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Messages - Belou

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1
Clothing for Bicycle Touring / Re: Clothing for Spring in France
« on: April 08, 2012, 03:18:51 PM »
newislander,

May, June July are the best month to go to France. Temperature are very nice and you should not have much rain at all. At this time of the year, rain is mostly from summer thunderstom so they don't last, so I would not plan on biking on rainy days much.

For the list you gave, I would remove all the items for cold weather:
Beanie, scarf (maybe a Buff, but that's it), rain poncho (even in South East Asia during the moonsoon I didn't use mine!), down jacket, thermal long john (as long as you have a decent sleeping bag, you will be fine, temperature won't go below 12C at night,). wool sleeved top, wool sucks.

Goretex pants and jacket are recommended only if you REALLY have to bike when it is raining, but seriously you will be better off waiting a couple hours. Otherwise, you should use only paclite Goretex as it is very lightweight. The best brand is Gore Bike Wear as their clothing are made for cycling (stretching knee, extendable back etc - not cheap though. If you take a goretex jacket, don't take a wind shell. It shouldbe one or the other, and you will only use them at night around the camp if the wind is a little chilly. I never heard of rainproof fleece, but this would be only for around the camp at night or in the morning, so you should choose one or the other.

As for how many you should take of each: socks and underwear: 2 to 4. Lycra: 2, biking t-shirt: 2 to 3. Everything elasem, you should take only one of each.

If you really want to bike under the rain, it will not be too cold especaiially in June and July, even in the North.

Nice route, enjoy!

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Europe / Re: cycling in southern Italy in the winter
« on: September 12, 2011, 10:44:32 AM »
Feb and March can vary widely weatherwise. The further south you go, the warmer is going to be. The further away you are from the coast the more chance you can get snow. Daytime temperature will be suitable for biking (50-60°F or 11-16°C), and nights are going to be cold (although unlikely subfreezing especially on the coast). As for the route, as long as you stay away from the main raods you will have a blast. Every region has its own particularities and you'll find beautiful sceneray pretty much everywhere. I personally love the Calbria Region and Sardegna Island. Enjoy!

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3000 Miles in 1 month??? What's the point? At this rate, I'd be better off at home on a indoor training bike watching National Geographic! That's where you see the two types of bicycle tourism. Some prefer bike to cover as many miles as possible while others bike to experience the culture and to meet people. I am not saying one is better than the other but I am definitely one of those who take their time to enjoy wherever they are...

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Parts, Components & Accessories / Re: Safari Drop Bars?
« on: March 26, 2011, 12:33:04 PM »
From what I heard, when a bike is designed with drop bars it is not recommended to use butterfly bars on it and same thing the other way around. I mean sure you can do it but the position on your bike won't be optimum anymore so you will loose performance and you might even put stress on your body.

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While on the Road / Re: Camera Equipment - what to carry?
« on: March 23, 2011, 09:31:58 AM »
To back up all my stuff I use dropbox.com. It's great. You get your personal folder, and you can access this folder anywhere. The folder is technically located on their server so anything you have in it don't take any space on your memory. You can put this folder anywhere, kind of like a shared folder on a network. The folder is the same whereever you access it from. ie. I have this folder on my laptop, on my PC at home, iphone and I can access it online so I can access it from internet cafe or when I stay with locals. I used to have the free 2GB and use it for my important document when I was traveling - copy of passport, driver license etc and whatnot, but I found it so convenient that I know use it everyday even when I am not traveling using their 50GB account for $9 a month where I put all my music and pictures so they are backed up on their server and they don't take space on my iphone or laptop. It's great because I can access them all the time. When I travel, I go online and dump all my pictures in this folder so free some space on my SD card.

I recommend to put your camera in your handlebar bag so you can access it quickly. I used to put the camera between my clothing in one of my pannier but I found out that I was not really using it as it was cumbersome to take it out all the time. I use the Ortlieb camera insert for handlbar bag: http://www.cyclocamping.com/Accessories/ortlieb_camera_insert_for_ultimate_handlebar_bag_m_or_l/GOTF94-50.aspx. It is nice I put my SLR Canon camera, 2 lenses (wide angle and 50mm), SD cards, my Iphone and a few gadgets. I do use a tripod and I would never travel without one. they are perfect to take picture of yourself on your bike or to take picture in low light condition (evening by the tent, inside of a home etc.).  The best kind I found is the travel tripod that can expand up to 40-45 inches. Like the Tragus 8 section. They are inexpensive, very lightweight and compact enough to fit in my handlebar with the rest of my junk. They are not very strong and I do have to buy a new one every couple years but they are strong enough for my heavy SLR even when there is some wind and tripod stronger than that are way more too heavy and won't fit my handlebar.

