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Messages - John Nettles

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Pat, all of my buddies have been weather resistant.  But some would only last a week or so, i.e. some pin wheels I found beside the road. My Raisin has lasted decades.

Really, in my defense, I think this is being a little too sensitive. I didn't mean to criticize anyone.
Hiker, I apologize if I came across as too stern, wasn't trying to.  I really wish in this day of technology they could come up with some way to get voice inflection across.  Anyway, my point was made exactly muddy clear by my response in that be careful how you reply as while I didn't mean anything critical (more of a suggestion), anything negative or not agree with can be taken negative which I can see how someone could have taken your reply as somewhat negative. 

Yes, this is totally meant to be a whimsical thread.  If you are not a silly nutcase for lugging a foam mini-pig on your bike like I am (all said with a happy tone!), just pass on posting on this thread.

Let's kill this sub-thread here and get back to whimsical buddies.  For instance, I met a guy on tour back in the 90s?? and rode along with him for a couple of days.  He had a faded, ragged bra strapped to his rack pack.  I asked him about it and all his response was was "Why not?".  Bit too whimsical for me but hey as you said, I just didn't get it so left the question, and him, alone.

Oooh, a nice query on such a cold day.  I take it you do not have to ride across the entire state but what, in YOUR opinion, constitutes riding "in" a state, i.e., literally just cross the border, must stay in the state X nights, cover X miles, etc.?

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: What "riding buddies" do you take on tour?
« on: January 17, 2022, 11:53:14 pm »
Not meaning to be critical at all, but I just don't get his type of stuff. But each to his own.  If it makes you happey, go for it.
As my momma said, sometimes if you can't say something nice, it is better to say nothing at all.  We all of our own little idiosyncrasies. 

Some people must listen to music while riding through a major city, others have so much safety orange they look like a giant orange, others carry little pigs/stuff figures on their bikes.  Some get up at 4:30am while others get up at 11am.  Others like quiet roads no matter what while others what the most direct route, traffic be damned.  Some deep clean their bike every night while others go months between cleanings (guilty).  My point is if we are all different but no body makes you do what they want, with the possible exception of the 4:30am guy who wakes everybody else up while he packs his stuff, so live and let live.

Routes / Re: Parks, Peaks and Prairies
« on: January 17, 2022, 03:27:27 pm »
What would you say is the most must see attraction that you remember along this route?
I am most into scenery.  I enjoyed Yellowstone, climbing (very slowly) the main road of the Big Horns, and the Badlands.  Something cool if you prepare is the free camping (no services at all) on BLM land overlooking the Badlands (just north and east of the north entrance to the Badlands National Park).  Of course, other parts are nice too but those are especially nice to me.

Tailwinds, John

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

Routes / Re: Parks, Peaks and Prairies
« on: January 16, 2022, 03:18:04 pm »
The parts i'm talking about are:
Deer creek, WY in Buffalo, WY to possibly spotted horse(no camping or hotels on map)
In Basin WY is the closest place greybull?
I rode the PPP eastbound before it was officially the PPP.  I stayed in Greybull.  I recommend.  I don't know why they didn't go there as the roads are not bad to Greybull and the local road Orchard Bench Rd. is paved so it was fine also.  Greybull to Ten Sleep.

As I mentioned above, I would ride from Buffalo (home to Jamawani) to Leiter then to Gillette.  Yes, there are a couple of EMS related places between Buffalo and Gillette.  I have had luck with them and you being in "the family" I would think you would have better luck.  Perhaps, bring proof of some type to show you are in EMS, i.e. a business card, letter from a supervisor on laminated letterhead, etc. The town of Arvada might be a place to stay as it has a fire department I think.

After Gillette, I stayed at Keyhole SP on east side of Keyhole Reservoir.  I rode the fairly scenic but somewhat wash boardy CR-180/187 north back to US-14.  Basically, do not be worried about going "off route" in this part of the country as the  roads are mostly low-traffic.  Just be sure to confirm if your intended resupply place (grocery, cafe, motel, etc.) is open as it is not uncommon for places to permanently close and then a new place opens elsewhere but is not on the maps yet.  If truly remote, I call the day before and/or the morning of to re-confirm.  Libraries, Police Stations, and Post Offices are pretty good sources of information if "un-listed" places exist.

I hope you have a wonderful trip!

Gear Talk / Re: The shoe dilemma
« on: January 16, 2022, 12:39:38 am »
So if you want to go on hikes spontaneously this won’t do you much good. But if your passing thru 1 or 2 or 5 spots on your tour that you’d like to take some time off the bike and get some hiking in, General Delivery can work pretty well.
I think that is a pretty good idea.  Plus, General Delivery will hold it for 21-30 days (call actual office to confirm) and if for some reason you have to skip the hike or the tour gets canceled before you get there, they will forward or "return to sender" the package for free typically.

Routes / Re: Parks, Peaks and Prairies
« on: January 15, 2022, 07:58:50 pm »
I have ridden parts of the route (Yellowstone to Rapid City and parts of Minnesota).  When I rode thru the thriving metropolis of Leiter, WY, this summer, I stopped and had lunch at the bar.  They also have a free primative campground (donations are encouraged) but will let you shower if one of the cabins are available.  Check the ACA updates page for contact info/hours. This is a more reliable place than Spotted Horse. 

