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Topics - John Nettles

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Routes / TransAm Alternate Routes You Would Recommend
« on: March 08, 2022, 10:12:45 pm »
If you were going to ride TransAm and were willing to go off route somewhat, what detour would you recommend to people.  It can be anywhere along the route so long as it can "reasonably" be done by most riders.  Nicely graded gravel/dirt roads are permitted.  Why do you recommend the detour and what are the pros and cons?  Try to offer a route map if you can. 

I'll start.  I have three. The first alternative goes from Saratoga, WY to Walden, CO via Centennial, WY, over the beautiful Snowy Range Mountains.  Map: .

This route is about 40 miles longer, has a 10,800' pass, and about 7 miles of graded gravel road. The section around Mirror Lake is, to me, quite majestic. .  The pros are the scenery.  The cons are the extra miles and gravel and a bit of planning for Food and Water between Centennial and Walden but the original stretch between Riverside and Walden is pretty sparse too.

The second alternative goes from Hartsel, CO to Florence, CO, via Florissant and Cripple Creek and Phantom Canyon Road.  Map:  .

This route is about 35 miles longer than the TA route.  The route is for the most part on very quiet county roads with services spaced nicely along the route.  Lots of old Colorado Gold Mining buildings and such.  Beginning in Cripple Creek, it has a 25 mile long steady 3.5% descent (TA eastbound) on the gravel Phantom Canyon Road, an old narrow gauge railroad bed, which features two tunnels and three elevated bridges. (the pic can be rotated 360* by holding the left mouse  down while moving the mouse around).

The pros are quiet roads for the most part and the Phantom Canyon Road which you could almost coast down the entire 25 miles if eastbound.  The cons are about 32 miles of nicely graded gravel/dirt including Phantom Canyon Road, which would not be as fun if you were westbound due to the 25 mile gravel climb up to Cripple Creek.  Plus you would miss the quirky town of Guffey along with the Royal Gorge in Canon City.  The high point is about 500 feet higher on the alternate route.

If you wanted to visit Guffey, you could head south on the TA from Hartsel to Guffey and then east on CR-11 to CR-1 then south to Cripple Creek and the Phantom Canyon Road. 

The final alternate suggestion is a short little alternate just west of Canon City. Heck, it may be on the official route now.  Map:

This short paved 3 mile route goes up to Skyline Drive just west of Canon City.  It is a one-lane wide ridge top road. . The pros are the scenery.  The cons are the extra 200' climbing in only a few miles.  You can see the highway the TA takes in the picture. Note the route is one-way for cars but bikes can ride both directions.

What alternate routes do you recommend?
Tailwinds, John

Classifieds / NOS Ortlieb 6 Pro-E Handlebar Bag
« on: February 21, 2022, 02:19:39 pm »
If you use a phone for navigation and use a dynamo, then this bag is for you. This bag allows you to charge via the mounting bracket so cleaner cockpit with less wires and more waterproof. I got this as a gift and I use a GPS so I didn't need it.

Here is a link to tell more about it:

$165 which includes regular shipping within the CONUSA. 

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Does size matter?
« on: February 02, 2022, 12:22:59 pm »
OK, in some areas size does matter, i.e. frame size, handlebar width, etc. But what about wheel size, i.e. 650 vs 700?
I am looking to replace my stolen Co-Motion Americano but there is currently a 4-8 month build time depending on the builder.  Arrgh. 

I have an option for a bike with a 650 wheel size but I would prefer the larger wheel diameter of a 700c to help smooth out the bumps. Plus, I am old school enough so I am somewhat reluctant about that size due to whether it will go away some time in the next 10-15 years.  Who knows.

I ride a mix of paved/off-pavement routes, maybe a 70/30 ratio. 

Has anyone here ridden both a 700 and a 650?  If so, what are the differences.

Any thoughts and comments, i.e, limitations with the 650?

Thanks, John

Classifieds / STOLEN Co-Motion Americano
« on: January 31, 2022, 08:26:06 am »
Over the weekend, someone stole my beloved Co-Motion Americano with a Rohloff and Belt Drive from our garage.  While I have filed a police report, contacted bike shops, local FB groups, etc., on the off-chance someone tries to sell it outside the Tulsa area, I would appreciate people keeping an eye out for it.   The frame's serial number is S-16012 and the Rohloff's serial number is 169112. If you happen to come across it, have your police department contact the Tulsa Police Department and also me. The TPD Case number is #2022-004485.

