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Messages - diegotailwind

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South / Central America / Most difficult pass in Peru and Chile
« on: March 21, 2011, 11:54:09 AM »
Can anyone give some routes they did going over difficult passes in Peru and Chile. If so, can you please explain what made that route difficult (altitude, pavement, how steep etc.) and if the beauty of the ride made the climb well worth it. I am collecting data to help a friend of mine who loves climbing and who is planning a 6-month tour in South America and I might join him for a few weeks... thx!

Europe / Re: Touring Newbie - gift suggestions
« on: March 05, 2011, 10:07:03 AM »
This is a great topic! Personally I would not recommend to carry any gift as it will take too much space and add too much weight to your bike. There are plenty of other ways to thank people who welcome you. You can use any of your personal skills. For example I know a guy who carry a muppet and did ventriloquist shows to his hosts. You probably heard of Biciclown who do clown / juggler show as he travels. You can do magic tricks like Stephane does. You can cook some of your country specialties for them (I like to do that). Perhaps you are a good photographer, then you can shoot pictures of them, their friends, their village and their home and share them with them in one way or another. Some people carry musical instruments. Perhaps you're a good singer. You can also share some of your mp3 music from wherever you are. I have a girlfriend who carry stuff to do aquarel and draws as she travels and gives some of them away - that's another good idea. Just find something you like to do and don't require you to carry large supplies. Because if you start to carry gift, then you have to start to think how many you should carry. Then who is the special host you should give it to. Then what will you do once you run out? Plus, I think it is more meaningful to give something you did or created yourself. Later on, make sure you share updates of your adventure with them by mail or email, send them pictures or videos of your trip and of the time you spent with them. What I would highly DO NOT recommend is to offer money. Fist it can offend them, second it creates a weird host-traveler relationship. Then it becomes something expected like it is now in may touristic regions in developping countries. Good luck and let us know what you ended up doing.

Clothing for Bicycle Touring / Goretex shoe and helmet cover?
« on: October 24, 2010, 08:46:15 PM »
I was wondering if any of you tried the Goretex shoe or helmet cover. A friend of mine swear by the gore bike wear helmet cover and I was also looking at the shoe cover as well as my feet REALLY don't like riding in the winter. Thx

Some people think it is not acceptable to offer money to locals who gave us a roof to sleep or a meal to eat. The idea behind it is that it spoils the local-traveler relationship. I met other bicycle travelers who often do, usually because they have been asked for money and they think this is the least they can do. I was wondering what is the opinion of people on this forum.

China is infamous for its bicycle-thieves. I am planning to bike along some part of the east cost and I will be going through a lot of large towns where there is a high risk to get your bike stolen. I was hoping some of you can recommend a good bike lock. I was even considering a U-lock. Onguard and Kryptonite seems to be the 2 leaders but I have hard time to picture the sizes of the different models, plus nobody gives any weight which is really annoying (Stephane maybe you can provide that on :)). Anyway, I'd like to be able to lock the front wheel, the frame and a post or a sign (I've seen a lot of people who do that with a U-lock in Madrid). So can anyone suggest a model that does not weight 50lb?

Hi everyone, I currently own a light tunnel tent but I was thinking of buying a larger one since I have a longer trip coming up; I read many different opinions on other forums about having a large vestibule, some say it is heavy and useless and some say they would not travel without a large vestibule; I was hoping this subject could be a bit more developped on this more forum with more sepcific examples;

Getting Ready / Re: "Bike Touring Basics" FREE guide / ebook
« on: May 19, 2010, 11:19:33 AM »
thx Stephane, I downloaded it too... all I can say is: WOW! a lot of work was put into it! I wish I had it before my first trip.. I still learn a lot of stuff though...

Camping Equipment / What can I use to be able to sit while camping?
« on: April 07, 2010, 06:16:50 PM »
I love sitting on the ground, laying on the grass but I also like comfort! I am looking for a "chair" or a system allowing me to sit and have my back supported (I don't want one of these camping stool). And something not too heavy (it is for bicycle touring of course!). Can anyone suggest a brand and or model? What about the trekker chair from therm-a-rest (see below). Is it comfortable? Can you really lean on it, is your back really supported?

While on the Road / Tired of pasta, any suggestions?
« on: April 01, 2010, 10:03:40 PM »
I did a 2 weeks trip and I already got tired of pasta. Since I am planning a longer trip, i was hoping someone can give me some tips to spice them up (I am far from being a chef) or something else cheap to cook, fast and easy to make. Any suggestions?

Parts, Components & Accessories / Are the blinky lights that good?
« on: April 01, 2010, 10:00:27 PM »
I read a couple times people bragging about how good are these blinky (some kind of "new" super powerful red rear light).

I ask to the 2 guys who posted these comments but I got no response. claim they can be seen 1 mile away

Are they that good? Can anyone recommend a good brand?

Panniers, Bags and Trailers / Patching Ortlieb panniers
« on: April 01, 2010, 09:51:47 PM »
I just got a brand new set of Ortlieb panniers, and they are pretty damn cool!  ;D

People say they are very resistant but as any material they can't be 100% puncture proof - otherwise Ortlieb won't be selling patch kit right?

So does anyone has any experience patching Ortlieb panniers? What is the best method so they stay waterproof and so the patch don't come off after the first rain or sunny day?

Is the Ortlieb patch kit the best way?

Camping Equipment / Re: Thermos Cooking?
« on: March 26, 2010, 11:14:24 AM »
It doesn't sound very practical. First you need to prepare your meal before you hit the road, then you have to worry about overcooking or under cooking.

Plus thermos are heavier and bulkier than a stove and i assume you still need a stove right? So I don't really see the point.

And also thermos are probably not easy to clean as they are designed for liquid and not for food. It is already not always easy to clean rice from a regular pot, so I can't imagine cleaning stuff at the bottom of a thermos.

But I never used thermos cooking so this is just my impression. If it is to make life easier, it doesn't seem to be the right way.

Parts, Components & Accessories / GPS or not GPS, that is the question?
« on: February 21, 2010, 01:49:29 AM »
I am debating whether or not I should get a bicycle GPS. I'd like to use it locally, but I am also thinking of using it on longer journey (SE Asia, Australia). Does anyone have any experience using them. I was considering one of the Garmin, but the one giving maps, not the one that do only odometer, altimeter (although they look pretty cool too). Yes I know I am a gadgetcoholic. Price and weight is not really an issue. I was wondering if it is easy to get maps for everywhere, easy to use, handy, reliable etc...

Panniers, Bags and Trailers / Arkel Panniers vs. Ortlieb Panniers?
« on: January 28, 2010, 01:30:37 AM »
Some swear by Ortlieb for the waterproofness, sturdiness and price; others swear by Arkel for the number of pockets, sturdiness, quality of the hooks etc.... What about you?

Middle-East / Is Middle-East a safe place to travel?
« on: January 28, 2010, 01:23:57 AM »
This question might sound dumb. But I always hear two stories. On one side you always hear around you about Muslims and how dangerous traveling in Middle-East is (and I have to say that usually those people either never traveled themselves or it is through the media. And on the other hand, I read a lot of times about people who biked through Middle-East and they absolutely LOVED it, and especially for the people. I was wondering if people here agree with that? I hate the propaganda that TV throws at people but I got to admit that they make me think twice about going to this part of the world, and yet I would really love to. I know Middle-Eats is a vast region, but seriously I heard only good stuff.. Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Iran, even Saudi Arabia they all have some good feedbacks from cyclotourist - even from women! If anyone traveled there by bike I'd like to hear what they have to say...

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