware. On the other hand, beware of Buick's, motorhomes with wide mirrors and the forgotten retractable steps and cars and pickups pulling boats and ATV trailers. They always seem to cut back too soon. I recommend riding the right side tire track where there is no shoulder or it is inadequate. If you hug the white line, cars with try to squeeze by between you and the center line, even when there is no oncoming traffic. It is a psychological thing for them. However if you take that third of the lane, the car will pull way around you. If there is oncoming traffic, take the middle of the lane if necessary. They may be a 30 seconds later for the Bible study or coffee with the boys, but they won't mind and you'll be safer.

The three C's apply to highway travel. Courtesy, Communication, Common Sense. Our traffic laws are derived from first come first served, not I'm bigger, get out of my way. The overtaking vehicle has the responsibility to pass safely. Your responsibility is to be predictable. You can visit your friends up north when you tour the Great Lakes, yet another great area to tour.

General Discussion / Re: Green-lighted to go cross-country! (questions)
« on: February 14, 2015, 03:31:07 pm »
Good Afternoon;

I am almost never on this particular touring website, so I ran across this by chance. I have opinions and experience. First, ride what you've got. Leave the TT at home. See if bike touring is something you really like. My first fully loaded trip across the US and my ride around Alaska was on an aluminum Marin cross bike. It worked just fine, though because I was overloaded AND pulling a BoB I broke several spokes. Plus, the geometry made it pretty quick (headset/handlebars swung rapidly). It had V brakes which is a major plus. I'm now on a LHT, my second, but just because I know it fits me well from experience, but even these need some tweaking.

Plug in 60 to 65 days as a reasonable time line. If you get behind you can always jump ahead. The world does not end nor will you be excommunicated.

Plan on camping, but not because you have to. You have options, be it a park, a church a fire station. One of the best things is meeting others while riding or at a camp ground, Camaraderie is superior when bike touring. Subway/Quiznos is your friend, and packing a sandwich for dinner can be a good thing. Having some way to boil water, plus a cup, a bowl, and a spoon -maybe a paring knife is also a good thing. Buy, borrow, obtain a 30-35 degree very compressible sleeping bag. Buy a silk liner for it. I prefer a two man tent. Either waterproof panniers or a waterproof compression sack is mandatory. Bag covers do not get the job done and wet clothes and a damp sleeping bag make for a miserable time. I learned a tube of antibiotic cream is critical at least once each trip and so is a small pack of handi-wipes. Among your tools and emergency gear, please remember a fiber-fix spoke, a couple of shoe clip screws and a chain power-link connector. 

If you are riding solo, you will find yourself pulling into camp late just because and doing long mileage days. And mileage can wear you down. Slow down a bit and then take pictures, think at least two or three a day. Boredom can and will get to you at times. Know -this is normal. Take an iPod or other listening device for the afternoon doldrums and headwind haggards. Talk to people and hear their stories.

I use a rear view mirror that attaches to my glasses, but a rear view mirror is an essential piece of gear IMHO. I ride in wool and cotton with very few bike jerseys in my bag. Personally I ride in biking sandals for a variety of reasons, multi-purpose comfort being predominate. There are a bazzilion gear lists on CGOAB plus a good one on this website. Gather your gear, cut it in half. Remember you can mail gear home. Do not mail all your cold weather clothes home in 95 degree Kansas. You may regret it camped out in a Nevada desert night.

I would not worry about being "in shape". It all relative and after two weeks on the saddle you will be in stride. A word of caution though. Take some time off the bike. My friend Jim -a very strong go-fast bicyclist quit after six days on tour because he ran out of emotional juice riding at the same pace by himself. Even TdF race guys take breaks. Go to Crazyguyonabike and look for Monl's first and second journals. She failed half way through her first TransAm, no breaks. She split from her group on the second try because of pace disparity, but did complete her tour. What I am saying here is being physically fit is only part of the ride, there is a lot of other stuff goes in to it.

Have fun. I envy you doing your first.

Food Talk / Van Supported Tours and Food
« on: August 29, 2013, 02:33:08 am »
A question that is regularly raised regarding your Van supported tours is about food, preparation, cooking etc. yes it is covered in the handbook, sort of, but then the group emails about the subject began. Perhaps there will be some who wish to share some menus, tips etc on this forum. Seems like a natural to me. Here is one I like on S24O and on van-supported, when possible. I have the van pick up the already roasted chicken at the WalMart, Safeway etc.. Then in camp I add vegies, potatoes, and/or rice. The chicken is inexpensive, 3 or 4 riders a bird and prep time is minimal (steam the vegies or thin sliced potatoes in tin foil with EVOO and seasoning, rip open a bag of salad or two. DONE. Lots of vegies. It appears fresh fruit and vegies are excluded from most tour route restaurants bill of fare, and sometimes we too fall in to that trap.
Thanks for starting this julie.

General Discussion / camp food and ideas for eating better
« on: September 17, 2007, 03:22:20 am »
I tried to eat one restaurant type meal a day when I was on my first ride. Usually it was second breakfast because it was cheap and that way I could talk to some local area people easily. I do not like to cook in camp using the freeze dried stuff because I don't think it tastes that good and it is pricy as hell. I do like to do the supermarket roasted checken and bag of salad (beer of course) pretty regularly. I also throw salmon in tin foil with seasoning into the fire pit (also one with sliced potatoes, onions and olive oil) then make a fire, put on coffee and boil a can of green beans. Fire dies down, I have the salmon and beans for dinner. I sometimes add  a little dark rum and cocoa to the coffee for a coffee nudge dessert and call it good.

What other (good and easy) camp food and ideas for better eating have you had success with? I'm omnivorous, but a good touring buddy is vegetarian (eats seafood)so vegies and tofu stuff is welcomed.

General Discussion / leg cramps
« on: September 17, 2007, 01:57:38 am »
Those cramps can be tremendously painful. I never seen to consume enough water unless I am wearing a camelback type device. I just do not remember to stay on top of it. When I do get debilitating cramps, if i consume quinine water (Schwepes mixers) then they disappear pretty quickly. I used to have a prescription for quinine but (despite its medicinal use for thousands of years)it is now deemed unsafe for some people. I still have a couple of capsules, but now they are in my emergency kit. I subscribe to the dried apricot group, but if fresh cantelope is available, cut it up and take it along. I understand that it provides douvle the potassium found in the same serving size as bananas.

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