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Topics - neil

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General Discussion / San Juan Islands - what's to like?
« on: September 12, 2018, 02:53:10 am »
OK, I'm from England, but have cycled and led groups for over a year in the States. There are many many places I've enjoyed and would return. I've also had the good fortune to cycle maybe 60 countries around the world.
San Juan Islands??
San Juan itself was a disappointment. There are a few State Parks with beach and coastal access, a stretch of maybe 1/2 mile where the island has bought the coast. The rest is all trees and rooftops and fences of folks who have staked out their piece of land with all sorts of signage. It was pretty dull
Lopez was better, at least you could see a bit more coast
Orcas, up the middle, no shoulder, through farmland, saved only by a great climb up o Mount Constitution.

The area has been described as in the best 50 places to cycle, whoever coined that hasn't been very far in my opinion, Montana for example is far better

As a group we have spent 3 weeks cycling Seattle to Vancouver. In my honest opinion the process of people buying up coastal land, erecting high fences or hedges and stealing the views is seemingly everywhere. Combined with lots of Douglas Firs has in my opinion spoilt an area that should be great for cycling. I take maybe 40 images a day, on several days I took 1 maybe 2 that's how dull it was.

A few months ago there was a great article in Adventure cycling where the hyperbole of touristic prose was questioned, simply saying 'we were disappointed' We need more journalism like that because time is short and we need honesty to choose the best places


General Discussion / Hurricane Ridge - Washington State - issues
« on: September 05, 2018, 10:01:36 pm »
Not sure what to do about this. I have reported to the State Park via E mail but no response
We are 10 very experienced cycle tourists and in that we have been to an awful lot of places and regularly use bikes. We took a day trip up the Hurricane Ridge last week with minimal luggage, no issues going up.
On the way down the last 5 miles has just be resurfaced, glassy lovely tarmac. However not so go for 3 if not 4 of us.
3 people had bikes that developed severe shimmying, to such an extent that one person fell doing about 25 miles an hour. My bike felt distinctly odd almost as if a side wall was about to go.
Now 1 is unlucky but 4 of us? In 2 cases this had never happened before (shimmying), one is in his 70's.
There is a sign at the top of the new section saying 'Motorbikes use extreme caution'
So being almost the very first down this new section and many cyclists taking this 18 mile climb on, will we be the first of many and can someone raise this as an issue or are we alone??


Routes / Washington Parks Route - what's it really like?
« on: December 04, 2017, 06:44:06 am »
2 issues ago, really refreshing to read a review on an ACA route that basically said 'You know, this section isn't great'

I'm looking at going along route 101 to the West of the Olympic National Park and have read 3 reviews. 2 say trees, trees, trees. The other says there are some views south of Quinault

Is it true then that this section is
1) Mostly forest views for 2-3 days (beach section excluded)
2) Simply a 60mph single highwayed road (2 way traffic) with few places to stop

If it is please tell me now as spending 3 weeks in this area in September and would rather start by taking the ferry to the north from Seattle and going in and out of Prt Angeles where the views may? be better and there is more fixed accommodation


General Discussion / Amtrak - Vancouver (Canada) to Seattle
« on: October 09, 2017, 10:26:31 am »
12 of us are flying into Seattle from England, cycling to Vancouver via the Olympic National Park, Suan Juan Islands and other glorious places.
My question is
'Will Amtrak take 12 bikes together on the same train'
I seem to recall there is a 10 bike limit on a train
I'm 99% sure we don't need to box them.

Any links to a website would be appreciated

General Discussion / Case for flying WITHIN airline sizes
« on: May 18, 2017, 12:07:54 pm »
I have an Enigma titanium bike that has couplings and has flown all over the world and it fits beautifully into a hard case (the length and breadth are the same, so can squeeze a 700c wheel into it.

The hassle is the weight. The bike weighs 8.5kg, the case 8kg and by the time you fit a few other things in you are up to the 23kg max that most airlines require (Emirates is 30kg)

The obvious step is to reduce the weight of the case. Can anyone suggest a supplier? I know it sounds profligate but money no object.


Routes / Atlantic Coast - In the area of Bogue Sound
« on: July 24, 2015, 12:47:36 pm »
19 years ago we tandemmed up the East Coast using the excellent Mountaineers book. This was before Adventure Cycling routed it.
Roll on 19 years and I take cyclists from England all over the world, but do a USA tour once a year. Next year I intend doing Wilmington to Washington so have Atlantic Coast map 4 to look at.

Does anyone know why from Swansboro the route follows the busy route 24 to loop through Newport, effectively cycling north of Bogue Sound?

The alternative is to take route 58 going along the Emerald Isle, recrossing the sound, heading through Morehead City and Beaufort to take route 70 to rejoin at Bettie?

