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Messages - John Nettles

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1
General Discussion / Re: Donate to ACA through Amazon (no cost to you)
« on: March 02, 2015, 02:12:27 pm »
Heck, as much as I use Amazon, it will be like a double or triple membership each year.  Hope it helps you guys out.  John

2
General Discussion / Donate to ACA through Amazon (no cost to you)
« on: March 02, 2015, 10:49:59 am »
Normally, I hate fundraisers but I enjoy both Amazon and ACA so I thought I would let you know about this.

Today, I had the option to use "AmazonSmile" http://smile.amazon.com/gp/charity/about.html/ref=pe_830720_114782360_smi_em_wel_ft_abt so I could donate to ACA.

From what I gather, if ACA decides to signup, they will get 0.5% of my purchases as a donation.  No additional cost is added to my bill, no special codes to enter every time*, etc.

If ACA chooses not to accept the donations or you prefer a different charity you can change at anytime.  There are a surprising number of local small charities also.

This is what AmazonSmile is:
"AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support."

*=The big caveat is that you have to begin the Amazon purchase (after you have signed up with AmazonSmile) with the smile.amazon.com website (as opposed to the regular amazon.com website).  I just changed my bookmark so it is no big deal.

Also, be sure to search for "adventure cycling" on the link as there are a few "primary" organizations so you have to search for ACA and select it instead.

Please note, I am not affiliated with Amazon or ACA other than a heavy user of Amazon and an avid touring cyclist who has been with Bikecentennial/ACA since the magazine was printed on newspaper-type paper (way back in the 70s which would be a really cool way to celebrate the 50th year by printing that issue in newspaper stock but I digress).

I hope ACA signs up (ACA, please let us know if you decide NOT to and why) and that you consider ACA if you use Amazon.

3
Routes / Re: Flint Hills Nature Trail
« on: March 02, 2015, 10:12:06 am »
A couple of years ago, a few of us were considering it as part of a tour from Tulsa to the Katy Trail in Missouri.  After speaking with someone connected to the FHNT it sounded like it was, then at least, still fairly rough, i.e. original ballast, etc.  so we decided against it.  You might consider calling them for an update as it did seem like a potentially good trail.

John

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Routes / Re: Jacksonville FL to New Orleans...
« on: March 02, 2015, 10:07:56 am »
It may be bad in summer but we had an enjoyable trip through Pecan Island and along the coast in October.  Biggest problem there is not too much services, especially camping with a shower.

5
Classifieds / Re: Sondors E-Bike
« on: February 17, 2015, 07:24:45 pm »
Sounds good.  I guess since that was your very first post to the forums and you were posting a link (yes, I saw it too) to a fundraiser, that looks a lot like spam.  Hope you understand.  John

6
Classifieds / Re: Sondors E-Bike
« on: February 17, 2015, 04:21:04 pm »
And in what way are you connected to the company?  Gotta say, this look a lot like spam and would not be appreciative if it is.

7
Routes / Re: Miami to Bakersfield, want'n to stay out of Texas
« on: February 16, 2015, 04:43:24 pm »
Mathew,

Yes, we highly respect people's property, land and otherwise, in this part of the country.  However, Texans, as a whole, are generous and friendly people, especially out in the country.  If you ask permission and act respectful, you generally will be given the OK or at least a suggestion on where else it might be OK to camp.  Usually, the fire departments and/or churches are pretty good options.

John

8
Routes / Re: From Nashville to Atlanta
« on: February 12, 2015, 10:26:35 am »
The only dangerous animal would be humans in cars  ;).  The problem with the area is that there are relatively few low traffic paved roads.

Tennessee has a traffic count website http://ww3.tdot.state.tn.us/TrafficHistory/ so you can follow your route to see if it is within your comfort range.  Look at google streetview over various points of your route.  They also have a bike info page http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/bikeped/routes.htm but a lot of the routes seem to be put together by non-cyclists as only highways are used (no county roads).  Most of their proposed routes have fairly high traffic.  If you have a GPS, time to develop the route, and have enough time, you can use county road maps http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/Maps/county/default.htm to stay off the highways and get a much truer flavor of America.

Georgia has a statewide bike map that might be useful http://www.dot.ga.gov/travelingingeorgia/bikepedestrian/Pages/default.aspx.

Typically, US routes avoid roads that have traffic counts greater than 2500 (# of vehicles per day on average), especially if there is no shoulder.  I glanced at several points along your route and has heavy traffic and/or no shoulders.

All that said, your route is not too bad.  I personally prefer less traffic so would take many more county roads but then again you do have time constraints.

