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Messages - John Nettles

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General Discussion / Re: April too early? (Westbound TA)
« on: January 30, 2009, 06:55:10 pm »
There are definitely parts of the TransAm trail that close early/open late due to snow.  While you said you were going to take 5 months, you didn't say when you would be in the Rockies.  Hoosier Pass, Yellowstone/Tetons area, and a few other areas can definitely close due to weather.  Heck ,I got lightly snowed on July 4th in Yellowstone when I rode back in '83.  Perhaps if you post more info as to your anticipated schedule, others can give you a better answer.

Another consideration is that if you hit western Missouri to eastern Colorado in late April thru early June, you have a good chance of severe weather so keep an eye on that too. 

General Discussion / Re: Long distance cycling and supplements
« on: January 30, 2009, 06:48:08 pm »
I have never had a problem.  If I can muscle cramps, I just eat a few extra bananas and order some fries for extra salt.  Overall, if you eat a variety of foods which you can get at most small town diners or especially if you make your own, you will most likely be OK unless there is some other underlying medical issue.  Most supplements only absorb about 10-15% anyway.

General Discussion / Re: What book would you recommend to read?
« on: January 30, 2009, 06:41:28 pm »
Miles From Nowhere definately.  Into the Remote Places by Ian Hibell is also very good but can be hard to locate inexpensively.

General Discussion / Re: Florida Keys: Safe to ride?
« on: January 30, 2009, 06:39:13 pm »
We are going to be biking the Keys in early April.  My wife had the same concerm (about traffic) so I got on Google Maps and looked at the street view.  In those areas that are in daylight (hello google, you can't see anything at night outside of the city!), there seems to be a 2 footish shoulder the whole way.  I biked it in 1987 in November with no problems whatsoever.  However, I was wrapping up a perimeter tour so I was quite strong then and it only took 1 1/2 days from Homestead.  Now that we're old farts, we will be taking about 3 days.


Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Underground Railroad to Lewis and Clark
« on: January 23, 2009, 07:50:39 pm »
You didn't say where you will be wanting to connect from but you could use TransAm Section 10.  Once you get to Murphysboro, you can ride the Mississippi River Trail ( ) until you get to St. Louis.  See Missouri Bicycle Federation ( for maps for bike routes around St. Louis to connect in Hartford, IL (close to St. Louis).

The other option is to also use Section 9 of TransAm and using maps from MO Bike Fed, create your own route in Missouri.

Hope this helps!

Routes / Re: Transam map updates
« on: January 23, 2009, 07:41:24 pm »
While the maps may be updated every 12-18 months, they do have addendum  Go to the routes section of the website (not the forums), look at the route you are interested in, and you will see a link for "addenda".  This is listed by specific map as every new printing is brought up to date.  Due to stores, cafés, motels opening & closing, I always just check about a week in advance to get an idea.  You can also send in a postcard they give you with updates.  Overall, I would say the maps "services" are 95% accurate.  Enjoy the ride!

Classifieds / Re: Touring bike for sale
« on: January 23, 2009, 07:34:34 pm »
What is 36 hole 5wheels?  I assume the 36 hole means 36 spoke but does the 5 mean 5 speed freewheel or ????  Thanks, John

General Discussion / Re: MB Touring
« on: January 16, 2009, 04:45:20 pm »
Check out the Co-Motion Pangea or a Thorn EXP as they are touring specific 26" bikes and will be in your 3-4k price range.

Connecting ACA Routes / Connect from TransAm to Southern Tier
« on: May 20, 2007, 10:39:41 am »
Living in Oklahoma, I am familiar with the south wind, especially in the spring.  However in the fall (October & November here), the wind can come from the north or northwester direction sometimes and the temps are still quite nice.  In the middle of the summer, the winds die down (but not dead by any means) but then you get the heat.  Out weather here is fairly similar to Kansas, just generally a tad warmer.

Another route we are considering is from Brownsville, TX  (via Hill country in TX and eastern OK) to the connecting points of the Katy Trail in Clinton, MO and the Lewis & Clark connecting point in Council Bluffs, IA just so the tailwinds could be utilzed.

Thanks for the input and be sure to vote!!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!


Connecting ACA Routes / Connect from TransAm to Southern Tier
« on: May 17, 2007, 10:52:14 pm »
I am in the early stages of planning a connector route that will connect the TransAm & So. Tier in the center of the country, i.e. Kansas to Texas.  I see this route as a solution to those starting the trip a little late/early and need the southern route to complete a cross-country trip or another north/south cross country route (assuming you connect with other routes).

I hope to complete this by 2008 Spring.  I am trying to work with the involved States so this route can be made an "official" route (at least get free map, signs, etc.).

My question is which do you prefer as the starting & ending points?  If you pick "Other" please give the route start/end points.

Now is your chance to help develop a route!!  The top spot in both directions will be strongly considered.

Please feel free to give your comments, thoughts on what the ideal route would include (other than downhill, free campgrounds, etc. :) ), suggestions, etc.!!

Connecting ACA Routes / Pueblo CO to Minneapolis, MI
« on: May 08, 2007, 10:29:26 pm »
I would suggest you continue on the TransAm route to just inside Kansas, say Tribune or Scott City.  From there you can take almost any state highway as very little traffic tends to travel on them as there are not that many people in these states.  You can go to and it lists Kansas' traffic counts and road widths.  Nebraska and the Dakotas may have something similar.

Nebraska and South Dakota should be the same or better as even less people travel there.  I drove Highway US83 in 2001 and it was fairly lightly traffic.

I believe there is a rail trail that goes halfway across Nebraska or one of the Dakotas.  Do a rail trail search and you should be able to find it.

I really wouldn't worry so long as you stay off the interstates or any 4 lane highway.  Obviously, you can reconnect to the Northern Tier around the North Dakota/Minnesota border and follow the maps in.

If you time/route permit it you should head due north to the Black Hills area of South Dakota.  The area is really nice.  No matter what, you should hopefully get some nice tailwinds heading northwest.

Hope this helps!  

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!


Connecting ACA Routes / Looking for America
« on: October 05, 2006, 11:40:22 am »
Did you happen to cross North Dakota on the Northern Tier on the central/eastern half?  If so, were the grasshoppers as bad as when I was there years ago??  They were everywhere and would jump on my legs and cling to the little hairs and would spook the bejeebers (what exactly is a bejeeber anyway :) ??) out of me as I rode along.

Glad to hear you had a wonderful time.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!


Go to and see if someone has posted a route.  It is good site for getting local info that is bike specific.  It is a fairly young site but will eventually be of great help.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!


Youth Bicyle Travel / Boy Scouts on Katy Trail
« on: October 26, 2006, 10:44:25 am »
Thanks for the detailed informtation.  I have ridden the trail recently twice so I know what to expect as far as that goes.  Your advice about grouping the scouts by pace and what to do with the partially riding adults was the type of insight I was looking for.  We are in the midst of our 2007 summer programming and this will help a lot (if I can get them past the mental hurdle of "yes you can ride 50 miles per day").  Thanks!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!


Youth Bicyle Travel / Boy Scouts on Katy Trail
« on: October 06, 2006, 05:12:27 pm »
Wow, I get to do the honors of being the first to ask a question on this forum.

My son is in Boy Scouts and his troop is considering a multi-day trip along the Katy Trail in Missouri next summer.  What do I need to consider (other than my sanity) if we do take 10-25 twelve to fifteen year old males on a trip like this.  Most are not that experienced so some of the obvious (lower miles, get bikes in shape, etc.) will be factored in.

What about stuff "you wish you knew before you had done this" type stuff?

Thanks in advance!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!


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