WASHINGTON STATE...augidog's map

Discussion in 'Travelling, Commuting & Safety' started by gone_fishin, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

  2. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Augie, over in travels and destinations you wrote:

    The cool thing about the forum is quickly finding out "real stories", and in "Cool Sites", srdavo and Dr. J. pointed out the Rif Addams "San Francisco to New York" story.


    I read it, but couldn't get past page 5, where the story stops near Evanston, Wyoming. Plotting it on a map, (without doing the "details" which avoid interstates), it looks like this:


    When I envision crossing from Atlantic to Pacific, my "crossing the Rockies" point was Las Vegas, New Mexico, as I read in Kit Carson biographies that this southernmost part of the "Blood Mountain Range" would be the easiest point to go "up and over", a very important consideration when contemplating a "solo" journey.

    To tell the truth, when our Arizona members mentioned 120 degrees in the summer, and I recalled the many times while growing up doing the Mojave Desert leg, right about then I started thinking "Great Lakes", and looping around the source of the Mississippi River up in Minnesota.

    Doing 3,000-4,000 miles, just not in an east-west direction.

    As to duplicating Lewis and Clark, I guess the biggest preventative is "barbed wire fences". Modern roads do not follow the old wagon trails, rather they reflect the "30 miles apart" layout of towns and cities, because horses could travel 30 miles in a day, and settlers tried to stay within 15 miles of a town so they could do a round trip in one day to "market".

    As to crossing the Cascades, Sierras and Rockies from your direction, I "heard" but have not verified, that some GEBE guys in Washington and Utah have been cache-ing gallons of gas in Idaho, and using moutain bikes, are able to traverse back and forth thru wilderness without seeing humans for days at a time. It WOULD take a joint effort to do such a thing, to leap frog and stash gallons of gas along the route.

    This may be a "myth", but that is what you would need to do for a Lewis&Clark type trek.

    One last comment about crossing the country in the "middle", as opposed to my southerly plan.

    The shortest route from Sacramento to Indianapolis is Highway 36, which I rode in Northern Kansas. This road WAS A PLEASURE. When I saw regular bike riders on the Interstate shoulder in Vail, I thought "this part could be done", to get into the Salt Lake Valley.

    But that was where my ideas stopped, I knew the Reno layout from my boyhood, and really thought Needles CA would a whole lot easier than Donner or Grants Pass.

    Where you could cross up north in Washington probably would be more difficult than either Donner or Grants Passes. That desolate part of Eastern Oregon would be intimidating also, the towns with gas and supplies look really far apart.

    When I look at where you are, and if I was thinking of doing a long ride easterly, crossing via Canada would probably look like a "pretty good" solution, because once you get over the Banff part of the adventure, it would be flatlands and mosquitos the rest of the way.......

    I'm going to e-mail Rif Addams, see if he'll give us some more input about long distance traveling.
  3. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    wow, great input, dude.

    i realize i wouldn't be able to exactly duplicate the route, i'd get as close as i could. my mtb frame, however, would allow me to use off-road trails whenever possible. i'm already quite experienced at roughing it solo, being a camper/hiker/bicyclist most of my life, not to mention i hitchhiked/backpacked almost the entire country in the late 70's/early 80's. if i can't carry it in my ALICE pack, i can't bring it. i'd use a rear rack only, for water & extra gas. i would love to have some company for this project, tho...

    i'm thinking a trip like this would require starting out in missouri at the earliest warm weather so i could hit the mountains in the height of summer.

    also, my meager veteran's check may dictate i seek some limited sponsorship.

    maybe i should motorize a pedal-powered keelboat, eh? :twisted:
  4. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Googling Lewis & Clark maps looks thusly:


    The Missouri-Montana leg looks like a breeze, after that is a mystery to me, I was a small child when our family did a Canada and back vacation, I remember a motel pool having very green water in Coure d' laine, or however you spell it... :cry:

    What we need is more forum members in that zone for advise. :idea:
  5. uncle_punk13

    uncle_punk13 Guest

    Hey augidog how 'bout this?

