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Messages - Westinghouse

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61
General Discussion / Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« on: March 29, 2013, 11:46:23 am »
I saw your blog. Your post should read---Poor No More.

I am an experienced cyclist. I once did a 4500 mile tour over many hills and mountains carrying 60-70 pounds of gear. It was extremely difficult at times. When you get into long steep climbs you will see. Perhaps you are being underestimated because you are a woman. Who knows. You might take those hills easily. In my general estimation, having no knowledge of your physical capabilities, I would say it is too much weight for the Transam. Can it be done? Yes it can be done carrying 90 to 100 pounds of gear. However, there is a difference between a nice, reasonably easy, transcontinental cycling tour, and a grueling, difficult, grinding, laborious, tendon-tearing task. Perhaps you can do it. You must be the judge of your own abilities. I would not want to grind that kind of weight over all those hills. That is a very hilly route. The Atlantic route is really better suited for that kind of a load. Take the stock front chain rings and put them away. Get smaller chain rings.

This is  my opinion. I wish you the best on your journey.

62
General Discussion / Cycling partner(s)
« on: March 28, 2013, 05:50:55 am »
I know there is a section for this elsewhere. However, here I go. I am looking at the strong possibility of doing a transcontinental tour beginning in or just after June this summer. I have cycled 37,000 miles (59,000 kilometers) through 19 countries, including several crossings of the USA. I am knowledgeable and experienced in the matter under discussion. Right now I am thinking the ST, E to W. I am also considering the Atlantic coast. There is also the possibility of the PCBR. I have thought about the US, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Then there's Western Europe. These are all possibilities, but for now the most likely route would be the ST.

I am not a spring chicken anymore. I am 63 and I work out regularly at a gym. My first choice of a cycling companion would be a woman with some cycling experience, but not necessarily with cycling experience.

I do a lot of stealth camping, with motels perhaps twice a week. Sometimes more than twice a week. I completed my last 3400 miles crossing in 54 days total and 43 days actually on the road. That is an example of my daily average. Of course, I am more than willing to compromise on mileage. I cannot expect anyone else to go my way. I usually eat in restaurants or out of food stores. The way I tour is inexpensive compared to what others pay for a tour of similar range and time.  I have bike toured in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, China, and elsewhere. I have done the ST a number of times, the atlantic coast three times and more, 2600 miles of the NT, the pacific coast, and several other areas of the USA.

63
General Discussion / Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« on: March 28, 2013, 05:31:16 am »
Good luck if you get underway. The advice you have read here is just about it. I would add there are lots of out-of-the-way places like country churches that have a water hose out back where you can get showered well at night. Perhaps you're not supposed to do that. I don't know. I have many times. John Nelson is right on with his advice; however, I  will not go without my Cytomax and a steady supply of it mailed forward. Also, I must have a beer occasionally.

It looks like I might be doing a transcon after this June 2013. Our times are out of sync. Depending on your route, you can carry only a very light blanket, and if on the ST you might get by with using it as a pillow. I will most likely do the ST. I prefer not to do it in summer, but that seems to be the hand that destiny is dealing me at the time.

Perhaps my next comment is out of line. I do not believe you should do any route hauling a 65-pound dog. The Atlantic coast is the only route for that because it is compartively level.

Any well made bike frame will get you there. Used ones are available for a song. $250.00 will put you in the way of all new components you need to add. Not top of the line but definitely functional. Probably $300.00 total, around 1 / 4 the price of a SLHT. I have been using the same old Raleigh frame for years on long, strenuous tours. No problem whatsoever. When it is time to go I get new pedals, bearings, wheels, tires, tubes, brake pads, chain, freewheel, spindle or cassette, maybe a deraileur. I get there just as quickly and efficiently as anyone on a $1200.00 bicycle. It's doable.

64
General Discussion / Re: Disturbing Story From India
« on: March 18, 2013, 04:08:29 am »
Things happen. A couple were hit by a truck and killed while touring in Asia. Here we have assault and battery and rape. Things happen. Life is a risk. It isn't a perfect world. There is no such thing as a perfect human being.

65
Cycling is safe enough, but the same cannot be said for all people. The sad but true fact is there are quite a few crazy, insane, dangerous people running around free. I do not see anything wrong with someone on a long tour carrying a concealed firearm for self defence. I have never carried a weapon on a tour. I have not had a need to. Usually, you have to be in a sort of bad place around violent people to be attacked. Those places and people are easy enough to recognize and avoid, but not always. I would not want the extra weight. It is not necessary to have a handgun. If a person is licensed to carry a concealed handgun in the states he travels through, it's his right to do so, and who can say it will never save a life or deter someone who intends to do him wrong in a serious way.

66
Gear Talk / Re: Camping Gas/stove
« on: March 17, 2013, 08:04:34 am »
Coleman Feather 442           Alcohol stoves        Gasification, forced-air, woodburning stoves.  They're on youtube.

