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Messages - Westinghouse

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General Discussion / Re: A Few Questions About the TransAm
« on: March 01, 2009, 06:58:21 am »
Take it from someone who knows. It is not a good idea to disregard warnings of heavy weather that might be coming your way. Keep an ear out for the weather channel. If a powerful storm front is charging in your direction, do the best you are able to do to decrease its assault upon yourself. Those storms can be lethal with thousands of lightning bolts slamming to earth all around. It seems in some parts of the country storms crop us out of nowhere, do their destruction, and peter out. I am from Florida where we can usually see hurricanes coming from a long way off in the Atlantic or gulf, then fight or fly.  In Texas, Minnesota, and Kansas they seemed to just pop up and go slamming around. If you are out on the plains with nowhere to find shelter, and one of those hurricane force or worse storms comes sweeping into your area, you would be in for one hell of a very bad time. That is the chance you take.Travel has always been fraught with hazards. I have been caught out in some very lethal storms, lethal for anyone caught out in them. I still wonder sometimes how it is I could still be alive. I know one thing. If I ever hear a severe weather warning again on the radio when I am out cycle touring, I am going to do a lot more to prepare for it than I ever did before. As Americans we tend to be sheltered. We have forgotten what the weather can do to us when we are out there in it.

General Discussion / Re: A Few Questions About the TransAm
« on: February 28, 2009, 09:58:49 am »
yeh yeh..2007..i had just graduated college and was heading eastbound back home to virginia with time constraint of starting job in august.
i'm not sure i recall meeting ya'll on the i recall there weren't too, too many folks heading eastbound that i ran into, esp compared to the amount heading westbound....i had biked from grant village, wy (in yellowstone) to dubois, wy on july i must have passed you folks somewhere along the way between oregon and there but you all might have been resting out of plain sight? or other way around.  once in colororado i took detour off TA and went through rocky mtn national park down to boulder and then hooked up with route again....i dont' really recognize ya'll from blog pics...nice blog though!!
here's my blog if care to skim through

I notice you had the same set of tires for the entire tour. That reminds me I have to stop chinching on buying tires. Only once have I ever gotten that kind of mileage from a back tire. Could you tell me what kind of tires you used on that tour? That was some awesome mileage, really good.

Gear Talk / Re: Four gears in hub.
« on: February 28, 2009, 02:51:04 am »
All right. Thanks very much. I was not very well aware of all these new developments in hub-geared bikes. There does seem to be some conflicting information regarding power transmission efficiency. The way I see that sort of thing is this. If I can actually feel that negative difference in efficiency, there is  difference enough to consider not using the wheel. I would be willing to pay a bit extra, and do with some negligible decrease in pedaling efficiency if it meant far fewer or no more broken spokes on the freewheel side. I am going to have to tie in to those web sites and do more reading on the subject, which I definitely will do.

Gear Talk / Four gears in hub.
« on: February 27, 2009, 07:39:22 am »
I have heard about rear wheels with four or more gears inside the hub. I imagine such wheels would not be dished. Can such a wheel be used with a triple chain set on the front? The three speed hubs have been around forever. I had a Raleigh with a three speed hub when I was  a kid. Are there hubs with more than four speeds?

Does anyone know of any particular advantages or disadvantages to using an internally geared wheel?

General Discussion / Re: A Few Questions About the TransAm
« on: February 27, 2009, 07:18:43 am »

Here is a detailed answer about dogs. I wrote it on another thread for a person planning a transcon on a recumbent.
As for dogs on tour, I have had many experiences with them. Some cyclists might carry pepper spray, which I have done but never used. I saw another advise carrying a water pistol containing a mixture of water and ammonia; this I have never done. The fact is that dogs can be an occasional annoyance or hassle or whatever, but by and large they are not a real danger unless one comes charging at you from out of nowhere, startling you, and causing you to involuntarily swerve out into traffic. It happens.

There is something about the movement of cycling that sets dogs off into a headstrong frenzy of barking and chasing. I mean, you come along, and there is some dog in a yard. It has been lolloing around all day perhaps. It catches sight of you going by on your bike, and it immediately goes nuts. It starts barking, snarling, yelping, and growling, and chasing you at high speed and going for your heels with all its might. I have seen dogs go absolutely bananas at the sight of me cycling, even if I was two hundred feet away from them. I have seen them come charging out at me, stopped only by a fence around thge property. They would follow all along the fence line to the end, and then go ape trying to jump over the fence or tunnel under it.  This kind of reaction comes from dogs of all sizes from the largest dogs to even those little Mexican Chihuahuas. That is no kidding. I wa cycling through some town. Somebody was carrying one of those little Mexican dogs. It saw me. It went crazy trying to jump from its owners arms and chase along.

