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Messages - johnsondasw

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On a combo of two different Montana tours, I have ridden many of these roads.  Hwy 56 is a favorite, although we were forced to hit the shoulder due to an aggressive pick up truck flying the confederate flag on the north end of that road.  We had dangerous and horrible traffic around Whitefish, but our worst part was on Hwy 2 just west of the town. I really got worn out trying to get from Whitefish to West Shores State Park on Flathead Lk.  It was the end of the day, we'd had little to no sleep the night before, and there were big hills.
Thanks for the report.  I know this site has no trip report forum, but I think it should.  One of the best parts of touring is reading about others' rides.   

I chose to ride through SF from Samuel Taylor State Park to Half Moon Bay, for the reasons you stated. I didn't want to pay SF prices. There's a nice campground at Half Moon Bay, but watch out for the raccoons there.

Same here. Exactly, except we had our raccoon experience on the Oregon coast instead.

General Discussion / Re: Touring on carbon
« on: July 13, 2017, 02:06:58 pm »
Just completed a relaxed five day "geriatric" (two 57 year olds and a 68 year old) self supported tour around the North Cascades in Wa on a carbon fiber Specialized Roubaix hauling a Burley Nomad trailer.  My two companions used panniers. 
I got the alternate hitch from Burley so as not to load the frame or put any undue pressure on it. This hitch replaces the axle so the load is on the new axle and just pulls to the rear--no weight on the bike itself.  It worked great, and allowed me to use a very lightweight bike and save the pannier weight.  My setup was actually lighter than the others.  However, for a long tour, I think I'd want a sturdy touring bike with frame and components designed to take much more of a beating. I will continue with my setup for relaxed touring. though.  We averaged only 43 mpd and had lots of time to just enjoy.  A lot different from 30 years ago where we averaged 70-90 mpd. Our route, which was a fantastic good time, was Arlington-Darrington-Rockport-Marblemount-Newhalem-Colonial Ck Campground-almost Rainy Pass (although one of us made it there), and then back in reverse to Arlington.  We had lots of quiet country roads with little traffic, perfect weather, and spectacular scenery.

Routes / Re: Does anyone still use paper maps?
« on: June 13, 2017, 10:02:45 pm »
I just have a road atlas for the US and run copies of the state I'm riding in.  For more detail, I prefer the Benchmark maps to the Delorme.  Personal preference, I guess.

General Discussion / Re: Neck injury/pain issue
« on: May 16, 2017, 11:17:12 am »
Start with a professional bike fit.  Expect to pay $100-200.  It made a huge difference to me, but I didn't have the spinal  preconditions you do.

I would do the Olympic loop for sure.  It is one of the best tours I have done, and I took few detours.  I thought it was beautiful, the traffic light, the drivers courteous. The logging trucks actually would slow down and wait for an opportunity and then go way out into the other lane to give us room.
We did the Astoria bridge at dusk in the rain, and had no problem.  It's the only place I've ever seen a roadkill starfish. A mirror is nice!

General Discussion / Re: Where are the rides, stories and pictures?
« on: May 02, 2017, 09:26:06 pm »
Joined up to read and view pictures of great trip for inspiration.

But I'm not finding those. Could someone help me with a link to the stories and albums section?

I'm with you.  The coolest part of a forum setup is the trip reports.  I have a hiking site that has great trip reports and you get a lot if information and entertainment from it.  I'd like to see this site have a TR section.

I agree with DaveB and use a bar end mirror for all rides. I have been using one for over 30 years and would not ride around the block without it.  I disagree with Russ.  I think the mirror can save your life.  I can ride safely, watch the road and the mirror.  A mirror allows you to actually have some control over the situation when riding.  After a while, you can get an intuition about what a car is going to do, whether they are erratic or not, etc.  A mirror often can tell you when it's best to "take the lane" or even leave the road.  I've done both.  Another thing you can do if you sense a car is not taking you seriously is do a little swerve into the road.  This often makes the car driver wake up.  You can see and hear them slow down and work to go around you. It takes a lot of riding to really get a sense of how to effectively use a mirror. Without one, you're helpless and completely at the mercy of whatever is coming.  I've discussed this with scores of riders.  Those that do not use a mirror always say they don't use one because there's nothing you can do if a car is going to hit you.  This is a fatalistic and wrong view, in my experience.  I want to control the situation, and a mirror gives me way more control. On the Pacific Coast ride, this is esp important, because there are parts of HWY 1 in Calif with no shoulder, narrow and curvy roads. And oblivious, often elderly drivers, sometimes driving wide RV's.  I'd get a mirror and start practicing.

ptr52, I see you are hoping for roads that are not busy and have decent shoulders? The regular route on HWY 1 in Calif has lots of roads that are very busy and have no shoulders.  Riders must be prepared for those types of roads on this route. Also, there are often wide trailers and vacationing drivers of all ages.  Use a mirror and be ready to get way over to the right sometimes. I left the road once for a speeding pickup truck that was hogging the lane and would not slow down when there was another vehicle coming the other way putting me in a pinch--all this on a minimal shoulder section. 

Gear Talk / Re: Tent choice for Northern tier
« on: March 07, 2017, 11:38:58 am »
When in doubt, go light.

Thanks for the good descriptions and pics! I have biked most of the route and agree that it's a great one. this reads like a trip report, and I'd like to see more of those here. I think there should be a TR category on the forums, so we don't have to go to Crazy read them.

Gear Talk / Re: Sources for Ultra Violent Protective Clothing
« on: February 18, 2017, 12:56:23 am »
I just use regular biking jerseys, shorts, etc, and sunscreen--every time I go out in the sun season.  I also get checked by a dermatologist twice a year.  I get in trouble if I don't, b/c my daughter is a dermatologist.  I have had two basal cell skin cancers removed, which puts me at higher risk for the scary ones--melanomas.  They must be found and removed as they tend to metastasize (spread) to other organs and can therefore be fatal.   

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast route
« on: February 13, 2017, 12:12:54 am »
I have ridden all around the Olympic Peninsula.  I would be a good way to start the ride. the ferry will take you to Port
Townsend, and then you can go west out to Forks and then south to Aberdeen and from there tie into the Pacific Coast route.  I thought this ride around the peninsula was a great one.  Be sure to bring rain gear.  We had no rain and favorable winds, but that was a July ride.

Gear Talk / Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« on: February 10, 2017, 11:35:36 am »
Yes, what they really do is allow you to control much of what is going on all around you and, for those things you can't control, they allow you to have a better chance to avoid an accident. I could ride without one, urban or rural, and I ride both, a lot.

Gear Talk / Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« on: February 07, 2017, 11:18:52 pm »
I've been using one for 40 years.  There are many kinds.  I use a bar end one now. 

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