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Messages - Westinghouse

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General Discussion / Re: 1 wheel bicycle beginner
« on: September 28, 2023, 11:30:38 pm »
There must be one-wheel cycles for sale online somewhere.

Often I have thought about cycling the GDMBR. In reality, I doubt I would be up for it. From the videos, it appears it would be a great ride.

General Discussion / Re: Advice for Newbies about the Weather.
« on: September 17, 2023, 10:05:16 pm »
You can be sure, if it is Westinghouse.

I love it. That's a good one with which to date yourself.

Should we also take a poll to see how many newbiesrecognize that slogan or how many have even heard of the  Westinghouse Electric Supply Company?

It is an old one for sure.

General Discussion / Re: Neck, arms and hands fatigue?
« on: September 16, 2023, 03:11:20 pm »
From my own experiences with this pain, just ride it out. The arms and hands will adapt and the pain will end, mostly. Keep taking hands off the bar and opening and closing. Not too sure about the neck. Hands, arms and back will adapt, but neck discomfort might persist. Get used to it.

General Discussion / Re: Advice for Newbies about the Weather.
« on: September 16, 2023, 03:04:50 pm »
You can be sure, if it is Westinghouse.

General Discussion / Re: Advice for Newbies about the Weather.
« on: September 14, 2023, 09:10:11 pm »
Always valid advice. Many unprecedented serious weather events are coming out of nowhere.  They are lethal.  Keep current with weather forecasts in your area while touring.  If you hear warnings of dangerous storms  headed your way, take it very seriously and take cover.  And remember, lightning does not have to strike you to kill you.  Electricity can conduct 100 feet across wet ground and kill every living thing in range. I got caught out in extreme sudden storms.  Believe me, those were lessons learned the hard way.  Take this message to heart and you learn the easy way.

General Discussion / Re: The famous bicycle
« on: September 14, 2023, 08:52:49 pm »
Bicycle quotes never go out of style.

General Discussion / Re: Learning a Foreign Language
« on: September 08, 2023, 11:05:45 pm »
There are hand-held electronic translators. Choose the language. Speak or write. Push a button. You get a written and spoken translation from the device. Same for Japanese into English.

General Discussion / Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
« on: September 04, 2023, 11:02:25 pm »
Wild camp and take showers at health clubs, planet fitness, LA fitness, 24-hour fitness, etc.  It can save you a bundle.

General Discussion / Re: Live to Ride
« on: September 04, 2023, 10:58:39 pm »
Where I live in south Florida is rich in opportunities for cycling.  In many your chances of being run over like a dog in the street are high.  You must carefully pick and choose those opportunities.  Generally speaking, here you should use those designated bike paths, rail tails, etc.

General Discussion / Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« on: August 29, 2023, 12:02:55 am »
I tried the link three times. It came up blank. Never heard of it.

General Discussion / Re: Boxed Bike on Delta Airlines
« on: August 24, 2023, 08:54:55 am »
Every time I flew with a bicycle in a cardboard box when I got to my destination one axle of a wheel was protruding through a hole in the side of the box.

