The Great Pacific Coast Escape

Equipment Reflections

Bike: My Klein Attitude with Rock Shox is not the perfect touring machine on pavement as I have learned. It has very twitchy handling at slow speed and is very nervous at high speed -- it is a true racing mountain bike designed for blasting through tight northwest forests and trails. With the BOB trailer on back -- it has gotten really scary at times while descending -- truly white knuckle scary at times. I actually got "hand pump" at times from using the brakes so much because I didn't want to descent too fast because of my concern about this. I don't know if I would take this bike on my next paved tourist trip. But it now has over 10K miles on it also – and yes, I still love it for what it is.

Gearing: My 22x32x44 front chainrings and eight speed 12-32 rear cassette was perfect. More than ample low-end gearing -- but was thankful to have for the few times that it was required.

Components: GripShift shifters that I love -- couldn't imagine riding with anything else. Shimano XT/XTR equipment is bulletproof. I didn't touch or adjust anything here on this trip. I did have a little rear derailleur cable problem though -- but this was because the BOB trailer mounts hit the cable at times and inhibited or made shifts for me.

Tires: Specialized 26x1.25 Fat Boy Slicks. I have ridden the old gumwall versions extensively before the trip. The new "Flak Jacket" ones with blackwalls and white lettering are even better. At $20/pop, I bought one replacement for the rear tire yesterday -- the front tire is still good and has lots of miles left on it. One flat the entire trip -- who could ask for more than that? I spent many a morning digging LOTS of glass chards out of the both of them -- and the tires have the slices to prove it -- but no flats from glass itself. The flat was from a garment pin.

Seatpost Rack: I carried my old Specialized rack bag, pump, Nikon camera and all the lenses, sunscreen, basic tools, etc. It was nice to have because I didn't have to get off the back and dig into the BOB trailer to get anything during the day. Essentially it was stop, put one foot down, spin around and unzip and everything was accessible. I'd do the combo again in a second as it worked very well.

Shoes/Pedals: My Sidi mountain bike shoes and Ritchey clipless pedals worked perfect. I couldn't imagine touring with pedals with straps. My Sidi shoes were my ONLY shoes the entire trip -- not very quiet when I had to walk through a store or the campground -- but they held up well and still look like new.

Wheels/Rims: XT hubs -- perfect. Wheelsmith spokes -- perfect. Sun Zero degree Lite rims -- amazed that they lasted with all the damage. I think they were a bit underspec for doing what I did -- not a design fault on their side. But I would use a Mavic rim next time on my wheels -- much easier to find on the bike shops along the route incase of problems.

BOB(I): A new one is coming out with rear suspension here in a few weeks supposedly. It will solve some of the problems with the rear tire skipping and bouncing that I had that caused some of the spooky problems I encountered -- but I won't be the judge of that until I ride with one. The concept itself of BOB is good. With a different bike, I might have been a lot happier with my BOB trailer. But does anyone out there want an alternative design so they could use a spare 26" or 700c wheel/tire combination that would fit their bike instead of the small one that is one BOB???

BOB(II): The garbage can approach to packing is a major gripe of mine. I would have loved a bunch of panniers to keep everything separated. Plus I wouldn't have to haul the bag into my tent every night. Also when I wanted to find something in the bag, I usually just ended up dumping the whole thing on the ground and started digging from there -- it was usually a lot easier that way.

BOB(III): I added two water bottle cages to the back of BOB near the rear wheel. It would have been nice to have that as part of the integral design itself -- the capacity to mount two or possibly more water bottles near the rear wheel. It would have been nice for this trip and will be a required modification to hang more bottles when I do the North Rim trip.

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The Great Pacific Coast Escape
Introduction time
Two weeks before - Welcome to "BOB"
One week before - Panic time!
The trip begins! (Bellevue, WA to Sequim)
Awesome sights to be seen (Sequim to Sapho)
The longest day (Sapho to Ocean Shores)
Casual cruise to pavement pain (Ocean Shores to Raymond)
I survived the bridge!! (Raymond to Ft. Stevens, Oregon)
I talked with a real bicycle tourist! (Ft. Stevens to Cape Lookout)
Hills, hills and more hills (Cape Overlook to Newport)
It was slow going today (Newport to Florence)
Kickback, relax and just surf (at Honeyman Camp in Florence)
Time to escape the convention (Florence to Bandon)
Sputter, misfire, detour... and a new direction (Bandon to Brookings)
Please turn off the fog machine!! (Brookings to Prairie Creek Redwoods, California)
Keeping it simple (Prairie Creek Redwoods to KOA in Arcata)
Enter the 'Avenue of the Giants' (KOA in Arcata to Weott)
Running on empty (Weott to Leggett)
Back to the Pacific Ocean (Leggett to Van Damme SP at Mendocino)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Van Damme SP to Stillwater SP)
Just another simple day (Stillwater SP to Samuel Taylor SP in Bodega Bay)
What were you expecting -- Baywatch??? (Samuel Taylor SP to Half Moon Bay SP)
There actually is sunshine in California (Half Moon Bay to Sunset Beach in Watsonville)
Sleeping in late means a late start huh? (Sunset Beach SP to Pfeiffer-Big Sur SP)
Riding above the clouds (Pfeiffer-Big Sur SP to San Simeon SP
The ranger told me that I probably wouldn't want to camp here (San Simeon SP to Oceana SP)
I see cracks!! (Oceana SP to El Capitan SP near Goleta)
Are we there yet? (El Capitan SP to Leo Carillo SP near Malibu)
The “City of Angels” in one day (Leo Carillo SP to Doheny SP at Dana Point)
The end has arrived (Dana Point to San Diego)
Equipment Reflections
Personal Gear Review
Review -- Planning and Maps
Would I do it all again?