The color is "Vanilla" but the frame is fairly scratched up due to heavy touring use.  Has a Schmidt gen hub, Tubus F&R racks, and my last touring "partner", a foam pink pig "Spammy" on the front rack.

The TPD thinks it was probably a homeless guy who just happened by while I was inside.  The homeless usually part out the bike but with the Rohloff and the Rohloff-specific frame, they won't be able to part out too much stuff.  It very well may end up in the river :-(.

I will post a picture soon.

Anyway, keep you eye out for it please and Happy Trail to you!

General Discussion / What "riding buddies" do you take on tour?
« on: January 17, 2022, 03:19:58 pm »
So with the winter upon us, I was looking at some pictures from past tours.  I came across a picture of my latest "riding buddy", Spammy the Pig, whom I "adopted" after visiting the surprisingly interesting SPAM Museum in Austin, MN, during a tour in May 2021.

I have had Spammy, an early 80s California Raisin (remember the ad for Carl Jr.'s where they sung "Heard it on the grape vine"), a miniature flag of the USA and Oklahoma, a little plastic bike, a little kite, a Beanie Baby, signs, etc. as buddies on my tours over the years. Some years I go solo but I usually have a buddy join me.  I almost always pic them up while on the road. 

I still have the Raisin (probably 25k miles on him), flags, and a Beanie Baby that I bring occasionally but most buddies just eventually fall off due to wear and tear somewhere along the road during a future tour.  Spammy probably won't last but two or three tours tops as he is quite "squishy" wish causes the zip tie to cut through him. 

What, if anything, is your whimsical (or serious) non-human buddy that tags along on your tours?  Pics are encouraged!

Tailwinds (and happy tours!), John

General Discussion / Happy New Year!
« on: January 01, 2022, 08:20:22 am »
I would like to wish everyone a wonderful, healthy, and content 2022!
Hopefully, things will return to "normal".  For me, I am forging ahead on tours (unless governments shut down again). 

As far as our family, my wife is walking the Camino de Santiago (CdS) in Spain beginning in mid-May.  I plan to do mini-tours (1-5 days) along the CdS so that we can meet up most nights. For her, this is about 500 miles of walking.  For me, I do not know as I will probably "wing it" much of the way, depending on weather, topography, scenery, etc. Some days only 12 miles others 60.  Should be a nice trip.  Then in October, we are tentatively planning on riding from Las Vegas to Cabo San Lucas.

How about you?  Are you planning any tours in 2022 and if so, where?

General Discussion / Donate to ACA for free when using Amazon
« on: December 29, 2021, 03:09:14 pm »
Hey All,

For several years, I have listed ACA as my "charity" when I use Amazon.  By signing up for Amazon Smile (it is free), Amazon will donate 0.5% of what I spend on eligible purchases at Amazon. Once you sign up, you are automatically logged into Amazon Smile in the future so sign up and then forget about it. 

This is via Amazon and not some third party group and since I shop Amazon anyway, I feel this is an easy way to send a few buck each year to ACA without me doing anything extra and without costing me anything.  My portion is not much overall but I figure if a bunch of ACA members sign up, it could maybe add up to several thousand dollars each quarter.  If you prefer to donate to another charity instead, there is a huge list of them.

Here is some info if you care to do it also:

Happy New Years!

Routes / Routes in Baja California Sur
« on: May 12, 2021, 07:37:40 pm »
I am planning a trip for next summer from Prudhoe Bay to Cabo San Lucas.  I have most of the route planned.  However, for my last segment, La Paz to Cabo I have two options.  I can take Mex 1 or Mex 19. 

Mex 1 is two lane and hillier but has little shoulder but mostly has little traffic until you get near the end.  However, when traffic picks, that won't make the last 30km not all that fun.  Mex 19 is a divided 4-lane with shoulder and is flatter but has a lot more traffic. 

For those that have ridden to Cabo San Lucas, which route did you take, why did you take that route, and what are your thoughts on the routes above?

Tailwinds, John

Tailwinds, John

Routes / New ACA Route coming
« on: February 06, 2021, 04:33:02 pm »
According to the map page on the Spring 2021 Cyclosource, it appears a new "Delmarva" route is going to be available in "Summer" 2021, thus offering routes in all of the lower-48 states.

