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Topics - Westinghouse

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1
General Discussion / Continental gator skin bicycle tires.
« on: November 28, 2022, 09:21:19 pm »
When the first set of Continental gator skin bicycle tires arrived in the mail, I thought I had been taken. They were very light. The side walls felt almost like paper. The contact part of the tire was thin. Nothing at all like a schwalbe Marathon which I had come to trust. I decided the gator skin tires would be good for running around locally, and that was all. They looked substandard and cheap. However, I have had a complete change of mind about those tires since then. I just finished a bicycling tour of about 1300 miles. On the front rim was mounted a 700x32 continental gator skin. It had about 50 miles on it before it was used on this tour. It went through gravel, broke and glass, sticks and stones, berries, cones and all other manner of debris found on sidewalks and roads in America. Quite a few times the glass crunched and broke under this tire. It has held up and withstood all that. The only puncture came from long distances on the interstate highways in Arizona and New Mexico. Those wires flatted the back tire also which was much thicker and beefier than the gator skin. Interstate wires will flat marathons and Marathon supreme. Spend too much time on the interstate and you will find a wire in your tire. The Continental gator skin tire is stronger and more durable than it appears to be. It is lightweight, strong, and for its size and weight long-lasting.

2
General Discussion / Highway 20 on East-West axis across North Florida.
« on: November 14, 2022, 04:30:07 pm »
There are three main east west or west east roads across North Florida. They are highway 90, highway 20 and highway 98. I just now finished doing highway 20. Highway 90 is the one designated for adventure recycling association. It is the one farthest north in the state. It can be quite hilly. It has its advantages. There are cafes and restaurants and food stores. There are designated campgrounds, hotels and motels and b&bs. You can visit areas and sites of local historical interest. South of 90 is highway 20 I just cycled it. It has a nice wide shoulder most all of the way except that some of it is chewed up for the laying in of asphalt which forces you out into the main roadway. It is much less hilly than 90. Motels are few and far between for a very long distance. Most all of the stores had nothing but junk food. Their is no designated campground anywhere for a very long distance. Occasionally a store sold bananas, maybe an apple, or slices of hot pizza. Aside from that it was all junk food. South of 20 South of highway 20 is highway 98. I'm sure that is 99% flat. It follows the contour of the coastline and is there for 55 or 60 miles farther from point a to point b then if you were to take highway 90 or highway 20.. if you do not mind cycling the hills and if you value your health, 90 is your road.. if you want to stealth camp all the time, and you don't mind surviving on junk food for a few days, 20 is your road. If you don't mind doing 50 or 60 extra miles to get from point a to point b, 98 is your road. 98 goes through several small towns with places where you can eat what is actually real food. I'm just getting back into Florida from West the West. I chose 20 because it is much easier going than 90, and much shorter than 98. I had taken it before and I had forgotten about the availability of almost nothing except junk food.

3
South Atlantic / Cycling Florida's East Coast.
« on: June 30, 2022, 05:23:29 pm »
If you are cycling from North Florida south to Key West, or from Key West North in Florida, I advise you to stay on the island roads. ACA Maps you along the Barrier Islands and I advise you take that route. It's a much nicer ride. Less noise than US1. Much nicer neighborhoods in some areas including Mar-A-Lago where Donald Trump lives. The Barrier Island roads are the way to go. You can take aca's advice or mine, or learn the hard way. Another choice is US1 on the mainland but I do not recommend it.

4
Gear Talk / Need 90 PSI bicycle pump, a legitimate 90 PSI.
« on: June 30, 2022, 05:14:54 pm »
I have been buying bicycle pumps and returning them for some time now. For some reason they advertise a PSI rating that is not possible to achieve. Does anybody know of any kind of handheld bicycle pump that will go up to 90 PSI easily. The bicycle shops and Walmart all sell the same junk. One pump said it went to 160 PSI. It would barely get up to 75 or 80 and that was all. Another said 100 PSI. That would not go beyond 75. Another said $130 PSI. At most that would go to 75 or 80. I do not understand this. Another thing I notice. They refuse to make available those hand pumps that really do go up to 90 PSI. I used to use them all the time. They cost about eight or nine dollars they were made of aluminum. They had a little hose on the end with a head that screwed onto the valve. It was easy enough to get 90 PSI out of those. They have flooded the market with lousy equipment and what they're saying is that you have to buy this or you do not get a pump at all. That sucks. In all my years of bicycle touring I have never encountered anything like this. And it's the same everywhere you go or at least everywhere I have gone. Does anybody know of a pump anywhere a handheld pump that would be good for touring that would easily go to 90 PSI?

5
General Discussion / Bicycle pump that works as advertised.
« on: June 30, 2022, 05:03:40 pm »
I have been to three bicycles stores and three Walmarts. I cannot find a bicycle pump that will go to 90 PSI, regardless of the advertising. The stated PSI on the pumps is misleading. Does anybody know about a decent quality hand pump that will go to 90 PSI easily? When I buy a pump and it says it goes to 160 PSI, and then it will not even go to 80 in reality, I know I'm being led on just to buy something that does not work. I have returned three pumps. I go into bicycle shops and they have the same junk in there just more expensive.

