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Messages - Westinghouse

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It sounds like bern is getting some good advice. If I knew about it I would tell you, but I do not know. I always try not to let my mouth overshoot my knowledge. Good luck.

General Discussion / Re: Osteoporosis and long distance cyclists
« on: February 21, 2009, 12:45:17 am »
I was drinking two to three gallons of liquids each day, maybe more, one summer while cycling the S-tier in the eastern regions, and hilly Texas farm roads. I must have lost quite a lot of calcium. I am not sure of any significant loss of bone density. I take supplements. The thing about calcium pills, they say, is that calcium from such sources may not be all that absorbable, which is one reason raw spinach was advised. You just go into a grocery store, buy a bag of spinach leaves, and eat them. According to some nutritionists, the human digestive system will more readily absorb calcium from yogurt than it will from milk and cheese, and it will absorb it in larger quantities. I suppose it is so. I have not conducted any scientific measurements on it myself. I  can only say what I have read. I think it was Dr. Nathan Pritikin who said vegetarians had more bone density and larger bones than habitual meat eaters and those on the so-called typical western diet, and that was because of the human digestive system's ability to absorb calcium much more efficiently from plant sources than from animal and other sources. The Pritikin program of diet and exercise.

I definitely carry supplements with me on bicycling tours. My system may absorb only a percentage of the calcium in the tablet, but some is better than nothing at all.

Routes / Warning Alert: Southern Tier, Mexican-American Border Areas.
« on: February 21, 2009, 12:24:53 am »
This alert was on the front page of today. It does not say to avoid Mexico. It says to avoid areas along the border where prostitution and drugs are commodities. The problem as I see it is this. Unless you already know where these trouble areas are, or unless somebody tells you places to avoid, you would have to already be in such a place before you would be able to recognize it. I suppose you could try to flag down border patrol and ask them about certain stretches of road and towns where you will be going.

MEXICO CITY – The U.S. State Department has renewed a travel advisory warning Americans about an increase in violence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The alert does not recommend staying away from the country or any particular part of it, but advises American to stay away from prostitution and drug-dealing areas.

It recommends visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas.

The alert issued Friday says violent crime is particularly worrisome along the U.S.-Mexico border, where automatic weapons and grenades have been used in clashes between police and drug traffickers.

More than 6,000 people were killed in drug violence in Mexico last year.

General Discussion / Re: Osteoporosis and long distance cyclists
« on: February 20, 2009, 05:19:36 pm »
Actually, it is a medical problem. I have no idea whether or not cycling can cause the osteoporosis. I always thought exercise strengthened muscles and bones and  added to bone density, given a proper diet. Raw spinach is loaded with calcium. That sounds to me like a question for a doctor.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring Stove
« on: February 20, 2009, 01:17:27 am »

I was just reading your information on the penny stove. I am going to make one, or maybe a few. Most cyclists who are into touring should see that article.

Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: February 20, 2009, 12:47:08 am »
They have been building bike paths onto the new roads in my hometown in Florida. That should not be taken as an indication that place is particularly bicycle friendly. It isn't. They are building their new roads with federal subsidies, and the feds require the paths. In fact, if anyone is cycling in my hometown, they had better watch out. A cyclist's rights are pretty much disregarded in many instances. Not always, but enough to call it fairly routine. One does have to be very careful, and cannot assume that just because he has the right of way that it will be given. Quite a few people have been killed while cycling, some of whom I knew personally, and others were badly injured, and I knew some of them too. Not that the motorists were always to blame, but in most cases, a bit more respect for the right of way for others and due care could have prevented the incidents. As for myself, I have never had a collision with a motor vehicle because I am a very careful cyclist. I use what I call defensive cycling. I have educated myself in safe cycling techniques, and I am highly experienced with it.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling Shanghai
« on: February 20, 2009, 12:11:37 am »
As you may know, the bicycle is a primary mode of transportation for hundreds of millions of people in the People's Republic of China. Organized tours on bikes should be plentiful. If Shanghai is anything, it is a major tourist destination. Google should produce some information for you. I have been to Shanghai. I have done a considerable bit of cyling-touring in China. I always used my own bike and never had to rent.

Gear Talk / Re: big, wide feet need touring shoes
« on: February 19, 2009, 04:30:50 am »
I don't know about wide shoes, but I do know it is to your advantage to use a good touring shoe, one you can walk in too. The difference between  a running shoe and a good cycling shoe really begins to tell when you are pedaling your loaded bike up hills. I have toured in different kinds of shoes. Next tour you can bet I will have cycling shoes.

Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: February 19, 2009, 04:17:48 am »
They might just end up connecting enough of those rails to trails pathways to make it a reality. I do not believe such a path would be needed on the pacific coast.

