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Messages - John Nettles

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46
Southwest / Re: canyon de chelly, AZ
« on: January 07, 2016, 11:52:40 am »
Thanks.  My own research somewhat agrees with what you have, i.e. BIA-7 is somewhat sandy but the stretch between pavement is more like 23 miles (assuming Google satellite view is accurate).  I was hoping you had actually ridden it so you could indicate how sandy it actually was.  While you can always go a sandy road it isn't always worth it so I was trying to get firsthand experience.

Regards, John

47
Routes / Re: New improved route NY/CT border to Northern Maine
« on: January 06, 2016, 08:00:50 pm »
Whitebirch,

Would you say your route is better than ACA's and if so why, i.e. less traffic, more scenic, more services, etc.?

48
Southwest / Re: canyon de chelly, AZ
« on: January 04, 2016, 10:30:23 pm »
I was wondering which route you chose and the riding conditions of it.  Thanks, John

49
Routes / Re: Safety of Southern Tier near Border
« on: January 01, 2016, 05:39:42 pm »
We just got done with a western leg of the ST this past November between Phoenix and San Diego and we had zero issues with safety other than the previously reported narrow road and lots of RVs on the stretch between Blythe and Brawley.  No "immigration" issues at all.  Do note the stretch along the California border does have limited services so stock up in El Centro.  The climb out of El Centro is long but not unbearable.  Enjoy the ride!

50
Routes / Re: Crossing the Mississippi
« on: December 24, 2015, 05:00:38 pm »
Ahh.  Then since there are no other bridges between those in your OP, I would still call the Vicksburg Bridge Commission @ 601/636-0881 and see what they say.  Who knows, they might have converted the old bridge into a "rail trail". Again, post the response.

Also, depending on your trip's route, you can also head south to Natchez and cross on US-61.  Not overly enjoyable with 23k cars per day and no shoulder but it is doable with its 4 lanes.  Or you can head further north to Helena and cross  US49 with its 4K cars but only 2 lanes.  Of course you can cross using the ST route near New Roads, LA on the new bridge (nice) or cross at Memphis on the south-side sidewalk of US-55.  A little tricky to get to but fine.  If you go through Memphis, contact me for directions.  Of all these, I prefer Greenville, New Roads, and Memphis assuming Vicksburg is not a rail trail.

51
Routes / Re: Crossing the Mississippi
« on: December 24, 2015, 04:14:33 pm »
You do not indicate where you are.  The Greenville bridge is new with wide shoulders.  As of a couple of years ago, you could NOT legally cross in Vicksburg according to the Vicksburg Bridge Commission whom I asked. However, since then I have "heard" third hand you could cross on the old Bridge (just north of the interstate).  If you try crossing the Vicksburg Bridge, please post the outcome. 

52
Routes / Re: Southern Tier with no camping?
« on: December 22, 2015, 10:32:12 pm »
The journal link was bad and did not go through.

53
Routes / Re: Southern Tier with no camping?
« on: December 16, 2015, 10:23:09 pm »
Can't comment on it all as I have only done portions some of which were "off route" frequently.  The portion I was only this past October from Phoenix to Imperial Beach we only used  indoor lodging.  The most difficult portion is that we had to time it to stay at the "biker lodging" house near Palo Verde OR do a long ride that day.

If you are in shape AND you will NOT have a head wind, I would recommend you do the Blythe to Brawley section in one day over staying at the biker lodging.  While the lady was nice, the 1.5m road to/from her house was a huge pain with regular road tires as the road was incredibly sandy.

The reason we did the hotels only on this trip is that the budget hotels were only about $10-$15 typically over a commercial campsite and a few of the riders were in their mid-70s and wanted a bed if possible.  Who am I to argue with that  ;D!  You could always mail your gear to a post office (care of general delivery) or motel near the start of a long "hotel desert" and mail it back home/ahead again when you reach "civilization".  Another option is to just go way off route like I did such as doing the Gulf Coast from Florida to Galveston (gap between Galveston and Phoenix is a future trip).

Finally, AND are strong, I highly recommend going off route between Marathon and Marfa and visit Big Bend National Park and then west via US385>TX118>CR170>>US67.  This route is much much hillier but 4x more scenic.  You can get indoor lodging but have to book in advance which is always a pain to ensure you get there a the right time.




54
Routes / Re: Marietta, Ohio to Crystal River, Fl
« on: December 12, 2015, 04:12:09 pm »
I have not done that specific route.  However, you should probably give more specific information in order to get a good recommendation.

