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Messages - Westinghouse

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Routes / Re: Perimeter Tour
« on: February 26, 2009, 10:01:23 pm »
I was just going to say but staehpj1 took the words right out of my mouth. You would definitely have to schedule your trip around the weather if you are going to do the entire perimeter all in one tour. If you do it in stages at your convenience, you can pretty much pick and choose the kind of weather you will have, within certain limits.

General Discussion / Re: A Few Questions About the TransAm
« on: February 26, 2009, 09:47:06 pm »
Of course, you can try it if you want to. My general advice is to scrap taking a dog on a long bicycling our. Your dog could be run over by a car or truck. Dogs can cover some distance, but I doubt they can run all that far day after day for several weeks. I certainly would not want to take a dog with me. I like dogs. On a transcontinental bicycling tour you will want to put in some good miles, in spite of what you may think. The dog would be more and more of an encumbrance to you. Of course, like many other things, I suppose it CAN be done. But who would really want to. Not me.

General Discussion / Re: Osteoporosis and long distance cyclists
« on: February 26, 2009, 02:04:20 am »
I looked up osteoporosis on google. It is quite complicated in its progression and treatment. Two things all sites advised were a diet high in calcium and vitamin D.

In a former frame I stated that spinach is loaded with calcium, and the fact is raw spinach is highly nutritious with a goodly dose of calcium; however, there is something else in spinach which is not absorbable which the calcium binds to and prevents it from being absorbed and assimilated. The calcium is there, yes, but your digestive system cannot assimilate it for use. There are other vegetables, fruits, and dairy products that are calcium rich and useable. If you take calcium tablets, they say to take them with meals for maximum absorbtion.

A nutritionist such as Dr. Nathan Pritikin would most likely advise against tablets and calcium fortified breakfast cereals. He would advise only natural foods for your nutrients--fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, whole cereals, etc. The manufactured calcium has been known to form kidney stones because it does not assimilate like calcium from natural sources.  Natural calcium from fresh, wholesome, natural foods will not give you kidney stones. Ref. The Pritikin Program of Diet and Exercise.
I have taken plenty of calcium tablets. I don't know of any adverse effects on my health.

Gear Talk / Re: I need advice on a bike (and yes I am a newbie)
« on: February 25, 2009, 10:45:41 am »
Do not overlook the possibility of getting a used bike. I have seen some real killer deals on very good touring bikes. Sure, they are not available all the time, but they do come along. There was a nice Trek hybrid I think it was at a Goodwill store for about $45.00. It was soon gone. I saw a perfectly good Fuji touring bike for about $50.00 in a thrift store. You may have to change components for a long loaded tour, which is something that can be done inexpensively enough. I saw a used Trek hybrid for sale at a bike store for $75.00. I checked it out closely by eye. In my opinion, it was ready to go, and probably could have stood a cross country tour easily.

Right on Mike. You don't need that tour group and their non-trike-carrying sag wagon. You might be surprised to know how satisfying a solo, cross-country, cycling tour can be, or with some companions. You decide all the stops and the what to dos on your own tour. Give it a shot. The weather be hanged. Just keep an ear out for the weather channel.

According to them: "we would not be able to transport it on our vans with other bikes in the event of a medical or weather emergency."

Well, I figured there had to be some tangible reason why they said no to trikes. Weather emergencies do happen. I have been caught out in at least four weather emergencies I can think of right off the bat. Storms can be lethal. They just don't have the equipment for carrying trikes.

General Discussion / Re: ACA Maps?
« on: February 25, 2009, 10:09:17 am »
Roadmaps come in different qualities. You can find routes on some roadmaps which do not appear on others. Those ACA maps have details missing on regular roadmaps. You should be able to do it with only the ACA maps. You can also go to a library, and make copies of maps that cover your intended route. Cut them out so you have strip maps which weigh nearly nothing. In short, there is more than one way of skinning a cat. I did use ACA maps for about six weeks on the N-tier. They were great, if only I had paid closer attention to the details.

I do not have an answer, but I do have a question. Why do some organized tours reject trikes? I have see upright trikes and recumbent trikes. Why would trikes be banned? Just curious.

Routes / Re: Perimeter Tour
« on: February 25, 2009, 04:34:58 am »

Actually, I have done most of the perimeter already, and a good deal more besides. 2012 is too far into the future for me to be able to make plans of that length of time. I have done some research into doing a perimeter tour. It could be done in eight or nine months, give or take.