    I've been collecting stories about long distance moto-bike rides,
    I wish I could remember who this fella was, but he's from around here in WA-
    Here's his weekend trip over the cascades to Cle Elum:
    Maybe I should compile all these stories and print them out in a sort of book or something...

    Across the Cascades- 2004
    Dear Friends;
    For Labor Day weekend I wanted to go to Cle Elum, in Eastern Washington. I decided to take my Moto-Cycle, which was running nicely on (or about) its 10th tank of fuel. I hope my experience is helpful,
    so I offer an account of it.
    I live near sea level in Federal Way, Western Washington:
    That means an 80-mile ride with a 3000-ft MSL mountain pass in between.
    My mount is a Schwinn Mesa Runner that uses "26-inch" wheels (More on that later).
    On the day of departure, I made an important design change to my bicycle: I was on a check-out test ride, and I thought I detected a bad vibration coming from my rear wheel. I thought: "I might have set the rear wheel bearings too tight when I checked them,
    and they are about to DIE".
    With my departure time fast approaching, and fearing that the wheel bearings were about to fail, I decided to replace the
    26" 1.25" rear wheel with a 27"x1.25" wheel. A commitment to a fundamental, untested modification on such short notice is foolish enough, but it worked out well in the end.
    It was either that, or not go on this adventure at all. Those were my options, as I saw them. The worst that could happen, other than the usual bicycle repair issues, is that I would have to pedal.
    The 27-inch wheel makes a more efficient bicycle, diminishing
    the drive-chain rotations per mile (a real drag) by nearly 10%, while
    giving it a longer-legged, more satisfying pedaling speed, in my opinion.
    With the 26-inch wheel, if the bearings failed, I would find myself stranded with no rear wheel at all; I believe I made a good decision.
    Note: Precise measurements today shows that the 26"x1.25" wheel, a Kenda brand KWEST 100PSI, has an actual road-surface diameter of
    24-7/8 inches. (Go figure.) This means the 27-inch wheel
    (measurement=27.1/16 inches) gave me a 1.085 gearing increase.
    That's only about a 2 mph improvement, but I could feel it, and was satisfied.
    The 27-inch wheel was a CLOSE fit, clearing the caliper-mounting
    crossbar by something like 1/16th of an inch.
    But it worked, and worked well. Besides, it might do the valuable
    job of helping keep debris from sticking to my tire and brushing it off.
    The 27-inch tire was very worn. (This would become an issue later.)
    No problem! I happened to have a nearly new replacement tire right here, and I strapped it to my sleeping bag and took off on my journey.
    I would just use the old tire up, patch the tube, and replace it with the new tire. (Please pray for me once in a while?)
    Ok, so I was now underway, and it was 3:30PM already.
    My first goal was to find a way across the Cascades that did not involve using the I90 freeway, which appeared on the map to be the only way available. That is, without making a 100 mile detour.
    I would explore and investigate. When I got to Issaquah, I had dinner and conferred with some people who live there.
    It quickly became evident that there WAS no other way.
    It would soon be dark, and I would just have to make a run for it, using the freeway as sparingly as possible, somewhat vaguely
    resembling the free-yet-law-abiding-cyclist I wish I were.
    Somewhere before the town of North Bend,
    a Washington State Trooper (Read: "Law-Enforcement Anomaly: Enlightened Public-Safety Guardian.") pulled over ahead of me and put on flashing
    yellow lights. I continued past him, under leg-power,
    wondering what he was doing, if it had anything to do with me or not.
