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Messages - Westinghouse

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Routes / Re: Does anyone have experience with Illinois to Florida tours?
« on: January 16, 2009, 07:23:28 pm »
You will find highway 90 in north Florida fine for cycling. It is hilly, yes. It also has a wide shoulder in most extents. It is clean and smooth. Towns and sources of good food are easily available relieving you of carrying extra weight in water and snacks and food. If free camping is what you are doing, there are plenty of good opportunities for that. Around towns you might find various kinds of barriers between yourself and your chosen sleepsite. You may find drainage ditches between you and the wooded areas. Perhaps places away from any town are more readily accessible.

Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: January 16, 2009, 07:11:40 pm »
I thought there was a coordinated effort to restructure the abandoned and exempt Rail Road beds throughout the country for this purpose.
I know there has been an effort here in Illinois.
The rock Island trail is a great example of reclamation of an exempt track.
I wish there were more....

Yes there is such a coordinated effort. Now if they could string them together coast to coast it would be great. I for one would definitely use it the full length, for sure. Maybe because I am getting older I am less resilient than I was when I was younger. In some areas of the southern tier, not necessarily ACA's route, there was just way too much traffic, pollution, and noise.

Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: January 16, 2009, 07:04:42 pm »
Maybe it was just me, but on my last tour which went from southeast coastal Florida to El Paso, Texas there was too much noise and traffic. The Tammany Trace was a genuine relief. I like the open road too. I also see that a dedicated cross country path would be free of most traffic and air pollution. I have done some research on the American Discovery Trail. A good part of it seems to be something like what I think is needed, and a good part of it consists of foot paths, horse paths, and roadways. Out west it may be traversable in some extents only by foot. The canal tow paths across the southern tier of counties in Pennsylvania are completely off-road from what I read. Some places may be more fitting for trail bikes and not touring bike sized tires and wheels.

I was reading a copy of the Arab Times, and what did I see? This headline: New Interstate road map takes shape for bicyclists. I read it. Apparently ACA are putting together some country wide map for cyclists. Here is the web site address just in case anyone here is unaware of it. I looked it up. It appears to be quite a project. Over the road cycling is fine as long as you are on the best roads for cycling.

Routes / Re: Route help needed Portland OR to Reno NV
« on: January 14, 2009, 10:16:22 pm »
I am not too sure about this because I have not read this book in a long time, but you might find information for cycling in that region in the book "Outings on Wheels." I believe it was put out by the Sierra Club.

Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: January 14, 2009, 10:05:17 pm »
Actually, I made a mistake about the Tammany Trace. It does run some 31 miles, but not from Baton Rouge. It goes between Slidell, Louisiana and Covington, Louisiana. Sorry about that.

Routes / Re: Any advice about cycling in Portugal?
« on: January 10, 2009, 03:19:08 am »
There is information on cycling conditions in the book "Miles From Nowhere" by Barbara Savage. That was a long time ago, however, and conditions may have changed by now.

Routes / Re: food and water on the southern tier
« on: January 10, 2009, 03:16:10 am »
Knowing what is available, where it is, and how far away it is on a bike in time and distance are all quite important. When I did the SR I used roads that were and were not on the ACA route. Often I would come across places where only a convenience store was available. A CS is good for hydration any day, or if you like coffee, but when it comes to solid nutrition there can be a letdown; not always, but sometimes. Out west CSs sometimes have mini restaurants and tables in them. I have not see that on the east coast. In some places you might want to carry a couple of litres of water. In other areas you can easily guage your cycling time to the next sure source of food and water.

If you are going to cook your own food, you will need food stores in which you can purchase cookable food. This is where CSs leave you out in the cold as far as I have been able to see. In some areas you might have to settle for restaurant fare, and ready-to-eat sandwiches from a CS deli or something like that. The thing is to buy and carry your food for your next anticipated meal.

As for myself, I get my food from stores and restaurants. I cook at times using a lightweight, alcohol stove. Apples, bananas, and dried fruit such as dates and apricots are good snacks to carry along. In some areas of the ST you will find good food sources frequently; in other areas not so frequently; in other areas you had better stock up and be prepared.

Routes / Re: Seattle to San Francisco in May
« on: January 10, 2009, 02:57:12 am »
It has been quite a while since I cycled any part of the PCBR. Check hostels in Seattle on Google. That might get you something. There were quite a few nice hostels in SF when I was there. I met a young woman in one who was extremely talented in speaking with different accents. She could do it just like a professional actress on TV, even better.