I also stopped at the The Spotted Horse.  While the owner was super great for me, she may not allow cyclists to camp there much longer.  She has gotten a bit fed up with cyclists who complain about having to pay for bottled water (the locals do not even drink the tap water as it will make you have an upset stomach due to the strong sulpher(?) smell/taste).  So if you stop at Spotted Horse, be polite, be willing to pay for the water, and if you are allowed to camp there, offer a donation. The food was pretty good at the bar/restaurant.

Beyond Rapid City, I did my own route which mostly paralleled I-90 along local or state roads with an occasional bit on the interstate (legal and it was fine).  As a result, I missed the other barren stretch between Rapid City to Interior.  However, I did drive this section in 2020 and it did lack many services at all.  Carry plenty of water and at least one day's supply of food.  When I stopped at "The Country Store" east of Caputa, SD, the owner was not there but the cashier said that "sometimes" cyclists can stay there, depending on the mood of the owner. 

It is due to this barren stretch and the others east of hear that I went from Rapid City to Wall before dipping down into the Badlands NP/Interior then back up to local/state roads that paralleled I90 all the way to LaCrosse, WI.  The services on my route were adequate overall with no really special planning and the traffic was very reasonable east of Box Elder, SD all the way to LaCrosse except a few portions near larger towns.

While I know this didn't answer all your questions, I hope it helped some.

Tailwinds, John

Gear Talk / Re: The shoe dilemma
« on: January 13, 2022, 08:58:26 pm »
If what you have works, I would still use it. A big plus you didn't mention is that if one type of shoe fails (I have had this happen on tour), then you still have a back up. 

That said, I currently use the no-longer produced Speedplay Frogs but will soon have to do a new setup up since the cleats are discontinued  >:( after Speedplay was bought out.  I will probably do an SPD mountain bike shoe (so I can walk relatively easily during the day) and a lightweight pair of running shoes for camp.  After 45 years of riding I have an old problem in that I have to have something the somehow locks my foot in.  This is because I trained myself from WAY back when I raced to pull up on the leg opposite the down stroke and since I have a 95+ RPM cadence, I have a high propensity to pull off the pedal.  It is not fun to have the pedal smack your shin! I only do minor hiking (1 mile or less). 

I have tried Crocs and very lightweight canvas shoes for my camp shoes.  For me, neither are good for more than 1/2 mile tops of walking. Plus they look a little dorky but the crocs do great as shower shoes.

Tailwinds, John

I hope you have a wonderful and safe tour!
Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: Hillbilly dogs
« on: January 12, 2022, 10:07:19 am »
I figured I could distance and mask as appropriate when on the road as well as at home, so I didn't think there was much more danger of being on the road than at home other than the risk of being sick in a distant city alone and unable to get home.
That is why I toured last year and will tour this year.  As you said, I think there is a higher chance of getting Covid at home due to the increased population I deal with vs. being on the much more sparse open road.  My only concern is getting somewhere and then a worthless lock down occurs thus severely hampering my efforts to get home perhaps.  That said, all my "covid" tours have been fine and even somewhat nicer as the crowds are down.  I mask up, distance, etc. when interacting with the public but otherwise, life is the same.

Routes / Re: March Trip from Phoenix - Looking for best route
« on: January 11, 2022, 01:36:51 pm »
By the highway through the desert, they may meant the old route that went from Blythe, CA, to Brawley, CA.  The new route uses I-10 which while sounding dangerous is probably safer due to the much better sight lines and the full-width shoulder.  The old route was not ideal on weekends due to the large amount of RVs pulling Off-Road vehicals to Glamis on a somewhat narrow road that had lots of little ups and down making sight-lines more difficult.  Beautiful but not great on weekends/holidays.  On the week days, it wasn't too bad but I would encourage the use of a flag and/or bright clothing for that stretch. 

Regardless, in order to go from Phoenix to San Diego and have hotels every 70 miles or less, you would have to follow the old route from Phoenix to Quartzsite then south to Yuma (very little services) then west to San Diego. 

Out of curiosity, why Phoenix?  Do you live there or ???

General Discussion / Re: Hillbilly dogs
« on: January 11, 2022, 01:26:35 pm »
I am, however, almost as afraid of a friendly dog as a mean one.
By that I guess you mean the type that are so friendly they can clumsily get in the way causing a wreck.  Then they lick you to death while you are on the ground.

Routes / Re: March Trip from Phoenix - Looking for best route
« on: January 11, 2022, 10:56:21 am »
Welcome to the ACA Forums!

You probably need to give a bit more info such as how many days total.  Do you have an extra battery or what is the max distance you can do in one day?  Are you eating out or cooking or eating food not needing to be cooked at the hotel?  Are you looking for a loop or one-way?

If you are solely dependent on a hotel every night, be sure to plan carefully.  Some days may need to much shorter or longer than you would like.  Check out to see if the temps are what you are thinking they would be.  For me, doing the Utah Clifs in March would be a bit too cool when at elevation.

Whatever you decide, have a great trip!  Tailwinds, John

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