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Messages - dancingcyclist

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Ride down Chukanut to Burlington, Take Hwy20 to Hwy9 at Sedro-Whoolley, cross the Skagit River to the south and connect with the Skagit River Rd. That takes to to just outside Concrete where you can pick up the Sauk Valley Rd. and go south to Derrington. Follow the Mountain Loop Highway around to Barlow Pass and on toward Granite Falls. At Granite Falls pickup Jordan Rd. and ride to Arlington. There you can pickup the Snohomish Centennial Trail to the north end. Jump onto Hwy9 then on to Hwy534 to Conway. From Conway parallel I5 to Mount Vernon and get back onto Chukanut to return to B'Ham.

If you use "Ride with GPS" you can connect all what I've listed and avoid a lot of highway riding, there are more roads involved then what I've listed. There is one section on the "Mountain Loop Highway" that is not paved but is ridable with skinny tires. There is also camping all along the route until you leave Verlot on the mountain Loop Hwy. until you get to Bayview State Park west of Burlington.

If you're a member of Warm Showers you might be able to connect with someone with them.

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?

General Discussion / Re: Altimeter
« on: September 02, 2017, 10:31:26 pm »
When "Ride with GPS" records me doing50+mph down hill where it is physically impossible I will never fully rely on GPS. I wear my watch which has an altimeter/barometer when riding and want info about my altitude when climbing hills.

General Discussion / Re: What is proper etiquette?
« on: September 02, 2017, 10:14:56 pm »
This is no different then when I'm hiking, there are rules about short cutting switchbacks, leashing your dog, even who has the right of way. I use to try to educate people but they just don't want to hear it so now unless it directly affects me I keep quite. Tired of being told 'go F yourself".

Gear Talk / Re: Tent ground cloth?
« on: August 09, 2017, 12:52:12 am »
Tyvek works great but there is more then one thickness. I have the "house warp" and it's holding up with no problems. Hint: to get rid of the noise and stiffness, toss it in the washing machine for a quick wash. Doesn't appear to lower the strength.

Gear Talk / Re: Klymit vs. Therma-Rest sleeping pads
« on: February 22, 2017, 07:13:14 pm »
Which version Klymit you talking about? I just pick up the new Static V2 ultra light pad to try out. Only weighs 16.3 oz. and packs down to about the size of a Nalgene 2 qt. water bottle. I saw a lot of reviews about them not holding air overnight but I blew mine up and after two weeks it was still ok. Tried out bouncing around from one side to the other as that's the way I sleep and didn't see a problem. The valve is a bit tricky to latch down which might be why the deflation problem people have had. Not much insulation though as it has a R1.3 rating.

I also picked up a Therm-a-rest Trail Scout R3.4 rating, weighs 22oz. It packs down almost as small. I think it might be a little better for comfort. Neither one will be getting used except for summer weather.

Neither one was very expensive, check out Amazon. I'll find out this summer how they hold up.

Routes / Re: What's with Google Maps
« on: February 08, 2017, 02:18:12 pm »
Real view is dragging the little guy from the lower right conner to a spot on the route and it shows a current picture of that spot. It puts you at a close up ground level view.

Flying view is supposed to show you the whole route as if flying in an airplane.

Doubt if the names I'm using are correct but don't know what else to call them.

I use to be able to click/hold and drag but now it only seems to work a few times then quits and just moves the whole map around. Google help says something about a "lite mode" that will cause this but I can't find any indication its in "lite mode". Help says a lighting bolt should be seen in the lower left corner in the menu box. Help also shows that a number of people are having the same problem.

Gear Talk / Re: Reflective Clothing; Jackets/Jerseys Etc (Warm Weather)
« on: February 07, 2017, 09:05:32 pm »
I have a Canari jacket with ripoff long sleeves to make a vest I got at REI a few years ago. Don't remember the price but it wasn't much. It's very lightweight and can be stuffed into its own back pocket that also has its own strap to fasten around your waist. I've used it in light rain and temps down to 35 and stayed dry except for my own sweating. Very bright yellowish/greenish.

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.

General Discussion / Re: MRT (Mississippi River Trail)
« on: February 07, 2017, 06:41:39 pm »
There is a Rail Trail with that name if that's what you're looking for. Check out

Gear Talk / Re: Ultra light sleeping bag, tent and pad?
« on: February 01, 2017, 07:48:10 pm »
Has anybody heard/know anything of "Hyke & Byke" down bags? They have one rated at 32 degrees weighing at 2.2lb. for $99.00.
I'm replacing my current bag which is a down bag made by Feathered Friends rated at -10 degrees weighs in at 3.14 lb.

2.2 pounds is not a light down bag.  32 degrees for summer camping?  That probably makes sense in upper Canada for summer.  I have a down bag rated at about 45 degrees.  It weighs one pound.  Perfect for summer.  If it got cold, I could put on a balaclava and tights and long sleeve jersey and jacket and wool socks.  Assuming I even bother to carry those cold weather items in summer.  I also doubt a real down bag rated at 32 degrees will be $99.  Down bags are not that cheap unless you get real lucky and catch a super close out sale.

RussSeaton, What's the name of your bag so i can research it? My older down bag weighs 3.14 (rated @ -10). I got it years ago when I was backpacking during winters in the N. Cascades. it's an over kill for summer bike tours. Compared to it 2.2 does seem light.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route
« on: January 31, 2017, 10:27:45 pm »
As they say, "April showers bring May flowers". If you're going to be in WA. in April expect wet weather and that goes double if you're on the West side of the Olympic Peninsula, they call that area a rain forrest for a reason.  ;)

I'm riding a loop around the peninsula myself this summer and even though there will be more tourists i'm planning on the last two weeks of August just to avoid the rain as much as possible, but, no-one can predict the weather.

Good luck

General Discussion / Re: Trangia Stove / Meths
« on: January 30, 2017, 06:47:28 pm »
I've been following this post as I'm interested in the alcohol stoves for touring since I only plan on boiling water with it and wanted as light as possible. I found a Trangia on Amazon for like $22.00 for just the stove and stand. Since it didn't come with any directions i'm working on guess work.

So here's my questions: 1) Is it better to fill it full and how full is full? 2) Is it better to use a wind screen or not? 3) What is the best way to use theses stoves?

The first time I tried it out I used some old, old methanol that was called gas guard back in the '70-'80. I filled the stove to what looked like half and used my Wisperlight wind screen around it. Windscreen was about 2-3 inches away from stove with the opening having about a 4 inch gap. Using my old lightweight backpacking 8 cup pot with 4 cups water in it. It took the stove about 18 minutes to boil the water and it used all the fuel.

The second time I tested it out I used a new bottle of Yellow Heet which says it is methyl alcohol and measured out about 3 oz of fuel. Set up the windscreen, same pot and again 4 cups of water. This time it took 28 minutes to achieve the same boiling and I had a left over of fuel of about 1 oz.

Also both times I put the pot on as soon as I lite the stove thinking it might help heat the stove quicker, saw that on a YouTube video. I did noticed that a lot of condition formed on the bottom of the pot. Could this also be a problem?

I really don't understand the 10 minute difference since both fuels appear to be methanol.

Tomorrow I'll test it again using isopropyl alcohol.


Pacific Northwest / Re: Crossing the Columbia River
« on: January 26, 2017, 08:57:37 pm »
Thanks adventurepdx, that's the kind of info I'm looking for. Didn't know there was a shoulder. Do you by chance know if the should is cleaned much or does the wind do that? I figured the wind could be a problem, do you know the better times of year for less winds? Right now I'm thinking May or June.

Thanks again

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.


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