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Messages - Westinghouse

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General Discussion / Re: Cheap tires cost more than expensive tires.
« on: September 24, 2018, 02:05:06 am »
All the flats I've ever had on Schwalbe Marathons (and the total is only four) have been from wires from exploded truck tires. Three of the four were on Interstate shoulders, an absolutely terrible place to ride.

Without any question those wires are the bane of cycling on the shoulders of interstates. I was riding Continentals out west. On this one length of interstate there must have been a major blowout. I mean, the tires must have punctured 10 times in less that three to five miles. It was a wire every time. Standing and looking at the surface of the road, they were invisible. They were everywhere. It was exasperating as hell. I exited first opportunity.

General Discussion / Re: Statistics on cross country tourers
« on: September 18, 2018, 08:02:16 pm »
I totally agree the number would not be accurate but it would still be neat.  Also, assuming most AT hikers know about the AT register, the biking register MAY get more accurate as time goes on and it gets more known.  I would guess relatively few AT hikers do not complete the register if they have invested 6 months of time hiking it.  Perhaps the same thing would happen with cross-country cycling.
Anyway, I still think a register would be neat regardless of the the completeness/ thoroughness of the register and/or the number or percentage using it.

It would be something better than nothing.

General Discussion / Re: Free Ranging Dogs and the Cyclist
« on: September 18, 2018, 07:55:11 pm »
I haven't done this myself, so YMMV, but my brother recently completed a transcon carrying a small bunch of "poppers" in the side of his bar bag. Those are the little firecracker type things (also known as bang snaps) that go off when you throw them on the ground. According to him, one of those going off a few feet in front of a dog scares the hell out of the dog and it will make tracks in the opposite direction. Can't say how well they would work on those Eastern European mongrels.

Those psychotic, blood-thirsty monsters I ran into in Czech were the only two like that. I cycled France, Germany, Czech, Poland, Ukraine, Moldavia, parts of Romania and Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, and from New York City to south Florida. Only those two dogs were like that. It is just that the absolute ferocious vicious nature of their sounds and attack were like nothing I had ever seen or heard. It made a lasting impression.

General Discussion / Re: TransAm Coast-Coast Logistics advice needed.
« on: September 18, 2018, 07:47:04 pm »
When it comes to taking Greyhound Bus long distance across the continent, I would rather lose a leg or jump off a cliff. From NY to DC to Yorktown it would be good. The velocipede must be in a box.

General Discussion / Re: Statistics on cross country tourers
« on: September 18, 2018, 07:34:09 pm »
I think the idea of an online "tour register" is a great idea.  Plus ACA could get some cheap, easy PR.
Various categories/routes could be done.  A permanent list could be established so 25 years from now, people would be still be able to look it up.  It could even try to contain enough data for other purposes/surveys, i.e. % of camping/hotel, what states did you ride in (doesn't even have to be across), links to journals, number of days it took, rest/riding days, favorite spot/attraction/place/cafe, etc.

Are you listening ACA?

Any method of counting would be limited to the point that an accurate estimate would be impossible. It interests me anyway. I mean, I think that I have done these coast to coast and S to N cross country tours for years. I wonder what proportion of the overall population actually do this. Surely it is a very small fractional minority. An online register would get some numbers. The problem  is many would not register or would not know about registering. And how do we know what they register is true? I have crossed by bicycle many times. Most often I saw nobody at all obviously engaged in a long distance tour.

General Discussion / Re: Statistics on cross country tourers
« on: September 17, 2018, 07:39:10 pm »
I think that the number of people who “cross the country” isn’t a terribly useful metric.  It can’t really be used in comparison to anything else, such as tourism spending, highway usage, or infrastructure spending.  Total tourist-miles per year would probably be more useful.  And a harder value to determine!

It is a simple question of how many people cross the US by bicycle each year. I am not sure how those other matters are relevant to it. I did not see anyone arguing that it was a terribly useful metric for anything. Just how many. Regardless of any "metric" it may or may not be, it is probably impossible to determine with a high degree of accuracy. I mean, who is out there counting?

