Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Topics - Westinghouse

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 6
General Discussion / Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« on: December 29, 2023, 03:15:06 pm »
You can save a  ton of money stealth-camping. Stealth and camping need articulation to define and clarify. Stealth (to steal away) is perfectly acceptable. It does not suggest illegal wrongful behavior. All the great many times I free-camped, stealth was only a means of security. I was alone, asleep, vulnerable to anyone with bad intentions. I positioned my sleep-sites to minimize the possibility that anyone might know where I was. Often I waited till traffic cleared before getting off the road and into the woods, reducing the number of people who saw where I exited the road. It was self preservation and caution.  Concealing was for one purpose, personal protection. Way too many bad actors walking the streets these days. They are in the news every day of the week around here.

Camping may be the wrong word. I call it a sleep-site. I mean, you haul the velocipede into the bush. You string up a tarp or erect a tent. You sleep a few hours. And you are gone in the morning. Somehow, that seems not to qualify as camping. If the sleep site were used as a base camp for two or three days, if it were used for cooking or had a camp fire, that would be more like camping. It is hard to define lying down on a few square feet of ground for a few hours as camping.  You need a safe secure location to sleep. Need for safety and security (stealth).  Essential small space for 6-8 hours sleep(camping). There are campsites for money. They often have the facilities for camping, such as restrooms, electricity, running water, grills. These places are set up for long term stays. Very different than a small sliver of sand in the Pines.

General Discussion / C 2 C
« on: December 19, 2023, 01:40:16 pm »
Anyone finishing the Southern tier in St Augustine Florida or thereabouts might want to consider adding the C2C route at the end. It is a dedicated bike path, approximately 245 miles, about 88% completed, from Titusville Florida to St Petersburg Florida. You can read the journals on crazy guy on a bike and elsewhere. People like it. Plenty of places for free and paid camping. Restaurants and food stores abound. Safe cycling all the way. Just an idea I would throw out there. I'm going to do this route after the beginning of the new year. Actually it will be a huge loop around South Florida beginning and ending in fort Lauderdale.

Saturday September 3rd 1994. I woke early, ate a banana, packed, pushed the bike downhill directly onto the highway and pedaled for the border of Ukraine. I was soon at the border on highway 17. Getting across the border from Poland into Ukraine was a process involving seven stages. First, on the Polish side, the candidate had to present himself at an 8-ft by 4 ft shack where a guard dispensed a 1-in square piece of paper with a number on it. Second, the candidate had to conduct himself about 100 yards to a concrete building with an overhanging shed under which were three one lane roads for cars, each with its own guard shack with large Windows all the way around each one. At one guard shack a uniformed female guard asked about things should be declared and how much money the candidate carried in cash. If waved through from that point in the Inquisition, the candidate was permitted to advance upon stage 3 which entailed removing to yet another concrete building with a shed being managed by the Ukrainians. The Ukrainians were all uniformed government personnel. The fourth stage commenced inside the building where the man in the running had to show a passport, and stand interrogation from a guard who understood little English. They issued only 3-day Transit visas at the border at a cost of $15. If one filled out the application for the Visa and agreed to pay, he was privileged to enter upon the fifth stage of the negotiation which involved walking a few hundred feet to their Bank to make the necessary deposit. The bank accepted only two kinds of currency, Deutsche marks and American dollars. The sixth stage comprised walking back to the building with the shed to show the receipt for the $15. The 7th and last stage involved cycling about 1,000 ft up a hill to another small guard shack near the electrified fence at the border of Ukraine. A guard there asked more questions. What is your name? Where are you going? Why do you want to visit Ukraine? Where are you from? I explained that I had been given only a 3-day visa and that much more time would be needed to cycle through the country. He said that Visa extensions were available by applying to the bureau of police in any city that is a regional capital in Ukraine. Of course that Visa would cost more. He said that such a service is available only Monday through Friday. The border Police were competent, efficient, helpful and friendly. The last one even wished me good luck. When I told him I was from America he answered, "Ahhhhhh America." He said it in a whisper. It was obvious he wanted very much to live in America. Who could blame him for feeling that way after seeing Poland? There was a gate across the road with a narrow pedestrian path going around one end. That was my point of entry.

