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Messages - John Nettles

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211
I am like you in that I did the official route.

However, after doing a bit of quick research, I noticed that Phil's route has up to 10 times the traffic according to the Missouri Bike Federation map http://mobikefed.org/files/d10trafficcount.pdf.  You need to enlarge the map a lot to see the numbers.

While MO-32 has a nice shoulder and fairly nice sight lines, it does have traffic averages of over 4,300 to 7,300 cars per day compared to 412 to 786 per day (on narrower more-curvy no-shoulder roads) on the official route.  I love ferries and think Phil's route is a possible alternative but would probably recommend sticking to the original route due to significantly lower traffic counts.  I would rather deal with 16 cars an hour passing me (on average) than 152 even with a shoulder.  

Just my two cents.

212
What is interesting is, if my memory is correct, the TransAm actually did this route or at least crossed at St. Genevieve decades ago.  I wonder why they changed it.

BTW, your link only went to the main page of CG, not your specific route.

213
Classifieds / Re: for sale tamdem ibis
« on: June 06, 2011, 02:11:28 pm »
It makes me think it's stolen.  Obviously there is something major about it the person advertising it doesn't know about tandems, and I'm not sure I want to point it out and help them sell a stolen bike.  And one particular misspelling there makes me think they are totally unfamiliar with the bike world.

I thought it interesting that I got the same ad here in Tulsa on the local Craigslist.  I agree it sounds a bit fishy.

214
If you are willing to leave in the L&C in Onawa, IA, you can go west to Norfolk and connect with the Cowboy Trail in Nebraska.  From the end, you can take US-20 west until you connect with US-26 in Douglas, WY.  Take US-26 west until you connect up with the TransAm between Lander and Dubois.

The Cowboy Trail is a rail trail (chat or finely crushed gravel surface) that parallels US-20 most of the way so if you do not like the trail, you can hope onto the pavement.  The traffic counts on US-20 east of Atkinson, NE are a tad high but US-20 has pretty decent shoulders.

If you need/want to still go through South Dakota, be sure to go through the Custer State Park area and also to ride the Mickelson Trail in western SD.  The problem with going through SD is that you will have to dip back south on US-26 to get to the Tetons first as described above.  If you come in from the north via Yellowstone first you will have to head south and then double back unless you do not want to head north toward Missoula.  If the latter, there is a route that goes from Jackson and reconnects to the TransAm in John Day, Oregon.

Hope you have an enjoyable ride!

215
It appears you are not afraid to ride the gravel roads.  That is great as your route can be more direct at times, much quieter, etc.

You don't say how much experience you have.  It somewhat sounds like you are riding hard-tails.  Be sure to have strong enough racks, do not use "seat post" racks as they are pretty useless.

If you like off road riding, you might consider riding the Mickelson from Hot Springs up to Keystone (or Deadwood), then ride forest service roads down to Hot Springs and ride south to Edgemont on the return trip if you want to avoid 385.  The area around Custer is really nice to ride.

Sounds like a pretty nice trip!

216
Routes / Re: Bannack State Park
« on: March 24, 2011, 10:40:35 am »
While I can't comment directly on Bannack SP as I have not been there, I also agree that Dillon is a nice town.

Also, you might edit your question since this is on the TransAm & Great Divide routes, not the Northern Tier route.

<< I too had a weird "Session time out while posting, please ty to resubmit your message" message that I have not seen before. >>

217
Classifieds / Re: For Sale: Ultimate Surly LHT
« on: March 13, 2011, 05:11:38 pm »
OK...a few things are gone, but I've pulled some parts from the original build and am offering the following bundle for $850, shipped to the lower 48:

Frame/Fork:
.........
 purchased new in 2009 (May), 50cm, professionally blasted & powder coated by Streetwerkz (Columbus, Ohio)
Whirly triple crankset.

So you could argue that I'm not unloading this stuff at rock-bottom prices, but I am selling gear that's in very good-to-excellent condition at a fair price.

$850 for everything. And, shipping is included in the price (for shipping to the lower 48).

