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.


 

Messages - Westinghouse

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 106
1
The feeling of cleanliness is an  advantage.  A clean body and clean clothes feels good. The longest I went without any shower or bath was about two weeks.  The one thing about long distance touring that always bugged me was too many days between showers.  With a black card membership at planet fitness, one can shower at any of however many locations. Hostels in Europe used to be very reasonably priced in the old days. The way they charge money now, they must think every back-packer won the lottery.

When I bicycle toured in Europe, the great attractions were not on my list of priorities. I had already traveled by train extensively long-term going from historical sites to sites, cathedrals, museums, great art exhibits, Waterloo, many many others, Rome, the Vatican, Derry in Ulster, northern Ireland. If a person wants to visit such attractions, I say Do It, but it would take forever to cover all those far-flung entities on a bicycle. For me, touring was an exploration of rural and city life at a speed more in tempo with the natural rhythms of life. Therefore, your category of visiting historical sites would not get a vote from me. If I happened to come across such a place, sure it is fine to check it out.

2
What the data confirm is what any long distance cyclist knows.  In sum, the main considerations are food (Wal Mart, grocery stores, dollar stores, restaurants)  and shelter (camp grounds, motels, warm showers, stealth sleep sites, etc.).  You already have clothing.  All the other things are much lower on the list of priorities. Sure, bike shops for repairs and parts, but in all my worldwide touring, I used bicycle shops hardly ever at all. So it comes down to the basics---food, clothing and shelter.

3
As a friendly FYI, it is highly recommended you do NOT seek shelter under a bridge during a tornado, especially up near the top of the retaining slope.  Over the years, I can think of a small handful of times I have heard of deaths from people doing exactly that.  I don't understand why (I still think it would be safer) but the weather people usually remind us not to do that here in tornado country.  Best to lay in a depression or culvert.

Tailwinds (from a tornado of course), John

Good that you mentioned sheltering under a bridge with a tornado.  I read a story about a man who did exactly that. I think he was in a car with this twister bearing down in his direction.  He figured getting under a concrete bridge was more secure than sitting in a car. He pulled over.  He went under the bridge, went up the slanted retaining wall, and wedged himself at the top.  The tornado tracked along the road and hit the bridge.  The powerful force of the wind sucked him out of his hiding place.  It threw him about 200 feet away.  He ended up in a roadside swale ditch.  He said his body felt like one big pin cushion.  The wind had embedded hundreds of splinters through his clothing and into his skin. 

My night under the bridge was with straight line winds.  There were two super cells, one coming from the west and going east, another coming from the southeast and going northwest.  First the one from the west hit with powerful winds going east. Later, the second hit with powerful winds going due west. In the morning the sky was clear blue. The the wind moved at a barely perceptible drift.

4
I bicycled the southern tier alone from southeast coastal Florida to San Diego, California. It was in the highest heat of summer, at times 110 degrees F. Water was going in and out of me like I was a sieve. Baseline hydration was at least 6 full 47 ounce fountain drinks.  Add to that draining the water bottles, water and other beverages in restaurants it came close to three gallons of water daily. I could drink three gallons a day for four consecutive days, and not urinate at all.  The water went through me so fast it did not get to the kidneys.

I have bicycle toured and camped 36,000 miles through 19 countries.  Like other experienced distance tourists, I was outside in the elements in some dangerous and challenging surroundings. The worst events were sudden, unexpected, unforeseen, extreme changes in the weather. You know, like, you are slumbering comfortably in your tent and bag.  All is peaceful and calm. Then without warning the wind suddenly gains velocity and it is 30 mph, then 60 mph, then 70 mph.  The tent is hammered to the ground.  You hightail it to a nearby bridge and get under it. You crawl up the retaining wall.  You sit perched at the top.  The rain is coming in parallel horizontal to the roadway at 70 mph.  Interstate highway traffic stopped.  Tractor trailers pushed over on their sides. Thousands of bolts of lightning slamming to earth all around. It is dark night made to look like daylight with all those electrical bolts. A bobcat comes running in for cover. Lightning strikes fifty feet away, conducts through water across the road, and kills it. That is how I spent one night when bicycling across America.