The western edge of Ukraine looked like the outside of a prison. On the border was a tall, metal, electrified fence. Beyond that fence was a clear strip of land about 100 ft wide. Another t-shaped barbed wire fence stood at the edge of the cleared strip. After that at first, Ukraine looked attractive. Large verdant green fields of Short Grass bordered both sides of the road. Cattle grazed lazily in the fields. Horse drawn wooden wagons hauled hay from the fields. Men hand-pushed bicycles loaded down with burlap sacks full of potatoes and other crops. In a short distance though came a perceptible decline in living standards, standards noticeably lower than in Poland. Side roads were dirty rutted muck holes. Buildings were dirtier and even more rundown looking. More human deformities were visible, adults and children with swollen infected limbs.

It was some time before a Ukrainian restaurant came into view. Hungry as hell and looking forward to a nice big nourishing meal with a small price tag, I had been in Eastern Europe long enough by that time to know that only the small price tag part of the fantasy would come true. But I was still permitting myself that singular delusion simply because it was so hard to shake that expectation after living 44 years in places where nice big nourishing meals were always taken for granted. The sickening smell was the first thing that distinguished that particular eatery as I entered it's small dark rectangular gloom. The place smelled putrid like rotting flesh or road carrying rotting in the sun. There must have been somewhere out of sight a big dead rotting animal hanging from a meat hook. The worn tile floor was covered in layers of ground in filth. The walls and tables look gloomy grimy and dank. A glass display case held a one foot in diameter round of cheese. On top of the cheese was a big hunk of rancid meat. There was no way in hell I would eat in that place. The few grimy characters standing at one small table looked more sinister than anyone pictured in the FBI flyers on the walls in American post offices. A small hardware store was in the same building in another room. I walked in to take a look. The few shelves contained a few small farming implements and a few jars of paint. Across the street was a drab gray one story elementary School. The children who filed out of that place were so clean and healthy looking they seemed incongruous to the entire setting. Their clothes were washed. Their hair and complexions were clean and clear. They presented something of a contrast to the rough, worn, soiled appearances of young and old alike in the rest of Eastern Europe. There was also a small food store connected with the restaurant building, but there was no sign of food anywhere.

I needed water and what better place to ask for it than there, or so I thought. Asking a woman behind the counter, she just shook her head no from side to side. Then a man appeared around the corner from a hall and motioned for me to follow him. He walked across the highway to a round Stone water well about 4 ft in diameter and 4 ft high. A inverted v-shaped wooden shed sheltered its opening. The man grabbed a galvanized metal bucket connected to a steel cable and dropped it into the well. He used a hand operated crank to pull the water filled bucket to the top. He filled my plastic water bottle with the cold clear liquid. I immediately popped in two iodine water purification tablets into the bottle and shook it vigorously. A mangy dog chained to a building near a house barked like crazy. Numerous Small potatoes lay on the concrete near the well. I thank the man and I took a photo and left.

Countless men and women were bent in stoop labor in the fields on both sides of the road. They carried their crops from the fields in push carts, and wheelbarrows and loaded onto old one speed bicycles. Life here was definitely a few steps down the ladder from Poland already.

Soon a small wooden roadside bistro offered another opportunity for food. Four men sat outside playing cards at a wooden table. I explained to them about being hungry and having only polish money, and asked them to sell me something to eat. The owner of the establishment invited me in and gave me bread, coffee, sausage, ketchup and a stiff drink of whiskey, all three of charge. Even there an old man and an old woman were bent in stoop labor in a small field of vegetables contiguous with the lot The bistro was on.

After a while more cycling down the road, after getting lost a few times, and after asking lots of directions, and cycling down a few gloomy back roads, I made my way into the city of Lviv. I had planned to avoid this metropolis of more than one and a half million people, but now it was the nearest regional capital for obtaining an extension on the 3-day transit Visa. I stopped for a haircut. The barber gave me a haircut, and then a shave with a hot towel treatment, both for about 20 cents. I gave him $2 which was damn good pay for a haircut and shave in that part of the world. Someone advised me to go to the hotel George on Ivan Franko Strasse to get in touch with the tourist office and the police. From there it was a matter of hand pushing the bike along the sidewalk. One distinguishing feature of Ukrainian people in general was that their everyday people looked like some of our worst down and outers in the United States. What we in the United States see in the most ragged, low-rent quarters was what was normal across the board in Ukraine, even in the uptown sections of major cities. People had that disheveled worn out appearance. There was plenty of body odor, as if most had not showered or bathed regularly, as if where they lived was bereft of water and soap. People were noticeably shorter than people in the West whose standards of sanitation and health are on a much higher plane.

