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Messages - Westinghouse

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Gear Talk / Re: Touring Stove
« on: February 20, 2009, 01:17:27 am »

I was just reading your information on the penny stove. I am going to make one, or maybe a few. Most cyclists who are into touring should see that article.

Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: February 20, 2009, 12:47:08 am »
They have been building bike paths onto the new roads in my hometown in Florida. That should not be taken as an indication that place is particularly bicycle friendly. It isn't. They are building their new roads with federal subsidies, and the feds require the paths. In fact, if anyone is cycling in my hometown, they had better watch out. A cyclist's rights are pretty much disregarded in many instances. Not always, but enough to call it fairly routine. One does have to be very careful, and cannot assume that just because he has the right of way that it will be given. Quite a few people have been killed while cycling, some of whom I knew personally, and others were badly injured, and I knew some of them too. Not that the motorists were always to blame, but in most cases, a bit more respect for the right of way for others and due care could have prevented the incidents. As for myself, I have never had a collision with a motor vehicle because I am a very careful cyclist. I use what I call defensive cycling. I have educated myself in safe cycling techniques, and I am highly experienced with it.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling Shanghai
« on: February 20, 2009, 12:11:37 am »
As you may know, the bicycle is a primary mode of transportation for hundreds of millions of people in the People's Republic of China. Organized tours on bikes should be plentiful. If Shanghai is anything, it is a major tourist destination. Google should produce some information for you. I have been to Shanghai. I have done a considerable bit of cyling-touring in China. I always used my own bike and never had to rent.

Gear Talk / Re: big, wide feet need touring shoes
« on: February 19, 2009, 04:30:50 am »
I don't know about wide shoes, but I do know it is to your advantage to use a good touring shoe, one you can walk in too. The difference between  a running shoe and a good cycling shoe really begins to tell when you are pedaling your loaded bike up hills. I have toured in different kinds of shoes. Next tour you can bet I will have cycling shoes.

Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: February 19, 2009, 04:17:48 am »
They might just end up connecting enough of those rails to trails pathways to make it a reality. I do not believe such a path would be needed on the pacific coast.

General Discussion / Re: Flat Tire - Safety Alert
« on: February 19, 2009, 04:01:17 am »
I have had many many punctures in my tires and tubes even with Mr. Tuffy tire liners. Exactly as you say, the offending item is almost always a wire piece from a radial tire. I have had such punctures with a kevlar belted tire too. The wires somehow find their ways around the belt and come in from the sides. It is diabolical. I do remember seeing some tossed away hypodermic needles along the roadsides, but not all that many, and they have never been any matter of concern to me. The possible scenario you mention can happen; a small part of an infected needle could possibly become lodged in your tire. With that consideration in mind, feeling along using the finger-rub method inside your tire when it is bent back to detect some unseen wire tip might put you at some risk of contraction hepatitis or some other nightmare health hazard. As for myself, I have never given it a second thought. Thinking on the matter, this is about the only thing I can think of right off the bat. Instead of using your finger, use a tightly rolled cotton ball. Perhaps the cotton might catch on the tip and give you an indication of where to pick at with your tweezers. I use tweezers.

Actually though, roadside needles have never been a concern of mine.

Gear Talk / Re: Winter cycling — pawls freezing
« on: February 18, 2009, 12:07:49 pm »
I suspect in all your Southern Tier travels the weather has never gotten really cold and stayed cold.  By cold I mean 0 F.  20s isn't cold.  And stay at 0 F for days in a row.  Blizzards don't occur when its really cold.  The air is too cold and dry to hold moisture.  Blizzards and snow occur when its in the 20s, relatively warm.  My freehub stopped working after it had been cold, 0 F, for a couple days.  Once the weather warmed up into the 20s or so, it worked fine and did not stop working again.  20 F no problem, 0 F problems.

0 degrees F for days all day or mostly all day? You got that right. I am from Florida. If that kind of weather were to hit, I would be hightailing it to the nearest motel. I have cycled for days in freezing weather, and in the twenties at times, but probably not all day. Many nights I have slept out in freezing temperatures, or down into the twenties. I have never had the first bit of mechanical breakdown caused by it. However, that is why I specified all my winter cycling was in the southern tier of states. I come from warm weather, and have lived there most of my life. But, I did have to take courses on cold weather operations when I was in the army, and I know cold weather can adversely effect many different kinds of mechanical devices. However, in the southern tier of states you should not have to be concerned about cold-weather induced breakdowns of your bicycling equipment.

Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: February 18, 2009, 11:45:10 am »
There are those who take the attitude that bicyclists should be driven off the roadways. I have been subjected to that sort of mentality myself, and it can be irrational. I mean, when people say I must leave a smooth rodway where there is plenty of room for everyone simply because there is an alternative road, no matter how wrecked , deplorable, and obstacle strewn its condition, it does give me pause to consider what underlying motives people might have. I have had to put up with such attitudes. Well, all I can think of to say right now is this. With the way the economy is going in the USA, many of these anti-bicycle-on-the-road people might just end up pedaling along on two wheels. If they find themselves out there on the road, let us hear their opinions then.

If a cross country dedicated path reinforced their perceptions, it would be one negative consequence. Surely, having such paths would not be all perfect and absolutely without fault or consequence, but what in history ever has been? I would not want to abandon a plan of such paths because of reinforcing people's negative perceptions any more than I would want to abandon cycling because some people have negative opinions about my right to use the roadways.

