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Messages - Westinghouse

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856
General Discussion / Re: Bicycling Australia
« on: February 03, 2009, 06:37:32 am »
I have considered doing a perimeter tour of Austraila, but I doubt I ever will. I did do some research on it though. It has been a long time since I looked into it. I think going north along the east coast highway would be alright. there is a book out about a guy who had gotten a divorce and did the perimeter by bicycle. I don't remember the name of the book. I read a good part of it.

857
Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route Camping
« on: February 02, 2009, 12:26:58 pm »
Yes, I must admit. The west coast is really quite good for cycling. I thoroughly enjoyed it. At tour's end I was genuinely saddened because it was over.
I got a big write-up, a major feature article in a newspaper in south Florida after that tour. It had photos from near Coose Bay, Oregon, Orick, CA, Big Sur, DEl Norte Coast Redwood State Park, and a national forest area.

858
Routes / Re: Transamerica advice please....
« on: February 02, 2009, 12:18:14 pm »
I could not answer that question because too much depends on the person(s) doing the trip. I have never cycled the Transam route, but I have read quite a few journals written by those who have. Judging from what they said and from the photographs I have seen, I would say the TA route would be your best choice. Then again, the pacific coast route is really great. The atlantic coast is ok, but the pacific coast has it beat by a long shot, in my opinion. The southern tier I have done a number of times in its entirety, and also half way a few times or so. The ST is good if you want to see western states. I say that because I am from the east, which to me is old hat. It also gives you a major change in terrain, but so also does the northern tier. As for meeting people, I guess that kind of depends on you and who you meet. Just about any long cycling tour anywhere can be pretty good. It does not necessarily have to be along a specially mapped route. You could also try just wandering, meandering with no particular point to reach at any time. Just go wherever you feel like going day after day. That was how I started bicycle touring. No point A or point B. Just start when you want and stop when you want. However, some places are better for cycling than others.

859
Routes / Re: Southern Tier & Fuel for cooking advice please
« on: February 02, 2009, 12:05:07 pm »
That's me. Oatmeal with raisins, bananas, yogurt, and a 50-50 mix of applejuice and squeezed lemon juice. Gotta have that hot water. Then add an energy drink for good measure.

860
General Discussion / Re: Lodging in Bar Harbor
« on: February 02, 2009, 11:54:01 am »
I don't really know much about Bar Harbor. I have been there only once. I did not even spend the night. I was cycling the New England states. I decided to go out to Bar harbor simply because I knew it to be the eastern terminus of the  Bikecentennial route/northern tier. It looked to me to be touristy. They have a ferry that goes to Nova Scotia. There appeared to be quite a few restaurants. Google around. I am sure you will not have a problem finding a place. I cannot make any recommendations though.

861
Gear Talk / Re: Where should the weight go?
« on: February 01, 2009, 07:51:51 am »
Somebody asked a question similar to this. If the most weight should go over the front wheel, then why are  rear panniers larger than front panniers?

Certainly there are answers to that question. For one thing, some gear is small and weight-dense, and some gear is large and not weight-dense. For example, a 442 Featherlite stove filled, and a bottle or two of gas take only a little space, but weight about as much as or less than a given sleeping bag; the bag may take up more space than the stove and fuel. You can put lighter, bulkier items in the rear panniers, and heavier, more compact items in the front panniers. Larger capacity and more bulk do not necessarily mean more weight than more compact things.

Actually, you may load your bike/panniers any way you want to. Try to distribute the weight as evenly as you can, meaning if you have eight pounds in the left front pannier, try to have eight in the right front pannier. The same in the rear panniers. Six pounds on the left, and six pounds on the right, or as nearly as you can manage. Aside from the near evenness left and right, it is up to you to decide about weight fore and aft. It just seems to me the rear wheel and tires will last longer with less weight over them.

862
General Discussion / Re: Partial RSS feed
« on: January 31, 2009, 09:19:50 am »
RSS???  I don't know what that means.

863
Gear Talk / Re: Front Racks Low Rider vs Expedition Rack
« on: January 31, 2009, 04:22:41 am »
Neither do I want to have to take off the front rack for transporting in a bike box. I have done it several times. If I could transport without doing it, I would, but I cannot. The frame will not fit in the box with the front rack mounted. With the rear rack mounted, yes, but not with the front. But then again, it is not really any trouble to remount the front rack. It is just that when I reach my point to begin the trip I just want to put on the wheels, put on the handlebars, and go. The less there is holding me back the better.

864
Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route Camping
« on: January 31, 2009, 04:07:49 am »
Yes, the HB sites are just fine. I never had any complaints with them. Usually, as far as I could see, people who are out cycling the pacific coast are  pretty good. There is no problem with the company. The sites are large enough, and as prices go they are very reasonable. Many state parks have showers. Try getting a campsite on the east coast for a few dollars a night.

865
Routes / Re: bike rental in the states
« on: January 31, 2009, 04:00:46 am »
I am sorry but I don't know anything about renting bikes. The only time I ever rented a bike was at a hostel in Cherbourg, France, and that was just a day-trip.

