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Topics - Westinghouse

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General Discussion / Cycling partner(s)
« on: March 28, 2013, 05:50:55 am »
I know there is a section for this elsewhere. However, here I go. I am looking at the strong possibility of doing a transcontinental tour beginning in or just after June this summer. I have cycled 37,000 miles (59,000 kilometers) through 19 countries, including several crossings of the USA. I am knowledgeable and experienced in the matter under discussion. Right now I am thinking the ST, E to W. I am also considering the Atlantic coast. There is also the possibility of the PCBR. I have thought about the US, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Then there's Western Europe. These are all possibilities, but for now the most likely route would be the ST.

I am not a spring chicken anymore. I am 63 and I work out regularly at a gym. My first choice of a cycling companion would be a woman with some cycling experience, but not necessarily with cycling experience.

I do a lot of stealth camping, with motels perhaps twice a week. Sometimes more than twice a week. I completed my last 3400 miles crossing in 54 days total and 43 days actually on the road. That is an example of my daily average. Of course, I am more than willing to compromise on mileage. I cannot expect anyone else to go my way. I usually eat in restaurants or out of food stores. The way I tour is inexpensive compared to what others pay for a tour of similar range and time.  I have bike toured in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, China, and elsewhere. I have done the ST a number of times, the atlantic coast three times and more, 2600 miles of the NT, the pacific coast, and several other areas of the USA.

Gear Talk / Cheap Breathable Rain Gear and Shelter
« on: December 14, 2012, 08:35:45 am »
Tyvek is a material that is cheap, breathable, waterproof, windproof, and light weight. Trace lines on the material that will fit your size for jacket and pants. Cut out two pieces for each. Tape them together with Tyvek tape and there you are. Tents, bivy bags, jackets, rain flies, and tarps are easily made. It breathes like Gore Tex. It is more durable than Gore Tex. It is very light in weight.

Of course, it does not look all that spiffy like some people all decked out in $400.00 Gore Tex jackets riding $1500.00 touring bikes, but it does the same thing and has the same benefits to its users. One guy got a 50 foot by 9 foot roll of it for $50.00 at Craigslist. It could cost $150.00 at Home Depot or Lowe's for a 50 by 9 roll.  It sells by the yard in some places. It cuts easily but is very difficult to tear. You could make a breathable waterproof lightweight tent with plenty of space with a floor for maybe $25.00-$45.00, maybe less. No sewing. Just use Tyvek tape or outdoors, doublefaced, carpet tape for the seams.

Gear Talk / Efficient Lightweight Stove
« on: December 14, 2012, 08:08:13 am »
In anticipation of another long bicycling tour, I have been scouring the internet for a highly efficient, lightweight, inexpensive, camp stove, and somehow those criteria just don't go together. Alcohol stoves weigh nothing, but what about the fuel which is sold in quarts only. That ups the weight to that of a multi-fuel, Coleman, one-burner with a full tank which if much more efficient than the alcohol burner. The Coleman is nice. It costs about $95.00. The other lightweights that use separate pump-bottles are efficient and hot, but $129.00 for some little few ounce apparatus? Ha. You must be joking, or rich. The Sierra Zip woodburner is nice too, but here again look at what they want for it. It takes a lot of space in your panniers too. There are various homemade wood gas stoves that burn nearly smoke free. They are reasonably hot and efficient, but not reasonably enough in my estimation. Then there is the Vital Stove. IMO, this stove is much more directly to the point, except it weighs much more than is necessary to produce that kind of heat which they say can top 12,000 BTU.

See the Vital Stove on Youtube and you will see the sense in my modification of the idea. Just cut four rectangles from an aluminum sheet, cookie sheet, pie plate or whatever about seven inches long and five inches wide, or some other sizes that will work. Drill holes near the edges of the lengths of four pieces and attach them with wires so that they can be folded over like a deck of cards. Not all sides would be wired. Cut an opening at the bottom to allow a flow of air. Form an air conduit with aluminum foil. Tape a small computer cooling fan to one end of the conduit. Fit the other end into the opening at the bottom of your standing burn chamber. Fill with wood. Light. Turn on your fan and there you have it.

It weighs much less than any other stove with comparable heat and efficiency. It costs anywhere from 10% or 20% of of what you would pay for other stoves. There is no need to buy and carry fuel. All you need is a couple of AA batteries which may last 20 hours or so. No repairs. It can produce a flame two feet high at 12,500 BTU and more. You can see the design at work on youtube. It works very well. It folds together and takes only a little more space than two decks of cards. If you want to avoid burning the ground or the surface it is on, put some aluminum foil underneath.