Gear Talk / Re: Winter cycling — pawls freezing
« on: February 17, 2009, 08:35:14 am »
My winter cycling has always been restricted to the southern tier of states. It did get quite cold though. One night I survived a blizzard near Guadalupe Pass in west Texas. It was New Year's Eve of 1984 to 1985. I didn't sleep a wink all night. The next morning I had to use a screwdriver to chip the ice off the brake handles, brake calipers, and deraileurs before I could get going again. The thing is, in all my S-tier winter cycling, I cannot remember a time when the cold actually caused any of the bike's moving parts to malfunction. A temporary halting of function? Yes, as just described. A breakdown of the gear itself? Never.

Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: February 17, 2009, 08:18:18 am »
A TC bike path like I am thinking of would definitely have to be built with the long distance bicycle tourist in mind. Off-path times and distances to towns and stores and services would absolutely have to be reasonable. I mean something like an Appalachian trail, only for cyclists; joggers, hikers and walkers too. Of course, cyclists would need to plan ahead too. There could be makeshift camps at intervals like the shelters on the Appalachian trail, but with running water. It could go through verdant green forests, mountains, prairies, and pasture lands the where air is clean and noise is nonexistent. It could keep everyone near enough to services that it would not be a concern. However, in western states on some stretches, even on highways, keeping food and water enough can be a concern if one does not plan ahead.

The construction and linking of such a trail(s) and its maintenance would provide jobs. It seems like a win win situation to me.

General Discussion / Re: Is it worth installing a kick stand?
« on: February 17, 2009, 07:59:53 am »
It is not a bad idea to have one. Often you may find yourself out there somewhere miles from nowhere and needing to stop a while. You look around and you do not see the familiar guard rail, tree, or fence to lean your velocipede against, or maybe the fence starts at the bottom of a steep downgrade paralleling your road. What do you do? Do you want to set your nice new $1500.00 touring machine over on its side resting on the panniers on a rough surface, or do you want to stand it up on its two wheels,  or one wheel as the case might be, and then do whatever it was you stopped to do?

Go ahead. Install the kickstand. You will never regret it.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier............
« on: February 16, 2009, 06:40:36 am »
If you are talking S-tier as in the ACA route, there is plenty of information on it. If you are talking S-tier as only the southern tier of states, that is another thing. I once went from east coastal Florida to El Paso. After getting through Louisiana I followed extreme gulf coastal roads in TX all the way to Brownsville on the border of Mexico. After that, I followed roads right next to the border going north. SE of EL Paso I had to branch away from the border to get to El Paso. I consider that the southern tier also. In my opinion, the S-tier is the southern tier of states no matter which roads you cycle on. I think that when others say S-tier they might mean mainly or only ACA'a mapped route.

Either way, the S-tier is a good ride. Services can get a bit far between in the western states, but there is nothing in that which some planning and foresight cannot take care of.

I can tell you this much. Every time I stayed over in Van Horn and ate in its restaurants, I left that town with a case of dysentery. Not only that, I have read journals of other cyclists who laid over there a while and ate in the restaurants. Others had the same experience, dysentery. My suggestion is cook your own if you lay over in Van Horn. Canned foods, beer, and container drinks are ok. Good luck if you go there and ignore this tip.

General Discussion / Re: finding a riding partner
« on: February 14, 2009, 02:28:27 am »
I can relate to everything but I am more of the motivated, skilled, etc. who is not in as much shape as you.  However, now that the kids are mid-teens, once I get my youngest off to college, I will be embarking on the southern tier route from Key West to complete my perimeter tour then do several others.  Look me up in a few years!


That is an excellent choice for a transcon. I have done it a number of times myself. In order for me to close the perimeter I would have to go from Bar Harbor, Ellsworth actually, to Fargo or to Minneapolis or thereabouts; not that I think closing the perimeter is any big deal. After all, I have done the atlantic coast three times, the ST a number of times, the PCBR, 2600 miles of the NT, and a lot more besides.

I was gearing up to do the ST this past winter, December-January, when a job I had been looking into did open up. I wanted to do the ST, but not being rich, and being in need of an income, the wiser decision was to take the job. Before then it was not clear whether or not the job would open, but it finally did. I don't know when I will be getting away on another long cycling tour. I have two daughters in Florida who are eight and seven. I send them money every month, and that requires a steady income. Maybe this summer I can do a round trip from where I live to Key West and back, but that would be about it for these days.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Transam E-W to Florence OR - bypass Missoula
« on: February 13, 2009, 01:18:07 am »
I don't know that area. I am saying this to say I am not ignoring your question. I just do not possess the knowledge you seek.

General Discussion / Re: finding a riding partner
« on: February 13, 2009, 01:07:20 am »
I'm afraid I would not be able to give you any useful advice about something like that, other than to maybe try putting in an ad somwhere such as in a local newspaper. My connection to cycling is long distance, fully loaded, touring. I have done long tours with others, and those others were always women, except for one trek to Key West and back with an acquaintance of mine. Because I am a guy, going on a long tour with a lady friend is considered really the best way to go, but I have also mounted several very long tours all by myself, and liked it just fine.

As for your situation, I am not sure I have any experiences of my own to draw from to give you advice. There is a looking for partners section on this website.

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