A blonde-haired man about 5 ft and 8 in tall approached me on the sidewalk. The man was odd looking and he reeked of alcohol. His right eye was white and he was clearly blind in that eye. It appeared that at one time he had sustained serious injury to his head, for a considerable portion of his skull was covered in scar tissue where it had been crushed inwards. He asked something in German, so I told him in German that I was going to the hotel George. He said he would show me where it was, and he did. The hotel George had been a grand old hotel in its time, but now it was long past its Glory Days. Still it was quite an edifice for the likes of Ukraine. A blonde haired woman at the reception desk informed it would cost $46 to spend the night. The price was definitely out of line, so naturally I declined. She said the tourist and Visa services were around the corner at the police station and they would reopen on Monday. I thanked her for the information and left. As I turned to go I caught a glimpse of the old serpentine staircase leading to the dark upstairs hallway. The place must have been 8 or 10 stories high.

Back out on the sidewalk a chain smoking Ivan reiterated continuously about going to his house with him. Normally such an invitation would have been courteously received and readily enough accepted. ivan, however, had breath that smelled very strongly of alcohol, and his general demeanor was abnormal. He kept crowding me on the sidewalk, touching my arm and babbling over and over in broken English that we should go to his house. He must have repeated that 25 times. Knowing not to trust alcoholics, I looked for a way to avoid Ivan. There would be a more pleasant visit in Lviv without this man. So, I walked along, with Ivan nearby going on incessantly about going to his house, thinking of a polite way of extracting myself from the situation. I had already declined Ivan's invitations several times. He stopped at a street vendor for two bottles more of vodka and a few packs of cigarettes. The last thing I wanted to do my first night in Ukraine was stayi up all night swilling rot-gut alcohol with a chain smoking brain damaged alcoholic.

I saw a young man in dark dress pants and a white shirt. He had the look of an intelligent young man, so I said to him, "Hello, do you speak English?" He said he did, so we got to talking. I told him about this fellow Ivan, and asked the young man to tell Ivan that his invitation was not being received, and that I would seek other accommodations. The young man did that. Ivan said he understood and he left straight away. The man said that there are many hotels in Lviv, and when they find out a foreigner needs a room they charge 10 to 20 times as much as they charge Ukrainians. He said travelers in Ukraine are better off going to a person's home and offering a few dollars for a night's accommodation. Nine times out of 10 you will be offered a place to sleep. You are better off doing things in a less formal way in Ukraine, not the traditional. The fellow was nice enough to walk back through the center of town to show the location of some hotels. One hotel refused to take in foreigners. Another had no available rooms.

This fellow was a postgraduate student at the University of Physical Culture, physical fitness, in Lviv. He was 24 and had lived in the city for 7 years. He told me this much.  "Ukraine is very corrupt. We know that. The people wanted change, but there has been little change and it has come too slowly. Most Ukrainian people are not interested in physical fitness. The only change in Lviv after perestroika was the addition of a religious cloister near the University stadium. Under Gorbachev, people who had amassed savings were arrested and their savings were confiscated. While these people were imprisoned inflation increased at the rate of 3,000% and 4,000% per year. Later these people were released and their money was returned to them, but by then it was worthless. Young people are finding more work, but the elder people are being left out in the cold. Pensioners are paid $10 to $15 a month and get bread and milk only. But I believe that Ukraine is superior to the rest of the world, including the United States. I would like to visit the United States only temporarily." When I asked him where else he had been in the world besides Ukraine, he said he had been only to Russia and Kazakhstan.

He was living in a hostel near his university. He invited me to stay over there a few days. He seemed like a decent enough fellow, and it turned out he was at that. An hour of walking got us from the city center to the hostel. We carried the bike and panniers up four stories to his room. We had a cold shower in the first floor shower room. He prepared us a delicious dinner of fried eggs and salad. After dinner he invited over two of his friends to meet the American cyclist. One was Sergie, a patriot of the port city of Odessa on the black sea, and a champion boxer for Ukraine who had trained for 9 years. I did not get the name of the other man. They asked many questions. Where are you going in Ukraine? How long will it take? What routes do you plan to follow? What kind of work do you do in America? I answered these and many other questions. Everyone left after a while. We finally hit the sack around 2:00 a.m. . I could not sleep again, so I got up and took two sleeping tablets which pushed me over the edge around 4:00 a.m. .