There are some downsides to this stove. You have to collect small bits of wood. In my estimation, it is no problem. I have been by many places on tours where fuel like that was readily and amply available, but it does take time to do. It also blackens cookware with soot. If you are cooking a full meal, you have to feed the burn chamber repeatedly. It must be kept in its own pack to keep the soot out of your panniers. Cookware must be cleaned externally and packed in separate bags.

All in all, when it comes to light weight, low cost, smallest volume,  highest burning efficiency, low maintenance, and fuel costs, this homemade stove is the best. In essence it's the Vital Stove minus the excess, unnecessary weight and raz mataz.

General Discussion / Is the ST Near Mexico Safe?
« on: May 07, 2012, 02:19:44 pm »
For years cyclists have come to this forum asking about how safe it is to cycle alone cross country. Many have asked about the safety of the Southern Tier, and more particularly about the extent of the ST near Mexico. A long time ago I mentioned the rampant drug violence across the border. At that time I had been on this forum for a long time. I hadn't noticed anyone's mentioning the drug violence before then. Perhaps they had, but I sure did not see it. After I wrote about it as a sort of "be wary" post, some came on here and said that some of the places I had mentioned were safe and good places for tourists. Nuevo Laredo was one place I had in mind that someone said was OK. I mentioned some other small town which someone insisted was safe where later occurred a mass human slaughter. Here is the latest from Nuevo Laredo.

Fourteen headless bodies were found in a van.  Nine others were found hanging from a bridge. You can use the link or just google the story.

General Discussion / ST Route in 54 Days
« on: March 08, 2012, 02:34:24 am »

I did the ST in winter. Temperatures hit record lows that winter.

Routes / Storms Destroying East Coast
« on: May 28, 2011, 01:56:45 pm »
You might already know this. Killer storms are tearing through the eastern seaboard. These are severe thuderstorms with rain, hail, and some tornadoes, and winds of over 60 mph. Deaths and flooding have been reported. The storm fronts reach from Vermont to Georgia. That covers most of the ACBR. I have been caught out unawares in storms of such magnitude. I now carry a weatherband radio. Just a heads up.

Routes / Free Meals--Stuart, Florida--Atlantic Coast Route
« on: May 16, 2011, 06:45:23 pm »
Just stop in at any of these churches when they are serving in Stuart.

Monday-Sat. Salerno Methodist 4899 SE Ebbtifde, Port Salerno 1-3 pm
Saint Joseph Church  200 E. 10th St. 772-287-2727 Mon. 5-6 pm
1st United Meth. Church 500 S. Kanner Hwy. / SR 76 in Stuart Tues. 5-6 pm 772-781-0223
Tues 6-7 pm. 1st baptist Church on Jensen Beach. NE Jensen Beach Blvd. 772-334-2202
Wed. 4:45 -6:00 pm. St. Mary's Episcopal. East Ocean blvd. Stuart. 772-287-3244
Wed. 5-6 pm. St. Martin de Porres Catholic
NE Savannah Road, Jensen. 772-334-6233
Thurs. 5:15-6:15 Redeemer Lutheran. 2450 East Ocean Blvd. Stuart. 772-286--0911
Friday 6-7 pm. Sheppard's Park SW side of US 1 on Frasier Creek near south end of Roosvelt Bridge. 772-287-7422.
Saturday 5-6 pm. Salvation Army. 100 MLK Blvd. Stuart. 772-288-1471
Sunday 4:30-6:30. Immanuel lutheran. Martin Downs Blvd. just west of Mapp Rd. Palm City. 772-287-8188.
Some numbers from addresses are missing because the printout I got off a table came that way, with some numbers missing. This list was updated as of March 30, 2011. It should be accurate.

General Discussion / New Mexico The Bicycle Friendly State
« on: January 29, 2011, 11:50:28 pm »
 Welcome crunch crackle thump bump To New Mexicocrunch bump bump crackle pop pop pop The Bicycle crack whack snap crackle pop Friendly State

I don't know for sure what NM means when they call themselves the bicycle friendly state, but I know what that doesn't mean, and it doesn't mean anything to do with their maintenance of the safety side lanes on the interstate traversing their state east to west--west to east. That much I do know. Bicycle friendly that most definitely is NOT. Bicycle indifferent is a lot more like it. Bicycle hating is an even more accurate where that route is the matter. Avoid it if you can.

General Discussion / Might be seeking cycling partner.
« on: January 17, 2011, 04:39:21 am »
There's another section for this somewhere, I know, but being somewhat doltish pertaining to using web sites and such, I thought I would mention it here.