Another thing to consider is that you realistically can fly into any commercial airport unless you do not want connections.  If you were to consider other airports, your areas to utilize greatly increase.

A final option, and probably my preferred choice, is to do a week long tour and rent a car one-way to Atlanta.  For instance, you could do part of the Blue Ridge Parkway (a beautiful ride in October) by flying into a city further north, say Charlottesville, VA, and end of in Asheville, NC.  A one-way rental car to Atlanta would cost about $130.  This route would be more scenic with a lot less traffic.

Whatever you choose, have an enjoyable trip!


9
Routes / Re: ROUT HELP! Chicago, IL to Hilliard, OH
« on: February 01, 2015, 09:37:42 am »
While I am not overly familiar with this area, I do have a question that might help others.  Is this route just for you or for a "mass tour" like a MS150 tour?  If the latter, a much safer route may be required due to the wide variety and sheer number of riders.  Also, what requirements do you have, i.e. camping, hotels, restaurants, cooking own food, etc.?

Regardless, I wish you a successful fundraiser.

10
Routes / Re: Jacksonville FL to New Orleans...
« on: January 31, 2015, 09:24:01 pm »
90 is the way to go. I would use the Mobile bay ferry west of Pensacola. I strongly advise against trying 90 going west out of New Orleans.
Westinghouse! You're the one who said to go 20! lol! Seriously though, now you recommend 90?

I believe he was talking about Florida 20.  The quote you gave is for WEST of New Orleans.  West of New Orleans, US-90 is not fun at all especially since there are quiet parish roads nearby.

11
Routes / Re: Jacksonville FL to New Orleans...
« on: January 31, 2015, 09:19:59 pm »
90 is the way to go. I would use the Mobile bay ferry west of Pensacola. I strongly advise against trying 90 going west out of New Orleans.
I agree.  When I did it this past October, I took the parallel parish (county) roads though they tended to be longer as they followed the rivers.  I was only on US-90 for a couple of miles total between Luling (bike path to Luling) and New Iberia.  When I was I had a full lane shoulder. 

12
Classifieds / Re: Looking for a used Garmin for my trike
« on: January 30, 2015, 01:02:20 am »
If you plan on using maps to design your own routes, when you buy a used unit, be sure to get the maps too.  Garmin ties all the mapping software to the unit it was originally loaded onto.  In other words, if you do not get the maps that are "joined" to the unit, you will have to pay $100 for a new mapping set.

If you are computer handy, you can also get free to low-cost public software maps but I am not handy so know little about them.

An older Garmin Vista HCx is a good starter unit.

Welcome to touring!

13
Routes / Re: Trans american--western express
« on: January 29, 2015, 08:40:33 am »
All depends on when you arrive in Colorado.  Are you starting the trip in March or arriving in Colorado in March?  I would not show up before June 1st at the very earliest.  That said, I think all the passes on the Colorado portion are kept open year round (may close for a day or two following a snow storm) so it is doable.  However, the roads are narrower due to the snow banks and I would definitely not recommend it.

Additionally, if you can wait until early Summer (mid-June) the weather is a lot nicer.

Have a good ride!

14
Routes / Re: Jacksonville FL to New Orleans...
« on: January 28, 2015, 04:08:11 pm »
I'm late to the discussion but I rode from Key West to Galveston last year mainly along the coast.  It was nice.  However, there is a lot more traffic (except when taking the county roads).  I only used US-90 from between Ocean Springs and New Orleans with short sections here and there in other places.  You could then hug the coast until you get to Perry, FL then FL-20 to High Springs where, I think, the ACA ST intersects.

The pros are much better scenery (road between Pensacola and Navarre is one of the best around), all the seafood you can eat (I got sick of eating shrimp and fish everyday), more services.

Cons are heavy traffic from Ocean Springs west to New Orleans; from near Top Sail SP in Florida to Navarre, around Panama Beach (do NOT cross the FL-30 bridge from Panama City to Tyndall AFB on a Friday at quitting time (one of my worst experiences ever); little stronger wind, slightly cooler.

Overall, I would do again, especially east of Grand Bay if you do not want to go to New Orleans.

Have a good trip!

John


15
Routes / Re: roads in south carolina
« on: January 25, 2015, 10:59:29 pm »
Mandy,

Hop on over to CrazyGuyonaBike.com and review some of the journals for the Atlantic Coast Route using this link http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/categories/?o=Sh&category_id=174&doctype=journal.  Or you can do a search on a larger town ON THE ROUTE near you to narrow down further.  If the others had the same problem, you might need to deviate.  However, if not, you "should" be fine.  Honestly, it is the trailer that will cause more aggrivation but that is bigger so maybe the drivers will give you more room.

Hope this helps, John

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