For instance, what time of year are you touring?  Do you want to see anything special if possible (scenery, historical, etc.)?  Do you want to avoid anything if possible (hills, cities, longer distance)?  What time frame do you have to do the ride (2 weeks or 2 months)?  Where in Ohio/Florida are starting/ending?  Are you camping/hotel, eating out/cooking yourself, etc.?  Each variable could cause a different route to be recommended.

All that said, using Google bike settings for more than 25 miles at a time is typically not very good.  They are fairily decent in metro areas over short distances but deteriorate quickly as the distance increases.

Finally, have no idea what "21,000 foot delta H." means.

John

55
Routes / Re: West from Pittsburgh to Ohio
« on: November 29, 2015, 05:18:19 pm »
I have seen your picture several times.  Where specifically was it taken?  Thanks, John

56
Routes / Re: Has anybody cycled through the entire continental 48 states???
« on: November 25, 2015, 06:02:32 pm »
Do you mean entirely across each state or just enter (but not necessarily cross it) each state.  If the latter, probably several hundred have done it over the years.  If you mean the former, less than a 100 (guessing) have but it has been done.

Go a google search, this is just one example of someone who did it http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/48-states-in-48-days-record-attempt-21834/.




57
Routes / Re: Can I ride from Cortez CO to Pueblo CO in early April?
« on: November 25, 2015, 07:44:45 am »
I personally would not arrive in Dolores before June 1st the very earliest.  Remember, you have a 5,000+ foot elevation difference between the low and the high parts of the route in Colorado.  That difference can easily mean the difference between a pleasant day of cycling in the valleys and a truly miserable day if it is 35-40 degrees, snowing/raining, and/or blowing hard at the higher elevations with little chance of indoor services.

Speaking of services, I would get online and review when some of the campgrounds actually open for the season along your route.  Some very well may not open until early to mid-June.

I once was camping near South Fork, CO, in late June and had two nights of light snow (1").  That was doable but no fun (cold & wet) and it was the end of June not the beginning.  There is a reason ACA and others recommend riding the route "from mid-May through October, depending on weather."  If you ride earlier or later, just be prepared (time wise, mentally and financially) to hole up in a hotel until the weather improves.

58
Routes / Re: Plummer ID to Ellensburg, WA
« on: November 24, 2015, 05:12:03 pm »
Sorry, I haven't ridden this part of WA yet.  You might also try crazyguyonabike.com and ask there. 

59
Routes / Re: Can I ride from Cortez CO to Pueblo CO in early April?
« on: November 24, 2015, 07:53:54 am »
While the roads will be open, there will be snow along the sides of the road and no campgrounds will be open but I guess you could wild camp.  At the higher elevations and passes, the snow could very well be banked, i.e. cut through a 20' drift so you are in a roofless "tunnel" for a couple of miles.

Of course, if a snow storm comes (not unusual for that time of year), be prepared to wait it out in a hotel as most tents can not handle 12-24" of snow piled on them.

While it is doable, I personally would not do it, sort of along the same lines as it is doable to cross the country on a 2nd hand walmart $99 special bike but I would not want the hassles, headaches, and uncertainty.

Your best bet would be to head south and go along the southern tier (or further south along the border (or even dip into Mexico!), and once you get to Las Cruces/El Paso, you could angle up toward the BR66, then connect with the TransAm once in Marshfield, MO.

Whatever you choose, enjoy the ride!

60
Routes / Re: Southern Tier variant
« on: November 17, 2015, 10:57:21 pm »
A few years ago, I rode from Nogales - Tombstone - Sunizona - CNM - Portal - Animas - Lordsburg.  The reason most do not do this route (other than don't want to go "off route") is the the road between CNM & Portal is a very hilly gravel road.  It was a very tough day that day.

Unless you are riding a bike with at least 40mm tires and can climb 12 miles of up to 12% grades (average is about guessing 5%) followed by a 12 mile twisty steep/fast down hill, I would not recommend it.  It took us most of the day to get from CNM to Portal.  However, we had started the tour only a few days before in Tucson so I was not in the best of shape yet.  That said, if you are strong enough to ride it and have the appropriate tires, I would highly recommend it.  NOTE:  I rode it before the wildfires swept through so do not know how the scenery is now.

It is a beautiful ride but not for the typical sub-40mm tired touring bike unless you are hardy souls.  If you do it, consider riding between Sierra Vista and Patagonia via Canelo, Canelo Pass, and Henshaw Roads.  We camped on Canelo Pass road overlooking a vast plains and it was one of my top 5 campsites ever in 35 years.

John

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