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Messages - Westinghouse

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General Discussion / The road is flat. It's what?
« on: June 13, 2022, 04:07:43 pm »
When inquiring about the road up ahead from locals, they tell me it is flat. So I go my way. The road is definitely not flat. It might be rolling and it might be quite hilly. It led to an interesting observation of human psychology. People who have gone over these Hills using only motorized transportation, even though they have seen these Hills hundreds of times perceive it or at least they report it as flat. Why is this? It is that they had never had to use their own power and energy to overcome gravity getting over those Hills. Sure they know the hills are there but they tell me the road is flat. On occasion I found myself doing the same thing telling cyclist for example that the road along the Indian River between Jensen Beach and Fort Pierce is flat. Is it flat? No it is not flat. There are many numerous Rises and Falls none of which are extreme and none of which would be of any concern to a real cyclist oh, but the road is not flat./b]

General Discussion / Re: What's your strategy to stay dry?
« on: June 13, 2022, 02:26:06 pm »
Frogg Toggs from Walmart for $20. Reinforce the inseams and the crotch seems of the pants with Gorilla Tape. That is if you will be doing a lot of cycling wearing the pants. I used Frogg Toggs on a transcontinental ride. They kept me dry all the way with no problem. However, they are not durable. The slightest little rub up against a thorn or a branch might tear them. You have to be careful. They are breathable had very comfortable and waterproof at least for one transcontinental bicycling tour.

General Discussion / Re: Recent Amtrak experience
« on: June 13, 2022, 02:17:14 pm »
I took Amtrak back to Southeast Coastal Florida after bicycling to San Diego California. There was no direct route. I had to go to Washington DC and then South to Florida. The ride was okay. The bicycle arrived the same time I did. There were people on the train being deliberately pointedly rude. It was obviously on purpose. Then we have the Greyhound bus. If I were to travel to some distant point in the United States and Greyhound bus was the only possible way of getting there, even at my age I would get out to some entrances to and Interstate with a sign declaring my destination and also saying I will help with gas oh, and I would hitchhike. If Greyhound is the best they can do for a transcontinental Bus Line in America, it indicates that we are screwed. If that's the best they can do it's the beginning of the end. Probably the best way is to hunt around for Discount airline tickets. Right now they are advertising airline tickets from Fort Lauderdale Florida to Seattle Washington for around $300 to $400 one way. Greyhound is around 270 which also means four or five days on the road and buying Greyhound food which is garbage. Amtrak runs from south east coast of Florida to Washington d.c. to Seattle for about $400 one-way.

General Discussion / Re: Bear safe food storage
« on: June 06, 2022, 02:11:06 am »
Yes it is highly advisable to prevent luring Bears into a camp. I know two people who left food in their tents. Both tents were destroyed. They were ripped wide open. Everything was scattered on the floor of the tent and outside on the ground. Anything edible was smeared around all over the place. And that was just raccoons in Florida. Raccoons are much smaller than bears. You do not need a bear sniffing around where are you are sleeping in a tent.

General Discussion / Re: US dogs
« on: June 06, 2022, 01:29:33 am »
About 33000 miles all loaded touring through 19 countries. It seems like American dogs AR fairly well domesticated and peaceful. In other parts of the world are dogs who would run you to Earth. They would rip you apart and eat you. There is nothing like that in the United States that I know of. Some are aggressive. They charge out from yards and roadsides at high speed barking and yelping and sniffing very close to your feet. In Lehigh Acres news, a pack of free-ranging dogs ran onto the porch of the house and killed a pet cat. It was a domesticated house cat probably raised by some people there. There was a story in New Mexico. A pack of free-ranging dogs mauled a woman to death.

Things happen crime-wise nation wide. Of all the journals I have read, quite a few, and videos, nobody on the TAT fell victim to any of it. I had unfriendly experiences but not on the TAT. A hard looking scruffy woman threw a can of beer at me. It missed. That turned out to be Aileen Wuornos, a deranged serial killer of 7 men in Florida. A similar attack happened in Walker, Louisiana.

When it comes to keeping food out of the tent in some places, I say take that advice to heart. Animals will claw through the fabric to get at it. I know two people whose tents were ruined that way.

All this boring nothingness is getting to me. Tomorrow I will head out for a bicycle ride along the southern tier of states. I start about 275 miles south of Saint Augustine. I am on the east coast. My version of the southern tier is different from ACA's for the largest part, and it is the same in some lengths. At my advanced age I cannot guarantee myself the ride will end in San Diego. I will just have to wait and see. One possibility is making it to San Antonio, Texas, and looping south to Galveston, and returning by way of gulf coast roads. That would eliminate the costs and logistics of getting back from the west coast. However the trip turns out, it should be the elixir that lifts my spirit out of the doldrums. It will be mostly stealth camping.