5
General Discussion / Re: How much water to carry?
« on: April 16, 2024, 07:11:23 pm »
I bicycled the southern tier alone from southeast coastal Florida to San Diego, California. It was in the highest heat of summer, at times 110 degrees F. Water was going in and out of me like I was a sieve. Baseline hydration was at least 6 full 47 ounce fountain drinks.  Add to that draining the water bottles, water and other beverages in restaurants it came close to three gallons of water daily. I could drink three gallons a day for four consecutive days, and not urinate at all.  The water went through me so fast it did not get to the kidneys.

I have bicycle toured and camped 36,000 miles through 19 countries.  Like other experienced distance tourists, I was outside in the elements in some dangerous and challenging surroundings. The worst events were sudden, unexpected, unforeseen, extreme changes in the weather. You know, like, you are slumbering comfortably in your tent and bag.  All is peaceful and calm. Then without warning the wind suddenly gains velocity and it is 30 mph, then 60 mph, then 70 mph.  The tent is hammered to the ground.  You hightail it to a nearby bridge and get under it. You crawl up the retaining wall.  You sit perched at the top.  The rain is coming in parallel horizontal to the roadway at 70 mph.  Interstate highway traffic stopped.  Tractor trailers pushed over on their sides. Thousands of bolts of lightning slamming to earth all around. It is dark night made to look like daylight with all those electrical bolts. A bobcat comes running in for cover. Lightning strikes fifty feet away, conducts through water across the road, and kills it. That is how I spent one night when bicycling across America.

6
General Discussion / Re: Neck injury
« on: April 16, 2024, 06:27:36 pm »
Heat compress, cold compress, gentle stretching.

7
On some long bicycle tours, 2800 miles, You could always find about 10 cassette tapes and a player in my handlebar bag. There were sounds for sure. A lot of 1960s--1970s rock music. Rebel ballads of the Irish Republican Army were big with me for a long time. Plenty of self hypnosis tapes.  Even a small radio was fine, one frequency for music and entertainment, another for talk and news. Quite a few times with the ear phones in, tuned to FM, I would pass through towns with radio stations playing the oldies. Traveling at 10 mph that was several long blasts from the past.

After a long time on the road, vehicles passing by begin to sound like jet aircraft taking off.  I worked on the flight line at a US Air Force Base in Germany. I know the sound very well.  I was there at the release of the American hostages from Iran. I met President James Carter and Secretary of State Musky.  That  air-friction noise can get very irritating. The more thoroughly you can shut it out, the better it would be for your hearing and your central nervous system.

8
Routes / Re: Key West and Gulf Coast - State Parks
« on: April 12, 2024, 06:50:16 pm »
Been all there and done all that. Stealth camping in the Keys is possible, and God bless if you can find a spot to do it. Free spaces even that miniscule were few and far between. Be that as it may, if you search long and hard enough, if you are willing to tread oh so lightly on some town ordinances, you are sure to find something.

The west Florida route could be hwy 41 or 301 or a combination of various roadways.  Then you get 98 to Perry FL. From there your most interesting ride would be hwy 90. There are also 20 and 98. The next thing you know you are in Mobile, Alabama. Big bridge or ferryboat ride are the choices here. 90 would take you along the gulf coast clear across Mississippi. 90 will also run you right down to New Orleans.

You could enter Alabama from Florida two ways. One is hwy 90. The other is the Dauphin Island Ferry in Mobile Bay. That would require taking 90 into Pensacola, and following the extreme coastal roads to Fort Morgan.

9
Routes / Re: Southern Tier (El Paso - Las Cruces)
« on: April 11, 2024, 12:25:32 pm »
It is a good route to take.  I have bicycled El Paso to Las Cruces quite a few times.

10
My favorite sound is blissful silence. I oil and plug in deep my swimmers ear plugs to shut out the extremely offensive and very loud blasts from illegally modified exhaust systems. The plugs work miracles for preserving nervous health.

