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Messages - John Nettles

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General Discussion / Re: Cooking on the Road
« on: November 27, 2020, 12:48:00 pm »
My problem with a lot of these cook books is that they are more 4 or more people and/or use semi-exotic (from a rural grocery store view) ingredients.  I also use The One Pan Gourmet by Jacobson as it sizes the meals smaller, i.e. 1-2 people.

The Trans Am Bike Race and the RAAM (Race Across America) are two completely different races, at different times, on different routes and with different rules. But, as you say, they are both different than the TransAm route.
Didn't know that.  Thanks for enlightening me.  Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: Cooking on the Road
« on: November 26, 2020, 03:13:40 pm »
I still have my original copy and peruse it occasionally.

Couple of things.  Do you want to do the TransAm Bike ROUTE or the TransAm Bike RACE (Race Across America)?  They are different.  One is a tour and you can take as little or as much time as you want. The other (RAAM) is a race and takes I think around two weeks. 

I am assuming you meant the Route or tour.  Now for your answers (and mind you I am an avid bike tourist).  If I were you boss, based on what you have said, I would say pick what is more important to you, i.e. the bike tour or this job?  You would be leaving me in our busy season and since you are the only one in your job (you imply it is important) your presence would be definitely missed. 

That said, what about doing it in 2-3 week stages?  Many have done it this way.  One benefit to this method is you can always pick the "optimal" time climate wise, i.e. Kansas in September is much more enjoyable than July.  The drawback is that it can take years to finish and you spend a few days each stage traveling to and from.  Are you able to do any of the job remotely so you could more a few hours a day online? 

Finally, you do not say how old you are but that you are "aging quickly".  People in their 70s regularly ride the TransAm (non-covid years). 

Tailwinds, John

Twitch, I eat ice cream while on tour.  Do you remember the name of the ice cream place?  Thanks, John

Routes / Re: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
« on: November 17, 2020, 10:07:08 am »
I used 20"x2,1" tires with lots of small low knobs.

Is this size accurate??  That seems like it would be a small (non-folding) bike for an adult.

Routes / Re: MTB vs long haul trucker Trans America
« on: November 16, 2020, 03:59:56 pm »
First, welcome to the ACA forums. 

I would think the Surly would be measurably quicker and more comfortable but have not first hand experience.  That said, since you have already done portions of paved road with no issues on the MTB, I would probably just use that.

Tailwinds, John

Gear Talk / Re: Is there a benefit to running a wider front tire than rear?
« on: November 16, 2020, 01:01:37 pm »
The sole benefit would be as you say more cushion on bumps and gravel and better traction (assuming not a smooth tire for gravel).  Yes, you very well may need a wider rim.  I would check out Peter White Cycles or go to and ask the Mechanics subforum to answer the rim width question.

If you plan on doing a lot of gravel loaded touring, you might start to consider buying a true adventure bike as they are great for off-road touring, many of which accept shocks.

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: Southern tier. To cycle east or west.
« on: November 15, 2020, 06:51:34 pm »
May the winds be with you!

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: Southern tier. To cycle east or west.
« on: November 15, 2020, 06:02:14 pm »
Overall, I agree with you that the winds on a specific day may or may not be the prevailing winds.  However, there is a reason they are called prevailing. 

If you want to look at the National Weather Service's weather almanac, check out Grey House Publishing's "Weather Almanac, A Thirty-Year Summary of Statistical Weather Data and Rankings".  It is huge, i.e. 2000+ pages.  New it is something like $200.  I bought mine used on eBay for maybe $15.  I actually have 2 so if someone wants one, private message me and I will mail it to you if you pay postage, but be forewarned, it is quite heavy.

Or you can check out and get mostly the same info but in an easier to read format but not quite as in-depth.   

My point is there is a statistical probability of prevailing winds.  Sure you may not get them but why go against the odds.  That said, when you cross the country, you will definitely have prevailing winds from different directions, i.e. the west coast is different than say around South Texas which is different than around Gainesville, FL.

