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Messages - Westinghouse

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General Discussion / Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« on: February 23, 2024, 05:56:50 pm »
Shmogger, I would say you covered the subject well enough.

General Discussion / Re: C 2 C
« on: February 20, 2024, 09:24:37 pm »
All my bicycle  touring was on roadways, sidewalks, bike paths, even extensive distances on interstate highways. For the gap I used highway 50.  Road cycling is easy for me. However, nowadays, with the crowded conditions and smelly noisy poisonous traffic, road cycling in some places is not such a viable option. I wore swimmers' ear plugs to keep out the vulgar noise. I had a rebuilt Mongoose Iboc Pro mountain bike ($1200 new). wheels 26 by 1.5, Schwalbe Marathon tires. Gravel and dirt trail cycling are not entries on my resume.

General Discussion / Re: C 2 C
« on: February 20, 2024, 08:03:02 pm »
It could be a very long time when the GART is completed in full. Not in my life time.

General Discussion / Re: C 2 C
« on: February 17, 2024, 10:46:40 pm »
 I went ahead and cycled that coast to coast rail trail in Florida. Starting in Fort Lauderdale near Miami, I pedaled US Highway 1 north to Titusville, left on Main, right on Canaveral, and there I was on the path in the inky dark.  Way too much noisy smelly traffic on 1, and no site for a stealth tent.  The C 2 C path was as smooth as silk, mostly, and kept everyone out of the motorized traffic. But here again---a paucity of even a small space of concealment for a small tent for one night.  Try being up at midnight and 3 a.m. searching for a spot 9 feet long and 8 feet wide four nights in a row.

By the time I had cleared far north of Orlando and curved south to Tampa/St Pete, I lost the trail, found myself on Hwy 19 south, and cycled that to Hwy 60 in Clearwater. The concentrations of car and truck traffic were never meant to be.  With the wind blowing the wrong way, unfortunately, a cyclist can get constant doses of air poisoning throughout the day.  Many too many cars and trucks and pollution. In Clearwater I got on Hwy 60 east to Vero Beach on the east coast 60 is doable on a bike, but not so much in Lake Wales where old-town sidewalks and no side lane define your urban landscape. More problems doing a stealth night in the bush.

From Vero Beach to my home town of Stuart and back to Fort Lauderdale was a spin. This was something like 500 or 600 miles.  I have not measured it.  What is needed is a bicycle / multiple-use trail from coast to coast in the United States.

A cinematographer, human on the loose, is a trail cyclist.  She produces engaging videos of her rides on the single tracks and the gravel roads and byways. She is on You Tube. Her videos would be good examples. She would likely answer questions you might have.

General Discussion / Re: Southern Tier -- Austin to New Orleans
« on: February 11, 2024, 07:08:44 pm »
About the lower, closer to level hills, it is true once you are out of hill country. Coastal gulf land in NO, LS, Miss and AL is about as hill-less as it gets and stays that way until HWY 90 in north Florida. Inland LA and Miss and AL will have hills, but nothing daunting.

General Discussion / Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« on: January 20, 2024, 10:02:05 pm »

Certainly, drivers tearing along the roadways will not crank their craniums 90 degrees to inspect minute details of motions beyond the bushes and trees. A passenger might be looking. And that is not a problem. I think maybe 1 in 1000 would cause problems for the stealth sleeper. 1 in 10,000 might double back for robbery, or worse. At a site unseen, I would say security is assured. Rest easy.  My nights stealth sleeping are countless. There are no negative incidents to report. That is for the human element. Some really lethal nasty storms caught me unexpectedly, but that is not the topic. Drivers and others keep their eyes forward, on the road, rarely glancing far left or right. Many focus only 200 feet in front of the hood. They do not look upwards.

On a very long tour with far distances between services ( food, water, amenities ), distances between towns are useful.  Getting caught short of water, in the middle of a fifty mile ride, on a hot day teaches to plan ahead.  That is what maps are for, planning ahead. In an automobile, planning like that is not a consideration. There you are in 45 minutes. On a loaded bicycle, going against the wind, stopping for cover in a storm, repairing a puncture in a tire and other matters can turn 50 miles into an 8 hour struggle.  It is extremely important to know locations and distances in remote locations.

General Discussion / Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« on: January 18, 2024, 12:24:33 am »
Yes, the whole idea is to be out of sight. Out of sight of any foot paths, of any and all roadways, of houses from every possible angle.  I would rather sleep in peace than rest in peace.

General Discussion / Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« on: January 16, 2024, 06:12:20 pm »
Interesting post for me.   I camped at Harris a few years ago and can honestly say, that it is the only state park I was a bit uncomfortable in and it was largely because of the transient population. Fortunately, there were a number of other bike tourists in the hiker/biker site, so I felt relatively safe and didn't experience any problems.  Had I been the only camper around, I would have been a bit uneasy.  Just another symptom of the homeless problem in this country.

