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Messages - John Nettles

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General Discussion / Re: Great Divide South-North
« on: January 17, 2010, 12:05:44 am »

 ....could you clarify what you mean by water being more available.....???


In May or June the hot part of the summer in New Mexico has not totally kicked in yet.  Therefore, there may still be small areas of surface water (streams, small ponds, puddles, etc.)  of water where you can stop and refill (be sure to purify it).  Later in July & August when it is really hot out, all surface water sources have most likely dried up so you must carry a lot of water for up to two days or future riders will pass a skeleton next to a bike beside the road ;).

Routes / Re: Transamerica general questions
« on: January 16, 2010, 12:33:10 pm »
I always include the rest days, if any, in the average, don't most folks? 

I almost always say I rode "X" miles per riding day.  I prefer to say per riding day as some people take a day off every other day it seems while others never take a day off.

Classifieds / Re: Advice on selling Trek 720
« on: January 05, 2010, 02:45:23 am »
I would sell as is.  Some want to restore to original specs while others just want the frame and build with their idea of the perfect setup.

They are truly a great touring frame and should make some one very happy.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring (Aging?) Compromises
« on: January 05, 2010, 02:42:23 am »
My father-in-law has us all beat.  He is 94 and still rides.  His last tour was about 3 years ago in Europe.  He rides a stock Bike Friday due to not being able to swing his leg over a traditional DF bike anymore.  His kids are insisting he get a trike (Greenspeed or Cat-Trike) this spring as he is starting to lose a bit of balance.  I have ridden with him since he was "only" 63 and I would guess he is about 40% of where he was at age 63.  He has ridden actively for the past 70+ years and has toured quite extensively (I would estimate over 100k miles).  It just goes to show that, assuming your body stays healthy, you can keep riding.

As far as riding with others, he only goes out with a couple of friends who are careful to let him set the pace (about 8-10 mph on rail trails).  He gets a tad nervous when a pack of riders blow by him but he still enjoys riding immensely.

I hope to be riding as well as he does when I am his age (if I should be lucky to be that healthy!).

General Discussion / Re: Biker vs World
« on: January 03, 2010, 09:08:37 pm »
For me personally, skip the friendly toot of the horn. If you must, don't do it until you have already passed me.

I totally understand.  When this is done it is a wave out the window; light toot as opposed to a honk/blast and always after I have passed so that I can see in rear view window.  I guess I just assumed everyone who does do it in a friendly manner does it after passing.  And no I don't do it if they are riding on a busy highway with no shoulder.  Sorry for the confusion.

Now I must admit I really want to lay it on the horn at times when I get behind a pack of racers heading down a major two lane road 3-4 abreast and will not pull single file and traffic is backed up 4+ cars deep.  To me, that is unsafe, rude, and perpetuates motorists bad attitudes toward all cyclists.

General Discussion / Re: Should we have a sub-forum for Guided Tours?
« on: January 03, 2010, 02:42:55 pm »
I don't know of one but think it is a good idea and would second the nomination should ACA be willing to consider this.

General Discussion / Re: Greetings
« on: January 03, 2010, 02:38:11 pm »
Welcome Mugs,

I too was a racer who converted to touring many moons ago.  You might want to look over on CrazyGuyOnABike.  There is a Resources section that may very list other forums.  At least you can post the same question there and get a wider range of answers as it is more international in flavor (but still with a very North American emphasis).  CGoaB is definately touring-only oriented and most people are welcome.

Welcome to the slower side.

Routes / Re: Sierra Cascade Route
« on: January 03, 2010, 02:50:31 am »
I wonder if they will be bring out an updated book to go with it, i.e. like what they did with the Lewis & Clark and Great Divide routes.  Might be nice.

General Discussion / Re: Convincing others of safety of cycling
« on: January 03, 2010, 02:47:18 am »
Sounds like something is missing, i.e. are you 15, 25, 35, or 75?  Are you stealth camping or staying in Marriotts?  Are you or your mom concern about being in shape?  Are you going solo or with others?

I agree that bike touring in the countryside is less dangerous than in a city but remember that Moms are supposed to be worried.

Maybe have your mom read some journals of people riding through Texas over on CrazyGuy.  It sounds like this might be your first tour.  If so, do a route that is already known and researched, i.e. the Southern Tier in Texas, so you can say "Look Ma, I might meet some other riders who are on this exact route which has been researched by a great organization and has had thousands of people ride it."  You gotta make Momma happy cause if she ain't happy, nobody be happy so go on a organized route first.  Once you get this first tour done, she might be a tad less stressed and you can go on other trips with less guilt for worring your Mom.  It took my Mom 8 years of annual tours (including a 4 month, 9,000 mile tour) before she mostly, but not entirely, became comfortable with me touring.