I have worked out a manner of dealing with dogs. In spite of all the noise and chases not one dog has ever actually bitten me.  However, they do seem to be fond of going for the feet, and some have come close to biting. First, slow down a bit, look at the dog and yell out a loud, sharp report, and when I say loud and sharp that is what is meant; something like you might expect to hear from a marine corps drill sargent. You might have to yell a number of times. The yelling will bring some dogs to a halt. Some will stop temporarily and continue, and slow down or halt every time you yell. Just yell out hut or ha loud, sharp, and clear. If that does not dissuade the cur from pursuing his pleasure or whatever it is he gets out of the chase, come to a dead stop and give him the yell. He will stop. He may turn around and take off. He may tarry a while and snip and growl. He may come close, but my experience is the actual attack will not happen. I have cycled 34,000 miles through 19 countries, and six or more times across the USA, so I know of what I speak.

I have always ridden an upright touring bike, therefore, having a dog running along and chasing at my heels is a different matter from riding a recumbent with the animal more nearly at the vital parts such as torso, head, and throat. My general advice is this. If you are concerned, do what I have told you, and carry a water pistol with water and ammonia in it, if legal to do so, or a very good pepper spray, not one of those little key chain things, but a canister with a real fog or large volume spray that comes out, but do not use it as a first response. If you yell and stop and yell, the dog will stop his pursuit. In other words, do not run and it will not chase. Often, as you are stopped at the roadside waiting for the animal to lose interest, its owner will come out and call it back, and it trots on home. If you stop and it stops and loses interest, it might head back to its territory on its own, but if you take off it will turn around and continue chasing. Dogs, for the most part, are a temporary nuisance, but not a real serious danger. However, I am sure cyclists have been actually attacked, and perhaps even injured.

When stopped, the hound may come close, but will not actually sink its teeth into your hide. If it is particularly vicious or mean, give him a whif of the pepper spray or whatever, but I have never found that to be necessary. If you get off the bike and walk a ways, which you would not or might not be able to do, it could lose interest; get back on and cycle away, and it will pick up where it left off, or just go home.

Try not to let a dog catch you by surprise in close quarters. That happened to me once, and I tipped over injuring my ankle. It was at night on a quiet, placid road. A very large dog came charging aggressively from out of the bushes near the side of the road. All of a sudden I heard this very loud barking and snarling, and saw a blur out of the corner of my eye. In an attempt to stop, dismount immediately, and get the bike beteen myself and the attacking dog, I forgot my feet were strapped into the pedals, and tried to get off on the right of the bike, I fell over and twisted my ankle. Well, at least I fell over away from the dog and not toward it. After all that the dog just stood there looking at me, and turned around and left. It was one of the larger breeds of dog, and I am sure it would not have harmed me, but it caught me completely unexpected, and I reacted unthinking with a start. There was no time to think through what to do. The subconscious mind told me I was under attack and needed to respond, and I did.

You might have dog problems in some areas at times, and no dog problems whatsoever in other places. In 1984 in winter along highway 90 in Florida free ranging dogs were all over the place, and I might add, were often seen dead along the roadside after having been slammed by motor vehicles. In 2007 I cycled 90, and ther was not the first problem with the first dog; very different from 1984. In countrified areas dog owners may be more disposed to letting their dogs roam free. Some may be fenced in, but have some little tunnel dug out under the fence in some bush-covered corner. They actually seem to be smart enough to try and cover or hide their tunnels. Anyway, that is about all I can tell you. If you go into Eastern Europe, you may find canines of a very different stripe; very different from the friendly domesticated kind we are used to in the USA. For some of those dogs I encountered in eastern Europe, nothing short of a 12 guage shotgun would save you. 

Routes / Re: Perimeter Tour
« on: February 26, 2009, 10:01:23 pm »
I was just going to say but staehpj1 took the words right out of my mouth. You would definitely have to schedule your trip around the weather if you are going to do the entire perimeter all in one tour. If you do it in stages at your convenience, you can pretty much pick and choose the kind of weather you will have, within certain limits.

