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Messages - John Nettles

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256
Routes / Pac coast help 2
« on: August 23, 2008, 08:16:08 pm »
Can't reply accurately to your other PCH post as it was decades ago I went, but prevailing winds are definately in north to south direction.

I did the coast S-N and had headwinds most days.  A couple of days it was so bad I never got out of my inner chain ring.  Go over to crazyguyonabike.com and look at some of the journals as that may help.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

257
Routes / recommended route for cycling with children
« on: August 28, 2008, 12:37:53 pm »
I forgot to ask where you are flying into but perhaps your idea of renting a car (mini-van is better)and going to different locations is not a bad idea.  It would give you flexibility but give you opportunities to hit the highlights.  You may need to get a bike rack stateside however with that many bikes.

Look up the website railtrails.org to get a idea of which rail trails are available.

In Colorado between Breckinridge & Vail is a bike path but has a few steeper sections and the 10,000ft (3,300m?) elevation may get you.  Great scenery though.

The pacific northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana, British Columbia, is a very pretty area.

California has a wide variety of terrains & scenery and there is lots to do for the kids.

The George Mickleson rail trail in South Dakota is in a scenic area with Custer State Park and its wild herd of bison (buffalo) and is within proximity to Yellowstone & the Tetons which is a nice area to bike can exceed the 7% grades.  Lots of camping and there are special "hiker/biker" campsites so you are always guaranteed a spot if you arrive under your own power (not car).  Remember though when driving out west that "proximity" can be 500k-1000k!

While I don't know much about it, the Route Verte opened recently in Quebec area.  This area might be good as it is scenic, much more European in flavor, and the temps are definately cooler than out west.

Finally, you might post this question over at crazyguyonabike.com as there are a LOT of tourists there.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

258
Routes / recommended route for cycling with children
« on: August 26, 2008, 09:35:42 am »
Can you give a little more info on what type of tour you want.  For instance, do you want mountains, desert (probably not in the summer!), open plains, rain forest, historical, etc.  Can you give a location in Europe so we might get an idea, i.e Holland or southern Italy.

What about temperature?  Since you are from Holland, you probably are not used to our summers where in many parts of the country it can top 33 degrees celsius every day while other areas never get above the upper 20s.

When you say "July/August", do you mean 60 days or 7 days during that time period?

Do you want dedicated cycle paths (most will be finely crushed gravel coverted railroad paths and the longest is less than 500km long), rural country roads, big cities, etc.  When you say "relatively flat", are you talking road grade or geography as the long shallow grades Colorado roads are easier (to me at least) than the lung-bursting thigh-burning short-but-steep roller coaster hills of Missouri.

If you are as strong as a Holland grandmother rider we met (BIG SMILE) you will have not a problem with ability.  I was doing a tandem tour in Holland and one day a 70+ year old lady passed us on a single-speed upright bike into a strong headwind.  That humbled and impressed me.

The answers will help everyone not second quess what you are looking for and hopefully suggest a wonderful ride.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

259
Routes / Girard, KS to Little Rock, Ark - Help
« on: April 22, 2008, 03:07:05 am »
Do a Yahoo (hate google) search for "Freewheel" which is a ride across Oklahoma.  Look at the archive maps and piece something together.  Oklahoma is much flatter but the eastern section is almost as pretty as western Arkansas.  Perhaps head east just below I-40.  Try to avoid the Fayetteville, AR; Eureka Springs, AR; & Branson, MO areas...especially on the weekends.

You didn't mention when and if you are camping, cooking, etc.

If you come thru OKLA, let me know and I can try to let you know where to go/stay.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

260
Routes / Brits Tackle Transamerica
« on: March 14, 2008, 02:01:43 pm »
I met a guy his summer doing the northern tier short route in 30 days with LOTS of 100+ days & credit card touring.  I personally wouldn't enjoy a speed trip like that but to each their own.  I did the original NT in 60 days but felt I was rushed.

Perhaps you could take 2-3 trips over 2-5 years to complete it?  That way you are not gone as long per time (makes the Mrs. happy) and you can enjoy the trip.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

261
Routes / US Perimeter Tour?
« on: March 03, 2008, 02:10:18 am »
Sorry for late reply.  I did a last-minute 3/4 perimeter tour (9k miles in 4 months) many moons ago.  They had not developed the ST yet so I headed home.

I think your 60mpd is fine but my biggest hassle was the weather.  Due to me going on at with about 10 days notice, I started late in early July in San Diego to Vancouver to Maine to Key West.  I left San Juan islands August 1st so I had to hook it to beat the snow in Maine.  Then the cold chased me down south to southern Virginia.

If you route timing is not totally finalize, you may want to reconsider heading into AZ in late August/early September as the temps can be quite brutal.  If time/money permit, at Missoula, go north and do some Canadian touring for a couple of weeks so you can not sweat to death and maybe make up some time going to Florida.

Either way, enjoy the ride!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

262
Routes / Northern Tier vs TransAm
« on: September 04, 2007, 03:22:01 pm »
My experience is 20 years old so bear that in mind.  

The TransAm gives a more varied experience of the USA.  Services slightly closer together.  New scenery or terrain every week.  Sea level to 11,500 feet.  Much more varied weather (hot to cold).  Seemed to have nicer people east of Mississippi River if doing the Lake Erie Connection on NT.

The Northern Tier seemed flatter overall but less scenic (especially in Michigan), nicer overall temps but more rain.  Loved Washington State.  If doing the original NT the route thru Iowa to central Ohio, seemd to be similar geography but really nice people.  Had to push a little to get to Portland, ME because evenings would get too cold for me (30s & 40s at times in September).

