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Messages - johnsondasw

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Gear Talk / Re: Getting bike and gear to start of tour
« on: September 27, 2016, 12:19:43 am »
Just a warning about Amtrak...I've used it twice, once across the country and once up the west coast from LA to Seattle.  Both experiences were disasters. Filthy conditions, WAY late on arrival, unfriendly and uninformed staff.  Etc.  I'll never use them again.  It sounds like others have had much better experiences, so maybe I just hit the wrong train two out of two times. 

Actually, the animal you need to be most concerned about is the distracted/drunk/stoned/etc driver. Your chance of encountering a cougar is infinitesimal compared to the dangers of the road.  I have biked and hiked thousands of miles in the west, mostly in WA, where I live in the heart of cougar country (and hike almost daily in the woods here) and have seen one very juvenile cougar (we think) at dusk, scrambling up a tree lightning fast to avoid us! Don't worry about it. 

General Discussion / Re: bike racks for car (trunk style)
« on: August 24, 2016, 11:31:04 am »
I've used rubber padding (old tubes, etc), rags,  and bungee cords to get bikes on racks when, for various reasons, the fit is not working.

Routes / Re: Why does the PC route bypass Olympic Peninsula?
« on: August 22, 2016, 01:59:31 pm »
I also don't remember any problems with the Sea Ranch area in CA.  And I rode it in mid summer--late June/early July time frame.  Also, no issues with Lake Crescent (July 12, 2004), but I would not want to do it right after chip sealing, with berms of loose gravel on the sides of the road! Most tours of any significant distance have dicey sections where you have to very alert.  It's part of touring. One of the most hairy sections I've ever been on was approaching Kalispell, MT, from the west on HWY 2 on a hot summer afternoon. You don't think of Montana as that sort of state.  Watch your mirror and stay alert, and, ergo, alive. 

Food Talk / Re: to cook or not to cook?
« on: August 20, 2016, 02:24:25 pm »
Like others, I like to tour both ways.  With the new Jetboil system and freeze-dried meals, cooking takes way less time than going to a restaurant.  I use it for backpacking, and the water boils in 2 minutes, then you have to wait a little for the mixture to "cure"--10 or 15 minutes, which can be used for other camping chores. Also, there are no pans to carry. And with oatmeal/PB/fruit, breakfast is done in a jiffy, too. Again , no pan, as the oats are poured into the boiled water in the cup provided as part of the unit.  It all packs up neatly and weighs little.  (No, I have no financial interest in the technology.  I'm just amazed at the difference 45 years has made--we used to have frying pans, cans of gas, pan scrubbers, etc, etc....)  Because of this simplicity, I will now cook more than in the past, when it was a real chore.

Routes / Re: Why does the PC route bypass Olympic Peninsula?
« on: August 17, 2016, 12:21:36 pm »
i disagree with  those posters who think the peninsula is not great unless you do the side trips.

Well, I guess we agree to disagree.  ;)

I will have to say that 101 was for the most part manageable on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula (from about Port Angeles down to Aberdeen), when it came to traffic levels or grades--no real steep or high areas for the most part. But for me, I could do that style of riding (quietish riding through rolling hills with a mix of forest and clearcut) in plenty of places down here in Oregon. If I go up that way, I want to see the highlights of the peninsula--and Olympic National Park--which means for me doing side trips.

We had four days. It would be ideal to have 8 days and do it all.  Of course, you'd need an 8 day window of decent weather, which is achievable in mid summer, some years.  I did and 8 day mountaineering trip in the heart of the Olympic Mtns (Bailey Range Traverse) in early August 1993 and we had rain on only the 7th day.

Food Talk / Re: Best Foods for Training
« on: August 14, 2016, 01:01:00 am »
  I'm sure some of it is just general good nutrition, but I need to start somewhere.

That's it.  You don't need anything else, IMO.  I've been mountaineering and cycling for 50 years have tried a few things.  A lot of it is just a market looking for customers.  You really don't need all that fancy expensive stuff.  If you're a professional athlete, well, maybe, but for most of us out climbing or biking all day, not so much.  I eat energy bars when I'm looking for convenience.  Eat a well balanced diet, stay hydrated, and, for me, get sufficient salt.  That's my only supplement.  If I don't do that, I seriously hit the wall in the heat of summer.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Overnight Parking for Iron Horse Trail
« on: August 14, 2016, 12:52:09 am »
Several times in small towns I have used street parking and asked people in local houses if they'd keep an eye on the car. 
Every time, I have received enthusiastic help.  Duvall is a cool town, and I bet the response would be good. 

