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Messages - Westinghouse

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General Discussion / Re: Partial RSS feed
« on: January 31, 2009, 09:19:50 am »
RSS???  I don't know what that means.

Gear Talk / Re: Front Racks Low Rider vs Expedition Rack
« on: January 31, 2009, 04:22:41 am »
Neither do I want to have to take off the front rack for transporting in a bike box. I have done it several times. If I could transport without doing it, I would, but I cannot. The frame will not fit in the box with the front rack mounted. With the rear rack mounted, yes, but not with the front. But then again, it is not really any trouble to remount the front rack. It is just that when I reach my point to begin the trip I just want to put on the wheels, put on the handlebars, and go. The less there is holding me back the better.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route Camping
« on: January 31, 2009, 04:07:49 am »
Yes, the HB sites are just fine. I never had any complaints with them. Usually, as far as I could see, people who are out cycling the pacific coast are  pretty good. There is no problem with the company. The sites are large enough, and as prices go they are very reasonable. Many state parks have showers. Try getting a campsite on the east coast for a few dollars a night.

Routes / Re: bike rental in the states
« on: January 31, 2009, 04:00:46 am »
I am sorry but I don't know anything about renting bikes. The only time I ever rented a bike was at a hostel in Cherbourg, France, and that was just a day-trip.

General Discussion / Re: Florida Keys: Safe to ride?
« on: January 31, 2009, 03:51:29 am »
My girlfriend and I did the Keys in 1984 as part of a transcontinental tour that ended in San Diego. We got a write up in the Palm Beach Post after the tour ended. We had problems in South Florida and in the Keys. In the Keys people kept swerving over toward us, honking their horns, and some gave us the finger. It got to be nerve wracking after a while. This had never happened even once while cycling through England, Scotland, and Wales. On our trip going back north along coastal Florida, but still in the Keys I had a confrontation with some guy in a restaurant/bar combination. Out of nowhere this guy ups and asks why we chose that particular place to eat. Then he starts some really pointless, stupid argument, and then threatens to go out to his truck, get his gun, and shoot me. His father is there; he tells me his son is a Vietnam veteran who had not been right in the head since he had come home from the war, and to ignore the threats. At this point I am getting ready to call the police, but considering the social climate in those days, they probably would have ignored the complaint, or arrested us and let him go free.

Once we got out of South Florida and headed west to California, we had no other such problems except for one very serious incident near Boutte, Louisiana, and then we did contact the police.

Since 1984 I have been the full length of the Keys four times on bicycle with NO problems or incidents. The last time was in 2006.

Routes / Re: Europe North to South
« on: January 30, 2009, 01:30:34 am »
There are many dedicated paths in western Europe. I think there are maps expecially for these paths. I used some of them. They were very nice, completely off the roadways, and ran through forests. Some were hardpacked earth. They were smoother than concrete and asphalt, and near enough to towns that food was always readily available. Some people advise cycling the Romantischestrasse in Germany. It is full of history. It is possible to be caught out in a very violent storm like we did in Belgium. The storm came out of nowhere. It took a minute to arrive and lasted for an hour or two.
You can cycle along the Rhine river. We did. You could get a lot of rain in the Alps, and we saw many many slugs or snails on the roads in the Alps.

General Discussion / Re: Trans America 1993
« on: January 30, 2009, 01:06:50 am »
Hello:  I did not do the TA in 93 but I did do the Pacific coast in 93. It is obvious that you uinderstand the outstanding greatness of doing a transcontinental bicycling tour by yourself. Frankly, the only advantages I can imagine by doing a TC tour with anyone else would be 1. if it were with a lady friend or 2. being able to share on hotel costs. Of course, family would be a different matter. Sure, it can get lonely at times, but loneliness is easily warded off. I think I might be doing the TA route some time.

I have cycled the southern tier a number of times in summer and winter.

General Discussion / Re: Florida Keys: Safe to ride?
« on: January 30, 2009, 12:54:03 am »
I have cycled through the Keys six times. As far as I know it is safe for anyone on a bicycle---Now. Back in the early eighties it was a different matter. Hostile motorists were there, definitely, and hostile people in general seemed to abound. Things have changed since then. It is safe. The redneck, bike-haters have gone or settled down. The Bubbas have conceded that cyclists have a right to use the roads. Don't worry. As a matter of fact, considering cycling conditions on US Highway One from Maine to Key West, the Keys are probably the safest places on the entire highway, or just about. All I know is I have had no problems there except in 1984 in winter when the motorists were really, seriously unreasonable, even criminal.
That was a long time ago, and in fact, it was kind of like that across the state. Read "Miles From Nowhere" by Barbara Savage. Notice how they were doing all right cycling across the entire US until they got into Florida, and how things really got bad for them in the Keys. I can concur on their perceptions of the Keys and on Florida in general. After all, I was born and raised here, and I have cycled across the state many times, including down in the Keys. That was the past. it has changed.

Certainly you will encounter more traffic in winter, and higher prices. State campgrounds are your best bet, and you might need reservations unless they are on a first-come first-served basis.

