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Messages - Westinghouse

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General Discussion / Re: Osteoporosis and long distance cyclists
« on: March 05, 2009, 12:33:55 pm »
I second that totally. Jogging, running, lifting weights, calesthenics. I have done it for years, but not in the past few months. I ran / jogged for years and years and was still doing so regularly up until some months ago. I have always read that kind of exerceise increases bone thickness and density and strength. Not to mention too much about the fact that you feel a lot better in just about every way with a proper regimen of exercise and a good diet. The longest I have ever run at one time without stopping was seventeen miles. I once worked out extensively three times a week for eight months, and went on a real healthy diet before going on a long bicycle tour. There I was, 53 or 54 years old, and I was built pretty darn good. I have a photo of myself, and if you had not been able to see my face, you might have thought I was thirty at first glance. The problem is I simply do not pump up the way I did when I was younger. Father time has a lot more to say about such matters than I will ever have. Therefore, I do have some extensive experience with what Biker James is talking about, and I wholeheartedly agree. Varied forms of exercise, aerobic and anaerobic.

General Discussion / Re: Living on my bike
« on: March 05, 2009, 08:15:40 am »
There is no need for tourista to make an apology. Everybody sees the world in the light of his own experiences, and by whatever vicarious learning he can acquire along the pathway of life. What he has seen is what he has seen and known. It should not be taken as a negation of anyone's point of view, but as a valuable contribution to the broad spectrum of realities we call the human experience. Therefore, some people may be thriving on the "life on a bike" lifestyle, and others may be in a very bad way. Perhaps those are not adventurers by choice, but down at the heels, destitute persons who can afford only a beat up old bike for transportation.   

General Discussion / Re: Osteoporosis and long distance cyclists
« on: March 04, 2009, 10:13:08 pm »
Well, whatever. I have been looking it up and that was what I found, so far. I have only those two books with me, and I am overseas in a place where books on that sort of thing are not easy to get, or are prohibitively expensive. What they are saying is that if you are losing calcium through the excretory process to the point there is a negative mineral balance, there is some  dysfunction causing that much calcium to be flushed out. In other words, your system is not properly metabolizing that mineral, and the cause of that problem could be too much vitamin D, too much protein, alcohol, smoking etc. The sweating is not the actual cause of the osteoporosis because if the system were properly metabolizing the mineral, it would not be available in such large quantities to be drained out to begin with. Being mindful that we are talking about losing calcium to the point that some harmful debilitating disease such as osteoporosis results from it. We are not talking normal loss of calcium here. The body takes what it needs and lets go of the rest where vitamins and minerals are concerned. If you have a proper diet, you should not have to worry about calcium, minerals, and vitamins. If there is a problem with metabolizing, the problem may very well be with the diet, but there are also other causes for malabsorbtion and such.

Nutrition used to be a favorite private study of mine, but I have not kept up on it for years.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: West Coast of Florida Connector
« on: March 04, 2009, 12:02:53 pm »
If you go down the west coast, you can go as far as Naples or thereabouts and get Tamiami Trail across the everglades. Be careful camping in the glades. There are large alligators, many of them, and they will kill you and eat you. Be careful getting near any canals or ponds or lakes. They slip up beneath the surface of the water, and come shooting up out of shallows like lightning. This is no BS. The panthers will not bother you, or so we are told. I haven't ever heard of a mauling. Get across the glades and there is a gambling casino run by Indians. At that point, it might be Krome Avenue but I cannot remermber, you might be better off going south to connect with US 1 to the Keys. East of Krome Avenue had a very bad reputation years ago as being a high crime area. I don't now about now, but why take the chance unless you are determined to go into Miami for some reason which you can do, and get Brickle(spelling?) Avenue to US 1 from there by crossing the Miami River and heading south.

Routes / Re: How much to save to do the TA
« on: March 04, 2009, 11:43:52 am »
If you camp, buy food in grocery stores, cook your own food, and are careful how you spend, you could do it for thirty dollars a day. Motels can raise the ante, but they are worth it occasionally. Somebody said about $3000.00 American. Sounds about right. The fact is, within certain limits, it can cost about as much or as little as you are willing and able to spend.

Routes / Re: East to West
« on: March 04, 2009, 11:37:54 am »
Every person makes his opinions on his own experiences, and we can also learn from the experiences of others. From my experiences I will say this much. DO NOT USE GREYHOUND BUS except for short hauls, the shorter the better. If Greyhound bus were the ony single choice I had for transportation back to Florida after cycling to California, I would pack up my gear, haul it out to the roads of America, and hitchhike back.

Sounds interesting. I have always used upright bikes, though I have heard of the advantages of the recumbents. Never used redumbents two wheeled or three. Cannot say anything one way or the other. At one time I did think that trikes were a bit wider and might be a problem, but if experienced riders say the opposite, that's the voice of authority. After all, the proof is in the pudding. If they have been out there and doing it, that's all I need to know. If I ever get in another converstaion about trikes as opposed to uprights, I am going to say that recumbent trikes draw more attention, and drivers give them more space than uprights, and experienced trike riders said so, and give reference to this forum. That's the way I do things.

