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Messages - adventurepdx

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General Discussion / Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« on: September 14, 2021, 05:24:11 pm »

No it was a typo when I typed 150th, I meant to type 250th and I am talking about the Semiquincentennial in 2026.  I figure that these things are a once in a generation event.  A Big American Ride on the scale of Bikecentennial in 2023 seems like jumping the gun on what shoud be a huge event in 2026 and stealing their thunder.  It seems like very unfortunate timing to me.  Maybe I am wrong, but Bikecentennial is still a huge deal to me all these years later even though I missed it.  I didn't ride the route until decades later, but still I romanticise the idea of the 1976 ride that I missed. Honoring both that ride and the Semiquincentennial in 2026 seems like a slam dunk.

Maybe there is room for both and they are far enough apart.  Maybe there won't be a 2026 ride.  Maybe both will fail.  I'd rather see the energy go into a 2026 reprise of Bikecentennial.

I feel that the '76 Bikecentennial Ride was indeed a once-in-a-generation thing. But that was also a different era, when the whole idea of "cross country bike tour" felt fresh and new. It's not so fresh and new anymore. More people are doing it, and I think there is room for a big event like this to happen every few years. Or would you rather keep it a "once in a generation" thing, then if you miss that event because you didn't hear about it, got into touring after it happened, had other things going on, etc. that you would have to wait another 10-20-25-50 years for it to happen again? I mean, it sounds like you were bummed that you missed it in '76. Wouldn't it have been nice to do something similar in '79 or '80?

I haven't been paying attention, but I haven't heard anything about what ACA is doing for the 50th Anniversary. I know that they had a big party for the 40th, I didn't go and am bummed that I missed that one. It sounded like a lot of work to pull off Bikecentennial, and after it the ACA heads decided to put their energies elsewhere and work on a route network that people could ride anytime. I'm very thankful that they chose that option vs. trying to put on another Bikecentennial scale event every 2-5-10 years or so. Maybe ACA just doesn't want to do Bikecentennial again?

I don't really know anything about the Big American Bike Ride, I just heard about it today via this thread. Checking out the website, the routing will be totally different than the TransAm, starting in Washington State and heading to DC. (They are based in Mount Vernon, WA.) I'm guessing that the route may use bits and pieces of the ACA network, like the Northern Tier. And I'll admit, I'm interested. My last cross-country tour was ten years ago, it'd be fun to do it again. Being part of something bigger would be a bonus.

I do love what ACA does, and they are trying to get the next generations (Millenials/Gen Z) interested. But they aren't always succesful. For example, beyond info sent by ACA I see little on the internet about their Bike Travel Weekend during the first weekend of June. However, I see scads and scads of posts on Instagram about Swift Industries Summer Solstice Campout that happens just a couple weeks later. At first I was a bit grumbly about it, as Swift was "stealing Adventure Cycling's thunder". But then I thought more about it: Swift is reaching a demographic (younger, more diverse, more into the idea of bikepacking vs. trad touring) that ACA still isn't reaching as much as they should/want to. And perhaps the Great American Bike Ride is doing something similar? And they are their own thing, so I don't think it's productive to tell them they should be putting their energy towards a hypothetical ACA event instead.

In any case, I'm interested to see what the BABR folks are up to. So I'll wait and see.

General Discussion / Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« on: September 14, 2021, 03:35:01 pm »
Why 2023? I fear it will detract from any event on the 50th anniversary of Bikecentennial and 150th anniversary of the signing of the declaration of independence.

If we're talking about the US Declaration of Independence, that was signed in 1776. The 250th Anniversary of that (Semiquincentennial) would be 2026, not 2023.

But maybe you're referring to a different Declaration of Independence?

General Discussion / Re: Deciphering AMTRAK
« on: July 27, 2021, 01:20:42 pm »

That would be a good reason...if only it were true...

Highways are paid for mostly by user fees in the form of fuel taxes.  Still, if you add in various high-cost 'bridge to nowhere' pork-barrel projects, there's overall around a 1¢/mile general taxpayer subsidy for automobile, intercity bus and heavy truck transportation.