In 2022 I cycled part of the pacific route in WA and OR. Somebody gave information for a nice place to set up for one night. I headed out. Later, somebody else told me there were homeless camps in the so-called nice place near a river. With that information, I made a turn of 180 degrees and kept away. After that, it was a search and a find and a night of sleep in a one-person Kelty tent.

General Discussion / Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« on: January 16, 2024, 06:03:55 pm »
Of 36,000 miles of loaded bicycle touring, the vast majority of which was by free-camping in wooded areas, I have discovered what I call the iron law of stealth camping. The law is this---All day, intermittently, from the road. you see nice places to sleep for one night. They are there in every direction. However, when the sun goes down, when it is time to haul it off the road, and lay it down for the night, there are no such sites to be found anywhere. This law presented itself to me so very many instances. I thought it might be supernatural.

General Discussion / Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« on: January 01, 2024, 07:39:51 pm »
I am the first to admit that I am not too proud to stay in a motel if the weather is lousy miserable or the camping is just too sketchy.  In practice what that has meant is that on most of my trips I can expect to sleep indoors about one night out of four.

Also, campgrounds with good hiker/biker sites are usually reasonably priced and often worth the stay.  Although there are plenty of really awful ones out there that make up for it.

I know the ACA maps and guides have some information about good camping and lodging options for cyclists, but it would be nice if there were a "tripadvisor for cyclists" or some such that would provide that information anywhere, including in the many areas where there are not official ACA routes.

One thing that is super important in wild camping is having the "eye" for choosing a well-drained campsite.  You don't want dished-in ground that will become a giant puddle and you don't want a hard-packed surface that won't drain at all.  And you certainly don't want to pitch your shelter right in someplace that will become a stream when the rain comes.

On the other hand, if I am confident of the weather and water levels, sometimes you can find fantastic camp sites on river bars.

Most of the time, all other things being equal, you won't want to camp on vegetation.  Aside from the impact to potentially fragile fauna, the vegetation is much more likely to poke through your tent floor.  A grassy campsite is okay sometimes, but expect a lot more condensation over everything in the morning.

Good campsites are discovered, not engineered.  A certain amount of preening is necessary, mainly picking up pine cones, sticks, and rocks.  But if you really feel the need to do some excavation or move around large pieces of scenery then you should move on to a better site.  A good rule of thumb is anything that would take two hands to move is probably too much.  On your way out take a few seconds to scatter the sticks and rocks on your tent platform.

At least in the Pacific Northwest, dispersed camping on USFS land is still pretty lightly used and there are plenty of places to park your bike for the night.

All that is certain. Pitch in the wrong place and a deluge could flood you. Higher ground drains water away. Low ground holds it like a basin. I hate preening. Only when necessary and no options. I stealth camped hundreds of nights. Mostly it was a tarp strung between two trees with edges staked down, a small poly tarp on the ground, a closed-cell foam pad on that, and a sleeping bag. Clothing balled up in a stuff sack made a good pillow.

General Discussion / Re: C 2 C
« on: December 30, 2023, 02:55:58 pm »
You should be able to search for "Coast to Coast Florida" on ridewithgps and find several versions.  There are gaps which users fill in, so versions vary slightly.   If you Google it generally, there are a number of official govt and unofficial private organizations with info.   

Here is one:

There is a Facebook group as well with info, as you may have guessed.   

Florida roads and drivers are both a bit dangerous, imo, so the trail is welcome, but I have not ridden it.

My wife and I are riding it this February February, taking the train with our bikes to Tampa, riding to New Smyrna Beach instead of Titusville, and then back to DeLand to catch the train home.

Your post is most informative. The map at street level told all that was needed.  By following the lines on the map, it was easy to speech-to-text roads, intersections, turns and directions along the entire route. It is now on email. The next step is revision, copy, print in large font, and follow directions.  In case some might not know, following google-map written directions could put you on the wrong way.  Comparing their directions with lines on maps, I  found quite a few wrong directions.  Thank you for this information.

General Discussion / Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« on: December 29, 2023, 06:02:55 pm »
I read the article. That's an awful lot of words for such a little bit of information. I could have said the same thing in one short paragraph. But he's right. He has the experience. So do I.

General Discussion / Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« on: December 29, 2023, 06:00:48 pm »

This blog post gives some good hints on the topic:

Oh, and this app, OnX Backcountry, shows the ownership status of land on its maps.  Which can give you a great hint about whether it will be legal to camp there.  Recommended.

Some hints I've worked out over the years:

  • You'll have better luck finding good spots if you do so during daylight and not in the dark.
  • Cook and eat some distance from where you sleep.  That might be anywhere from five to thirty minutes of riding.
  • Lights (and similarly, reflective patches on your gear) can be seen at astonishing distances, sometimes literally miles.  Keep that in mind when you are trying to hide.
  • Vertical separation helps more than horizontal separation.  And it is easier to look up from a moving vehicle than look down.

Yes I'm planning to cycle a considerable distance along rail trails. Some of these trails go through very densely populated areas. I'll have to find a way around those areas and I'll have to get off the trail.

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