General Discussion / Re: A Few Questions About the TransAm
« on: February 26, 2009, 09:47:06 pm »
Of course, you can try it if you want to. My general advice is to scrap taking a dog on a long bicycling our. Your dog could be run over by a car or truck. Dogs can cover some distance, but I doubt they can run all that far day after day for several weeks. I certainly would not want to take a dog with me. I like dogs. On a transcontinental bicycling tour you will want to put in some good miles, in spite of what you may think. The dog would be more and more of an encumbrance to you. Of course, like many other things, I suppose it CAN be done. But who would really want to. Not me.

General Discussion / Re: Osteoporosis and long distance cyclists
« on: February 26, 2009, 02:04:20 am »
I looked up osteoporosis on google. It is quite complicated in its progression and treatment. Two things all sites advised were a diet high in calcium and vitamin D.

In a former frame I stated that spinach is loaded with calcium, and the fact is raw spinach is highly nutritious with a goodly dose of calcium; however, there is something else in spinach which is not absorbable which the calcium binds to and prevents it from being absorbed and assimilated. The calcium is there, yes, but your digestive system cannot assimilate it for use. There are other vegetables, fruits, and dairy products that are calcium rich and useable. If you take calcium tablets, they say to take them with meals for maximum absorbtion.

A nutritionist such as Dr. Nathan Pritikin would most likely advise against tablets and calcium fortified breakfast cereals. He would advise only natural foods for your nutrients--fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, whole cereals, etc. The manufactured calcium has been known to form kidney stones because it does not assimilate like calcium from natural sources.  Natural calcium from fresh, wholesome, natural foods will not give you kidney stones. Ref. The Pritikin Program of Diet and Exercise.
I have taken plenty of calcium tablets. I don't know of any adverse effects on my health.

Gear Talk / Re: I need advice on a bike (and yes I am a newbie)
« on: February 25, 2009, 10:45:41 am »
Do not overlook the possibility of getting a used bike. I have seen some real killer deals on very good touring bikes. Sure, they are not available all the time, but they do come along. There was a nice Trek hybrid I think it was at a Goodwill store for about $45.00. It was soon gone. I saw a perfectly good Fuji touring bike for about $50.00 in a thrift store. You may have to change components for a long loaded tour, which is something that can be done inexpensively enough. I saw a used Trek hybrid for sale at a bike store for $75.00. I checked it out closely by eye. In my opinion, it was ready to go, and probably could have stood a cross country tour easily.

Right on Mike. You don't need that tour group and their non-trike-carrying sag wagon. You might be surprised to know how satisfying a solo, cross-country, cycling tour can be, or with some companions. You decide all the stops and the what to dos on your own tour. Give it a shot. The weather be hanged. Just keep an ear out for the weather channel.

According to them: "we would not be able to transport it on our vans with other bikes in the event of a medical or weather emergency."

Well, I figured there had to be some tangible reason why they said no to trikes. Weather emergencies do happen. I have been caught out in at least four weather emergencies I can think of right off the bat. Storms can be lethal. They just don't have the equipment for carrying trikes.

General Discussion / Re: ACA Maps?
« on: February 25, 2009, 10:09:17 am »
Roadmaps come in different qualities. You can find routes on some roadmaps which do not appear on others. Those ACA maps have details missing on regular roadmaps. You should be able to do it with only the ACA maps. You can also go to a library, and make copies of maps that cover your intended route. Cut them out so you have strip maps which weigh nearly nothing. In short, there is more than one way of skinning a cat. I did use ACA maps for about six weeks on the N-tier. They were great, if only I had paid closer attention to the details.

I do not have an answer, but I do have a question. Why do some organized tours reject trikes? I have see upright trikes and recumbent trikes. Why would trikes be banned? Just curious.

Routes / Re: Perimeter Tour
« on: February 25, 2009, 04:34:58 am »

Actually, I have done most of the perimeter already, and a good deal more besides. 2012 is too far into the future for me to be able to make plans of that length of time. I have done some research into doing a perimeter tour. It could be done in eight or nine months, give or take.

General Discussion / Re: cardiac pacemakers and touring
« on: February 25, 2009, 04:22:11 am »
Sorry, I don't have much experience in this area. I had my heart checked out in 2002 the last time. It was an expensive procedure, about $7000.00. The Dr. told me my biggest problem was indigestion. He told me to take Pecid AC. He was right. I took it, and all the discomfort disappeared. He also said it appeared I had no heart trouble. He said from the looks of it I have never had and will not ever have a heart attack. I guess that means I may be around for quite a few more years yet.

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