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Messages - John Nettles

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Gear Talk / Re: A must item
« on: July 11, 2020, 12:27:03 pm »
A $10 bill  ;D . That way I can hopefully buy what I need.  Realistically, there is nothing that I MUST have but a lot of things I should have. 

Tear Aid patches, sunscreen, AA batteries, etc. are all pretty essential for me and cost under $10.

Routes / Re: TA Route Missoula to Tetons/Jackson
« on: July 10, 2020, 10:43:36 pm »
You have already hit some major climbs.  It will not be any worse than what you have already done.  In fact, by now you are relatively strong so it may not seem that big of a deal mostly.

Routes / Re: TA Route Missoula to Tetons/Jackson
« on: July 10, 2020, 10:30:06 pm »
You don't say where you are coming from but if you started on the coast or from the north, the climbs will not be any worse that what you have had before so you should be able to continue your average daily mileage without much difficulty.  It will be the attractions that will slow you down the most.

Basically, yes you follow US-191 until Teton Road just past Jackson Lodge.  Take Teton Road to Moose then the bike path into Jackson.  The path goes right past the airport (near Moose) where you can fly home or rent a car.  You can also pick up the bus (bikes without boxes OK but with advance notice) at the airport or in Jackson proper.

Tailwinds, John

Routes / Re: Suggestions from Eureka, MT to Anchorage, AK
« on: July 09, 2020, 11:04:41 pm »
Depends on your route.  I would go up the Icefields Highway between Banff and Jasper.  If you go up the Alaskan Highway, stop at Liard Hot Springs, really nice.  If you are going up the Cassiar Highway, try a side trip to Hyder, AK. via Stewart.  Hyder has a really nice bear viewing area at the Fish Creek Observation Site.  Definitely, carry bear spray there.

Tailwinds, John

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS query
« on: July 09, 2020, 08:26:23 am »
Depending on the specific tour, I either use the Recreation or Expedition plan.  If I have relatively lots of cell coverage, I go with the Recreation.  If I am in the areas without cell coverage for days on end (Alaska, parts of Canada) then I go with the Expedition. 

I do not know how the battery management of the combo InReach is but my standalone InReach is very very good, i.e. a set of batteries last at least a week on the 10 minute tracking interval.

Remember that if choosing the "freedom" plans they charge $25 annual/activation fee in addition to the plan and that it is billed in monthly installments so if you tour is 35 days long, you have to pay for two months.  Be sure to cancel when you are done or it just keeps billing too.

Have a great trip, John

Routes / Re: Route around the Great Lakes
« on: July 08, 2020, 06:04:32 pm »
I think I'll check out CGOAB...

That is what I was going to suggest.  I believe lots of people have but then it might be hard to qualify "Route around the Great Lakes" as some may take that to mean you have to circumnavigate all the the Great Lakes while others might just think a route that meanders between and near the general Great Lake area.

Hope you have a great tour!  John

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS query
« on: July 07, 2020, 11:21:41 pm »
Welcome to ACA Forums!

I have had several Garmin products in the past.  Some are good, some are bad. 

The pros:  Garmin is the de facto GPS so a lot of gps data is geared toward their file format.

Middle of the road:  Hit and miss on reliability/durability.  Customer service can also be hit/miss.

Cons.: Expensive.

For me, a major factor is the battery use. Some units (Montana) will go thru three AA batteries per riding day or day and half.  Others (62) can last a few days on two batteries.  Batteries are heavy so even though I use a dynamo hub, I still carry several batteries since I may not always recharge quick enough or will be charging something else like my phone.  If you do not use a dynamo hub, you have to carry lots of batteries as you do not want to buy them at some back-water store where they have been sitting for 6 years and are half dead.  Thus, you have to have a Walmart type store in order to buy new ones and the stores can be a week apart at times, thus 3 batteries a day x 7 days equals a lot of weight.

I currently prefer the Model 62 as it holds a fair number of waypoints and track points in addition to routes and tracks. The screen is not very big compared to the Montana but the battery use is way less. 

The Montana is a battery hog.  It is relegated to my car trips where I plug into the cigarette lighter.  It has a nice large screen and is a touch screen.  It is a smidgen easier to use than the 62 but the buttons have literally melted due to sunscreen lotion getting on them.  It may have been just really crap material but the only thing that could have done it otherwise is the sunscreen.

The Extrex is not bad but the sound for navigation cues is fairly low.

Considerations:  Are you going to ALWAYS have a cell signal?  If so, use your cell phone.  Assuming your cell phone has a GPS built in, it can probably work even without a cell signal in the airplane mode. 

Does your significant other want to track where you are going at all times?  If so, AND you have a cell signal at all times, you can use your phone and with an app that tracks your location.  If you are going where there is no cell signal, then consider Garmin's InReach/GPS combo unit.  I have the stand alone InReach also.  It is very good but a bit pricey for the subscription plans.  However, I sometimes do remote touring (remote forests, Alaska, etc.) where there is no signal and she wants to be able to know where I am in case the bears eat me (doesn't matter that by the time help arrived, I will have probably been eaten, digested, and pooped out).  At least she will recover the bike. It is very very accurate, within 10 feet I would guess.

