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Messages - John Nettles

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Routes / Re: Going to the Sun
« on: November 05, 2017, 06:06:51 pm »
You don't say which direction you are traveling.  I have ridden it twice, once in each direction both times in August.  East bound is time-restricted, i.e. must finish by a certain time when climbing to Logan Pass but no restriction on the descent, has a LONG time to see the scenery since you are going slowly uphill, and the eastbound side of the pass is not super scenic, nice but not as nice as the west side.

Westbound riders have not time restriction in either direction so you can start whenever, even late in the day. The climb is a little easier since you start ~1,000 higher.

I personally liked westbound as I could take my time climbing (way out of shape at the time), and I stopped super frequently on the downhill to see/photo the scenery.  There just seemed to be more places to stop on the westbound side though never much space in either direction.

Whichever you choose, enjoy the ride, John

Routes / Re: ride along hotels or B&B
« on: October 30, 2017, 11:45:55 am »
If you are looking for specific recommendations as to routes, please give us all the pertinent information, i.e.miles per day you ride, number of days you want your tour to be, type of tour (cultural, scenery, flat, mountains, beach, etc.).  Best, John

Routes / Re: San Fransisco > Sierra Cascades > Portland > Astoria
« on: October 29, 2017, 01:17:48 pm »
And you will get a ticket if they catch you stealth camping.  I got one for $75 back in 1987 so I would hate to know what it costs now.  Just stick to the Pacific Coast and then most of your problems are solved.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPX for North Star II guided ride?
« on: October 24, 2017, 12:32:48 pm »

You offer good advice!

Could you clarify what you mean by sketch, i.e. locals who may be sketchy, the road surface sucked, services were closed/closing/unrealiable, etc.???

Best, John

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPX for North Star II guided ride?
« on: October 20, 2017, 01:21:05 pm »
The "classic" route (based on the founders route during Hemistour of ACA) is from Anchorage (I would do Prudhoe Bay myself) to Tok to Chicken, AK, to Dawson City, YT, to Carmacks to Watson Lake (via Ross Lake but I would prefer Whitehorse  & Carcross to Watson Lake).  Then south into BC along Kitwanga then east to Jasper down the wonderful Icefields Highway.

It has a mixture of paved and gravel.  If you want more gravel, you can do a one-way detour (hitch or fly back to Dawson City) from Dawson City to Inuvik, NWT. Another cool detour is from Dease Lake to Telegraph (gravel).  For fantastic views of bears eating salmon as they swim upstream, take another deour to Hyder, AK (down by Kitwanga).

Again, the MilePost has detailed maps of what is gravel and paved, etc.  I would highly suggest you by a copy (a year or two old one would probably work but a business or two might be closed/open) and plan away.

BTW, yes, you will see LOTS of trees and if you go to Carcross even the world's smallest desert. 

Enjoy the ride, John

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPX for North Star II guided ride?
« on: October 20, 2017, 10:32:54 am »
There are very few roads up that way so a GPS really is not needed unless you are using it to mark distances traveled.  The best guide by far is the "Mile Post" which is a very detailed guide to all roads in Alaska and BC, AB, YT, NWT parts of Canada.

Best, John

Thanks for replying so soon!  I guess I am just nostalgic but after doing both routes, I prefer the original (especially west bound/downhill) as it is MUCH more scenic and the climb from Lordsburg to Silver City on the new route was actually pretty tough, for me at least.  However, Lordsburg does offer a nice stopover if needed too.  Thanks again, John

Hey ACA, gotta question for you?

I had a WarmShowers guest recently who was doing BR66 late in the season (E-W) and was considering jumping to the ST due to the expected cold lows in northern New Mexico.  As I was showing him the ST on the ACA website, I noticed it had been rerouted onto NM-90 down to Lordsburg, NM from Silver City, then up on US-70 to Safford, AZ.  The old route went NW on US-160 from Silver City then left onto NM-78/AZ-78 then onto US-191 before connecting with US-70 east of Safford.

Just curious as to why it re-routed that way?  More services, less remote, easier, high quality roads, transportation, ???  There are definite pros and cons to each route so just trying to read your mind. 

Thanks for all you do!  John

Routes / Re: Danube from Black Sea into Germany.
« on: October 07, 2017, 02:47:28 pm »
You will probably get better answers over at  They have thousands of journals from around the world.  Hope this helps, John

Routes / Re: Seattle to Astoria
« on: September 21, 2017, 01:01:03 pm »
My guess is that the CGs will be full.  I personally would try to be off the road the late afternoons of Friday and Monday (Memorial Day) since that is when everyone is driving like idiots to get to/from their destination, whether a CG or Grandma.  You might consider taking a short loop around the San Juan islands during that time before heading south.  Just some thoughts.  Best, John

Routes / Re: Western Express EB start end of this month
« on: September 18, 2017, 10:53:46 pm »
Uber in the middle of Nevada?  I would verify they offer the service there before depending on it.  Not trying to sound snarky but have had some instances where Uber didn't exist when you think it would, i.e. Austin, TX. 

Routes / Re: Cycling Portugal to China - route help please!?
« on: September 18, 2017, 01:55:17 pm »
I would go over to and research the various blogs that have toured in Kazakhstan and, using the guest pages of the journal, ask the author why they went the way they went.

You could also ask Chris Pountney over at and ask him.  I "think" he has toured there a couple of times and talked about it.

Best, John

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: How Often are WayPoints Updated?
« on: September 14, 2017, 11:31:31 pm »
Why can't the waypoints be updated more frequently?  You have the information, it is pretty easy to update, and it would be very beneficial to the riders if the data and addendum match.  Also, updated service points should be updated also?  Is there a reasonable reason as to why it is not updated more timely?

Thanks, John

Routes / Re: Seattle to Astoria
« on: September 13, 2017, 09:15:30 am »
Easy.  Take the ferry from Seattle to Bremerton then head south on the Pacific Coast route, Map #1.

Regarding the passes, some passes may be closed, it all depends on the snow pack at that time.  However, other than 1 pass in western Oregon (which has the Santiam alternate if it is closed), you should not have too many issues.  I started June 5 from Astoria and did fine.

Obviously, a heavy snow pack can alter the plans but you "should" be OK. 

Enjoy the ride!

Routes / Re: Looking for route suggestions? Tips to help others help you.
« on: September 08, 2017, 11:03:32 am »
Thanks for writing this up!  Hopefully, those who are seeking route suggestions will review this and answer ALL the points when asking for suggestions.

Thanks for all you and the ACA staff do!

Best, John

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