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Messages - hon_cho

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General Discussion / Re: Interested in 'electric assist' touring?
« on: April 25, 2017, 07:49:30 pm »
July 2016 while biking along the Oregon coast, encountered an older touring cyclist riding a very sleek electrically assisted bicycle.  I spoke to him for a few minutes and he cited many of the same reasons as the OP for choosing an e-bike, namely he was getting up in years and wanted  a bit of help up the big hills. 

I own a hybrid bike, purchased used,  equipped with a 48v Bionx electric motor.  It's fun to speed around a bit but it makes me lazy!  The previous owner claimed it would go about 20 miles on flat ground before needing a charge but I've never ridden that far in a single ride because I have more enjoyable rides for long distances.  I'll consider adding a motor for touring when I can't make it to the top of a reasonable grade under my own power which hopefully is still a few years away.  While some may sneer at e-bikes, any device that helps people get out and enjoy bicycling is a good thing. 

We'll look forward to your reporting. 

General Discussion / Re: Filling in the Gaps
« on: April 17, 2017, 12:04:29 pm »
You're in no danger of starving along that section and you're in the home stretch to Astoria so you'll be very in touch with what your body craves for fuel. 

by the way,  we were in Williamsburg, VA for Easter Sunday and I was thinking of all the cyclists starting their journeys in Yorktown.   

Let's see what I remember from last summer.  My tandem partner has more refined and healthier tastes than I do so I don't remember anything other that the basic  food groups:  Fat, Sugar and Salt

Tillamook:   The Tillamook Creamery.  You Scream, I Scream, We Scream for Ice Cream.  Generous (huge) servings of ice cream,  free cheese samples,  other food available. 

Rockaway Beach:  Pronto Pup.   

Cannon Beach:  Some expensive restaurant, we were dining with family and friends.  Lots of choices because it's a touristy place. 

Astoria:  Custard King (Get a Kale Salad!) but you're at the end of your journey so eat and enjoy whatever you want.


General Discussion / Re: Hire of touring bike in Seattle
« on: March 30, 2017, 11:39:08 am »
Might try posting an advertisement on the Seattle Craigslist for a touring bike rental.  A friend of mine who ran a bike shop that sold mostly used bikes offered a repurchase plan to people who only needed bikes for a short time.  He would sell the bike and agree to repurchase for some agreed upon amount if returned in good condition.  If I remember correctly,  it was typically $50-100, depending upon the time the bike was needed. 

Of course,  if you have no conscious whatsoever,  you could buy a new bike from REI and use their return policy to return it at the end of your tour.  It's wrong but given the bikes I've seen returned to REI,  it probably happens more than one might image (and indirectly costs everyone in the form of higher prices). 

General Discussion / Re: Bike security - Southern Tour camping trip
« on: February 21, 2017, 09:25:23 am »
Manilishi's post pointed out some of the paradoxical issues of bike security on tour.  One,  you want to make it harder for casual thieves to take your bike and using a lock or some other device to deter them accomplishes that goal.  He mentions covering the bike to minimize the visual profile.  I personally have mixed feelings on this tactic because if it's worth covering some people may feel attracted to it to see what it is and discovering that it's worth taking.   Security by obscurity only works when the bad actors don't have a clue that something valuable is there.  If they find your bike,   then obscurity may provide them with the cover they need to do their dirty deeds.   

1. One type of security will not cover all situations
2.  Know your environment, adjust and adapt.   Urban vs rural, etc... I've read some harrowing tales of stolen bikes in impoverished areas of the world, rare but scarey.  I've read tales of bikes (usually not laden touring cyclists) stolen in cities when left unwatched for seconds, less rare and, to me, less scarey. 
3.  Remember,  anything can be stolen and as long as they don't steal health or life,  whatever taken--less time lost--can be replaced.  It's just stuff!
4.  Don't let irrational fear get the better of you.  People fear flying but it's much safer than driving.  Shark attacks are a scarey thought but a bee sting or lightning is more likely to harm you.   Bikes and personal items are stolen from bicycle tourists,  but the vast majority of cyclotourists have crime-free journeys. 

Have a fun and safe journey

Gear Talk / Re: Sources for Ultra Violent Protective Clothing
« on: February 17, 2017, 08:47:26 pm »
Last summer I purchased a Bellwether Men's Sunscreen UV Long Sleeve Jersey.  I liked it enough to buy a second one.   They are available on Ebay for only $23 shipped (in USA) from Bikewagon.   I purchased the XL jerseys because reviews said they ran small in size.   Also,  they are only available in white and hi vis yellow.  As I dislike logo and advertising laden jerseys,  I have no complaints about the plain unadorned fabric. 

Still need to use sunscreen on my hands, face, neck and legs.   

Good luck. 

General Discussion / Re: MRT (Mississippi River Trail)
« on: February 17, 2017, 08:31:44 pm »
I was able to get

to appear and using the Internet Archive Wayback machine site,  I was able to get an archived version of the MRT website to come up at this link

This address and phone number were on the MRT webpage though I have no idea if they are still good. 

Mississippi River Trail, Inc.
858 North Jackson
Fayetteville, AR 72701

General Discussion / Re: Bike security - Southern Tour camping trip
« on: February 17, 2017, 12:37:22 pm »
One thing in your favor is that you'll be touring with a tandem.  Bigger,  more unwieldy,  easier to spot and harder for a thief to sell quickly.  Of course,  riding a tandem doesn't make it immune to theft so the advice on locks and other strategies should be given due consideration.  We ride a Hase Pino and while we do lock it up when we can't keep it in site,  I fret over our panniers and such more than the bike itself. 