Day 27 saw me 76 miles farther along than the day before. There was a passage through a seven stage process of leaving Poland and entering the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine where an even sharper decline in living standards soon became visible, standards worse by far than either in Czech or Poland, standards of which I was gradually growing more wary. Towns were dirtier. People looked rougher, less healthy and more soiled. Side streets in towns were often just muck trails, passable only by Jeep or mule. Buildings were smaller, grimier, more cracked and crumbling than anything visible from the hard top up to that time. The stench of poverty, of abject desperation was everywhere. The warnings given by the Polish cyclists, and the fact that I carried more money than most Ukrainians could hope to earn in 9 years were certainly not the more comforting. Quite the contrary, robbery and murder were both real concerns. Ukraine was a cash only economy. They wanted only Deutsche marks and American dollars. Everything else could go to hell. I had gotten into Lviv and made a friend who invited me to a hostel for a few days. There had been some recuperation from the illness contracted in Poland, so things were looking up once again.


ALL VOICE TO TEXT, some errors.  My flight from New York to Paris touched down in Orly airport at 6:20 a.m.. the sky was dark gray. A moderate rain cooled the air fully wetting the tarmac around the jet. Customs and immigrations were a breeze. There was hardly a check or a question as we moved through the various lines and booths to the luggage area. The French did not even require a Visa which was surprising. In 1988 I had gone to France to enlist in the French foreign legion. Then the French required everyone to have a Visa because of terrorist threats they were keeping a close watch on everyone's comings and goings. There had been a waiting in line at a special office in London along with other people who had gotten themselves and Tangled in the Visa crunch. Now though it was just walk through and get it done. Two cardboard boxes weighted at baggage claim. One contained a chromoly touring bicycle and the other held the remainder of the gear. Because the other passengers had made off with all the baggage carts the best way to move them was by placing the smaller box on top of the box containing the bicycle and skidding them along the smooth tile floor. To some people it might have had an effect similar to screeching ones fingernails across a chalkboard but that was the only way. The immediate goal was getting into Paris to some discernible point from which to begin the journey. People at the airport said to take an Orly bus to somewhere in downtown Paris but where I did not know. With the two boxes loaded onto the bus it was necessary to hold them tightly as they swayed from side to side during the serpentine 20 minute ride into the City of lights. The first likely place was a rain drenched sidewalk in front of a city bus station in the small square d e n f e r t r o c h e r e a u. There was a clear plexiglass bus stop shelter there to keep out of the rain. The first plan was to unpack the bikes there assemble the bike and be ready to go when the rain stopped. However the shelter was so small and so many people kept coming and going from the buses that it was not possible. There was a small green park with an earthen footpath running through it just across the street that would make a good assembly point when the rain stopped.

Two young women from California were in the shelter. One was crying. She said their vacation had turned out miserably. She described their experience as a horror a nightmare. She said she and her friend were lost and penniless nearly late for their flight home and unable to speak French without a way to the airport. That did not seem to qualify as a genuine horror or a nightmare. It was more the case of the spoiled poor little rich girl who upon experiencing some minor inconveniences overreacts and blows they predicament completely out of perspective and proportion. But there was no use saying anything about that. however her words did bring back memories of August the 1st 1980 in buttevant Ireland when my train was derailed resulting in the worst railroad disaster in the history of Ireland with 18 people who were killed and more than 75 who were injured. Those injuries were truly horrible and appalling. For 6 months before that there were clear terrorists threats and warnings from soldiers in the United States army who were protected by the United States government. That was a horror and a nightmare. A few minutes later both of them were speaking French and boarding their bus to the airport. They made a quick recovery.

Hunger was setting in. The red neon lights of a pizza restaurant down the street to the left called out and made the stomach growl and set the juices to flowing. The questions were these. Was eating worth the trouble of carrying all that weight for a block? If not was it safe to leave everything unattended? The answer or the best answer to both questions was no. Had to besides that a frugal budget was necessary as usual and eating in Paris is notoriously expensive. The rain stopped in 2 hours and a dark gray sky remained.

