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Messages - cgarch

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Routes / Re: Best source of information on Pacific coast route?
« on: March 16, 2011, 09:13:13 pm »
Well, it is really a great route with easy services. I've mentioned before and will do again, some of the best information on riding the coast is going to be found in journals at and specifically in the Pacific Coast section - Look that over  - you ought to find a lot of your questions get answered.

Pacific Coast in 2009

Edit - note too that there is now a road closure on CA 1 in Big Sur. In that area there are no detours other than to inland or see if you squeak through the trouble spots. Given the recent weather, the closure could last a while.

Gear Talk / Re: Front rack on a carbon fork?
« on: March 15, 2011, 12:17:52 am »
I've been faced with the same dilemma. Woundup, probably the best carbon fork manufacturer around, does make a CF fork for mounting a rack, in addition to v-brake and a disk brake mount. It's on my shopping list but going to have to wait until I have an extra $650 around - at least for the tandem version. I have a Tubus rack mounted on the rear of our tandem. The seat stays are around 17mm dia. and we've had no trouble with about 35 lbs of gear. Will get rack mounts added next winter. YMMV


See my post on your other thread. Just south of Pacifica.

Routes / Re: Good news about CA coast!
« on: February 26, 2011, 12:06:56 pm »
Devil's Slide is between GGB and HMB. It is just south of Pacifica and north of Montara.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Welcome to the Pacific Northwest Region
« on: February 22, 2011, 10:55:46 pm »
You might want to bring up a Google Earth map of the area and I think you'll understand why there is no way 'through' the park. The ACA route (and US 101 as well), at about ~100 ft to ~1200ft above sea level, circles the Olympic Mountains which at near 8000 ft in elevation would be a mighty stiff ride otherwise. There are spur roads into the park. Hurricane Ridge for one on the Pt. Angeles side I think might rise the highest ~5000 ft. Suggest just getting the National Park Service map would show you what roads and what trails exist along with a shaded relief map. It is a pretty area and worthy of the trip. Biking, AFAIK, is allowed in the park - but probably not on trails. Again check with NPS

Santa Rosa, CA

A guy called Ben Rowlands has written a free application for Crazyguyonabike members. It enables people to write their journal offline on their own netbook/laptop, and download it straight onto their Crazyguy journal.

This seems like a brilliant idea. You can do all the pictures and narrative just as it will appear on the journal page - connect up to the internet briefly and download a day/weeks worth of journal.

I think it is called: crazyguy-offline

Just my opinion, but why wouldn't you use CGOAB? The website gets a huge number of hits and you're in the company of world travelers, where many folks are more likely to see it. Plus somewhere in one of the topics is a discussion of what makes a good journal - people you meet, the various odd adventure, you name it. Photos of the people you meet, that which captures your eye, all those things that make a trip anything other than what you expected. Setting up a journal on CGOAB is pretty straightforward. Take a look at the featured journals for the best examples. How you write about your trip will make a world of difference too. Good luck . .


Depends where you start. I'm presuming that you're starting in SF - airport? Let us know and then we can suggest the corridor. Suggest you also look at this thread.

General Discussion / Re: New to downhill grades
« on: February 10, 2011, 12:55:06 am »
Most western grades are limited to 6% or so . .snip

If only that were true. While that may be good for parts of WA and OR, it isn't so in California and it isn't true for the Cascades, Sierra, the Rockies, and a lot of other places. Some of the steepest grades on the Pac Coast route are up to 15% in CA. My recollection too is that the Three Capes route near Cape Lookout in OR has quite a bit of 12%.

Fred Hiltz's comments are spot on IMO. I tour with my SO on our tandem and bob. I have deep-V black rims with both caliper and disc brakes, and in our experience descending fully loaded (neighborhood of 100LBs in addition to us - 375 lbs plus bike) have not had any issues with tube or tire failures (in spite of some bad tire choices). Since I can alternate between disc and calipers on the rear some of the over-heating issues are significantly moderated. The only time I cooked a rear disc was an intentional test on a 20% grade in our area - but I still stopped. And unless I'm mistaken, most tandemnistas don't use a disc as a drag brake for that reason.

