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Messages - John Nettles

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You most likely won't have any trouble.  The big thing is food management in camp.  Never ever put food or eat in in your tent.  Rodents to racoons to bears may try to get into the tent.  If bear lockers are available, use them otherwise you will probably not see a bear.  Chipmonks and racoons can chew through anything panniers, tents, etc. 

I carry a "opportunity" lock to prevent thefts when in larger towns or cities.  The lightweight lock is a 1/8" vinyl coated wire with loops on the end.  I use a very small lock.  It is about 12 feet long so I can wrap around anything and include the pannier handle loops too.  Again, it is to prevent a theft where someone walks by and sees and opportunity.  A pro (which we luckily do not have much of in America, especially on the TA) can get any bike.

Note than on Sundays it is not uncommon that grocery stores, restaurants, etc. are closed in middle USA.  Always carry an emergency supply of food.  Doesn't have to be much, just a couple of granola bars or the ever present peanut butter and tortillas.

Weather should be fine.  Just get a weather app that has a radar.  I use WeatherBug.  Do what the locals do, especially during a tornado watch.  A watch can cover a very wide area and the nearest "possible" tornado can be 50+ miles away going away from you.  However, if the sky gets greenish, look for cover as that means a lot of hail is nearby.  If it is a hot day, the hail can be the size of a golf ball or more.  Not fun at all.

Other than that, enjoy the trip. Tailwinds, John


Welcome to the ACA Forums.  While I am not absolutely positive, I believe the routes cross Godfrey Parkway ( ) and are only separated by less than a mile.  You should not need to go to the airport.

The PPP uses the bike path next to MN-55 while the NL uses the bike path next to W River Pkwy.   

Edit:  I just looked at the map again and you could connect to the two routes via a bike path near 27th Street or via 32nd Street which looks to be a residential road that is a designated city bike route.

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: Skinny tires on gravel?
« on: April 20, 2022, 08:18:30 pm »
The answer is it depends.  The problem with your question is what is "gravel".  I would say that you could ride on dry chat (finely crushed & screened gravel similar to what is found on a running track).  The bigger the pieces of gravel and/or the looser the compaction is, the harder it is to ride.  I would think that a freshly graded gravel road would not be too fun to ride as the tires would sink in too easily.  The wider the tire, the better the bike can "float" over poor road conditions.  Since I am not personally familiar with the Palouse to Cascade trail, I can't say whether skinny tires would work.  I would at least use as wide a tires as your bike fits. 

Tailwinds, John

Routes / Re: EUROVELO6 -- Backwards -- Constana to Nantes --- Lil Help
« on: April 16, 2022, 11:34:43 am »
First, welcome to the ACA Forums. 

A lot of the bike shipping companies have recently greatly increased their shipping costs.  I would suggest you check the costs to ship via the various methods and then compare to what it costs to take on a plane/train.  I am going to Europe this summer and the cost to ship a bike via BikeFlights was around $700US each way when I checked back in February.  I plan to pack the bike carefully and take with me on the plane ($100) unless the prices for BikeFlight an the others have dropped dramatically.

I am unfamiliar with the Spokes bike shop so can't help you there but it seems to be a good shop based on its Google reviews. I personally would probably take the train from Constanta to Bucharest as you most likely do not need to disassemble your bike though Romania is a bit different at times when it comes to trains.  Europe as a rule is very bike friendly, at least compared to the US.

For a route between Bucharest and Constanta, you might check out the heat map at .  The brighter roads show what is popular with the local cyclists.  Remember though that European riders typically have a higher tolerance for traffic than North Americans so a popular (bright) road might have more traffic than you might like.  Use the Streetview on Google's Maps to spot check the route. You might also ask some bike shops in Bucharest for the best route on how to get out of Buchrest and Spokes on how to get into Constana.  The area in between is not as populated so the routing might be easier.

Also, you might ask this same question over at as their touring sub-forum is a more international audience than here.  You could also look at the journals on .  Here is a list of journals with the keyword "Constanta" in them: . You could also search on other keywords like EV6.

I am unclear what you mean "does anyone have any suggestions for a EV6 trip that starts on the Black Sea and heads to France??" since that is exactly what EV6 is other than most people go W>E. 

Finally, you might consider editing your post and removing your email addresses since you might get a lot of spam as a result of it. I don't know how it happens but it does.  People can private message via this website (see the link under your user name) if needed.

Hope you have a wonderful trip!  Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: Any Women Who Cycled Across Country Solo???
« on: April 13, 2022, 11:36:04 pm »
Lisa, welcome to the ACA Forums!

You might check out the journals over at CycleBlaze and CrazyGuyonaBike.  For instance, here is a list of solo women journals over at CrazyGuy:

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: ShipBikes switching over to UPS
« on: April 13, 2022, 12:53:19 pm »
While not nearly as "safe" for the bike, you can sometimes ship via Greyhound pretty cheap.  Other times it is outrageous.  Can't figure out their algorithm but when shipping, I do check them.

Classifieds / Re: FS: Southern Tier Map Set
« on: April 10, 2022, 02:17:48 pm »
Welcome to the ACA Forums.  Hope you had an enjoyable trip and will return to provide information to others since you have experienced the ST route.

Tailwinds, John

Gear Talk / Re: wheels for touring. 250lb rider plus load.
« on: April 07, 2022, 06:08:42 pm »
Since you don't give the total weight (bike+gear+rider) and since I am a fairly cautious person, I would suggest you go with 36 spokes if you are buying new wheels.  The way I look at it is that the cost should be about the same, why not have the extra strength for so little wheel weight difference, especially since you are going to be in a remote location.  Otherwise, I agree with Pat.

