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Messages - John Nettles

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Routes / Re: Suitability mapping?
« on: November 06, 2011, 03:00:04 pm »

Oklahoma's Bike Coordinator is no longer, at least in any real capacity.  I have met in person with ODOT and they say they don't actually have someone who does anything anymore.  It may have been the actual "coordinator"  but was a couple of years ago so can't quite remember.  I am very well aware of the AADT maps and other resources.  My question was more about trying to force Oklahoma to actually DO something with the federal funds, especially if it is a mandate, or give up the funds.

I have created my own bicycle suitability map by color coordinating the traffic counts, etc.  I, and several others, have even offered to so all the work if they will just publish it.  Even the state tourism department agrees but until ODOT gets around to it (past 2 decades!), nothing is being done.  I am tired of us having crappy resources when, to me, it is so easily corrected.   That is why when a federal mandate was mentioned, I perked up since I thought maybe we could force them to do something.

As far as the OP is concerned, I tour extensively.  I do 2-5 tours multi-week tours every year.  I always go to the state's website looking for "bicycle map" or similar.  I then cross reference with county road maps (if available on-line) and of course, AADT maps, again if on-line.

For instance, I am currently planning multiple trips for next year, Tampa to New Orleans; Jackson, WY to Denver (via Grand Junction); Jackson to Phoenix, Jackson to Portland, Asheville to Baton Rouge, Boston to St. Johns, NF, and others.  I most likely will tour 5-8 weeks next year on mainly self-developed routes (I have literally hundreds).  So, yes, for me, these types of maps are critical.


Routes / Re: Suitability mapping?
« on: November 06, 2011, 01:40:45 am »
The mapping varies considerable by state.
Federal highway legislation for the past 20 years has required multi-modal planning.
That means that states have included bicycle/pedestrian use in their DOTs.
(Sometimes that is 10% a a single person's job description - FWIW)

The results reflect as much.
Oregon's bike map is super - has been since well before the federal mandate.
Arizona's is iffy - their criteria for traffic volume is too high.
Also, states often only consider state highways -
when county roads are nearby which are far preferable.

Caveat emptor.
(Except that the maps are usually free)

What federal mandate?  Oklahoma (where I live) does not have a suitability map and the DOT refuses to produce one even if the grunt work is done by volunteers.

Routes / Re: biking Belize
« on: October 20, 2011, 04:07:54 pm »
Go over to CrazyGuy and search on Belize.  Several have toured through Belize and most have camped.

Have a great tour!

Routes / Re: How to reach Yorktown (Transcontinental) by airplane??
« on: September 20, 2011, 02:05:24 pm »
From Dulles, go to Reston, VA (about 5 miles) and get on the W&OD bike path (paved) west to Purcellville.  From there, take back roads to Front Royal.  Avoid US-50 as it is pretty busy.

Routes / Re: Western Express - Nevada & Utah
« on: August 31, 2011, 06:42:16 pm »
(Nobody in the A.C.A. forums has done this A.C.A. route? :-[)

While I have done many ACA routes, I have not done this one.  You will find that many more touring cyclists use CrazyGuy.  It seems that people new to touring come here first and then migrate to CrazyGuy for some reason.

Routes / Re: Western Express - Nevada & Utah
« on: August 31, 2011, 04:31:26 pm »
I would suggest you go over to CrazyGuyOnABike and review this list of journals which go on all or part of the Western Express  You will probably have your question answered.

Routes / Re: San Diego to Portland
« on: August 27, 2011, 02:18:23 pm »
Sorry for late reply.  I too have done the south to north following the ACA route but back in 1987 so can't comment as to US-1 now.

However, I too would HIGHLY recommend going north to south.  When I did it, it was due to ignorance that I went that direction.  I enjoyed the route but numerous days were very tough.  Mind you, I was 23 at the time and a very strong rider.  Also, I noticed is that I had to continually cross over to the west side (south bound) of the road to get a better view.

You don't say how much time is left on your visa but be sure to ride the Monterrey to San Luis Obispo (or reverse) section.  It is a fantastic section.  You could easily hop Amtrak from San Diego to Salinas (near Monterrey) for as low as $65.

No matter what you do, have a great time!

Routes / Re: Addenda Confusion
« on: August 25, 2011, 07:55:39 pm »
No matter what, you need to take the addendum with a grain of salt.  I have sent in 6 service changes (motel closed, campground closed, and four stores opening or closing) on their little update postcards in the past 3 years but only 2 have appeared.  I even called on one after not seeing it the following month but it still took another 4 months to appear so it may not have been my notice that caused the appearance.

