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Messages - adventurepdx

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1
General Discussion / Re: Pacific Coast from Vancouver, BC
« on: August 30, 2022, 08:54:17 pm »
There are hostels in seattle.

There are also hostels in Vancouver, BC, where they'll be landing. Seattle is a two to three day bicycle ride from the Vancouver airport. So I don't understand why you are mentioning this, especially since the OP didn't explicitly say they'd bike through Seattle.

2
General Discussion / Re: Big bikes on Amtrak?
« on: August 14, 2022, 04:25:04 pm »
My two cents:

  • 2.6" wide tires would be pushing it for the hooks in the baggage car, but may still work, esp. if you've deflated the tires a bit. I've used 2.35" wide tires on the hooks before and they'll fit. However, my bike has 26" wheels instead of 29"
  • The length of bike may be more critical to fit into the hooks. I haven't had a chance to look at the positioning of the hooks in the baggage cars up close to see.
  • One thing often forgotten in the conversation is weight of bike. There is a 50 pound limit on bikes, and if you are doing the unboxed bike service, you'll need to be able to lift the bike to the baggage handler in the baggage car. The baggage car's floor is usually about five feet from the ground, meaning you'll need to lift the bike over your head. (Some stations that see a lot of bikes, like Portland OR, will make it easier by having a baggage trailer (about three feet off the ground) between you and the baggage car. But don't count on it.)

If this was me, I'd "bite the bullet" and box the bike.
  • Use the Amtrak provided box, as it's the roomiest bike box you'll ever find.
  • It may actually be cheaper to box the bike. The current fee for an Amtrak bike box is $15, and the checking fee is $10. You should be able to check the bike from Fayetteville to Grand Junction, and that means you'd just pay $25 total. (Mind you, you would not have access to the bike again until Grand Junction.) If you do "roll-on" service, you'll be paying the bike fee for each segment of the trip. If you are using three train segments (Fayetteville-DC/DC-Chicago/Chicago-Grand Junction) you'll most likely be paying $20 per train, which adds up to $60. (And you'll have to physically retrieve your bike from the old train and load to the new one, twice.) I'd check with your local station first about if they can check the bike from Fayetteville all the way to Grand Junction.

3
General Discussion / Re: Pacific Coast from Vancouver, BC
« on: July 13, 2022, 05:28:06 pm »
I don't have any suggestions for a near-the-airport in Vancouver. But my suggestion would be to get on the public transit (Skytrain) that goes from the airport right into downtown Vancouver. There'll be more options and you'll be in the heart of the city.

4
General Discussion / Re: Pacific coast season
« on: July 03, 2022, 06:10:56 pm »

I rode the coast straddling the Labor day weekend so I saw both before and after.  Traffic was lighter after than before.  I really didn't find it that bad in either case though.  That was 10 or so years ago though so traffic is probably a bit heavier now.

Traffic has gotten worse in ten years, especially since pandemic. There were a lot of RVs and the like on the road the last two summers.

I generally preferred to stay on 101 where possible unless there was some specific reason to do otherwise.  A couple places where I was advised to take a more scenic route I regretted it when it wasn't particularly scenic, just more indirect and or hillier.  In at least one case it probably was scenic at one time, but the trees apparently grew up obscuring the overlooks over time.

I can't think of many instances (at least on the northern/central Oregon coast) where I would have preferred to stay on 101 instead of the alternate. Even in Lincoln City, where the "preferred alternative" is indeed hilly--101 here was thick with aggressive traffic that did not appreciate me cycling through. (Going mostly east of Lincoln City via the east side of Devil's Lake is the best option, but if you have lodging in Lincoln City you might not be able to do that.)

Yeah, taking Slab Creek Road (old 101) instead of new 101 over Cascade Head is more indirect and you don't get an epic view, but neither do you on new 101. Instead I got a peaceful ride on a quiet road through a nice forest. There's not many alternates like this, but I appreciate what I get. But to each their own.

5
General Discussion / Re: Pacific coast season
« on: July 03, 2022, 02:44:13 pm »
My two cents:

August is a great time of year, weather wise in the Pacific Northwest. So you'll have ideal weather if you start then.

