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Messages - Westinghouse

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General Discussion / Re: bicycles on the roadways
« on: September 03, 2013, 01:53:10 am »
I follow traffic rules and keep an eye out for traffic. If I am riding at 2 am in a small town and I come to an intersection where there is obviously no traffic anywhere in sight for a mile in every direction, I blow through the red light. I go through stop signs on small side roads where there is obviously no possibility of traffic. Sometimes I have to laugh at people in cars who pull into  completely empty large parking lots at 3 am, and go very slowly stopping at every little crosswalk stop sign. I am a safe cyclist, but not a conditioned robot. Where traffic is present, I obey all the rules. If I come to crossroads out in flat farming country where it is obvious there is no other moving vehicle for miles in all directions, I'm not stopping at that stop sign. Some people would stop there. Not me. That's for traffic control. When there isn't any traffic, what does it matter? There have been times when I came to no-traffic situations and stop signs, and little kids were somewhere watching, so I stopped anyway because I did not want to give the little ones the impression it was ok to ignore stop signs. Other than that, if there is no traffic whatsoever, I keep going.

General Discussion / Re: new to site
« on: September 03, 2013, 01:35:08 am »
I have not been mugged or robbed on a tour that I can recall right now. I have done shorter round-trip bike tours, but my long ones used the bike out and other transportation back.

General Discussion / Re: Around the world cyclists killed in Thailand
« on: August 25, 2013, 11:16:41 pm »
The thing that struck me was that of all the millions of places somebody reached down and picked something up and veered out of control, it had to be exactly where those two people were cycling. It's like I've said all along. Bears with four legs are not the ones you have to be wary of. It's the two-legged kind that drive cars and trucks. Damn bad luck if you ask me. This has always been a dangerous and uncertain world. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Here in my hometown of Stuart, Florida I have known eight guys killed on their bikes over a period of about 20 years. Those are only people I knew or had met. There were others I didn't know, and this is still a small town.

General Discussion / Re: Trikes and rumble strips...
« on: August 18, 2013, 02:06:25 pm »
I concur with MrBent. Rumble strips are a pain in some places.

Depending on your route your encounter with them my be minimal. Some such as those west of Baton Rouge on the ACA southern tier are no problem whatever cycling over. Others such as those gouged out on the roadsides on some parts of the AC route are hell to hit even once with a wheel, and the damn things leave little room if any for cycling to the right. There are many areas where you can ride right of the rumble strips with an inline bike. A trike would be a problem in some of these stretches of road.

General Discussion / Re: Complete newb, TA in 2014
« on: August 18, 2013, 02:00:15 pm »
Get the best bike you can afford. Do not skimp or save on the tires because if you do, you are not really saving. Do your homework. Get really good tires. Don't get anything below a Schwalbe Marathon. Most any well made frame will get you there, but it must be built at correct angles, and it must be a good fit for you personally. Wheels and tires are extremely important. Get tires that will go all the way across. There are plenty of old used frames that can be had for very little. Minus a triple crank set, you can fit it out for under $200.00.

General Discussion / Re: Low Carb and Long Distance Touring
« on: August 18, 2013, 01:47:50 pm »
I went on the Pritikin rapid weight loss diet before starting my first long tour in 1984. I was muscled up pretty well at 210 pounds. I went to 172 pounds in six weeks. I stuck to the diet 100%. Of course, I did a lot of exercise too. I found my optimum weight at 180 pounds below which there was an uncomfortable loss of strength. The weight loss was too rapid.

What I discovered for myself way back then was it was difficult keeping up enough energy on fruits and vegetables to cycle across the USA.  The thing was to try and get fresh fruits and vegetables as much as possible, and to get other sources of energy. I use Cytomax for extra fuel. One problem is you might spend days in areas where only or mostly only convenience store food is available. Pizza, fried chicken, and potato logs will keep you going, but some stores do not have even that. Bologna sandwiches and potato chips and beer aren't the best fuel. IMO you must cycle with the low carb diet and work it out for yourself. Cycling around town and on short trips and cycling across a continent and camping are very different matters where energy needs are the subjects for consideration. You must keep maintain your energy or it can become an unpleasant drain.

The difference between cycling around town and on day trips, and cycling across the continent is like the difference between sailing a boat around the river and harbor, and sailing across an ocean. It's a different world.

Of course nobody knows all the details. Maybe the driver had a heart attack or something. I saw pictures too. It seemed like a straight shot and level in broad daylight. Barring medical problems that caused the driver to lose eyesight or consciousness, it is hard to believe the he / she was not able to detect the cyclists' presence in the road. Sometimes there just isn't a good explanation. Does anybody know anything more about it?