Fuel taxes do not pay 100% of highways/roads. There are other subsidies, and they are significant. And if we want to go down that road, there's the whole "bikes don't pay for their share of the roads, so don't deserve to be on them" argument that gets thrown around because of that assumption.

So, Amtrak subsidies were 36 cents per passenger mile pre-COVID.  Amtrak is currently carrying about 0.11% of this country's passenger traffic, and basically 0% of the country's freight.  If Amtrak were totally and completely shut down this afternoon, the impact would not even be able to be measured on next quarter's GDP.

Despite it all, Amtrak covers 85 percent of its operating costs with ticket sales and other revenues, according to that link.

And if we want Amtrak to have more than a below 1% share of travel in the US, the only way is to expand the network. And the only way to do that is give them more money, not continuously starve them as they have been for 50 years while saying they get too much money at the same time.

My question stands:  Can someone give me a compelling reason why I should ask the American tax payers to subsidize my adventures?

How about this:
Americans need more options for travel. Built-in redundancy is good, especially when one mode has to suddenly shut down (9/11). And if we are concerned about climate change, one way to combat that is by getting people out of their cars and out of airplanes. Bicycling is good, but I don't always have the time to bike long-distances.

General Discussion / Re: Deciphering AMTRAK
« on: July 26, 2021, 03:10:18 pm »
Can someone give me a compelling reason why I should ask the American tax payers to subsidize my adventures?

Because other forms of transportation in America get more subsidies?

Roads and airports get A LOT of money from American tax payers. Amtrak has been starved from its inception, and if we want better train service and alternatives to just roads and planes, they are going to need more $$.

General Discussion / Re: Deciphering AMTRAK
« on: July 24, 2021, 03:37:30 pm »
Have you checked out these two links? If you haven't, you definitely should:

In short, if the train doesn't have some sort of roll-on bike service, to bring a bike aboard:
  • You will need to box the bike. Amtrak provides boxes for a cost, but sometimes a station may be out of boxes.
  • The train you take will have to have checked baggage service.
  • Both the origin station and destination station have to have checked baggage service.

If you use the Interstate Bridge (I-5) from Vancouver to Portland, there's not that much bike path you'd be on, the rest is city streets.
Taking the Glenn Jackson Bridge (I-205) would mean more bike path, but that would be going out of your way if you are trying to get to central Portland.

The Sam Hill Memorial Bridge is only a half-mile long. A number of the bridges on the Pacific Coast Route are longer. The most oft-discussed bridge there is the Coos Bay Bridge, which is over a mile long.

People do talk about the Coos Bay Bridge, but I think the Pacific Coast bridge people fear most is the Astoria-Megler Bridge, which is a whopping four miles long! The fear of this bridge has people going far out of the way to avoid it. (I'm pretty sure that's the reason why ACA's Pacific Coast Route through Washington is so weird.) I've ridden it several times, and didn't find it anywhere near as bad as people made it out to be. I think the length is what gets people worked up--no matter how fast you ride, you are going to spend at least fifteen minutes of your life on this bridge, and once on, there's no way out until the other end.

One good thing about the Astoria bridge is there are traffic lights at both ends, controlling the flow of vehicles onto the bridge. Traffic comes in waves vs. being a steady flow. So there will be a minute or two with no cars passing, then a minute or two of cars passing.

Getting back to the Sam Hill Bridge, there is a light on the south side of the bridge, so if you are northbound you'll have that same "waves of cars" phenomenon like the Astoria Bridge.

I did it once. It seemed OK to me. Yeah, there's not much of a shoulder but traffic was courteous. I liked it more than crossing The Dalles Bridge (US 197) to the west, though that bridge has a sidewalk.

My least favorite bridge across the Columbia has to be the Lewis and Clark (Longview) Bridge further west.

As for suggestions: I always ride these kind of bridges as fast as I can.

All true. Related to crossing from Vancouver, I have read that the bike trails there are frequently blocked by encampments  of homeless this just exaggeration?

