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@nlerner visits the PNW...and wants to ride to Canada

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@nlerner visits the PNW...and wants to ride to Canada

Old 10-25-22, 10:40 AM
  #101  
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There must be something fishy going on. I had some killer Pacific Coast clam chowder for dinner last night. 😋😍

It's definitely changing seasons on us, too. I had to break out the down vest last night.
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Old 10-25-22, 11:18 AM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by nlerner
I can tell you that I was nekid under my clothes.
That's good to know.

Originally Posted by nlerner



Loaded for the three days to Vancouver.
I like the bikepacking concept, as in just strapping a clean pair of undies to your top tube and venturing into the unknown, but that looks like a rather weighty affair. How does it ride compared to traditional panniers?
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Old 10-25-22, 07:48 PM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by non-fixie
I like the bikepacking concept, as in just strapping a clean pair of undies to your top tube and venturing into the unknown, but that looks like a rather weighty affair. How does it ride compared to traditional panniers?
Well, I’ve only commuted with panniers, never toured, so I can’t compare. The Black Mountain handles that attached gear really well, which might be specific to that bike as opposed to a general rule. @gugie opted for a front bag with everything but the kitchen sink packed therein (though I wouldn’t rule that out).

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Old 10-25-22, 09:48 PM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by nlerner
@rccardr had some serious handling problems with his Davidson.
The headset adjustment didn't take care of it? Does he need @gugie to perform an emergency fork re-raking?
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Old 10-25-22, 10:42 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
The headset adjustment didn't take care of it? Does he need @gugie to perform an emergency fork re-raking?
He just got fed up and tossed it into the Puget Sound at some point.
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Old 10-25-22, 10:54 PM
  #106  
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For some reason, I didn’t take many pics today, but I’ll share what I have. Four of us ventured from Port Townsend to Bellingham, WA, a 62-mile course that wasn’t quite as hilly as previous days, but also featured some very strong winds. When that was at our backs, life was good. When not, we suffered. Fortunately the wind was at our backs for most of the last 15 miles. We were also lucky in that the rain held off all day until the last 15 minutes of our ride. It was overcast and quite cool all day, but that was good riding weather. A few pics:


The view from Deception Pass.

Another view from Deception Pass.

VRJAKE and Northbend contemplate the route.

We actually passed over this bridge.

And a bonus is this screen shot from @VRJAKE from his ridewithgps app, displaying his route on Sunday as we made our way around Bainbridge Island. He clearly out in a lot more miles than the rest of us.
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Old 10-26-22, 08:41 AM
  #107  
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Wellyeahbut, most of that is water miles, from sitting on a ferry. 😋😁😉

Yep, that wind can make you cuss at times. It's called "railing at the wind". 😁
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Old 10-26-22, 10:43 PM
  #108  
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Final day of this tour featured @northbend and me making the journey from Bellingham to Vancouver, BC. Our 68-mile route featured lots of farmland, a reasonably friendly border crossing (if you consider a full body cavity search friendly), and about 15 or so miles on the BC Parkway, a green space path underneath the light rail line that just about brought us to Vancouver city center. Once again, the rain held off until we were just about finished, and it was even sunny for a good chunk of the morning.

I likely haven’t pointed out previously that @northbend was on his Woodrup tourer, built by Kevin Sayles only four years ago but certainly featuring lots of C&V features, e.g., lugs, steel, box lining, downtube shifters, fenders, lights.

The view at the start alongside Lake Samish.


We waited a really long time for this light to change.


Matt on the Allen Fraser Bridge.


We made it!
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Old 10-27-22, 12:09 AM
  #109  
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Freakin' awesome, guys. Congrats on completing your journey! 😁👍😁

It gives you a real sense of accomplishment, to actually do it, rather than just think or talk about it, huh? 😉

You guys are WAY faster than I am, too. I can get some miles in, but way slower. 🙄😉
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Old 10-27-22, 08:23 AM
  #110  
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Great stuff! Thanks for sharing.

Safe travels home all.
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Old 10-27-22, 10:24 AM
  #111  
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Neal Lerner, weather god

Perusing this thread, you'll note that the weather forecast from Seattle to the Canadian border was for rain, then more rain, followed by showers. Neal's rain cancelling powers were put to test. Here are the results:

Friday it rained cats and dogs. Luckily this was our travel day, @rccardr and @nlerner flew in from the east coast, @Andy_K took a late train from Portland, myself, @SquireBlack and @VRJAKE drove up from Portland. @northbend hunkered down in Northbend, WA checking out the window to see when the deluge would stop. Bottom line, there was no riding on Friday, so the rain didn't count against Neal's streak.

Saturday most of us rode around Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish on a wonderful MUP, abou 50 miles worth, plus some miles on regular roads. We did have some showers early on, but the last 2/3 were dry. We even saw some sun now and then peeking through the clouds.

