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Messages - John Nettles

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46
Routes / Re: Miami to Bakersfield, want'n to stay out of Texas
« on: February 16, 2015, 04:43:24 pm »
Mathew,

Yes, we highly respect people's property, land and otherwise, in this part of the country.  However, Texans, as a whole, are generous and friendly people, especially out in the country.  If you ask permission and act respectful, you generally will be given the OK or at least a suggestion on where else it might be OK to camp.  Usually, the fire departments and/or churches are pretty good options.

John

47
Routes / Re: From Nashville to Atlanta
« on: February 12, 2015, 10:26:35 am »
The only dangerous animal would be humans in cars  ;).  The problem with the area is that there are relatively few low traffic paved roads.

Tennessee has a traffic count website http://ww3.tdot.state.tn.us/TrafficHistory/ so you can follow your route to see if it is within your comfort range.  Look at google streetview over various points of your route.  They also have a bike info page http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/bikeped/routes.htm but a lot of the routes seem to be put together by non-cyclists as only highways are used (no county roads).  Most of their proposed routes have fairly high traffic.  If you have a GPS, time to develop the route, and have enough time, you can use county road maps http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/Maps/county/default.htm to stay off the highways and get a much truer flavor of America.

Georgia has a statewide bike map that might be useful http://www.dot.ga.gov/travelingingeorgia/bikepedestrian/Pages/default.aspx.

Typically, US routes avoid roads that have traffic counts greater than 2500 (# of vehicles per day on average), especially if there is no shoulder.  I glanced at several points along your route and has heavy traffic and/or no shoulders.

All that said, your route is not too bad.  I personally prefer less traffic so would take many more county roads but then again you do have time constraints.

Another thing to consider is that you realistically can fly into any commercial airport unless you do not want connections.  If you were to consider other airports, your areas to utilize greatly increase.

A final option, and probably my preferred choice, is to do a week long tour and rent a car one-way to Atlanta.  For instance, you could do part of the Blue Ridge Parkway (a beautiful ride in October) by flying into a city further north, say Charlottesville, VA, and end of in Asheville, NC.  A one-way rental car to Atlanta would cost about $130.  This route would be more scenic with a lot less traffic.

Whatever you choose, have an enjoyable trip!


48
Routes / Re: ROUT HELP! Chicago, IL to Hilliard, OH
« on: February 01, 2015, 09:37:42 am »
While I am not overly familiar with this area, I do have a question that might help others.  Is this route just for you or for a "mass tour" like a MS150 tour?  If the latter, a much safer route may be required due to the wide variety and sheer number of riders.  Also, what requirements do you have, i.e. camping, hotels, restaurants, cooking own food, etc.?

Regardless, I wish you a successful fundraiser.

49
Routes / Re: Jacksonville FL to New Orleans...
« on: January 31, 2015, 09:24:01 pm »
90 is the way to go. I would use the Mobile bay ferry west of Pensacola. I strongly advise against trying 90 going west out of New Orleans.
Westinghouse! You're the one who said to go 20! lol! Seriously though, now you recommend 90?

I believe he was talking about Florida 20.  The quote you gave is for WEST of New Orleans.  West of New Orleans, US-90 is not fun at all especially since there are quiet parish roads nearby.

50
Routes / Re: Jacksonville FL to New Orleans...
« on: January 31, 2015, 09:19:59 pm »
90 is the way to go. I would use the Mobile bay ferry west of Pensacola. I strongly advise against trying 90 going west out of New Orleans.
I agree.  When I did it this past October, I took the parallel parish (county) roads though they tended to be longer as they followed the rivers.  I was only on US-90 for a couple of miles total between Luling (bike path to Luling) and New Iberia.  When I was I had a full lane shoulder. 

51
Classifieds / Re: Looking for a used Garmin for my trike
« on: January 30, 2015, 01:02:20 am »
If you plan on using maps to design your own routes, when you buy a used unit, be sure to get the maps too.  Garmin ties all the mapping software to the unit it was originally loaded onto.  In other words, if you do not get the maps that are "joined" to the unit, you will have to pay $100 for a new mapping set.

If you are computer handy, you can also get free to low-cost public software maps but I am not handy so know little about them.

An older Garmin Vista HCx is a good starter unit.

Welcome to touring!

52
Routes / Re: Trans american--western express
« on: January 29, 2015, 08:40:33 am »
All depends on when you arrive in Colorado.  Are you starting the trip in March or arriving in Colorado in March?  I would not show up before June 1st at the very earliest.  That said, I think all the passes on the Colorado portion are kept open year round (may close for a day or two following a snow storm) so it is doable.  However, the roads are narrower due to the snow banks and I would definitely not recommend it.

Additionally, if you can wait until early Summer (mid-June) the weather is a lot nicer.

