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Messages - Westinghouse

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1
Many years ago there was this one cyclist talking about going through this so called dreaded middle third. The wind was so strong, long term and consistent he ended his journey there.

Wind kept me off the road a number of times, but it did not turn me back or end my travel.

2
If somebody wanted to get experience dealing with critters in 1984, he could bicycle the length of highway 90 in north Florida. That is what I did. Free ranging dogs were all over the place everywhere. They were seen dead along the roadsides. I did not drive into any.

About domesticated dogs in the USA. You need not be concerned with your safety. They are pacified, fed, kept, and soft. They snip and snarl, bark and fart. They become aggressive. My long experience says they will not seriously attack. It might actually happen, but it has not to me. One hint. Stop cycling and they stop chasing.

The movement of the legs sets them off. Maybe it is something in the primitive brain set there for survival, the hunt, the chase, and killing the prey. My experience is the actual attack will not happen. It could happen, and there are always statistical anomalies and one in a million chance happenings. Keep in mind, dogs are descended from hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. During that time hunting and killing were their means of survival. It is hardwired into their DNA. It is born in the blood. No matter how domesticated and docile, those impulses are still within. Nature assures they are transmitted generation to generation, and when nature does the same thing endlessly and repeatedly, there is a reason for it. This whole pet dog thing has been around for a comparatively short time. If conditions change, they can rely on ancient instincts for killing. Those instincts are why normally placid fido goes bananas when he sees you flying past on your velocipede. He will not jump on you. I seriously doubt he will sink a fang into your hide.

On the downside of the curve, a pack of dogs attacked and killed a woman in New Mexico. Well, yes, things do happen. Many thousands of people are killed by dogs annually worldwide. The dog will not tear at you. We too have instincts for survival. Rover does not want to go up against that.

3
General Discussion / Re: Cooking on the Road
« on: Today at 12:54:07 am »
Have you read, "On the Road" by Jack Kerouak? Those guys? They were cooking.

4
I have bicycled through Van Horn, Texas five or six times. I have read many journals by long distance bicycle tourists. Quite a few brought up this subject. It was reading their experiences that forced me to recall my own experiences there. They wrote that they had suffered gastric disorders after eating in restaurants in Van Horn. From the descriptions it was dysentery. That is my experience. I got sick after eating in restaurants there.

Sorry, Van Horn, you are a sight for sore eyes. A man bicycling across a continent for weeks, and camping in freezing cold sees your sparkling lights in the frigid air. It melts his heart. You have been a friend and  a savior to me in unbearable conditions. I do not libel you. There are my brothers and sisters wheeling across the nation. They are hungry. They will pass through your town. It is my duty to alert them. So here is this alert.

5
I have no idea. Your details are too general and vague. We do not know your boss. We have no ideas about the rules and regulations. If all you do is tell that to your boss, it seems more likely that you would keep your employment. If you were actually to embark on your adventure, that would be a horse of a different color. You cannot keep your job and bicycle across the continent of north America at the same time. You have to do one or the other. Job waiting at the end of the tour sounds good.

6
General Discussion / Re: Max speed unavoidable critter crashes?
« on: November 24, 2020, 11:19:02 pm »
I have never run into or over any kind of animal.

7
General Discussion / Re: Southern tier. To cycle east or west.
« on: November 15, 2020, 10:20:41 pm »
May the winds be with you!

Tailwinds, John

Generally speaking, if they are not against me, they are not there at all. All I seemed to notice was that the wind came from and went to every direction on the compass. I did not notice consistent strong west winds prevailing a long time. West winds can blow up for days and nights without surcease, but I hit that only once. They can put you off your bike for days.

8
General Discussion / Re: Southern tier. To cycle east or west.
« on: November 15, 2020, 06:44:15 pm »
Overall, I agree with you that the winds on a specific day may or may not be the prevailing winds.  However, there is a reason they are called prevailing. 