866
General Discussion / Re: Florida Keys: Safe to ride?
« on: January 31, 2009, 03:51:29 am »
My girlfriend and I did the Keys in 1984 as part of a transcontinental tour that ended in San Diego. We got a write up in the Palm Beach Post after the tour ended. We had problems in South Florida and in the Keys. In the Keys people kept swerving over toward us, honking their horns, and some gave us the finger. It got to be nerve wracking after a while. This had never happened even once while cycling through England, Scotland, and Wales. On our trip going back north along coastal Florida, but still in the Keys I had a confrontation with some guy in a restaurant/bar combination. Out of nowhere this guy ups and asks why we chose that particular place to eat. Then he starts some really pointless, stupid argument, and then threatens to go out to his truck, get his gun, and shoot me. His father is there; he tells me his son is a Vietnam veteran who had not been right in the head since he had come home from the war, and to ignore the threats. At this point I am getting ready to call the police, but considering the social climate in those days, they probably would have ignored the complaint, or arrested us and let him go free.

Once we got out of South Florida and headed west to California, we had no other such problems except for one very serious incident near Boutte, Louisiana, and then we did contact the police.

Since 1984 I have been the full length of the Keys four times on bicycle with NO problems or incidents. The last time was in 2006.

867
Routes / Re: Europe North to South
« on: January 30, 2009, 01:30:34 am »
There are many dedicated paths in western Europe. I think there are maps expecially for these paths. I used some of them. They were very nice, completely off the roadways, and ran through forests. Some were hardpacked earth. They were smoother than concrete and asphalt, and near enough to towns that food was always readily available. Some people advise cycling the Romantischestrasse in Germany. It is full of history. It is possible to be caught out in a very violent storm like we did in Belgium. The storm came out of nowhere. It took a minute to arrive and lasted for an hour or two.
You can cycle along the Rhine river. We did. You could get a lot of rain in the Alps, and we saw many many slugs or snails on the roads in the Alps.

868
General Discussion / Re: Trans America 1993
« on: January 30, 2009, 01:06:50 am »
Hello:  I did not do the TA in 93 but I did do the Pacific coast in 93. It is obvious that you uinderstand the outstanding greatness of doing a transcontinental bicycling tour by yourself. Frankly, the only advantages I can imagine by doing a TC tour with anyone else would be 1. if it were with a lady friend or 2. being able to share on hotel costs. Of course, family would be a different matter. Sure, it can get lonely at times, but loneliness is easily warded off. I think I might be doing the TA route some time.

I have cycled the southern tier a number of times in summer and winter.

869
General Discussion / Re: Florida Keys: Safe to ride?
« on: January 30, 2009, 12:54:03 am »
I have cycled through the Keys six times. As far as I know it is safe for anyone on a bicycle---Now. Back in the early eighties it was a different matter. Hostile motorists were there, definitely, and hostile people in general seemed to abound. Things have changed since then. It is safe. The redneck, bike-haters have gone or settled down. The Bubbas have conceded that cyclists have a right to use the roads. Don't worry. As a matter of fact, considering cycling conditions on US Highway One from Maine to Key West, the Keys are probably the safest places on the entire highway, or just about. All I know is I have had no problems there except in 1984 in winter when the motorists were really, seriously unreasonable, even criminal.
That was a long time ago, and in fact, it was kind of like that across the state. Read "Miles From Nowhere" by Barbara Savage. Notice how they were doing all right cycling across the entire US until they got into Florida, and how things really got bad for them in the Keys. I can concur on their perceptions of the Keys and on Florida in general. After all, I was born and raised here, and I have cycled across the state many times, including down in the Keys. That was the past. it has changed.

Certainly you will encounter more traffic in winter, and higher prices. State campgrounds are your best bet, and you might need reservations unless they are on a first-come first-served basis.

Do not be worried about safe cycling. The roads provide plenty or room. Motorists are very reasonable. There are plenty of cyclable sidewalks. There is one long dedicated bike path. It is actually very good for cycling. No problem. Of course, people being what they are, it is possible to have an encounter with a very irate or unreasonable person driving a motor vehicle. However, that can happen anywhere, any time. The big things about the many bridges is they expose you fully to winds. I do not remember having trouble with traffic on any of the bridges.

870
Routes / Re: Southern Tier & Fuel for cooking advice please
« on: January 29, 2009, 06:49:38 am »
High octane (93) unleaded gasoline. But it depends. In the eastern part of the ST---TX, LA, MS, AL, FL there will be no scarcity of places to buy white gas, compressed cycliners of gas, denatured alcohol, etc. In the western states sources of whatever it is you might need tend to be more spaced out, fewer and farther between. If you get a Featherlite 442 Coleman stove, you will be able to get fuel for it anywhere. Getting the fuel from the gas station hose into the stove is another matter. Fact is, I could not unless certain other things such as a larger gas can and funnel were available. You must bring your own little funnel. It weighs next to nothing. This gas station hoses run at a certain minimum velocity that is too much to get into that little hole in the stove. You have to pump the gas into a larger container, then funnel the gas into the stove. No larger container, no gas in stove. You can work it out. If you can deal with that problem, any  lightweight stove using white gas or unleaded gasoline is just  fine. There are department stores across the country that sell canisters of compressed gas, and the stove fixtures that attach to them. The lightest stoves you will find burn denatured alcohol. The fuel for this stove will be a bit more difficult to find in some places, but gasoline is available just about everywhere.

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