Saturday September 3rd 1994. I woke early, ate a banana, packed, pushed the bike downhill directly onto the highway and pedaled for the border of Ukraine. I was soon at the border on highway 17. Getting across the border from Poland into Ukraine was a process involving seven stages. First, on the Polish side, the candidate had to present himself at an 8-ft by 4 ft shack where a guard dispensed a 1-in square piece of paper with a number on it. Second, the candidate had to conduct himself about 100 yards to a concrete building with an overhanging shed under which were three one lane roads for cars, each with its own guard shack with large Windows all the way around each one. At one guard shack a uniformed female guard asked about things should be declared and how much money the candidate carried in cash. If waved through from that point in the Inquisition, the candidate was permitted to advance upon stage 3 which entailed removing to yet another concrete building with a shed being managed by the Ukrainians. The Ukrainians were all uniformed government personnel. The fourth stage commenced inside the building where the man in the running had to show a passport, and stand interrogation from a guard who understood little English. They issued only 3-day Transit visas at the border at a cost of $15. If one filled out the application for the Visa and agreed to pay, he was privileged to enter upon the fifth stage of the negotiation which involved walking a few hundred feet to their Bank to make the necessary deposit. The bank accepted only two kinds of currency, Deutsche marks and American dollars. The sixth stage comprised walking back to the building with the shed to show the receipt for the $15. The 7th and last stage involved cycling about 1,000 ft up a hill to another small guard shack near the electrified fence at the border of Ukraine. A guard there asked more questions. What is your name? Where are you going? Why do you want to visit Ukraine? Where are you from? I explained that I had been given only a 3-day visa and that much more time would be needed to cycle through the country. He said that Visa extensions were available by applying to the bureau of police in any city that is a regional capital in Ukraine. Of course that Visa would cost more. He said that such a service is available only Monday through Friday. The border Police were competent, efficient, helpful and friendly. The last one even wished me good luck. When I told him I was from America he answered, "Ahhhhhh America." He said it in a whisper. It was obvious he wanted very much to live in America. Who could blame him for feeling that way after seeing Poland? There was a gate across the road with a narrow pedestrian path going around one end. That was my point of entry.

The western edge of Ukraine looked like the outside of a prison. On the border was a tall, metal, electrified fence. Beyond that fence was a clear strip of land about 100 ft wide. Another t-shaped barbed wire fence stood at the edge of the cleared strip. After that at first, Ukraine looked attractive. Large verdant green fields of Short Grass bordered both sides of the road. Cattle grazed lazily in the fields. Horse drawn wooden wagons hauled hay from the fields. Men hand-pushed bicycles loaded down with burlap sacks full of potatoes and other crops. In a short distance though came a perceptible decline in living standards, standards noticeably lower than in Poland. Side roads were dirty rutted muck holes. Buildings were dirtier and even more rundown looking. More human deformities were visible, adults and children with swollen infected limbs.

It was some time before a Ukrainian restaurant came into view. Hungry as hell and looking forward to a nice big nourishing meal with a small price tag, I had been in Eastern Europe long enough by that time to know that only the small price tag part of the fantasy would come true. But I was still permitting myself that singular delusion simply because it was so hard to shake that expectation after living 44 years in places where nice big nourishing meals were always taken for granted. The sickening smell was the first thing that distinguished that particular eatery as I entered it's small dark rectangular gloom. The place smelled putrid like rotting flesh or road carrying rotting in the sun. There must have been somewhere out of sight a big dead rotting animal hanging from a meat hook. The worn tile floor was covered in layers of ground in filth. The walls and tables look gloomy grimy and dank. A glass display case held a one foot in diameter round of cheese. On top of the cheese was a big hunk of rancid meat. There was no way in hell I would eat in that place. The few grimy characters standing at one small table looked more sinister than anyone pictured in the FBI flyers on the walls in American post offices. A small hardware store was in the same building in another room. I walked in to take a look. The few shelves contained a few small farming implements and a few jars of paint. Across the street was a drab gray one story elementary School. The children who filed out of that place were so clean and healthy looking they seemed incongruous to the entire setting. Their clothes were washed. Their hair and complexions were clean and clear. They presented something of a contrast to the rough, worn, soiled appearances of young and old alike in the rest of Eastern Europe. There was also a small food store connected with the restaurant building, but there was no sign of food anywhere.

I needed water and what better place to ask for it than there, or so I thought. Asking a woman behind the counter, she just shook her head no from side to side. Then a man appeared around the corner from a hall and motioned for me to follow him. He walked across the highway to a round Stone water well about 4 ft in diameter and 4 ft high. A inverted v-shaped wooden shed sheltered its opening. The man grabbed a galvanized metal bucket connected to a steel cable and dropped it into the well. He used a hand operated crank to pull the water filled bucket to the top. He filled my plastic water bottle with the cold clear liquid. I immediately popped in two iodine water purification tablets into the bottle and shook it vigorously. A mangy dog chained to a building near a house barked like crazy. Numerous Small potatoes lay on the concrete near the well. I thank the man and I took a photo and left.

