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Messages - johnsondasw

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General Discussion / Re: Newbie with a really dumb question
« on: October 08, 2009, 09:48:27 pm »
Your "really dumb question" isn't very dumb.  I've been thinking about the same thing with my Trek Madone 5.5.  I use a trailer, too, and don't want to buy another bike for touring, so I appreciate your question.

And as far as safety goes, I felt safe on almost all of the Pacific Coast ride. The few exceptions were around the SF area, for the most part.  On any route, you are really only as safe as you make it.  Wear a helmet, use a mirror, keep aware of the flow of traffic around you  As a cyclist, you really have to be a very defensive "driver".  I avoid accidents every year.  Most of the potential accidents are from cars pulling out in front of me or passing me and immediately turning right on me.  Constant awareness of the dynamic "geography" of traffic and the alertness to "what could happen" will keep you riding for many happy years.

It's way better than it was 30-40 years ago!  Back then, motorists were just not used to bikes being on the road.

General Discussion / Re: Potential Resale Value
« on: October 01, 2009, 10:54:46 pm »
the morality and honesty of what you describe are very poor.  It sounds just like fraud to me.
Well put.  I had the same thought.  It never pays in the end to not do the right thing.

If it's an official trip, the state patrols or departments of transportation for the states involved may have an idea so their whereabouts.  I would think people on such a ride would arrange some sort of contact process.

General Discussion / Re: boredom on cross-country?
« on: September 28, 2009, 11:39:24 pm »
Nope, never been bored on tour.  I've been too hot, too cold, tired, sick, bonked out, but not bored.  A good bike trip is like any great adventure--the agony and the ecstacy, always exciting.  On most tours I've been on, I agree with Staephi--sad to see it end.  I get pretty excited just looking at maps and planning rides. 

General Discussion / Re: Problem shifting to low gears
« on: September 27, 2009, 09:10:37 pm »
And if you can't figure it out, take it to any bike shop, and they should be able to take care of it in a few minutes.  It's probably a simple screw adjustment, as indicated by geeg.

General Discussion / Re: Neck and shoulder pain
« on: September 27, 2009, 09:03:43 pm »
I think it makes sense to continue the discussion.  Almost all serious bikers will, if they ride more than a few years, experience problems of this type.  We can all learn from the input of others.  I know I've picked up a lot of valuable tips and information on this forum even when I may not have been the person starting the topic.  I have also learned and enjoyed the conversation when the thread has at times meandered away from the original focus.

I have not ridden the route--just most of the Washington and parts of the Idaho and Montana sections.  I can't speak for the  whole thing, but prevailing winds in the NW are from the west. This can be a big deal.  Also, winds move generally west to east, but some of the journals I've read said overall, it's about even going west to east or east to west.

Another consideration is the time of year--if leaving early in the spring, you can hit snow and cold in the western mountains, big time.   

General Discussion / Re: older riders
« on: September 24, 2009, 11:32:39 pm »
  Several people stopped to ask me questions, as I was the only one around who was traveling by bike, and I hope those who said they wanted to do bike traveling will do so. 

It's always been amazing to me how many people are fascinated by bike tourers.  They want to know all about you, your route, bike, etc.  I've even had people ask me how I get up the big hills!  One of the most common laments I've heard is that "Well, I wish I had done that when I was younger, because I'm too old now."  Most of the guys saying this are in about their 40s. 

I haven't tried a backpack, but I cant imagine it being terribly comfortable. 
It's not to bad for a 30-40 mile winter ride with some essentials (15 lbs or so) but it's no fun in summer--the warmer the temperature, the heavier it seems to get!  It is truly amazing how much stuff you can fit in the jersey pockets, seat bag and, if necessary, seatpost mounted rack/bag.

I have ridden with a small "teardrop" shaped soft backpack, at times up to 80 miles in a day.  I would not, definitely not, carry sleeping bags, tents, et cetera in a pack.  I can carry up to maybe 15 pounds in one and be OK with it.  I just do this for winter or very sketchy weather.  On fair weather rides, I can fit all my needs for the day in the 3 jersey pockets.  Once in summer, I was riding over a mountain pass for about 90 miles and the prediction was for drizzle, so I had to take the small pack with food, fluids, raincoat, etc.  The weather report was wrong and it was a hot day--low to mid 80s.  The pack on the back became a real irritant--hot and sticky and very uncomfortable.  And this was with maybe, at most 15 pounds. 
For overnighters, I use a trailer and ride free of the weight on me or the bike itself.   

General Discussion / Re: Neck and shoulder pain
« on: September 22, 2009, 12:24:03 am »
You may have to live with neck and shoulder pain and aspirin. Almost every book I have read on touring mentioned it. On all my tours I've had it. There are various sports stretches which target the muscles and bones in those areas. They can relieve tension and stress. Many complained of pain in the lower back-spinal area, most particularly when climbing hills. Every form of transportation has its tradeoffs. Every form of refuge has its price.
In addition to getting the fit right, I have to do a whole series of stretches several times a week.  They seem to help a lot for the activities I do.  biking seems to be one of the hardest on the body.  I have to stretch for achilles, hamstring, lower back, and neck problems.  I seem to have reached the place where, with the fit right and the stretching, and some work with light weights, things are good.  I'm also 61 and was touring and riding a lot 30 years ago with very few of these concern. 

Another thing that really helps is to not get too obsessed with one sport--I mix it up and in that way give the critical spots a break.  There are, of course, some books on staying fit and healthy for riding.  Do your research and keep riding!   

General Discussion / Re: Neck and shoulder pain
« on: September 19, 2009, 12:30:01 pm »
You need to go to a bike shop that has someone trained to fit people on bikes.  If you keep riding with this kind of pain, you may get injured to the point where you'll be out for a long time.  These issues can usually be fixed if you go to someone who knows what they're doing.  Call around to bike shops and ask if they have someone trained to fit people on bikes.  Most of us who have ridden a lot have faced these and other aches and pains.  The worst thing is to ignore it, keep riding, and hope it goes away. 

Good luck.  You can get this worked out and get on with the touring! 

Gear Talk / Re: B.O.B. trailers
« on: September 18, 2009, 09:26:08 pm »


I'll roger that.  We towed a BOB to Grand Canyon with a Tandem Two'sDay.  Poor choice.  We then bought a two-wheel trailer.  It worked much better, no wig-wagging back into the bike.

Yup!  The Nomad's the one for me.  It is also easier to access your stuff and stands up by itself.  I've never used the one-wheeled types, but have toured with people using them, and it seemed to me (and even them) that the two-wheeled Nomad was the better choice for tracking and convenience.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Anacortes-Seattle, the long way ...
« on: September 17, 2009, 12:52:36 am »
The San Juan Islands are a great idea, as mentioned by FredHiltz.  This week, it may be wet Fri-Sat, and should get better late Sat and Sunday.  The San Juan area is drier than most of the  Western Washington due to the rain shadow provided by the Olympic Mts. 

I have ridden around the Oylmpic Peninsula, mostly on the main highwayt 101.  It was a great ride of 322 miles.  It will probably be quite wet Fri-Sat, especially on the western parts.

You can also ride from Anacortes down Whidbey Island, another rain shadow area.  On Whidbey, you can take a ferry across to Port Townsend. and then work your way back to Seattle by, for instance Bainbridge Island and Windslow ferry.  Check the maps, ask locals, etc.  This is all great biking country, when not too wet.

Have fun!

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