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Messages - John Nettles

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General Discussion / Re: Daytime Lights in Montana
« on: January 22, 2021, 11:03:36 pm »
Was there some incident that caused this or does the legislator have a bug up his butt against cyclists?

While all these are good suggestions, making them law is a bit strict IMO.  Also, if they are going to do this, I would ask they greatly increase the penalty for motorists hitting a cyclist who is obeying all the required laws.  I mean if a motorist hits a cyclist riding by himself in the shoulder with neon yellow jersey, a bright red light, a bright white light, and rear and side reflector the motorist should have a equally strict penalty.  Just my thought.

Also, are there police on bicycles in Montana?  If so, the law would have to exempt them or the yellow would cover their uniform which would not be such a great idea.

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« on: January 22, 2021, 09:01:30 pm »
I agree mostly.  While I enjoy overnighters with the local bike club (it is about socializing vs. new territory), I definitely prefer longer trips.  What bothers me is how "activist" ACA has become in the past few years.  Even their new endeavor to get more people to cycletour "prioritizes" a certain group  of people.  While I understand their desire to broaden the demographics of cycletouring (it appears that only white heterosexuals tour), to me a lot of this reeks of exclusiveness instead of just being inclusive to all.  I really wish they would stick to their foundation, i.e. making bicycle touring maps, and leave the activism to others.  We have purposely removed ACA from our family trust due to ACA's activism and getting away from its foundation resulting in ACA losing a substantial amount of donations in the future when my wife and I are on the great bike path in the sky (God can't be against bikes!).

That rant aside, I plan to tour this May (Atlanta to Charleston) regardless of if I get the vaccine in time or not.  In the summer, I am trying to determine where I will tour for a month or so.  And in the fall, I will probably ride west from Amarillo, to work on completing that route.  I figure I will just practice decent distancing, i.e. getting take out or making my own meals, wear a mask when inside a store, etc.  Basically, all the things I do in my home town. I may have to skip a few closed attractions, but the trade off is worth it to me.

I know not everyone agrees with the above but if you actually read about and follow the science and are diligent in your behavior, the chances of contracting or giving the virus is minimal, especially once you are vaccinated.

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« on: January 22, 2021, 10:20:04 am »
I get my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on the 30th and am unsure of how much I will relax my caution after that.
Congrats on getting the vaccine! 

My lovely bride is a Hospitalist (internist who deals only with hospitalized patients) and has been treating covid patients each work day since mid-Febrary.  She tells me the first vaccine provides an average of 42% efficacy and basically 100% two weeks after the second dose.  The reason you hear 95% is that other 5% did in fact get the virus but the effects were basically like a typical flu (1 out of 32k were hospitalized and NO deaths).  Since the 5% did contract the virus it is consider a failure testing wise, ergo 95%.  That said, while it is wise to keep up the masking & relative social distancing, you should be able to go on tour.  I know I will.

As a side note, the vast majority of people getting the 2nd dose say they feel sick for about 24-36 hours (beginning 12 hours after the shot).  Everyone has a very sore arm but it really elps if you keep the arm moving from the time of the shot.  Also, take tylenol every 6 hours religiously for 36 hours until the pain subsides.  After, that, everyone feel "back to normal".

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« on: January 21, 2021, 10:41:48 pm »
Couple of things.  1) When you say "warm", what temps are you saying?  2) When you say "10k to 20K in elevation". I assume you mean total climbing as opposed to 10K feet in elevation above sea level, correct?  Are you open to gravel/dirt roads or only paved?  Are you open to Mexico?  What is your daily mile limit?

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: Getting to your start with all your stuff
« on: January 19, 2021, 08:50:11 am »
I have to admit that Greyhound is not that great and will avoid them if possible but I have ridden Jefferson Bus Lines (which I think goes to Jama's town) about 5 times and never had an issue. 

Always clean, on time, the driver's don't put up with crap from unruly passengers, etc.  My only complaint is that I once wanted to use them but there was no way I could get a bike box (or cardboard available to make one) since it was a "roadside stop" for the bike and they would not allow me to place the unboxed bike on the bus.  Since I was calling to see if they would, maybe they just rejected me based on policy and the driver might not have when I was just standing there.  Since I couldn't guarantee a spot for the bike, I chose a different destination.