For the others considering what he has to offer, I just thought I would let you know I have bought a few things from him and they have all been in excellent condition and ships quickly.  Since this isn't eBay with its feedback, I thought I would post this so everyone knows he is on the up and up.

John

218
Routes / Re: Florida Loop
« on: March 10, 2011, 01:34:20 pm »
I rode the Tamiami way back in '87.  Then, it was very quiet.  I rode from Naples to Homestead in one day but I was a very strong rider back then.  I remember the "scenery" was basically the same mile after mile after mile but it seems to be much more developed now than it was (there was NOTHING back then).  Looking at the Florida Traffic counts, it is tolerable at 3,000 vehicles per day with narrow shoulders but not ideal.  Google satellite shows a fairly steady flow of cars so it does not appear to be a "rush hour" traffic pattern.

All in all, the TT is doable but definitely a more "miles than smiles" route.

Quite honestly, I would just ride back up the keys or take a bus down to Key West and ride back slowly to Fort Myers and enjoy the Keys.

Whatever you do, I wish you an enjoyable trip!

219
Routes / Re: Waynesboro to Washington, DC
« on: March 08, 2011, 12:19:29 am »
Just ride up the Sky Line Drive to Front Royal then over to Purcellville to the W&OD bike path (paved).  Beautiful, low traffic, and will take you to heart of DC.  Take the county roads between Front Royal and Purcellville as they are very beautiful.

220
Routes / Re: Bike Route
« on: March 07, 2011, 02:40:39 pm »
If I remember correctly, you only have three choices.  First is north on Interstate 25 (bikes are allowed I believe).  If east bound (coming into Pueblo) you can take CO-115, near Penrose which is west of Pueblo, which has good shoulders .  If west bound, you could take county road Boone Road near Boone (of course) to CO-94 then west.



221
Routes / Re: Getting to the FL start of the Southern Tier with a Trike
« on: March 05, 2011, 04:48:59 pm »
Try shipping the bike on Greyhound Freight.  It is usually a LOT cheaper for big bulky things like that.  I would guess $75.  Best thing is they can handle big boxes, i.e. 31" x 80" or something like that.  If you are lucky, you could keep it put together and just roll it out and go.

222
Routes / Re: The Great Divide Trail
« on: March 02, 2011, 04:34:14 pm »
Go to CrazyGuyonaBike.  Search for "Eat, Sleep and Ride the Divide" by Heidi Domesen.  She rode did an extended tour on a Trike and part of it went from Alberta to Mexico along the Great Divide.  Contact her and pick her brain.

For areas of the GDR that might be more difficult on a trike than you want to deal with, there are usually paved or at least gravel alternatives nearby.

223
Colorado / Re: Worst experience across the US was in CO
« on: February 17, 2011, 10:03:35 am »
For the record, I may be biased, I live in CO - but I moved here after my first 5-week tour here, I liked it so much.
Please do not take my almost 30 year-old perception of Kremmling as a slam against Colorado.  I would love to move to Colorado (or Idaho, western Montana, or western Wyoming) but my better/best half prefers here.  I did live in Vail for a ski season in my younger days and that was very nice.  If I get near Kremmling, I will go through it and at least give it a shot again.  After all, if it was REALLY bad, we would hear more about it.

224
Colorado / Re: Worst experience across the US was in CO
« on: February 16, 2011, 12:59:58 am »
I got a little smile out of this.  While riding the TransAm back in '82, I camped at the fairgrounds (I think) in Kremmling but have always thought the town was unwelcoming.  While I didn't have trouble, I did write "I feel like a unwanted outsider here" in my journal.  In fact to this day, I remember a dusty unremarkable town that is best avoided.  This was back when the TransAm was still relatively young and people would continually ask what you were doing and seemed genuinely interested, amazed, and "happy" to assist in making the trip a success.  In 34 years of touring, Kremmling is one of only three towns where I did not have a positive feeling.  Portage, WI and Portsmouth, NH being the other two. Those two were much like your experience except there was no camping option.