Routes / Re: Why does the PC route bypass Olympic Peninsula?
« on: August 14, 2016, 12:48:19 am »
I live in WA and have ridden just many many loop rides in the state over the past 36 years.  These have included several in SW WA.  In 2004 i did the Olympic Peninsula loop in 4 days.  The next year I did the Pacific coast road from Montesano WA to Santa Monica.  i disagree with  those posters who think the peninsula is not great unless you do the side trips.  We did the main highway the whole way except the southern part of the peninsula around Satsop, where we short cut from Montesano up to Hood Canal.  I thought 101 was a fantastic ride--scenic with great roads, lots of convenience stops, good grades, polite traffic, etc.  It rates up there with anything we did on the whole west coast.  Also, the infamous Crescent Lk section was no problem with a mirror, experience, and some patience.  I would definitely include this section in any ride nearby if the weather forecast is good.  If not,!  We had stellar weather July 12-15, including favorable winds 3 out of the 4 days.

Gear Talk / Re: Handlebar Rearview Mirror
« on: July 26, 2016, 11:40:59 pm »
I've tried many handlebar mirrors and only Third Eye seems to have optics that I like. No vibration if you install it correctly.
I have it on 3 of 4 of my bikes and feel naked riding the one without it.

Same here, mine being a bar end type.  Sorry you can't use one of these.  I can't ride w/o a mirror, and bar end is the only type that has ever really worked for me.

I know this is a big controversy here, but I don't see how anyone could ride without a mirror.  I just don't trust the thousands of motorists that pass one in just one day.  They could be texting, drunk, eating, etc.  Also, the mirror allows one to take the lane when necessary, and it is often necessary.

Gear Talk / Re: Sleeping Pad Recommendation
« on: July 22, 2016, 01:35:15 am »
I've been trying to figure this one out for almost 50 years, and I think I've got it now.  I use the new Thermarest egg carton looking ones. They do not inflate--finally, no more nights on the hard ground due to leaks!  They weigh mere ounces.  They may be somewhat bulky, but so what?  Just strap them on anywhere.  You are not going to find noninflatable, not bulky, comfortable, reliable, all in one.  I now use this new kind for backpacking and bikepacking.  Also, they are way cheap compared to inflatables, and they are insulating from cold ground.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Touring on Rainy day's
« on: July 19, 2016, 02:04:25 pm »
I ride in the rain--soft rain and hard rain. Riding in the rain is much better than sitting in a tent in the rain. If it's cold, I'll wear rain gear.

Totally agree.  I will hang out in the tent for a few hours to see if the rain lets up, but will not sit in a tent all day.  Riding in the rain beats that any day.

Classifieds / Re: Treadmill decision
« on: July 05, 2016, 12:59:44 pm »
10 years ago we bought a Sole for $2000.  It has been very reliable and "saved" us on many a terrible weather day ( we live in the mountains of WA state).  Be sure to spend enough, or you're buying a headache. You don't want to get a cheapo that requires constant maintenance and repairs. We did a lot of research and are glad we did.

General Discussion / Re: Do you pack a Spare Tire???
« on: July 05, 2016, 12:53:43 pm »
Good point about the weight, Russ.  I carry a spare.  Total tire failure is such a catastrophic problem (or mere pain in the ..) in some places at inconvenient times, that it's worth it to me.  It's so easy to put that new tire on and you're back at it.

Routes / Re: Cycling from Pomeroy to Colfax
« on: July 05, 2016, 12:49:45 pm »
I have done parts of this route in 1991 on a road bike.  We went from Pomeroy to Gould City and then west to Central Ferry.  We found these back roads to be fantastic cycling.  We learned about this route by asking locals for ideas that were off the main highways. I now use Benchmark Maps "Washington Road and Recreation Atlas".  The solid lines are paved, but it's good to ask locally about their accuracy.  I have found only very few errors.  I highly recommend these back roads for this part of WA.  You can ride for a long time between cars.  go for it and you'll have great adventure. BTW, carry water, esp in summer!

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