But if I was doing the tour, I'd start in September, right after Labor Day. September is still a good weather time on the coast, though later in the month you might see a bit of rain. Early October can be good too. And the traffic drops off quite a bit too, and things are less busy all around.

The traffic gets a better after labor day when the RV traffic dies down, but It shouldn't be a huge deal unless you are particularly traffic sensitive.

I don't consider myself "particularly traffic sensitive" as I ride my bike most days in a city and have done tours in high traffic areas. But traffic on US 101, especially in Oregon, can be thick. I did a tour of the Oregon coast last August and this is what I had to say about it afterwards:

What gets old, and what brings down the rating (of this tour) is the riding experience. If there was ever a popular touring route with the biggest dichotomy between destinations and the ride, it’s gotta be the Pacific Coast Route. There are some truly sublime moments of biking, but most of the ride (in Oregon, at least) is on US 101, the only coastal through-route. It’s busy enough in the winter, but in the middle of summer it’s basically a wall of traffic. There is usually a wide shoulder, but the constant drone of passing vehicles can wear. Then there’s the moments where that shoulder disappears and you hope the vehicles can pass safely…In any case, it’s touring like this which makes one consider off-road bikepacking instead.

Now I don't want to scare of the OP or anyone considering this tour, but traffic on the Pacific Coast Route is definitely a thing, especially these last few years due to pandemic. That's why I recommend going a bit after peak season. But if you do ride during the middle of summer, I'd highly recommend getting of 101 or 1 where you can.


6
There are eight cages on various bikes where I might want to carry coffee, times $25?  No thanks.   All the manufacturers need to do is make their mugs an eighth of an inch smaller diameter.  Perhaps the Travel Kuppe will be wildly successful and the other guys will catch on.

Have you tried the Klean Kanteen, Hydro Flask, and/or the Stanley mugs that have been mentioned? I've gotten these into other cages too.

7
Once you’ve bent the cage, regular water bottles don’t stay in well.  Believe me, I’ve been looking for years, they all were too big.

What kind of cage do you use? If it's aluminum, they aren't going to be as pliable as steel ones, which can bend back and forth.

I use Velo-Orange's Retro cages, which nicely adjust to the diameter of the bottle:
https://velo-orange.com/collections/bottle-cages-bottles/products/vo-retro-cage-with-tab-new-version

8
The Stanley that Ty0604 mentions works. I have one as well.

The insulated mugs offered by Klean Kanteen and Hydro Flask also fit in bottle cages well. I also use them.

9
General Discussion / Re: Free Air
« on: February 28, 2022, 05:52:01 pm »
Yeah, me too.  If you have higher volume tires a higher pump is in order.  I have found it a little annoying to fully inflate my MTB tires from flat with my mini pump.  I most often have toured on fairly skinny tires though so the smaller pumps are usually fine.

I know that in Ye Olden Days of Touring, bike frame pumps were not that powerful, and the only way to increase the power was to increase the length of the pump. I'll admit there is something aesthetically pleasing about a frame pump tucked under the top tube, and they can come in handy during a dog attack.

But the mini foot pump with hose and pressure gauge is just so much better, and not that expensive--you can get a good one for $40 to $60. I'd rather have a pump that's not a chore to use instead of finding a gas station to keep my tires inflated.

That being said, some of the new mini pumps are actually really good. I have a Leyzene Pocket Drive that I got because I needed a small pump. I had to use it once, and I was amazed at how fast it inflated!

10
General Discussion / Re: Free Air
« on: February 28, 2022, 12:07:10 pm »
I haven't used "gas station air" in forever. I'm more of a fan of buying a decent portable bike pump. The "mini-floor" models can get you up to full inflation pretty quickly. Not as quick as a compressor, mind you, but pretty quick. And mine has a gauge on it so I know how much air I need.

If you do use the gas station air and have presta valves, remember to bring an adaptor!

11
General Discussion / Re: Does size matter?
« on: February 02, 2022, 05:38:54 pm »
Adventure,I know some about the various sizes.  It  was my understanding the big difference between the 650s was the rim (thus the tire probably) width.  I am/was currently running 700 on my Americano but the Thorn has 559 as does the Beckman.  One thing I did not like about the Co-Motion is that it could not take tires wider than 37mm.  When I was doing mixed surface tours on it, at times I really wished I could have gone wider on the gravel roads.

