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Messages - Westinghouse

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General Discussion / Re: Overseas medical and crash insurance
« on: April 01, 2024, 07:00:41 am »
Having that kind of insurance is a capital idea. Many people seem to think accidents, catastrophes and other hazardous visitations always happen to some other persons, not to themselves.  The thing is, to everybody else, you , we,  I are those other persons.  Traveling and living overseas as I did for 12-13 years, I encountered 1 train derailment. I survived it.  Eighteen were killed and 70 injured. The injuries were severe mutilation and dismemberment. In Yemen where I was, near me were one attempted assassination of the British deputy of mission in Sanaa, lethal riots, marches, demonstrations and one mass murder killing 50 people and wounding about 300. In Kuwait I worked for the ministry of defense.  We had 25 teachers. Two were killed in traffic. Seven to ten others were in accidents of varying degrees of severity.  Donald Viner, Shaddy from Egypt, Moosa from India and I were smashed into at a high rate of speed.  It was a serious wreck.  In Riyadh there were about 15 actions by people in vehicles to run me down deliberately in the street.

There were many other incidents. Problems definitely come along. Certainly, every day, people traveling the world need insurance to cover the costs of the exigencies of an uncertain world. I did a lot of bicycle touring in western and eastern Europe and the  former Soviet Union.  I did a lot of train touring around Europe by Eurail. Personally, I did not carry insurance in those days. I read too many Superman comic books when I was a young, pliant, impressionable little boy. I grew up thinking I was invincible invulnerable. Besides that, I could not afford it and played the odds.

General Discussion / Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« on: March 30, 2024, 12:36:52 am »
I read in crime reports the most frequently stolen items in the United States are cell phones and bicycles. This happened when I got my first touring bike. I brought it home. I left it in front of the house with the front of the bike pushed into a bush. It was a thick bush and the front of the bike was inside the bush. There was a cable lock going from the bike to the root of this book. That was the first time I had the bike. I came out the next morning and somebody had tried to steal it. The bike was pushed over on its side and there were several scuff marks on the side of the house where they had pulled and pushed and yanked on it where the saddle had rubbed against the wall of the house he outside wall. I guess they gave up and took off. You talk about theft? In my hometown of Stuart Florida there was a driveway up to my house. I locked my car every night and I do mean every night without exception. I always locked it. Only one single night did I neglect to lock my car. The next morning everything inside the car was stolen it was missing. I was cycling through Scottsdale Arizona. I stopped at a Wendy's restaurant. I left the bike out front in Plainview through this big picture window. The manager said is that bike locked? I told him no I can see it. He said somebody had been there before with a bicycle. The guy put the bicycle outside against the wall just like I had. The cyclist went inside to get something to eat. Some black guy came running up lickity split grab the bike, he mounted it and took off. By the time the cyclist was on his feet and outside, the thief was a hundred feet away. This stuff happens all the time.

General Discussion / Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
« on: March 25, 2024, 01:51:49 pm »
Coastal pacific western states have the right idea about the camping, and where else in the contiguous USA will you find similar to that? Nowhere I know.

Exactly!!! The only such place was in Italy on the Via Francigena where Catholic church sites offer lodging for 20-25 Euros for a bed and a shower... And in Italy we eat even better than in North America  :D

I bicycle-toured Italy twice.  I loved it.  If I  had been independently monied, I would have never left there. Not sure they had the church accommodations in 1994.

I have health insurance and I know hardly anything about it.  It is overly complicated for me.  If anything bad should happen, I would just hand them the card and hope for the best.

General Discussion / Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« on: March 24, 2024, 08:20:03 pm »

"I also have a pet peeve about how a lot of "bike friendly" businesses put the bike racks in an out-of-the-way place so the bike thieves can do their evil work without the risk of being observed."

The business people are probably not cyclists.  They are unaware.  Tell them.  It may be unlikely that a thief will steal your bike or steal from the rack and panniers.  The facts remain that thieves are everywhere and the very real possibility of theft is extant.  If the owners own belongings were left in an area vulnerable to undetected thievery, they would move the rack. Nobody is going to care about and look after your gear, bike, money, house, belongings the way you will.  It is an observation.  No matter what anybody tells you, nobody cares about you as much as yourself.  It is always perfectly fine to position those bike racks the way you describe---so long as other people's bikes are located there.

General Discussion / Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
« on: March 21, 2024, 02:12:44 am »
Free camping is much less costly than motels, hotels, hostels, etc. With a black card membership at Planet Fitness, you can get hot showers at any PF in the US. Van Horn, Texas had the least costly motels and they were small, clean.  They might still have. Motel rates have gone through the roof. Bicycle touring, within certain limits, can cost about as little or as much as you have to spend on it. I bought a good used frame. I outfitted it with all new components, gathered my gear and went. All my gear and the bicycle and the entire journey, transcontinental, cost less than some others paid for only their bicycles.

Campgrounds have the niceties. The thing is, I come from a background of poverty. The idea of spending $20.00 and more for a few hours on the hard ground is anathema. Coastal pacific western states have the right idea about the camping, and where else in the contiguous USA will you find similar to that? Nowhere I know.