Maybe I was just lucky or Jama was unlucky.

Routes / Re: Lower Columbia - Washington or Oregon Side?
« on: January 18, 2021, 09:52:17 pm »
I think I'm gonna beg, borrow, or buy me a boat ride
from St Helens to north Sauvie Island.
You know you can just pedal to Collins Beach if that is what you are after.  ;)

General Discussion / Re: Getting to your start with all your stuff
« on: January 18, 2021, 11:58:52 am »
I just put it on the plane.  My Handlebar bag is my "personal item".  One rear pannier is a carry-on (if free, otherwise it is my 2nd checked bag).  The other rear pannier is my 1st check bag.  I tie the front panniers (if I am using) together so they are one unit and it is  my 2nd (or 3rd) checked bag.  The rack pack goes in the bike box.  I try to fly Southwest due to the baggage allowance IF I am flying.  You can always ship just one bag if needed as the cost for a 3rd bag can be quite high.

You could ship too.  Greyhound is usually relatively inexpensive to ship stuff but typically only ships station to station.  If using UPS or Fedex, ship to a hotel you will stay in at your arrival city. 

Depending on where you are and your time constraints, I have found that renting a minivan or smaller SUV is actually not that bad.  For instance, I am doing a tour this spring come hell, high water, or virus, from Atlanta to Charleston.  The cost to fly with bags (as described below is $140 + $75 for the bike.  Plus I have to get from the airport back to the actual start in Smyrna (where the last tour ended) say $5 in mass transit fees plus a hassle dealing with the city bus. So say $220 total. Plus I have to box the bike and reassemble it and hope the airline didn't break anything. I would arrive in ATL around 11am but realistically by the time I got to the hotel in Smyrna after reassembling my bike at the airport, I am look at around 3:00pm. Not bad. Would probably not start riding until the next morning around 9am.  If you have multiple travelers, there would be no cost savings.

For comparison, I can rent an SUV for $136 directly to Smyrna (takes about 12 hours of driving so one long day).  Figure $75 gas and tolls.  Total is $211.  I would probably arrive around 8am at the car rental drop off location and be on the road at 9am. If you have multiple travelers, you can save a lot since you can split a $153 minivan three ways (about 3 bikes, 3 people, and gear is max unless you disassemble the bike.  So if going as a couple, the cost would increase to ~$220 or $110 per person.

For me, I will drive instead of fly since I can just put the bike fully assembled in the back of the SUV, put the bags in and go.  Reverse to start riding.  For me, the extra time savings on flying is just used up by boxing the bike and reassembling the bike. 

If you have access to Amtrak with roll-on bike service, that can be another easy way but Amtrak can be a bit pricey at times.

Tailwinds, John

Routes / Re: Lower Columbia - Washington or Oregon Side?
« on: January 17, 2021, 09:54:12 pm »
West do the Washington side, ferry over to Oregon, backroads to Clatskanie then backroads to Veronia.  From there, take bike paths and back roads to Portland.  Prefect route comes and goes.  One day it may be absolutely great do a killer tailwind, perfect weather, etc. and the next it is raining and you keep running over glass.  But generally, as long as the route is has something of interest or joy, I am fine with it.

Tailwinds, John

P.S. I am planning on going from Atlanta to Charleston in May (hopefully). May get up to your neck of the woods in late summer for a Buffalo (WY that is) to La Crosse jaunt.

General Discussion / Re: GAP trail ride
« on: January 17, 2021, 10:25:34 am »
We parked the car at the Hampton Inn & Suites Pittsburgh/Waterfront-West Homestead.  We rode our bikes one day to the 3 Rivers area then back to the hotel.  Made for an easy first day and gave us time to see a little bit of Pittsburgh. I am 95% sure they did not charge us to leave the car there but we did have 2 rooms for 2 nights.
Hope you have a great time.
Tailwinds, John

Gear Talk / Re: Rohloff SpeedHub
« on: January 14, 2021, 05:14:16 pm »
Ron, I agree with the noise is annoying but is does become substantially more quiet as the miles add up.  I agree though that it is a bit of a pain. I personally have not had any issues shifting except when the cable starts to wear and that is normal with any shifting system, IG or derailleur.  Everyone knows they are pricey but Gus specifically mentioned that so that is not a factor for him. 

