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Messages - John Nettles

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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

General Discussion / Re: Partial RSS feed
« on: January 31, 2009, 11:01:29 am »
I guess I am missing it but where can I subscribed to the RSS feeds? John

Gear Talk / Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« on: January 30, 2009, 07:37:10 pm »
Since you said "any price", look at a Co-Motion Pangea or a Thorn Cycles Raven or Raven Nomad.  My next bike will probably be one of these and I already own a Bruce Gordon and a Robert Beckman.

Routes / Re: TransAm on Map 12, Christiansburg VA
« on: January 30, 2009, 07:18:45 pm »
You didn't say how long you had for your trip.  Being in Vienna, you could take the bike path to Purcellville, then go to the Skyline Drive then down to Afton (Cookie Lady) and hang a left.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier & Fuel for cooking advice please
« on: January 30, 2009, 07:15:44 pm »
Just get a multi-fuel stove, MSR, Coleman, etc.  While unleaded gas is readily available, white gas (Coleman) is cleaner and clogs less.

General Discussion / Re: What gear?
« on: January 30, 2009, 07:10:33 pm »
I have toured for right at 30 years.  My golden packing rule is everything must be able to do double duty unless absolutely critical, i.e. tent.  Of course, this is a personal preference and every person has a different definition of "critical".  I have toured for years with a total weight of 25 pounds, including packs, and 3 days of clothes. 

Clothes are a good example on how to do double up.  Do you really need a jersey or will just a regular t-shirt work?  I must have "cargo" type cycling shorts and when I get to camp, I shower, and change into the next day's clothes.  I have a pair of zip-off legs pants for day hikes and something a tad dressier.  Again, every one is different so do a few weekend trial tours before setting out.

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.

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