I remember it was quite hilly leaving south out of Stinson Beach. You come to a long descent after passing a Buddist center. The descent takes you to bike paths which go to or near the Golden Gate Bridge. I do not know why, but I had to carry the bike down stairs, go to the other side of the bridge, and carry it up stairs to cycle across the bridge.  The state of Washington should be rainy. I had quite a bit of rain in Wash. and OR, but once in CA, there was not a single day of rain while cycling. It is an excellent ride with plenty of well wooded areas. The wind will come in from the quarter rear or rear and give you a good push at times. Entering Eureka, CA I remember some strong side winds, and that because I think your route takes you at an angle quite different from much else of the route. There are inexpensive state campgrounds with hiker-biker campsites along the way.

General Discussion / Re: Winter Pacific Coast tour
« on: January 10, 2009, 02:34:04 am »
I have considered doing the PCBR in winter too. I looked up the winter weather, and got some word from people who know weather conditions in that region in winter. The general consensus was---don't do it in winter. Can you do it? Yes, most likely. There may be numerous setbacks due to stormy, wet, cold weather, and snow, but it can be done. They say some really severe storms can sweep in.

Connecting ACA Routes / Portland to Pac. Coast Route?
« on: December 28, 2008, 07:37:59 am »
Just about any roadmap will give you the way. I have done the PCBR three times. Once I went from Seattle to about half way through Oregon where my girlfriend had such a bad case of tendinitis we had to quit and drive back to Florida. Next, I went back myself, and carried on from Portland to San Diego, a really fantastic, great ride. Third, I cycled from Arcata, California to Santa Cruz, CA. I flew to China after that.

Getting from Portland to the PCBR is the easiest thing in the world to do. You can also go south to get on I-5, and criss cross it visiting interesting towns along the way, take 38 at Drain, OR, and enter the PCBR west of Drain at Reedsport. The choice is yours.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 12-28-08 @ 4:40 AM

Connecting ACA Routes / NYC to Cleveland: PENNSLYVANIA
« on: November 08, 2008, 10:59:46 am »
There are canal tow paths running across the southern tier of counties in Pennsylvania. I have done some reading on them. They are all off road and can be cycled. They run near towns. There is at least one hostel on the route, and places to camp, with water. This route starts in eastern PA and goes to Pittsburgh. In Ohio you can take a series of bike paths south. Cycle down to the Katy trail, and go its full length. Its southern terminus will let you out at the southeast corner of Kansas. Pick up the Transam route in three days or so and take it across Kansas to Colorado. Follow the TA from there on.

That is one way to do it to avoid as much traffic and pollution as possible.

Urban Cycling / Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
« on: October 11, 2008, 03:06:32 pm »
I know the places near LA you are writing about. Of course, I went through there while doing the PCBR, and stayed at a hostel in Venice Beach for a while. I thought it was great, especially after just having done the route all that way. There are some hot bodies in that part of the world, women that is. After cycling out of Venice I met a woman from Australia. We cycled a while together. It turned out her father was the Australian ambassabor to the United States. There was a guy juggling chain saws at Venice Beach. I cycled through there more than once, and on the second trip I also ran acrss some people who were looking for trouble. You can meet all kinds on a cycling tour.

Urban Cycling / why bike?
« on: October 18, 2008, 04:40:07 pm »
I can understand Boonebikeguy's attitude. In some places you are a nobody if you are traveling by bicycle. Drivers can be incredibly callous at times. Some places are better for cycling. Some places are worse.

Urban Cycling / why bike?
« on: October 17, 2008, 02:07:59 pm »
When I was very young, maybe ten, I dreamed of crossing the US by bicycle, but had long forgotten about anything like that. Then, much later, in the summer of 1983, I was on a sixty day Eurail trip around western Europe. I was staying in the youth hostel in Cherbourg, France, and waiting for the ship to take me over to Rosslare harbor into Ireland. I met a young  (18) German woman. We rented bicycles, and rode out to visit the Normandy coast where part of the D-day invasion had taken place many years before. I liked it so much I decided to complete my grand tour of western Europe by cycling around England, Scotland, and Wales the following summer, and that I did. I spent about 70 days cycling around the UK in the summer of 1984, a drout summer with only five days of light rain. Ever since 1984 I have been taking off on long bicycling tours when free to do so.

Urban Cycling / Urban Touring
« on: September 26, 2008, 01:37:38 pm »
Try coming in off of two weeks of interstate cycling across a state like Texas, and then descend suddenly into urban cycling. It requires a transition in skills, attitude, and adaptability. What a change it is. Long distance interstate cycling is easygoing, almost lightless, and you really get in some mileage.
Cities have all kinds of traffic, lights, intersections, rush hours, cramped cycling quarters, drunks, sidewalks. City cycling is a different sort of cycling, and the awareness of that difference can be greatly accentuated by contrasting it to open road cycling.

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