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Messages - johnsondasw

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Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route
« on: December 05, 2016, 05:42:34 pm »
It should be ok, but be prepared for lots of foggy gray days along the Oregon and Calif coast throughout the summer.  Temps are ok for riding, and winds should be consistently from the north!

General Discussion / Re: best sleeping bag for bike packing?
« on: November 30, 2016, 01:20:02 am »
Just about every outdoor clothing company make a down puffy jacket that packs into its own pocket,which makes it smaller than a loaf of bread.  They are also super light.  Put that on for the night and it changes the formula for which sleeping bag you need. 

General Discussion / Re: One piece earphone while riding
« on: November 15, 2016, 06:18:39 pm »
No earbuds for me.  I'm kinda deaf anyway, so it wouldn't be a good idea. I like to hear the coming traffic and birds, surf crashing, etc.  I use a mirror, too.  Trying to stack the odds in my favor as far a safety goes. 

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route
« on: November 09, 2016, 04:29:20 pm »
Carry rain gear.  It could be everything from hot and sunny to pouring rain. 

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route
« on: November 09, 2016, 12:53:45 am »
Late May could be great, especially if the summer north winds have kicked in by then. They can blow you all the way down the coast, and that makes a huge difference.

Gear Talk / Re: trailers vs panniers
« on: November 02, 2016, 08:44:21 pm »
I've done both and they both work fine.  Now, because I like to ride a carbon fiber bike, I use a trailer--Burley Nomad. It pulls off the rear axle and works great.  I sometimes use it for the weekly grocery run and can put over 50 pounds in it.  Even with that weight, it has no problem. 

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route
« on: October 18, 2016, 12:11:43 am »
We had a fantastic time, Olympia WA to Santa Monica CA, June 21 to July 10.  We are used to traffic and had few issues.

July is a great time, albeit there is lots of tourist traffic then.  Some roads have little shoulder, esp in Calif.  I recommend using a mirror and knowing how to use it.  The route is a good one, and you'll meet up with other cyclists.  The camping is very good, and very cheap in Oregon and Calif.  In Washington, there are no cheap biker sites like there are in the other 2 states.  The camping is so good in Ore and Cal, that you might decide that you don't mind it at all.  I would not hesitate in doing it alone.  Again, the main hazard is the roads with poor shoulders.  You must be experienced in highway traffic and in dealing with wide trailers and RV's coming form behind.  Also be aware that the route is very hilly, constantly up and down almost the whole way.  It'snot like in the mountains, where you climb a pass for hours and then you're done for awhile.  Instead, you often climb for 15 minutes, go down for 5 and then climb another one. 

The route has exceptional scenery.  I say go for it and have a great trip!

Urban Cycling / Re: commuting by bike
« on: October 09, 2016, 08:34:40 pm »
I bike from Seattle to Mercer Island every day. It's about a 15-mile round trip and when the sun is shining, crossing the I-90 bridge on the bike lane is glorious. On the way home it's always fun to pass all the cars that are moving at a snail's pace.

Love that ride! You are lucky (or smart, if you set that situation intentionally) to be able to do that!

Classifieds / Re: FS 2014 Burley Nomad
« on: October 09, 2016, 08:27:58 pm »
I have a Nomad too.  I bought it in 2005 for a long distance tour and thought I would never use it again considered selling it.  Several years later, I started using it for grocery shopping, and was impressed how it carries a heavy load of grocery bags.  I'm so glad I kept it.  I also now use it for short tours behind my CF bike.  You need to buy the alternate hitch to do this, but it's simple to use.  Just be sure you really won't want it ever before selling it.  I'm 68 and still finding it to be very handy.

Gear Talk / Re: Getting bike and gear to start of tour
« on: September 27, 2016, 11:38:25 am »
Yes,  on the Calif to WA route, we had to wait on a side track for a couple of hours for a southbound train to pass. They have allowed to rail infrastructure to deteriorate to the point that there was only one track that way.  Too bad--rail travel would be a good way to combat climate change. 

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. 

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