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Messages - John Nettles

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241
Routes / Re: Great Parks Tour or Great Divide -- late season start?
« on: March 01, 2009, 12:04:57 am »
Over on Crazy Guy on A Bike, there are a few rockies experts.  You might consider asking over there.  I have not been on the GDR yet, but from what I hear, you will definitely get some washboard.  Whether or not, certain sections are worse or worse at certain times of the year, I can not tell you.  Remember that if you do the GDR, you will probably not make as much distance per day as when on the road.

242
Gear Talk / Re: Should I get a new bike?
« on: February 28, 2009, 11:59:20 pm »
If you enjoy it, keep riding it.  You can always buy new parts.  I assume the frame is steel due to the rust but that too will most likely last for another decade.  I personally would keep it.  As matter of fact, I recently built up a "frankenbike" for rail trail and more gravel/dirt road touring.  The frame is a steel Trek MB-1 which I think (but not sure) is a late 80s/early 90s bike.  A lot of the newer bikes (road & MTB) are not that good for touring unless specifically built for touring.  I have 3 bikes and 1 tandem and they are all older (mid 80s to late 90s), steel touring-oriented bikes.

If you do buy a new one, there are several touring specific bikes out there that use 26" MTB type wheel ranging in price from $1,000 to $7,000 depending on how custom you want to get.  I would definitely sell your old bike frame instead of trashing it as there are people who definitely want something like what you have.

243
Read http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=3UY0x&doc_id=2126&v=2e0 if interested on someone riding long distances solo while on a trike.

If you pay my way, I will be happy to go along and guide  ;D .

If you are concerned about your ability, try solo shorter rides until you build the confidence/skills up.  If you want companionship, look for companions on the various sites.  If you don't want to carry your gear (can't blame you), you can sometimes find private groups that have a private sag also by asking around on the various bike sites. 

244
Routes / Re: Perimeter Tour
« on: February 28, 2009, 10:49:20 pm »
I have completed 3/4 of a perimeter (San Diego to Vancouver to Portland, ME (via original northern tier), to Key West.  It took me about 3 1/2 months but my mileage averaged 83 per day overall which is a tad high and would not recommend.  The big thing is to factor in weather.

I started from San Diego on a spur of the moment thing on July 4th so I hit the northeast with winter storms coming soon and arrived in Key West on November 12 with about 8,900 miles.  If I would have headed west, it probably would have been too late for NM, AZ.

If doing again, I would probably give a serious look at the weather in the Rockies (when does snow come/leave) and work from there.  I was not as concerned about the northeast as once I headed south, it gets warm pretty quick.

Hope this helps!

245
General Discussion / Re: Is it worth installing a kick stand?
« on: February 24, 2009, 02:05:13 pm »
You're talking about a "Flick Stand".  I loved those on my club bike but they could not keep the wheel locked on a loaded touring bike.  On my tandem, I have another item like that.  It is basically a piece of stair-stepped plastic that inserts between the brake lever and the brake lever housing so that you have to have the brake on to insert it.  It doesn't keep the wheel from turning sideways but does prevent forward or backward motion so the tandem rarely falls over. I wish I could find another one of these also.

246
General Discussion / Re: Do we have a winner for the 2008 Bike Giveaway?
« on: February 23, 2009, 01:25:14 pm »
Poops I was wrong.  I just knew I had read it some where but it must have been in Bike Bits.  Thanks!

247
Gear Talk / Re: bike security
« on: February 23, 2009, 12:04:26 am »
Like others, I just made a 10' thinner plastic coated wire cable (3/16") with a lightweight combo lock.  I can lock my bike to almost anything and can loop it through the pack handles to prevent "easy opportunity" theft.  I take my critical essentials with me at all times.  If possible, I tell someone who will be nearby (ticket taker, camp host, etc.) that is my bike and I would appreciate them keeping an eye on it.  Obviously it is not fool-proof, but then I tour mainly in the US & Canada so I am not as concerned about theft compared to say, African continent or parts of Asia.

When I tent camp, I usually lock loop the cable to a tent pole so if someone tries to take at night, I might hear it more.

248
General Discussion / Re: Do we have a winner for the 2008 Bike Giveaway?
« on: February 22, 2009, 11:56:12 pm »
I am pretty sure the winner was annouced in last month's magazine. I have trashed mine so I can't tell you though.  Sorry.

249
Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: February 19, 2009, 01:00:43 am »
I agree with some others that while it is a nice thought, I prefer roads.

A path is too sterile, i.e. no hills, long distance views (as trails are typically surrounded by trees), etc.  I do like the quiet and relative safety.  And having toured in the Netherlands, I can agree with the posts about the seemingly random direction the paths take.

However, I really doubt our country has the money for a 12' wide bike path across the entire country.  It would cost at minimum close to $100k per mile without easement buyouts.  I have no idea how it can be that high but those are the minimums I have heard tossed around.  That is almost $300 Billion for a 3,000 mile route.  But hey, the way Congress is throwing/wasting money around, why not?

Instead, I would prefer a minimum 2' shoulder on all state highways and a 3' shoulder if a higher traffic count.  Also, if all states would develop decent bike research (like what Missouri and Wisconsin does), that would be a big help.

Just my 3 cents (inflation and all).

250
General Discussion / Re: Is it worth installing a kick stand?
« on: February 18, 2009, 11:47:48 pm »
I kept the lid to a jar of tomato sauce handy to place under the stand in order to give it a bigger footprint. The lid is still part of my kit.

I use a golf ball drilled to fit.  It's sort of whimsical and takes forever to wear down.

251
Routes / Re: Great Divide Route - Type of Bike
« on: February 18, 2009, 11:02:40 am »
Get a Thudbuster or similar seat post also.  Lots of people have not used front suspension but since you emphasized comfort, I would suggest you got with it. 

252
General Discussion / Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« on: February 18, 2009, 10:55:40 am »
Just be sure to verify in advance that motel is still open if it is in a small town (under 10,000 people).  A lot of them have been shutting down the past couple of years and more will probably close.  I am planning a tour in Florida for April and am running into this situation.

253
General Discussion / Re: Is it worth installing a kick stand?
« on: February 18, 2009, 10:50:04 am »
I have used and recommend a kickstand.  As others have said, be sure to have enough "uprightness" so that it doesn't want to fall over but not too much so that it can be blown over.  You can attach a Greenfield kickstand to the rear triangle and works well.

254
Gear Talk / Re: Front Racks
« on: February 13, 2009, 06:27:39 pm »
I have used both the original Blackburn low riders (both styles) and a Bruce Gordon rack.  Between the various racks I got over 30k miles of loaded touring on them.  While I had no problems with the Blackburns, I prefer the cro-moly racks due to the heavier capacity and the more solid feel of it.  Since neither has broke, I can't comment on that aspect but I highly suspect the cro-moly will stand up tremendously longer.  I have seen numerous broken aluminum racks but the only broken cro-mo rack was because a car backed over it.

Since I prefer reliability over cost/weight, I went with cro-mo but for light to medium duty touring, aluminum racks should suffice.  Just carry some hose clamps in case it does break.

255
GPS Discussion / General GPS How To Sticky?
« on: February 13, 2009, 06:08:29 pm »
While I don't see it, is there a general, basic primer on GPS on here?  I have found lots of stuff but it is getting me confused again.  If not, perhaps someone could put something together??  Thanks!

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