Bike Punky (Season 3 Thread) (1 Viewer)

BikePunky

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Howdy, y’all.

Long time no post since I hit something like 10k miles in saddle during the last tour. I took time off in Tucson, the Slabs, and then started a job at a ski resort in the sierras these last 4 months. I’m down to four shifts at work and a little over a week housed up. I’ve been building a new bike, hustling to sell off my old stuff, and living like a frugal moneyless monk while stacking paychecks. Thought I’d pop in and form a new picture/journal thread for my 2021 adventures.

Here‘s my 2014 Specialized AWOL:

(Adventure Time Edition lol)

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Anyways, it’s nice to be riding a good fitting bike and not a smaller frame I was making work. I’ve nearly broke even on building this bike between budgeting and selling all my old gear. Won’t go too deep into the gear changes on this post, as I’m planning to make a video about my new travel kit and the various changes. The most notable is I invested in a nicer phone and now have a 360 degree camera that shoots in 5.3kx30fps. I intend to make a lot more photo/ video based content in the coming year with it.

My plan is to head out to the coast from here and start heading north to chase the best spring/summer weather. Lots of Oregon and Washington routes cut short by the wildfires last year I’m hoping to finish. Plus after a whole winter in a snow suit breathing freezing temperatures and thin air...I am ready to be beach front on my way to perfect summer temperatures. After that month or so of a warm up, I’m either going to finish the bits of the Northern Tier route I skipped over last year and ride down the east coast...or if I can get a new ID or passport after being vaccinated: Alaska and down through Canada (but depends on a lot).

Also the routes in mind always change.

Lastly to throw out the spange jar in the first post, people can help me fund content by sending money on PayPal or signing up to be a Patreon for as little as $1 a month.

paypal.me/bikepunky
patreon.com/bikepunky

This thread will be where I compile my ‘best of’ photos from sections of my travels and links to video content.

I’m also @BikePunky on Instagram and TikTok for following more closely!
 
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ali

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Looking forward to it! You were an inspiration to me last season, and i'm still thinking about maybe trying to get out there and do some short legs at least after the vaccine becomes available. I hope you still post here, since i don't really follow socials. I'll drop some change 👍
 

BikePunky

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Looking forward to it! You were an inspiration to me last season, and i'm still thinking about maybe trying to get out there and do some short legs at least after the vaccine becomes available. I hope you still post here, since i don't really follow socials. I'll drop some change 👍

I imagine I’ll post highlights at a similar frequency. Plus video links. Definitely not as constant as my social media, but probably still once or twice a week. Wish I could wait to be vaccinated, but imagine I’ll get it quicker in the north than in California. Plus getting as far away from the south for the next few months seems like a safer bet for a traveler, covid-wise. Hoping to score the single shot vaccine in a red county along the way and just getting a cheap motel for a bit if I have symptoms. Thanks for the encouragement!
 

MetalBryan

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Miami, FL
Can I ask why you chose the bikepacking style seat post bag as opposed to a rear rack, trunk, and panniers? It's okay if the answer is "that's what I have" I'm just slowly outfitting my bike for touring and haven't pulled the trigger on front or rear rack systems.
 

BikePunky

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Can I ask why you chose the bikepacking style seat post bag as opposed to a rear rack, trunk, and panniers? It's okay if the answer is "that's what I have" I'm just slowly outfitting my bike for touring and haven't pulled the trigger on front or rear rack systems.
If you find my last threads, you'll see I used to use a full Ortlieb set of giant panniers and even a trunk bag for the last couple of years of touring. Sometimes having 70-100 pounds of stuff strapped to my bike. I went with a more bikepacking design after following other adventurers online and seeing how they switched to a more minimalist kit. My experience was 30-40% of the crap I carried on a loaded bike, I hardly used and often carried out of fears or what ifs. I've now moved from 60-80 pound kit to about 35 pounds. Also on a loaded bike, something people don't tell you is how much quicker chains/rings wear out if you are doing a lot of climbing. Less weight means less drive train wear. It was also mentally exhausting to be going 6mph uphill and maxing at 8-12mph on flats. Basically a lighter bike shaves hours, effort, and wear off the touring life. The bikepacking bags are also more aerodynamic than bulky panniers adding to that. The sacrifices are some lightweight stuff is more expensive and less glamorous. You can't have a bikepacking kit if you have bulky gear, so lots had to change like a bivy instead of a big tent for me. Hydration bladders instead of several bottles. Packable clothes. This will be my first time going the distance with a kit like this, but I think I'm going to like it a lot more. My idea was to care less about the camping aspect and more about the riding/ filming. Stealth camping in a bivy looking up at the stars on an inflatable bed is it's own luxury, but it feels vulnerable. It will make the occasional motel or WarmShowers hosting spot all the sweeter though.
 