Perhaps more important is learning how to descend. I would strongly suggest reading the current article in Adventure Cyclist (Feb 2011) about cornering. It will help you learn to descend better. You're just going to have get used to the idea of going 45-55 mph on a downhill and learning how to moderate the rig into a corner. Sean Yates (of the 90's Motorola team) used to talk about sticking your elbow into a corner - try it, you'll find you go right around. Learning how to accept the speed and how to corner will instill you with the confidence you need to handle those wicked descents. After all, after the top you've earned that descent - learn to enjoy it.


Not complete for a while. See The only alternate I know of is to not go that way, but head down through the peninsula. Yep it is a tough nut but folks do ride it and survive.


Pacific Northwest / Re: How to Return to Start on one way tour?
« on: February 03, 2011, 03:49:23 pm »
Most folks have successfully used Amtrak to complete that loop. You would have to get over to Emeryville (BART or otherwise) to pick up the Coast Starlight to Portland. You might have to ride back to Astoria unless that's part of starting plan. That portion of the route has been extensively discussed by others. I've no experience flying with a bike but have done the Amtrak thing several times and highly recommend it (at least out here on the left coast). YMMV.

Santa Rosa, CA

Routes / Re: Reno into Denver/Boulder area
« on: January 10, 2011, 04:44:41 pm »
Not much to add other than yep, it is kind of early. I would have two observations on the proposed route from Baker to Delta and then from Delta to Helper. Baker to Delta is every bit as desolate as Baker to Milford with no services in between. You must be topped up as you leave the stateline (NV-UT) motel. My recollection is that you have some 60+ miles of pure unadulterated Utah desert - I've driven this twice. Second, I would question the route from Delta to Helper. By going north you should expect to encounter some heavy truck traffic on 6 from Spanish Fork, up and over Soldier Summit (elev. 7477) and down to Helper. I haven't ridden it, but I have driven both this and the alternate, around through Salina. If I were riding I would take the Salina route. Plus you'll be a little further south and possibly out of potential bad weather. Doesn't look to be much different mileage-wise. The fabulous red rock country on 50/70 would more than make up for riding in more of the bloody desert north of Delta.

Routes / Western Express - Shoe Tree is gone
« on: January 05, 2011, 12:31:11 pm »
The Shoe Tree, just east of Middlegate, NV on US 50, has been chopped down by vandals. One of the scenic spots of the trip, the tree was cut down some time 30-31 December 2010.

Santa Rosa, CA

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast - Rain or RV's, which is worse?
« on: October 20, 2010, 04:33:40 pm »
Hmm, I think that's a specious argument for not riding it. Sure traffic is heavy getting the through SF and the stretch to Half Moon Bay isn't the best, but after HMB, CA 1 is a gas. There is one side road to consider taking as well that takes you through the Gazos Creek area and off 1 for a bit. The tail wind to Santa Cruz is to die for (well almost). Getting through Santa Cruz is a little testing with a lot of twist and turns and traffic. South to Monterey isn't too bad, and after Monterey you're rewarded with Big Sur. I've lived in the Bay Area for most of my adult life and have ridden south from HMB at least once a year during the last 20 years to as far as SLO. I just don't see traffic in that area being any worse than any day in Lincoln, OR. A trip down the Pacific Coast isn't complete without the Big Sur stretch. Stopping in SLO makes more sense from that standpoint.

Santa Rosa, CA

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast - Rain or RV's, which is worse?
« on: October 15, 2010, 10:29:21 pm »
I agree with the other posters. Only comment I would add is that it rained really late this year so I would call this year a bit of an anomaly. In general the weather is good, though you should expect rain in Washington anytime. It just gets better going south. The only other concern is fog. Prepare yourself with a good blinking tail light for those occasions. We rode it in 2009 and in general had few problems with the nasty beasts. The worst area though was around Florence to Coos Bay on the weekend with the dune buggy haulers. Could have done without that. Another vote for mirrors as well. Camping at HB sites was a breeze. And as I have noted before, this has got to be one of the most pleasant of trips with plenty of HB campsites and easy access to services.


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