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Messages - John Nettles

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Routes / Re: Atlanta to St. Louis route ideas?
« on: March 21, 2016, 12:31:35 pm »
While I can't help you entirely, if you can get to Tennessee or Mississippi, I can get you some routes from there.  Since this is your first long trip, I would suggest you consider getting over to Mississippi and using the various ACA routes to get you to STL.  My routes are for slightly more experienced tourists, i.e. have to ask occasionally for camping, etc. but they are shorter overall.

Best, John

Routes / Re: Fort Knox,KY restricted?
« on: March 20, 2016, 01:00:27 pm »
As you know every military base is a bit different.  I usually just call to find out.  They have always readily told me the answer and if yes, what I need, i.e. any ID, a passport, etc.  I then typically call a couple of days in advance to confirm the info is still valid.

Routes / Re: My route for cross country 2016, ideas?
« on: March 19, 2016, 12:42:33 pm »
Looks to be both are now open based on the info on the same page.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier route options on map 2
« on: March 07, 2016, 06:13:14 pm »
Numerous people have, especially recent Great Divide.  Again, just do a search on CrazyGuy on Cliff Dwelling and you should be able to find several journals.  You should note that the road between Gila Cliff Dwellings and Silver City is very hilly, both directions.  Northbound is longer but less steep, southbound is shorter climbs but steeper. You would be northbound coming from Silver City.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier route options on map 2
« on: March 03, 2016, 12:49:46 pm »
There is one journal over on CrazyGuyonaBike that has a day or two on the third option.  Jeff Kruys did it I think.  Take a look over there.  I too would do the third option.  Might be info on there regarding the updated routing also.

Hope this helps.  John

Routes / Re: Summer riding in Idaho: from Ketchum to Coeur d'Alene
« on: February 29, 2016, 08:26:08 am »

Isn't is amazing what you can see by going "off route" and/or doing a little gravel.  Nice pics.

Routes / Re: Summer riding in Idaho: from Ketchum to Coeur d'Alene
« on: February 26, 2016, 09:08:40 am »
We are doing a loop in this area this summer (Spokane>Missoula>Lewiston>Spokane).  Yes, you can take the frontage road most of the way.  If you want to avoid gravel, it appears you must take the interstate in a couple of places.
According to a local source, the scenic route between Frenchtown & Missoula than the fast route.  The scenic goes from Frenchtown along Mullan Road>Kona Ranch>Big Flat>city streets/bike path into Missoula.  Obviously reverse if going west bound.

One thing we are doing is going from Avery (bottom of Hiawatha Route east along the St. Joe River, then up over the Divide on NF-388 (paved) then down on NF-282 (gravel) into St. Regis.  Very scenic, low traffic but no services other than vault toilets and camping for about 60 miles between Avery & St. Regis.  It does have one noteworthy climb and descent.

It is a shame about the interstate construction as I preferred to do that over the NorPac but oh well.

Routes / Re: TransAm Summer 2017
« on: February 24, 2016, 02:21:50 pm »
Not trying to sound rude but are you asking a question, looking for companions, or ????

If this will be your first real tour, I STRONGLY encourage you to do this as a one-way trip.  A 125 much less a 146 mile per day average, while possible, would be nothing but rising early, riding until late, and sleeping.  As a teacher, I would guess you would want to stop and look at some of the history, sights, etc.  That would be difficult at 125 a day.

I would suggest you do the TA, then when you hit the Pacific Coast, head south along the PCR until time runs out.  This way, you are not beholden to HAVING to do 125 miles a day.

I once met a guy on tour who did exactly what you are proposing but it was the Northern Tier (which is easier than the TA).  He said he hated touring (I met him in Grand Forks, ND on his return portion of Seattle/Boston/Seattle tour) cause all he did was ride.  He was averaging 115 or 125/day (can't remember) and was in his late 20s so was pretty strong.

I encouraged him to slow down and smell the roses but he just wanted to get it over with.

Do your first trip the way it is meant to be, an exploration of the country, not a speed ride across it.

I'll get off my soapbox now.  Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy the ride!  John

Routes / Re: Canada to Mexico from mid february, which way?
« on: February 18, 2016, 10:44:47 am »
You wrote "I plan to take again the bicycle because I will not be able to go by foot at this time in trail...
I don't like to walk on asphalt road so I better time to ride bicycle again."

