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Messages - Westinghouse

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General Discussion / Re: Cycling partner(s)
« on: May 26, 2013, 11:50:34 am »
I averaged over 90 miles a day from SE coastal Florida to Bangor, Maine. That was twenty-three years ago. I don't think I would want to try and do that kind of mileage now,

General Discussion / Re: In low gear and can't ride up hill!
« on: May 26, 2013, 11:38:41 am »
You need to supply more detailed information to get sufficient correct answers to your question. There are hills and then there are hhhiiiillllllsss. Some are long and gradual. Some are short and abrupt. Some are long and steep. How about a one in four. Does that describe your hill or is it a one in twenty? Then there is the subject of your gear ratios. There is also the human factor. Are you the 90 pound weakling in Charles Atlas advertisements, or are you Lance Armstrong's worst nightmare? It's kind of like asking--How long is a pieceof string? or How high is up? 

I can recomponent a bike frame for $250.00, and some more if you are looking for new cranks and rings. I do it just about every time I do a transcontinental cycling trip. The $250.00 will get you lower level quality components. You can get brake cables and deraileur cables and housings for eight or nine dollars at Wally World that will easily get you 8000 miles depending on the number and steepness of hills for the brake cables.

General Discussion / Re: Inspire or Scare the Begeebees?
« on: April 26, 2013, 01:08:35 pm »
Do not focus on fears of what might happen. Focus on the fact that thousands of people have cycled and camped cross country without incident. If, by some offhand chance, you are a woman and are aproached by a stranger at a truck stop or gas station, just stay around where people are, get away from the stranger, and do not encourage him in any way. Women have cycled the perimeter of the US alone in safety and security. Get your bike. Get your gear. Plan, practice, and go. The most likely scenario is that you will have the experience and adventure of a lifetime.

General Discussion / Re: Inspire or Scare the Begeebees?
« on: April 25, 2013, 04:51:36 am »
I agree. Cycling cross country is safe enough to do without undue concern. I have not heard of any cyclists attacked or killed. Crime can happen to anyone anywhere. There is no need to be more concerned with it just because you are riding a bicycle across the continent or across the state. However, this world has always been a dangerous and uncertain place. For example, consider this.

If you ever get a strange feeling that something just isn't right, don't go looking for tangible reasons to justify those feelings. Obey your intuitive senses, and get out of the situation ASAP. That is what my experiences have taught me.

But really, cycling is safe enough. It is the world that is messed up. People generally do not want to mess with cyclists. You can easily cycle across the USA totally without incident. Just know which kinds of social situations, people, and places to stay away from, and you are in for some free sailing and you are home free.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling partner(s)
« on: April 25, 2013, 04:26:50 am »
I would definitely like to do the pacific coast again. The scenery is out of this world. There is plenty of good fresh air off the ocean. There are many many hills, but so what? If you're a cyclist, you do the hills. The PCBR IMO is the premiere cycling route in the USA. It is Americana writ large. It is the route 66 of cycling.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling partner(s)
« on: April 25, 2013, 04:21:31 am »
As for the AC three times: Well, the times were spaced out quite a bit, and it was kind of like a sentimental journey, or one for nostalgia.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling partner(s)
« on: April 25, 2013, 04:15:59 am »
Exactly! The ST to me is the southern tier of states. One time I did it using 90 all the way past New Orleans from FL. Then I went across TX following roads that took me through Odessa and midland, etc etc.

Another crossing went on 19-98 out of FL along the gulf waters. Another followed 20 out of FL between90 and 19-98. Another followed 90 again. In LA I have followed ACA's route, 90, 190, and various roads. Another crossing of TX took me along the gulf to Post Isabel and Brownsville and north along the border road to Van Horn. Another crossing took me into Marfa, etc. On one crossing I went north at the Salton Sea and cycled into Los Angeles instead of San Diego.

I tend to agree the same roads can get boring. We want something new. Highway 90 and the FL pandandle are always pretty good. But getting out of the eastern US tends to be a bit --ho hum I've seen it all thousands of times. When will the scenery start to change? I like the changing scenery to rugged western mountains, cactus, plains, prairies, and gunfights at the OK corral.

ACA's mapped ST is just fine. I often take the interstate across TX, NM, and AZ. It seems more direct. The scenery is comparable. Services are more than adequate. However, road surfaces often are not really good for cycling.

A great many people use interstates which might increase the likelihood of running into some maniac. The FBI have a special team investigating serial killers operating along the interstates. Check it out on google. It's scary. Ladies, I advise you not to cycle the interstates alone, and if you do, it might be a good idea to avoid truck stops. Look at the FBI's map where bodies have been found. Almost all were women, and those are only the ones who have been found. A great many more are missing, and you know that means. They might never be found. There are some extremely nasty characters running around just looking for women to murder. It's a terrible thing but true. I would advise women to avoid the interstates.