Countless men and women were bent in stoop labor in the fields on both sides of the road. They carried their crops from the fields in push carts, and wheelbarrows and loaded onto old one speed bicycles. Life here was definitely a few steps down the ladder from Poland already.

Soon a small wooden roadside bistro offered another opportunity for food. Four men sat outside playing cards at a wooden table. I explained to them about being hungry and having only polish money, and asked them to sell me something to eat. The owner of the establishment invited me in and gave me bread, coffee, sausage, ketchup and a stiff drink of whiskey, all three of charge. Even there an old man and an old woman were bent in stoop labor in a small field of vegetables contiguous with the lot The bistro was on.

After a while more cycling down the road, after getting lost a few times, and after asking lots of directions, and cycling down a few gloomy back roads, I made my way into the city of Lviv. I had planned to avoid this metropolis of more than one and a half million people, but now it was the nearest regional capital for obtaining an extension on the 3-day transit Visa. I stopped for a haircut. The barber gave me a haircut, and then a shave with a hot towel treatment, both for about 20 cents. I gave him $2 which was damn good pay for a haircut and shave in that part of the world. Someone advised me to go to the hotel George on Ivan Franko Strasse to get in touch with the tourist office and the police. From there it was a matter of hand pushing the bike along the sidewalk. One distinguishing feature of Ukrainian people in general was that their everyday people looked like some of our worst down and outers in the United States. What we in the United States see in the most ragged, low-rent quarters was what was normal across the board in Ukraine, even in the uptown sections of major cities. People had that disheveled worn out appearance. There was plenty of body odor, as if most had not showered or bathed regularly, as if where they lived was bereft of water and soap. People were noticeably shorter than people in the West whose standards of sanitation and health are on a much higher plane.

A blonde-haired man about 5 ft and 8 in tall approached me on the sidewalk. The man was odd looking and he reeked of alcohol. His right eye was white and he was clearly blind in that eye. It appeared that at one time he had sustained serious injury to his head, for a considerable portion of his skull was covered in scar tissue where it had been crushed inwards. He asked something in German, so I told him in German that I was going to the hotel George. He said he would show me where it was, and he did. The hotel George had been a grand old hotel in its time, but now it was long past its Glory Days. Still it was quite an edifice for the likes of Ukraine. A blonde haired woman at the reception desk informed it would cost $46 to spend the night. The price was definitely out of line, so naturally I declined. She said the tourist and Visa services were around the corner at the police station and they would reopen on Monday. I thanked her for the information and left. As I turned to go I caught a glimpse of the old serpentine staircase leading to the dark upstairs hallway. The place must have been 8 or 10 stories high.

Back out on the sidewalk a chain smoking Ivan reiterated continuously about going to his house with him. Normally such an invitation would have been courteously received and readily enough accepted. ivan, however, had breath that smelled very strongly of alcohol, and his general demeanor was abnormal. He kept crowding me on the sidewalk, touching my arm and babbling over and over in broken English that we should go to his house. He must have repeated that 25 times. Knowing not to trust alcoholics, I looked for a way to avoid Ivan. There would be a more pleasant visit in Lviv without this man. So, I walked along, with Ivan nearby going on incessantly about going to his house, thinking of a polite way of extracting myself from the situation. I had already declined Ivan's invitations several times. He stopped at a street vendor for two bottles more of vodka and a few packs of cigarettes. The last thing I wanted to do my first night in Ukraine was stayi up all night swilling rot-gut alcohol with a chain smoking brain damaged alcoholic.

