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Topics - BikingBrian

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General Discussion / Washington Hiker/Biker Campsites?
« on: June 30, 2014, 01:33:02 am »
I've cycled the Oregon and California coasts and found the hiker/biker sites to be cheap and plentiful. Next on tap is Washington. I found this link which shows that they're aren't many hiker/biker sites on the Olympic Peninsula route.

But the end of that link says, "Although Washington state doesn’t have such an official policy, I was assured by a parks customer service specialist several years ago that “they would do their best not to turn away any camper arriving under their own power (hiking or biking) but would find a site even if it was just for the night.”" Is that the collective experience of the group here?

I was looking at the western half of the AC Washington Parks route, which is also covered in "Bicycling the Pacific Coast" by Kirkendall and Spring.

In their 2nd edition book, K&S have the out and back detours off 101 to La Push and the Hoh Rain Forest as part of their main route. But in their 4th edition, they no longer have them as overnight stops, but just as side trips. So are they worthwhile overnight stops?

Gear Talk / Nitto Noodle 177 Bars
« on: June 19, 2014, 01:35:23 am »
Any opinions on these bars? How do you like the "flare" on the flats? I have 44cm bars on my normal road bike, go with these bars in 44cm or a bit larger in 46cm?

General Discussion / Cardboard Box for Bike as Checked Baggage
« on: June 15, 2014, 12:58:15 am »
Surprisingly, with all the touring I've done, I've never had to take a full-sized bike with me on my flights. For past tours I've shipped the bike to a bike shop or hotel, shipped via Amtrak to a train station close to my starting point, etc. But my tour next month is starting in Vancouver, BC. So UPS/FedEx across the border doesn't seem practical, and Amtrak won't ship across borders at all. So taking the bike with me on the flight as checked baggage seems to be the most attractive option by far, especially since the fee is only $50 on WestJet.

Now I need to find a cardboard box which I will dispose of at my destination. Once I'm in the oversize category, WestJet doesn't seem to care how big the box is. The LBS has bike boxes which will work, but I'd rather not remove the front wheel if I don't have to and play games trying to get the front wheel, racks, seatpost, etc. to fit in the box with the rest of my 60cm bike. Or maybe I could use one of those huge Amtrak boxes where you pretty much only have to remove the pedals and turn the bars (well, in my case, I have to lower the seat too). Do the airlines still sell boxes these days, and if so, does anyone know the typical dimensions?

Classifieds / Sold: Sierra Designs Lookout CD Tent, $175 plus shipping
« on: March 10, 2014, 12:58:20 am »
Sierra Designs Lookout CD 3 person, 4 season tent.

Dimensions are width 48"/69"/58", length 90", and total packed weight is about 7 pounds.

Photos here:

$175 plus shipping Sold

Classifieds / Sold: Kelty Zen Tent, $75 plus shipping
« on: March 10, 2014, 12:54:42 am »
Kelty Zen 2 person, 3 season tent. This served me well when riding across the US about ten years ago. It got used a few more times after that on shorter tours, but then it went into hibernation. It's not freestanding and need to be staked.

Dimensions are width 35"/58"/39", length 90", and total packed weight is about 5 pounds.

I have two rainflys, it's been so long I don't know why. The original white one with the orange trim is a little sticky on the inside. I think that's why I got the gray one, and that one has a much bigger vestibule too.

Photos here:

$75 plus shipping Sold

Gear Talk / Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« on: January 01, 2014, 12:45:36 am »
I'm in the market for a new tent. The primary consideration is that it's for one person (I don't want it too big/heavy) and freestanding (for camping opportunities which would preclude stakes). Most other considerations are secondary. Any suggestions?

Youth Bicyle Travel / Age for Two Fathers/Sons Summer Tour
« on: December 15, 2013, 12:29:37 pm »
The dad of one of my son's classmates is also into bicycle touring! That gives the possibility of a combined father/son "big" tour.

Although I have a tandem, the likely scenario is four people riding single bikes. The boys are 8 years old now, clearly too young to ride their own bikes, but for future planning, any thoughts on "right" age? I'm thinking old enough to be safe on the road, young enough to still want to go with dad.

Timing would be summer, so I'm thinking Northern Tier, Transamerica, or Pacific Coast. The kids don't get as long of a summer break as they used to, and we live in Southern California, so that would drive it towards being a Pacific Coast tour. I've done most of the Pacific Coast so I realize there's some sections of 101 which would tend to bump up the minimum age. (Though the worst parts are in Southern California, which we could easily skip.)

It's just an idea at this stage, so any thoughts are welcome. We would have the opportunity to do shakedown tours, etc., close to home before going on a big trip.

Gear Talk / Replacement for Continental Top Touring Tires
« on: December 15, 2013, 11:38:02 am »
I need to make a last minute addition to my Christmas list: a new set of touring tires for the tandem bike. Unfortunately, it appears the 700c Continental Top Touring 2000 tires are now discontinued. Anyone know the intended replacement in the Continental line?

When the 27" TTs were discontinued, I switched to the Conti GatorHardShell on my old touring bike. Although those are listed as race tires on the Conti website, they've worked out well for touring. The sidewalls seem less prone to cracking with age, compared to the TT.

General Discussion / Homemade Fork Spreader Ideas?
« on: July 08, 2013, 03:35:09 am »
I'm at the end of my tour, I got a bike box from the LBS today, and I just realized there's no plastic fork spreader. I need to pack and ship the bike home tomorrow, preferably before the LBS opens. Any suggestions for a DIY fork spreader, using parts from the nearby big box stores? My first thought was a 4" long wood block or PVC sprinkler pipe held in place with tape, any better ideas?

Routes / Bus from Portland to Astoria
« on: June 28, 2013, 09:00:59 am »
I am flying to Portland, and I have a reservation for me and the bicycle on the bus from the Portland Amtrak station to Astoria. (Handy tip: to find on Amtrak, look for station codes PDX and ART.)

So has anyone used this bus before, and how did the logistics work out? I saw the FAQ at the link below but have a couple of questions. Do you actually have to arrive early enough to "check" your luggage, or just hand it to the bus driver before boarding. Does the bike need to be boxed, or is unboxed OK?

Maybe a silly question, or at least one of personal preference, but I'll ask anyway. When using a Garmin Edge 500 (or similar) to track your cycling on a multiday tour, do you press "stop" at the end of the day, then reset, so that each day is a single FIT file? Or do you simply press stop at the end of the day, and then press start the next morning, so it saves to a single FIT file?

Gear Talk / Solar Panel - Yea or Nay?
« on: June 21, 2013, 12:10:34 pm »
I'll be riding the Oregon coast in a couple of weeks would like to keep my iPhone and Garmin Edge 500 charged up. I've been thinking about getting a solar panel, but I'm wondering if it's more trouble than it's worth, any thoughts? I have a USB charger that can use 4 AA batteries, and I have an external battery pack which can be charged by AC power. So that may be enough of a backup if I'm away from AC power.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Garmin Edge 500 Battery Life
« on: May 28, 2013, 07:43:20 pm »
I have a Garmin Edge 500, and I'd like to use it for my Oregon coast tour this summer, so long as charging it doesn't become more trouble than it's worth. How often does it need to be charged while touring. Daily, weekly, monthly?

Routes / Hotels in Astoria, OR
« on: May 23, 2013, 01:52:18 am »
I'll be starting my next stage of the Pacific Coast route in Astoria, OR. Any bike-friendly hotel recommendations?

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