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Messages - Westinghouse

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Urban Cycling / why bike?
« on: October 18, 2008, 04:40:07 pm »
I can understand Boonebikeguy's attitude. In some places you are a nobody if you are traveling by bicycle. Drivers can be incredibly callous at times. Some places are better for cycling. Some places are worse.

Urban Cycling / why bike?
« on: October 17, 2008, 02:07:59 pm »
When I was very young, maybe ten, I dreamed of crossing the US by bicycle, but had long forgotten about anything like that. Then, much later, in the summer of 1983, I was on a sixty day Eurail trip around western Europe. I was staying in the youth hostel in Cherbourg, France, and waiting for the ship to take me over to Rosslare harbor into Ireland. I met a young  (18) German woman. We rented bicycles, and rode out to visit the Normandy coast where part of the D-day invasion had taken place many years before. I liked it so much I decided to complete my grand tour of western Europe by cycling around England, Scotland, and Wales the following summer, and that I did. I spent about 70 days cycling around the UK in the summer of 1984, a drout summer with only five days of light rain. Ever since 1984 I have been taking off on long bicycling tours when free to do so.

Urban Cycling / Urban Touring
« on: September 26, 2008, 01:37:38 pm »
Try coming in off of two weeks of interstate cycling across a state like Texas, and then descend suddenly into urban cycling. It requires a transition in skills, attitude, and adaptability. What a change it is. Long distance interstate cycling is easygoing, almost lightless, and you really get in some mileage.
Cities have all kinds of traffic, lights, intersections, rush hours, cramped cycling quarters, drunks, sidewalks. City cycling is a different sort of cycling, and the awareness of that difference can be greatly accentuated by contrasting it to open road cycling.

Urban Cycling / top bicycle-friendly cities and towns
« on: October 11, 2008, 03:15:34 pm »
I do not know of any particularly bike friendly cities, and the town where I am from in Florida is not what I would call bike friendly. The bike paths that were here for years were pot-holed and terrible. Half a mile would have about fifty major slams to your wheels. There are bike lanes, but that is because new roads had government funding, and government mandated lanes for cycling, and even those are right out in traffic. My town is right on the Atlantic coast bicycle route. It is not recommended that anyone cycle south of here to West Palm Beach on Highway US One. A much better route is A1A starting on Jupiter Island and going south.

No, I cannot call this place bike friendly, but some drivers do watch out for people on bikes, and some are quite courteous in ways that you would never ever see in other parts of the world, such as in China for example.

Classifieds / WANTED  Equipped tour bike to borrow, rent or buy
« on: October 30, 2008, 02:13:36 pm »
There should be plenty of used bikes for sale in the Fort Lauderdale area.

Gear Talk / new crankset
« on: December 26, 2008, 11:06:10 am »
I have never attended much to such matters as gear numbers and such, though I suppose I should have more carefully. I might generally go with 48-38-28 on the front, and a standard (if there is such a thing) five-ring cluster on the rear. Hitting mostly level or relatively level ground on coastal Florida is one matter. The S-tier is another matter. And the PCBR is quite another  matter again. Gear numbers are something to consider for sure. It is just that I have always just geared up and gone. I remember using a  seven ring rear cluster on the northern tier with a large inside gear because of long steep grades. Usually, on highway ninety, I used only two or three gears on the rear, and 38 and 28 on the front.

Gear Talk / Rear bike rack
« on: December 26, 2008, 11:19:08 am »
I don't know. I just buy whatever rack is cheap and available, use it to near failure, and get another. Actually, if it is cheap, I just get a new one before another long tour as a sort of preventive maintenance. No problems doing it that way, but I have to keep buying cheap racks and changing them. It is not a concern. There are some very good racks out there that cost more than I have ever spent for one.

Gear Talk / STI vs. Bar ends
« on: November 17, 2008, 04:41:05 pm »
Bar end shifters are great. I have never used them, but I have read accounts of those who have, and in the opinions of all those I have read about, they are just about the only way to go.

Gear Talk / Spongy Wonder cycle seat
« on: November 17, 2008, 04:57:57 pm »
The worst things that can happen are that it will not be comfortable, you will have to stop at a bike shop or department store, buy another saddle, and ship that old saddle home.

Gear Talk / Raleigh Sojourn
« on: December 26, 2008, 11:13:43 am »
I have never heard of a 32 spoke wheel for a touring bike. I am no expert on wheels, but unless there is some new kind of extra strong 32 spoke wheel out there, it is not recommended for heavy touring. 36 is as low as you want to go for touring, and 40 is good too. Get what you can, but if you cannot afford all that much, do your spending on the rear wheel. Not all bicycle wheels are equal by a long shot. A cheap $35.00 steel wheel on the front should take you across the continent without trouble. The rear wheel is a very different matter, especially on tough hilly / mountainous routes.

Gear Talk / Raleigh Sojourn
« on: October 30, 2008, 01:49:19 pm »
I looked at the picture. That is a good bike for long distance touring. I could not see close enought to determine if there were eyes for fastening a rack in the front. A good touring bike should have such eyes fore and aft. Other than that, it is an excellent bike for touring.

Gear Talk / Sealed bearings--How many miles?
« on: October 25, 2008, 04:26:48 pm »
Thanks for the information. It looks like I had better just install a spindle with cups and bearings.

Gear Talk / Sealed bearings--How many miles?
« on: October 25, 2008, 12:38:45 pm »
I am considering another tour across the southern tier east to west. I am just beginning to purchase new components. Today I got a freewheel remover, and yesterday I bought a chain and a freewheel.

One thing I already have installed in the bottom bracket is a set of sealed bearings in a cartridge  that just screws into the bracket. It is not a top end cartridge; it cost about $30.00--$35.00. It already has something over 1500 miles on it. Does anyone have any idea about how many miles it is good for in loaded, long distance touring?

Gear Talk / B.O.B. trailers
« on: October 25, 2008, 12:12:04 pm »
I have read many journals from Trailers seem to be the choice of carriage for many cyclists. If you go with the BOB you will most likely be satisfied with it.

My own point of view is somewhat different. I read that occasionally the connection to the bike might break or have some other problem. A trailer means one or two more wheels and tubes and tires of smaller size. You might need to carry an extra tire and tube or two. You will also be pulling the extra weight of the trailer itself. Then there is the extra length, and lifting up over curbs when necessary. In my opinion, using a trailer adds weight, and it adds more moving parts and a connection that could break or go wrong. Not only that, it costs extra to do what can done for much less with racks and panniers. Of course, I already have racks and panniers, so the way I see it is this. Why buy a trailer?

All that said, if you use a trailer you should have a perfectly good time with it.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-25-08 @ 9:12 AM

Gear Talk / A unique situation (SouthernTier).
« on: December 26, 2008, 11:42:51 am »
Where is Reminiscence? I suppose he got out there on his velocipede and forgot all about us.

Frankly, I would not want to tour long distance and loaded on a mountain type bike. I know people do it all the time, but not me.

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