11
It was winter in 1984-85. My girl friend from England and I bicycled from southeast coastal Florida to San Diego, California. In El Paso we went into Juarez, Mexico and did a loop in Mexico, reentering the US at border towns Agua Prieta and Douglas, Arizona. In Mexico the policia pulled us over. They advised us to go back to the American side. they said there had been robberies and crimes where we were headed. they said it was not safe. Years later, circa 2010, I bicycled from FL to CA. This happened on that stretch of highway between Van Horn, TX and El Paso. It was on that stretch of road where you must exit I--10. You know that road. It has all those small towns strung out along the way. Fabens is one town. Anyway, it was zero dark thirty. The border patrol stopped me at the side of the road. They told me this. If anybody waves or gestures to you in any way to stop, if someone or ones try to befriend, DO NOT STOP. Keep going. Recently two tourists had been lured to go party and drink and some fun time with the senoritas. What they got was robbed and murdered. After that I wrote about the possible dangers of cycling the Mexican roads along the border, naming Laredo/Nuevo Laredo as a possible danger zone. The people on the bicycling forum seemed to think the risk was negligible, and the threat exaggerated. Someone from Nuevo Laredo posted a sort of denunciation of my warning. She insisted theirs was such a good place to live. It was a decent area for tourists to visit. Shortly after that, several corpses were found hanging from a bridge in that decent safe little town. They had been horribly mutilated, some probably beheaded with their sex organs mutilated. Another time I bicycled from Florida to Brownsville, TX. It is right on the US / Mexican border, across from Matamoros, near the gulf of Mexico. I was in Brownsville in a cafe, drinking a cup of coffee and reading a a newspaper. This story was in the news. A Mexican border town had voted in a new chief of police. He had vowed that bribery would not rule the police in his jurisdiction. His position was anti illegal drugs and anti cartels. One day after his election, they shot him dead in the street in front of his office.

12
General Discussion / Re: How much water to carry?
« on: April 04, 2024, 03:22:09 am »
For road cycling and long distance touring through towns, two 24 oz bottles of water are sufficient because service areas are so numerous.  None of my cycling (36,000 miles through 19 countries) was all that  remote. 99.9 % roadway cycling. Remote raises questions.  How remote?  How long in remote?  Are there water sources you know about there? The more sources of food and water available to you constantly, the less you need to carry, and that is one way of reducing weight.

It’s impressive to hear about your extensive cycling through so many countries, @Westinghouse. Your point about the availability of service areas influencing the need to carry water is well-taken. For our trip, we’re planning ahead using Google Maps to map out known water sources ahead of time and will consider the balance between carrying enough water and managing weight.

That is the way to determine how much water to carry. When you have mapped your water sources on your route, you can figure out how much water to carry by knowing your projected daily mileage, and knowing about how long it will take you to get from way point to way point.  You might have to plan ahead. On a bicycle, the forces of nature, which we can afford to pretty much ignore back home on the block, can become a determining power for or against you. It is nice to have the plan all done and arranged. Then, suddenly, out of nowhere, a headwind from hell comes slamming against you, or a powerful driving rain with strong side winds, and what to do then? Your projected 30 miles to the next oasis is not to be. You cycle 15 miles and hurry off to stand shivering under the overhang of a dilapidated abandoned old farm house. There are variables to offset the best laid plans of mice and men. Google check weather forecasts frequently enough that you always know what weather is headed your way days before it reaches your location. And what the hell.  There are people around.

13
General Discussion / Re: How much water to carry?
« on: April 04, 2024, 02:56:03 am »
I think you may know this, however, just in case, Wal Mart sells the Sawyer water filter.  It is a big favorite for those who hike the Appalachian trail, the great divide trail and the Pacific crest trail, and many other trails for sure. All reviews I read and saw on you tube were positive. You can use it to draw clean drinking water from fresh water ponds, lakes, streams, brooks etc.  IMO, everybody should have one.

14
General Discussion / Re: How much water to carry?
« on: April 03, 2024, 02:15:28 pm »
For road cycling and long distance touring through towns, two 24 oz bottles of water are sufficient because service areas are so numerous.  None of my cycling (36,000 miles through 19 countries) was all that  remote. 99.9 % roadway cycling. Remote raises questions.  How remote?  How long in remote?  Are there water sources you know about there? The more sources of food and water available to you constantly, the less you need to carry, and that is one way of reducing weight.

15
General Discussion / Re: GDMBR cell phone company ?
« on: April 03, 2024, 02:05:19 pm »
My input is probably known to just about everybody, except me.  Only from reading about the GDMBR I think there are areas where phone connections are  unavailable.  I bicycle toured the wide world without a cell phone.  It should not be a problem, but one never knows what emergency might arise.

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 106