If you want to look at the National Weather Service's weather almanac, check out Grey House Publishing's "Weather Almanac, A Thirty-Year Summary of Statistical Weather Data and Rankings".  It is huge, i.e. 2000+ pages.  New it is something like $200.  I bought mine used on eBay for maybe $15.  I actually have 2 so if someone wants one, private message me and I will mail it to you if you pay postage, but be forewarned, it is quite heavy.

Or you can check out WeatherSpark.com and get mostly the same info but in an easier to read format but not quite as in-depth.   

My point is there is a statistical probability of prevailing winds.  Sure you may not get them but why go against the odds.  That said, when you cross the country, you will definitely have prevailing winds from different directions, i.e. the west coast is different than say around South Texas which is different than around Gainesville, FL.

Tailwinds (I least I go with the odds), John


I am seriously considering cycling the southern tier this winter. I will make it a point to record daily wind directions and speeds. After the trip is complete, I will report it. This journey is not set in stone to happen. I think it is a pretty sure thing.

9
Routes / Southern tier. To cycle it east or west.
« on: November 15, 2020, 05:45:43 pm »
The question frequently asked about the ST is whether to go west from Florida or east from California. The received opinion seems to be that going west will pit you against constant strong headwinds. They will turn every day into a miserable ordeal like climbing a steep and endless hill. It will stop you in your tracks. You will have to stop for days. Well, the received opinion is not necessarily right. Because I have cycled and camped the ST in its entirety five times from Florida, and twice from FL to El Paso, I know a thing or two on this subject. The fact is these celebrated and vaunted killer head winds may not happen to you at all, but they might happen.

In my crossings on the ST I encountered such west to east winds only once. When that happened they hit me from the side as I went north from Marfa to Van Horn, TX. It was a difficult ride into Van Horn. There I met two fellows from Germany. They were going east. They had been riding those winds for days. To say they were elated and very satisfied with their journey is putting it about right. The three of us got rooms in a small motel. The next morning the wind was gone. It was nearly dead calm. The Deutschlanders were gone. I waited a day or two and continued west into New Mexico, Arizona and San Diego. So sure, it is possible that going east to west will run you into seriously impeding wind. But it is not written in stone and it is not inevitable. Frequently winds come out of the southeast. Many come from the northeast and north. Many days or parts of days there is hardly any wind at all. Cold fronts in winter can bring side winds from the north. Many winds come from north and south, and these affect you the same whether you are traveling west to east or east to west.

Several bicycle journalists recorded strong opposing winds when they cycled west to east on the ST. They recorded them going east to west. If you are planning a cross country ride on the southern tier of states, I think you probably do not have to take the trouble to travel cross country to begin on any given coast because of winds you might encounter. I mean, if you choose a coast to begin your tour based only on wind, I suggest leaving from the coast nearest you. The wind very often does not flow the way people say it does. It is way too variable to predict with certainty.

10
General Discussion / Southern tier. To cycle east or west.
« on: November 15, 2020, 05:41:20 pm »
The question frequently asked about the ST is whether to go west from Florida or east from California. The received opinion seems to be that going west will pit you against constant strong headwinds. They will turn every day into a miserable ordeal like climbing a steep and endless hill. It will stop you in your tracks. You will have to stop for days. Well, the received opinion is not necessarily right. Because I have cycled and camped the ST in its entirety five times from Florida, and twice from FL to El Paso, I know a thing or two on this subject. The fact is these celebrated and vaunted killer head winds may not happen to you at all, but they might happen.