General Discussion / Re: Advice for Newbies about the Weather.
« on: January 05, 2022, 02:36:08 am »
Not long after the first posting of this subject, a storm they said was unprecedented covered 75% of the contiguous US, cut power from millions in Texas, stoved in roofs, froze water pipes and caused catastrophe.  The storms of these past few weeks are called unprecedented. I got caught outside in weather similar to that. In weather events I survived, No light weight tent could have stayed up. There is not any tent or tarp that can protect you.  Keep a close frequent watch on forecasts.

General Discussion / Re: Water?
« on: January 01, 2022, 04:36:45 pm »
The need for water is a vital concern. The thing is this. I have Bicycle across the continent of North America five times east to west. I have also bicycle over the roads all around the United States and some in Canada and Mexico. I have cycled extensively in Europe and Asia and the former Soviet union. The availability of water was never a problem. With a little planning and foresight in remote areas it is not a problem. However, Cycling long distances over dirt and gravel roads in remote areas is a different matter. I have never done that so I have never been presented with the challenge of finding water in those circumstances.

General Discussion / Re: coffee coffee
« on: December 23, 2021, 05:03:08 pm »
It is a cold cold winter morning on the southern tier. You roll out of your tent. You pack, push the bike out to the road, and set out. You come to someplace that sells coffee. It could be a coffee shop, Denny’s, Burger King, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Or the local small town diner. That’s when coffee a hot cup of coffee really hits the spot. Generally speaking I am far from being a coffee hound. Some people revel And scarfing up coffee all day long.  That’s not me.

General Discussion / Re: coffee coffee
« on: December 22, 2021, 08:19:00 pm »
McDonald’s has some kind of coffee. Starbucks coffee tasted different from McDonald’s. The small coffee shops brew The best coffee. They brew up a mean cup of coffee in Ukraine. East coastal Italy had excellent coffee. I could not stop drinking it, and I rarely slept. As for myself, I am not what you would call a coffee drinker. I drink it occasionally I actually rarely and when I do I Keep it to the minimum.

General Discussion / Re: coffee coffee
« on: December 20, 2021, 03:52:01 pm »
Juan Valdez must be beaming with joy at all this.

General Discussion / Re: coffee coffee
« on: December 19, 2021, 12:19:34 am »
Somewhere they sell coffee in small bags the same way they sell teabags. That way all you have to do is heat the water and dip the bag in the water.

General Discussion / Re: Starting in January-February 2022
« on: December 14, 2021, 04:51:17 pm »
The southern tier west to east starting January is fine. I am starting January east to west. To avoid higher elevations you can use a more southerly route than one stretch of ACA's mapped trail. From San Diego, if this is your starting point, follow ACA to Jacumba and hysterical highway 80. Get on I-8 to Ocotillo, CA. Suffer the road from hell to highway 78 to Ogilby and go south, and east to Yuma, AZ. After Yuma you can take I-8 to Casa Grande, AZ and I-10 to San Antonio, TX. You can take Texas hill country from that vicinity and stay with ACA. That will keep you off the higher elevations in winter.

Another thing, too. They are calling for winter temperatures of unprecedented warmth. The ACA route may be just fine at all locations in January-February. In fact that route has been cycled in the absolute dead cold of winter. The word is be prepared. With the right equipment, e.g., clothing, tent, sleeping bag, maps, and a watchful eye on weather forecasts you can tough it through any time of year.

I have cycled and camped the southern tier a number of times in cold cold winters, and way farther north than some parts of the ACA route. It was OK. Did I ever run into weather events that made me question my sanity for being where I was? Why, hell yes. But so what. That is part of the challenge and adventure. You cannot expect it to be a bed of roses from sea to shining sea. I assure you it will never be that. If it were that easy, why do it? The difference between cruising around town on your bike, and cycling across the continent is like the difference between sailing a boat in the river at home and crossing an ocean.      Another alternate route is this one. After getting on interstate eight E. of yuma Arizona, take it to Casa grande and yet on interstate 10 to Las Cruces. Take the side roads west of I 10 to El Paso. Take a 10 from El Paso to Vanhorn Texas. In Vanhorn you can get on 90 going South. That will put you back on to the mapped out route and still keep you off the highest elevations in winter. From VanHorn Texas you can follow ACA’s Route all the way to Saint Augustine Florida.

General Discussion / Re: Is a TransAm Ride Coast-to-Coast
« on: December 14, 2021, 03:42:28 pm »
And don't forget -
With plate tectonics, the continent I rode across in 1987 has moved.
Are the plates moving apart or together? 

If the plates move apart, is your ride still consider entirely across the continent?  I mean, you might need to go back and ride those few inches that you cheated on by riding it 35 years ago.  So will I of course.  That sucks because between the two of us, we have probably crossed the country (by one or more definitions) close to 15 times. 

If the plates are moving toward each other, do we get credit on our next tour?  Can we give that credit to other riders who decide dipping is not for them?

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