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Messages - John Nettles

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GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPX for North Star II guided ride?
« on: October 20, 2017, 01:21:05 pm »
The "classic" route (based on the founders route during Hemistour of ACA) is from Anchorage (I would do Prudhoe Bay myself) to Tok to Chicken, AK, to Dawson City, YT, to Carmacks to Watson Lake (via Ross Lake but I would prefer Whitehorse  & Carcross to Watson Lake).  Then south into BC along Kitwanga then east to Jasper down the wonderful Icefields Highway.

It has a mixture of paved and gravel.  If you want more gravel, you can do a one-way detour (hitch or fly back to Dawson City) from Dawson City to Inuvik, NWT. Another cool detour is from Dease Lake to Telegraph (gravel).  For fantastic views of bears eating salmon as they swim upstream, take another deour to Hyder, AK (down by Kitwanga).

Again, the MilePost has detailed maps of what is gravel and paved, etc.  I would highly suggest you by a copy (a year or two old one would probably work but a business or two might be closed/open) and plan away.

BTW, yes, you will see LOTS of trees and if you go to Carcross even the world's smallest desert. 

Enjoy the ride, John

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPX for North Star II guided ride?
« on: October 20, 2017, 10:32:54 am »
There are very few roads up that way so a GPS really is not needed unless you are using it to mark distances traveled.  The best guide by far is the "Mile Post" which is a very detailed guide to all roads in Alaska and BC, AB, YT, NWT parts of Canada.

Best, John

Thanks for replying so soon!  I guess I am just nostalgic but after doing both routes, I prefer the original (especially west bound/downhill) as it is MUCH more scenic and the climb from Lordsburg to Silver City on the new route was actually pretty tough, for me at least.  However, Lordsburg does offer a nice stopover if needed too.  Thanks again, John

Hey ACA, gotta question for you?

I had a WarmShowers guest recently who was doing BR66 late in the season (E-W) and was considering jumping to the ST due to the expected cold lows in northern New Mexico.  As I was showing him the ST on the ACA website, I noticed it had been rerouted onto NM-90 down to Lordsburg, NM from Silver City, then up on US-70 to Safford, AZ.  The old route went NW on US-160 from Silver City then left onto NM-78/AZ-78 then onto US-191 before connecting with US-70 east of Safford.

Just curious as to why it re-routed that way?  More services, less remote, easier, high quality roads, transportation, ???  There are definite pros and cons to each route so just trying to read your mind. 

Thanks for all you do!  John

Routes / Re: Danube from Black Sea into Germany.
« on: October 07, 2017, 02:47:28 pm »
You will probably get better answers over at  They have thousands of journals from around the world.  Hope this helps, John

Routes / Re: Seattle to Astoria
« on: September 21, 2017, 01:01:03 pm »
My guess is that the CGs will be full.  I personally would try to be off the road the late afternoons of Friday and Monday (Memorial Day) since that is when everyone is driving like idiots to get to/from their destination, whether a CG or Grandma.  You might consider taking a short loop around the San Juan islands during that time before heading south.  Just some thoughts.  Best, John

Routes / Re: Western Express EB start end of this month
« on: September 18, 2017, 10:53:46 pm »
Uber in the middle of Nevada?  I would verify they offer the service there before depending on it.  Not trying to sound snarky but have had some instances where Uber didn't exist when you think it would, i.e. Austin, TX. 

Routes / Re: Cycling Portugal to China - route help please!?
« on: September 18, 2017, 01:55:17 pm »
I would go over to and research the various blogs that have toured in Kazakhstan and, using the guest pages of the journal, ask the author why they went the way they went.

You could also ask Chris Pountney over at and ask him.  I "think" he has toured there a couple of times and talked about it.

Best, John

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: How Often are WayPoints Updated?
« on: September 14, 2017, 11:31:31 pm »
Why can't the waypoints be updated more frequently?  You have the information, it is pretty easy to update, and it would be very beneficial to the riders if the data and addendum match.  Also, updated service points should be updated also?  Is there a reasonable reason as to why it is not updated more timely?

Thanks, John

Routes / Re: Seattle to Astoria
« on: September 13, 2017, 09:15:30 am »
Easy.  Take the ferry from Seattle to Bremerton then head south on the Pacific Coast route, Map #1.

