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Messages - Westinghouse

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General Discussion / Re: Statistics on cross country tourers
« on: September 17, 2018, 07:39:10 pm »
I think that the number of people who “cross the country” isn’t a terribly useful metric.  It can’t really be used in comparison to anything else, such as tourism spending, highway usage, or infrastructure spending.  Total tourist-miles per year would probably be more useful.  And a harder value to determine!

It is a simple question of how many people cross the US by bicycle each year. I am not sure how those other matters are relevant to it. I did not see anyone arguing that it was a terribly useful metric for anything. Just how many. Regardless of any "metric" it may or may not be, it is probably impossible to determine with a high degree of accuracy. I mean, who is out there counting?

General Discussion / Re: Planning to go Portland > EAST somewhere
« on: September 16, 2018, 02:24:52 am »
If you do not use campgrounds, stealth sites are always to be found. If you want really nice stealth sites, you may have to spend some time looking. You can most always find something. I would not sleep out in a city. I have crossed the US many times by bicycle, N to S, E to W, S to N, and have done many shorter tours of a few weeks or 8 days. I also cycled the UK, western Europe, eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and China. I stealth camped mostly. I mostly used an 8 by 10 or 10 by 12 polyethylene camouflage tarp, tent poles, and line. Even in winter it is good for the ST with a good sleeping bag.

General Discussion / Re: Statistics on cross country tourers
« on: September 16, 2018, 02:02:51 am »
I too have wondered this for decades.  However, I think it would be pretty hard to get a firm number as the number is relatively small compared to the population. If 25,000 individual people bicycle tour (any length of tour) in the USA in a given year, that would be only 0.00083% of the USA population, way to small for an accurate measurement I would guess.

Also, some questions pop to mind in trying to do the study.  Do you include only citizens of that country (easier to survey but then not realistic), how would you define "cross country", i.e. east to west coast is pretty easy but what about NYC to Brownsville, TX?  Then there is the proverbial what is a "tourer" (I DO NOT want to start a flamefest) question, i.e. ranges from must be totally self-contained and sleep out all the way to a fully supported credit card tour?  Must it be totally self-propelled or can they take a bus/train/plane for a section of it (how big of a section)?  Do they have to complete it or only INTEND to complete it but never did (got sick, in an accident, etc.)?  How do contact them as some might miss the survey since they are out touring when the survey arrives? 

I would think though that ACA would have a somewhat good base number based on map/app sells.  Then the only issue is trying to determine how many tour and do not use ACA maps and/or use a used ACA map (already counted) and/or share a map with someone (not counted).  Then you just have to determine how many tour in other commercial cross-country groups.

I actually think it would be a very cool idea if groups like ACA, WarmShowers, and the Bicycle Tour Network would send a JOINT survey out to their members (and their customers if a commercial entity) to study this (let some college student do the study).  While not a totally accurate number, it would probably cover 75+% of "cyclotourists".

My guess is 1,298,074 people do some form of bicycle touring for at least one night at some point during 2018 in the USA.  They are just hard to find!   ;D

Intending to do a transcontinental bike tour, but not completing  should not count because anyone can say they intended to. That is unless they went a very long way and had to quit, say From Saint Augustine to eastern CA and had to quit the tour. But Saint Augustine to Louisiana might not count. It is not easy to fairly define cross country. I think NY to Brownsville would qualify. Cross country seems to say across the country, not the state or three states or five.

General Discussion / Re: Statistics on cross country tourers
« on: September 16, 2018, 01:53:40 am »
How about defining cross country. From FL to CA is definitely cross country. The Transam route is  cross country. NY to Brownsville is too, but what about Jacksonville, FL to Brownsville? I did that once. If that is, what about FL to Brownsville to  El Paso, TX?

In 1987 I did 2600 miles of the northern tier as mapped by ACA. I met maybe 25 cyclicts, 10 or 15 of which were in a Bikecentennial group. On the ST, on ACA and mostly off, I have crossed 5 times and saw very few cyclists on tour. On one crossing or maybe three I saw  no touring cyclists at all, and that was winter.

General Discussion / Re: [Video] - London to York - Bicycle adventure
« on: September 16, 2018, 01:41:21 am »
Hi people, if interested I've uploaded a 4k scenery video of my London to York bicycle ride, in the UK.

The route went via; Bedford, Peterborough, Lincoln, Hull and York. Some interesting cities.

Originally was hoping to get to Edinburgh but due to a migraine I had to end in York but was a nice place to finish at :)

I'm happy to answer any questions if you had any,
Cheers & hope you like the vid. Robert

That was good. I liked it. I did the UK by bike in 1984 and 1986. In 1984 it went like this: London, Canterbury, Sandwich, Deal, Dover. Romney Marsh, Isle of Wight, Salisbury, Cambridge, Kings Lynn, Berwick on Tweed, Kingston, Scarborough, Edinburgh, Ayr, Stranraer, Lake district, Manchester, Liverpool, Fishgard in Wales, London, lake district, London.