It took only 30 minutes to move the boxes to the park and spread out everything on two benches. The ground was a drenched red clay that had splattered up on everything and stuck there. Moving carefully to avoid dropping any parts into the sticky clay it took about 2 hours to assemble the bike pack the panniers and then put everything together. A man and a woman two benches away we're smoking marijuana. The camping gear clothing and other items weighing about 60 lb were distributed in two large rear panniers two smaller front panners and a handlebar bag with the rest stacked onto a rack mounted over the rear wheel. The bike itself weighing about 32 lb seemed to wobble under the strain of body and gear.

When I pulled out for the first time onto the streets of Paris it must have been a site. Straddling the bike at some street corner to confer with a map of Paris, it was time to set out through the bustling City traffic following road signs to Led Halle, g a r e. du  nord, there was a right turn to parallel a quay at the S e i n e River and after that there was a canal. Somewhere in town was a McDonald's which charge $6.50 for hamburger Coke and fries. The streets of Paris were lined with apartment houses, businesses of all sorts, and sites of historic interest.

Mary ettinger and I had been tourists in Paris in the summer of 1982. We were on a one month rail pass in Western Europe and visiting in Paris many of the attractions to tourists go there to see. Now those places no longer held an allure. For this was the commencement of a major bicycling Odyssey whose first task required cycling successfully through the world's fourth most densely populated city with its more than 4,082 streets, 314 places, 8,016 intersections, and more than 2.2 million people distributed at more than 54,000 per square mile. That according to an encyclopedia. And already there were feelings of apprehension about what conditions might be encountered in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics.

General Discussion / Cycling Ukraine September 10, 1994.
« on: July 25, 2023, 02:16:29 am »
I pushed the heavily loaded bicycle out to the road where a tall thin bearded man was cycling by on the highway. There was no luck cycling West looking for the campground, but there was that tall bearded man talking with another man across the highway. Both men were on bicycles which is normal for Ukraine. Perhaps my cycling across the road to ask some questions would elicit some useful answers. "Do you speak English?" "Yes I do," replied the bearded man. And indeed he did this fellow named Viktor. Not only did he speak English well, he was also an interpreter in Kiev for a US News agency called Intel news. Viktor was a native-born Ukrainian, and his friend Leonid, Russian, was a retired pilot and testing engineer for an aircraft company. Viktor said the campground was very expensive and reserved for tourists. He said hotels were running about $65 a day, but that there was one cheaper hotel near where we were. We cycled to the hotel which was only a few minutes away.

The hotel a dull, drab looking, few stories kind of place was located in a sports complex surrounded by a car race track. Viktor informed me that he cycled on the track on weekends. After going in and looking at the rooms Viktor negotiated a price of $12 a day. He explained to the woman at the desk about The travelers checks and how they would be exchanged for coupons the following day. The Ukrainian renter paid 50 cents a day. The American paid $12. Or the Ukrainian paid 25,000 coupons a day and the American 600,000. Frankly the room was not worth it and it would be too much even for the United States. However, a poor Ukrainian, seeing a foreign tourist in his market, especially an American, is like a hungry shark sensing blood in the water. He goes crazy. And who is without guilt that he can cast the first stone? It was a market economy. They do the same thing in Florida every year when the tourist season rolls around.

 Agreeing to meet Viktor later outside, I repaired first to the room to get cleaned up while he cycled around the track.  It was a little confusing where we had agreed to meet. First, I cycled along a rocky road and then doubled back and cycled to the top of a concrete bridge over the track. There was no discernible way of getting from the bridge onto the track. They showed up and gave me directions on which road to follow and which gate to go around and where to turn and soon I too was on the track and cycling leisurely along. During our one lap of the track Victor talked about the sports complex and answered questions about Ukraine. We cycled over to a set of bleachers near an airfield and sat a while. Sitting prominently in a green grassy field about 200 ft in front of us was an old flat-green biplane. Large black letters were printed on the plane's fuselage, and a large painted red star adorned its rear rudder. It looked like a relic from a bygone era of aviation history, like a display in a museum for looks only. At the rear of the plane five young people sat and lay in the grass. Suddenly, along with a billowing cloud of gray smoke, the two engines burst into a well-oiled well-maintained and very loud roar. It was surprising as hell. "You mean that thing actually runs," I exclaimed. "Of course it runs," said Viktor. He went on to explain that students from Nepal used the plane to practice skydiving.