General Discussion / Re: Osteoporosis and long distance cyclists
« on: March 04, 2009, 11:09:21 am »
Vitamin D is used for certain disorders of the parathyroid gland. The Food and Drug Administration of the United states recommends 100% to 250% more vitamin and mineral intake than all the medical experts in the world combined. Nobody over the age on 22 needs any extra vitamin D at all. Among all the vitamins it is the one that can cause the most trouble if you take too much. It can upset calcium metabolism, and drain the calcium out of your bones, deposit it in your kidneys, and cause kidney stones, which at their worst can cause death. Even small doses can sause great harm to babies. You can even get vitamin D by exposing yourself to florescent lamps. Most people don't even have to eat to get vitamin D.

Reuben, David, M.D. Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Nutrition. Avon, NY. 1978. 37, 66, 97, 11, 15-16, 14-15. A national best seller.

General Discussion / Re: Osteoporosis and long distance cyclists
« on: March 04, 2009, 07:55:13 am »
I have been doing more reading on osteoporosis. There is nothing anywhere I have seen yet that indicates sweating being a cause. There is quite a bit indicating that a diet that is too high in protein causes a negative mineral balance in the body, with calcium being one of those minerals. Tests have shown conclusively in thousands of cases that intake of protein above certain safe levels caused a negative mineral balance with increased amounts of calcium let out in the urin. The more protein the subjects took in, the more calcium they flushed out in their urin. Heavy cigarette smoking and ingestion of alcohol are also noted as causative and or contributing factors. Two authoritative sources say DO NOT take calcium supplements like pills and tablets. They also say it is not necessary to take supplements of vitamin D, and vitamin D supplements can be harmful.

If you want the sources of this information and page numbers, I can give them to you. There is quite a bit more. The original question was a medical one, and not related to cycling per se. The point is, if you are losing a lot of calcium through sweating or through the urinary tract, pumping pedals and sweating are not the causes of your osteoporosis. A negative mineral balance has other causes.

Large scale, extensive medical studies were carried out in Africa among the Bantus and other tribes known to have a diet low in meat and protein and high in fruits, grains, and vegetables. According to this study doctors were unable to find even one single case of decalcification or osteoporosis. Vitamin D is stored in the liver and generated when solar radiation comes into contact with your skin. Even if you were to get no sunlight at all for long periods, it might take several months or even years for the vitamin D in your body to become depleted. Too much vitamin D can contribute heavily to osteoporosis; it can be harmful, and even cause death. You need it, but only in limited quantities. The same with protein. It is very useful in absorbing and assimilating calcium, but too much causes a negative mineral balance, and you lose calcium. That's all I have time for right now. What it all boils down to is what our parents, and grandparents, and their parents before them preached. Eat fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains and whole cereals.

Avoid processed foods and hightly refined carbohydrates as much as possible. If you eat them habitually over a long period, you are treading a sure path to problems with your health.

I have paraphrased this information from a book.

Pritikin, Nathan.1979. The Pritikin Program For Diet and Exercise. Grosset and Dunlap.27,53,375,398,379.

There is more.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring Stove
« on: March 03, 2009, 08:16:04 am »
Solar cooking has been around for quite a while. Of course, you still need fuel, the sun, and if it isn't cooking it isn't cooking. What about those Sierra stoves with the small electric fan in the bottom. I heard they worked just fine. But look at the stove and look at the price. Somthing to me looks way out of kilter. I mean, you could cut a hole near the bottom of a coffee can, jet air in with one of those small, battery operated, horizontal fans, and have the same thing for a very small fraction of the price, and it would weigh a lot less too.

Gear Talk / Re: Four gears in hub.
« on: March 03, 2009, 08:03:56 am »
You all have much more knowledge on equipment, and on the technical aspects of cycling than I have. That is why my information to newbies on gear is always general. The most I ever got out of a $30.00 rear wheel before breaking a spoke was about 3,800 miles. After a spoke breaks, they keep breaking. However, I read Whittierider's suggestion on page one of this thread for the kind of wheels to buy. In fact, I did have a set of wheels just like that one time. I was living and working in Beijing, China. I went to a small, hole in the wall bike store. I saw the wheels on a bike but I didn't want the bike. I made a deal with the shop owner. He sold me both wheels for seven dollars each, but that was China. I also got two GoreTex jackets, one of which was top of the line, for a total of seventy dollars; like I said, that was China. I used those wheels on long tour with no problem. However, they did have a chink in their armor. The steel spokes went into steel fittings in the alloy wheels. After a tour of the outer banks and the east coast the salt did its work, corroded the spokes, and the fittings. I lost three spokes in the rear wheel, and five in the front from corrosion, but the wheels stayed true. If they had been all alloy and stainless, I would probably still be using them today. What cost me $14.00 in China might have cost me $150.00 in the USA.

