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Messages - Westinghouse

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1
General Discussion / What cyclists see, and nobody else.
« on: August 01, 2021, 11:58:57 pm »
What you see when you pedal a bicycle across the continental United States.

There were items of clothing, bungee cords, hypo-needles, a kitchen sink here and there, mufflers, condoms,

a deer cut in half, dead dogs and various road kills, and at the bottom of a drainage ditch a rolled up carpet

with legs sticking out of one end. I got the hell out of there and did not look back. It was December 1984 just

east of No Trees, Texas. It was a bicycling tour from FL to CA. Even more chilling, we spent a sleepless night

in a small tent in a blizzard. I had to chip ice off the components to make them functional.

2
General Discussion / Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« on: July 25, 2021, 05:07:40 pm »
This is a very interesting subject with a lot of people's good advice, great stuff.

I'm not a cook by any stretch of the imagination, and neither is a friend of mine who is an avid backpacker, and he told me just to go to YouTube and search: "cheap food for backpacking".  So I watched all of those, and basically do that type of food.  I use freeze-dried low-fat milk for my cook cereal.  I did take eggs once because I found they're good for about 24 hours not in the fridge.  I try to find stuff high in carbs for energy which that cheap Walmart method is pretty good at finding that source.

It was 1981 in Northern Ireland. 10 republican men were on hunger strike in prison. I think it was H block in her majesty's prison the Maze. The best known "blanket man" was Bobby Sands. He survived nearly 70 days without eating any food whatsoever. It was a national outcry when he died. I read 100,000 people attended his funeral. The other nine starved themselves to death in protest. Generally speaking, you can go about two months with no food at all, but after a month or so, health and strength decline greatly. It is a horrible way to die. But anyway, two months is about it for no food at all.

Yes, that freeze dried food is too expensive. I do not like it, either. One thing about the high carb foods for backpackers. That is meant for being on trails for days at a time away from sources of other food. When cycling over the road long distances there are usually always stores and restaurants. You do not need that Wal Mart stuff. You need fresh fruits and vegetables, live vitamins, minerals, enzymes and protein and more. Man cannot live on carbs alone. You will need real nutrition. Backpacker food may be good for a carb load, but be sure to get the other foods regularly.

Did you know you can starve to death if you ate nothing but protein foods like lean meat?  I watch that Surviving Alone contest show, and the people they put on are really good, and considered professionals at surviving alone in the wild.  The contest is who can last the longest, and they check your weight every week and if you lost too much weight and are in the danger zone you're pulled from the game and it's over for you.  The longest anyone has ever gone on that show was 72 days, and though they won, they had lost a lot of weight, because all they can find in the wilderness is live meat, plants and nuts are not plentiful enough to survive.  Not sure what that has to do with our discussion, I just found it fascinating that not even highly trained survivalist can last long, probably around 80 days before they would die.  The biggest problem in the wild is finding enough carbs to have energy.

Anyway, I haven't gone long enough to worry about the fruit and vegetable thing yet, but you are correct you do need that on a long tour, however, a human can live a normal life with eating very little in the way of fruits or vegetables.  Some societies have lived in areas where they never ate any fruits or vegetables, but their lives are not as long as those that do.  But if necessary even on a long tour in the backcountry away from restaurants and Walmarts and you would be just fine without fruits and veggies.

There are freeze-dried veggies you can find, like this:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0039QW1HM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0039QW1HM&linkCode=as2&tag=lizthoadvhik-20&linkId=5VFIYGNR2RZQIA6B

I can't eat dark leafy veggies like Kale due to that's one of the things that produces kidney stones in me, so I avoid it, once in a blue moon I'm ok, but not eating it regularly.  Also, I have to restrict my protein level somewhat too, because too much protein can cause kidney stones in me as does nuts.

