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Messages - John Nettles

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Bring one guy who is compulsive about keeping track and is good with numbers. In our group it is the engineer. Afterwards he sends a spreadsheet with all the bills laid out and how much we owe whom. Saves the rest of us  lots of headaches!
Do you loan this guy out?  ;D

General Discussion / Re: TransAm Bike Route Questions 2021
« on: April 09, 2021, 09:49:00 am »
Pete, I think he was talking about a U-Haul van, not a trailer.

General Discussion / Re: TransAm Bike Route Questions 2021
« on: April 09, 2021, 09:18:59 am »
I could always get a small Uhal  and drive it out there. Would give me a place to sleep rest areas :) along the drive.

Do NOT get a U-Haul for anything other than short distances.  The MPG is around 10 and the cost is much more than a minivan.  There is a Hertz in Corvallis, OR.  Also, even though you live next to an airport, a lot of times, airports have very high taxes so be sure to also check the local non-airport locations for pickup also.  The same goes for nearby cities.  Can save you some big money at times. I live in Tulsa and sometimes will drive 30 minutes away to a suburb and get a 40% discount compared to the closest one.

General Discussion / Re: TransAm Bike Route Questions 2021
« on: April 08, 2021, 04:03:34 pm »
I honestly would not worry about Oregon.  Yes, I probably would avoid certain PARTS of Portland, but the Portland violence seems to just in that area.  The route passes mainly through rural areas which tend to be fairly conservative so I would not hesitate at all from starting on the coast and riding across Oregon or Washington.

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: TransAm Bike Route Questions 2021
« on: April 08, 2021, 12:10:44 pm »
The only "pass" I can think of is for Yellowstone and Tetons National Parks but that is more of an entrance fee.  Costs can vary widely but if you did $3k on the last coast to coast, it may be the same or just a tad more since camping and food costs have gone up a lot lately. Still, not bad for a 3 month trip.  I personally spend more but I eat out quite a bit and I enjoy food and a hotel about 1 in 5 nights.

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: TransAm Bike Route Questions 2021
« on: April 07, 2021, 09:50:59 pm »
First, welcome to the ACA Forums!

Based on your experience, you will be fine.  The TA is a lot like BR66 (if you used their maps).  Just different scenery and topography.  Most the answers can be seen by reviewing the maps.  But overall, yes, there is ample food & drink but you should always carry 1 can of beans or something as an emergency, especially if you do not plan to cook your own food.

It is a coin toss as to which direction is better. 

It mostly boils down to personal preference with the exception that in Wyoming, the wind definitely blows from the NW in the summer.  Other places it varies too much for consistence though I guess there is a slight advantage if you rode W>E.  However, factor in the time of day you ride as if you are eastbound and an early riser, you will have the sun in your face a lot and cars may not see you as easily also due to also having the sun in their face.  Same if you leave camp late.  However, the later you leave in the year the more you should leave from the west coast due to weather issues.

See the maps for lodging.  It is pretty accurate.

The trike should be fine.  Read some journals over at (you can filter on trikes) then you can read some first hand experiences.  However, definitely avoid the forums there as they can get fairly toxic after a while.

Cellular can be spotty or great.  I "think" Verizon has the best coverage in rural areas.  That said, there may be places where you have very slow data speeds for a day or two.  You can always pop into a local library and use the internet there typically.

Biggest tip is to not have a set date to finish or return home by if possible as it can really suck to have to end the trip 300 miles short or have to really long days the last 3 weeks and miss a bunch of stuff because of the deadline.  Also, while you mileage is certainly doable, the VAST majority of riders average around 55 miles per day overall (including rest days).  When you go faster, you miss out on meeting locals, seeing the sights, etc. since you are always on the go.  Also, you did not mention rest /sightseeing/weather delay days but I would assume you have at least 1 per 10 days minimum planned. I usually shoot for 1 every 8 days. 

Tailwinds, John

Routes / Re: St Mary to Baab to Browning
« on: April 07, 2021, 12:47:03 pm »
I drove between Babb and Browning two years agao. Some longer steady inclines (typical of region) and thought it was fairly scenic.  Even stopped to take a pic or two IIRC.  No services that I remember between Babb and Browning.

Since you are going to Babb and want scenery, consider going to Many Glacier to west of Babb.  The ride in is sort of just there but it is scenic once there.  A nice hike around the lake takes about 1/2 a day. 

Tailwinds, John

Routes / Re: Atlantic Coast Route - Massachusetts >< Maine
« on: April 06, 2021, 01:06:16 pm »
I rode many many many moons ago and I was young and strong I can't help you.  However, I would suggest you check out as they have a very good climate data base for most places in the world.

You can really drill down into all aspects for the AVERAGE. 

Hope you have a great trip!  Tailwinds, John

Gear Talk / Re: Kickstand love it or leave it?
« on: April 05, 2021, 10:46:38 am »
One of my touring bikes has a stand.  The others do not.  I personally prefer the weight savings because as Pete said, I can usually find something to lean on and even if I don't I just lay the bike carefully down and it is fine. If I am touring with another person, we can always lean the bikes against each other (bikes lean against each other in opposite directions) and then they stay upright without a kickstand.

Tailwinds, John

Pat, you and I are alike in this matter.  I always try to put a little extra into the pot. 

However, I have had one person get into a huff because I had rounded their portion on a group item up to the higher cent (it was just his turn on rounding, others had been "rounded" earlier).  He thought I was cheating him (and the others) because of this and "pocketing the difference".  After showing him the ledger, he calmed down but still checked the ledger daily to verify I was not cheating.  Needless to say, I don't tour with him anymore.

As others have said, I don't "loan" money unless I am willing to write off the entire amount.  The longest tour I have been the "treasurer" for was about 35 days but even then, people paid partial payments along the way.  The most I would have been out was less than $400 divided amongst 3 other touring partners so I figure the most I would have been out was around $100. 

Tailwinds, John

When with someone who was a stranger before the trip I am more inclined to limit my potential losses.
I totally agree.  I guess I was thinking you know the people pretty well.  In the case of a relatively unknown, I would probably do the hassles of trying to split the bill or at least settle up every night.  Maybe have an accounting sheet which shows who has paid what.  I have done the accounting sheet before and it is a pain.  It is amazing to me how people will get ticked off when someone has to pay a literal penny more. 

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: To all who 'do' Easter - Happy Easter.
« on: April 04, 2021, 08:24:10 am »
He is Risen.

What I do is just pay for everything and then when the tour is over with, just add up the hotel charges and divide by two.  Sometimes the other person may be the "treasurer".  For me, this system is much simpler to do it this way since you don't have to worry about exact change, who's turn to buy, etc. 

Hope you have a great trip!

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: bike and gear temporary storage in hawaii
« on: April 01, 2021, 12:54:14 pm »
I could be wrong but most cyclists, especially those offering to host on WS, like to help other cyclists.  I know that if some cyclist asked me to do something and I could, I would definitely do it.  Of course, there are others on the other end of the spectrum but I would guess most would be willing to help. 

It can't hurt to ask.

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: bike and gear temporary storage in hawaii
« on: April 01, 2021, 12:19:45 pm »
I would try to hit up a WarmShowers host or a bike shop in the area.  If a bike shop, it would probably be best to have them assemble it for a fee to make it worth their while.

Hope you have a great trip!

Tailwinds, John

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