Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - John Nettles

Pages: 1 ... 15 16 [17] 18 19 ... 24
General Discussion / Re: A Few Questions About the TransAm
« on: March 01, 2009, 12:38:12 am »
No one has mentioned the weather.  You can get tornadoes anytime of year but especially between mid-March to mid-June.  Also, the severe storms the central plains have are much more intense than those of the coasts (hurricanes excluded).  That said, the weather forecasting in this part of the country is actually pretty accurate and they can track tornadic storms pretty well and forecast where something will be hit within a mile or two.  The thing about tornadoes are you are safe unless within 1/4 mile of one.

I used to storm chase when younger and have seen EXTENSIVE damage but also just a block away, absolutely nothing wrong.  Bring a small (pack of cards size) radio (does not need to a weather radio) and listen to the forecast.  If it is going to be bad, get a motel or head away from it (harder with dog if you can only travel 20 miles max per day).  I have never heard of a touring cyclist killed by a tornado, but I have seen a bike struck by lightening before (awesome, scared the !@#$ out of us), and leaves a little weld mark).

Use reasonable common sense and you should be fine.

Routes / Re: I'm looking for a route . . .
« on: March 01, 2009, 12:12:03 am »
I definitely agree with Valygrl.  That said, I once met two retired ladies touring in Idaho.  One had ridden her whole life.  The other bought the bike & gear two weeks before the start, rode it around the block to see how the gears/brakes worked, and shipped it off to Oregon.  I met them about 3 weeks into their ride.  The "experienced" one was sore for a day or two (you are ALWAYS sore for the first day or two) but the other said the first two weeks were Hell.  However, they just took it easy, rode low miles, and after three weeks, had mostly caught up in strength to her buddy.

I have trained before and left somewhat cold-turkey.  It is sort of like money (training) and happiness (riding the tour).  You can be happy without money but it is a lot easier if you have it.

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.

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.

Read 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. 

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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

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).

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Pages: 1 ... 15 16 [17] 18 19 ... 24