General Discussion / Re: cardiac pacemakers and touring
« on: February 25, 2009, 04:22:11 am »
Sorry, I don't have much experience in this area. I had my heart checked out in 2002 the last time. It was an expensive procedure, about $7000.00. The Dr. told me my biggest problem was indigestion. He told me to take Pecid AC. He was right. I took it, and all the discomfort disappeared. He also said it appeared I had no heart trouble. He said from the looks of it I have never had and will not ever have a heart attack. I guess that means I may be around for quite a few more years yet.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: West Coast of Florida Connector
« on: February 24, 2009, 06:14:20 pm »
North of the area of Tampa-St. Pete your options are extremely limited if you want to keep as near as possible to the west coast. Once you get into the Tampa area and go south your ways become more numerous. I have never cycled all that much on the west coast of Florida. You would have to look into it in more detail. Florida does have some dedicated bike paths.

I have always badmouthed highway 27-19-98 going up the middle of the state, and somewhat on the west north of Tampa. Perhaps 27 is not all that bad everywhere. Where I used 27 it was a road straight out of hell. On that tour I went north on barrier island roads, and then west through Vero Beach, FL to Yeehaw Junction, and got on 27 not far from there, perhaps in Florida City or thereabouts. In that area 27 had long lines of fast traffic, and all side lanes were completely strewn with gravel, rocks, and all kinds of junk making them almost totally useless for cycling. I used 27 as far as Ocala I think, or was it Live Oak? It was terrible. I would never use 27 again. Perhaps on other stretches it is not so bad.

Routes / Re: Warning Alert: Southern Tier, Mexican-American Border Aareas.
« on: February 24, 2009, 05:58:37 pm »
I was cycling from Florida to San Diego just about three years ago. I was on the southern tier, part of ACA's mapped route between Van Horn, TX and El Paso. For quite a distance the road runs right along the border. Going west I could look to my left over level or near flat ground and see the houses clearly on the other side of the Rio Grande in Mexico. A border patrol truck pulled up in back of me and asked me to stop. This I did. There were two officers who got out of their truck. They asked me where I was going, where I had started out from, and when I had started the trip. The usual questions. Then they told me this. If anyone at all should motion or signal to me from the side of the road or from anywhere to stop for any reason, do not stop; keep right on going. They said their had been quite a bit of illegal drug activity on the American side of the border. They said two people had gone over the border into Mexico in one of those small border towns. They found their bodies. They had been robbed and murdered.

From reading S-tier journals I noticed some people cycling through El Paso like to lay over there a while and visit Mexico.

Gear Talk / Re: I need advice on a bike (and yes I am a newbie)
« on: February 24, 2009, 02:05:38 am »
Buying a good touring bike requires some knowledge. There should be some books on bicycles and bicycle touring in your local library if you live in the US or Europe. Read about touring bikes in particular. Know for sure what differentiates a touring bike from others. Make sure what you are considering buying has all the features a touring bike has. 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. Ride them a while, and then try a well made touring bike. The difference is easy to notice.

Routes / Re: Prague to...
« on: February 24, 2009, 01:49:37 am »
Places change. People change. Fifteen years have gone by since I bicycled through that part of the world. I always thought the people of Eastern Europe would move forward and upward on the scale of civilization with the communists off their backs, and I stated that explicitly in my journal fifteen years ago. In 1994, going from West Germany into Czech was like going from a prosperous part of the US into a desperately poor part of Mexico. The contrast was stark and staring out at me from every doorway and every field of crops. Czeck is a very different place today.

General Discussion / Re: Is it worth installing a kick stand?
« on: February 24, 2009, 01:12:23 am »
I get the impression BC and Tulsa John have done some camping on tour. The problems they had with standing their bikes in camps are the same we have all had. I push the bike into a wooded area, and want to prop it upright on its stand. Of course, the stand just knifes into the ground and the bike falls over. The lid of a jar works just fine, as does the odd piece of wood you find somewhere. For a while I used a running shoe. I saw somebody with a tennis ball on the end of his kickstand. I tried it but I stopped. Sometimes you might be in a wooded area where the trees are too flimsy to suppport a loaded bike, or they are small and not a good place to balance the bike against. I have toured with and without a kickstand. All in all, I prefer to have one on the bike to not having one. It is that little added bit of convenience that makes a long tour a little nicer at times. I have also toured with no kickstand at all, and it was was not bad at all.  It is not an essential item. It does add a little to the weight. As it is with all small light items on a tour, you bring some with you and the weight can add up to pounds and pounds. Pare weight where you can.

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