The thirty dollar wheels I use are not good on the back of the bike, but I have not had a broken spoke on a front thirty dollar wheel even on very long tours and rough roads. But of course, after tour I must buy new wheels. I cannot use them over and over again touring like others can on better quality wheels.

Gear Talk / Re: I need advice on a bike (and yes I am a newbie)
« on: March 03, 2009, 07:28:37 am »
I would advise against looking for your bike in any department store like Target, Wal Mart, or K Mart. While they have bikes with the same features as good touring bikes, they are less efficient machines.
I would phrase this a lot more strongly.  DO NOT, under any circumstances even consider buying ANY bike from K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Target, etc.  They are a lot worse than just "less efficient". 

I've tried to adjust several of these things for friends who didn't know any better and found them so substandard they never worked properly. 

Go to a reputable bike shop or a place like REI, where they sell good bikes, can recommend a model that is suitable for your intended use and will fit it to you properly.   

I found out the hard way myself back in 1984. I was planning my first long tour by bicycle, and was ignorant about bikes. I went to the department store, bought a ten-speed for little money, and began my training rides. I used to put a weight on the rear rack to make the pedaling more strenuous.  I  talked with some more experienced cyclists about my intended tour of England, Scotland, and Wales. A couple of them asked in an obvious sort of way, "What? You're going to tour on that?" Well, I got the message and took me to the library to do some research on bicycles and bicycle touring, and this opened up a new world to me. I had no idea there was so much information on bicycles. I did my homework, and began a new search for a "real" touring bike. I ended up going to a town 22 miles away from my home to buy one. In those days, 1984, it cost about $160.00 to $190.00. Not top of the line but obviously a much more efficient machine than the department store bike. The whole feel of it was superior to the other bike. It was really easily discernable; a much better product.

Can you cross America on a Wal Mart special? You can. You can also walk around with lead boots on your feet, but what would be the point in it? You can enter a souped up car race with a four cylinder jeep too, but it would not be the appropriate machine for the intended purpose. The same with a department store bike. It can be done, but if you do it, you are using the wrong machine. Scrap going to department stores looking for a cross country touring bike.

Routes / Re: East to West
« on: March 03, 2009, 06:56:20 am »
You very well might avoid unknown quantities of winds starting from one coast as opposed to another. My idea is there is no real set formula for avoiding head and crosswinds most are able to agree upon so far as I have been able to see. It is largely a matter of chance unless you are on the pacific coast where wind is much more persistent and predictable. Going E to W or vice versa, sidewinds are going to get you no matter what unless you can find a way to conveniently go north or south during blows and maintain your preferred route within acceptable limits. I have heard stories about the winds in Kansas and Nebraska. I was talking to one guy who abandoned his entire cross country cycling tour because he became so frustrated beating against winds in that region. Some people might prefer going from the familiar to the new by starting at home. Some may prefer to get all the logistics over with at the beginning by traveling to some destination and cycling back home. I have done it both ways. There is definitely something to be said for traveling to your destination and cycling back, also depending on your chosen mode of transportation.

On the east coast in summer and thereabouts perhaps S to N would be a better bet. Beginning around November or October fronts start moving north to south. With a good strong following wind you can knock out eighty miles like a walk in the park. But when it comes to E-W, W-E I have yet to see any settled definitive evidence showing one direction better than the other for taking advantage of wind directions.

Routes / Re: riding east/south/west/north routes
« on: March 02, 2009, 08:17:55 am »
The southern tier will take you into the heart of the south, the new south that is, and it will take you across great geographical contrasts. The pacific route will take you through cities, and along really great scenic areas; very clean air. The northern tier will take you up into the rockies, down to the foothills, along the Mississippi, and into the NE. The Atlantic route is mostly flat, relatively flat that is. It goes from Maine to Key West. A lot of it is along the oceanside, but it is not as great as the pacific route.

Routes / Re: East to West
« on: March 02, 2009, 08:04:10 am »
The conventional opinions used to be that west to east was the way to keep the majority of the wind behind you. I have done east to west in the southern tier of states close to the route mapped out by ACA. I have kept detailed records of wind directions. Here with me now I have such details from a thirty day tour from east coastal FL to El Paso, TX. The fact is there might not be any real advantage going W to E where wind is the matter. In TX you can run up against strong sustained winds blowing W to E, and you can also go all the way across the country and not encounter such winds at all. What winds hit you is a matter of chance, being in a certain place at a certain time. Going E to W you can get plenty of side winds, many of which are relatively mild and not of much concern. You can also get some strong following winds, or winds out of the SE that will help you along just fine. If you start from the southeastern US, don't worry about it. There is no way the wind is going to beat you down. Another thing. It's cycling. You are out there in the wind. Deal with it. If it gets really windy, and your expended efforts are far greater than your forward progress justifies, just  take it easy. Find a restaurant. Kick back. Have a coffee or a meal. Read a newspaper. It's the wind. We cannot buy it off or coax it away. It is all a part of bicycle touring. In my opinion, going east to west is just fine, and I am not speaking for the northern tier of states.

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