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Messages - Westinghouse

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Routes / Florida in February
« on: November 03, 2008, 01:03:47 pm »
East coastal Florida in winter will have maxinmum traffic. Cycle the barrier islands as much as possible. Highway US 1 should be avoided when possible. The wind will be either warm, cool, or possibly below freezing. There are still north winds sweeping south that time of year; they begin around October.

Routes / Grand Canyon/Western Express
« on: November 03, 2008, 01:05:08 pm »
I am not familiar with that area for cycling.

Routes / Out in the sticks
« on: October 27, 2008, 02:35:35 pm »
I don't know anything about it.

Routes / Norfolk to San Antonio
« on: October 22, 2008, 12:11:52 pm »
Your chosen route may be very good. Because I am not familiar with the roads and terrain you mention, I will have to pass on saying anything at all about them. The Atlantic route to 90W in Jacksonville is the best I can come up with at the moment.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-22-08 @ 9:12 AM

Routes / Norfolk to San Antonio
« on: October 20, 2008, 07:27:52 pm »
I would not know what to tell you about a trip like that. It seems like you might have to cross the Appalachians or Piedmonts unless you go south around the southern end.

Actually, you could follow the Atlantic route south to Jacksonville, Florida, and take highway 90 through to Austin. However, once you hit the border between Florida and Alabama, 90's surface and what side lanes still exist deteriorate quite a bit. Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana have very poor road surfaces compared to 90 in Florida. Sure, the road surfaces are improved here and there, but the picture is more what you might expect to encounter in developing and third-world countries. I think it has to do with the fact that that part of the country, mainly Louisiana, is a flood plain on top of 7000 feet of silt (New Orleans anyway). They have a gargantuan problem maintaining water levels, and controling the shifting of the mouth of the Mississippi river. The unstable, marshy, ground messes up their roads.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-20-08 @ 4:30 PM

Routes / Southern Tier question.
« on: October 30, 2008, 01:43:24 pm »
Early in the winter of 1985 another person and I got caught out, I believe it was new years eve, at night in a serious snow blizzard. We had a tent and two sleeping bags. During the night I was really concerned about hypothermia. Neither one of us was able to sleep because of the cold. The next morning we got up. I had to use a screw driver to pic the solid pieces of ice off the brake calipers and the deraileurs to get them to move. I was somewhat miserable for four days after that. That blizzard hit us just east of Guadalupe Pass. I think there is a mountain there, el Capitanis, that is the highest elevation in Texas.

I do not know what the temperature got down to that night, but I would not be surprised to find out it was zero F.

Routes / Southern Tier question.
« on: October 28, 2008, 01:40:13 pm »
That Tammany Trail is really nice. You would never regret using it. If I do the S-tier again, perhaps this winter, I will definitely use it.
What I would like to see is a dedicated bike path like the Tammany race all the way across the United States, east to west. It might be very expensive to build and maintain, but the building of it would create jobs, and the maintaining of it would also keep people in jobs.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 11-1-08 @ 11:38 AM

Routes / Southern Tier question.
« on: October 20, 2008, 07:04:43 pm »
Areas near the border of Mexico seemed safe enough, and the border patrol were seemingly omnipresent.

If you plan on slipping over the border and doing some of the trip south of the Rio Grande, perhaps you might want to think again. There have been many robberies and murders in Mexican border towns. I was cycling east to west from Florida, and I was about 80 miles (estimated) west of Van Horn, TX when a border patrol truck pulled in behind me and asked me to stop. This I did. Two officers asked me where I had started from and where I was going. Then they told me this. If anyone on this road yells for you to stop or motions to you in any way, do not stop; just keep right on going. Two persons had gone over the border shortly before then. They were found robbed and murdered, and those two were not the only ones who had run into serious trouble. I assured the border patrol officers I would not go over to anyone if they yelled or motioned to me to do so. Nobody ever did try to direct me in any way along that road.

Sure, we enjoy our cycling tours, and we intend to mind our own business, obey the law, and have a good time of it, but we cannot go blind to the fact that there are real dangers out there. Be careful.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-20-08 @ 4:06 PM

Routes / Southern Tier question.
« on: October 20, 2008, 11:49:13 am »
You can google the Tammany Trace in Louisiana. It is 31 miles of offroad cycling. It is up to you if you want to leave the designated ACA that far.

There are other designated bike paths in Florida on the S-tier.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-20-08 @ 8:50 AM

Routes / Trans Am vs. Northern Tier
« on: October 27, 2008, 02:40:57 pm »
Probably either one. I did 2600 miles of the northern tier. All I know about the TA is what I read in a book by Donna Ikenberry. Probably the TA would be your best bet. The NT is okay too for staying out of some big cities. You can always bypass cities.
 If I do the S-tier this winter I am going around New Orleans,Hoston, and Austin somehow.

Routes / weather on southern tier route
« on: October 14, 2008, 11:32:23 am »
I do not know for sure about Ike, but if the Galveston area is anything like the Gulf area I was cycling through after Katrina, there is hell to pay.
I cycled the Gulf rd. 90. For many many blocks only the concrete foundations remained of the neighborhoods that were once there. The national guard had set up a roadblock barring traffic at all through one section. They said Pass Christian had been completely wiped off the map. I stopped at a small restaurant for a beer just before camping for the night. I met two younger fellows there. They were volunteers planting trees to replace those destroyed by salt water surges. They told me that where we were sitting then was under sixteen feet of water during the height of the storm. And we were quite a distance from the Gulf of Mexico.

Routes / weather on southern tier route
« on: October 07, 2008, 02:23:13 pm »
I have done the southern tier four times, three and a half actually. In my opinion, winter is the only time to do the ST. It can get snowy and quite cold at times, but mostly it is crisp and clear and invigoratingly cool, and perfect for cycling. Expect to get rained on in Louisiana. Summer is too hot. I was drinking three gallons of liquid daily until I got to San Angelo, TX where my motel burned down and I got put up at the local Howard Johnson's for a few days. In San Angelo someone said west of there was known as the other side of hell. It did cool off quite a bit west of San Angelo, and my daily mileage went back up.
The southern route is south enough that winter conditions are easy enough to bare. Starting in October you will still have some quite warm days. It is nothing compared to Alaska. "When it's springtime in Alaska it's 40 below."

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-7-08 @ 11:24 AM

Routes / Ohio to California
« on: October 20, 2008, 07:15:47 pm »
If you google bicycle paths in Ohio you should find a series of paths running north and south. Make it to the Katy trail, run its full length, and you can connect with the TransAm, go west to Pueblo and Denver, and then climb into the Rockies.

Routes / riding east/south/west/north routes
« on: November 12, 2008, 12:15:06 pm »
I just read six opinions on the book "Changing Gears."
If I had it, I would read it. Sounds pretty good.

Routes / riding east/south/west/north routes
« on: October 16, 2008, 02:30:23 pm »

In my opinion, and I have never done the Transam by bicycle, your best bet for beautiful scenery and staying away from those big cities would be the northern tier. Not that it is all away from cities, but cities can be gotten around.

Get books on bicycle touring. Study them. Go to and read about people who have cycled on those routes, and who may be cycling them right now. There are plenty of cycling web pages that may have information on those routes. The Atlantic coast has plenty of cities, but there is a route around NYC. The Pacific coast is advised for great scenery. However, for a first time tour it is kind of tough with all those steep hills, and if you pull into a state campground with a car and tent they might charge you much more than in a hiker-biker campsite.

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