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Topics - hartleymartin

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Maintenance / Repair / Simplicity is the key
« on: February 08, 2011, 08:08:04 PM »
Keep things simple. I use Dia-Compe Retro-Friction shifters, which require no adjustments aside from ensuring the upper and lower limit stops are set on the derailleurs. My brake levers are non-aero type, and all of them are very easy to replace the cable inners. I run a 6-speed freewheel, and carry the freewheel removal tool. The rear spacing is 120mm, so bent/broken axles are less of a problem than if I were running a 127mm rear-spacing. STI levers, indexing, etc are un-neccessary complications.

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Clothing for Bicycle Touring / Merino Wool Clothing for Touring?
« on: January 04, 2011, 08:03:14 AM »
G'day - I bought two Merino Wool short-sleeved jerseys last year. I have not yet taken them on tours, but I did do a few day rides with them, and what surprised me most was that they were really comfortable to wear, they breathed really well and after hanging them up to air out they didn't stink! Has anyone tried Merino Wool jerseys on extended tours? I think that I could bring the two jerseys that I have and just alternate them each day of a tour, airing the other one out.

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Bikes on Buses / Bikes on Buses Down Under (Australia)
« on: September 04, 2010, 09:38:30 PM »
Travel tips for anyone wanting to tour in Australia.

1.) Public Buses - Generally bicycles are not allowed on buses. Most drivers will accept folding bicycles as luggage. Bicycles are generally accepted on "Night-Ride" buses and on buses replacing local train services (on the premise that all trains accept bicycles as luggage).

2.) Greyhound Australia - charges $49 for an "assembled bicycle" $25 for a "disassembled bicycle" and $25 for a "boxed bicycle". "Disassembled" means front wheel removed and handlebars turned sideways.

3.) Countrylink Train services (beyond metropolitan railway networks) accepted boxed bicycles only at a charge of $12.10, but they must be completely disassembled and boxed, and reservations must be made well in advance

So, generally, Greyhound is better for carrying bicycles, but I do tend to find travelling long distances by bus quite tiring. I much prefer travelling by train where possible.

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EVERYTHING ELSE! / S24O - Sub-24hour-Overnight
« on: September 04, 2010, 07:47:44 PM »
Some of you might have heard about going on Sub-24hour-Overnight trips. Basically you leave one afternoon, cycle to a camp-site, camp out, and cycle home in the morning. It's a great way to prepare yourself for cycle touring. Since you are committed to only one night out, if you forget to pack anything, or find your equipment lacking in any way, you know that the following night you will be home and can enjoy all your home comforts again. Since you're only packing for one night, you don't need as much food, clothing and camp equipment as you would for a multi-day trip. Typically, you should be able to pack for an S24O on a large pair of rear panniers, a handlebar bag, and strap your tent or sleeping mat to the top of your rear rack. It's also a good preparation for short multi-day trips of say less than a week, as it lets you have an appreciation of just how little you really do need to travel.

This works out great if you live within a reasonable distance of a camp-ground, say less than 30 miles or 45 kilometres. However, if you live in a big city like me (I live in Sydney's South-Western Suburbs), then it's a bit of a problem. There is a camping place about 45 kilometres from my home, but it does take some 3 or 4 hours to cycle there (the last 10km is just a series of steep hills), and the gates to the place close at 7:30pm, so one must leave no later than 3pm to get there. If you need to take a train trip for a leap-frog to a better starting point, then it's probably something you would best do on a Saturday morning, and return by Sunday afternoon (hopefully in time to catch the Sunday evening church service).

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