I saw a young man in dark dress pants and a white shirt. He had the look of an intelligent young man, so I said to him, "Hello, do you speak English?" He said he did, so we got to talking. I told him about this fellow Ivan, and asked the young man to tell Ivan that his invitation was not being received, and that I would seek other accommodations. The young man did that. Ivan said he understood and he left straight away. The man said that there are many hotels in Lviv, and when they find out a foreigner needs a room they charge 10 to 20 times as much as they charge Ukrainians. He said travelers in Ukraine are better off going to a person's home and offering a few dollars for a night's accommodation. Nine times out of 10 you will be offered a place to sleep. You are better off doing things in a less formal way in Ukraine, not the traditional. The fellow was nice enough to walk back through the center of town to show the location of some hotels. One hotel refused to take in foreigners. Another had no available rooms.

This fellow was a postgraduate student at the University of Physical Culture, physical fitness, in Lviv. He was 24 and had lived in the city for 7 years. He told me this much.  "Ukraine is very corrupt. We know that. The people wanted change, but there has been little change and it has come too slowly. Most Ukrainian people are not interested in physical fitness. The only change in Lviv after perestroika was the addition of a religious cloister near the University stadium. Under Gorbachev, people who had amassed savings were arrested and their savings were confiscated. While these people were imprisoned inflation increased at the rate of 3,000% and 4,000% per year. Later these people were released and their money was returned to them, but by then it was worthless. Young people are finding more work, but the elder people are being left out in the cold. Pensioners are paid $10 to $15 a month and get bread and milk only. But I believe that Ukraine is superior to the rest of the world, including the United States. I would like to visit the United States only temporarily." When I asked him where else he had been in the world besides Ukraine, he said he had been only to Russia and Kazakhstan.

He was living in a hostel near his university. He invited me to stay over there a few days. He seemed like a decent enough fellow, and it turned out he was at that. An hour of walking got us from the city center to the hostel. We carried the bike and panniers up four stories to his room. We had a cold shower in the first floor shower room. He prepared us a delicious dinner of fried eggs and salad. After dinner he invited over two of his friends to meet the American cyclist. One was Sergie, a patriot of the port city of Odessa on the black sea, and a champion boxer for Ukraine who had trained for 9 years. I did not get the name of the other man. They asked many questions. Where are you going in Ukraine? How long will it take? What routes do you plan to follow? What kind of work do you do in America? I answered these and many other questions. Everyone left after a while. We finally hit the sack around 2:00 a.m. . I could not sleep again, so I got up and took two sleeping tablets which pushed me over the edge around 4:00 a.m. .

Day 27 saw me 76 miles farther along than the day before. There was a passage through a seven stage process of leaving Poland and entering the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine where an even sharper decline in living standards soon became visible, standards worse by far than either in Czech or Poland, standards of which I was gradually growing more wary. Towns were dirtier. People looked rougher, less healthy and more soiled. Side streets in towns were often just muck trails, passable only by Jeep or mule. Buildings were smaller, grimier, more cracked and crumbling than anything visible from the hard top up to that time. The stench of poverty, of abject desperation was everywhere. The warnings given by the Polish cyclists, and the fact that I carried more money than most Ukrainians could hope to earn in 9 years were certainly not the more comforting. Quite the contrary, robbery and murder were both real concerns. Ukraine was a cash only economy. They wanted only Deutsche marks and American dollars. Everything else could go to hell. I had gotten into Lviv and made a friend who invited me to a hostel for a few days. There had been some recuperation from the illness contracted in Poland, so things were looking up once again.

General Discussion / Re: Barge and Bike in the USA?
« on: July 31, 2023, 06:57:09 am »
Barge rentals in England, yes.


