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Messages - John Nettles

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256
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

257
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

258
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

259
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

260
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

261
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

262
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

263
General Discussion / Touring routes library
« on: August 19, 2008, 12:56:54 pm »
Hi,

I meant since I am inputting and wanted to put in accurate info, does ACA want the overall or riding average and does ACA want the cost per day to include transportation, gear bought, etc. or just the actual daily expenses?  Perhaps ACA could update the form to accurately reflect what it wants.  Thanks again!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

264
General Discussion / Touring routes library
« on: August 18, 2008, 10:29:39 am »
Great idea...didn't know it existed.  Some clarification questions.

Are "Avg miles per day" based on overall or riding?  Does cost per day include transportation to & from?

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

265
General Discussion / Touring routes library
« on: August 16, 2008, 11:55:36 am »
You can try bikely.com or mapmyride.com but be forewarned those may or may not be decent routes.

A lot of states have bike route maps showing which state roads are good to use.

It is not too difficult getting a decent route picked by yourself.  Plus it helps you remember it a lot longer (at least I do anyway).

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

266
General Discussion / ACA Tour Orphans Unite!
« on: May 22, 2008, 12:24:34 pm »
Wow!  While I can't join you on a tour, why did they cancel the tours?  That I would think is a primary mission for the organization.  

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

267
General Discussion / Making a town "tour-friendly".
« on: May 17, 2008, 09:26:21 pm »
I rode through Chester in 1983 and I still remember the absolutely beautiful life guard at the pool.  I was in my late teens and camped out near the pool.

As far as an ideal host town, well I enjoy free/low cost hiker/biker only bunk houses which is typically a donated house converted into a no-frills dorm style house with bunk beds, kitchen, etc.  Due to the summer heat, it would probably need to have AC or at least heavily shaded with lots of ceiling fans.

If you can't do that do to possible vandalism/cost, having a "campground" with large tent pads that are level; slightly raised (1 RR tie); semi-loose dirt (think vegetable cargen, not cement or gravel) to get tent stakes in; a few picnic tables; water faucet; bath house (hot water nice); pay washer/dryer in town; pay phone close by; electrical outlets (to charge cell phones), clothes line, and a "hitchin post" for the bikes.  I would like for it to be in walking distance to the library (internet), and/or wireless service.  All in the shade and so where car lights don't keep you up at night.

If lighted, have the lights either switched by the user or turn off 30 minutes after dark.

All for an honor system (put mone in box) low cost system.

I have tried for years to get ACA to consider working with town along the route to develop stopover towns like the above with no success :|.

As a person with a background in tourism destination development, I (as a town) would gladly spend the relatively small amount of money for the tax base and economic benefits.  It would pay for itself in a few years and help the local businesses.

Since Chester has/had a pool, the biggest expense is already taken care of (bath facilities and phone).

Hope you do it. Best of luck and whatever happened to that blonde?!?


Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

268
General Discussion / Portland's Agony
« on: May 16, 2008, 12:17:20 pm »
Maybe I am just different but I see that both sides have pros and cons.  I think ultimately it is your responsiblility to be safe.  While I strongly support following the rules of driving, I will do what it takes to keep myself safe, regardless of the law.

While the accidents were unfortunate, I think the first cyclist was at fault and the second was not but could have prevented it.  If I have not made eye contact, I assume the driver doesn't see me.

I think the point about if the laws were followed (not turning into a lane while a cyclist is present, not passing on the right), it would greatly help.  However, I could easily visualize his example and thought it was valid.

Both sides must remember that both sides are doing what they think is best.  There is no reason to get personal (bekologist) as I seriously doubt Mr. Schubert lied.  Stongly opinioned yes, but outright lie??

I think ultimately the more cyclists there are in the cities, the better the situation it will be.  No system is or ever will be perfect.  Example:  I was side glanced bumped TWICE by cars in Amsterdam (the presumed mecca of cycling) while in lanes.

I personally prefer separate (curb and all) paths or just plain wider roads but have no issues with lanes, boxes, etc. other than doors opening into them and ignorance (don't know the laws) of drivers.

There are some definate opinions out there and mine is to get back to discussing touring as this is what this organization is about.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

269
While I have no experience in biking while responsible for major bills for an extended time, I have traveled for 4 months at a time so hopefully this would apply.

I had a sizeable checking account built up prior to the trip.  I had all bills that could be auto-debited done that way.  If not, I either prepayed and/or prepared a SASE with a prepayment given to a relative who has given a list of when to mail what letter.  This way I never had to rely on a public computer to do bill paying, something I personally would avoid if possible.

As far as taxes go, I filed in October as I knew I would be getting a small refund.  YOu must have a "good" reason as to why you could not file but it is almost always allowed.  However, you must pay any taxes due prior to April 15th or you might be subject to penalty and interest.  However, if you are gone a year, your tax situation might be pretty easy and you could have someone file on your behalf.

I would give a trusted family memeber/friend a limited power of attorney so they could discuss stuff with the bank, credit card company, etc. if need be.

Finally, you might want to ask those over at CGoaB who have done extended tours what they have done also.


Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

270
General Discussion / Tire Choice ??
« on: March 18, 2008, 09:51:36 pm »
Last summer I did a partial NT from Minn to NY.  I tried the Schwalbe Supremes and was very pleased with them, i.e. fast, durable, held grip, etc.  I weigh the same as you and enjoy a 37mm tire.

I am old school (but trying to get into newer school ;) )and prefer a bit more rubber to cushion against pot holes.  To me, safety/reliability, comfort, speed in that order are my priorities so while a smaller tire might be faster, I prefer the bigger tire.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

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