BikePunky

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Happy to announce the first change of routes. I conducted a voting poll on Instagram and people voted 20-3 on a route change. I will be taking the Adventure Cycling Sierra Cascades route north of here instead of heading to the coast. Which I think will have its ups and downs, but nothing terrible. I wasn’t going to do it due to mountain weather, but in checking the forecast it’s great along this route. There’s a lot more climbing to start, but even the coast has a lot going into Oregon. I think stealth camping, traffic, and probably COVID safety will be better along the mountains. Just hope I get used to hours of climbing in the saddle again.
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MetalBryan

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Miami, FL
If you find my last threads, you'll see I used to use a full Ortlieb set of giant panniers and even a trunk bag for the last couple of years of touring. Sometimes having 70-100 pounds of stuff strapped to my bike. I went with a more bikepacking design after following other adventurers online and seeing how they switched to a more minimalist kit. My experience was 30-40% of the crap I carried on a loaded bike, I hardly used and often carried out of fears or what ifs. I've now moved from 60-80 pound kit to about 35 pounds. Also on a loaded bike, something people don't tell you is how much quicker chains/rings wear out if you are doing a lot of climbing. Less weight means less drive train wear. It was also mentally exhausting to be going 6mph uphill and maxing at 8-12mph on flats. Basically a lighter bike shaves hours, effort, and wear off the touring life. The bikepacking bags are also more aerodynamic than bulky panniers adding to that. The sacrifices are some lightweight stuff is more expensive and less glamorous. You can't have a bikepacking kit if you have bulky gear, so lots had to change like a bivy instead of a big tent for me. Hydration bladders instead of several bottles. Packable clothes. This will be my first time going the distance with a kit like this, but I think I'm going to like it a lot more. My idea was to care less about the camping aspect and more about the riding/ filming. Stealth camping in a bivy looking up at the stars on an inflatable bed is it's own luxury, but it feels vulnerable. It will make the occasional motel or WarmShowers hosting spot all the sweeter though.

Thanks for laying out the details. I did see the "old" setup with the panniers and thought that it was probably a natural progression of ditching what you never needed... but I hadn't considered prioritizing riding vs camping. That's super helpful thinking about what I will need going forward.
 

BikePunky

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Might have pulled the trigger prematurely on this route change. Found out today a pass just 200 miles up from me has 10 miles of road covered in snow still. Then 300 miles above that toward crater lake there is another that is likely closed for a couple more months. Due to timing, I’m either going to see if the nearest pass will clear in the next week or two. If so I’ll at least go to Medford via the route, then take a train to Washington. If not possible, I’m going to go to the coast after all and in a couple months in the north I’ll put the route to a vote against crossing the country to the east. Being beach side still sounds cool, so I’m not terribly hurt about it.
 

BikePunky

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I find this link National Snow Analyses - NOHRSC - The ultimate source for snow information - https://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/nsa/ really useful to find out where there’s still snow. Use the dropdown menu to choose your region for a closer view.
I find it’s better just to look up the highway and the national park for info. This would be handy for trails, but the highways could have 20 feet piled up on either side but be plowed/ salted. Lassen for instance has an updated plowing map. One of the advantages of riding the Sierra Cascades over hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.
 

