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Messages - John Nettles

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Routes / Re: Going To The Sun Road...after 4 PM
« on: June 20, 2013, 10:11:13 am »
Just to clarify, the restriction is only between Sprague and Logan Pass east bound.  You are allowed to ride west bound on any part of the road at anytime.  You can go east bound from Logan Pass at anytime.  If you wanted to depart east bound Sprague CG after 4:00pm, I would think it would not be too bad as the vast majority of the traffic will have lessened as everyone is back in camp, heading home, etc.  The NPS must think it is OK/safe/not impede traffic to ride east bound up the road after 4pm so I would say go for it.  The pros are warmer (it can get quite cold at the top, especially coming down), the sun will be lighting up a lot of the mountains behind you so not in your eyes, and you can sleep in.  Cons are probably more traffic and the warm may be a pain heading uphill.

Be sure to report back for future inquiries!

Happy Trails!

Congrats on your journey.  I would start by heading down to Bar Harbor, Maine.

From there, if you want to see NYC, Washington, etc., I would recommend you use the ACA Atlantic Coast route.  Since the east coast is so densely populated, finding a decent route is a chore and they have done the work for you.  Once in Washington, you can take the W&OD rail trail out toward the Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway (if you do not mind climbs).  This will eventually intersect with the TransAm near Roanoke, Virginia.  Or you can stay on the Atlantic Coast route until it intersects the TransAm in Fredericksburg, VA.

If you want to bypass the east coast, you could head over on the Northern Tier route through scenic New Hampshire and Vermont and angle down to Niagara Falls where you could pick up the Underground Railroad route.  This route heads southwest and bisects the TransAm in Kentucky.  This would save you some time as it is less miles plus less "big city" stops for sightseeing.

If you are a member of ACA, you can download all the GPS waypoints so you do not HAVE to buy the maps but they are really good maps.  If you buy the maps, it probably makes sense to join as it is not too expensive.  However, they do not show where to wild camp.  I would think after 4 years though you would be an expert on that  ;).

The USA is really weak on hostels.  They are mainly on the east and west coast with a few scattered elsewhere.  They are definitely more of bonus than the usual type of accommodation.  You are much better off with using WarmShowers as there are a LOT more of those than hostels.  As you get into the center part of the country, many small towns along the TransAm will allow cyclists to pitch their tent for free.  Once you get west of into the Colorado (or points west), there is a lot of public land (Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), etc. which you can legally camp on usually.

Finally, check out  for a ton of journals and such.  Very good site for the touring cyclist.

Best wishes, John

Routes / Re: Gravel roads leading into the TramsAM Teton Spur?
« on: April 09, 2013, 01:00:29 pm »
You do not need to take the Wilson Road (part gravel but quite rideable) since they now have a paved separate bike path from near Jenny Lake to Jackson.  The spur along Wilson is more scenic but the other is quite nice also.

Routes / Re: Avoiding Yellowstone
« on: April 03, 2013, 10:03:25 am »
You do not say what, if any, parameters you need.  I “assume” you want to avoid gravel and you are self-contained.  If so, consider continuing south on US-93 (from junction with MT-43 on TransAm Route) to Arco.  A remote way would be to take ID-28 from Salmon to ID-33 then points east.

Then take ID-33 east (via Rexburg, Sugar City, Tetonia, Driggs, Victor, Wilson, WY to Jackson.  Take US-191 from Jackson to Rock Springs.

From Rock Springs you can take Interstate 80 (blah, but legal) with its services east to Rawlins, WY and reconnect with the Great Parks South Route.

Or for a much more remote experience, from Rock Springs take WY-430 south to Hiawatha Road to Baggs, WY to Craig, CO (really really remote) OR take WY-430 south to CO-318 then east to Craig, CO (just really remote) and then continue east to Steamboat Springs and reconnect there.

If you go via Rawlins, I highly recommend a detour from Saratoga, WY to Centennial along WY-130 then south on WY-11 to Fox Creek Road (8 miles of decent gravel road) to Woods Landing/WY-230.  Go south to junction with CO-125 where you reconnect with various ACA routes.

Enjoy the ride!

Routes / Re: Northern Route oil and gas activity
« on: March 14, 2013, 01:09:07 pm »
ACA recently redid the route to avoid the gas activity.  However, it is mainly along the interstate (blah!).  Be sure you have the most current map and you will be fine.

Routes / Re: Great Parks
« on: March 08, 2013, 10:08:43 am »
My bags were thoroughly searched (44 yo man at the time) at the Emerson port south of Winnipeg.  I don't know what made them think I was carrying anything (I wasn't) or maybe they were bored.  I was glad afterwards they didn't question my Halt! dog repellent as I "think" they consider that a weapon.

There must be ways to legally get a gun across the border due to hunting but I do not know what they are.

Maybe just call the Canadian Border Protection (or whatever they are called)???