If you are unable to find rims (or other bike parts) in Canada, consider ordering them from Europe as they might be cheaper.  For instance, sells the very strong Ryde Andra 30 rims for about $26 Euros ($36 Canadian) each .  The shipping will add about $30-$35 Euros also but you can typically add quite a bit extra of extra bike parts for minimal extra costs.  For instance, if you considering new Schwalbe tires (which can be substantially cheaper in Europe), add a couple of tires only adds a couple of euros to the shipping cost.  There are lots of online bike shops/stores that will ship to non-European countries.

Hope your tours go well!  Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: Epic Great Divide Tour--July 17 Team Members
« on: April 06, 2022, 11:30:37 pm »
Have a great ride!

Check out for a great climate database.  Just remember that these are averages so nothing is guaranteed. 

Tailwinds, John

Classifieds / Re: STOLEN Co-Motion Americano
« on: April 02, 2022, 10:06:21 am »
So - perhaps not the right thread - but how did you search for your replacement bike?
My standby is to do "saved searches" on eBay where eBay emails me listings when certain key words are found in a listing.  I put in what I want that is specific enough that I can gather the item I want in but not so specific I miss something. 

For instance, say I want to look for a used Co-Motion Divide bike with a Pinion P1.18 gearbox with S&S Couplers.  If I put in all the key words using the Boolean Operators to search for Used, Co-Motion, Divide, Bicycle, Pinion, P1.18, and S&S, it would have to be a very specific listing by the seller who had to use all of those specific key words.  If the seller used "bike" instead of "bicycle", I would not have received the email. Therefore, I would most likely do a search on just "Co-Motion Divide" under the Cycling category.  Once I get the search I want, I click "(heart) Save this search" near the the top of the page and the eBay will automatically email when a new listing with the key words of "Co-Motion Divide" occurs.  I then weed out the listings mailed to me with a derailleur system, Rohloff, non-preferred color, etc.  This all takes me easily less than 1 minute per day once the saved search is set up. 

Eventually, you will get an email for the listing you want no matter how specific you want.  It may take years but they do occur.  For instance, I REALLY want a pair of vintage Redwood Cycling Apparel cycling shorts in large. These shorts were from the early 80s and I loved them. I have a saved search on "Redwood Cycling" with the words in quotes so eBay knows it is that specific  phrase I am looking for.  I have had this search in place for over a decade and have gotten about a dozen responses over the years but nothing in large.  I have bought a pair in medium and am seriously considering having some "reverse engineered" for me in large.

Other good sources are having the classifieds in Bike Forums, ACA's Classifieds, etc. sent to me daily.  A quick 5 second scan tells me if I want to consider anything offered.  Other decent websites for touring bikes are, Bicycle Blue Book, and Bike Exchange.  If a road bike, add Pros Closet.  Most of these sites will allow you to so saved searches and will email you when something appears.  Then just be patient.  Something WILL turn up and usually at a pretty good discount from new. 

The reason I am so pro used bike is that a lot of people buy a very high end bike and then later decide to sell it for whatever reason and almost always at least 50% off if over a couple of years old.  And most high end bikes are still of very decent quality after even 5 years.  Look how little Co-Motion has changed the Americano in 10 years.  Sure they added the Belt Drive option and the Pinion option, but other than that, nada.  So I figure if I am basically getting an identical but older bike compared to a new one, why not buy used.  If I have to spend a couple hundred putting on new cables, tires, bar wrap, etc., to bring it up to date, the discount is still significant compared to new.

Also, it is actually rare the bikes have been ridden that hard or at least hard compared to what it is capable of.  In all my years, I have only found a couple of bikes that were used extensively, i.e. one guy was selling a Co-Motion Divide with Rohloff who had been on the road in South America for 3 years and while the bike was still usable and was priced inexpensively, I didn't want something that used.  I bought my previous Americano for 51% of new retail and it had been ridden only on the Pacific Coast Route and some local day rides.  It was at the time 3 years old and in very good condition.  I didn't love the Vanilla color but I wasn't going to pay an extra $2k to change the color.  My Thorn Nomad MkII with Rohloff & S&S only had about 1200 miles on it and I bought it for 42% of new retail.  I found that one by looking at the Thorn Forums page every week for about two months before a guy in Germany was selling it.

Anyway, do lots of saved searches and it will come.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier road surfaces
« on: March 31, 2022, 05:53:47 pm »
Lots of chip seal since the west has lots of low population and wide open spaces.  That said, it wasn't that bad but as Pete said, Texas takes the cake on the size of its chips which does cause a definite 2-4mph drop.

Just plan on riding an extra hour per day compared to a "normal" tour.

Tailwinds, John

Classifieds / Re: STOLEN Co-Motion Americano
« on: March 31, 2022, 03:37:00 pm »
My old Americano bike is still missing but I did buy a very gently used Co-Motion Americano with a Pinion P18 gearbox, belt drive, and S&S.  It only had 300 miles on it and is in mint condition and the insurance literally 99.823% so I can't complain.

I am still on the look out for a Divide or similar but now I can patiently wait for a gently used one at 50% off.  I figure less than a 2 year wait based on previous averages.  I did have a lead on a decently priced Divide with Pinion P18 but the guy was a flake and bailed repeatedly. 

Anyway, keep an eye out for my old one.  I would still like to claim it back, even if I have to give it to the insurance company. 

General Discussion / Re: Wind on southern tier tomorrow
« on: March 29, 2022, 12:02:43 am »
I would take a rest day or a short day to Marathon.  I personally hate strong headwinds.  If you decide to go, head out as early as possible, i.e. barely light out.  This will less the difficulty but definitely not eliminate it.  If you are going 100+ miles into a 25+mph headwind, that is one tough day.

Gear Talk / Re: Suspension seat post
« on: March 28, 2022, 09:07:37 am »
Dean, welcome to the ACA Forums!

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