Sunday was Mr. Matt's Toads wild ride around Bainbridge Island. UP and DOWN and UP and DOWN, but I didn't recall any rain that day, perhaps a sprinkle now and then.

Monday we left Seattle, took the ferry to Bainbridge Island again, and headed due north. We got dumped on for about 15 minutes north of Oak Harbor somewhere, but it dried out the rest of the day, so much so that I had forgotten about the rain earlier in the ride, and the sun came out for the final 5 miles on a wonderful little MUP hugging the waterline into Port Townsend.

Tuesday looked to be troublesome. Predictions all week showed up to nearly 3/4" of rain that day. Leaving the hotel in Port Townsend, Neal stopped, stared at the sky, and did this.


All day long it looked like it was ready to pour. We pushed hard knowing it could start coming down hard any minute. Matt stopped a few times to adjust our route to shave off a mile or two here and there, leaving a more scenic route for a direct one. With about 10 miles to go we hit a straight section that was net downhill. For once on this trip I fired up the diesel and pushed with max effort until we came to the turnoff for Lake Samish, where Neal had rented an Airbnb for the night. Somewhere a few miles from the house a light rain started, but we pulled in to the finish line for the day without getting soaked.

Neal and Matt continued on to Vancouver B.C. the next day and reported dry riding. The rest of us drove back to Seattle (Doc rented a minivan) and immediately hit a squalor. We were worried about the guys riding north so I looked at the weather radar, which showed a big green cloud over the southern part of Lake Samish, but nothing to the north. Neal has already reported about their dry ride into Vancouver.

So, grading on the curve, I give Neal a solid A on rain avoidance. It was a huge ask for him to completely eliminate all the forecasted rain, he did the best he could, and overall I didn't feel like rain affected our riding much at all.

Bottom line, if you want a tour and you're worried about rain, invite Neal.
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Old 10-27-22, 07:08 PM
  #112  
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Well done lads, glad to see it was a success.

Neal is the anti-doppelgänger (is that a thing Dr Lerner?) to the grumpy truck driver in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who thinks it’s always raining everywhere he goes in Europe, but it’s really just raining on him.
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Old 10-27-22, 08:00 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs
Well done lads, glad to see it was a success.

Neal is the anti-doppelgänger (is that a thing Dr Lerner?) to the grumpy truck driver in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who thinks it’s always raining everywhere he goes in Europe, but it’s really just raining on him.
Nice use of the umlaut. I think @Andy_K perceived the same thing awhile back. The grumpy truck driver thing, not the umlaut.
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Old 10-28-22, 05:35 AM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by gugie
Nice use of the umlaut.
You can thank Tim Cook for that. The iPad suggested and filled it in for me.
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Old 10-28-22, 08:00 AM
  #115  
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Are we talking Joe Btfsplk?

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Old 10-28-22, 12:13 PM
  #116  
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Don't have a lot to add here as the rest of the lads have covered pretty much everything. The Davidson did indeed receive The Curse of the Touring Gods somewhere over the continental US on our way from VA to WA. As a result, it refused to hold anything resembling a straight line after post-flight assembly in Seattle. Many theories as to why, but by the third day and 150+ miles I was so mentally and physically exhausted trying to keep things somewhere between traffic on the left and the verge on the right that I called an audible and hitched a ride into Port Townsend (thanks to fellow BF member and all-around Good Samaritan Bill Abbey) and rented a minivan the following morning in Coup Ville. So, my last day was behind the wheel, not behind bars, which allowed some opportunity for exceptional scenery viewing, as visit to Evil Bikes in Bellingham and accumulating provisions for the lake house.

We shall see what the Davidson has to say for itself once cleaned and reassembled here in VA.


View from the end of the pontoon bridge

Eating. Again. We did a lot of that cuz we burned a lot of calories keeping warm and semi-dry.

Beware of Hooligans on the ferry to Bainbridge Island!



Just a taste of the amazing scenery along the coast
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Old 10-28-22, 01:17 PM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by gugie
Perusing this thread, you'll note that the weather forecast from Seattle to the Canadian border was for rain, then more rain, followed by showers. Neal's rain cancelling powers were put to test. Neal stopped, stared at the sky, and did this.


I give Neal a solid A on rain avoidance. It was a huge ask for him to completely eliminate all the forecasted rain, he did the best he could, and overall I didn't feel like rain affected our riding much at all.

Bottom line, if you want a tour and you're worried about rain, invite Neal.
I'll add that Neal and I stopped at a RR crossing somewhere north of Bellingham. A long freight train straddling the road in front of us, the engine idling a few tanker cars to the right of the intersection.
We wait and wait...no movement. I'm starting to entertain thoughts of walking around the train and Neal speaks up asking why can't the train just back up a little to let us through as it's obvious it's not going anywhere soon.