Overall, when I do it again, I may do a combi trip with NT in west then dip down thru Yellowstone onto TA.  Either route is good though.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

263
Routes / MidWest Route info
« on: July 11, 2007, 11:38:31 am »
I don't know about Iowa, but both Kansas and Missouri have websites showing cycle friendly roads.  Do a search and you can locate them.  You might want to do the Katy trail as you mentioned also.


Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

264
Routes / southern tier: summer ok? Credit Card ok?
« on: April 17, 2007, 11:39:03 am »
The temps will be 90s & 100s (high 60s to maybe low 80s at night depending on where you are at) but it is the humidity that will be tough.  You don't say where you are from but the humidity will be high and combined with the heat, it can really zap your strength if you are not used to it.  Like anything else, your body will adjust, but the first week or two could be a little rough.

As far as camping equipment, I guess I am confused?  Do you mean sleeping outside but with no gear (the mosquitos could be a pain) but if hotels are what you are looking at, I can't answer that.  The ACA maps should provide an idea on that.

Hope you have a great ride!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

265
Routes / Bike Around America
« on: May 13, 2007, 10:53:25 pm »
I have done a 3/4 perimeter tour from San Diego to Vancouver to Maine to Key West.  I did this on a spur of the moment thing so started July 4th. I didn't reach Maine until mid-September and got a little snowed on but missed a major dumping by only a few days.  My trip was 9,000 miles and took 4 months with an overall daily average of 68 miles per day with an average of 78-85 (can't remember for sure) miles per riding day.

No matter which routes you take, I would recommend looking at when you do NOT want to be in a certain area at a certain time of year, i.e. northern west coast or Minnesota in January or Arizona in August, and determine your starting/ending point even if non-traditonal.

Reason I said this was that I was young and ignorant (now middle age and ignorant) about hurricanes and ended in Key West in early November.  It had not even entered my mind what I would do if I was in Florida and one was going to hit.  God was with me and kept my miserable rear from a hurricane but I learned a lesson as the day I left for home, a hurricane was annouced but it fizzled to a tropical storm.  Thus I learned an important lesson about mega-trips.

Out of curiousity, are you just leaving in the summer of 2008 and the time is open ended or are you only doing it in the summer of 2008.  If the latter, I don't think you could cover enough ground quick enough in just 90 days or so.  Another option is that you can do a mega route in stages and time/money permits.


Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

266
Routes / Vermont
« on: August 25, 2006, 12:24:43 am »
Hey,
Take a look at Map 11 of Northern Tier.  It crosses Vermont and connects with Atlantic coast route.  Perhaps someone can suggest a route from Burlington to Middlebury, VT???

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

267
Routes / Best route to traverse America
« on: August 25, 2006, 12:20:58 am »
Hi,
Part of your decision may be based on when you go.  Doing the Western Express in July or August would be hot.  But Missouri (central TransAm) is awfully humid in August also. I have done the regular TransAm and Northern Tier and if you want a little more variety, probably TransAm favored 55/45 (primarily due to scenery).  I soloed (restaurant & camping) both without problems.  If hoteling it & I assume eating out, I would think $40/day would be pretty tough.  Probably closer to $60+/day minimum for restaurant & hotel.

Wishing you a great trip!


Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

268
Routes / Trans Am midpoint????
« on: August 09, 2006, 02:00:24 pm »
The following have airports on or within one day's ride.  You might need to have a box to ship home so that could be an issue at smaller airports.

Pueblo, Vail (beautiful ride on bike path to the west from Frisco), & Steamboat Springs.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

269
General Discussion / Tour Planning - Ten months out
« on: August 26, 2008, 09:09:20 am »
Don't be intimiated as your have got a ton of time.

I have met people on tour who are using dept store bikes and have 1 set of clothes and a tarp & sheet strapped to their rear rack and were having a blast and others with literally $10k worth of customized bike & gear who weren't as happy since some things were not going as they had planned.  

Point is don't over plan as on any long trip, it never stays as planned.  A lot of the learing can be OTJ training if need be, i.e. look for rocks and roots BEFORE you setup your tent so when you finally go to bed your back is not being stuck.  Obviously, the advice others gave is quite valid but be sure to not fret too much if your aren't 100% ready.  You can always take another day on tour if need be since your are retired you lucky guy!

Since it sounds like this is your first trip like this, perhaps you might consider buying high quality used equipment in case touring is not your cup of tea.

Also, depending on your route & distance per day, you might arrive in the Rockies a tad early as snow can melt late there.  After you get your draft route planned out, you can an idea of how long it will take you to reach the passes and then find out if they are typically open by then.

My best advice is to start off with a properly sized/tuned bike and know how to do at least minimal repairs, i.e. change a flat/tire, adjust brakes & gears, and adjust seat and handlebars.

Also, don't overpack.  If the item can not do at least 2 functions, do not take it unless CRITICAL such as a stove.  Do you really need that pillow or can just some balled up clothes work in a pillowcase (doubles as a laundry bag)?

As Jim said, crazyguy is a great site so you can research/ask questions there also.  Read the journals to get an idea of problems they may have had to learn from their lessons.

Most of all, enjoy the ride!!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

270
General Discussion / Favorite book
« on: August 16, 2008, 11:57:30 am »
While I think the Bible is far superior to the other book, you might like Miles From Nowhere by Barbara Savage.  Her account of an around the world bike trip.  

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

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