225
Youth Bicyle Travel / Re: Teens biking across country
« on: February 14, 2011, 05:18:36 pm »
I am 13 years old. I am a very good biker, and very fit. I want to bike across the country but my parents wont let me unless  I go with a group. Does anyone know of  a group that is going to bike across the USA summer of 2011, or if I'm too late, 2012? Please reply! I really want to go

I started riding "seriously" when I was 12.  I am now 46.  I have crossed the country 5 times and ridden across 45 states and in 9 countries.  I started doing multi-day touring when I was 14.  Like you, the parents made me go with a group until I got older.  Now that I am a parent, I can easily see both sides.  Why should I have to wait just because I am 13!  Your parents respond with "Because I love you and I don't want you to get in over your head, or worse (said with love of course)!" or "Because I am afraid you will get hit by a car!" or something similar.

While it is not exactly what you want, I would highly suggest you start by joining a local bike club.  Most clubs have monthly weekend overnight tours.  Also, there are usually riders (typically old geezers like myself) who go on cross-state rides who would be willing to be your guardian IF you are reasonably mature (not just for your age!), and know how to ride & take care of your own repairs.  A lot of states have cross-state rides or have one within a day's drive.  These allow you to do something pretty cool but under the reasonable guidelines your parents want.   Once you do your time and gain some experience, the parents would probably be much more likely to let you go by yourself.  My first week-long ride was FreeWheel, which is an annual ride across Oklahoma.  Again, all parts of the country have something similar but it may be in an adjoining state.

One thing to consider as a "starter" type trip would be to do an extended rail trail ride.  The Katy Trail in Missouri or the GAP/C&O Trail in PA, MD, & DC is another.  If they still won't let you go by yourself, go first to your mom and show her all the cool Bed & Breakfast places to stay along the trail where she can enjoy a relaxing time while you can ride.  Mom could see all the wonderful museums and Dad could go see the cool airplanes and rockets and stuff at the Smithsonian. Help them overcome their fear, which is based on love, so you can do what you want.  Let your Mom convince your Dad that this is a good idea  :-).  This way the parents can see what cycle touring is like and the fear will greatly subside.  It is this fear that something will happen to you is what you are battling, not the parents!  Help them overcome their fear, which is based out of love, so you can do what you want.

My first solo trip (other than being in a large cross-state ride not being under a guardian) was when I was 17 when I did the TransAm route during my summer after I finished as a junior in high school.  I was pretty mature by then.  I had built up to this by doing 4 cross-state rides, and one month-long tour with an adult.  I paid about 1/3 of my trip, used Bikecentennial's (ACA's predecessor) maps, and agreed to the typical parental rules such as calling home most nights, giving a detailed schedule, sticking to the route, etc.  It truly was the best experience of my life and for this I honestly hope you can go on such a trip at such a young age as it really does help you mature (further) and develop into a great young adult.  As I have said, I have done many other trips but that was my favorite.

This brings up the question, are you a guy or a girl?  I am a guy and I have a teenage daughter and a teenage son.  While my 18 year-old daughter is easily mature enough for the trip, as a father, I would be concerned for her safety from others.  Not harm from cars but from people.  I probably would not have let her done a similar trip by herself until after high school.  And I know the joys, risks, and rewards of bike touring.  My 17 year-old son however is the opposite and I worry about him when he walks to the store 3 blocks away due to his maturity or lack thereof!  My point is if you are a guy, you probably could go a year or two earlier than a girl IF you are mature and ONLY due to my fatherly protectionist issues. This may sound sexist, but I prefer to think of it more in a loving way.  If my daughter was 17, very mature, could do most bike repairs, and a black belt (seriously), I would at least strongly consider letting her go.

I am not trying to shoot down your dream but give you information to help you understand what your parents may be thinking and also how to go about getting your goal accomplished.  I hope you don't give up on your dream to go on a solo extended tour.  Until then, consider groups such as 10th Gear, American Youth Hostels, and the various cross state rides.

If you or your parents have questions, I would be happy to answer them.

John

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