Do not be worried about safe cycling. The roads provide plenty or room. Motorists are very reasonable. There are plenty of cyclable sidewalks. There is one long dedicated bike path. It is actually very good for cycling. No problem. Of course, people being what they are, it is possible to have an encounter with a very irate or unreasonable person driving a motor vehicle. However, that can happen anywhere, any time. The big things about the many bridges is they expose you fully to winds. I do not remember having trouble with traffic on any of the bridges.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier & Fuel for cooking advice please
« on: January 29, 2009, 06:49:38 am »
High octane (93) unleaded gasoline. But it depends. In the eastern part of the ST---TX, LA, MS, AL, FL there will be no scarcity of places to buy white gas, compressed cycliners of gas, denatured alcohol, etc. In the western states sources of whatever it is you might need tend to be more spaced out, fewer and farther between. If you get a Featherlite 442 Coleman stove, you will be able to get fuel for it anywhere. Getting the fuel from the gas station hose into the stove is another matter. Fact is, I could not unless certain other things such as a larger gas can and funnel were available. You must bring your own little funnel. It weighs next to nothing. This gas station hoses run at a certain minimum velocity that is too much to get into that little hole in the stove. You have to pump the gas into a larger container, then funnel the gas into the stove. No larger container, no gas in stove. You can work it out. If you can deal with that problem, any  lightweight stove using white gas or unleaded gasoline is just  fine. There are department stores across the country that sell canisters of compressed gas, and the stove fixtures that attach to them. The lightest stoves you will find burn denatured alcohol. The fuel for this stove will be a bit more difficult to find in some places, but gasoline is available just about everywhere.

Routes / Re: Pennsylvania to Oregon
« on: January 29, 2009, 06:32:38 am »
That is all good information to have. It is possible by googling and  through phone pages online to get much of that information on your own before starting your trip. It would be very time consuming. There were times when I was coming into some town with tape wrapped around a bulging rear tire a few miles from twisting off the rim, and no spare. I just lucked out quite a few times. It is a good idea to know what is available, where and when.
One of these days I am thinking about doing the transam. I have heard quite a lot about it. Everybody says it is the best. There is a book about the transam. Apparently, there are many small towns with showers, municipal swimming pools, and free or inexpensive camp grounds. It sounds really good to me. I wish I could do it soon, but I am working, and I have two girls, seven and eight, to support. The more I think about it the more I believe my next long cycling tour will the the transam.

General Discussion / Re: Long distance cycling and supliments
« on: January 29, 2009, 06:17:34 am »
I thought creatine might be good for cycling, but apparently it may not be the thing to use on long tours. Actually, the only thing I have ever heard it being used for was before and after lifting weights. Actually, eggs are an excellent source of absorbable protein where absorbtion is the matter, but then there is the matter of fat. If one is using the fat then perhaps it is ok, but excess fat in the diet has been more than just linked with colon cancer and other maladies. Eggs are loaded with protein, and where is all that protein mostly concentrated? In the yolk with the fat. If you follow the Pritikin plan, you know to dump the yolks and use the whites. However, I think high fat diets are mostly associated with what is known as the typical western diet which is known to be pretty much loaded with fatty foods from many sources. Eating plenty of eggs on tour would be ok as long as one watched his or her intake of fats from other sources. When on long tours and megadosing with water soluble vitamis and keeping up on the others, and drinking brewer's yeast a few times a day, I am pretty sure my energy levels were higher than usual. I have also carried a full complement of minerals.

Any nutritionist might tell you all you really need is a good, balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and cereals, and this is true within limits. But consider pedaling a fully-loaded touring bike three thousand miles over varied terrain, hills, mountains, rolling, etc. It might call for supplements. I will tell you something that I know will provide a long, even flow of energy. You take a good quality juicing machine. Juice a 50-50 combination of carrot and celery juice. Make half a quart or a quart. Drink it down. Go out for a long ride in the hot sun. See if you can feel the difference. I always could. The first time you might not notice it too much, but the second or third time you will feel a major difference as compared the energy you might be used to from just regular meals. Nutrition makes a difference.

It will not hurt you to take nutritional supplements on tour. It may add a little weight but that's ok.

Gear Talk / Re: Where should the weight go?
« on: January 28, 2009, 06:42:08 am »
I put the most weight over the front wheel. It handles fine that way, or at least in 32.000 mils of touring I have not had a problem with it. Your rear wheel is dished. It takes the pressure from the drive train, and approximately 60 % of your bodily weight. I am usually on my third rear tire by the time I have to change the first front tire.

General Discussion / Re: Long distance cycling and supliments
« on: January 28, 2009, 06:10:21 am »
Here at most are supplements I have taken on any one long-distance bicycling tour. B complex vitamins. All other vitamins in single pills for each one. Sometimes brewer's yeast which I would mix with orange juice at stops. Protein powder. Creatine would be all right too. Why not? On my last tour I just took one multivitamin each day.

Gear Talk / Re: Drivetrain questions
« on: January 27, 2009, 07:08:36 am »
It depends of what kind of cycling you will be doing, and the terrain. Getting around occasionally on level to rolling roads with no considerable load can be done easily enough with just about any combination of gearing, such as what you already have. If you are talking about crossing the Apls and Rockied on a fully loaded, self contained tour of thousands of miles, I would say you might want to give a bit more consideration to your choice of gearing. How strong are you. What do you weigh? I cycled loaded over the Alps with a double chain set on the front, and a five gear freewheel. That was years ago. If I were to do it again, I would definitely use a triple chain set on the front.

Routes / Re: Pennsylvania to Oregon
« on: January 26, 2009, 10:06:38 pm »
Perhaps you could consider the Grand Army of the Republic Highway. I don't know what it is like, but it was the longest highway in the US before the interstates were built, and I believe it it still the 2nd of 3rd longest.

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