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Topics - dancingcyclist

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General Discussion / Avoiding highways
« on: September 02, 2017, 11:22:57 pm »
I just got done with my first multi-day self-contained bike tour riding around the Olympic Peninsula following the Olympic Discovery Trail and side roads to avoid highways as much as possible. I found that highway riding is nothing but pure hell when riding a less then 2 foot shoulder with a ridge from repaving running down the middle and a 4-6 foot drop-off on my right, with or without a guard rail while big rigs and tourist in their over grown motor homes speeding by giving me no extra room to account for draft.

With that said I still want to travel the country by bike but I want to avoid the highways as much as possible. I've wanted for years to ride the PCH but now, no thank you. I've been thinking the Serria/Cascade route might be better but have not bought the maps yet as I'm tired of buying just to not use. I put together my own route for my last ride using "Ride with GPS" but it took many, many hours so I would like to get a bit of a head start if anyone has routes planned and ridden and willing to share.

I prefer to camp and cook my own meals as I'm not a big fan of cities. I'm 65, in good shape and an average speed/ability rider. On this last ride I rode an average of just under 60mi/day at 12+mph as it fit the campgrounds and found it comfortable, but could do more miles now that I've refigured my eating requirements.

Anybody have some good possibilities from your past rides?

Routes / What's with Google Maps
« on: February 07, 2017, 08:51:56 pm »
Anybody else having trouble with being able to change the route that Google suggests? I've spent hours now trying to work with both regular google and Google Earth. Neither will allow me to alter their route. I have both a Mac and a laptop w/Windows 10, both have the latest upgrades and operating systems but neither will work for me. When using help i'm told it might be in lite mode and how to tell but I can't find any indication of being in lite mode (i.e. lighting bolt symbol).

Normally I use Ride-with-GPS but I heard I could get a "real view" at different spots on the route and also a 'flying" view. Thought I'd try it but no luck.

Pacific Northwest / Crossing the Columbia River
« on: January 26, 2017, 06:03:47 pm »
Planning a trip border/border down the PCH for 2018, I see the ACA map crosses the river at Cathlamet/Westport. My plan was to follow Hwy 101 out of Port Townsend which also bypasses the Hood Cannel Bridge and cross the Columbia using the bridge that drops into Astoria. I drove over that bridge many years ago (the 80's) and know its long, steep and high. I don't know what kind of traffic I might find. Has anybody got some input on this? Would it be better/safer to follow the ACA route south out of Elma? I was thinking I could save some miles plus follow the coast line more. The one down side I have is that I'm not a real good climber and I'm already looking at lowering my bike gears.


Gear Talk / Camp Stove
« on: January 05, 2017, 07:32:56 pm »
What works best for a camp stove for self contained touring with mostly camping? I currently have an old Wisperlite (gas only) purchased '92 that still works and have used on local overnight trips. My concern is finding small quantities of fuel while on longer trips (cross-country).

I'm was thinking a Wisperlite International as it can burn just about anything but I'm always worried about leaks.
With all these canister type stoves out now I'm wondering if they might be better as I wouldn't have to worry about packing liquid fuel.

I also don't want to pack any more weight then necessary and gas is heavy. Nor do I want to spend a lot of time and energy riding around an unknown city looking for fuel.

Any suggestions / recommendations?

Gear Talk / Solar Charger
« on: January 05, 2017, 07:08:37 pm »
I want to be able to use my phone during the day while riding for music and mapping and then recharge the phones battery at night using the solar chargers battery that has been fully charged during the day. Is this possible? Do they make such a setup? I'm new to this technology and have always had access to a 110 outlet this past year but that may be changing this summer with luck.

I have an iPhone 6 if that makes a difference.

Pacific Northwest / Overnight Parking for Iron Horse Trail
« on: August 02, 2016, 10:53:49 pm »
I'm planning a ride from Rattlesnake Lake (North Bend) to Ellensburg and back mid Sept. this year and I'm trying to find a safe place to park my car for a few days/nights. Originally I was going to start in Duvall and also ride the Snoqualmie Valley Trail but have been told flat out there is no overnight parking in Duvall. I figured I could park at the Cedar Falls Trailhead but Wa. State Parks is saying no, day use parking only.

Does anyone know where I can safely park? What do other cyclists do? I live near Bellingham and it's more trouble then it's worth to box up the bike and take a bus. I'm hoping to ride the Olympic Discovery Trail next year, will I run into the same parking problems? 