Dunedrifter

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Eureka, California
I find it’s better just to look up the highway and the national park for info. This would be handy for trails, but the highways could have 20 feet piled up on either side but be plowed/ salted. Lassen for instance has an updated plowing map. One of the advantages of riding the Sierra Cascades over hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.
Yeah, that makes sense. I use it for off-highway riding. I hope you’re enjoying Plumas County, my birthplace 😊
 

MetalBryan

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Good luck on the trip! I watched your gear video on youtube - thank you for being so thorough!

I used some of my stimmy to get that Brooks B17. A friend said you can ride it in the rain to break it in, but I also got their Proofide because I wanted to treat the leather right. I needed a saddle upgrade when I started doing 50mil/day or I probably wouldn't have gotten it, but I've put ~100 miles on it and I can tell it's gonna be great... those first 20 miles were really hard on my ass though, so be prepared. Brooks raised their prices recently - REI still has a few left for a "lower" price.
 

BikePunky

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From Truckee to Redding highlights!

scenic route 20 mountain views:
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I stayed in a real cool camper in Nevada City via WarmShowers
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The downhills and flats to chico are nice
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As were the ones on the way to Redding
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BikePunky

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Been a while since I posted. Not a lot of time off on this trip. Hope to get this thread caught up. This is the Sun Dial bridge area between Redding and Shasta Lake.
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Overlooking the Shasta Dam Canal.
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First good view of Shasta from my illegal interstate bike tour.
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Got hassled by the cops a few times up the highway, but no one gave me a ticket.
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Mt Shasta still covered in snow.
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Another pretty mountain with a name I don’t know
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Looking back at Mt Shasta as I head north.
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Weed, California’s arch.
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Back on the Sierra Cascades route, there’s some neat bicycle signs on this route.
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Finally out of California.
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BikePunky

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Currently staying with some friends in Eugene, OR. Be here a little less than a week. Didn’t end up winning any of the scholarships I was a finalist for. Heck, no big time people involved even boosted my content. That aside, lower Oregon was pretty.
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I was holding out on upgrading my current bike in hopes of winning another.
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but I deserve nice things and the bike shop in Ashland happened to have a whole new drivetrain much better suited to climbing and pedaling long distances at high cadence.
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There is a bike path going from Ashland to Medford that gets prettier as you go.
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Painted bridge in Medford toward the end.
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From Medford I took a WarmShowers host recommended route, cutting through farmland to an area that was mostly National Forest and BLM areas. If you route from Medford to GalesVille Reservoir, you’ll probably get something close to my route.
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Low traffic with only the occasional car camper or log truck.
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This campground was super nice and free with no one else camping. It had a pit toilet and a trail that goes back to a big creek to bathe/ filter water from.
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The GalesVille Reservoir
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After how ignorant and shitty cops were on the Interstate in Cali, Oregon was quite a relief. Not only did they have bike alternates and signs, a few bridges along the way up to Roseburg had separate bike bridges built under I-5, which I had no idea existed.
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I got a cheap motel in Roseburg at a Super 8. Best stay of my trip so far, until I got a $100 fee the next day for ‘smoking in my room,’ even though I haven’t smoked in 2 years. Called and gave them a piece of my mind about it and fortunately was refunded the whole thing a couple days later.
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Had a long day from Roseburg to Creswell, where I had an odd little WarmShowers spot.
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The place turned out to be a few tiny homes on a lot. Very bizarre experience though in that the host wasn’t there and said he’d have friends let me into the property. Only the friends were actually some weird homebums, one of which had one of those methy constantly griping personalities. Fortunately they kept to themselves and shut up later in the evening. But definitely one of the odder WarmShowers experiences I’ve had. Leaving more questions than answers. Like, why not communicate there will be houseless folks on the property? Why are they living under a raggedy tarp when there’s like 6 empty structures on the property? A strange thing to grapple with after a 60 mile day in the heat.
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Thankful for the legal place to sleep and the cold water shower though.
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The next day I had only 16 miles into Eugene. Where I was planning to stay only a few days, but ended up a couple weeks while I mess around with plans and have hopes of side adventures with friends.
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My friend Brando took this photo of me in the Eugene jail.
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Hoping to skip up to Washington soon either via train or friend’s car in a few days.
 

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