...suddenly the engine revs up and slowly backs out of the intersection allowing the gates to open letting us through.

Neals mojo is real. I am sure of it.
I rode 4 days with him on this trip - never seeing much rain at all even though the forecasts were predicting it every day.
I pack up and ride by myself to the Train Station on Thursday while Neal is at his conference. What do I get? A blustery soaking rain.
Coincidence? I think not!
Coincidence? I think not. Proof that Neals weather Mojo is real by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr
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Old 10-28-22, 01:29 PM
  #118  
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For those wanting to try touring but are afraid to ask...

Credit card touring removes the issue of bringing a tent, sleeping bag, and cooking gear. With somewhere around 10 extra pounds you can ride for weeks from hotel to warmshowers to friend's house. Your kit can go on the front, the rear, or balance between the two.

Something or another is stopping you? Here's some examples of how to cope.
"It might be too cold" - Last Winter Tour of the Willamette Valley, morning temps were in the 20's, highs in the 40's. Start later when the temperatures get warmer.
"It might be too hot" - Summer Tour of the Willamette Valley, highes in the 90's, last day hit 100. Start early and beat the heat.
"It might be too rainy" - Good rain gear helped out on this trip. Or just bring Neal.
"I might not be able to keep up" - Well, if @northbend is pulling the train, that's a real issue, except he always stopped at the top of the hill or at turns so nobody got lost. Touring isn't racing, you ride at your own pace. No one wants to drop you. I've waited on others, and been waited on many times. @VRJAKE's friend Ben joined us on that tour this last summer and commented that we really weren't riding that fast - he was worried about keeping up. We stop, take pictures, get coffee, (ahem) water trees along the way, stop for snacks and lunch, and generally just keep moving along till we get to our destination.
"Credit card touring sounds expensive" - It's not as cheap as camping, but if you don't want to sleep on the ground, joining with a group really lowers the cost. Shared hotel rooms means you can budget $50 or so a night. If you have friends or relatives along the way you can crash with them. Ferries and trains can get you out of expensive urban areas. They're the "hamburger helper" of credit card touring.

If you're a newbie to touring, join up with some experienced riders and they'll show you the ropes.
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Old 10-28-22, 01:41 PM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
That little spur of the Lake Wa trail from Hamlin/E Park toward Lake Wa Blvd has been closed for months. Been a real pain.

From the Montlake Bridge riding south, I've just been staying on the Montlake Blvd sidewalk past all that 520 construction, then turning left on Lake Wa Blvd.

Going south, I get off on the newish and beautiful Arboretum Trail (via 26th ave E and the footbridge), because it's uphill and I don't want to hold up traffic. But going north, I stay on Lake Wa Blvd the whole way, 'cause it's sooo fast and fun.
Belated thanks for this tip. We were ready for it when it came, otherwise we would have been riding in circles for awhile.
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Old 10-28-22, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
For some reason, I didn’t take many pics today, but I’ll share what I have. Four of us ventured from Port Townsend to Bellingham, WA, a 62-mile course that wasn’t quite as hilly as previous days, but also featured some very strong winds. When that was at our backs, life was good. When not, we suffered. Fortunately the wind was at our backs for most of the last 15 miles. We were also lucky in that the rain held off all day until the last 15 minutes of our ride. It was overcast and quite cool all day, but that was good riding weather. A few pics:


The view from Deception Pass.

Another view from Deception Pass.

VRJAKE and Northbend contemplate the route.

We actually passed over this bridge.

And a bonus is this screen shot from @VRJAKE from his ridewithgps app, displaying his route on Sunday as we made our way around Bainbridge Island. He clearly out in a lot more miles than the rest of us.
What Neal neglected to mention that his top speed was just shy of Mach 7.
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Old 10-28-22, 02:04 PM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by gugie
.... otherwise we would have been riding in circles for awhile.
That'll happen too, if you tour enough. 🙄😁😉

The last time I rode a ferry up there, to Vashon Island, 3 Orca whales put on a little show for us passengers. But those guys are fairly small, they get bigger ones sometimes, and a lot of whales like "playing" around the ferries. 😎

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Old 10-28-22, 04:16 PM
  #122  
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These guys are some of the nicest folks you could ever share a ride with.

I drove into Seattle on Sunday to lead them around Bainbridge Island.

Wanted to make sure they got to ride under Pike Place Market via Post Alley on the way to the Ferry.

The Gum Wall is one of Seattle’s offbeat attractions and it makes a great backdrop for a photo.

Bubble Gum Wall, Post Alley by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr

Arrival at Bainbridge, blue skies courtesy of Dr. Lerner

Arriving at Bainbridge Island by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr

After having second breakfast at Blackbird Bakery, we ride mostly winding rural roads around the Island. So close to the bustling metropolis and yet, so far away…

Seattle View from Bainbridge Island. by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr

It’s already been mentioned that it is hilly and by the end of the day most decided to call Andy to drive down and pick them up from the ferry dock when we arrived in Seattle.