6
General Discussion / The road is flat. It's what?
« on: June 13, 2022, 04:07:43 pm »
When inquiring about the road up ahead from locals, they tell me it is flat. So I go my way. The road is definitely not flat. It might be rolling and it might be quite hilly. It led to an interesting observation of human psychology. People who have gone over these Hills using only motorized transportation, even though they have seen these Hills hundreds of times perceive it or at least they report it as flat. Why is this? It is that they had never had to use their own power and energy to overcome gravity getting over those Hills. Sure they know the hills are there but they tell me the road is flat. On occasion I found myself doing the same thing telling cyclist for example that the road along the Indian River between Jensen Beach and Fort Pierce is flat. Is it flat? No it is not flat. There are many numerous Rises and Falls none of which are extreme and none of which would be of any concern to a real cyclist oh, but the road is not flat./b]

7
All this boring nothingness is getting to me. Tomorrow I will head out for a bicycle ride along the southern tier of states. I start about 275 miles south of Saint Augustine. I am on the east coast. My version of the southern tier is different from ACA's for the largest part, and it is the same in some lengths. At my advanced age I cannot guarantee myself the ride will end in San Diego. I will just have to wait and see. One possibility is making it to San Antonio, Texas, and looping south to Galveston, and returning by way of gulf coast roads. That would eliminate the costs and logistics of getting back from the west coast. However the trip turns out, it should be the elixir that lifts my spirit out of the doldrums. It will be mostly stealth camping.

8
General Discussion / The more expensive tires are the least expensive.
« on: December 09, 2021, 08:38:06 am »
Paying seven or eight dollars for a tire on a bicycle might seem like a good deal. I used to pay that. Then I would take off from Florida to California fully loaded and camping. If the tires are readily available along the way you might end up using four or five on the back and three on the front. Not only that you could have 40 or 50 punctures along the way. That was my experience. Then I started using Schwalbe marathon tires. One set went all the way across from Southeast coastal Florida To San Diego or Los Angeles. I had eight punctures total. The marathon tires cost a little bit more upfront but the saving in time fixing punctures and stopping to buy new tires is more than worth it. Add to that the carefree worry free cycling on good tires and the more expensive tires are the least expensive.

9
General Discussion / Florida coast to coast dedicated bike path. C2C.
« on: November 04, 2021, 06:16:39 am »
Also known as the c2c Florida bike path, its eastern terminus is in Titusville, FL about 98 miles south of the eastern end of ACA's southern tier bicycle route. It is mostly complete with 191 miles of exclusive pathways. There are about 50 miles more to be constructed.The gap roads are excellent for cycling. It is about 245 miles in all from Titusville on the Atlantic ocean to Saint Petersburg on the gulf of Mexico.
Another thought. Highway 41 from St. Pete southward will take you to Tamiami Trail near Naples, and west across the everglades to Miami, FL. From here you can go south to Key West.

10
Gear Talk / Panniers from Bike Nashbar? Look twice.
« on: October 25, 2021, 02:16:14 am »
One practical feature of a good tent is the rain flap sewn over the zipper on the fly. When the water flows downward it goes over the rain flap, and continues down the fabric, onto the ground. What would you think if you ordered a tent online? It arrives.You open the box. You take the tent outside. You set it up. Then you notice something. The rain flap is sewn under the zipper, not above it, and goes upward not downward. So, when it rains the flap will catch the water, directing it into the zipper and drip water inside.

I did not get a tent designed that way, but I did get a set of rear panniers with that design flaw. I got them online from Bike Nashbar. The panniers come with a fold over top flap that covers the top inside of the panniers. There is a small storage pocket in each main top cover flap. The rain flap barriers for both zippers of both storage pockets are sewn under the zippers which conducts water straight into the pockets. I have seen many panniers, and this is a first.

The panniers are black. I inspected photos of these panniers before purchasing. The photos obscured the flaw in the design. I mean, you could look right at it and not see it. I made pannier covers out of plastic bags and gorilla tape.

In the past I bought tents online, and received defective products. The panniers are still useful at least. The tents from Campmor were so defective they were useless.

Has anybody had experiences similar to this? I paid $80.00 for a tent from Campmor. When it arrived one whole corner was torn out completely. I returned it and traded for a Slumberjack bivy tent from Campmor. The design was flawed. The fiberglass pole at the foot of the tent had to be bent way too much to fit. The larger pole at the head of the tent kept breaking off into a fine powder like dry sawdust. Defective in design and in quality. The fabric of this bivy was okay, but it could not be used.

11
General Discussion / Panniers from Bike Nashbar? Look twice.
« on: October 25, 2021, 02:10:03 am »
One practical feature of a good tent is the rain flap sewn over the zipper on the fly. When the water flows downward it goes over the rain flap, and continues down the fabric, onto the ground. What would you think if you ordered a tent online? It arrives.You open the box. You take the tent outside. You set it up. Then you notice something. The rain flap is sewn under the zipper, not above it, and goes upward not downward. So, when it rains the flap will catch the water, directing it into the zipper and drip water inside.

I did not get a tent designed that way, but I did get a set of rear panniers with that design flaw. I got them online from Bike Nashbar. The panniers come with a fold over top flap that covers the top inside of the panniers. There is a small storage pocket in each main top cover flap. The rain flap barriers for both zippers of both storage pockets are sewn under the zippers which conducts water straight into the pockets. I have seen many panniers, and this is a first.

The panniers are black. I inspected photos of these panniers before purchasing. The photos obscured the flaw in the design. I mean, you could look right at it and not see it. I made pannier covers out of plastic bags and gorilla tape.

In the past I bought tents online, and received defective products. The panniers are still useful at least. The tents from Campmor were so defective they were useless.

Has anybody had experiences similar to this? I paid $80.00 for a tent from Campmor. When it arrived one whole corner was torn out completely. I returned it and traded for a Slumberjack bivy tent from Campmor. The design was flawed. The fiberglass pole at the foot of the tent had to be bent way too much to fit. The larger pole at the head of the tent kept breaking off into a fine powder like dry sawdust. Defective in design and in quality. The fabric of this bivy was okay, but it could not be used.

12
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.

13
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.

14
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.

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