I might be cycling the ST again east to west again from FL to coastal California. My last such trip was from Dec 7, 2009 to Jan 30, 2010. This new tour would be in the winter of thereabouts in 2011-2012. Starting perhaps in Dec or Jan.
I am considering only a female companion. I know a woman in FL who is interested in cycling to Key West and back, 500 miles, but for her a transcon is totally out of the question.

General Discussion / Recovery drinks and Cytomax.
« on: June 03, 2010, 11:46:07 am »
This past winter I cycled fully loaded and camped most of the nights from east coastal Florida to San Diego, California for fifty-five days. At the age of sixty I admit Texas hill country north of Austin, not ACA's route, was beginning to get the best of me.  In a small Texas town a young fellow beeped his horn at me and asked me to pull over. I did in a parking lot. He had a touring / road bike mounted on a carrier on the trunk of his car. He had done some touring. He told me about it. I told him about what I was doing.
He had some Cytomax in a plastic jug which he offered to me. He advised me to try it. It was a few days' supply, and man did it ever make a difference. It was like a shot in the arm with a powerful drug. My energy problems were over except I had to get all the way into El Paso before there was a shop that sold it.

After a long day in the saddle traversing roller coaster roadways and sometimes side and head winds I really needed an infusion of energy. In the mornings starting out I felt somewhat fatigued. I found the way to eliminate that discomfort by slugging down a powdered protein mixed with milk, Powerade, or water immediately as the day's cycling ended.

The Cytomax made a very perceptible and positive difference in the daily cycling regimens. The protein drink made a very big positive difference in the way I felt for cycling the following mornings

General Discussion / Florida Heritage Overseas Bicycle Trail
« on: May 10, 2010, 04:05:15 pm »
I have just done the Keys for the eighth time. This time I photographed and paid attention to bike trail conditions. The trail is really a dedicated bike path in some stretches. For the most part it does not qualify as a bike path at all, but the ride can be done easily enough. It is not bad. It just is not a full bike path. Some areas show no consideration for bike travel at all.

General Discussion / On the Southern Tier
« on: December 21, 2009, 10:27:54 am »
I have been cycling the ST since Dec 7. I should be in TX, but rain held me up and I am in Louisiana. I just finished the Tammany Trace last night. It is cold at night with frost on the ground. My number 1-772-485-1403. The weather is sunny and bright in daytime but is expected to get rainy again by Wednesday.

Gear Talk / Marathon tires. Schwalbe. Tires. Wheels.
« on: October 06, 2009, 02:25:39 pm »
I just paid $38.00 for a Marathon tire made in India. I passed up a Continental Plus that cost $60.00. The dealer said Schwalbe is a German company and makes a superior tire compared to Marathon. Does anyone know about Schwalbe vs. Marathon? I have 700 by 28-35 mm wheels. The dealer said the rims will take a 37 mm wide tire. The 700 by 37 tire seems to seat properly on the rim when inflated, but a 35 mm wide tire seats unevenly, and is very loose on the rim compared to the 27 1/4 tires I am used to using.

General Discussion / Southern Tier East to West.
« on: August 28, 2009, 08:22:12 pm »
I am giving serious thought to cycling from Florida to San Diego when the weather cools, starting October or November. I am a guy, 59. If anybody wants to do a duo trip around that time or trio or larger, I might be in for it. I am a teacher of English, ESL, EFL, TESOL. I have been teaching in Korea, China, and the Middle East since 1996. I have cycled and camped about 34,000 miles through 19 countries.

General Discussion / Violent Crime Alert Atlantic Coast Route
« on: April 25, 2009, 12:36:05 am »
This partial article appeared on the front page of  25 April 2009. Miami, Florida is rated with the third highest rate of violent crimes in the United States.

No. 1 Detroit, Mich.

(Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich., metropolitan statistical area)

Population: 1,951,186

Violent Crimes per 100,000: 1,220

No. 2 Memphis, Tenn.

(Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark. metropolitan statistical area)

Population: 1,295,670

Violent Crimes per 100,000: 1,218

No. 3. Miami, Fla.

(Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla. metropolitan statistical area)

Population: 2,401,971

Violent Crimes per 100,000: 988

No. 4 Las Vegas, Nev.

(Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., metropolitan statistical area)

Population: 1,834,533

Violent Crimes per 100,000: 887

No. 5 Stockton, Calif.

(Stockton, Calif., metropolitan statistical area)

Population: 684,406

Violent Crimes per 100,000: 885

To determine our list, we used violent crime statistics from the FBI's latest uniform crime report, issued in 2008. The violent crime category is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. We evaluated U.S. metropolitan statistical areas--geographic entities defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for use by federal agencies in collecting, tabulating and publishing federal statistics--with more than 500,000 residents.

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