Neal and I decided to ride (race) back to the Rental House and see if we could get there before the others..

We took the most direct route back to improve our chances. This means a painfully steep climb on Yesler Way. The climb lets up as you cross over I5 giving us a moment to catch our breath and take in the view of Beacon Hill and the old VA Hospital.

The old VA Hospital in Seattle by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr

We ‘won’ our little race back to the house.

Monday, I drive back into Seattle, parking my car at my nephews house on Capitol Hill and ride over to the Rental house, folks packing up getting ready to go. Our numbers down to Mark, Neal, Doc, John and myself for the ride up to Port Townsend for the night. This is when Doc’s bike problems became apparent to everyone and he met a trail angel while having lunch in Port Gamble who later ended up giving him a ride from Port Ludlow into Port Townsend. We all felt pretty bad for Doc having to abandon but also a feeling of relief as you could see the strain it was taking on him trying to control his bike.

Shadows were getting long by the time we got within sight of our destination. The weather had held out for us and we had been keeping up the pace hoping to get into town so Mark could find replacement Brake Blocks. We did stop for a short steamy breather by the Townsend Pulp Mill before riding the last few miles on a rail trail skirting the shoreline into town.

Letting off some steam by the Pt. Townsend Pulp Mill by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr

The trail into Pt. Townsend by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr
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Old 10-28-22, 04:20 PM
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Doc made arrangements to have a Rental van delivered to the Coupeville ferry dock on Whidbey island Tuesday morning so another late start. After unloading off the Ferry, we got a final group shot before leaving Doc behind for his Rental. We’ll see him later tonight in Bellingham.

Day 2 start from the Coupeville Ferry Dock by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr

We revised our route to make up some time. Soon we are in Oak Harbor and Mark has found a kindred spirit in a Bike shop there. He plops down on the shop floor and replaces his brake blocks and the shop owner and him begin talking shop. Uh Oh! This could take a while…. (It didn’t - whew!)

Gugie replaces worn brake pads and swaps trade show stories with the shop owner. by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr

With new brake pads, Mark is ready to roll. Soon we are crossing the bridge at Deception Pass.

Mark by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr

Deception Pass by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr

A weather front is moving in, temperatures drop and the winds pick up after lunch. I know the next section of Highway 20 was gonna be harsh with traffic so we took some backroads to avoid the worst of it. We search for and find USBR 10 route signs that help us get safely across the high bridge over the Swinomish Delta. The concrete wall separating us from the Traffic Lanes on the bridge helped block the gusty 20+ MPH side winds as we made our profiles as low and small as possible on the lee side 80 feet above the water.

We revised our route again once it became apparent we were running out of daylight. We’ll have to save the scenic Chuckanut Drive for another day. Our new course being shorter with fewer road sections that will take us into the teeth of the wind. We arrive at the rental house at Lake Samish before dark and just as the rain begins.

Doc….God bless him, has prepared a cheese plate and beer for our arrival.

It rains overnight but stops when Neal and I get underway for the trip to Vancouver. The roads are wet and the shoulders messy with biomass knocked down in the wind the day before. Thank you fenders! The bikes stay dry and relatively clean.

Day 3 start at Lake Samish, Bellingham. by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr

The route north is relatively flat and we make good time to the border. As you can see, we are happy that Border inspection didn’t include cavity searches :-)

No cavity searches at Border Inspection by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr

Straight off, I gotta say it was a pleasure riding with Neal into Canada. He’s game for any challenge that we encountered.

One rather wet trail section by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr

Crossing the Fraser River by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr

It’s amazing how extensive the bike infrastructure is in BC. Signposted bike routes, paths, ramps and dedicated traffic lights from the border all the way to Downtown Vancouver. The BC Parkway in particular was very cool, snaking along underneath the elevated skytrain taking us into the City at times felt like an urban flow trail. No pictures because I was enjoying it so much.

End of the line was the Sheraton Hotel at Wall Center downtown where his Conference was being held.

Our digs for the night in Vancouver by Matthew Pendergast, on Flickr

The weather got really raw later that night and it didn’t stop the next day when it was time for me to catch the train back to Seattle. Wet ride to the Train station in Vancouver, wet night ride from King Street Station in Seattle back to my car on Capitol Hill. Of course it was to be so! Neals not riding today.

Last edited by northbend; 10-28-22 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 10-28-22, 05:15 PM
  #124  
nlerner
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Great travelogue as alway, Matt. It was sunny today in Vancouver though I didn’t ride!
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Old 10-28-22, 05:17 PM
  #125  
SurferRosa
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Originally Posted by northbend

Nice pics. Especially like this one ^.

So, what was the general route from Port Townsend?
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