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Messages - Westinghouse

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961
Routes / Southern Tier question.
« on: October 20, 2008, 07:04:43 pm »
Areas near the border of Mexico seemed safe enough, and the border patrol were seemingly omnipresent.

If you plan on slipping over the border and doing some of the trip south of the Rio Grande, perhaps you might want to think again. There have been many robberies and murders in Mexican border towns. I was cycling east to west from Florida, and I was about 80 miles (estimated) west of Van Horn, TX when a border patrol truck pulled in behind me and asked me to stop. This I did. Two officers asked me where I had started from and where I was going. Then they told me this. If anyone on this road yells for you to stop or motions to you in any way, do not stop; just keep right on going. Two persons had gone over the border shortly before then. They were found robbed and murdered, and those two were not the only ones who had run into serious trouble. I assured the border patrol officers I would not go over to anyone if they yelled or motioned to me to do so. Nobody ever did try to direct me in any way along that road.

Sure, we enjoy our cycling tours, and we intend to mind our own business, obey the law, and have a good time of it, but we cannot go blind to the fact that there are real dangers out there. Be careful.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-20-08 @ 4:06 PM

962
Routes / Southern Tier question.
« on: October 20, 2008, 11:49:13 am »
You can google the Tammany Trace in Louisiana. It is 31 miles of offroad cycling. It is up to you if you want to leave the designated ACA that far.

There are other designated bike paths in Florida on the S-tier.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-20-08 @ 8:50 AM

963
Routes / Trans Am vs. Northern Tier
« on: October 27, 2008, 02:40:57 pm »
Probably either one. I did 2600 miles of the northern tier. All I know about the TA is what I read in a book by Donna Ikenberry. Probably the TA would be your best bet. The NT is okay too for staying out of some big cities. You can always bypass cities.
 If I do the S-tier this winter I am going around New Orleans,Hoston, and Austin somehow.


964
Routes / weather on southern tier route
« on: October 14, 2008, 11:32:23 am »
I do not know for sure about Ike, but if the Galveston area is anything like the Gulf area I was cycling through after Katrina, there is hell to pay.
I cycled the Gulf rd. 90. For many many blocks only the concrete foundations remained of the neighborhoods that were once there. The national guard had set up a roadblock barring traffic at all through one section. They said Pass Christian had been completely wiped off the map. I stopped at a small restaurant for a beer just before camping for the night. I met two younger fellows there. They were volunteers planting trees to replace those destroyed by salt water surges. They told me that where we were sitting then was under sixteen feet of water during the height of the storm. And we were quite a distance from the Gulf of Mexico.


965
Routes / weather on southern tier route
« on: October 07, 2008, 02:23:13 pm »
I have done the southern tier four times, three and a half actually. In my opinion, winter is the only time to do the ST. It can get snowy and quite cold at times, but mostly it is crisp and clear and invigoratingly cool, and perfect for cycling. Expect to get rained on in Louisiana. Summer is too hot. I was drinking three gallons of liquid daily until I got to San Angelo, TX where my motel burned down and I got put up at the local Howard Johnson's for a few days. In San Angelo someone said west of there was known as the other side of hell. It did cool off quite a bit west of San Angelo, and my daily mileage went back up.
The southern route is south enough that winter conditions are easy enough to bare. Starting in October you will still have some quite warm days. It is nothing compared to Alaska. "When it's springtime in Alaska it's 40 below."

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-7-08 @ 11:24 AM

966
Routes / Ohio to California
« on: October 20, 2008, 07:15:47 pm »
If you google bicycle paths in Ohio you should find a series of paths running north and south. Make it to the Katy trail, run its full length, and you can connect with the TransAm, go west to Pueblo and Denver, and then climb into the Rockies.


967
Routes / riding east/south/west/north routes
« on: November 12, 2008, 12:15:06 pm »
I just read six opinions on the book "Changing Gears."
If I had it, I would read it. Sounds pretty good.


968
Routes / riding east/south/west/north routes
« on: October 16, 2008, 02:30:23 pm »
Bigwayne3000:

In my opinion, and I have never done the Transam by bicycle, your best bet for beautiful scenery and staying away from those big cities would be the northern tier. Not that it is all away from cities, but cities can be gotten around.

Get books on bicycle touring. Study them. Go to www.crazyguyonabike.com and read about people who have cycled on those routes, and who may be cycling them right now. There are plenty of cycling web pages that may have information on those routes. The Atlantic coast has plenty of cities, but there is a route around NYC. The Pacific coast is advised for great scenery. However, for a first time tour it is kind of tough with all those steep hills, and if you pull into a state campground with a car and tent they might charge you much more than in a hiker-biker campsite.


969
Routes / riding east/south/west/north routes
« on: October 09, 2008, 06:43:08 pm »
Google bicycle touring or transcontinental bicycle touring. Here is a website: www.crazyguyonabike.com. There is plenty of information on how to prepare for a long bicycle tour.