Have a good ride!

53
Routes / Re: Jacksonville FL to New Orleans...
« on: January 28, 2015, 04:08:11 pm »
I'm late to the discussion but I rode from Key West to Galveston last year mainly along the coast.  It was nice.  However, there is a lot more traffic (except when taking the county roads).  I only used US-90 from between Ocean Springs and New Orleans with short sections here and there in other places.  You could then hug the coast until you get to Perry, FL then FL-20 to High Springs where, I think, the ACA ST intersects.

The pros are much better scenery (road between Pensacola and Navarre is one of the best around), all the seafood you can eat (I got sick of eating shrimp and fish everyday), more services.

Cons are heavy traffic from Ocean Springs west to New Orleans; from near Top Sail SP in Florida to Navarre, around Panama Beach (do NOT cross the FL-30 bridge from Panama City to Tyndall AFB on a Friday at quitting time (one of my worst experiences ever); little stronger wind, slightly cooler.

Overall, I would do again, especially east of Grand Bay if you do not want to go to New Orleans.

Have a good trip!

John


54
Routes / Re: roads in south carolina
« on: January 25, 2015, 10:59:29 pm »
Mandy,

Hop on over to CrazyGuyonaBike.com and review some of the journals for the Atlantic Coast Route using this link http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/categories/?o=Sh&category_id=174&doctype=journal.  Or you can do a search on a larger town ON THE ROUTE near you to narrow down further.  If the others had the same problem, you might need to deviate.  However, if not, you "should" be fine.  Honestly, it is the trailer that will cause more aggrivation but that is bigger so maybe the drivers will give you more room.

Hope this helps, John

55
Routes / Re: roads in south carolina
« on: January 24, 2015, 05:55:08 pm »
While I am not familiar with SC (last rode in it almost 20 years ago), I am a bit confused as to what route you are talking about.  Are you talking about the ACA AC route or the state of SC's mapped routes.  If the latter, which ones?  Perhaps I may not be the only one a bit confused.  While it is probably too early in the year, the Blue Ridge Parkway would mostly cure the traffic problems if heading north.

56
Routes / Re: US Route 83
« on: December 28, 2014, 07:26:21 pm »
If you are set on following US-83 closely, you really do not need a cue sheet as there are few if any "detours".

Any town over 1,500 will definitely have a grocery store.  Between 500 and 1,500, you might or might not have one.  Less than 500.  Probably not.  Should hit a combo convenience/pizza/sandwich store (with limited groceries) in almost every town with at least 500.

Occasionally you will see them elsewhere.  The Plains have great people with great hospitality.  Camping in the city park should not be an issue until you get down to Oklahoma and Texas as long as your are respectful.  Showers at the local pool (between Memorial and school starting) typically in or near the city park.

 Be sure to look ahead a few days to ensure you are passing through a big enough town to resupply.  Carry an extra meal or two in your packs.  You will be fine.

57
Routes / Re: Miami to Bakersfield, want'n to stay out of Texas
« on: December 14, 2014, 02:06:29 am »
Short answer is yes.  I have toured both in Texas and Oklahoma and both are fine to tour in.  If anything, I have found the opposite to be true in that small town police are helpful.

58
Routes / Re: HWY 75 - Alligator Alley
« on: December 09, 2014, 04:38:27 pm »
You might consider taking the ferry from either Fort Myers Beach or Marco Island directly to Key West then riding back up the Keys.  I rode US-41 years ago and while OK, I would not do again.  I did the ferry (but reverse) and enjoyed it.  Bikes are easily done on the ferry.  Hope you enjoy the ride!

59
Routes / Re: US Route 83
« on: November 29, 2014, 12:58:23 pm »
Jamawani,

Your P.S. makes me believe you won't be employed by the Great Plains tourism bureau :).  I know you truly do love the Great Plains but dang you made it sound like a ride through hell.  I'm still chuckling.

60
Routes / Re: US Route 83
« on: November 29, 2014, 10:39:19 am »
Last week, I DROVE US-83 between Carrizo Springs and Laredo.  It was Monday afternoon.  Traffic was really heavy.  While there was a 3' shoulder, it was just too much truck traffic and cars trying to pass for me to want to tour on it.  Traffic was almost continuous.  So that you know, I have toured extensively for 35 years and am not easily frightened.  All that said, it is ridable, just certainly not enjoyable or overly safe.  Sorry for the non-glorious ending to your tour.

As a side note, why go North to South when the winds definitely tend to be S-N?  I did a tour from Brownsville to Winnipeg several years ago and had many more tailwind days than headwind days.  Plus if you start in early to mid May, you might be able to time it so you have consistently decent temperatures as you ride north.  Just a thought.

Like the cue sheet :)

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