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Messages - John Nettles

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1051
General Discussion / Tire Choice ??
« on: March 18, 2008, 09:51:36 pm »
Last summer I did a partial NT from Minn to NY.  I tried the Schwalbe Supremes and was very pleased with them, i.e. fast, durable, held grip, etc.  I weigh the same as you and enjoy a 37mm tire.

I am old school (but trying to get into newer school ;) )and prefer a bit more rubber to cushion against pot holes.  To me, safety/reliability, comfort, speed in that order are my priorities so while a smaller tire might be faster, I prefer the bigger tire.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

1052
General Discussion / Trans Am Bicycle Choice???
« on: March 05, 2008, 06:00:03 pm »
You didn't say what your goal was.

Is it to see the country or to ride across the country?  You can do the latter without doing the first but it would be very difficult to do the former in 30 days (you said June so maybe I am assuming a ultra quick tour).

What is your route?  How are you sleeping (hotel or camping)?  Are you eating in cafes??

I have met people who do it but I personally would not enjoy it as your really not experiencing it.

One guy I met was not going to make it in time since he got sick and wa laid up for 3 days.  He had a similar time frame and said he regretted the choice he made to try to do it all instead of enjoying it more.

No matter what though a day riding is better than a day at work :)

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

1053
General Discussion / Spare Tire recommendations
« on: May 17, 2007, 10:27:43 pm »
Does anyone still use a boot or just a short (3 inches) section of an old tire to act as a temporary?  I have only had a tire blow once in tens of thousands of miles of loaded touring and the boot worked fine for the next several hundred miles.  However, I do tend to keep the tires in pretty good shape and don't let them get bare, i.e. change every 2500-3000 miles of touring, keep them properly inflated, etc.

Some day I need to quit being so old school :)!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

1054
General Discussion / Ok advice and insights.
« on: July 11, 2007, 11:30:57 am »
Don't forget simple stuff like addresses (street & email) for postcards & such.  Also, if you are having a maildrop, you will need to have a rough idea where to have it sent.  I usually have a "collection box" at home and have someone forward the box to me c/o General Delivery at some small town PO.  Have it arrive a few days before you do.

If you are taking medications that are capsules (little plastic coatings), they will start to melt above 90 degrees.

Wishing you a great ride!


Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

1055
General Discussion / good experiences with motorists
« on: May 03, 2007, 05:05:36 pm »
I must be the odd cyclist out because in all my tens of thousands of miles, I have only had a handful of bad experiences.  I tend to think that drives are just people, most nice, some great, but a few rotten mean ones too.

I try to be kind and curtious, i.e. when mountain touring, I tend to wave the trucks on by so they know I see them and it is OK to go around and they don't have to slow down on an up hill.  It's these new silent hybrids that are scaring the heck out of me!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

1056
General Discussion / traveling on the cheap, high daily mileage
« on: May 04, 2007, 10:17:41 pm »
Sorry about your divorce but congrats on your new job!

I have crossed the country West to East solo twice, once the TransAm and then the Northern Tier.

Both trips I had a rest day (occasionally 2) every 7-10 days.  The first, I averaged 58 miles a day when I was 17.  The second trip (part of a 9,000 mile trip) I averaged 68 miles.  This ride had 38 centuries as I had to hussle to beat the Maine winter and be able to get south before the snow hit (I don't recommend starting from Washington to Maine in mid-August).

I can say that while my average was only 10 miles more per day (45 minutes of riding on average), it was a lot more work do to it being a average.  I had to do almost about 75-80 miles per riding day just to increase that 10 miles on average.  I did this in early 20s and I was in really good shape (more so than now ;)).  There is no way I would enjoy doing multiple century days in a row while touring now (early 40s).

I have subsequently determined that, for me, I stop around 60-75 miles per day.  I have known numerous riders who after 3-4 weeks of no rest day riding, phyically get sick.  They are usually strong enough but just get a bad flu or somthing.  I am not trying to discourage you as there have been plenty of speed riders who have done it sucessfully.

Since you are doing it cheap, you will probably be camping (or finding a "camp") and may be cooking.  All of this adds to the time.  Heck, even doing laundry every 3-4 days takes up 2 hours and small town laundrymats often close by 8pm or 9pm.  If you are going to stop and smell the roses, continuous high mileage days may be difficult and/or no fun after a while.

If you able to go slower and take more time, I would recommend that.  After all, what happens if you come up on a gorgeous lady riding the same direction but she only doing an average of 60 :)?  But if the choice is an average of 70 a day versus no trip, I'd probably go :). Hope this helps and I wish you a great trip!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

1057
General Discussion / Eating and spending on a two month biking spree
« on: April 14, 2007, 03:58:25 pm »
Well this has been an interesting discussion.

Not being a vegan, I can't realistically comment on cost/ease/etc. of obtaining food/etc. except that in the southwest (SW Missouri thru central NM), people do like their meat.  A lot of the small towns you will be going thru will not look kindly on people dumster diving (not judging, just giving the local mentality) and you may very well be hassled out of town by the local PD if found out.  They in turn will probably notify the next town to look out for you.  Again, while not judging, you WILL be looked on as a vagrant/bum, not as someone chosing to spend their money differently.

As anyone who is toured long distance, you will be asked the same questions over and over.  One will be how/waht do you eat.  In this (southwest) part of the country, it would be in your interest to avoid talking about dumstering.