    He eventually stopped me and very decently informed me that my rear red reflector was missing from my bike rack. (It had vibrated off.) He gave me a reflective adhesive sticker (The kind they put on abandoned cars, it looks like a HUGE Vietnam service ribbon,
    except the green stripes are red ...) to make do until I could get a replacement. He also informed me that what I was doing,
    BICYCLING ON THE FREEWAY, WAS QUITE LEGAL; only where specifically POSTED OTHERWISE is it prohibited. Well, that was really good news!
    I wasn't going to get another ticket!
    But there was more good news: He told me of a little-known road
    (Old Hwy 10) that covers the last two-thousand feet of elevation increase to Snoqualmie pass. It is popular with cross-state bicyclists,
    and for good reason: It is a bit longer, but not as steep as I-90, which has an average 10% grade on the last five miles before the summit.
    He gave me a map of Hwy 10, checked the effectiveness of my abandoned-vehicle reflector and said goodbye. How can you be more of a friend to a stranger than that?!? I don't know the answer, but can't be very easy.
    Much obliged, Mr Trooper.
    Several miles later, my rear tire gave out while I was under power.
    I guess I need to tell you that it is much easier to immediately detect
    a bicycle tire blowout under leg power than under engine power.
    Make that NOISY engine power.
    As it was, slightly downhill, I may have ridden as much as a 1/4 of a mile before the thud-thud-thudding of the rear tube stem obviated that the end of the tire's long career was very, very near.
    Fortunately, as you may recall, I had come prepared with a backup tire. I walked about 1/4 mile back to the freeway overpass to patch the tube and to change the wheel.
    I was now in for three discoveries:
    DISCOVERY #1: The touring bicycle from which I had borrowed the 27-inch wheel had come from a thrift store. The previous owner had thoughtfully
    installed a super-thick thorn-resistant tube. Actually, that's a great idea for a moto-cycle! But it makes tire removal very... let's say it nicely, "inconvenient"; and time-consuming.
    And then it began to rain; again, no problem. I brought a lightweight dollar-store emergency poncho. It took me about 1/2 hour to get the tire off the rim, and another 20 minutes to get the new tire on, after patching the thorn-resistant tube.
    I then pumped it up to 40 psi. It held. Good! 60 psi?
    Then I made DISCOVERY #2: During the thud-thudding, the tube stem had been severely bruised, at 20 mph with my 190Lb muscular frame, (drumsticks, mostly) and 35Lbs of gear on top of it.
    The tube breathed its last, leaking AT THE STEM, rendering it virtually
    irreparable with my level of skill and lack of advanced alien technology.
    Taking stock:
    A) Location: 5 miles east of North Bend, on I-90="Middle of nowhere"
    B) Time: Late at night. Bedtime. I'm tired.
    C) Weather: Rain, 52 degrees F.
    D) What's The Problem?: Irreparable tube.
    E) Provisions: 1 Lb unopened packet of imitation crab meat (good!) 1/2 liter of bottled water(ok). Rainwater.
    F) Potential shelter: Nearby bridge, Small tent, Sleeping bag.
    Ok. Not so bad; actually cozy.
    Idea: "I'll cut the stem off of the tube, (to avoid damaging the rim) put it and the old tire back on the wheel, and motor back to North bend, where I will attempt to purchase a new tube in the morning."
    If the reader will recall, this was a THICK, beefy thorn-resistant tube.
    It acted 1/3 inflated, even when empty. I planned to ride it (and the old tire) to destruction or to North Bend-
    Whichever comes first.
    But then help arrived while I was putting the old, damaged tire/tube back on the wheel; a passing motorist offered me and my bike a ride
    back to town. I'm no fool, and I gratefully accepted. I drank my water, and drained my remaining fuel into the 1-liter bottle so I could lay my bike down without spilling gas in his truck.