At that moment a group of 15 young men and women walk single file from a building to the plane and boarded. With its twin engines purring The relic took to the air like an eagle. It flew completely out of sight. At the same time a green military helicopter landed on a round concrete landing pad near us.

Victor, Leonid and I cycled into the center of Kiev. We came across a store selling cheese and yogurt, which, of course, I snapped up immediately. There is no better yogurt than Ukrainian yogurt, and the same goes for their coffee, cheese and their bread but that is all. The store had a second story which sold sundry items including soap powder. I drank down all of the yogurt in front of the store. Victor said that Intel news would pay me to write an article on my first impressions cycling through Ukraine. I made no promises but told him I would write one if I could find the time. The most important thing on my agenda was getting a few days of sound sleep. I did not want to get tied into someone else's agenda. Most always I am better off deciding my own course and making my own decisions. Victor promised to introduce me to the editor of Intel news tomorrow. We made plans to meet on Sunday to cycle out to the area's lake district.

It was a relief heading back to the hotel back to rest and relaxation. While cycling up to the front door, seven mangy snarling curs charged from behind a hedge in the hotel's front yard. They were mean vicious acting mongrels, but they backed away when I stopped cycling and yelled at them. They acted as though they would have liked nothing better than tearing me apart limb from limb. A new woman at the front desk claimed to have no knowledge of the agreement to cash the checks and pay later. She started arguing about paying, insisting that I come up with the money then. It was pointless trying to communicate with each other. Neither one of us spoke the other's language. She finally called a female interpreter.  Over the phone we got things straightened out. I carried the bicycle up the stairs and kept it inside the room. Dinner was composed of Nutella sandwiches and cheese.

The room itself was abuzz with flies. There were no screens on the windows. The TV was a fuzzy black and white affair that brought in two channels with no sound. The small refrigerator did not work at all. A brown colored crud coated the walls of the shower room all the way to the bottom of the tub. There was running water, all of it cold as ice. There was a sit toilet that flushed. Pull the overhead handle and a powerful stream rushed into the bowl onto the floor against the wall and all over anyone standing in front of the thing.

This 34th day was spent cycling about 10 miles around the city of Kiev. I rented a hotel room for an exorbitant price for 2 days and saw kiev's sports complex. Cheese and yogurt from a local store were an unexpected treat. This was the first full body ablution, cold as it was, in 5 days. A pack of nasty mean curs had menaced. An old woman at a reception desk had hassled and harassed. What a reception. Welcome to Ukraine.

The long search for an effective, light-weight, high pressure bicycle pump is over.  It is here.  The brand name is Lezyne.  The chrome colored one is high volume.  The black one is high pressure.  It is as light as a feather, not exactly but it is light.  You can tuck it in a pannier.  It has a long hose with a nozzle that screws onto the tire valve. The least expensive of three has no PSI gauge.  The next has a mechanical gauge.  The most expensive is the one with a digital gauge.  It pumps to 90 PSI in a jiffy.  Sure, you might have to lean on it some,  but so what.  You need extra strong Superman eyesight to read the microscopic numbers on the gauge.  Maybe an electron microscope would help. You know, one of those 300-meter-long scopes they use to look inside atoms and atomic particles. Once you discern your needed PSI mark, tape the line with a small piece of gorilla tape.  When you need air supply, pump till the red indicator gets to the tape.  The red indicator you can see as pressure increases.  When it disappears under the tape you got it.  It looks like it would not fit onto a presta valve.  It is good for schrader.  You need an adapter for presta valves.

General Discussion / Excellent light-weight pump for bicycle touring.
« on: June 19, 2023, 08:59:35 pm »
The long search for an effective, light-weight, high pressure bicycle pump is over.  It is here.  The brand name is Lezyne.  The chrome colored one is high volume.  The black one is high pressure.  It is as light as a feather, not exactly but it is light.  You can tuck it in a pannier.  It has a long hose with a nozzle that screws onto the tire valve. The least expensive of three has no PSI gauge.  The next has a mechanical gauge.  The most expensive is the one with a digital gauge.  It pumps to 90 PSI in a jiffy.  Sure, you might have to lean on it some,  but so what.  You need extra strong Superman eyesight to read the microscopic numbers on the gauge.  Maybe an electron microscope would help. You know, one of those 300-meter-long scopes they use to look inside atoms and atomic particles. Once you discern your needed PSI mark, tape the line with a small piece of gorilla tape.  When you need air supply, pump till the red indicator gets to the tape.  The red indicator you can see as pressure increases.  When it disappears under the tape you got it.  It looks like it would not fit onto a presta valve.  It is good for schrader.  You need an adapter for presta valves.