Regarding the passes, some passes may be closed, it all depends on the snow pack at that time.  However, other than 1 pass in western Oregon (which has the Santiam alternate if it is closed), you should not have too many issues.  I started June 5 from Astoria and did fine.

Obviously, a heavy snow pack can alter the plans but you "should" be OK. 

Enjoy the ride!

Routes / Re: Looking for route suggestions? Tips to help others help you.
« on: September 08, 2017, 11:03:32 am »
Thanks for writing this up!  Hopefully, those who are seeking route suggestions will review this and answer ALL the points when asking for suggestions.

Thanks for all you and the ACA staff do!

Best, John

Routes / Re: Suggestion: Painted Blazes on the GDMBR
« on: September 05, 2017, 05:49:46 pm »
I guess I am thinking that each sign (post, cement/crush rock, two signs (borth & south bound, 4 bolts, labor, gas) is, say $100.00, installed.  People could sign up for a sign (ha ha).  Since a lot of motorcyclists use the route too, the fundraiser could be spread to them also.  I would think that over a couple of years, the entire route could be signed.  How many signs would there need to be?  300-400??  It's doable.  Start in one area (or each state border) and work your way south (or north).

I think the same about other ACA routes but that would probably take more money since more turns are done.  Additionally, you would have a lot more "red tape" getting the signs put up due to a lot more jurisdictions.

Heck, raise the map prices by $1 and that money goes ONLY ONLY ONLY ONLY towards permanent signs.

Course, I think it would be neat if ACA lobbied to have biker campgrounds in small towns and again, monies could be raised to build them.  There are getting to be more and more towns and/or campgrounds that do not allow tent camping,  Perhaps, if we built it, they would maintain it.

Oh well, nice to fantasize that these things would happen but doubt they ever will.


Routes / Re: Suggestion: Painted Blazes on the GDMBR
« on: September 05, 2017, 11:59:04 am »
I agree.  I actually would like posts with little signs, i.e. a "rustic" 4"x4" post in the ground with a rustic smallish sign that has GDMBR and an arrow indicating the direction at key intersections.  I would think a fundraiser and volunteer effort would get a lot of it marked, at least the hinterlands.  However, the slash marks would be a good way also but may have to be repainted periodically (every year???).  Good idea!

Routes / Re: TransAm Alternative
« on: September 03, 2017, 07:54:23 pm »
One thing to consider is that even if you have a 100 miles more, you will now need to spend time locating lodging (camp and.or hotel) and food.  We don't know your pace but if you spend 45minutes to 1 hour per day doing research, could you be riding then instead.  At 10mph, that makes up around 100 miles in 10 days.  Plus perhaps less stress since you know what is out there and where it is. 

Since you are near the end, you should be fairly strong?  Can you do a few long days, i.e. 80 mile days to make up some time?  Granted, Kentucky and Virginia are not best for long days but just trying to consider options.

Also, is the "target date" a hard date or a flexible date?  If flexible, even if only a day or two, just be flexible.

Best, John

Routes / Re: TransAm Pueblo to Missoula
« on: September 01, 2017, 10:55:39 am »
I got my weather sources from 1) 7  trips in Wyoming; 2) Weather Summary (A Thirty Year Summary of Statistical Weather Data) (a ridiculously large bookyou can buy used for $20); 3) Wyoming's official Bicycle Map, which indicates the primary direction of the summer wind; and 4. the old Western Climate Center??? Wind Roses.  Unfortunately, from what I understand, the wind rose only took data from one month back in 1961 and that become the official data, and finally I review which is one the best climate data websites.  From what I understand it uses a rolling 30-year history and uses individual locations, not a summary of several areas.

None show the wind out of the SE in June or July (the month's the OP was interested in).  Most show the wind out of the SW (most) to WNW so in WY you get slightly better riding conditions W>E.

However, as you know from being an experienced  rider, all this data is squat come the day you ride and you could have a roaring tailwind from the ESE.  However, I tend to go with the averages.

Your map made me think of the other states' averages.  Here the winds are predominately out of the W to SW from Missoula to Rawlins so as you say, they may get a quartering wind frequently.  However, in Colorado they have a definite SSW to SW bias so they would be better off going Pueblo to Missoula.

Just goes to show it is better not to look at this damn stuff and just go ride  :D .

All that being said, I personally would still go from Missoula to Pueblo mainly because I would be in better shape for the higher altitude by then.  If I were coming from the Atlantic Coast I might flip a coin.

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