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Messages - John Nettles

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Routes / Re: TransAm Pueblo to Missoula
« on: August 31, 2017, 08:22:46 pm »
I agree with John; W>E. You will have longer to acclimate to the altitude and you "should" have tailwinds, at least not headwinds, in Wyoming. 

However, going E>W the sun is at your back for most of the day and you save the best for almost the last.

Best, John

Unlike Pete, I like things a little warmer  :) .  Looking at the 30 year weather averages for select areas along the route, you would definitely have most nights in the 30s with many nights in the 20s until the TX/LA border.  Then the lows creep up into the low 40s.  Remember, these are the averages so it could very well swing 10* on any night.  The humidity from CA to TX is low so that should help temps feel a little warmer, sort of the opposite of "its a dry heat".  You could have a snow or two in NM.

I personally would not like the cold weather (anything below 55 is cold to me!) but as Pete says, it IS doable.  You and your buddies will need to decide if this sounds like an enjoyable trip to you, regardless of what others think.

Best, John

Routes / Re: TransAm Pueblo to Missoula
« on: August 30, 2017, 09:07:08 am »
In early June you might get a late spring snow which would cause you to rest for a day and maybe a tad cold at elevation but other than that, it should be OK. 

Routes / Re: Kalispell > Missoula route suggestions please
« on: August 16, 2017, 05:30:31 pm »
Just take the ACA route.  A little longer but much quieter.  Avoid US-93

General Discussion / Re: GPS Tracker
« on: August 13, 2017, 01:36:27 pm »
Out of curiosity, how much data does something like the "Find Friends" app use on a day and/or week?  I have thought of using this on tours where I am always going to be "in cell coverage" but thought it might eat data and/or batteries a lot.

General Discussion / Re: Pacific Coast done... where next?
« on: August 08, 2017, 04:56:38 pm »
Glad you enjoyed the ride!

Give more info, i.e. length of trip in days, your average miles, what you are looking for (scenery and what kind, culture, history, etc.), and also what you don't want, i.e. heat (it is July), traffic, etc.


In the western US, it is legal (though not widely known) to ride on the shoulder of an interstate IF there is no "reasonable" alternative.  Basically, this loosely means you can not ride on the interstate if there is a paved service or frontage road or similar situation like in cities. 

You should be OK as long as you ride on the shoulder whenever possible.

Bring plenty of water!  John

Like you said, WeatherUnderground is good for current and/or near forecasts.  However, if you want weather AVERAGES, you have to review numerous years and then determine your "average".

In the example you included, an average is not shown, only the history for a given month, August 2016.  Obviously, not every August is the same so you can not assume that the August 2016 history is an accurate average.  At least in the USA, WeatherSpark uses NOAA's 30-years weather averages.

Again, I agree WeatherUnderground is good for current and/or near term forecasts primarily due to its bazillion stations.  However, I firmly believe WeatherSpark is better for averages.

Best, John

Routes / Re: route suggestions: Kalispell, MT >> North Carolina coast
« on: August 07, 2017, 12:55:27 pm »
You do not say what you prefer, i.e. scenery, mountains, wide open places, points of interest, temps less than 85*, etc. so I am just going with the broadest options.  Also, most of the oil & gas operations would be concentrated in North Dakota so avoid the Northern Tier route.  There is some in Wyoming but a lot less traffic overall.

If you want easy planning and a wide variety of scenery, culture, etc., pick up the TransAm (TA) in Missoula and take it over to Richmond, VA, where you connect withe the Atlantic Coast (AC).  The TA is a very good route, and the maps are very good for the cyclist, i.e. it shows where you can camp, buy groceries, etc.  I would personally pick this option if I wanted to not bother to do the whole route on my own, i.e. create your own route.

A slightly more direct would be to exit the TA east of Teton NP and make your way across WY & NE to the Lewis & Clark (L&C) to St. Louis where you could connect to the TA.  Not as scenic and you would have to come possibly do some longer days due to services but the truck (and car) traffic would be minimal.  Use the WY & NE state bicycle maps (see online) to look at traffic counts, etc.  A variation is to start the above but break off the L&C in Sioux City and make your way ovr to Muscatine, IA, and join the NT over to Denver, IN, where you would join the brand new Chicago to NYC route and take it to the AC in Lancaster, PA.  This route would be nice in the fall but it is fairly hilly and does have more traffic. 

Regardless, you might need to head south fairly soon as it starts to cool off in September fairly rapidly.  The plains can still be nice, especially in mid-September to mid-October, depending on the latitude.

Sounds like you are having a great trip, AK to NC!


I've been going to the NRCS/NWCC site for wind roses for years:

If there are better sites out there, what are they?  (Old dog might want to learn a new trick.)

This is the best one I know of.  I like WeatherSpark as my primary / initial search since it has many more locations and it provides a lot of other information, i.e. I may have good tailwinds but they would be in the rain versus going on another month.  While I am a big proponent of tailwinds, I do want to know what the cons are, if any.

However, as Wind Roses ONLY go, this is my favorite.

Way back in 87, I did the PC south to north (part of a USA Perimeter tour).  I had headwinds almost everyday in July in California.  Some days it was ridiculously strong, i.e. I am in my granny gear and I was a 20 something strong stud (now just a middle aged wimpy fart).  Anyway, if you are considering July, head North to South.  Can't advise on October except consider all factors, i.e. are any services closed for the season, how much rain and how many days, less daylight hows to ride in, etc.

Best, John

I use a variety of sources but WeatherSpark gives a LOT of weather data for a given location.  There are general "wind roses" out there which show the wind direction from the various points for a given state.  Some are better than others.

Best, John

Anytime between early June and mid-August.  Early June may prevent you from doing some passes early on due to late snows and/or snow not being cleared early enough (Santium??? in Oregon) but there are mapped alternatives.  With late August, you may get a couple of forced rest days due to early snows in the Rockies.  Of more concern, a lot of campgrounds close after Labor day.  I will probably shoot for June 15th if either of those are a concern for you.

Enjoy the ride!

Routes / Re: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« on: July 25, 2017, 05:41:04 pm »
Try calling, emailing the reporter directly.  Ask if he will forward your phone number/email for you? 

I would suggest calling a few businesses in the area, i.e. Big Sur Chamber, Post Ranch Inn, etc.  and see if they have suggestions on where the trail is.  A trail shows up on Google Maps satellite view but doesn't reconnect.  The view also shows several dirt roads around the area you might be able to deal with.  Again, locals might know.

As far as camping, I would think that if you are off the road and being considerate, i.e. no fires, etc., that you could get away with it.  Probably still illegal but then they would have to get someone there to ticket you which is unlikely.

If you are trying to thru-ride, remember there are multiple slides.  Report back what you find out!  John

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Dynamo Charger
« on: July 24, 2017, 06:49:02 am »
Frankly, I think the dyno is worth it (I hate not having backup systems), but you've got to be willing to play the head game.
Head game? What head game?

In the morning I plug my powerbank in and ride. I don't think about it again until I stop for the night.

Then I charge any device that needs it from the powerbank.

Or if mains power is available I connect my devices to a 5-port charger and top all of them up.

Exactly.  Only head game might be wishing it would charge faster but that is like wishing the wind would always be a tailwind, the roads are always downhill and newly paved, each campground has a nice level comfy shaded tent area with electrical, and dogs only want to play fetch with you.  If those are head games, I guess I am guilty.

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