I couldn't tell you, since it's been at least a year since I biked in Vancouver. However, the routing I'd take from Seattle/Tacoma to Portland via Vancouver doesn't really use bike trails.

What about crossing at Cathlamet, as per Pacific Coast Adventure Cycling Map?

One can do that, and the Westport Ferry is a pleasant crossing. But if one is trying to get from Tacoma to Seattle, it can add about 45 miles onto the trip, a ride that's about 150 miles by itself. That's quite a bit to add onto it if you aren't in the mood for a leisurely route, or don't have the time to devote almost an extra day to the trip.

General Discussion / Re: Tires for a 29" Fargo
« on: March 23, 2021, 11:41:46 pm »
You guys do know that 29" is the same as 700c right?  So any 700c touring tire will work fine.

True. And I know that 29" is a bit of a marketing gimmick. That being said, when I hear about a bike with 29" wheels, I think about tires at least 1.75" wide or wider and a bike built around handling that particular width. While someone could slap some 28mm wide Marathons on a 29" wheel, I'm guessing that possibility is slim.

Yeah, the Lewis and Clark Bridge, aka Longview Bridge, is no fun. I rode it once.

FYI: The bridge is maintaned by Washington DOT, so send your complaint/request there for the bridge, ODOT for US 30.

After using that bridge, I've stayed on the Washington side of the Columbia River, then cross into Portland at Vancouver. You can do most of it using roads that were formerly US 99. There's a small section north of Woodland where I-5 totally paved over old 99, so either you take the shoulder of I-5 for a few miles (legal), or go up a really steep hill. I've done both, and will stick with the shoulder of I-5 for now.

Routes / Re: How are you getting to Anacortes?
« on: March 10, 2021, 12:07:33 am »
Or you could fly to SEA-TAC and start from Seattle. Take one of the ferries (think it's Bainbridge Island) to pick up the Pacific Coast Route to where it insersects with the Northern Tier in the Mt. Vernon area. Gives you an extra couple of days to find your legs before hitting the North Cascades. And Fort Worden S.P. in Port Townsend is really nice. It is the former military base that was used in the filing of "An Officer and a Gentleman."

Or you could take the train from Minneapolis directly to Seattle.  No need to box the bike for the Empire Builder.

All great advice there. The light rail runs from Sea-Tac to downtown Seattle, and it's less than a mile to the Bainbridge Ferry Terminal. It's a pretty scenic area. You'll be able to see more sea water this way than just starting from Anacortes. And you'll need the warming up, that first climb over the Cascades is something. Another option is crossing Whidbey Island from the ferry at the south (Mukilteo to Clinton). Getting to Mukilteo by bike from Seattle is a bit trickier, though.

Taking the train would be great too. You should be able to get off at Everett, a couple stops before Seattle, if you didn't want to see the city. Everett would be closer to Anacortes. There's bus service from Everett Station to Mount Vernon (or take Amtrak), and buses from there to Anacortes.

Routes / Re: Westport OR to Champoeg SP
« on: February 23, 2021, 02:29:26 pm »

Follow Hwy 105 south from Westport to Raymond
Then take US 101 south to Hwy 4 (well before Ilwaco)
Take Hwy 4 east to Cathlamet
Then take the ferry across the Clumbia River.
East on US 30 to Clatskanie
Then south on Hwy 47 to Vernonia
Next the Banks Vernonia Rail Trail
Lots of options after Banks

Westport is a nice starting point.
The waterfront on the bay is pleasant - with distant views of the Olympics.
Then there is a paved bike trail along the dunes on the beach with ocean views.

Looks like the OP asked for directions from Westport Oregon whereas you gave directions from Westport, Washington. If that's the case, Westport OR is the "town" that is at the Oregon end of the Columbia River/Puget Island ferry. So the OP can start directions from there.

General Discussion / Re: Daytime Lights in Montana
« on: January 26, 2021, 12:23:48 am »
Otherwise, my top states would be Montana, Washington and Vermont. Bottom would be Oregon, New Mexico and Illinois.

Out of curiosity, what puts Oregon on the bottom of your list?

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