I love and recommend the maps but in my case at least, the addendum (and ACA's follow up) were severely lacking at times.

I am like you in that I did the official route.

However, after doing a bit of quick research, I noticed that Phil's route has up to 10 times the traffic according to the Missouri Bike Federation map  You need to enlarge the map a lot to see the numbers.

While MO-32 has a nice shoulder and fairly nice sight lines, it does have traffic averages of over 4,300 to 7,300 cars per day compared to 412 to 786 per day (on narrower more-curvy no-shoulder roads) on the official route.  I love ferries and think Phil's route is a possible alternative but would probably recommend sticking to the original route due to significantly lower traffic counts.  I would rather deal with 16 cars an hour passing me (on average) than 152 even with a shoulder.  

Just my two cents.

What is interesting is, if my memory is correct, the TransAm actually did this route or at least crossed at St. Genevieve decades ago.  I wonder why they changed it.

BTW, your link only went to the main page of CG, not your specific route.

Classifieds / Re: for sale tamdem ibis
« on: June 06, 2011, 02:11:28 pm »
It makes me think it's stolen.  Obviously there is something major about it the person advertising it doesn't know about tandems, and I'm not sure I want to point it out and help them sell a stolen bike.  And one particular misspelling there makes me think they are totally unfamiliar with the bike world.

I thought it interesting that I got the same ad here in Tulsa on the local Craigslist.  I agree it sounds a bit fishy.

If you are willing to leave in the L&C in Onawa, IA, you can go west to Norfolk and connect with the Cowboy Trail in Nebraska.  From the end, you can take US-20 west until you connect with US-26 in Douglas, WY.  Take US-26 west until you connect up with the TransAm between Lander and Dubois.

The Cowboy Trail is a rail trail (chat or finely crushed gravel surface) that parallels US-20 most of the way so if you do not like the trail, you can hope onto the pavement.  The traffic counts on US-20 east of Atkinson, NE are a tad high but US-20 has pretty decent shoulders.

If you need/want to still go through South Dakota, be sure to go through the Custer State Park area and also to ride the Mickelson Trail in western SD.  The problem with going through SD is that you will have to dip back south on US-26 to get to the Tetons first as described above.  If you come in from the north via Yellowstone first you will have to head south and then double back unless you do not want to head north toward Missoula.  If the latter, there is a route that goes from Jackson and reconnects to the TransAm in John Day, Oregon.

Hope you have an enjoyable ride!

It appears you are not afraid to ride the gravel roads.  That is great as your route can be more direct at times, much quieter, etc.

You don't say how much experience you have.  It somewhat sounds like you are riding hard-tails.  Be sure to have strong enough racks, do not use "seat post" racks as they are pretty useless.

If you like off road riding, you might consider riding the Mickelson from Hot Springs up to Keystone (or Deadwood), then ride forest service roads down to Hot Springs and ride south to Edgemont on the return trip if you want to avoid 385.  The area around Custer is really nice to ride.

Sounds like a pretty nice trip!

Routes / Re: Bannack State Park
« on: March 24, 2011, 10:40:35 am »
While I can't comment directly on Bannack SP as I have not been there, I also agree that Dillon is a nice town.

Also, you might edit your question since this is on the TransAm & Great Divide routes, not the Northern Tier route.

<< I too had a weird "Session time out while posting, please ty to resubmit your message" message that I have not seen before. >>

Classifieds / Re: For Sale: Ultimate Surly LHT
« on: March 13, 2011, 05:11:38 pm »
OK...a few things are gone, but I've pulled some parts from the original build and am offering the following bundle for $850, shipped to the lower 48:

 purchased new in 2009 (May), 50cm, professionally blasted & powder coated by Streetwerkz (Columbus, Ohio)
Whirly triple crankset.

So you could argue that I'm not unloading this stuff at rock-bottom prices, but I am selling gear that's in very good-to-excellent condition at a fair price.

$850 for everything. And, shipping is included in the price (for shipping to the lower 48).

For the others considering what he has to offer, I just thought I would let you know I have bought a few things from him and they have all been in excellent condition and ships quickly.  Since this isn't eBay with its feedback, I thought I would post this so everyone knows he is on the up and up.


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