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Messages - John Nettles

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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

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

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.

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 and ask there. 

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!

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.


Routes / Re: east from morgantown, wv to DC
« on: September 21, 2015, 11:27:28 am »
It is typically illegal to ride on interstates east of the Mississippi River.  The GAP is primarily crushed limestone and it typically easy enough to ride on 32+mm tires.

Another option is to ride over to Purcellville, VA and get onto the W&OD rail trail which is paved and will take you into Washington.

Hope you enjoy your ride!


Routes / Re: which route in usa
« on: September 09, 2015, 09:44:55 am »
Based on your routing, it sounds like you have given much more thought to the second route.  It would be a very scenic route with some noteworthy climbs.

You do not indicate how far you would ride per day, so can't say for sure that April is too early but I would think you might be pushing it just a bit.

If you do the second route, it be nice to continue up to Glacier National Park from Yellowstone and into Canada up to Jasper and leave from Edmonton.  However, the NW part of the country is very scenic where ever you go.

Definitely get a better idea of your dates so you can cross-reference the weather in various areas using a website like WeatherSpark as they have a very good averages screen.

Enjoy your ride!

Routes / Re: northern tier vs. north lakes/erie connector
« on: August 17, 2015, 10:46:41 pm »
I have done both somewhat.  I have done the original NT to Minneapolis that went from Minneapolis down to the Quad Cities then east over and up toward Niagara Falls.  I have also ridden from LaCrosse, WI, then over to Manitowoc, WI and crossed the ferry and reconnected to the North Lakes/Erie Connector to Niagara via Ontario.

The original NT was somewhat less scenic but much friendlier people and for some reason seemed better.  It is less hilly than the NL/EC.  The NT has fields of crops more so than the NL/EC.  If you are not entering Canada, I am guessing the NL from Minneapolis over to Manitowoc then down to Toledo?? would be best compromise (central Wisconsin is great!).

If you give more info as to what you want, i.e. scenery (what type do you like, i.e. wide open, forests), roads, services (CG vs hotels), temperature preference, etc. others may be able to provide a better answer.

Routes / Re: Summit to NYC via GW Bridge
« on: July 20, 2015, 09:32:24 am »
I am not positive but if you do not want to take ferries or trains, the only bridge you are able to ride across the Hudson River on is the George Washington Bridge by Fort Lee, NJ.

Personally, I do not see what is wrong with a ferry as it transports cars too so ferries are technically part of the "road" system. Heck, you may have had to use a ferry to cross a river elsewhere on the journey so why start the prohibition now.  I understand about hitching a ride but not ferries.

Anyway, as you state, one of my prominent memories of riding on the east coast was riding down Broadway, 5th, and Park Avenues to the Staten Island Ferry on a fully loaded bike.  I crossed the Verrazano Bridge back in the early 80s when it was still legal (but very foolish, even on a Sunday morning).

Best, John

General Discussion / Re: Getting home from Yorktown in Sept.
« on: July 18, 2015, 09:29:23 pm »
I can't comment on a bike shop.

Depending on how quick versus how much you want to spend, you have several options.  1) You can rent a car one way to Phoenix for around $800 plus gas and motels.   Plus is whole lot less likely to damage the bike.  2) You can rent from VB to DCA OR Richmond airports one-way for about around $100 and then take a flight to PHX for around $175 plus bike shipping costs ($~$200???).  I personally would take the DCA route as the flight is direct (you AND your bike do not switch planes so less likely you get bike damage).  3) You could take a train from Washington for around $300 but it takes about 3 days PLUS a layover night in either Chicago or New Orleans (not too bad in New Orleans).  4) If you are a glutton for punishment but want to save money, you could take Greyhound from VB for $120 plus bike and it takes 2 transfers so even though the published times is a little over 2.5 days, there is an even chance you could ride your bike back to PHX before the bus arrives as they are notoriously late so you miss the connections if the bus doesn't break down in the middle of nowhere.

I personally would ride up to DCA via VA & MD and cross over on the ferry to Tangier Island and connect to the ACA Potomac route into Washington.  It would take another week but what the heck  ;D.

Whatever you choose, have a great ride.

GPS Discussion / Re: Where is the Download Data??
« on: July 16, 2015, 10:39:33 pm »
Go to the ACA Routes main Page > Maps Section >Green Mountains Loop (right side of page).  Then click on the "GPS" section near the top of the Green Mountain Loop section summary.  That will take you to the GPS data page.  Be sure you are logged in to be able to download the info.

Happy Trails, John

General Discussion / Re: 12 days - NY to Norfolk
« on: July 14, 2015, 06:08:32 pm »
First I assume you are going from New York City, NY, to Norfolk, VA.  Can you provide more information as to your trip?    For instance, when are you planning this trip for, i.e. May, August, October?  Are you camping (outside of NYC).  How many days in NYC?  Do you eat out in cafes or cook your own food?

Hostels in NYC around $60/night.  Hotels a minimum of $150.  Hotels can go radically up depending on the time of year.  Food is about $30-$40+ a day for cafes.  Can be less if cooking.  Sightseeing can be free to expensive.   Provide more info and others can assist with costs.

Best wishes, John

If you can, get a bag without side baffles which are the inner walls on the side to prevent down from going from the top of the bag to the bottom (or vice versa).  You want to be able to shake/shift the down around as the temperatures on the TransAm have huge swings. This way you can shift the down to the top when in cooler places like Yellowstone and shift to bottom in warmer places like Kansas and Missouri.

My most used bag is a 32 degree bag and it has worked for 25 years. 


Routes / Re: Dallas to Black Rock City, NV
« on: June 29, 2015, 03:27:39 pm »
Check out the various journals over on  You can do a search for various cities, i.e. Black Rock City, to see if anyone has toured through there and then maybe patch together some routes that way.  Depending on the time of year you go, you could take a variety of ACA routes to do at least 75% of your route.

Best wishes, John

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