Some cheap freeze dried store-bought food like cup a noodles have dehydrated veggies like peas.  There are health and natural stores that sell veggie chips.  Also, you can buy green veggie powder supplements but those are a bit pricy but you can get a lot of veggies that take up a very small amount of space.  If a person insists on taking fresh veggies then do know this, that for some reason organic veggies tend to last longer without fridging than regular veggies, someone may want to confirm if that's true, but that's what I've heard but it doesn't make any sense to me as to why that would be the case.  Seaweed is another good source of veggie that doesn't take up much space, but I'm not sure if I can consume that due to my kidney stone issue, the last thing I want on a tour or camping trip is that mess!  The kidney stone issue is why I carry so much water, around 175 ounces, and between drinking it and using it to cook with I can go through all of that in a 24 hour period because even on a normal no riding bike day I try to drink at least 6 16 ounces of water, that's 96 ounces right there, and that's not riding a bike day!  So you can see why I need to bring so much water, which is why I try to go to places that have either a camp store or stores nearby so I can buy more water, it's also why I carry a small Sawyer water filter just in case.

So there are ways to get veggies into your diet even if there are no stores around to buy the stuff, carrying fresh veggies takes too much space in a pannier, and there is the question as to how long they'll last, and the reality is you're not going to die unless the tour is going to last 20 years or more and never be near any stores to obtain it along the way, so people would be more than fine going for 6 months out in the boondocks away from fresh veggies and fruit, which I don't think anyone either backpacking or on a long off-road bicycle trip would be anywhere near that many months without getting a hold of fresh veggies and fruit.

3
I wrote a manuscript about my world bicycle touring. It is about 120,000 words. I have it right here. I wrote it from field notes in 1994, and revised it in 1997-1998. If I ever do become properly ambitious about anything in life, I might publish it some day.

4
General Discussion / Tip for safer cycling. Tip for cleaner cycling.
« on: July 25, 2021, 01:31:19 am »
First, the tip for safer cycling on sidewalks. Technically, cycling sidewalks may be an infraction in some towns, and where there usually is pedestrian traffic it makes sense not to do it. However, in many places you never see people walking on sidewalks. Everybody drives. For example, there is a three mile stretch of sidewalk I cycled more than 200 times. Not once did I encounter a walker, ever. In such places as these it is perfectly acceptable and much safer than using the roadway, especially where there is heavy traffic and no side / bike lane. This tip is useful under certain circumstances, and here those circumstances are.

It is a four lane roadway with a median with no crossing. You are on the sidewalk moving against traffic. For example, you are going north and traffic is moving south. There are stores and strip malls and restaurants and what have you. They all have parking lots where cars can enter from the road, and exit from the lots onto the road. A car pulls out to the stop line or partly onto the sidewalk. The driver is waiting for traffic to clear so he can enter the roadway. Because he knows people do not use the sidewalks, he has his head cranked around 180 degrees away from you. He might have no idea you are there at all. You might think it is OK to go in front of him and keep going because he is stopped. Well, what I have seen many times is this. He keeps his head facing only in the direction of oncoming traffic. He sometimes lets off the brake and moves forward to be nearer the edge of the road for when he makes his move to drive. If you are there you can get hit.

If the driver looking in the opposite direction has a passenger when stopped you will see the passenger alert the driver who will turn his head in your direction. Before that he does not have any idea you are there. Beware of this situation if you get in it. The pattern is for the driver to pull up, looking in opposite direction from where you are, and jockeying forward once, twice maybe three times and then taking off when traffic clears for him with no clue you are there unless he has a passenger who alerts him. Cycling in front of him could be hazardous. I have seen this pattern so many many times. If the windows are darkly tinted you cannot see whether he can see you or whether or not he has a passenger.

Second is cycling with cleaner air. This rule applies for any kind of road that has sidewalks that allow for making the adjustment. You are cycling north in some place with steady, bumper to bumper traffic much of which can emit illegal concentrations of poisonous exhaust fumes. The wind is blowing west to east and you are on the east side or road. All the way the wind blows the fumes onto you. You can get onto the west side sidewalk or path. That way the wind hits you first and the traffic second. That way you get clean fresh air, and the pollution is forced away from you by the wind and not onto you. I have make the adjustment many times when I knew I would be in heavy traffic for a while. It makes the difference between getting clean fresh air in you lungs, and having to suck up fumes from every car and truck that passes.

5
General Discussion / Re: Daytime Lights in Montana
« on: July 09, 2021, 02:39:40 pm »
When it comes to politicians and legislators, animals have the advantage over humans. Animals do not allow the dumbest to lead the herd. A special permit to cycle across the state? All that would make cycling safer, maybe. Maybe if drivers get their faces out of their cell phones, stop driving drunk, and keep their eyes on the road, they might even see those lights and reflectors and vests and bells and whistles and whatever.