General Discussion / Re: Flat Tire - Safety Alert
« on: February 19, 2009, 04:01:17 am »
I have had many many punctures in my tires and tubes even with Mr. Tuffy tire liners. Exactly as you say, the offending item is almost always a wire piece from a radial tire. I have had such punctures with a kevlar belted tire too. The wires somehow find their ways around the belt and come in from the sides. It is diabolical. I do remember seeing some tossed away hypodermic needles along the roadsides, but not all that many, and they have never been any matter of concern to me. The possible scenario you mention can happen; a small part of an infected needle could possibly become lodged in your tire. With that consideration in mind, feeling along using the finger-rub method inside your tire when it is bent back to detect some unseen wire tip might put you at some risk of contraction hepatitis or some other nightmare health hazard. As for myself, I have never given it a second thought. Thinking on the matter, this is about the only thing I can think of right off the bat. Instead of using your finger, use a tightly rolled cotton ball. Perhaps the cotton might catch on the tip and give you an indication of where to pick at with your tweezers. I use tweezers.

Actually though, roadside needles have never been a concern of mine.

Gear Talk / Re: Winter cycling — pawls freezing
« on: February 18, 2009, 12:07:49 pm »
I suspect in all your Southern Tier travels the weather has never gotten really cold and stayed cold.  By cold I mean 0 F.  20s isn't cold.  And stay at 0 F for days in a row.  Blizzards don't occur when its really cold.  The air is too cold and dry to hold moisture.  Blizzards and snow occur when its in the 20s, relatively warm.  My freehub stopped working after it had been cold, 0 F, for a couple days.  Once the weather warmed up into the 20s or so, it worked fine and did not stop working again.  20 F no problem, 0 F problems.

0 degrees F for days all day or mostly all day? You got that right. I am from Florida. If that kind of weather were to hit, I would be hightailing it to the nearest motel. I have cycled for days in freezing weather, and in the twenties at times, but probably not all day. Many nights I have slept out in freezing temperatures, or down into the twenties. I have never had the first bit of mechanical breakdown caused by it. However, that is why I specified all my winter cycling was in the southern tier of states. I come from warm weather, and have lived there most of my life. But, I did have to take courses on cold weather operations when I was in the army, and I know cold weather can adversely effect many different kinds of mechanical devices. However, in the southern tier of states you should not have to be concerned about cold-weather induced breakdowns of your bicycling equipment.

Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: February 18, 2009, 11:45:10 am »
There are those who take the attitude that bicyclists should be driven off the roadways. I have been subjected to that sort of mentality myself, and it can be irrational. I mean, when people say I must leave a smooth rodway where there is plenty of room for everyone simply because there is an alternative road, no matter how wrecked , deplorable, and obstacle strewn its condition, it does give me pause to consider what underlying motives people might have. I have had to put up with such attitudes. Well, all I can think of to say right now is this. With the way the economy is going in the USA, many of these anti-bicycle-on-the-road people might just end up pedaling along on two wheels. If they find themselves out there on the road, let us hear their opinions then.

If a cross country dedicated path reinforced their perceptions, it would be one negative consequence. Surely, having such paths would not be all perfect and absolutely without fault or consequence, but what in history ever has been? I would not want to abandon a plan of such paths because of reinforcing people's negative perceptions any more than I would want to abandon cycling because some people have negative opinions about my right to use the roadways.

Gear Talk / Re: Winter cycling — pawls freezing
« on: February 17, 2009, 08:35:14 am »
My winter cycling has always been restricted to the southern tier of states. It did get quite cold though. One night I survived a blizzard near Guadalupe Pass in west Texas. It was New Year's Eve of 1984 to 1985. I didn't sleep a wink all night. The next morning I had to use a screwdriver to chip the ice off the brake handles, brake calipers, and deraileurs before I could get going again. The thing is, in all my S-tier winter cycling, I cannot remember a time when the cold actually caused any of the bike's moving parts to malfunction. A temporary halting of function? Yes, as just described. A breakdown of the gear itself? Never.

Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: February 17, 2009, 08:18:18 am »
A TC bike path like I am thinking of would definitely have to be built with the long distance bicycle tourist in mind. Off-path times and distances to towns and stores and services would absolutely have to be reasonable. I mean something like an Appalachian trail, only for cyclists; joggers, hikers and walkers too. Of course, cyclists would need to plan ahead too. There could be makeshift camps at intervals like the shelters on the Appalachian trail, but with running water. It could go through verdant green forests, mountains, prairies, and pasture lands the where air is clean and noise is nonexistent. It could keep everyone near enough to services that it would not be a concern. However, in western states on some stretches, even on highways, keeping food and water enough can be a concern if one does not plan ahead.

The construction and linking of such a trail(s) and its maintenance would provide jobs. It seems like a win win situation to me.

General Discussion / Re: Is it worth installing a kick stand?
« on: February 17, 2009, 07:59:53 am »
It is not a bad idea to have one. Often you may find yourself out there somewhere miles from nowhere and needing to stop a while. You look around and you do not see the familiar guard rail, tree, or fence to lean your velocipede against, or maybe the fence starts at the bottom of a steep downgrade paralleling your road. What do you do? Do you want to set your nice new $1500.00 touring machine over on its side resting on the panniers on a rough surface, or do you want to stand it up on its two wheels,  or one wheel as the case might be, and then do whatever it was you stopped to do?

Go ahead. Install the kickstand. You will never regret it.

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