Finally, do you even need a gps device (only you can decide)?  If you are dealing with lots of turns on say the Atlantic Coast Route, then it really does help.  If you are on the Western Express, probably not as there just aren't very many turns to get lost.  For decades, everyone got by fine with just the maps and odometer (bike computer now) and maybe a compass.  They are nice but usually not needed.

Hope this helps.  Tailwinds, John

To clarify for those that don't actually read the supplied link, the road will be open tomorrow from 10am to 8pm with up to 30 minute delays expected as it will be reduced to alternating one lane. 

Just gives an excuse to take a rest day or to sleep in a little. :-)

Routes / Re: lewis and Clarke route Lewiston to Kaimah
« on: July 05, 2020, 05:59:54 pm »
I have not ridden it but went a slightly modified route that did the non-US-12 route and then took in the US-12.  The traffic was very heavy. I strongly recommend you do not take the option except possibly early on a Sunday morning when traffic is lightest.  Even then.  And note that I have 40+ years of riding so am not timid when it comes to traffic. 

Cut a day by not going into Missoula (if eastbound) or just riding an extra 10 miles or so on some day or two when you have a decent tailwind.

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: Israel North to south
« on: July 04, 2020, 11:50:26 am »
Welcome to the ACA Forums!  Sounds like a neat trip since Israel is such a wonderful country full of so much history.

The ACA Forums are mainly North American focused with a high emphasis on the ACA routes of course.  You most likely will get a better response over on or (touring sub-group).  You might also try to find some European cycling groups as they probably would be more inclined to tour in Israel than North Americans due to being closer.

Hope you have a wonderful trip!

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: Great American rail trail
« on: July 03, 2020, 09:47:53 am »
While I think it is a wonderful idea and should definitely be done (along with hundreds of others trails), I honestly do not think it will be completed, at least using rail trails.  Maybe in combination with roads but not entirely trails.

Additionally, I would be much more inclined to believe it could come into existence if they showed they had secured the rights to the abandoned rails and showed where they went.

Another "cross country" route that is actually in existence but is more suited for the bikepacker is the TransAmerica Trail (NOT ACA's TransAmerica Route) which seems to be the project of just one person. It was designed for motorcycle riders but of course bicyclists can use it too, perhaps with a few detours if it goes on interstates.  But if you thought ACA's maps were expensive, these are at least double and not nearly as well done.

Anyway, we can always dream. 

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: Easy Montana Touring Route & Checklist
« on: June 30, 2020, 10:33:30 pm »
Just a friendly suggestion not to show your email as the "bots" scan for these and then you start getting a bunch of spam emails.  I think you can modify your message to delete it.

Tailwinds and welcome back!  John

General Discussion / Re: Trans Am Bike.
« on: June 30, 2020, 12:58:52 pm »
I live in KY so I'm not planning to do the route only to Berea, KY.  That's roughly 3500 miles.

I am assuming you meant you are ending your tour in Berea.  Yes, it is doable with 60 days or less but as Jamawani indicated, this leaves little room for a rest day.  Personally, I like a rest day every 8-10 days.  Also, over the years, I have really come to appreciate not doing more than 60 miles overall per RIDING day as it gives me plenty of time to stop and smell the roses, wait out a short rain storm, etc.

However, plenty of people do indeed ride day after day.  You just need to figure out what is best for you. 

Tailwinds, John

General Discussion / Re: Trans Am Bike.
« on: June 30, 2020, 09:27:46 am »
Are you talking about the TransAm (TA) Bike ROUTE or the TransAm Bike RACE as you mentioned a "race".  If the race, did you mean the Race Across America (RAAM)?  If the TA, the other answers are fine. 

If the RAAM, then maybe not sch a hot idea since that route uses much busier highways frequently and for longer periods, they typically have a "support" vehicle following directly behind them with their flashers on, etc.  Plus I don't know if the RAAM has an mapped route but I would guess a gps data file could be found online.
Also, if the TA, you could do another route that is more doable, just as the Western Express.

General Discussion / Re: GAP/ C&O Towpath. Direction of travel
« on: June 29, 2020, 12:03:52 pm »
While Bikelicious' answer seems to be more correct, the 1,754' drop over 24 miles equals an AVERAGE of 1.3% descent.  I do know that when I rode it W>E, I had a monster freewheel (no pedaling) descent many many miles.  However, I doubt I would have had a freewheel descent with only a 1.3% on crushed limestone.  Pavement, sure.  But IIRC, it was a fairly fast descent too which supports the 2%-3% descent claim.  However, it is very rare for a railroad track to have more than a 2% ruling.  Maybe we dropped say 1,500' in 14 miles which would equal a 2% drop and then the rest was at a more gentle descent.

I say we all get together and ride it both ways so we can come up with a consensus as to which way is better.  Next year we can ride the TA and hopefully settle the same question for that route.  ;D

Tailwinds, John

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