Tailwinds (I least I go with the odds), John

Wow, we days of uber-patience and kindness.  Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. 

Haven't you learned that society is rapidly moving to an exclusive "It is all about me" viewpoint?  Too much of society thinks cyclists or for that matter slower cars, kids, runners, animals, etc., are just in my way so I have every right to keep going regardless if it is dangerous. This is mainly true in the USA.  Other countries MAY be a little more tolerant as more people bike or personally know someone who does so they are more careful.

I too have noticed an increase over the decades here in the US.  However, there are pockets of patience.  I distinctly remember leaving New Orleans (about 15 miles out) and we repeatedly had cars stay behind us unless it was way obvious they could pass.  We kept waving them around and they would just stay behind us until it was clear for about 1/4 mile ahead.  Nice but also sometimes too much of a good thing is bad as we kept having to concentrate on the cars instead of the scenery. The further we got away from New Orleans, the more "normal" it got.

Tailwinds, John

Routes / Re: ACA Discontinuing some Paper Maps
« on: November 12, 2020, 07:28:20 pm »
These weren't maps of ACA routes.
Thanks for clearing that up.  I "guess" it would have been nice to have a backup map maker though.   :)

Tailwinds, John

Routes / Re: ACA Discontinuing some Paper Maps
« on: November 12, 2020, 07:26:04 pm »
I spoke for quite a while with Jamie today who was quite pleasant and understanding.  Basically he implied it boiled down to there is not enough bodies to keep all the maps up to date since two of the six cartographers have moved on in the past year so something has to give unfortunately so it was the least used routes.

After talking with Jamie, while it is no guarantee, he said ACA would consider doing pdfs of the maps that do not need to be rerouted and not too much work is involved; again due to lack of personnel.  He seemed receptive to that aspect but would not guarantee it.  Certain map sections that require extensive rerouting, like the route UGRR Detroit Alternate, would not be done as other projects are more critical.

I asked him if ACA could produce a PDF of the the written text (cue sheet) and Service Listings that are currently on the maps so that information can be used in case the app/phone/GPS fails for some reason.  While it is also not guaranteed, Jamie seem to be willing to consider that suggestion.  To me, that would greatly alleviate the loss of an actual map as I can always print a map or ask a local if I have the directions which I could not do if my phone dies, lost, etc.  To me, the lack of a cue sheet is the most important aspect the discontinuation of the maps. I personally use a GPS as a back up to the cue sheet so as long as a cue sheet exists, I would be OK with that.  I just have had issues when the electronics have failed me so am extremely reluctant to reply solely on electronics.

We also spoke about the "trusted volunteers".  The reason it has always been the policy to have the data was to always match the maps.  Doesn't quite make sense to me that if you can update part of the package (data) why not do it, sort of like an addendum does, but there it is.  I emphasized there are several highly experienced volunteers who would help if just asked.  Why they do not take advantage of free labor so they can concentrate on more important things is a mystery to me.

Regardless, Jamie said that hopefully within the next year they would be introducing a new version of the ACA bicycle navigator app (or possibly a stand alone website, not sure I completely understood) that will possibly allow for user input of services (hotel permanently closed); comments (really bad dogs here); etc.  That would be nice but of course does not replace a paper map.

In summary, Jamie understands the frustration everybody has but could not promise anything at this time due to budgetary constraints.  He is at least considering doing the PDFs for the discontinued routes that do not have major re-routes going on.

If I have misunderstood any of this, I would encourage Jamie to correct me.  In closing, I firmly believe ACA maps are incredible and thank the ACA staff for their work over the year.

Tailwinds, John

Routes / Re: ACA Discontinuing some Paper Maps
« on: November 12, 2020, 06:53:26 pm »
I bought maps other organization offered of parts of the route but they aren't nearly as easy to use and carry while riding.  They were also more expensive.
Out of curiosity, who offers maps of the ACA routes?  I would think there is a possible copyright infringement.  However, maybe they do/will offer maps of the discontinued maps.

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