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Messages - Westinghouse

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General Discussion / Re: What should I name my trip?
« on: March 17, 2013, 04:50:38 am »
The 29th Century: My Vehicle Doesn't Run on Regular. A Transamerican Bicycling Tour.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier ¿early Fall?
« on: March 16, 2013, 07:12:52 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.

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.

General Discussion / Re: Firearms
« on: March 12, 2013, 07:41:12 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.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier Tour: Bubba Verus ACA Routes
« on: March 11, 2013, 01:16:55 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.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier - Texas
« on: March 11, 2013, 01:11:07 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.

Gear Talk / Re: Looking for Rain Pants
« on: March 10, 2013, 11:23:32 am »
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.

Routes / Re: ST Border Safety
« on: March 07, 2013, 05:02:57 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.

General Discussion / Re: Question: Highway Troubles?
« on: March 07, 2013, 04:30:40 am »
If you use the interstate going west from Kent to Van Horn, TX on the ST, the first exit into Van Horn is narrow and does not have the usual side lane. It can be heavy with truck traffic that would run you over before slowing for you. Other than that one exit, most have plenty of room. You do not have to cut across to use any exit. You will see a sign for an exit. Keep to the right.

If you are cycling on past the exit, what you do depends on traffic conditions. It there is no traffic coming from behind for a very long way, don't worry about it. Just keep going. If there is or has been quite a bit of traffic, here is what you do. Stay to the right. Cycle to the point on the exit lane where the road is at its narrowest or nearly so. That way you can cut across and get to the other side in the shortest possible time. When you see a space in the traffic, make your left from that point.

When you simply continue on at an exit, it can take a considerable time to get out of the area where you can expect traffic coming on from the rear. If you go straight, make sure you have the time. Vehicles moving at 80 mph may seem like a long way off when you check your mirror, but they can be on top of you sooner than you think. Taking a 90 degree left turn at the narrow point of the exit lane will get you into the non-driving zone in a heartbeat. Always check carefully before you make the turn. I have been in traffic so dense I had to wait and wait just to get across a 25 foot wide exit road.

By and large, you will be safe from being hit by a car or truck as long as you are cautious. Be safety minded at ALL times.

Well, I can see her point, and I would definitely like to reduce her gridlock.

Routes / Re: Traffic on the California section of the Pacific Coast Route
« on: February 28, 2013, 09:01:18 am »
Traffic seems to pick up quite a bit south of San Francisco. Some of the people I met along the way seemed to have hostile attitudes. The ride was fantastic. The people sucked in general, but some were fine.

Melissa, you have overlooked one overarching point of fact.  CYCLISTS RULE. In fact Westinghouse would love to lean on your car anytime, and I'm sure you keep up quite a pace at that. If I were to see you while I was approaching an intersection, I would have a hard time keeping my mind on traffic too. I'd definitely want to stop and lean. I'd even offer you a ride on the handlebars. Besides being a strikingly good looking woman who is frustrated with the world of mechanized rapid transportation, what  else can you tell me about yourself? Have you ever tried long-distance bicycle touring? If I make it out of the Middle East alive, I would like to introduce you to a transcontinental bicycling tour, Westinghouse style. It'll make you tough,  less susceptible to the every-day stresses and frustrations of the sedentary life, and maybe you would like me after it is done. Are you married?

General Discussion / Re: New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« on: February 06, 2013, 02:08:04 pm »
I don't know about your cycling pace with such an ultralight load. As for myself, I have figured the time for doing a perimeter tour of the US. I would allow at least six months, and probably seven or eight would be more like it. That's just me. Then there is the matter of how long one wants to lay over in towns to see the sights and taste the wine. I have also figured time and distance for a perimeter tour of Australia. I have given up on the down under because it costs too much for RT flights.

General Discussion / Re: Assistance with cycling tourism thesis
« on: January 31, 2013, 09:35:32 pm »
I will fill in the questionnaire.

The ferry from Stranraer, Scotland to Larne should be fairly inexpensive, but the last time I used it was 1986.

General Discussion / Re: New to cycling and taking a loop around America
« on: January 31, 2013, 09:29:49 pm »
Would you mind giving a run down on the gear you will be carrying that will weigh in at 20 pounds or thereabouts? Some day I plan to do another long tour. I am looking at 1. the southern tier   2. Mexico, Central America, South America  or 3.  Cairo to Capetown.

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