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Messages - Westinghouse

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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.

Routes / Re: Transamerica Cost
« on: March 30, 2013, 04:47:51 am »
Me? I would spend about $2800.00 for on-the-road expenses. That means free camping most nights, and motels about two days a week on average, perhaps more. That means eating in restaurants and food stores. It includes all costs. It's certainly not top end, but for me it's as comfortable as I am comfortable about spending.

Stay in expensive motels every night and eat in fancy restaurants, and the numbers of dollars begin to appear astronomical as in somewhere out there in the land of infinity. I knew a guy who claimed he toured on 5 to 10 dollars a day. I don't know what he ate. I prefer good nutrition. I want my Cytomax. A cold Ice House beer does down really well at the ending of a long hot day on the road. Who wants to cook meals? I do, but I eat in restaurants too.

General Discussion / Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« on: March 30, 2013, 04:25:20 am »
Going east to west on the TA will put you into some serious hill climbing within a few days. BIKE 30 pounds. Dog 65. Trailer 8? All gear 25-30. That's 130 pounds. You maybe 130. 260 pounds. That's a lot of weight to go over steep hills day after day, week after week. My advice is to stay on the AC route. Don't let me dissuade you from the Transam. I am just giving you what I think is good advice. Set a realistic goal. Maybe you can do the transam easily enough with all that weight. I don't know. I am making generalizations based on my own experiences, and based on the experiences of other cyclists whose journals I have been reading for several years. Most people mail things home after they are on the road for a while. Just saying. Keep us posted. I am interested in finding out how matters proceed for you.

General Discussion / Re: Getting hungry too fast while riding
« on: March 30, 2013, 04:11:41 am »
That's a bit too technical for me. I do understand the getting hungry part. You have to keep snacking. Keep a lifesaver in your mouth and it will help to maintain blood sugar levels. So does prune juice but too much at once will elevate levels too high too soon which can set you to spinning in the head. Try using Cytomax. I have found it to be most beneficial. It is branch chain amino acids and a specially formulated complex carbohydrate. It does what it says it does on the label, and very well at that. 

General Discussion / Re: Training: Schedule Critique Needed
« on: March 30, 2013, 04:00:08 am »
Do interval training.

Routes / Re: El Paso to San Diego via Tucson
« on: March 29, 2013, 05:28:50 pm »
EP to Las Cruces via the obvious roads on maps, but not the road running near the interstate to the east of the interstate. Interstate 10 out of Las Cruces will get you to Casa Grande. Take I-8 from CG to Yuma. Take the side roads available. They are limited. There is Holtville and the Imperial Valley and Ocatillo,CA and 8 from there to hysteric highway 80. Look at the maps from there. I have done it all by road maps.

General Discussion / Re: Guide to Poor Woman's Cycling
« on: March 29, 2013, 05:15:42 pm »
Starting in the west you may need rain gear and cool weather gear for the mountains. You could encounter snow in the higher elevations west of Denver. Once below Denver mail your cold weather gear. Keep the minimum necessary. Many people will not use a tarp. However, a silnylon tarp is the lightest. Don't buy one. Make one. Instructions are on you tube. The taivek raingear can be had for very cheap and it's breathable. The next lightest shelter is a polytarp. I have used one in summer and winter. No complaints except the bugs. Mosquito coils or bug juice works. The good thing about the poly tarp is you can throw it over yourself and your gear in a sudden downpour and it will keep you dry, to an extent. I am not sure about a several hours long torrential downpour. Nylon bleeds through where it touches. A string tied between trees and some lightweight aluminum tent pegs from Wally World and you are ready for camp. Wally's also has a blue, closed cell, foam pad for about $7.00. It works just fine. You must use good cycling shoes. Those are a must for those hills and that kind of a load.

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.

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.

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