6
.... I already had a triple chain set, cartridge, saddle and chain. I had two racks from a bicycle I had used before. ...
Beautiful, but to be fair, you need to include the cost of the used parts you provided.

And, although if one plansxto tour around the world, they should be capable of building wheels and installing cranks and bottom brackets, not all choose to do so on the initial build of your bike; you might also want to add a modest amount for your time as a mechanic.


For one thing, the triple chain set had been on an old but hardly ever used Trek bike. Somebody paid thirty dollars for it, and later gave it to me. The bike was in a thrift store in Stuart, Florida.  Parts and repairs are part of it on very long expedition like tours. Chains wear, bearings pit, spokes break, tires pop, cables stretch, legs get strong, oxygenized body and mind, longer life.

7
General Discussion / Re: Happy USA Independence Day weekend to all.
« on: July 04, 2021, 12:11:35 am »
I had an ancestor who was a volunteer in the militia in New York. He captured Major John Andre who was carrying information sent from General Benedict Arnold to British forces. General Arnold was the commanding officer of the military center in West Point. It was treason. Andre tried to bribe. It did not work. This ancestor turned him in to the military authorities. Arnold had sent information about West Point the British were to use to defeat the continental army. If that message had reached its intended destination the outcome of the American revolution would have been very different from what it was. They hanged Andre in New York. General Arnold escaped to the British, thus he was a turn coat. As for the ancestor, he became famous. He got a pension of $200.00 a month. In those days that was a very big reward. They named a county after him. Is there a lesson here? Yes there is. One man can make a big difference.

8
Bicycles have gone upscale. I read several articles of how cyclists had to plunder the national treasury to buy a good touring machine One man who bought one told he he believed he had been conned. He had the very best Schwalbe tires, like $120.00 a piece. I just rebuilt a bicycle. It could go around the world 20,000 miles. First came the thought of doing it. Then I went to Goodwill. For $20.00 I picked up a Mongoose IBOC bicycle whole all components. Google said it cost $1500.00 new in the 1980s. The frame is light chromalloy steel. It had expensive Mavic wheels and expensive top end components. I stripped it down to the frame. I bought two double walled wheels, two Schwalbe Marathons, tubes, brakes, deraileurs, shifters, cables and brake pads. I already had a triple chain set, cartridge, saddle and chain. I had two racks from a bicycle I had used before.  I think the cost in dollars was under 250.

10
General Discussion / Re: In need of a few hints for NT route and food
« on: June 26, 2021, 01:37:25 pm »
I have the full set of Bikecentennial / ACA maps. I bought them in 1987. The northern tier is great. I did it from Seattle, to Ana Cortes to Chicago, Illinois, about 2600 miles. I had to quit. An emergency came up. There are many places for food, water, other supplies and shelter.

11
General Discussion / Re: Hosting Travelers
« on: June 26, 2021, 01:33:01 pm »
I nearly sponsored a cyclist on the Atlantic coast route. Problem was, I was leaving on a bike tour at the same time. It is good that people sponsor bicycle travelers. After days in a tent it is nice to be able to kick back and relax a while. Motels in this area are quite expensive. I am about 12 or 15 miles off the route. From what I have seen, long-distance cyclists are a good lot, a cut above the rest. There should not be any reason for concerns.

There was a rumor about some people in this vicinity. Supposedly, they are locals on bikes and not cyclists. They, according to rumor, exploit hosts on couch surfing and cycling sites. Is it true? I have no idea, and those people are not bicycle tourists.

12
I think John Nelson came up with a nice tidy list of reasons. IMO the true and adventurous cyclotouriste would sweep these reasons aside. He would consider them of no problrm at all. He would see them as a challenge. I always thought about doing the transam. I doubt I ever will. And with this so-called unprecedented heat wave driven by climate change, it is advised that I stay out of the heat. I did the southern tier from Florida to San Diego in summer. I would not want to try that again.

13
 They would just happen to have a vacant cell when I cycled through Farmington.

15
If all else fails, try a couple of cold 16 ounce beers.

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