It appears it will start in Philadelphia but split immediately into a New Jersey or Delaware option before reconnecting in I assume Lewes, DE, from which it hugs the coast before ending in Currituck, NC, where it connects to the Atlantic Coast Route.  It should make for a nice Atlantic Coast alternative.

It does not connect to the TransAm route (somewhat understandable due to metro road layout) nor does not it appear to have a spur to connect to the Potomoc Tidelands Route which is a shame as it would be very easy and would allow a coast to coast option for those wanting to use Eastern Express TransAm Route (non-ACA) and desiring maps the entire way.

Somewhat interestingly, the discontinued routes still show up and are presumably counted in their "network mile count" though that is a bit misleading. 

Perhaps ACA will officially announce this route soon.

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« on: December 01, 2020, 10:57:43 am »
After being motivated by this thread , I wanted to know what everyone's best tip is for when you are cooking on the road while bicycle touring. I will start. 

1) Use a paper grocery sack as a clean and disposable "food preparation" mat or place mat. 
2) Add dried WHOLE milk (found in Mexican grocery stores) to Knor Pasta Sides which really improves the flavor.  Dried whole milk is much better than the usual low-fat or fat-free dried milk. 
3) Use an egg protector and carry fresh eggs.  The raw eggs will stay fresh at least a week if you coat the shell with a thin layer of coconut oil (mineral oil will work too).

What tips can you share?
Bon Appetite, John

Routes / ACA Discontinuing some Paper Maps
« on: November 11, 2020, 03:56:06 pm »
This came in the Adventure Cycling Association's November Newsletter:

"Our mapping department is discontinuing some paper maps, since in the past five years demand has increased for our digital maps and decreased for paper copies. We’ve decided to stop reprinting the paper maps on 15 of our lowest-selling map sections. These are the Detroit Alternate Route, the Underground Railroad, the Pittsburgh Spur, the Great Parks South Route, the Tidewater Potomac Heritage Route, the Green Mountains Loop, the Utah Cliffs Loop, the Allegheny Mountains Loop and the Adirondack Park Loop. Once sold out, these paper map sections will no longer be available. All of these will still be available digitally, and continually updated."

I personally think this is a major dis-service.  Unless you are doing a re-route, just print less maps or at the very least, offer them in a pdf format which should be fairly easy I would think.  Some of us old school folks strongly prefer paper.

What do others think and be sure to fill out the poll above?

General Discussion / Website Error???
« on: April 11, 2019, 09:30:39 am »
Hello all,

I was wondering if anyone else has an issue with double spacing?  I don't know if you too have had issues when posting here that the paragraph spacing is sometimes missing even though you know you put it there.
By that I mean you have a sentence like this.  Then you hit "return" twice so there should be space between the two paragraphs.
But then there is no space in the paragraphs like this. Believe it or not, when I wrote these first three paragraphs there WAS a space between this paragraph and the one above when I type it out it but it doesn't show for some reason when posted.
I have discovered that if you put a space at the end of the paragraph before you hit hit return, it will show the spacing.  For instance, here I added a space after this >>> period.

And (black) magically, the paragraph spacing occurs.

Anyway, thought I would mention until ACA is able (hopefully) to get this fixed.

Tailwinds, John

A new informal group has been started for all self-contained touring cyclists who live in Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.  It is called the KAMO Bicycle Touring Group.  The goal of KAMO is to bring members together for at least an annual tour in the region so we can meet other touring cyclists and maybe ride in a new area.

If you live in one of the member states, feel free to check out the KAMO Facebook page and request to join.  It is a closed group (to reduce spam) but as long as you tour (or plan to tour) you are welcome to join.

The KAMO Facebook page can be found here

Tailwinds, John

A new informal group has been started for all self-contained touring cyclists who live in Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.  It is called the KAMO Bicycle Touring Group.  The goal of KAMO is to bring members together for at least an annual tour in the region so we can meet other touring cyclists and maybe ride in a new area.

If you live in one of the member states, feel free to check out the KAMO Facebook page and request to join.  It is a closed group (to reduce spam) but as long as you tour (or plan to tour) you are welcome to join.

The KAMO Facebook page can be found here

Tailwinds, John

Routes / New ACA Arkansas Highlands Route
« on: November 08, 2018, 11:01:51 pm »
Out of curiosity, is the upcoming Arkansas Highlands route most unpaved, paved, or what? Thanks, John

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