67
General Discussion / Re: Disturbing Story From India
« on: March 17, 2013, 07:55:46 am »
I was reading about that. The couple were camped in the woods. A bunch of moronic sex-criminals came along. They beat up the man and gang-raped the woman. Police arrested quite a few. It's doubtful those thugs just happened upon them in the woods. They probably stalked them until they saw where they went for the night.

68
General Discussion / Re: What should I name my trip?
« on: March 17, 2013, 07:50:38 am »
The 29th Century: My Vehicle Doesn't Run on Regular. A Transamerican Bicycling Tour.

69
Routes / Re: Southern Tier ¿early Fall?
« on: March 16, 2013, 10:12:52 am »
You better be stronger than the wind and smarter than the weather to knock out 100 + miles a day on average. It can be done and has been done, but it isn't a leisurely tour. It sounds more like a race. What kind of bike and gear are you using?

You will have winds coming and going from and to every point on the compass. E to W might be a more favorable direction, but one never knows for sure how and how much the wind will blow.

70
I have used only panniers in 37,000 miles (59,000) kilometers of bicycle touring. However, I have read quite a bit about people touring with trailers. The answer to your question perhaps does not exist. One form is just as good as the other. Many people are perfectly satisfied with trailers. Many feel the same way about panniers.
Get what you want and go. There is not such a difference that it will appreciably upgrade or downgrade the quality of your experience.

71
General Discussion / Re: Firearms
« on: March 12, 2013, 10:41:12 am »
California, Oregon, and Washington Departments of Transportation have cycling maps for the pacific coast bike route. Google maps has a designation especially for bicycles.


72
Routes / Re: Southern Tier Tour: Bubba Verus ACA Routes
« on: March 11, 2013, 04:16:55 am »
Sounds like Bubba takes the interstate. The interstate always has a safety lane, but it can be very rough and unmaintained in long stretches. All towns are close enough together that a minimum of planning will get you through each day. I take the interstate  too. You can get on it in Junction, Texas or perhaps farther east, and follow it for most of the way to San Diego. You can get in the miles. I did about 125 miles one day from Van Horn to El Paso.

73
Routes / Re: Southern Tier - Texas
« on: March 11, 2013, 04:11:07 am »
I have cycled that route I don't know how many times. Go for it and don't worry about it. Check miles between srvices in that area. They may be spaced out but I did it without problems, and I am probably the last person on this forum when it comes to having everything planned out ahead of time. Check maps continuously when you are on the road. Stay cognizant of miles between towns. Water and feed accordingly. Don't worry about going it alone. That could be the best possible option for you. Cycling cross-country has a lot to do with personal freedom. That means freedom to start and stop when and where you want.  It means eating where and what you want. It means camping, getting up and going to sleep on your own schedule. There are those who will partner with you and expect you to conform to their ways, but not the other way around. A whiner can really be annoying after a while. Choose a companion carefully. You might meet other cyclists on the ST, but don't count on it. I have done the ST quite a few times. I saw and met only a very few cyclists. You would most likely meet many more through-cyclists on the TransAm.

Don't worry about being alone. People cycle the country all the time. I still have not heard of anything bad done to anyone.

74
Gear Talk / Re: Looking for Rain Pants
« on: March 10, 2013, 02:23:32 pm »
I got a pair of breathable nylon pants from Walmart for a tour of the ST which I completed. The pants were waterproof for a while, but not a very long while. They did not last the tour for waterproofness. Still good as a windbreaker. You get what you pay for.

75
Routes / Re: ST Border Safety
« on: March 07, 2013, 07:02:57 am »
There has been much human slaughter just south of the border. That killing is happening between various drug gangs and the government authorities. It is a low-intensity war zone. In general, they have no interest in blasting some Gringo riding a bike between Van Horn and El Paso. You will definitely not be on anyone's hit list. The main concern would be going south of the border and using the E-W highway for a while. Then, you might just happen to be somewhere when something happens such as a mass murder which has become something of a national sport in those areas. It is highly doubtful that anyone other than casual criminals might bother you. When it comes to random crime, it can happen just about anywhere anytime. If that bothers you too much, stay home. The soldiers hired on by the drug cartels have no interest in you. Don't worry about it. No problem. The same goes for the border areas from Brownsville to Van Horn. Don't go where the trouble is. It won't come looking for you.

I was teaching in Yemen for quite a while. On the surface of things all seemed calm. I had always sensed an undercurrent of coming troubles, and I mentioned it quite a few times to colleagues. Then, one day, snipers appeared and shot dead about 52 people near our school, and wounded 250 to 300 more.  These murders were not random. They were committed against a certain targeted group of people. The killers did not just fire into any old group of people they came across. It's generally the same in Mexico. The killings are perpetrated against certain known and marked enemies. That doesn't include you. If I had gone to where that crowd of people had gathered in Sana'a,Yemen, I might have been killed or wounded. However, I knew to avoid demonstrations and crowds, so I stayed away from them. The moral is, stay away from the troubled areas, and you will not have any troubles. You shouldn't have any problems on the ST route in that region at all.

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