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Messages - John Nettles

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Numerous people have done it (check out CrazyGuyonaBike for some journals.  I did it (East>West) a few years ago.  However, I actually rode along or near the coast from Perry, FL to Galveston, TX.  Doing Galveston westward in early April.

The coastal route definitely has more traffic than the ACA route but was quite doable.  I road the west side of the Mississippi from NO to BR due to lower traffic counts and quieter roads.  In NO, be sure to cross the Inner Harbor Navigation Channel up next to Lake Pontchartrain as the other crossings would be suicidal.  There is a nice sidewalk/bike path along the beach in the Gulfport/Biloxi area also.

Lots of services once you are in Mississippi.   Be sure to check on campgrounds ahead of time as several do not accept tents (ACA should use it advocacy for that!).  Lots of hotels but most are not inexpensive.

Hope you have an enjoyable ride.  John

Routes / Re: Pros and Cons of Northern Tier vs. Lewis and Clark in Pac NW
« on: January 30, 2017, 07:54:50 am »
I agree with John Nelson.  I have used a power bank (rechargeable battery) over the past several years.  I use it to recharge my phone, GPS, AA & AAA batteries (if I am taking on that trip), etc.  Buy a 10k -15k mA power bank.  Much larger and you won't use the extra storage that much so you are carrying extra weight.  Less than that, and you have fewer charges.  A cell phone typically holds about 2-2.5k mA.  Be sure to get one that will match (or at least come close) your phone's charging input.  A lot of newer phones charge at 3a now instead of the older 1a,  While it will charge at 1a, it will just take significantly longer.

If you are only recharging the phone, a 10k mA is plenty as you will able to recharge as you go along in campgrounds (some), restaurants, some city parks, etc.  You to will become an expert at spotting electrical outlets  ;D !

Hope you have a great ride!  John

Routes / New ACA Chicago to NYC Mapped Route
« on: January 22, 2017, 04:53:38 pm »

The Feb 2017 issue of Adventure Cyclist implies there is a new mapped route coming out, Chicago to New York City.  Can you let us know when the maps will be ready?  I "assume" it will be before the ACA van-supported Tour following the same route beginning in early June. 

Thanks for all you do, John

Routes / Re: Start date for NB Sierra Cascades route.
« on: January 17, 2017, 11:24:35 am »
Another thing I would suggest is to avoid CA-94 between Tecate and Otay Lakes Road, especially if Tecate bound.  A group of 4 road this a couple of years ago, mid-week, in early afternoon, and we agreed the road was not at all enjoyable.  In my 35+ years of touring, this was one of the worst.  Narrow, twisty, LOTS of car and truck traffic.  Going from Tecate to Otay would be much better as it is mostly downhill (somewhat steep).  We basically had to take the lane as cars would try to pass us on blind curves, etc.  At least we could hook it up to 30+mph due to the downhill.  Going uphill (5+ miles????) would have sucked big time.  Maybe we hit at a bad time, but it really did suck.

My recommendation is to touch the border at Imperial Beach south of San Diego, ride up Santa Monica then take the Route 66 Route to Pasadena then work your way to the SC route at the intersection of Angeles Creast Highway and Angeles Forest Highway.  Or you could take the Southern Tier Route over to Pine Valley, CA and connect with the SC there. 

Whatever you choose, enjoy the ride!  John

Routes / Re: Southern Tier 2017 Thread
« on: January 15, 2017, 01:04:16 pm »
Personally, I would just ride from Jacksonville along the coast.  It is only a 1 day ride.  Best, John

Routes / Re: Northern Tier vs. TransAm
« on: January 02, 2017, 12:12:08 pm »
I strongly prefer the TransAm over the NT.  However, which ever route you choose, be aware that if you will be west bound, some of the western mountain passes may still be closed when you get there if you are east bound. Granted, there are alternatives but still be sure to look ahead to save some miles.  Also, if you have the time and you are doing the TransAm, a brief loop up to Glacier is great.