There are other anomolies too. Instead of taking the road through Fort Lejeune, it heads through Jacksonville which is awfully busy

There are other smaller ones too. Coming into Swainsboro along route 1434 the route joins the busier route 24 earlier than it could

 It's all a bit odd and to me the book has a far better route.


Routes / Atlantic Coast ride
« on: May 20, 2015, 10:28:10 am »
19 years ago we spent 3 months cycling the whole Atlantic Coast following the Mountainers guide. We went south to North, logic being, setting of in spring meant we were following the good weather and the prevailing winds are Southerly.

Looking to take a group back next year, Wilmington to Washington, however ACA route runs North to South, why is that, or am I mistaken


Pacific Northwest / bicycle friendly accomodation in Portland
« on: October 22, 2014, 11:39:26 am »
Last piece of a large jigsaw for September 2015
Can anyone recommend
1) Cycle friendly accommodation in Portland where 12 of us can stay 2 nights after flying in from the UK and 1 night before leaving (I need to leave bike bags there)
2) A provider of transport for 12 people and 12 wrapped bikes from and too the airport in Portland in above accommodation

   Thanks in advance

Pacific Northwest / Three week tour of Oregon - How does this route look?
« on: October 08, 2014, 08:06:35 pm »
Following on from the transport question here's the route
It was put together via a request to Cycle Oregon
The coastal part is as they say in the UK a 'no brainer' I'm more interested in the return inland section, thoughts? I'm especially interested in views and in that I don't mean endless trees.


Day   Start   Finish       Miles   Lunch   Lodging   Notes
1   Portland   Vernonia        50   Banks   Coastal Mt Sport Haus Via Banks-Vernonia Trail
2   Vernonia   Astoria        61   Mist/Jewell Many Options   
3   Astoria   Garibaldi        59   Cannon Beach Several Options Via Oregon Coast Route
4   Garibaldi   Lincoln City   54   Pacific City Many Options   Via Oregon Coast Route
5   Rest Day in Lincoln City      Many Options   
6   Lincoln City Yachats        50   Newport   Several Options   Via Oregon Coast Route
7   Yachats   Reedsport        47   Florence   Several Options   Via Oregon Coast Route
8   Reedsport   Sutherlin         61   Elkton   Many Options   
9   Sutherlin   Cottage Grove 54   Drain   Village Green   
10   Rest Day in Cottage Grove      Village Green   Row River Trail
11   Cottage Grove Oakridge   60   Limited Options   Challenging climbing day
12   Oakridge   Belknap Springs   68   Belkanp Spr Resort (only)   Aufderheide Drive - challenging climbing day
13   Belknap Springs   Sisters   40   Dee Wright Obsv.   Many Options   McKenzie Scenic Pass
14   Rest Day in Sisters            Many Options   
15   Sisters   Madras         50   Terrebonne   Many Options   Via back roads
16   Madras   Maupin         67   Kah-Nee-Tah   Imperial River   Via Warm Springs Indian Reservation
17   Maupin   The Dalles      52   Dufur    Many Options   Via Deschutes River Road
18   The Dalles Cascade Locks 52   Hood River Several Options   Stretch on freeway
19   Cascade Locks Portland  50   Troutdale      Via Hist. Col Rver Hwy/Multnomah Falls

Pacific Northwest / Getting bikes from Vancover to Portland
« on: October 04, 2014, 09:22:41 am »
Attracted by Oregon, 12 of us are coming in September 2015 for a 19 day tour around Oregon from the UK.
We intend to start and finish from Portland.
The issue I have is getting the bikes too and from Portland from the United Kingdom
There are several options
1) Fly to Portland, however United charge an eye watering $200 dollars each way to transport the bikes.
2) Fly to Vancover with Virgin airlines who carry bikes free and then drive the bikes to Portland and back again. in effect I have a budget of less than $4800 dollars to do this for a 7 hour trip each way.

Does anyone have any suggestions please and if this includes a reliable contact/company or someone would like to do this with a large van then please let me know

      Neil Wheadon

Routes / Detailed maps
« on: October 04, 2012, 10:52:35 am »
Can anyone recommend a detailed map for cycling the Yellowstone area, New England, Colorado and California? (Yes they are a long way apart and so separate recommendations are needed!!)
In England we have 1:50.000 scale maps covering the whole country that are very good, but it's a smaller place.
I can find maps with a 1:750.000 scale and have cut up a Rand McNally in the past, but are there better ones out there?


Routes / When is the best time to visit Yellowstone
« on: July 20, 2012, 05:26:08 am »
I'm bringing 11-13 British cyclists to Yellowstone in 2013 and am unsure of the best time
2 choices
1) June, could be rainy
2) September, the recommended time I've read is the week before and after labour day
I intend to tour for 17-18 days, starting in Billings

I've cycled in the States a lot and last visited Yellowstone 15 years ago and it was fabulous

  Any ideas greatfully received
(Life member of Adventure Cycling - it's a wonderful organisation)

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