    He knew the area well, but we could find no places in North Bend that were likely to sell an inner tube, so he generously took me another 15 miles on a back-track to relatively metropolitan Issaquah, WA.
    I got to spend the night on a clean, gravel-covered bike path.
    I ate my "crab meat", got some sleep, and waited for Fred Meyer to open in the morning.
    I bought two tubes, one regular, one self-sealing/thorn-resistant,
    and installed the thorn-resistant one. I also bought some more provisions, including another pound of imitation
    crab meat for emergency rations. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a rear reflector for sale; only battery-powered ones, which I consider relatively fragile and unreliable (Lose the batteries, and that's all, folks). There was some 3M reflective tape for sale, but it was white, and I didn't get it. I probably should have gotten it.
    I had at least 12 hours of daylight ahead, and I still had my "abandoned vehicle" sticker. I would keep looking in the towns ahead for a red reflector. I then installed the nearly new tire
    onto the bike for the very first time.
    It was then I made DISCOVERY #3: The new tire could not fit like the old worn tire did. The tire tread was too thick!
    As you may recall, I installed a nearly exhausted 27-inch tire with wheel, and that it barely cleared the frame by 1/16th of an inch.
    Well, with a brand-new tire, that 1/16th-inch CLEARANCE WAS GONE, and the tire was now BITING INTO the frame by about 3/32nds of an inch.
    See? I told you a last-minute design change was foolish. Was I not right? I know most of you probably don't like reading what it's like to be a moron. But it's for your own good. Really...
    I just want to share this experience with you because I think it has some legitimate value. I hope to make you think, so you need not repeat my mistake.
    What could I do? Use the old tire? Put a tire liner in it?
    It was a basket case and I did not want to use it again.
    What would you do? I can't know the answer to that, but here's what I did: I discovered, with a firm bit of torque, the wheel could still rotate, even though it was 1/32nd of an inch "into" the caliper
    bar. Obviously, given unlimited time, the rubber would wear away and, with the help of road grit and sand, eventually achieve a tiny
    clearance. I added a little (newly-purchased) chain lube to the tire to get it started. It worked. After a mile, my speed had increased to "miserable".
    After 10 miles, I could coast with mediocrity, and the tire had shed some black rubber fuzz on the caliper bar. I thought: "Wow! They sure make modern tires tough! This is taking FOR-EVER!" There was still plenty of tread, so all I lost was the brand-newness of the tire
    and it worked very well.
    I should point out that my wheels were extremely true, and that made a good difference, putting minimal stress on the wheel/spokes.
    True fact: Did you know you can actually "erase" CrO-Moly steel
    with enough miles of rubber tire?
    20 miles later, I was passing the previous night's point of furthest progress. At exit 47, just as the Trooper had advised, I left the freeway and found old Hwy 10. It was a pleasant ride to the summit.
    I started at about 1000 feet MSL, where my engine's performance was similar to that at sea-level, or Zero feet MSL. As I climbed on my way to 3100 feet, I noticed the engine losing subtle amounts of power.
    So I made up the difference by pedaling. Sorry, I wish I could provide numbers, but It's a subjective perception.
    Once I reached the summit, I was only 30 miles from my destination, and the remainder of the trip was uneventful and effortless: I made good time, largely downhill. When I got to lower altitude, the
    engine started getting back its former perkiness.
    I arrived to my vacation campsite, 24 hours after I had left.
    That would be a new land speed record if I had been a sea cucumber
    or even kudzu. Yet the little 48cc had performed flawlessly, and without complaint.

