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Messages - Sean T

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General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Touring vs Backpacking
« on: February 13, 2013, 09:34:44 pm »
I agree it's a matter of preference; for those who prefer the rugged, wildness of the West, the quality of rides is more important than quantity. For those who appreciate the relatively pastoral beauties of the East, the greater quantity of uncongested secondary roads must be fantastic.

I've lived in the West all my life (California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Arizona), and have never traveled farther east than the high plains of the Rocky Mountain Front and West Texas. So it has always seemed to me that there are a huge number of lightly traveled roads here, especially in farmland like the Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley, Willamette Valley, Eastern Washington, and the vast areas of wide open sageland and desert. But then I've had nothing to compare it to, and have never experienced Western roads from the perspective of a bike tourist.

The West certainly has a lot more mountains and fewer towns (although way too many towns by typical Western preferences!), and those two factors would have to narrow and lessen the quantity of travel routes and thus create relative congestion. Are roads in the Appalachians and Adirondacks similarly congested?

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Touring vs Backpacking
« on: February 09, 2013, 06:42:26 pm »
I think it's because walking (or riding a bike or watching your breath or any physical activity) is grounding, it liberates our attention from the mind, bringing it home to the now, where life is actually happening, where real creativity is possible.  Physicists and mathematicians of Einstein's caliber are creative.

Of course it's all too easy to keep thinking while doing physical things, but at least physical activity makes it easier to be present, to not miss out on your life.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Touring vs Backpacking
« on: February 08, 2013, 07:17:04 pm »
 ;)  Indeed!

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Touring vs Backpacking
« on: February 07, 2013, 04:56:25 pm »
That is definitely the way to go.  With feather weight like that my aging knees and feet might actually be able to handle backpacking again.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Touring vs Backpacking
« on: February 06, 2013, 07:30:39 pm »
18 lbs!  My Jansport external frame pack, loaded with gear but no food or water, weighed about 50 lbs. After I loaded up with food and water from a post office drop it was around 70 lbs.  By the time I got to the High Sierras I'd worn out the soles of my new boots and the frame broke. 

I sure didn't gain any body weight either on that trip!

18 lbs. would be heaven.  So would a bike tour, with 0 lbs.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Touring vs Backpacking
« on: February 05, 2013, 05:05:07 pm »
I did most of the Pacific Crest Trail from Oregon to Mexico for six months in 1981, and I remember feeling like a mule after a few months, slogging along with that heavy backpack mile after mile, day after day, week after week, dreaming about how sweet it would be to do a bike tour instead, carrying nothing on my back, eating all the tasty food I wanted. But on the hike I got to be in awesome places no bike could go.
I've never done a bike tour, yet, but if I do I'll probably dream of how great it was to do the PCT as I pedal mile after mile, saddlesore and tired, worrying about flat tires...  :P

Urban Cycling / Re: top bicycle-friendly cities and towns
« on: February 05, 2013, 05:00:28 pm »
Missoula, Montana is the most bike-friendly town I've ever lived in.  In my experience almost all drivers are very careful and considerate when passing me, giving me plenty of space if they can, even drivers of big semi trucks.  And many drivers will actually stop for bicyclists and pedestrians to let you cross at intersections and bike/ped path crossings or even entering a road from a driveway or parking lot.

Of course some of it is the law, but there does seem to be a genuine popular culture of respect for bicyclists here.

And it's the home of Adventure Cycling!   ;D

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