Routes / Re: great divide road after Banff
« on: February 22, 2013, 08:19:35 am »

You should strongly consider Mathieu's words as he is one of only a few who has done the entire route more than once, and one of a handful who has done it both ways.  What he did not mention is that on his first trip he took a BOB trailer and on his second trip he used panniers, primarily due to safety  I am not trying to tell you about the route or if to take a trailer or not but just to seriously consider his suggestion that the GD is not a place for a two-wheeled trailer.

For a good and informative read, read his journals on the GD (over on CrazyGuy).  His first includes incredible pictures by one of his companions Auke.

Routes / Re: USA Corner to Corner
« on: December 17, 2012, 11:46:55 am »
Oh I am not saying schedule around it.  I was just showing what the weather in the middle of the country is like as Norsman indicated he did not now what to expect on the TransAm.  To me, May is a great month to bike in Kansas.  Just be knowledgeable about the weather.

Routes / Re: USA Corner to Corner
« on: December 17, 2012, 08:56:46 am »
If you hit Kansas between early-May and mid-June, you could have some fairly violent storms (50+mph winds, 1.5+" hail, tornados, etc.), not like the gentle rains the NW & NE have.  That said, just pay attention to what the locals says.  If it is going to be had, they will assist.  Listen to a local radio station or ask a farmer.  If sky is a pale green, take cover as hail is in the immediate area.

As far as your mileage goes, it is fairly high.  I have crossed the country 5 times plus tons of other tours.  For me personally, I have found anything over 65 miles per day (overall average, not riding average) makes for "all riding, no play" and drops the enjoyment factor noticeably.  If you have not done tours with that high of mileage, the extra 10-15 miles per day (AVERAGE) really add to the riding days mileage.

You also mention you wanted to be done in 80 days @ 60mpd, or 4,800 miles.  Isn't your route closer to 5,500 miles or 69mpd?

Overall, start as early in the spring as you can tolerate and enjoy a pace so if you want to stop and/or not do high mileage you can.  After all, you are retired so enjoy the time. :D

I think IRC's idea of doing the San Juan Islands from Vancouver is an excellent one.  They are great for biking, mostly car free, and very pretty.  You could always go the Lake Erie Connector (Canada side of Lake Erie) if time is short.

Ah choices, choices, what are you to do?

Routes / Re: Swede going solo from Miami to New Orleans, route suggestion?
« on: November 21, 2012, 03:04:51 pm »
Opps, I was typing my reply while you added the 3 weeks.  Sorry.

Routes / Re: Swede going solo from Miami to New Orleans, route suggestion?
« on: November 21, 2012, 03:03:57 pm »
If you want a route that goes along the coast beginning near the panhandle of Florida, send me a private email and I can send you a cue sheet and some GPS coordinates.

I rode the route from Wauchula (on the ACA Florida Connector route) which is near Tampa to Pensacola and some friends continued onto Baton Rouge to reconnect with the ACA route.

The difference is that there is more traffic (not unbearable), and more beaches.  Due to my preference of staying on lower traffic roads when possible, there are more turns probably than the ST route.  You also get more services but the services are probably more expensive due to being near the beach.

Also, if time/money permit, I would HIGHLY encourage riding on the Florida Keys.  Again, more traffic but it is nice.

If yonovice a noive cyclotourist with limited experience riding in  traffic, these routes may not be the best for you.  They are not bad at all but if you prefer seeing only a few cars every hour, these are not the routes.

Whatever you choose, enjoy the ride.

I agree with PDLamb to take the Northern Tier to Glacier NP in Montana, then down to Missoula.  I have ridden the PC, TransAm, and NT.

The PC in Washington is so so as far as scenery goes.  I really like both Washington State (NT), and Oregon (both PC & TransAm).  Another option is to ride to Astoria via PC or Portland (via Sierra Cascade) and the ride the Lewis & Clark section along the Columbia River and join the TransAm in Kooskia, ID.  Idaho is another pretty state. I have not ridden the SC or L&C sections so can not comment on that option but would think the SC would be nicer than Washington's portion of the PC.

Routes / Re: Pueblo to Yorktown only- best months?
« on: October 29, 2012, 09:51:40 pm »
Late April thru early June is prime tornado season in Kansas.  While the chances of you actually being in a tornado are small, the chances you could be in a wide-spread severe storm with 1+ inch hail is definitely there.

If you are good at reading the weather, are willing to listen to the locals, and willing to ride or not ride accordingly (not chicken out just due to the "chance" of severe storm), you should be fine.  However, do not blow off the warnings and be familiar with the county you are in and listen to the radio and locals.  Be especiallobservantnt for the weather overnight if hail is included as your tent will not protect you from 1+" hail.

Once you get to central Missouri, the tornadic weather lessens (but does not go away completely).  I would think the starting on or after May 1st would be pretty nice if you are eastbound.

In all seriousness, enjoy the ride!

Routes / Re: Ronald Reagan Airport to C&O Canal route
« on: October 03, 2012, 02:09:58 pm »
I can't help with a hotel, other than to say there are several in the airport region. There is a bike path immediately outside of the airport that connects to the C&O.  Just look at Google Maps and select bicycling in the upper right section of the maps.  That said, several of the paths are actually on very wide sidewalks.

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