Do a weekend tour first close to home so she can get more comfortable with the idea of you touring.  You could also get a Spot tracking device so she knows where you are at all times.  Consider riding with others.  Worse case, do a weekend drive of your route so she can see it for herself.

I really don't understand the "just doing it" part of your statement.  Does she have a concern about this or you?

I know this may not help much but just consider this practice for when you get married and you have to convince your spouse every year that you will be OK  :).

Out of curiosity, where is your route going?

General Discussion / Re: Biker vs World
« on: January 03, 2010, 02:21:46 am »
It depends on the situation.  If it is a loaded biker, I always pull over just to say "Hi" even if they are riding along.  I usually try to give them a few bucks to buy them a beverage for a fellow tourist.  Usually, a biker is a tad nervous but once they realize I am not a threat, they are at ease.  If it is a racer-type, I slow down to see if they look like they know what they are doing, i.e. are actively repairing a flat.  Like others, I ask if they need anything and is everything OK.

I have passed loaded riders while I was on a car vacation, pulled over and offered them water in Utah in the summer.  This was gratefully accepted.

Absolute minimum for all riders is a friendly toot of the horn and a wave.

Once I had a older guy in an old pickup with a confederate flag in the rear window slammed on the brake right after passing me wide and I gave a wave.  Scared the heck out of me initially but the guy just wanted to say Hi.

Another good question!

General Discussion / Re: How many days for a good ride
« on: January 02, 2010, 12:58:57 am »
It's doable assuming you are in shape.  I concur with others that the "stop and smell the roses" is a more enjoyable way to tour.  I did the original Northern Tier in 46 days and my riding days averaged 105 miles per day.  It sucked but I was doing a perimeter tour and had to beat the weather in the northeast as I hadn't left Anacortes until about August 5th.  I have also toured as low as 30 miles a day and all areas in between and sort of prefer a riding day average of 60 miles.

This summer while on a 1,200 mile tour (averaged 71 mpd), I met a guy just north of Fargo who blew me away.  He was doing a round-trip Northern Tier tour (Seattle to Bar Harbor to Seattle) and averaged 127 miles per day and had only taken 1 day off.  He said he didn't really like touring because he never saw anything worthwhile.  I suggested he stop occasionally to see stuff.  He said he might but was considering ramping it up a little so he could be home in 10 days (average of 181 miles!).  This was in late August so the daylight was not that long.  Granted his thighs were HUGE and he went very light but I sort of felt pity for him since he was missing the point of "touring".

That said, if your goal is to "cross the country" and you only have 5 weeks and you are capable of it, I say that is better than not doing it and regretting it later on.  You could also do a Mexico to Canada crossing also but that is not the same.

Hope you have a great time!

General Discussion / Re: Your first long distance tour...
« on: January 02, 2010, 12:37:58 am »
I was 15 going on a 1,000-mile, month-long ride with a fellow rider who was a newspaper reporter.  We were scouting out other cross-state (RAGBRAI, SAAGBRAW, etc.) rides to see how Oklahoma's could improve.  I had to walk my first hill ever as we ended up on a road under construction so had a gravel road on a really steep uphill next to the Mississippi.  I couldn't get traction so I had to walk.  Over 30 years later, I still remember that blasted hill but now I don't care as much if the old body doesn't have the wind to make it up the hill.

At the end, I was thinking, man I gotta go back to school.  Bummer.

Good question!

General Discussion / Re: General Age Range of the TransAm?
« on: December 28, 2009, 11:24:55 pm »
I have not done the TransAm on an organized tour but did it solo when I was 17 before my senior year in HS many years ago.  You will remember this forever.  I am sure ACA would be able to give you some decent stats if you email them.  You will probably learn a lot from the older, long-time riders who go on the tour with you.  Enjoy the ride!

Routes / Re: Sierra Cascades Bicycle Route
« on: December 28, 2009, 11:21:04 pm »
Does it have a shoulder or anything that might make it a little better??  Thanks for the heads up as I am considering riding it next year.


Routes / Re: Midwest three state route
« on: December 21, 2009, 10:46:32 pm »
You might want to expand on your trip, i.e. number of days, points of interest you like, etc. to get a better response.

If you want something researched for you, you could do the ACA Northern Tier from Fargo to Stillwater, MN (border of WI).  Then you can research a route thru Wisconsin as they have a very good website showing maps based on suitability for cycling.  Plus Wisconsin has lots of rail trails to utilize.

Hope this helps and enjoy your tour!


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