General Discussion / Re: Realistic time requirements
« on: June 26, 2013, 07:26:32 am »
I was going to say there are unknown variables that reduce and add to daily mileage on a bike that are no so important in enclosed motorized transportation, but that has been said in word and in deed. Snow had me  tied down for six days in Van Horn, Texas while cars and trucks went flying by on the interstate. You need to allow for some leeway when you are scheduling for a transcontinental bicycle tour. Plans don't always go as we would like them to go.

General Discussion / Re: To Go Home or Not...That is the Question?
« on: June 26, 2013, 07:17:49 am »
Cat's answer is right too. If you are determined to complete your journey, visit your family, and keep on going no matter what they say or think.

General Discussion / Re: Touring sideways in time.
« on: June 21, 2013, 10:15:40 pm »
I think I'm already in a parallel universe, and I guess anything parallel to it is a parallel universe too. Where can I get one and how much does it cost?

General Discussion / Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« on: June 21, 2013, 05:37:22 am »
I just saw you blog and youtube. You should keep going. You're in Pittsburgh, so I think you took the tow paths. That's good. The comparatively flat terrain will give you time to get your legs under you before you hit the hills.

There are three designated bike paths running NS / SN in Ohio. I have not used them. I saw them only on a map. If you google designated / dedicated bike paths in Ohio, you should be able to locate them.

General Discussion / Re: To Go Home or Not...That is the Question?
« on: June 21, 2013, 04:59:22 am »
Keep on keeping on.

General Discussion / Re: riding and camping in thunderstorms
« on: June 21, 2013, 04:53:59 am »
Jamawami took the words right out of my mouth, so to speak. There isn't much to add. In fact, some storms can be lethal, and if not that, at least harmful if you are caught out unprepared. I use a 10 by 12 polytarp when I bike tour. The part about making a lean-to shelter with a fence line is good.

I have been caught out in some freakish deadly storms, and I weathered all well enough except for one where I got chilled to the bone. That was High Island, Texas across the road from the beach. Later I was told that if I had camped on the beach side of the road where I was, I would have been toasted because there were over 90 lightning strikes all over the beach there.

If you carry a tent, freestanding or other, set it up right away. Usually, the conditions for such storms present themselves before all hell breaks loose. When out in the middle of nowhere, set up your shelter right away just in case. If it storms, you're covered. If it doesn't, pack up and go. All you've lost is a little time, and you're better safe than sorry.

Weather is always a major concern to people who cross oceans in small sailboats such as thirty and forty foot sloops. What they learn to do is read the wind and clouds which presage certain kinds of weather systems. This is an extremely important part of sailing because reefing sails and putting up a storm jib can range between pure hell and impossible to do in a gale. You can do the same weather predicting on land. Read books on sailing and there are usually sections detailing cloud formations which indicate certain types of approaching weather systems. You can get small, light weight, inexpensive radios which have weather radio stations at the flip of a switch. They had them at Big Lots for about $10.00.

The thing about heavy weather is it often goes unreported unless it is a killer storm because people who live in houses and work inside are not to be concerned with it. They stay inside or in their vehicles. Being out there on a bike is a whole different world when the devil comes to visit. That's why weather radio is a good thing. 

General Discussion / Re: Cycling partner(s)
« on: June 06, 2013, 09:20:30 am »
Edmilkman. The FBI say the majority of women seem to have been abducted from truck stops on interstates. They suspect longhaul truckers in many cases. Many trucks are equipped with GPS by their companies. If a serial killer is driving and stopping at interstate truck stops, it is normal for him to be there with a great many others. If he drives away from his appointed route, he can be traced. If a woman suddenly disappears, and he is traced there where he is not expected to be at the time of the disappearance, and he can be located at points of other disappearances at truck stops, he will be seen.  As long as he stays on his route, and operates at truck stops where many other truckers are normally expected to be, there are no detectable anomalies in his route, and no reason for suspicion. That's one reason. That way he is anonymous. The killings have been happening at an alarming degree of frequency. And keep in mind, the numberof those murdered are only for those whose remains have been found. There are a great many more who  disappared, perhaps never to be heard from or seen again.

Just a word of caution. Cross country cycling is great, but the bears you really have to watch out for walk on two feet and drive trucks and cars.

$1994.00  I believe I can do the same for $300.00 with almost identical functionality. For one small example, you need  hundred-dollar pedals like you need a hole in the head. $25.00 pedals will get you there just fine, no problem. An $18.00 seat in Wally's is almost identical to the expensive ones and just as good. A $30.00 Shimano derailleur will get you across the continent and a great deal farther. Why the camel back? I have cycled 37,000 miles around the world. I've never had a problem reaching down to the bottle and getting a swig. Tires and wheels are things you do not want to scrimp on. Cables and housings can be had in Wally's for $10.00. I have gone on very long, heavily loaded, tours over extremely hilly and mountainous terrains without the first problem with such cables. Those are just a few examples.

I have always said, within certain limits you can spend as much or as little as you want on bicycle touring.

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