General Discussion / Re: Planning to go Portland > EAST somewhere
« on: September 16, 2018, 02:24:52 am »
If you do not use campgrounds, stealth sites are always to be found. If you want really nice stealth sites, you may have to spend some time looking. You can most always find something. I would not sleep out in a city. I have crossed the US many times by bicycle, N to S, E to W, S to N, and have done many shorter tours of a few weeks or 8 days. I also cycled the UK, western Europe, eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and China. I stealth camped mostly. I mostly used an 8 by 10 or 10 by 12 polyethylene camouflage tarp, tent poles, and line. Even in winter it is good for the ST with a good sleeping bag.

General Discussion / Re: Statistics on cross country tourers
« on: September 16, 2018, 02:02:51 am »
I too have wondered this for decades.  However, I think it would be pretty hard to get a firm number as the number is relatively small compared to the population. If 25,000 individual people bicycle tour (any length of tour) in the USA in a given year, that would be only 0.00083% of the USA population, way to small for an accurate measurement I would guess.

Also, some questions pop to mind in trying to do the study.  Do you include only citizens of that country (easier to survey but then not realistic), how would you define "cross country", i.e. east to west coast is pretty easy but what about NYC to Brownsville, TX?  Then there is the proverbial what is a "tourer" (I DO NOT want to start a flamefest) question, i.e. ranges from must be totally self-contained and sleep out all the way to a fully supported credit card tour?  Must it be totally self-propelled or can they take a bus/train/plane for a section of it (how big of a section)?  Do they have to complete it or only INTEND to complete it but never did (got sick, in an accident, etc.)?  How do contact them as some might miss the survey since they are out touring when the survey arrives? 

I would think though that ACA would have a somewhat good base number based on map/app sells.  Then the only issue is trying to determine how many tour and do not use ACA maps and/or use a used ACA map (already counted) and/or share a map with someone (not counted).  Then you just have to determine how many tour in other commercial cross-country groups.

I actually think it would be a very cool idea if groups like ACA, WarmShowers, and the Bicycle Tour Network would send a JOINT survey out to their members (and their customers if a commercial entity) to study this (let some college student do the study).  While not a totally accurate number, it would probably cover 75+% of "cyclotourists".

My guess is 1,298,074 people do some form of bicycle touring for at least one night at some point during 2018 in the USA.  They are just hard to find!   ;D

Intending to do a transcontinental bike tour, but not completing  should not count because anyone can say they intended to. That is unless they went a very long way and had to quit, say From Saint Augustine to eastern CA and had to quit the tour. But Saint Augustine to Louisiana might not count. It is not easy to fairly define cross country. I think NY to Brownsville would qualify. Cross country seems to say across the country, not the state or three states or five.

General Discussion / Re: Statistics on cross country tourers
« on: September 16, 2018, 01:53:40 am »
How about defining cross country. From FL to CA is definitely cross country. The Transam route is  cross country. NY to Brownsville is too, but what about Jacksonville, FL to Brownsville? I did that once. If that is, what about FL to Brownsville to  El Paso, TX?

In 1987 I did 2600 miles of the northern tier as mapped by ACA. I met maybe 25 cyclicts, 10 or 15 of which were in a Bikecentennial group. On the ST, on ACA and mostly off, I have crossed 5 times and saw very few cyclists on tour. On one crossing or maybe three I saw  no touring cyclists at all, and that was winter.

General Discussion / Re: [Video] - London to York - Bicycle adventure
« on: September 16, 2018, 01:41:21 am »
Hi people, if interested I've uploaded a 4k scenery video of my London to York bicycle ride, in the UK.

The route went via; Bedford, Peterborough, Lincoln, Hull and York. Some interesting cities.

Originally was hoping to get to Edinburgh but due to a migraine I had to end in York but was a nice place to finish at :)

I'm happy to answer any questions if you had any,
Cheers & hope you like the vid. Robert

That was good. I liked it. I did the UK by bike in 1984 and 1986. In 1984 it went like this: London, Canterbury, Sandwich, Deal, Dover. Romney Marsh, Isle of Wight, Salisbury, Cambridge, Kings Lynn, Berwick on Tweed, Kingston, Scarborough, Edinburgh, Ayr, Stranraer, Lake district, Manchester, Liverpool, Fishgard in Wales, London, lake district, London.