IF you want to walk, or more accurately hike, in the USA please consider the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) .  NOTE:  This is NOT the ACA Pacific Coast Bicycle Route.  The PCT trail goes from Canada to Mexico but is definitely not easy as just walking.

If you do want to ride, the ACA Pacific Coast Route is very nice and is pretty hard to get lost (ocean always on your left if heading south).  You could easily modify it by going along the coast in Washington if you do not prefer inland roads.  Also, a GPS does help with directions and ACA does offer GPS data for its routes.

Best, John

Routes / Re: question on section of Southern Tier in CA
« on: February 13, 2016, 08:09:54 am »
I do not know about CA-94 beyond Otay Lakes Rd.  However, I would definitely exit CA-94 as it really was not a pleasant ride. That bad section was only about 15-16 miles but it really was miserable.  It does include one noteworthy climb too which luckily had a shoulder.  I was really surprised as the research showed it "should" be OK but it was not.  Definitely wear bright clothing on that day.  Maybe we hit it on a bad day.

Routes / Re: question on section of Southern Tier in CA
« on: February 12, 2016, 10:24:51 pm »
Fine overall.  Typical city traffic.  Some streets have a parallel bike path that is NOT paved but is rideable.  Chula Vista was a little hilly (70 miles day for us as we came from Jacumba Hot Springs) but not bad at all.  The RV park on Otay Lakes Rd. does have cabins/trailers by the night if you need to stop there.   John

Routes / Re: question on section of Southern Tier in CA
« on: February 12, 2016, 07:13:48 pm »
That is actually the way we rode into SD.  While the section before the Tecate turnoff is fine and scenic, the section between Tecate and Otay Lakes Rd has significant traffic and in some places no shoulder.  Luckily, we were west bound with a serious downhill so we basically spread out about 1/4 mile apart and took the lane in several places as needed.  I definitely would not take this latter section eastbound as you would be into a miserable situation uphill, no shoulders, and traffic.  Honestly, I can not recommend this section unless you are NOT afraid of traffic and such.  It was a week day mid-afternoon and the drivers were not overly patient.  The traffic counts did not match the traffic.

We did not cross into Tecate but it should be a easy crossing both ways.  You would need a passport. 

The reason we did it is that we wanted to enter SD from Imperial Beach and ride along the path through Coronado (one of the riders used to live there).


Routes / Re: question on section of Southern Tier in CA
« on: February 11, 2016, 06:33:28 pm »
You may find you want the tour to continue!  Be sure you have the old maps as the new ones, I think, have the re-route around the tunnel near Superior which would then break off to the north at Miami, AZ.  Have a great trip!

Routes / Re: question on section of Southern Tier in CA
« on: February 11, 2016, 06:17:47 pm »
Other than that it is a bit boring, nothing bad with it.  I personally would rather ride I-8 to CA-98 over to Calexico then up as I personally do not like the freeway noise.  So where would you break off of the ST to get to Yuma?  Quartzsite?  Phoenix?  You could almost break off in Safford but US-191 between Safford & I-10 was a tad heavy on traffic.  Like you we had no camping gear and did do the Palo Verde to Brawley and it was a mildly tough day but doable.  Next day was a short day to El Centro so it was fine. 

Routes / Re: question on section of Southern Tier in CA
« on: February 11, 2016, 04:59:27 pm »
There is the "biker host" Palo Verde Blythe (which is south of Blythe.  This is a lady who rents bunk beds out of her trailer home.  The stay is about $25/person which includes dinner and breakfast.  She is a little unique and very nice.  The day from her home to Brawley is about 63 miles which includes about 1.5 miles of very sandy road (2 out of the 4 could not ride it) to her house.

Be sure to do this day on a non-holiday weekday as the RV traffic can be really bad otherwise and there is no shoulder.  Trucks are not very fun either on the weekday but I trust truck drivers to know where the sides of their vehicle is a little better than the guy pulling the RV/Dune buggy.

The terrain until the junction with Ogliby road is large rolling hills (you do work at times).  Between Ogilby Road and Glamis is downhill then a climb followed by descent oriented rollers.  After you cross the canal, it is flat until the climb after El Centro.  If you have a headwind, the day will be tough.  The Motel 6 in Blythe is pretty nice actually.

As a side note, if you like Mexican food, be sure to stop at Garcia's Mexican Restaurant at the intersection of Hobsonway & Main in Blythe.  Some of the best tasting Mexican food I have ever had and I love Mexican.  Huge portions too.

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