Routes / Re: Help with Route Planning From KS to CA
« on: December 28, 2016, 11:24:15 pm »
While John is correct that big towns or cities are typically a pain to get into and out of and best avoided, Denver may be a different beast.

If you ride to the airport ENE of town, you can take a shuttle train to downtown Denver (you are able to roll your bike onto the train).  Then you could take the bike routes (some are separate paths out to Golden where you can make your way to Idaho Springs via side roads and a short (legal) section of I-70 (use Google Maps/Bicycling to see bike routes).  Then you could take the Great Park South route over to Silverthorne to connect to other routes.  NOTE:  This is a high traffic route but if you MUST go to Denver, there is a way.

You could also take a shuttle from Denver to Silverthorn and bypass a LOT of climbing and time (recommended for beginners).

If you give more info such as time of year, are you camping or hotels, cafes or cooking, your daily distance, ability at altitude, etc., perhaps you could get better answers.

Happy Trails, John

Routes / Re: What is Your Favorite Cross Country Route and Why?
« on: December 16, 2016, 10:35:19 am »
Indyfabz, you are cheating!  I didn't know we could combine the routes  :D

Routes / Re: What is Your Favorite Cross Country Route and Why?
« on: December 15, 2016, 01:30:02 pm »
If you are talking about ACA routes, then the TransAm hands down.  I have done most of the routes and still prefer the TransAm over the others.  The reason is that it changes about every 7-10 days in geography or similar.  Tired of the cool ocean breeze, get into eastern Oregon.  Tired of the pine trees, add some geysers and mountains of Yellowstone & Tetons, etc.  Just a very good route.

However, since I have been touring for closing on 40 years (started young) and I have done most of ACA routes, I have been doing mostly my own routes lately.

Best, John

Routes / Re: Southern Tier
« on: October 17, 2016, 08:40:31 pm »
If you mean is the ST paved, yes it is.  Also, since you are on a MTB bike, you might consider turning left at Roosevelt, AZ onto AZ-88 toward Apache.  It would make your ride a little longer and it does have some graded gravel but it has WAY less travel.  Do a google streetview to see what I mean.

Try to stay warm and I hope you enjoy the ride.  John

Routes / Re: Underground Railroad Route??
« on: September 11, 2016, 11:11:58 pm »
While I have not done the UGRR yet, you might want to add some qualifiers such as if you do 55 miles per day on average, only going to Cincinnati, and want to see a lot of the spring blossoms, etc.  Technically, you could start in Mobile at any time of the year as it is warm enough.  It is the points further north that may cause the trouble.  Just some thoughts.

Routes / Re: Israel?
« on: September 09, 2016, 01:16:41 pm »
Here are some journals from CrazyGuy

Hope that helps.  John

Routes / Re: connecting the Eastern Seaboard route with the Northern Tier
« on: September 05, 2016, 08:51:40 am »
If you head west out of Washington and do not want non-paved routes, do not take the C&O or the GAP trails which are dirt or fine gravel most of the way.  You might consider just flying up to Portland, ME and doing the whole thing. 

Routes / Re: Southern Tier route - how bad is Baton Rouge?
« on: September 02, 2016, 11:46:03 pm »
I would just call a bike shop in BR or send a question to a WarmShowers host. 

Routes / Re: Southern Tier route - how bad is Baton Rouge?
« on: September 02, 2016, 10:42:52 am »
If you mean from the New Roads junction (LA-10 & US-61) south into Baton Rouge, it is not that bad.  Lots of traffic on US-61  but it is on a 4-lane divide highway with a wide shoulder that has a non-interferring rumble strip.  Four of us did it and it was no big deal.  We rode it on a trip from New Orleans to Tulsa and we would do it again.

Once in BR, the traffic is worse and the shoulder ends so that wasn't overly pleasant so we went through the neighborhoods instead. 

As a side note, due to the recent flooding, be sure to verify your accommodations have openings as the construction workers and displaced home owners may take up a lot of the occupancy.


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