    ********The Return Journey********

    The return journey was absolutely anti-climatic. Returning to Federal Way from Cle Elum took a surprisingly short 3-and-a-half-hours, going over Snoqualmie Pass, non-stop on the freeway most of the way back with 30 lbs of tools and camping gear on a single 1/2-gallon tank of 32:1
    fuel. I never had to touch the 1-liter bottle of reserve fuel in my saddlebag. I calculate this to be about 150MPG. Not bad, all factors considered.
    I'm satisfied.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  6. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    woo, hope my future story has more good stuff in the middle...that's very entertaining info, uncle_punk13, thanks 8)

    if i do get to do my trip, the one mod i vow to apply is "whatever bamabikeguy advises about tires & wheels, do it!"
  7. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    For supplying me the opportunity to fully tell my "tire story", which sounds so similar to our unknown Washington rider.

    Elsewhere in the forum topics I have emphasized building yourself a "superduper triple lined tire", especially when you think about having to fix a flat on the road. THIS story has 3 angles, or lessons or warnings, whatever you want to call it.

    When I started building bikes in summer of 2005, I learned real quick that cheapy standard tubes did not hold air, and the $7 slime tubes did. As far as the claim about slime tubes "sealing" themselves, that's b.s., but I started using the slime tubes just to reduce the hassle of pumping up tires once a week.

    So, last March I took my first long distance ride, to Amelia Island FL, right above Jacksonville. I started at a friends house in Vincent AL, those are his two cute kids in my collage. His son was "helping me" arrange my travel bag, that part mentioned elsewhere about "lightening my load".

    To make a long story short, I handed Braxton the extra slime tube, got distracted, and so did he when he saw the football in his dad's open car trunk.

    That's lesson one: when assisted by a 6 year old, always doublecheck, make sure your spare tube doesn't get placed in a car trunk when you are headed to the fridge for a third or fourth "bon voyage" Heineken, right about dusk when such oversight could happen.


    In Alabama there is a notorious stretch of "always under constuction" Highway 280, which Auburn fans bitch about. This was my first and only time on this road, which supposedly began construction by DeSoto and may be completed when Capt. Kirk meets the Klingons. There were sections where the lanes were smooth as silk, but the shoulder was like riding on cut glass.

    About 15 minutes after taking the DeSoto picture, "sherowlophfpfhp", I got a flat. I had a v-shaped notch in my tire, about the size of a dime. I pulled into a small marble countertop business, asked if I could do my repair (having heard the magic sound of an air compressor).

    I ransacked ALL my carefully packed bag and backpack, THREE TIMES before realizing my spare tube was "missing". I hitchhiked to the nearest Wal Mart, bought 2 slime tubes, made the repair and left.


    I got the second flat outside Alexander City (while fixing it 8 cop cars and 2 ambulances raced by me, right over the hill a semi fell on top of a sedan, and if I had NOT had the flat, I might of had to stay and give eyewitness testimony).

    I got the THIRD flat outside Dadeville. I had been thinking I could make it to Auburn, where there was a famous bikeshop, luckily in Dadeville there was a Western Auto, where I bought every 26" slime tube (at $12 each) on the shelf.

    The next morning, I arrived in Auburn an hour before the bikeshop opened, EXCELLENT service and prices (which made me mistakenly think all future bike shop owners would be cool guys- NOT).

    On the Denver trip I installed one of those industrial tubes and carried another as one of my spares. NOT WORTH THE WEIGHT nor COST. The only flat I got was on the return leg, near El Dorado Arkansas, and was not caused from the outside, but from abrasion through the spokeends.

    ERGO- I now double up duct tape and line the inside of the tire. Then I put in a Huffy tire liner, then a slime tube, and wrap the spoke ends inside the wheel with about 3 layers of electric tape. Combining that with ziptied spokes, and I have NOT had a problem since.


    I'm not going back and counting, I'm sure there are 3 morals to the story in there somewhere. But put extra effort in your tires from the get go, one less thing to worry about............
  8. Heath

    Heath Guest

    zip tied spokes, eh? reminds me of the old days when people used to tie and solder spokes using bee keepers wire. basically the same thing you've done with zip ties, but you make 6 or 8, or however many you want, wraps around the spokes with the wire and then solder them.
  9. RLK

    RLK Guest

    God have mercy! This is a funny story, yet informative.

    "After a mile, my speed had increased to 'miserable'. "

    Good reading! :shock:

    I don't understand the zipties on the spokes. What does this do to affect the little nuts where the spokes meet the wheel? Is this done to prevent the spokes from getting lose?
  10. locoWelder

    locoWelder Guest

    Hey Augidog, Have you made up your mind to do this trek yet?

    me I would like to make a large trip around 4/08 atleast a west coast to east coast and back to AZ take about 5 weeks and just chill and I'm thinking on going guerrilla and campgrounds to keep the cost down to a minimum? how about you?