I know that there are more width choices in 700C/29" tires these days, but a lot of the bikes designed for 700C wheels can't handle bigger tires. I had a circa 2008 LHT with 700C wheels, and despite "Fatties Fit Fine", 35mm was about as wide as I could get. (This was mostly due to my front Jandd rack, so if I switched to a different rack I may have been able to increase width somewhat.) And for the longest time, 35mm on a 700C wheel was considered "fat". Bikes designed with 650B or 26" wheels were usually (though not always) designed for widths north of 35mm.

Sounds like you want wider tires. I'd go for the option where you can get the widest possible. I got my custom Bantam built around 26"/559 wheels that can take tires up to 2.4" wide and don't regret it one bit.

12
General Discussion / Re: Does size matter?
« on: February 02, 2022, 02:23:57 pm »
What size 650 wheel are we talking about? Getting pedantic, there are four different 650 wheel sizes--650, 650A, 650B, 650C. The outer diameter of the wheel is nominally supposed to be 650mm/65 cm, which in Imperial is just about 26 inches at 25.6". The idea was that the "higher" the letter designation, the smaller the rim diameter and the wider the tire. Straight 650 would have narrow tires and 650C the widest tire, but the outside wheel diameter would stay 650mm across the range. Over the years that idea got thrown out and we have really skinny 650C tires and super-wide 650B.

I'm guessing when you say "650" you mean "650B", which is the most common 650 size these days. The French have been using 650B for many decades. It got popularized here in the US in the last 15 years or so, and I don't think it's going away anytime soon, especially since mountain biking is getting into 27.5", which is essentially the same as 650B when it comes to rim fit.

What size wheels are you currently running, John? (And I'm guessing your 700 is 700C.) And what tire width do you normally run? 650B tires tend to be on the wider side. I feel that tire width does more to soften the bumps than bigger wheels, and smaller wheels tend to be stronger, an added benefit.

I wouldn't be scared with a new wheel size, but if it makes you feel uncomfortable, stick with what you know. And as Ray B points out, more wheel sizes means more tubes/tires/etc. All my bikes have different wheel sizes so I have to make sure I have several different spare tube sizes. And that can be a headache!

13
General Discussion / Re: Amtrak Bike Travel
« on: February 01, 2022, 12:25:02 pm »
That service is no longer offered.  I want to use a bike with 2.25 inch tires but Amtrak only allows 2 inch tires for its roll on service. 

I've used bikes with tires as wide as 2.35 inch (60mm) like Schwalbe Fat Franks on Amtrak's bike racks, and they fit fine. And if you are worried, you can deflate the tires a bit before loading.

I do wish that they would have hooks designed for tires wider than 2 inches, but the places that make these hooks/racks are slow to adapt. It's the same on public transit--here in Portland some of the older hooks for bikes on the MAX light rail can't fit those Fat Franks.

14
Pacific Northwest / Re: Lewis and Clarke vs Transam: oregon to Missoula
« on: January 31, 2022, 09:19:55 pm »
Jamawani, it doesn't look like your Crown Point pic uploaded.
Oh wait, it looks like it did. But I'll still share mine:




Also, that route from Clatskanie to St. Helens is definitely better than sticking to US 30. My preferred routing from Astoria to Portland would be 202-47-Banks/Vernonia Trail, but that stays far from the Columbia River.

15
General Discussion / Re: Amtrak Bike Travel
« on: January 31, 2022, 09:13:54 pm »
If I ran a business that had more demand than supply, I would raise the price to discourage demand (not the preferred option)  or increase the supply.

Amtrak isn't a private business, it's a perpetually underfunded (until just about right now) government agency. I'm sure they want to increase bike space and get the added revenue, but by design they don't move fast. There's also the issue with bike space on trains when it comes to seasonal demand--jammed in summer, almost empty in winter. So Amtrak might not want to increase bike space if it comes at the expense of less passenger room.

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