Routes / Atlantic coast bicycle route this summer?
« on: April 07, 2023, 12:12:36 am »
Here I am at 73 thinking about cycling the Atlantic coast this summer. Is it the quest for activity and adventure, or sheer madness? Maybe it is the sheer boredom of retirement and living alone in a condominium. One thing is sure. Temperatures are rising. Summer will be hotter than hell. There would be many places to eat, drink and get cooled in the AC. I would most likely start from southeast coastal Florida. Free (stealth) camping is the plan. I have done this coast route four times, and only once in its entirety from  Key West, Florida to Bangor Maine. Parts of highway 17 can be stressful, much traffic, narrow side lanes or none.  Who else cycled this route, and what were your experiences?
Modify message

General Discussion / Atlantic coast bicycle route this summer?
« on: April 07, 2023, 12:09:33 am »
Here I am at 73 thinking about cycling the Atlantic coast this summer. Is it the quest for activity and adventure, or sheer madness? Maybe it is the sheer boredom of retirement and living alone in a condominium. One thing is sure. Temperatures are rising. Summer will be hotter than hell. There would be many places to eat, drink and get cooled in the AC. I would most likely start from southeast coastal Florida. Free (stealth) camping is the plan. I have done this coast route four times, and only once in its entirety from  Key West, Florida to Bangor Maine. Parts of highway 17 can be stressful, much traffic, narrow side lanes or none.  Who else cycled this route, and what were your experiences?

Here is a detailed answer about dogs. I wrote it on another thread for a person planning a transcon on a recumbent. This person was a disabled veteran planning on turning the cranks by hand. As for dogs on tour, I have had many experiences with them. Some cyclists might carry pepper spray, which I have done but never used. I saw another advise carrying a water pistol containing a mixture of water and ammonia; this I have never done. The fact is that dogs can be an occasional annoyance or hassle or whatever, but by and large they are not a real danger unless one comes charging at you from out of nowhere, startling you, and causing you to involuntarily swerve out into traffic. It happens.

There is something about the movement and sound of cycling that sets dogs off into a headstrong frenzy of barking and chasing. I mean, you come along, and there is some dog in a yard. It has been lolling around all day perhaps. It catches sight of you going by on your bike, and it immediately goes nuts. It starts barking, snarling, yelping, and growling, and chasing you at high speed and going for your heels with all its might. I have seen dogs go absolutely bananas at the sight of me cycling, even if I was two hundred feet away from them. I have seen them come charging out at me, stopped only by a fence around the property. They would follow all along the fence line to the end, and then go ape trying to jump over the fence or tunnel under it.  This kind of reaction comes from dogs of all sizes from the largest dogs to even those little Mexican Chihuahuas. That is no kidding. I was cycling through some town. Somebody was carrying one of those little Mexican dogs. It saw me. It went crazy trying to jump from its owners arms and chase along.

I have worked out a manner of dealing with dogs. In spite of all the noise and chases not one dog has ever actually bitten me.  However, they do seem to be fond of going for the feet, and some have come close to biting. First, slow down a bit, look at the dog and yell out a loud, sharp report, and when I say loud and sharp that is what is meant; something like you might expect to hear from a marine corps drill sargeant. You might have to yell a number of times. The yelling will bring some dogs to a halt. Some will stop temporarily and continue, and slow down or halt every time you yell. Just yell out hut or ha loud, sharp, and clear. If that does not dissuade the cur from pursuing his pleasure or whatever it is he gets out of the chase, come to a dead stop and give him the yell. He will stop. He may turn around and take off. He may tarry a while and snip and growl. He may come close, but my experience is the actual attack will not happen. I have cycled 34,000 miles through 19 countries, and six or more times across the USA, so I know of what I speak.