The main things are shelter, the bike itself, a sleeping bag, maps, money, plus the will and the drive to go the distance. Most any normally fit person can hit the road and cross the continent, but compared to the total number of persons able to do so, only a small minority ever commit.


970
Routes / riding east/south/west/north routes
« on: October 08, 2008, 03:46:55 pm »
I have done the perimeter of the US except for the portion between Bar Harbor Maine and near Davenport Iowa. I have done the Atlantic coast three times, the southern tier a number of times, and the Pacific coast once, and 2600 miles of the northern tier.

What kinds of questions do you have about these routes?


971
Routes / Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: October 01, 2008, 01:38:52 pm »
What this country needs is a dedicated, across America, bicycle path. An excellent model for such a path can be seen in the Tammany Trace in Louisiana. It runs some 31 miles between Slidell and Covington. It is about 12 feet wide, smooth asphalt, with tables along the way. A transcon path would need sheds and leantos along the way like they have on the Appalachian trail. No connecting roads and emergency lanes, just dedicated bike path all the way. Tammany Trace is already there. Multiply its distance by 100 and you have a path all the way across the USA.

Google Tammany Trace to see pictures of it.


972
Routes / Atlantic Route distance
« on: October 03, 2008, 11:10:32 am »
I averaged about 85 miles a day. Of course, some days were over 100. That was back in 1990 when I was in better condition than now. I did not use anybody else's predetermined route. I chose my own the full way. I used common, every day road maps.

I am aware a book by Donna Ikenberry is out there. It details the Atlantic route. I have studied it carefully. Quite a bit of her route goes where I went. But I went right through NYC via the George Washington bridge. Then I followed coastal routes to Maine. It was actually a very good trip. There were two days of rain, and it rained like hell those two days. I could not cycle in it at all.


973
Routes / Atlantic Route distance
« on: September 26, 2008, 01:19:03 pm »
I cycled from south Florida to Bangor, Maine in 22 days with 20 days of actual cycling and two days off for torrential rains. I am not sure of the distance. Somebody said 1800 and something miles. I have done the atlantic coast three times. It is a good ride. Even NYC was a good ride.


974
Routes / California Bike Rides
« on: September 26, 2008, 01:29:26 pm »
The Pacific coast bicycle route is by far the most scenic, and and one of the most enjoyable routes I have ever cycled through nineteen countries. It is a tough route, very hilly. It may not be best for a beginner, but I do highly recommend it. From north to south you will be helped by a stiff tailwind much of the time, and it is nice and clean air coming in off the pacific. There are plenty of state parks with showers and inexpensive hiker-biker campsites along the way. If you like coffee like I do, there are pleny of coffee shops on the route, and places to purchase wholesome, healthful foods at reasonable prices. I got cantalopes for two for 99 cents. Washington can be excessively rainy delaying your forward progress, but so what. Wear good rain gear and just keep going. I had a great time on the PCBR, and when I finally pulled into San Diego I was sorry to see it coming to an end.


975
Routes / southern tier in august
« on: December 18, 2008, 05:46:02 am »
I never did any mileage like Immaunz's on that trip, but it was a good time, and after the weather cooled my mileage went from 70 to 80 to 90 and such. In fact, I got in way too much saddle time sometimes in Texas hill country, the reason being that in many areas it was a matter of having sheer rock wall going up to my right, and sheer rock wall going down to my left, or vice versa, and unless I wanted to sleep in the emergency lane or on the other side of a guard rail I had to keep going until I could find a spot to camp. That meant sometimes cycling till 11:30 p.m. Some parts of hill country reminded me of the Alps. It was not too bad though. It was okay. It was kind of touristy in places. I went through Johnson City.

I slept out with three mosquito coils burning, and my exposed skin coated in Cutters spray. If I did not spray the bottoms of my feet the dastardly little critters would drain me from there.

It was about a 56 day trip overall. I think there were drought conditions. I had only 30 minutes of rain in Slidell, Louisiana, and a very slight bit of very light rain for a few minutes in hill country during the entire trip.

There is one piece of advice I can give you for making an August run across the S-tier a bit more comfortable. It has to do with headgear. I am very well aware of the great fashion in the USA for wearing caps, and they are just fine in their own places, but the top of your head while doing a summer tour across the S-tier is not necessarily one of those places. It allows the solar radiation to cook your face, neck, and shoulders. It also forms a mini sauna on you skull and scalp. Instead of a cap use a broad-brimmed straw hat with open spaces between the weaving on the upper part. It shields your face, neck, and part of your shoulders. It lets in a cross ventilation which carries heat away from your cranium. The difference in comfort between a cap and a straw hat is quite substantial, and one you will feel and notice. Of course, a straw hat offers no protection in a fall, and it does catch the wind, and you can feel it catching the winds and slowing you a bit, but the extra comfort was worth it to me. Definitely also wear sunglasses.

In winter, the cap is the way to go.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 12-25-08 @ 5:48 AM

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