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Messages - Westinghouse

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Routes / Re: Crossing the Mississippi
« on: December 29, 2015, 01:25:17 pm »
If you cross near Saint Francesville, there is a bridge. If you cross on 190 there is a bridge with narrow lanes and wide traffic moving at break-neck speeds at all hours. If you go through the Big Sleazy you can follow the elevated path on the dike to where you can get the Plaquemine ferry.  Check that spelling.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier with no camping?
« on: December 28, 2015, 09:53:05 am »
To make the point about the weather, you can see the lethal storms that just blasted the landscapes and cityscapes of the Midwest. About 24 people killed with more heavy weather on the way. On one crossing of the ST in summer there was only 30 minutes of light rain in Slidell, LA, and one rain storm that lasted all night where I sat and slept at a booth at Love's Truck stop just west of Las Cruces, NM, and that was all. On other trips there were numerous storms. Some were lethal and caused flooding.

General Discussion / Re: bike vs. bike
« on: December 22, 2015, 01:54:50 pm »
The saddle is important. See those cheap, off-the-rack saddles on some bikes. They may be of some good benefit to you, if you are a masochist. See how they are sort of high in the center, and the way they slope down around the outside edges? No-no--emphatically---NO! You can get comfortable saddles for $25.00 or so. Get advice from experienced riders. See Look at the photos. What about those saddles? Many, some, those are what you are looking for. Test ride it.

General Discussion / Re: bike vs. bike
« on: December 22, 2015, 10:28:00 am »
When it comes to brakes there is something to be said. It might be a mundane subject, and definitely materialist, and when it comes to cycling long distances carrying a load of gear, and traversing hills and mountains, brakes are very important items which can, in fact, mean the difference between injury and death, and staying upright among the living. All my bikes used the horseshoe-shaped caliper brakes, the kind they had on the old "English racers" in the 1960s-70s-80s. All my tours---about 40,000 miles through 19 countries, including the Rockies and the Alps, got along just fine with these kinds of brakes. On the southern tier it required two sets of pads for the back wheel and one for the front, because of wear, of course. On one crossing of the southern tier I got all the way across on only one set of pads, and those on the front. There were no brakes on the back. A one-brake tour is definitely not recommended, and if it is, it is recommended against. There was at least one very interesting experience resulting from the one-brake tour that had a salutary affect on me.

I am at the top of this long and steep hill, beginning to descend. It is raining. The  speed increases. I work the brakes to lower the momentum to be ready to stop at the 4-way intersection at the base of the hill, with fast-moving traffic going past. Braking power is 90 per cent gone. Water and small debris from the road coat the pads and rim. I squeeze the brake lever as hard as I can and just keep rolling along toward the lines of cars and trucks speeding along at 90 degrees from the road I am on. Because of caution and experience, my decision to start braking early in the descent brings me to a hault in the intersection, just short of traffic.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier in January of February?
« on: December 20, 2015, 11:14:28 am »
It is easily doable in winter. I did it at 65. Now I am 66. Have a good sleeping bag and tent if you camp. The 15 degree Slumberjack bag is fine for the cold. I used an 8 by 10 tarp. It was good enough. At $12.00 you can't beat the price.

General Discussion / Re: bike vs. bike
« on: December 20, 2015, 11:04:51 am »
Some road bikes are fine for fully-loaded long distance touring. The Raleigh Technium frame built in the 1980s went a very long way before the chain stay broke twice on the right where it connected to the dropout.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier with no camping?
« on: December 18, 2015, 07:46:34 pm »
Having no way to camp, and relying on the shelter of motels or hosts might put you in uncomfortable positions from time to time. Your planned destination for any given day may seem easily enough attained where mileage is the only concern. Mileage is only one variable. Strong winds and or rain can put you off your bike for hours making the day's planned stop beyond your reach. I would say you could probably do the southern tier the way you plan, relying on motels and others for shelter every night or so. I would also say I have done the ST 5 times from Florida to California, and twice from Florida to El Paso, Texas. Many times storms, wind and rain sent me off the road, sometimes all night, sometimes for large parts of the days. Being out there day after day, week after week might put you in the way of lethal weather events. In fact, it is considered a small miracle I am still alive, what with the many instances of massive bolts of lightning slamming to earth all around like a concentrated military barrage. You could have excellent weather like I had on one crossing, and you could be brought to a dead stop by wind and storm. It is a matter of possibilities. I always camp most nights, and stay occasionally in motels. In a car it is one matter. The power and shelter conquer wind and rain up to a point. On a bicycle the weather has much more control over you than in a motor vehicle.

