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Messages - awbikes

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General Discussion / Re: Amtrack Question Seattle Area
« on: March 08, 2012, 10:28:40 pm »
Cgarch, thanks for the suggestion, your recommendation may make things easier but I have a few questions. I will have to assemble my bike for the trip from the Seattle station, however I seem to recall the Cascade will allow me to roll it on for the trip to Vancouver. Is this correct? Also how is the neighborhood around the Seattle station. I would probably spend the night at a HiSeattle hostel.

General Discussion / Amtrack Question Seattle Area
« on: March 07, 2012, 08:13:17 pm »
Planning to take the Coast Starlight into Seattle. Then Amtraks bus transfer to Vancouver. The layover is only 30 minutes and I will have two bikes to put together. Question is, can I just take my boxed bikes and put them on the bus and go? Is the bus station at Vancouvers Pacific Central Station the type of place I will feel comfortable assembling bikes at my midnight arrival time? Last question, I have a two mile bike ride from Vancouvers Pacific Central Station to my accommodations is that area safe in the wee hours?

Classifieds / Re: For Sale: ACA Maps
« on: March 02, 2012, 09:59:05 pm »
Interested in Pacific Coast map 1 and So. Tier 6 and 7. Will you discount for purchasing three maps?

Classifieds / Re: Southern Tier Maps
« on: March 02, 2012, 08:05:33 pm »
Have you sold your maps?

General Discussion / Re: self-contained/credit card
« on: March 01, 2012, 06:16:27 pm »
I have had success with credit card tours up to seven days long by reserving rooms in advance however, if you don't make your mileage on any given day your whole sched. is off. Most places allow 24 hour cancelation without charge however once you are off sched. and have to reschedule all stays and may meet with no vacancy's. This type of touring can be a challenge and stressful. Another factor is; in many area's lodging is scarce and cheaper hotels at times do not provide the most inviting facilities and customers. As far as any support, when you are on your own you are truly alone and need to be confident on your ability and have a bail-out plan. (someone to call, access to rental car, bike repair etc.)

Gear Talk / Re: Chain selection
« on: February 27, 2012, 09:14:09 pm »
In answer to DaveB question about mileage; I have 2000 miles on existing chain, I have cleaned it every 500 miles and wipe it down with a rag about every 250 miles. Initially I used an oil based lube then went to wax. The chain gauge shows I'm at .75. I have only been caught in rain twice so overall I think the chain has not seen excessive service.

Gear Talk / Chain selection
« on: February 27, 2012, 09:50:27 am »
Its time to replace the chain on my bike. I know this may be a somewhat subjective issue but which chain should I buy? I would like to go SRAM because I like their connector link. Are they fully compatible with the existing Shimano drive line? Next question is price. I noticed  thru Nashbar  SRAM chains for 9 speeds run from approx. 15.00 for a basic chain to 58.00 for a hollow pin design. There are also chains in between those prices. If it's an issue I,m a light tourer generally 30 LBS of gear on flat terraine, paved. I've also noticed there are other brands out there (BBB and Wipperman) whats the difference. I guess I could stick with Shimano but they have different grades also. How does one choose.

General Discussion / Re: Travel info Portland to Seattle
« on: February 24, 2012, 09:40:47 am »
It's interesting how plans will change when you get info from those in the know. I believe we will now take train to Vancouver BC and ride the ACA route to Portland. I am not adverse to deviating off the ACA route so any additional input is welcome. Thanks again to all.

General Discussion / Travel info Portland to Seattle
« on: February 20, 2012, 11:36:57 pm »
Can anyone give route info for riding from Portland to Seattle. Traffic, scenery ,hills, shoulders, bike lanes etc. how about weather also for first week of June. I am from Florida and am unfamiliar with area, I plan to be in san francisco will Amtrack to Portland and then ride north.

Gear Talk / removing tabs on fork
« on: January 29, 2012, 08:18:21 pm »
I frequently remove my front wheel for transport and would like to make the job less of a hassle by removing the little tabs or nubs at the lower end of the fork. I seem to have heard they are unnecessary and are only there to reduce the manufactures liability.  I had several bikes from the 1980-90's that did not have them.

Routes / Re: touring route for california
« on: January 25, 2012, 07:13:19 pm »
Thanks to all the info. it should be helpful and is a lot to digest. It sounds like I have my work cut out for me. Still  undecided if I will stay local or do a 3-4 day trip to Sonoma county then over to Amtrack and go to Seattle.

Routes / Re: touring route for california
« on: January 21, 2012, 10:03:56 pm »
Hey Raybo thanks for the info. it is helping me formulate a plan. We have been to San Fran once and driven the pacific highway so that experience and what you have said tells me we only want to spend a little time on it. We are not really into wine but thought wine country would be scenic and worth a look. Mainly we are interested in the open road, scenic countryside and quaint towns with great coffee shops and if we are lucky not too many tourists. I guess what we saw of Calif. when we were there two years ago has made us want to return. By the way the reason for San Fran is to fulfill an obligation we have there and then hit the road. Also we will be bringing our own bikes.

Routes / Re: touring route for california
« on: January 20, 2012, 09:18:54 pm »
Hey Craig thanks for the assist. Will be staying in hotels and using  the"warm showers" network. I was thinking of being on the road ten to twelve days straight perhaps making a loop of maybe 4 to 5 hundred miles and ending back in San Fran. Time of year will be first two weeks in June. Would like to sample the coastal road some but wife is a little intimidated by it.

Routes / touring route for california
« on: January 19, 2012, 09:57:12 pm »
I have 14 days to tour using San Fran. as a starting and ending point. Any recommendations for cities to visit and roads to take/avoid. I need to include wine country in the route. A loop would be preferable. Would like to ride approx 50 miles a day as I am looking to do some visiting and not just put on the miles.

General Discussion / bike travel in cuba
« on: November 05, 2011, 07:41:45 pm »
Can anyone provide info on either self directed touring or a reasonable tour company in Cuba. I did some checking on the internet and what I found was expensive and was more of a biking vacation than touring. Also I know visiting Cuba is restricted for U S citizens but I heard there is an organization that will facilitate travel there based on some type of cultural or humanitarian excahnge.

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