7
This is a very good stove also. needs mentioning.
MSR Simmerlite Stove
I tried many stoves, and for me this is the BEST one. Light, sturdy, great for simmering, easy to clean, and very silent.

8
Asia / Central Asia / Re: CycleInstead: Chiang Mai to Edinburgh Epic Tour
« on: January 25, 2011, 08:53:06 PM »
From the website it looks like you (Abi? ) is going to do the trip on your own. So there will be two of you doing i? In any case it looks like a cool route! Please keep us updated. As for the sponsor, it is easier to get gear than money. Choose whatever gear you need and contact the manufacturer, some of them like to help people like us plus they benefit from the advetising on your website. Good luck!

9
Your Travel Journal / Re: Along the Mare Nostrum (Mediterranean) Coast
« on: January 25, 2011, 01:38:41 PM »
Welcome on the forum and thx for sharing. I was considering doing the Canal du Midi this summer, I heard it is really nice and quite easy. Good luck with the rest of your trip!

10
Click here It fits inside my dixie-pan set (camping pans).
Interesting. I was wondering, putting your home-made stove in your pan, does it make your pan set stink?? Did you try it at higher altitude, I'm curious to know how it would perform in such condition? One of the down side I see with that system is that it is not so easy to find methylated spirit, plus when you buy some, it always come in large quanity (minimum 1L) which come heavier than 250ml of gasoline and a backpacking stove combined. Personally, I rather use a stove that can use gasoline (which is also much cheaper than spirits) so it allows me to carry only small quantity of fuel at a time.

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Camping Equipment / Re: Cooking set
« on: December 14, 2010, 11:39:07 AM »
I used to have a complete cheapo SS cookset, it was quite nice for what I was doing but the steel made it too heavy and I didn't like to have food sticking in the fry pan (I like to cook omelette and pancakes!). A buddy of mine was using a Evernew cookset on a trip we did together and it was fantastic so I got one for myself (Evernew won the 2010 backpacker magazine award). It is titanium but it is much more affordable than msr titanium stuff, and the best part is that it has this nice non-stick surface in both the fry pan and the pot (so now I can even cook stews!) - I am the same way than you tony, I love to cook! :)  cyclocamping carry the evernew dx pot here: http://www.cyclocamping.com/Cookware__Dishes/81-1-cat.aspx
As for the plate I use the S2S X Plate by Sea To Summit. It takes no room in the bag as it folds flat and it is made of a food grade plastic that is virtually unbreakable. Plus I can use it as a cutting board!
good luck!

12
Parts, Components & Accessories / Re: Bike touring and camcorder
« on: November 18, 2010, 12:51:09 PM »
Austin, the Contour looks exactly like what I am looking for! I also read some good reviews about the gopro wide angle, did you have any chance to play with that one? Peter thx for the post, very inspirational!!!

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While on the Road / Re: Tips: Bicycle Touring and Camping in the Winter
« on: November 09, 2010, 12:50:34 PM »
Great article!!! thank you Stephane!

It is true that you better keep your food inside of your tent when it is really cold, I woke up once with frozen bananas, frozen water, frozen yogurt... not great for breakfast! It happens once and then you'll remember it!
The Sea to Summit reactor is also an excellent product. I am able to use my 3-season sleeping bag to do winter camping.

The only thing I would not agree with is the choice of the Schwalbe Extreme. It is indeed a good tire off road but it is not as durable as the dureme or the marathon XR. So if your trip is not too long I guess it is ok otherwise I would suggest to go with something more durable.

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While on the Road / Re: Stealth camping
« on: November 09, 2010, 12:37:06 PM »
I like gas station to set up my tent. They have everything, food, drink (even beer sometimes), toilet and sometimes even a shower.

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I know some people might think I'm crazy but I actually use a u-lock when I travel with my bike. I use the a Onguard Pitbull ATB. I didn't buy it from cyclocamping but they carry (and for cheaper than what I got it for  :(, here is the link: http://www.cyclocamping.com/proddetail.asp?prod=GOT5004
I know, it is very annoying that nobody gives the weight of these locks. I just weighted the Pitbull and it weights 3lb. It actually comes with bike insurance in case the bike get stolen. I am able to attach the wheel and the frame to a pole - but the pole can't be too wild.
My bike mechanics buddy uses the kabletek cable and swears by it. He lost the keys once, had to cut it, and he said it was everything but easy to do, so he bought a new one - but this time he chose the one with combination not keys!

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