ALL VOICE TO TEXT, some errors.  My flight from New York to Paris touched down in Orly airport at 6:20 a.m.. the sky was dark gray. A moderate rain cooled the air fully wetting the tarmac around the jet. Customs and immigrations were a breeze. There was hardly a check or a question as we moved through the various lines and booths to the luggage area. The French did not even require a Visa which was surprising. In 1988 I had gone to France to enlist in the French foreign legion. Then the French required everyone to have a Visa because of terrorist threats they were keeping a close watch on everyone's comings and goings. There had been a waiting in line at a special office in London along with other people who had gotten themselves and Tangled in the Visa crunch. Now though it was just walk through and get it done. Two cardboard boxes weighted at baggage claim. One contained a chromoly touring bicycle and the other held the remainder of the gear. Because the other passengers had made off with all the baggage carts the best way to move them was by placing the smaller box on top of the box containing the bicycle and skidding them along the smooth tile floor. To some people it might have had an effect similar to screeching ones fingernails across a chalkboard but that was the only way. The immediate goal was getting into Paris to some discernible point from which to begin the journey. People at the airport said to take an Orly bus to somewhere in downtown Paris but where I did not know. With the two boxes loaded onto the bus it was necessary to hold them tightly as they swayed from side to side during the serpentine 20 minute ride into the City of lights. The first likely place was a rain drenched sidewalk in front of a city bus station in the small square d e n f e r t r o c h e r e a u. There was a clear plexiglass bus stop shelter there to keep out of the rain. The first plan was to unpack the bikes there assemble the bike and be ready to go when the rain stopped. However the shelter was so small and so many people kept coming and going from the buses that it was not possible. There was a small green park with an earthen footpath running through it just across the street that would make a good assembly point when the rain stopped.

Two young women from California were in the shelter. One was crying. She said their vacation had turned out miserably. She described their experience as a horror a nightmare. She said she and her friend were lost and penniless nearly late for their flight home and unable to speak French without a way to the airport. That did not seem to qualify as a genuine horror or a nightmare. It was more the case of the spoiled poor little rich girl who upon experiencing some minor inconveniences overreacts and blows they predicament completely out of perspective and proportion. But there was no use saying anything about that. however her words did bring back memories of August the 1st 1980 in buttevant Ireland when my train was derailed resulting in the worst railroad disaster in the history of Ireland with 18 people who were killed and more than 75 who were injured. Those injuries were truly horrible and appalling. For 6 months before that there were clear terrorists threats and warnings from soldiers in the United States army who were protected by the United States government. That was a horror and a nightmare. A few minutes later both of them were speaking French and boarding their bus to the airport. They made a quick recovery.

Hunger was setting in. The red neon lights of a pizza restaurant down the street to the left called out and made the stomach growl and set the juices to flowing. The questions were these. Was eating worth the trouble of carrying all that weight for a block? If not was it safe to leave everything unattended? The answer or the best answer to both questions was no. Had to besides that a frugal budget was necessary as usual and eating in Paris is notoriously expensive. The rain stopped in 2 hours and a dark gray sky remained.

It took only 30 minutes to move the boxes to the park and spread out everything on two benches. The ground was a drenched red clay that had splattered up on everything and stuck there. Moving carefully to avoid dropping any parts into the sticky clay it took about 2 hours to assemble the bike pack the panniers and then put everything together. A man and a woman two benches away we're smoking marijuana. The camping gear clothing and other items weighing about 60 lb were distributed in two large rear panniers two smaller front panners and a handlebar bag with the rest stacked onto a rack mounted over the rear wheel. The bike itself weighing about 32 lb seemed to wobble under the strain of body and gear.

When I pulled out for the first time onto the streets of Paris it must have been a site. Straddling the bike at some street corner to confer with a map of Paris, it was time to set out through the bustling City traffic following road signs to Led Halle, g a r e. du  nord, there was a right turn to parallel a quay at the S e i n e River and after that there was a canal. Somewhere in town was a McDonald's which charge $6.50 for hamburger Coke and fries. The streets of Paris were lined with apartment houses, businesses of all sorts, and sites of historic interest.

Mary ettinger and I had been tourists in Paris in the summer of 1982. We were on a one month rail pass in Western Europe and visiting in Paris many of the attractions to tourists go there to see. Now those places no longer held an allure. For this was the commencement of a major bicycling Odyssey whose first task required cycling successfully through the world's fourth most densely populated city with its more than 4,082 streets, 314 places, 8,016 intersections, and more than 2.2 million people distributed at more than 54,000 per square mile. That according to an encyclopedia. And already there were feelings of apprehension about what conditions might be encountered in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics.

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