In 1986 I did the lake district, Stranraer, then Larne in Ulster, the coast to Antrim, giant's causeway, Port Stewart, Derry, back to Stranraer, lake district, back to Preston, Lancashire.

General Discussion / Re: Cheap tires cost more than expensive tires.
« on: September 16, 2018, 01:26:39 am »
I've been touring and commuting on Schalble Marathons for years.  I can honestly say that I've never had a flat. I do replace them after the tread is getting thin but that's after 4-5 thousand miles.

Definitely a good investment.

I think it depends on where you tour and how far. I do not remember getting any punctures on the pacific coast route from Ana Cortes to San Diego. I remember on highway 98 west of Perry, Florida I got a puncture in a Schwalbe Marathon. It was a roofing nail, I think. It was maybe  3 / 4 of an inch long. It had a large head. It must have been set straight up. No bicycle tire I know could have gone over it like that without getting punctured. That would have punctured kevlar, tire liners, anything.

General Discussion / Re: Cheap tires cost more than expensive tires.
« on: September 15, 2018, 10:49:48 am »
I crossed the country with a guy who was, let's say, "frugal." He was riding cheap tires. He spent a lot of time by the side of the road patching tubes.

Yes. I remember 35-40 stops for patching with cheap tires on a transcon. I remember 8 to 10 on Marathons. I remember having to look around for bike shops with cheap tires, but sailing through a tour mostly carefree with Maratrhons and Continentals.

General Discussion / Re: Cheap tires cost more than expensive tires.
« on: September 14, 2018, 04:43:19 pm »
I agree. Furthermore, I typically get 7000 to 8000 miles (loaded) out of a Schwalbe Marathon, but only 3000 to 4000 (unloaded) out of all other tires.

Those old IRC and Kenda tires maxed out at 1100--1200 miles on the rear with a load. That was max before they would wear through to the tube---Pop. But they also cut and holed very easily which meant sometimes 300 miles on a tire with plenty of tread left, but which lumped up and bubbled up because of what began as a small slit gradually enlarged and ruined the ride.

General Discussion / Cheap tires cost more than expensive tires.
« on: September 13, 2018, 11:12:55 pm »
 I used to carry a spare tire. That was when I used less expensive tires. For example, with cheap tires you might use 4 on the rear and three on the front from Florida to California. With cheap tires, if you get a small slit, it gradually gets larger, and eventually it balloons up, and starts twisting off the rim. Thump bump thump bump thump as you wheel along looking for a place to replace your fourth rear tire in 2000 miles. There are millions of bits and pieces on the road to pierce tires.
With stronger tires, Schwalbe Marathon, the tires can take those bits and pieces with no slits and holes. If the tire does get cut or holed, is stays perfectly together. They hold together. You need only one set from coast to coast. I used to carry a spare. The last few tours I did not because I used tires that were stronger and more reliable.

Don't go anywhere without a patch kit, levers, and a pump on long tours, no matter what kind of tires.


General Discussion / Re: Free Ranging Dogs and the Cyclist
« on: September 13, 2018, 10:43:25 pm »
Overall I totally agree with your experiences and advise EXCEPT for the ammonia.  Since that can cause blindness or severe respiratory issues to the dog (and to you or your cycling partners if it blows back onto you), I do not recommend using ammonia.
For almost 40 years, I have used a squirt from my water bottle and/or Halt (pepper spray approved by the US Postal Service in case any owner complains) depending on the situation.  Some people swear by a really loud whistle or an air horn but it is not worth the effort to me.

Must say, I now have second thoughts about touring in Eastern Europe  ;) .
Safe riding, John

Totally agree with you about ammonia and water. I never even used pepper spray or anything like that at all. As for those insane beasts in eastern Europe, I would recommend spraying with a gallon of 93 octane gasoline, and throwing in a lit match. Better yet, a flame thrower. I kid you not.

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