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Messages - pmhayden

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General Discussion / Re: San Juan Islands - what's to like?
« on: September 18, 2018, 12:21:58 am »
I live in NW Washington. Each place has its own background noise and view. Last cycle tour my friend and I took was to Orcas Island. We road the whole Island to Obstruction Bay, carried our gear a couple miles into the camp ground, and slept 50 feet from the salt water. The scenery from the roads is mostly woods and farmland. But the campground was just above the water. It’s all good.

My favorite ride is SR 20 over Rainy Pass to Winthrop. It’s not the best view of the North Cascade ranges. The view is blocked by lower mountains. But it’s still a great ride.

I cannot afford to go to Chile or the Alps, or Tuscany or Scotland. I get to ride here, and maybe in The Columbia wine country. But each region has its gems. I love this area for what it has to give. And I assume that every place has something to offer. Life is so good.

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General Discussion / Senior comeback
« on: August 14, 2018, 02:27:20 am »
I am 64. Trying to taper off work, and work only 2 days a week by next year. Its not the same as retirement, but it is nice.

I started riding again after 30 years off the bike, at age 58. It is interesting, at least to me, that I accept that I will never be great at anything again, but its still damn good to hike 12 miles or bike 60. I take it slow on purpose now. Not competing with anyone, least of all myself. The goal is to finish and have fun. I only regret not doing this earlier. Youth is wasted on the young.

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General Discussion / Re: Pedals Recommendation
« on: July 13, 2018, 01:37:09 am »
I bought Diety blade runners. They are a little pricy, but work fine. I feel as attached to them as to clipless. And its nice to get off the bike and walk into a store without the sound of the clips on the tiles. I am surprised how tight they grip the shoes even without clips.

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Gear Talk / Re: pants or lycra?
« on: June 12, 2018, 10:54:05 pm »
I think the key is to buy separate  liners for longer, looser shorts that are actually not mountain bike shorts.

That’s what I’ve been doing. Liner briefs under baggy shorts. But I’ve also found that I can ride in unlined poly/Lycra athletic briefs under baggy shorts on my Brooks. It works fine on moderate distances. I’m not sure if I would get saddle sores on a cross country trip. But I’m hoping I can ride without liners on tour. I hate the diaper feeling that lined shorts have.

3/4 length pants work.

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General Discussion / Road bike vs. Cyclo-cross bike
« on: March 28, 2018, 02:10:40 am »
I built a touring bike on a cyclocross frame. It’s a little shorter frame, and a little higher bottom bracket then a road bike. It’s also a steel bike. To be honest, no racer would ride that bike, it’s too heavy. But the geometry matches a cyclocross bike. Which makes the point that there is no one standard for a cyclocross bike. You need to look at each bike and see if you like it. But it does take 32 tires easily, and carries a lot of weight.

If I were buying a new bike, I would look at something like the Specialized Sequoia, or maybe the AWOL. My preference would be the Sequoia. The AWOL is over-built for my own style of riding. I think the gearing on the Sequoia needs to be a little lower than the factory puts out. The baseline Sequoia frame looks really good to me.

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General Discussion / Re: border crossing
« on: March 28, 2018, 01:59:37 am »
To be fair, I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad experience going over a border. But I always look like a boring middle class nerd. The first time I went into Canada alone, I was a 16-year-old kid on a bicycle. I had a pencil note from my father othat it was OK for you to travel over the border written on a half sheet of paper. I was told enjoyed my stay in Canada. The most recent time I went into Canada, I accidentally carried a box of 22 shells from a previous day of shooting. I declared them, assuming my truck would be search completely. The young lady in the booth told me to enjoy my stay in Canada. Coming back into the US has been the same experience. One guy asked if I knew my small town wrestling coach, who is a friend of his. But despite all that, I’m prepared to have my truck taken apart, and my bicycle handlebar search. Border patrol people are trained police officers, and they will write down every word you say, everything you do, in preparation for the court case. In addition, you are probably on camera the entire time they talk to you, even inside your car. Your best defense is to be exceedingly polite, called them sir or ma’am, and smile.

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Routes / Re: How to get home. Anacortes to NJ
« on: March 10, 2017, 12:02:48 am »
Lopez Island is super bike friendly, with lots of biker campsites too.

Stayed here on Lopez, rode around the island.  Buy some cheese and bread in the village grocery store, a bottle of wine. Ride again.

San Juan has more roads, and interesting historic parks.

Orcas is less populated,  but the shoulders are a bit narrow.

Anyway, if you do not need to go anywhere, but just want to ride, it is awesome. And not that expensive if you camp.

Routes / Deception Pass State Park, Washington
« on: January 14, 2017, 10:33:27 am »
"I assume it was a bridge or highway official, perhaps an overzealous one."

I am fairly sure it was just someone who did not like bikes, and was being an ass. People ride over the bridge all the time. The are no signs prohibiting bikes.

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General Discussion / Re: Passports?
« on: March 20, 2016, 08:37:14 pm »
It cost me $10 more to get an "enhanced" driver's license, which gets me into Canada and onto planes. The passport is just a chip, now days, anyway.

Colorado / Worst experience across the US was in CO
« on: March 05, 2016, 11:55:07 am »

Favorite rides to nowhere include Big Lake School to Lake Cavanaugh, Sedro-Woolley to Bellingham via the network of roads between I-5 and Hwy 9, the Skagit Flats North to Samish Island and Edison, South Skagit Hwy to Darrington, and of course, the Flats out to Deception Pass. But Hwy 9 North of Sedro-Woolley is a short cut for Canadian truckers to avoid the scales on I5, and South of Sedro-Woolley it is a collector arterial for the much regretted pop. growth from Boeing employees who have moved up here and commute to Everett. I remember riding to high school every morning on Hwy 9, no problems.

As for the population, there is some resentment by the natives for the newcomers who brought changes. This place was once a sleepy hollow. Its now a bedroom community to Everett and Bellingham, and we are no longer left alone. Where can you buy moonshine now? You are getting the blow back from that (middle finger, etc.). I miss the past, too, but there is not much we can do about it.

Colorado / Worst experience across the US was in CO
« on: February 29, 2016, 11:08:35 am »
Most of my touring has been in the NW.  I have found rural areas to be very friendly throughout WA, ORE, ID, and parts of Montana.  One place I've had some issues more than once is with drivers on HWY 9 north of Seattle, up near Sedro Wooley.  Drivers there have repeatedly roared by without moving over at all, giving the one finger salute, and blaring horns.  I will no longer spend time and money there.

I live in Sedro-Woolley. We are fairly friendly, but I can definitely see that happening. Hwy 9 is one of those country roads that looks rural, but has urban level traffic on it. Its a mess north of Big Rock to Sumas. You can avoid most of it on backroads. The county bike map is good.

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