I have always ridden an upright touring bike, therefore, having a dog running along and chasing at my heels is a different matter from riding a recumbent with the animal more nearly at the vital parts such as torso, head, and throat. My general advice is this. If you are concerned, do what I have told you, and carry a water pistol with water and ammonia in it, if legal to do so, or a very good pepper spray, not one of those little key chain things, but a canister with a real fog or large volume spray that comes out, but do not use it as a first response. If you yell and stop and yell, the dog will stop his pursuit. In other words, do not run and it will not chase. Often, as you are stopped at the roadside waiting for the animal to lose interest, its owner will come out and call it back, and it trots on home. If you stop and it stops and loses interest, it might head back to its territory on its own, but if you take off it will turn around and continue chasing. Dogs, for the most part, are a temporary nuisance, but not a real serious danger. However, I am sure cyclists have been actually attacked, and perhaps even injured.

When stopped, the hound may come close, but will not actually sink its teeth into your hide. If it is particularly vicious or mean, give him a whiff of the pepper spray or whatever, but I have never found that to be necessary. If you get off the bike and walk a ways, which you would not or might not be able to do, it could lose interest; get back on and cycle away, and it will pick up where it left off, or just go home.
Try not to let a dog catch you by surprise in close quarters. That happened to me once, and I tipped over injuring my ankle. It was at night on a quiet, placid road. A very large dog came charging aggressively from out of the bushes near the side of the road. All of a sudden I heard this very loud barking and snarling, and saw a blur out of the corner of my eye. In an attempt to stop, dismount immediately, and get the bike between myself and the attacking dog, I forgot my feet were strapped into the pedals, and tried to get off on the right of the bike, I fell over and twisted my ankle. Well, at least I fell over away from the dog and not toward it. After all that the dog just stood there looking at me, and turned around and left. It was one of the larger breeds of dog, and I am sure it would not have harmed me, but it caught me completely unexpected, and I reacted unthinking with a start. There was no time to think through what to do. The subconscious mind told me I was under attack and needed to respond, and I did.

You might have dog problems in some areas at times, and no dog problems whatsoever in other places. In 1984 in winter along highway 90 in Florida free ranging dogs were all over the place, and I might add, were often seen dead along the roadside after having been slammed by motor vehicles. In 2007 I cycled 90, and there was not the first problem with the first dog; very different from 1984. In countrified areas dog owners may be more disposed to letting their dogs roam free. Some may be fenced in, but have some little tunnel dug out under the fence in some bush-covered corner. They actually seem to be smart enough to try and cover or hide their tunnels. Anyway, that is about all I can tell you. If you go into Eastern Europe, you may find canines of a very different stripe; very different from the friendly domesticated kind we are used to in the USA. But people have been attacked and killed by dog-packs in the USA.

As for some of those dogs I encountered in eastern Europe, nothing short of a firearm would save you.  Some of those would run you to earth and kill you and eat you. I had never seen anything even remotely as vicious as those, and have not seen anything like it since. If there is any such thing as a homicidal, insane, psychotic, murderous, savage dog, those dogs were it. Thank God for chain link fences. They must have been raised to be that way.

General Discussion / Bicycle Proverbs
« on: February 27, 2023, 10:35:53 pm »
A Cheap Bicycle Is Better Than A Dead Horse.

Quickly to bike and quickly to spin … Makes a man tired, perspiring and thin.

Never run over a magistrate; the pleasure is not worth the cost.

A bike between the legs is worth two in the store.

A wise man feareth and departeth crowded streets, but the fool rideth and is confident [It’s funeth to add an “eth” to the end of words].

A stone goes before a fall.

Mount in haste and dust you will taste.

The fool who rides without a brake … Is apt his collar-bone to shake

Wise men make bicycles, and fools fall off them.

If wishes were bicycles beggars would scorch.

He who always rides by himself has his bicycle used by a fool.

Those who ride a bike of the same make … Call all other kinds a fake.

There is but one good bicycle, and every man thinks he hath it.

Experience is the best spoke in your wheel.

A yell is as good as a nod to a deaf bicyclist.

A bad rider always finds fault with his bicycle.

The man who tests his bicycle by riding on the curbstone will shortly have no bicycle to test.

A seat unsound soon finds the ground.

If at first you don’t succeed, fall, fall again.

A man without a bicycle is a bow without an arrow.

He that rides fast will not ride long.

It is better to ride alone on a “boneshaker” than with a bawling woman on a tandem.

One man can set a beginner on a bicycle but ten can’t keep her there.

It is the glory of women to conceal their ankles; but the honor of men is to display their legs.

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.

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.

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.

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?

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 6