General Discussion / Re: Health + Accident Insurance
« on: March 20, 2024, 10:44:59 pm »
From my old train touring and back packing days around western Europe, I remember people discussing their travel insurance. So, companies do sell specific insurance for travelers, I assume which can be used in foreign countries.  I do not remember any specifics that might be useful.

The logging truck area on the PCBR is one length or road I remember well.  Sure, where it was two lanes it had a side lane. Problem was large sections of bark broke loose from the trunks and scattered in the roadway.  These were pushed into the side lanes.  That required zig-zagging left and right continuously, swerving left of the white line into the main motorway.  All in all, the PCBR was a great ride.

General Discussion / Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« on: March 04, 2024, 10:27:37 pm »
It isn't all or just homeless people.

Certainly, not only homeless people might cause problems.  There are many people who will take advantage of a vulnerable person.  It happens every day.  The news is full of horror stories.  Sure, quite real and true.  However, within  the context of searching out a stealth site for a night's sleep, it is the homeless that one is likely to encounter.  As for these other bad actors, they can strike any time and place.

General Discussion / Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« on: March 01, 2024, 06:58:37 pm »
If I see a well-worn path starting at a random location along an isolated forest road I'm more likely to think "Marijuana Grow Operation" or "Meth Lab" than "Homeless Encampment".  But still something to exercise caution about.

You also need to be a bit realistic.  Homeless people and drug dealers don't like to walk more than most Americans, so usually their lairs are pretty close to a town or built-up area.  So if you see a trail going off into the woods a dozen or more miles from the nearest habitation, chances are there aren't people living at the end of that trail.  There are exceptions to that so I'd argue caution but not paranoia.

Another thing:  if two streams come together and there is a flat spot nearby there will be a campsite.  Usually a quite decent one that has been used for thousands of years.  Similarly if there is an obvious ford of a large stream or river there will almost always be campsites near either side of the ford.

Every foot path where homeless people lived was near or in a city or town.  Some were former camps where people had been expelled. In these places you might see run down torn open tents and debris fields of trash.  They look like the people who were forced to move really trashed it up on their way out.  I must say, I did encounter some aggressive nasty characters on foot paths, and they were criminal homeless people, probably mentally ill with criminal records.  Most camps had been abandoned.  In any case, you have to make your choices of where to lay it down for the night. When cycling through or near a town, I generally pass up foot paths into wooded areas.  When I did follow such paths it did not end up a catastrophe at all, but there were confrontations that could have turned out very badly if I had not kept my head about me. I think going west, starting with eastern Texas, free sleep sites are more plentiful and easier to find.

General Discussion / Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« on: February 29, 2024, 06:01:12 pm »
When searching for a concealed sleep site, you might want to resist the temptation to follow an unknown, foot-worn path into the woods. Homeless and other people live along these paths in many locations nationwide.

General Discussion / Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« on: February 23, 2024, 05:56:50 pm »
Shmogger, I would say you covered the subject well enough.

General Discussion / Re: C 2 C
« on: February 20, 2024, 09:24:37 pm »
All my bicycle  touring was on roadways, sidewalks, bike paths, even extensive distances on interstate highways. For the gap I used highway 50.  Road cycling is easy for me. However, nowadays, with the crowded conditions and smelly noisy poisonous traffic, road cycling in some places is not such a viable option. I wore swimmers' ear plugs to keep out the vulgar noise. I had a rebuilt Mongoose Iboc Pro mountain bike ($1200 new). wheels 26 by 1.5, Schwalbe Marathon tires. Gravel and dirt trail cycling are not entries on my resume.

General Discussion / Re: C 2 C
« on: February 20, 2024, 08:03:02 pm »
It could be a very long time when the GART is completed in full. Not in my life time.

General Discussion / Re: C 2 C
« on: February 17, 2024, 10:46:40 pm »
 I went ahead and cycled that coast to coast rail trail in Florida. Starting in Fort Lauderdale near Miami, I pedaled US Highway 1 north to Titusville, left on Main, right on Canaveral, and there I was on the path in the inky dark.  Way too much noisy smelly traffic on 1, and no site for a stealth tent.  The C 2 C path was as smooth as silk, mostly, and kept everyone out of the motorized traffic. But here again---a paucity of even a small space of concealment for a small tent for one night.  Try being up at midnight and 3 a.m. searching for a spot 9 feet long and 8 feet wide four nights in a row.

By the time I had cleared far north of Orlando and curved south to Tampa/St Pete, I lost the trail, found myself on Hwy 19 south, and cycled that to Hwy 60 in Clearwater. The concentrations of car and truck traffic were never meant to be.  With the wind blowing the wrong way, unfortunately, a cyclist can get constant doses of air poisoning throughout the day.  Many too many cars and trucks and pollution. In Clearwater I got on Hwy 60 east to Vero Beach on the east coast 60 is doable on a bike, but not so much in Lake Wales where old-town sidewalks and no side lane define your urban landscape. More problems doing a stealth night in the bush.

From Vero Beach to my home town of Stuart and back to Fort Lauderdale was a spin. This was something like 500 or 600 miles.  I have not measured it.  What is needed is a bicycle / multiple-use trail from coast to coast in the United States.

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