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Messages - John Nettles

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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.

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.

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!

Routes / Re: Planning a Route verte trip this summer
« on: February 13, 2009, 05:51:24 pm »
While I have not ridden the route, I drove along portions of it two summers ago.  I was in Quebec and the sections I were around seemed to be piece meal, i.e. a string of route put together.  It was scenic in places but not usually on a separate bike trail like I had thought.  Sorry I am not of more help.  Perhaps, you can locate a local bike club up in the areas you are going and can ask them for info.

General Discussion / Re: finding a riding partner
« on: February 13, 2009, 05:46:31 pm »
I can relate to everything but I am more of the motivated, skilled, etc. who is not in as much shape as you.  However, now that the kids are mid-teens, once I get my youngest off to college, I will be embarking on the southern tier route from Key West to complete my perimeter tour then do several others.  Look me up in a few years!


Routes / Re: TransAm on Map 12, Christiansburg VA
« on: February 05, 2009, 02:22:16 pm »
Hi CCrew,

Yep, I understand that Afton is further north.  I used to live in Vienna and I would do a similar route you just described.  I was only offering this as a possibility to consider if the author could not find a suitable ride to Christianburg.  Of course, this thread looks to be pretty old and may not be needed by the author anymore.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier & Fuel for cooking advice please
« on: February 05, 2009, 08:58:34 am »
How long does the Pepsi stove burn for on a single fill up?  Can the time vary based on anything, i.e. temp, wind, etc.?

Gear Talk / Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« on: February 01, 2009, 10:12:59 pm »
Just don't substitute reliability for lightness.  When you are in remote places you need durability and ability to get replacement parts.  Enjoy the trip!!

Gear Talk / Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« on: February 01, 2009, 03:15:20 pm »
Will the Americano, with 700x38c cross tires handle my 220 lbs plus overnight camping gear on that kind of terrain.  The Canal will be my main testing ground for preparing to do the TransAm.

In dry weather, the Americano will be fine with those tires.  You may bog down a little on chat when raining if the water is standing.  On the road, you will have no trouble.  Think a little more long-term regarding where you will be riding.  Is it mostly on the C&O/gravel roads/etc. or on pavement.  Buy accordingly.  Congrats on your excellent bike, whichever you choose!

Gear Talk / Re: Where should the weight go?
« on: January 31, 2009, 06:03:41 pm »
I have toured on four single bikes and one tandem over about 30k of loaded touring in 30 years.  All have had different handling characteristics.  One didn't need anything over the front (other than a small handlebar bag), others needed 70% of the weight over the front.  I would try different setups and see what is best for you.

A good way to tell is if you are going downhill at 25+ mph does the bike shake.  If not, you are fine.  If it does, play around till you see what works.

Hope this helps!

General Discussion / Re: April too early? (Westbound TA)
« on: January 31, 2009, 11:09:13 am »
I should avoid western Missouri until early June because severe weather is more likely at that time. And also the Rockies - generally when is the weather most severe? Since I'm moving west, I'll probably hit the Rockies in July or August.

To clarify, the severe weather in the middle of the country is most likely between mid-late April thru early June so if you can you may want to avoid being here at that time.  That said, it is also a beautiful time of year to ride as the temps are cooler (Kansas in June/July is often 95-100 degrees) so just keep an eye on the weather.

If you are in the Rockies in July or August, you should be fine.  I personally would probably avoid hitting Pueblo before mid-June.

Hope this help, John

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