As far as camping, if you ask the local PD/church/park dept. you can usually camp for free or a couple of bucks IF there is not a commercial campground nearby.  There are not that many places in the country to hide during daylight hours and do not be suprised to be awoken by someone pointing a shotgun at you telling you to get off their land NOW.  Asking for permission is usually better here than asking for forgiveness when dealing with someone's land in theis part of the country.  Cattle rustling is still very active and occasionally people are shot while passing thru on someone's land so be careful.

As someone mentioned earlier, stopping and asking someone if there is anywhere nearby to camp inexpensively may result in an invitation to stay at their house.  The problem is that if you have not showered recently and look a bit scruffy :) those invitations will be much harder to come by.

I know this sounds negative but it is meant to give a fairly realistic outlook of what you can expect in this part of the country.  I wish you the best of times to you on your journey!


Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

1058
General Discussion / i would love some advice
« on: October 24, 2006, 03:13:20 pm »
I have crossed the country on the pacific coast, northern tier, trans-am, and east coast (older route) along with some "my design" routes.  I did the northern tier in 65 days but it was a tad rough as the miles get high per riding day.  Remember, you will need/want to take a day off every 7-10 to rest, sightsee, etc. so the riding average can really get up there.

I agree with valygirl that you can consider other "cross country" routes.  You also have the Great River route in central but have only done a portion of it.

Another option is to consider a multi-country route, i.e. Pueblo, CO (or Jackson, WY to save time) to Jasper, AB but you would want to plan on rest days every 5-7 days due to the wonderful national parks you would be visiting.

You are smart buying a used high-end touring bike.  I use a 17 year-old Bruce Gordon that is probably better than most new bikes.  Be sure you have strong wheels, good racks, buy used decent packs (Beckman or Arkel), and tent/sleeping bag.  You can put the money into other areas instead of a new bike.

Be sure to plan a few days back home before you return to work to readjust to "life".  Numerous funny stories of how we have to readjust, i.e. not thinking about taking TP with you in case there is any.

Have a wonderful trip!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

1059
General Discussion / The Ditty Bops...
« on: October 02, 2006, 04:48:51 pm »
Pretty neat site.


Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

1060
General Discussion / going south
« on: October 03, 2006, 05:02:10 pm »
I understand about the bus versus riding.  I just wouldn't want to freeze my ball bearings off riding in the snow when I could be in the sun :).

Regarding the passes along the continental divide, they could still be cold at night (in the mid 20s)but dry in mid-December (I estimated your ETA).  Daytime high average around 55-65 along the Mexico/AZ/NM border.  Obviously, the further north you go, the colder it gets.

I know there is a strong ex-pat population around Puerto Penasco just south of AZ along the Gulf of California.

Hope you enjoy your trip!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

1061
General Discussion / going south
« on: October 02, 2006, 04:40:19 pm »
If you are saying you want to ride the Great Divide or any mountain passes for that matter in December, you had better have tremendous fortitude :).  Most non-major road passes could be closed due to snow then but depending on luck, route, etc. I guess it could be done but it would be something I would not enjoy.

If you are wanting to get south for the winter, I would suggest a bus as the extra food you will eat to stay warm will be less than the bus fare.  Additionally, you will have more time in a better climate.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

1062
General Discussion / Seeking advice on bringing a bike from Europe to U
« on: September 27, 2006, 01:02:47 pm »
Depnding on where you are landing in the USA, you might contact a local bike shop there and see if you can ship there and they can assemble it and have it ready for your trip.  UPS is much less likely to damage it compared to any airline and you can get insurance for it pretty cheaply.

Perhaps there is a ACA member in that area willing to have you ship it to them????

I did the trip back in '87.  Hope you enjoy your trip!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

1063
General Discussion / Dalton Boys
« on: September 22, 2006, 03:06:22 pm »
Sorry to post to everyone but I am trying to get in touch with Mark but his email is private.

Therefore Mark, I have some questions I would like to email/phone you about riding in Texas.  Can you email me at nettles@cox.net at your leisure?

Again, sorry to everyone else.  Thanks!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

1064
General Discussion / cycling on the interstates
« on: September 12, 2006, 03:06:36 pm »
While I agree some situations are unavoidable and should be explored for allowing cyclists, I still say a cyclist should generally not be on an interstate.  I would rather put my legal efforts toward places that apply to all cyclists not just a few.

Additionally, there is no way it can be a 56 ADDITIONAL mile detour to go from Hannibal, MO to Pittsfield, IL (assuming you were traveling thru, not just crossing the river).  Sometimes, your mode of travel dictates certain limitations. How come boats never have hills :).

I personally would not have traveled on US36 when there are better cyclists friendly roads that basically go the same direction, albiet with some extra mileage.  I'm not putting you down, but I prefer to look at the landscape not at the traffic.  

Finally, while you are an experienced cyclist, I would be worried about a novice who rides on it just because we have the right.  Right or wrong doesn't matter if your are dead.

Again, just my two cents worth.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

1065
General Discussion / cycling on the interstates
« on: September 11, 2006, 08:00:55 pm »
While I can certainly understand the problem with old roads becoming interstates (the old Route 66 has been converted to interstates in most areas, I personally believe cyclists should not be on interstates unless there is no reasonable (detour of 30+ miles) alternative, i.e. in Wyoming on the TransAm route.  Besides, interestates are SO boring.

I certainly agree with you about the right to use most roads but a blanket "we get access to everything" is not a wise decision IMHO.


Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

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