General Discussion / Re: First cross country tour-Help a guy out
« on: December 17, 2015, 11:27:04 am »
Maps only is fine.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling Partners
« on: December 17, 2015, 11:22:56 am »
It sounds great. ACA might tell you the approximate number of cyclists on the great divide. They seem to have a general awareness of the likelihood of meeting others on particular routes, such as the southern tier and the transam. Some research revealed a transcontinental motorcycle route most all of which was off-road. It seemed doable by trail bike There might be issues with distances to facilities and access to food and water. Years ago their maps sold for $300.00, or something like that.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling Partners
« on: December 15, 2015, 11:02:50 am »
There is a link to that on the home page. From reading about the divide, it appears you would need a "mountain" bike. How much time do you think you would need? I gave it some thought myself.

Routes / Re: Transam: solo or group ride? Has anyone done both?
« on: December 12, 2015, 10:57:38 am »
As for myself, I would not want to go far in a group tour, I believe. Personal freedom is more important than whatever advantages there might be in numbers. I would be willing to drive a sag wagon for a long tour for lodging and food. That I could handle. However, I could most likely cope on a group tour on bicycle.

Routes / Re: Route from SF to LA
« on: December 12, 2015, 10:50:38 am »
The way can be more complicated than just following the road. Maps, GPS, google maps, which most seem to have, should eliminate any uncertainties. That was an excellent ride. Ana Cortes to San Diego.  Washington rocked, Oregon rained, California rolled.

Routes / Re: Europe North to South
« on: December 10, 2015, 07:54:49 pm »
There are many dedicated paths in western Europe. I think there are maps expecially for these paths. I used some of them. They were very nice, completely off the roadways, and ran through forests. Some were hardpacked earth. They were smoother than concrete and asphalt, and near enough to towns that food was always readily available. Some people advise cycling the Romantischestrasse in Germany. It is full of history. It is possible to be caught out in a very violent storm like we did in Belgium. The storm came out of nowhere. It took a minute to arrive and lasted for an hour or two.
You can cycle along the Rhine river. We did. You could get a lot of rain in the Alps, and we saw many many slugs or snails on the roads in the Alps.

General Discussion / Re: Europe border closings.
« on: December 10, 2015, 07:37:46 pm »
You might want to contact the departments of state for the countries you choose. It is possible there might be complications. For example, in`1988 I went to France to join the French Foreign Legion. Normally, an American at the border of France would have been stamped a visa and allowed to pass. The problem was there had been credible terrorist threats. After landing in London they required me and all others going to France to go to an office in London where we had to apply for visas before showing up at the border. The problems have been ongoing, on-and-off for a very long time. You should have a smooth road. Sometimes they have to be careful because of why certain people want to gain entry, which definitely is not for a bicycling trip. Do not worry. They are not actually closing their borders. They are watching and checking much more vigilantly than before. Nothing to  worry about but there might be complications.

General Discussion / Cycling Partner
« on: December 08, 2015, 10:49:26 pm »
Certainly there is a designated section for cycling partners, and that is limited to members of ACA. However, I am thinking about doing another transcontinental bicycling tour this winter by way of the southern tier from Florida to San Diego or Los Angeles. I have already cycle toured about 40,000 miles through 19 countries ---USA, Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, Wales, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Czech, Poland, Ukraine, Moldavia, parts of Romania and Bulgaria, Greece, China and a little in South Korea, Ireland.

I have done the southern tier 5 times and twice from Florida to El Paso. By southern tier it is meant the southern tier of states, part on and part off ACA's mapped route.

I am 66 and expecting to meet a female companion for the trip, and while it is surely not to be, it is here for the doing, and as usual the trip will most likely be done alone.

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