I have used interstates alone a number of times through Sentinel, AZ, Tucson, AZ, Yuma and into Winterhaven, CA on the Colorado River. The ST to me means only FL, AL, MS, LA, TX, NM, AZ, and CA. The roads are any roads and the towns any towns.

General Discussion / Re: Do we need to do any training?
« on: April 22, 2013, 02:04:05 pm »
It isn't a necessity. IMO it is a good idea to do some kind of training whatever you're doing. Strengthening the legs and upper body is advisable. Get a good book on sports stretching and do exactly what it says. Stretch regularly during your tour. You will be in a front leaning rest on your bikes. That puts pressure on the palms of your hands, and can cause a bit of stress to the arms, shoulders, and lower back. Stretch regularly. Interval training on your bikes, on a tread mill, or on stationary bikes in a gym can strengthen your leg muscles, and it can improve your cardiac fitness and aerobic efficiency faster and more proficiently than just straight riding or running. Try some weight training.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling partner(s)
« on: April 20, 2013, 04:04:51 am »
Not even a nibble on this yet, much less a bite.

General Discussion / Re: touring without "eating out"
« on: April 12, 2013, 08:11:34 am »
Beware of getting caught in the convenience store trap. Sometimesyou might be in a region where you go through small towns for days. Getting in late and on Sundays might force you to use CSs only for a while. If you get the ones that sell prepared pizza, fried chicken, potato logs, maccaroni and cheese, and other deli stuff, you are ok for a while. Others may have plenty to drink but a paucity of nutritional food.  Potato chips and bologna sandwiches don't make it for a day on the road. The beer is always good though.

General Discussion / Re: touring without "eating out"
« on: April 11, 2013, 06:17:05 am »
I would suggest you keep fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet every day, when possible. Fruits that are enclosed in a skin can be eaten uncooked. When it comes to carrots, skin them and you're safe. If you have a stove and pot, boil water and just dip fresh vegetables in for say 10 seconds which should be long enough to kill any pathogens, but too short a time to damage nutrients.

Routes / Re: Great Rivers route or Mississippi River Trail?
« on: April 09, 2013, 09:41:59 am »
I looked up information on that route. There is a book with detailed information for cycling the Mississippi river trail. In the northern part near and in Minnesota I remember it was extremely humid and hot. The mosquitoes  came in thick swarms and carried men away. Read, "Life on the Mississippi" by Mark Twain for an appreciation of the history of the towns there, and the early settlements. The river has catfish six feet long that have been known to jump ashore and swallow small dogs whole. There are snapping turtles that weigh in at 200 pounds, just in case you need to take a swim to simmer down after a day on the road. While resting at the water's edge one afternoon I saw a large garfish jump ten feet out of the water and snatch a bird off a limb of a tree. In some northern parts there are many short, abrupt, steep hills. That's on the west side of the river. Another road a bit farther to the west of the river is less hilly.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier Tour: Bubba Verus ACA Routes
« on: April 08, 2013, 08:28:18 am »
I google mapped highway 9 out of El Paso going west. All I found was roadway. I could not find any towns at all, so I forgot about 9. Another post here says there are three towns on 9.

Routes / Re: Directional recomendation for Feb 1 start on ST
« on: March 30, 2013, 05:15:00 am »
East to west is fine. You will encounter headwinds no matter which direction you go. In the panhandle of Florida there are three good routes. One is highway ninety which is quite hilly is some stretches. You can expect sidewinds from the north which will be parried by the many stands of pine trees. South of 90 is highway 20. It too is hilly but perhaps less so than 90, and maybe less interesting and historic. Highway 98 runs you right along at the water's edge. It is mostly level the way I remember it. A downside is that stiff sidewinds off the gulf are normal daytime events, and they will slow you down. Also, the distance is longer adding perhaps an entire day to your journey. I measured the difference once off maps. I think it is about 60 miles longer than 20 or 90 because it follows the contours of the very uneven, unstraight coastline. 90 is the suggested route. I have used it a few times by bicycle. It is a very good ride. There are plenty of places to camp, free camp, and to eat and buy food. Probably 90 is your best bet. I took other routes because I was already familiar with 90. 90, 20, and 98 will get you to the same general destination for going into Alabama.

There is no all encompassing, comprehensive information on W to E versus E to W. Just go. The wind is there. You cannot escape it. It's part of long distance cycling just like rain and storms. I have done the ST several times. I went E to W. Very often it was a quarter wind from the SE that gave a push. In winter there are northwinds full of cold. Out west getting into west Texas and nearer California there are west winds that will put you off your bike for days. I have not run into those on a bike.  I have been in them in a car. Those do not come regularly all the time. They happen. I am 63. My last ST run was in the winter of 2009-10. I got from near West Palm Beach, FL to San Diego in 54 days total with 43 days actually pedaling long distances over the road, and that was with deliberately holding back for two days to make sure I would get into downtown San Diego early in the day.

Don't sweat the wind. Just go.

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