In my crossings on the ST I encountered such west to east winds only once. When that happened they hit me from the side as I went north from Marfa to Van Horn, TX. It was a difficult ride into Van Horn. There I met two fellows from Germany. They were going east. They had been riding those winds for days. To say they were elated and very satisfied with their journey is putting it about right. The three of us got rooms in a small motel. The next morning the wind was gone. It was nearly dead calm. The Deutschlanders were gone. I waited a day or two and continued west into New Mexico, Arizona and San Diego. So sure, it is possible that going east to west will run you into seriously impeding wind. But it is not written in stone and it is not inevitable. Frequently winds come out of the southeast. Many come from the northeast and north. Many days or parts of days there is hardly any wind at all. Cold fronts in winter can bring side winds from the north. Many winds come from north and south, and these affect you the same whether you are traveling west to east or east to west.

Several bicycle journalists recorded strong opposing winds when they cycled west to east on the ST. They recorded them going east to west. If you are planning a cross country ride on the southern tier of states, I think you probably do not have to take the trouble to travel cross country to begin on any given coast because of winds you might encounter. I mean, if you choose a coast to begin your tour based only on wind, I suggest leaving from the coast nearest you. The wind very often does not flow the way people say it does. It is way too variable to predict with certainty.

11
General Discussion / Re: Can you tour on a carbon road bike?
« on: November 15, 2020, 02:16:24 pm »
TREK has a great reputation. If it were a cheap Chinese carbon bike I would not use it for the kind of distance, terrain and weight you are talking here. They tested one of those bikes. It is on You Tube. The frame cracked wide open.

12
Haven't you learned that society is rapidly moving to an exclusive "It is all about me" viewpoint?  Too much of society thinks cyclists or for that matter slower cars, kids, runners, animals, etc., are just in my way so I have every right to keep going regardless if it is dangerous. This is mainly true in the USA.  Other countries MAY be a little more tolerant as more people bike or personally know someone who does so they are more careful.

I too have noticed an increase over the decades here in the US.  However, there are pockets of patience.  I distinctly remember leaving New Orleans (about 15 miles out) and we repeatedly had cars stay behind us unless it was way obvious they could pass.  We kept waving them around and they would just stay behind us until it was clear for about 1/4 mile ahead.  Nice but also sometimes too much of a good thing is bad as we kept having to concentrate on the cars instead of the scenery. The further we got away from New Orleans, the more "normal" it got.

Tailwinds, John


Differences in attitudes in various countries became obvious to me in 1986. We had finished a bicycle tour of western Europe, and had flown back to Miami, Florida. From there we would cycle the 100 miles to Stuart. Within an hour on the road differences between Europe and the US were not very nice. It was a stark contrast. It made me aware. It was didactic, one lesson learned.

Cycling through the Big Sleazy, I became the invisible man. Drivers passed so close it was insane, I mean, within six inches. Later during that same ride to CA there was a news article about New Orleans on TV in a restaurant. I said they ought to flush that city into the gulf of Mexico. Some man asked me why I said that. I told him what had happened there. How can anyone drive that near to someone on a bicycle. And the one
act of consideration I noticed when passing with a clear lane on roadways was only when convenient for the drivers. When full lane passing was not convenient for them, they squeezed in between the cyclist and close oncoming traffic.   

13
Certain numerously repeated actions by drivers who were passing me caught my attention. It was always on two-lane roads that they happened. When drivers who passed me had a clear lane to pass they gave me nearly the entire lane when they went by. I thought they were incredibly courteous and thoughtful. However, when drivers did not have a clear passing lane they always squeezed in between the oncoming traffic and the cyclist.


14
General Discussion / Re: Can you tour on a carbon road bike?
« on: November 15, 2020, 03:15:42 am »
Just a thought. It seems that you question the strength of the frame and wheels. You might consider using a frame of chromoly steel.  A 1983 steel Schwinn le Tour carried me at 180 pounds with fifty pounds of gear several thousand miles. It held up all around the U.K. and over the Alps and Rockies and Pacific coast route and northern tier. It took me many more places. For $120.00 it was useful rugged strong.

15
General Discussion / Re: What are the top 3 things we like about touring?
« on: November 11, 2020, 11:52:43 am »
All of the above.

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