In 1986 I did the lake district, Stranraer, then Larne in Ulster, the coast to Antrim, giant's causeway, Port Stewart, Derry, back to Stranraer, lake district, back to Preston, Lancashire.

General Discussion / Re: Cheap tires cost more than expensive tires.
« on: September 16, 2018, 01:26:39 am »
I've been touring and commuting on Schalble Marathons for years.  I can honestly say that I've never had a flat. I do replace them after the tread is getting thin but that's after 4-5 thousand miles.

Definitely a good investment.

I think it depends on where you tour and how far. I do not remember getting any punctures on the pacific coast route from Ana Cortes to San Diego. I remember on highway 98 west of Perry, Florida I got a puncture in a Schwalbe Marathon. It was a roofing nail, I think. It was maybe  3 / 4 of an inch long. It had a large head. It must have been set straight up. No bicycle tire I know could have gone over it like that without getting punctured. That would have punctured kevlar, tire liners, anything.

General Discussion / Re: Cheap tires cost more than expensive tires.
« on: September 15, 2018, 10:49:48 am »
I crossed the country with a guy who was, let's say, "frugal." He was riding cheap tires. He spent a lot of time by the side of the road patching tubes.

Yes. I remember 35-40 stops for patching with cheap tires on a transcon. I remember 8 to 10 on Marathons. I remember having to look around for bike shops with cheap tires, but sailing through a tour mostly carefree with Marathons and Continentals.

General Discussion / Re: Cheap tires cost more than expensive tires.
« on: September 14, 2018, 04:43:19 pm »
I agree. Furthermore, I typically get 7000 to 8000 miles (loaded) out of a Schwalbe Marathon, but only 3000 to 4000 (unloaded) out of all other tires.

Those old IRC and Kenda tires maxed out at 1100--1200 miles on the rear with a load. That was max before they would wear through to the tube---Pop. But they also cut and holed very easily which meant sometimes 300 miles on a tire with plenty of tread left, but which lumped up and bubbled up because of what began as a small slit gradually enlarged and ruined the ride.

General Discussion / Cheap tires cost more than expensive tires.
« on: September 13, 2018, 11:12:55 pm »
 I used to carry a spare tire. That was when I used less expensive tires. For example, with cheap tires you might use 4 on the rear and three on the front from Florida to California. With cheap tires, if you get a small slit, it gradually gets larger, and eventually it balloons up, and starts twisting off the rim. Thump bump thump bump thump as you wheel along looking for a place to replace your fourth rear tire in 2000 miles. There are millions of bits and pieces on the road to pierce tires.
With stronger tires, Schwalbe Marathon, the tires can take those bits and pieces with no slits and holes. If the tire does get cut or holed, is stays perfectly together. They hold together. You need only one set from coast to coast. I used to carry a spare. The last few tours I did not because I used tires that were stronger and more reliable.

Don't go anywhere without a patch kit, levers, and a pump on long tours, no matter what kind of tires.


General Discussion / Re: Free Ranging Dogs and the Cyclist
« on: September 13, 2018, 10:43:25 pm »
Overall I totally agree with your experiences and advise EXCEPT for the ammonia.  Since that can cause blindness or severe respiratory issues to the dog (and to you or your cycling partners if it blows back onto you), I do not recommend using ammonia.
For almost 40 years, I have used a squirt from my water bottle and/or Halt (pepper spray approved by the US Postal Service in case any owner complains) depending on the situation.  Some people swear by a really loud whistle or an air horn but it is not worth the effort to me.

Must say, I now have second thoughts about touring in Eastern Europe  ;) .
Safe riding, John

Totally agree with you about ammonia and water. I never even used pepper spray or anything like that at all. As for those insane beasts in eastern Europe, I would recommend spraying with a gallon of 93 octane gasoline, and throwing in a lit match. Better yet, a flame thrower. I kid you not.

General Discussion / Free Ranging Dogs and the Cyclist
« on: August 28, 2018, 11:25:26 pm »
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 lolling 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 the 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 was 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 sargeant. 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 whiff 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 between 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 there 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.

As for some of those dogs I encountered in eastern Europe, nothing short of a firearm would save you.  Some of those would run you to earth and kill you and eat you. I had never seen anything even remotely as vicious as those, and have not seen anything like it since. If there is any such thing as a homicidal, insane, psychotic, murderous, savage dog, those dogs were it. Thank God for chain link fences. They must have been raised to be that way.

General Discussion / Re: border crossing
« on: March 08, 2018, 03:32:03 pm »
I agree--it sounds like you have a story to tell.

I doubt that the location of the crossing makes that much of a difference. The difference is most likely the personality and mood of the agent you encounter. I've crossed a number of times on a bicycle. Some agents were friendly and chatty, but most were very stern and business-like. Some ask questions that sound accusing and skeptical, but I figure they're just doing their job.

What happened, exactly?

That's cool.

General Discussion / Re: Tips for Cross Country Ride 2019
« on: January 30, 2018, 04:37:34 pm »
maps - showers -  food and drink at stores and restaurants -strength is your concern. Warm showers.

ST x 7, last one ending in 2015.

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