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Messages - Westinghouse

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Susan, you have the experience. I have done the ST, my version of it, 4 or five times on upright bikes carrying 30-45 pounds of gear. Twice to El Paso from FL. About 40,000 miles through 19 countries. I have found the ST a very good ride in winter. I did it last winter in 66 days, long for me, with 43 days cycling major distances. About 25 percent of those days, more actually, were spent in motels The rest were camping, if you want to call what  I do camping, e.g., stringing up an 8 by 10 tarp and sleeping in a sleeping bag on a closed cell foam pad on the ground. It gives one a hard edge. It's good for you. There are articles about touring with a trike. There was one. Perhaps it was on CGOAB. Someone did the Pacific coast route by trike. If you go to CGOAB and type "touring on a trike" you might come across some useful and interesting information.

General Discussion / Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« on: November 28, 2015, 11:27:29 am »
Bicycles must be contained, box or hardshell.

On highway 20 going west in northern Florida I met a man about my age, 65, on a recumbent trike. He was going west. He was able to pass me easily with me on an upright bicycle. Trikes seem to have some advantage in reduced wind resistance. All that may be so, and I made it out to San Diego. Good ride.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier variant
« on: November 26, 2015, 12:46:55 pm »
I-10 north of San Antonio most of the way to Casa Grande, AZ. I-8 most of the way to Yuma, AZ. Road from hell in Winterhaven to Ogilby to 78 to various roads to Ocotillo, CA. I-8 to hysterical hwy. 80. Road maps into San Diego.

General Discussion / Re: Atlantic Coast Bicycle Route USA
« on: November 26, 2015, 12:36:17 pm »
What extraordinary ambition, endurance and energy. The route is a good one. There will always be food and beverages. There is the east coast greenway.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring without fenders - big mistake?
« on: November 11, 2015, 04:02:14 pm »
I have toured about 40,000 miles without fenders. No big deal. Use them.

Routes / Re: Route from SF to LA
« on: November 11, 2015, 03:59:29 pm »
Just follow the coast highway. I did it with roadmaps and DOT maps. DOT will send maps for free, or they did in 1993, anyway.

General Discussion / Re: Dogs n' bears
« on: November 08, 2015, 09:02:29 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.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire recommendation for supported tour
« on: October 10, 2015, 05:56:28 pm »
Schwalbe Marathon tires will take you coast to coast with no problem where normal wear is the matter under consideration. Of course, should some jagged piece of metal or glass come under you wheel, the no problem might become a problem, and your tire is gashed. Problems can develop.

Gear Talk / Re: Shoes/pedals for a cross country ride?
« on: October 10, 2015, 05:52:31 pm »
I have not used them myself, but from all the reviews I have read, I would strongly suggest that you use those clip-in shoes and pedals. Everybody said they could definitely feel the difference in increased pedaling efficiency. Experience is not the best teacher. It is the only teacher.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier Shortcuts
« on: October 10, 2015, 05:48:41 pm »
I would not take Hwy. 90 going west out of New Orleans ever again. It is better to follow the river to the Plaquemine ferry, and go north to Hwy 190. The Cajun Circus truck stop is a really good place for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 24 and 7. If you take 190 west through Baton Rouge you will meet a long narrow bridge with wide traffic. Don't try it. Even at 1:00 am it was impossible to cross without encountering extremely fast trucks and cars. There is absolutely no side lane on this bridge. The Tammany Trace to 190 is a much better alterative to 90 through N.O. That is if you want to skip part of the ACA route. I would advise also there are good reasons the mapped route was chosen as opposed to others ways.

It gets somewhat hilly. Nothing to worry about. The hills are comparatively short and not so very high. I hardly noticed them. I have done it 3 or 4 times.

There are many details that must be explicated before anyone can tell you how much a trip of that length and duration might cost. In my considerable experiences crossing the USA by bicycle, costs can range between $8.00 a day and $60.00, and more if you choose to stay more often in motels, depending on which motels. In Van Horn, TX you might get a room for $23.00. Others in other towns might cost $65.00, $110.00, etc. It is impossible to say with any high degree of certainty until your plans are more explicit.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier Shortcuts
« on: September 20, 2015, 09:10:25 pm »
You can take Interstate 10 by going north out of San Antonio, and staying on it most of the way to Casa Grande, AZ. The shoulders in NM and AZ can get rough and covered in debris. Dodging junk takes the edge off the sameness. You can take I-8 at Casa Grande and stay on it mostly till Yuma, AZ where you exit, and get on one of the bumpiest roads in America beginning in Wintehaven, CA. Stay on bumpy till it runs out and go right a couple of dozen miles or so, and you are on hwy. 78. Go west. Glamis, Imperial Valley etc .Regain I-8 in Ocotillo, CA until you must exit onto hysterical highway 80. Pine Valley and west and there you are.

Routes / Re: which route in usa
« on: September 20, 2015, 09:01:43 pm »
That is a hell of a choice you have to make. 1 would be great, and so would 2. Personally, I think you could do the PCBR from Ana Cortes in Washington to San Diego in CA, and south to Mexico. The Transam is probably the greatest of all ways to bike. 2 would take in perhaps the best of both worlds. The Transam will run into some major time and money.

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