General Discussion / Re: Which Airport?
« on: October 31, 2016, 08:52:14 pm »
I took a moment to look on the Washington transit agency's web page to see what their trip planner says about getting from Dulles Airport to Union Station to catch an Amtrak train.    Their is bus service from Dulles to L'Enfant Plaza in Washington.   You could transfer from the bus to the subway the subway to Union station  but it is only 1.3 miles from L'Enfant Plaza so  you could ride/walk the last leg.  Unfortunately,  you can't take bikes on the subway from 7-10am and from 4-7pm Monday thru Friday. 

There are two trains a day from Washington DC to Williamsburg.  One at 7:30am and another at 2:30pm.  With the bike.  It's a bit less than a four hour train ride to Williamsburg.   

I looked at flights from Heathrow to Dulles on American Airlines and British Air and the arrival times at Dulles appear such that it may be difficult to arrive and travel by train to the Williamsburg area on the same day.  However,  since I'm unfamiliar with your specific travel plans,  this may not be a problem. 

The joy of planning the start of your adventure!

General Discussion / Re: Which Airport?
« on: October 30, 2016, 09:22:52 am »
Unfortunately,  the metro service that could potentially get you and your bike from Dulles Airport to Union Station won't yet be operation by the beginning of your trip. 

As others have mentioned,  this topic has been written about numerous times on the forums.  I live in the Washington DC area about 25 miles from Dulles airport and Dulles is rather inconvenient to access by public transportation other than taxi/uber.   It can be done,  but not in a time efficient manner. 

If you drive,  I would suggest a one way car rental from Dulles to Yorktown.  The cost is about $150 plus fuel expense and it will be the most time efficient way to get to the starting point. 

You may send me a message via adventure cycling if you have any specific questions about getting around in the Washington DC area.  I would offer to help you get to Yorktown but I'm not sure where I'll be come next may. 

General Discussion / Re: Bikes into Newport News Airport
« on: September 29, 2016, 05:04:14 pm »
I realize you don't fancy the drive but a one-way car rental is probably the most time, and likely cost, efficient way to get from your airport of entry to Yorktown.   Looking at two different rental companies, Avis & Enterprise,  a one-way rental for one day (24 hrs) from Dulles to Williamsburg / Newport News area were less than $150 plus whatever fuel you use,  probably less than $20 at current prices.   

Don't know how much money, if any, you'll save by not flying closer to Yorktown but one thing's for certain.  If you rent a car you'll be much more in control of your schedule.

We recently flew with our tandem from the DC area to Portland with Astoria as our destination.  Renting a car from Portland to Astoria cost about $150 and was more expensive than taking the bus but it just made so much more sense for our schedule.  Of course,  your own preferences are most important but you shouldn't rule out the car rental option just yet. 

In any case, be flexible! 

General Discussion / Re: Bikes into Newport News Airport
« on: September 28, 2016, 08:45:56 pm »
Which airport will you be entering the USA?   Dulles (IAD) or Baltimore-Washington (BWI) are the closest international airports to Norfolk and the tidewater region.  According to Google maps,  the cycling route(s)between the airport and Yorktown are 75-90 miles.  It's only about 40 miles by car but that's because you can't bicycle through the tunnels.   It's likely that there are other cyclists who have landed at Norfolk and will share their experience and suggestion but you may send me a message via ACA and I'll try to help you sort through the specifics of the area even though I'm in Virginia much closer to Washington DC.   

General Discussion / Re: bike racks for car (trunk style)
« on: August 24, 2016, 08:53:25 am »
I'm partial to the Saris Bones, both the 2 and 3 bike models.  That said,  the use of a top tube adapter, available from Thule, Yakima, Allen Sports and I'm sure others allows just about any rack to fit any bike. 

General Discussion / Re: B&M cache battery - again.
« on: August 04, 2016, 06:01:25 pm »
You don't mention which Garmin GPS you use.  On my Oregon 550,  there is a setting that keeps it on internal battery power if external power is lost.  Using disposable Energizer ultimate lithium AA batteries,  we get more than two long cycling days per set.  We can also use Sanyo Eneloop rechargeable batteries but I tend to change them every day with another set to prevent having them run low. 

General Discussion / Re: Pannier Discussion
« on: June 19, 2016, 09:33:09 am »
I have some older REI grocery panniers (open top, designed to hold a paper USA style flat bottom grocery bag) that have aluminum backing plates   Not particular light nor heavy either but they're not touring panniers.  I have seen some older white/translucent plastics used in bike bags that becomes brittle with age.  The dark colored plastics seem to be more resistant to deterioration. 

One benefit of plastic stiffeners over aluminum is that aluminum edges and corners can easily damage the fabric with sharp edges.  Not to say plastic can't do the same but seems to be a bit easier on the fabric.

A bigger  problem with materials is the waterproof coatings used on nylon and cordura type fabrics.  The coatings become sticky and stinky and the bags lose water resistance.  This isn't just for bike gear..  Tents, backpacks,  cordura luggage.   From what I've read,  heat hastens the deterioration of the urethane coatings. 

Perhaps good old heavy canvas is the answer   

Looking for touring rides appropriate for 4-7 days (perhaps a bit longer but less than two weeks.  My riding partner is not a camping type of person so camping  is out,  which I realize will  limit options.   We enjoyed the our Natchez Trace ride but since we did it in the winter,  we had to push hard most afternoons to make it to our lodging before dark. 

Work obligations make it difficult to get away for more than two weeks at a time for a few more years but we'd like to log more touring miles with what time we can make available. 

Your experiences and ideas are appreciated.  Thanks!

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