It's hard to believe we have all these Rail Trails to ride but can't park overnight.

General Discussion / Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« on: June 05, 2015, 04:23:04 pm »
I just completed building up a bike and doing a two day/one night local ride of 120 miles. I'm riding a Raleigh Sojourn with an Arkel Low-rider front rack with Ortlib Classic front and rear panniers. Approximate total weight with food, clothes, camping gear 3 water bottles, and the rest needed for multi-day touring including bike is about 90-95 lbs. Split up roughly as follows: Front panniers 13-14 lbs., Rear 30 lbs., Seat bag 2-3 lbs., Bar bag 5 lbs., This ride was for learning and testing out everything in prep for longer tours later.

Problems I ran into and was surprised to find after spending many months researching, as I never read about this occurring. When standing up to pedal the bike became very hard to maintain a straight line. With the rocking motion from pedaling the bike would veer off left and right making it very dangerous and almost impossible to handle. I also noticed that when standing even only just enough to relieve seat pressure the bike would start to shimmy in the front, the more forward I leaned the worse it got. This made it difficult to continue riding after 50-60 miles having to stay seated continuously. This included taking short off-bike breaks.
I had to mount the front rack at an angle leaning back due to disc-brake caliper clearance, if that's makes a difference.
Are these handling problems normal??

My other problem I ran into was gearing. While building up the bike I had the bar-end shifters changed to STI for better control while shifting on Non-Paved Rail-Trails. My bike shop told me the lowest cog I could use with the STI shifters would be 32 tooth as opposed to the 34 that came with the bike. As I found out the hard way this is not a low enough gear as I ended up walking a number of hills with about a CAT 5 rated, 2.1% grade. I'll admit I'm not in the shape I once was @ 195 lbs., 63 years old but I do ride a road bike 2-4 times a week 30-40 miles per ride.
Is this correct info about the gearing and I just need to get in better shape or??

Thanks for the help.

Gear Talk / Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« on: February 16, 2014, 10:42:11 pm »
Looking for input. Been road riding for years, ready to start touring and looking into bikes. Right now I'm leaning towards a Raleigh Sojourn or a Jamis Elite, or ???. Any and all help is welcome.  :)

Gear Talk / Disc or non-disc brakes
« on: April 21, 2011, 11:11:09 pm »
I'm looking into buying my first touring bike and am considering disc brakes, I'm not planning out-of-the-country trips at this time or in the near future. Any opinions? Hydraulic or mechanical?

Routes / Rear Vier Mirror
« on: September 04, 2010, 02:23:36 am »
I've done most my riding without using a mirror but with starting to get into touring I was thinking of using one.

I've tried the glasses mounted style a few years ago and had an impossible time adjusting and using it. Not to mention every time I bumped the glasses I had to readjust it, and getting the head tilted just right. I gave up when I lost my glasses and have gone back to riding without a mirror.

Many people in my bike club use them, like them, and refuse to ride without one, but I'm not impressed for when riding around locally. One of my planned trips is the west coast and I know from driving it that it can be dangerous with the number of vehicles on it.

I was thinking of the bar end style mirror but remember my motorcycle days of the vibrations which made them next to useless at times.

Any opinions?

General Discussion / Help getting started
« on: August 08, 2010, 12:50:04 am »
Looking for someone to help with getting started in self touring. Plan on buying a BOB Yak but could use help and company on a few short (2-3 days) trips to work out the bugs.
Have a number of questions and have never done any overnight trips by bike. I'm 58 and laidoff. I ride about 5000 miles a year w/centuries under 6 hrs. BUT this is with no extras on the bike. Live in Skagit Valley, Washington State.

General Discussion / Getting Starting: Self Contained Touring
« on: July 29, 2010, 01:31:26 am »
I'm been thinking of self contained touring and am looking the best way to get started. I was thinking of buying a touring bike and raks, bags and so on, lately I've started thinking about buying a trailer. Money's extra tight, got laid off in June. I currently have two road bikes, both are lightweight with aluminum frames, one does have a triple crank for climbing.
My question is can these be used with a trailer SAFELY, or do I need a heavier built bike? If these bikes can be used, should anything be changed or updated? I was thinking about going to at least 700x25 tires at minimum if they'll clear.
I plan on using my Mountaineering outdoor gear from my climbing days (tent, sleeping bag, stove, etc.) so I don't have any other real expences.

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