I am sorry to anger you with asking you to clarify your statement.  Gus was just trying to get actual reviews and yours came across, to me at least, as a bit condescending, angry, and vague.  I was just trying to get more info from you to help Gus.

Tailwinds, John

Gear Talk / Re: Rohloff SpeedHub
« on: January 13, 2021, 04:37:11 pm »
Ron, what specifically did you not like about them?

Gear Talk / Re: Rohloff SpeedHub
« on: January 13, 2021, 11:34:03 am »
Gus, I have three bikes with Rohloff hubs; 1 chain and 2 belt.  The answer is it all depends.

A Rohloff hub is nice (but not required) for the following conditions:
1) You want less maintenance.  You have to change the oil once earlier of once a year or every 3k miles.  If you have a chain, you still have to deal with chain maintenance. I absolutely love belts.  BTW, the hubs do leak some but that is not an issue if you change as required.
2) You frequently have to stop on uphills and have a difficult time starting again due to needing a lower gear to get started than what you were using when you stopped.  The Rohloff can change gears when stopped.
3) You do off-pavement touring where gumming up or breaking the rear derailleur with mud is a definite possibility.  I frequently tour off-pavement so that is by far the main benefit for me.

4) You have difficulty remembering your gear shift pattern, i.e. go from the middle to out chainring then drop the rear hub to a larger cog to get to the next closest lower gear ratio type of thing.  My lovely bride hates shifting a derailleur as she frequently shifts the wrong direction, i.e. makes it harder when she wanted easier.  Switched here to a Rohloff and she is now happy.
If none of the above apply to you, I would definitely stick with a traditional system.  The Rohloffs due have a definite noise in the lowest gears.  I swear I feel more resistance in certain gears but everything I have read says it is just my acute imagination. When it comes time to change the shifter cable, it is a pain as you have to get it just right. I would think that a higher quality derailleur set would weigh less than a Rohloff system.  Also, changing the rear tire is a bit more of a pain but not too much. Finally, if set up properly, a derailleur system can easily have 50% more usable gears which is nice if you have a narrow preferred cadence range, i.e. you only like 95-100rpms.
All that said, the primary reason I have them is due to my off pavement touring and that I am lazy when it comes to maintenance, which is not a good trait when days (or weeks) from the nearest bike shop. Otherwise, I would personally go with a derailleur system.
Tailwinds, John

Routes / Re: HWY 9 -- El Paso to Hachita?
« on: January 10, 2021, 03:21:23 pm »
There are a few report out there over on CrazyGuy but this is the one that originally got me interested in the alternative as he has ridden the GDMBR both directions.   

Routes / Re: HWY 9 -- El Paso to Hachita?
« on: January 09, 2021, 04:47:57 pm »
You and I think a lot alike.  After my elderly father passes, depending on the timing, I will go Prudhoe Bay to Mexico or northbound on the Great Divide probably start in Brownsville and work my up to get into shape a little or Douglas, AZ, if I am for once actually in shape.

However, I will always take a quiet paved road over a parallel dirt road anytime. ;) .  When I say quiet, I mean about 200 AADT so pretty dang quiet.

Routes / Re: HWY 9 -- El Paso to Hachita?
« on: January 08, 2021, 11:24:03 am »
I drove the stretch about 7-8 years ago.  A quiet road west of Columbus (all services).  Between El Paso & Columbus the traffic picks up the closer you are to El Paso.

Other than Columbus and El Paso, there are no services, including water.  Hachita might have water but it was definitely a dying town when I went through.  Be prepared and carry plenty of water, enough to get you Columbus to your next supply spot!

NOTE:  If you are planning on doing the GDMBR, consider starting in Douglas, AZ and use the Geronimo Trail to get to Animas from the south and then work your way over to the GDMBR, either via Lordsburg (services) or Hachita (original route).  Both would meet up around White City.  The Geronimo trail is quite nice.

Tailwinds, John

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