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Messages - On Two Wheels

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EVERYTHING ELSE! / I'm Having a Party ...
« on: June 20, 2011, 06:38:33 PM »
... and you are all invited   

At 12 noon, on Wednesday 22nd June, 2011, I will be taking my final few yards at Virginia Beach into the Atlantic Ocean, from 17th Street Park. Once my front wheel is in the Ocean it means that I have cycled around the world (not all over the world, just around it.) After 436 days and 18,400 miles I think I deserve a rest.

I'll be getting a couple of bottles of Champagne (the cheapest of course) to celebrate after putting my front wheel in the ocean.

Several newspapers have been contacted, and I believe a friend has been in touch with the local TV News Station and they are going to be there.

If any of you guys can make it then I'd sure like to meet you.

EVERYTHING ELSE! / 400+ Members ...
« on: March 18, 2011, 04:14:09 PM »
... and no one has posted a message in over 14 days?

Does it really have to result in someone that is actually travelling right now to bring a little bit of life into this forum?

To make it one of the best places to visit, you/we, as members, need to make more effort to keep bouncing the site up the viewing rostrum.

When I get chance to be online I always call in but seldom there are changes :-(

If I can make the effort, well ...

EVERYTHING ELSE! / Re: The Best Bicycle Races Worldwide?
« on: March 05, 2011, 09:51:30 PM »
Nice to meet you Paul.

My reply is not going to be much help I'm afraid, but some of the best bicycle races I have seen in the world, have always involved me.

When cycling through some of the more remote, and to that matter less remote places there will always be children that want to race you, or catch you up and over take you.

I just let them, then suddenly change down a gear pick up speed, put on a boost of energy and overtake them again and leave them behind. It always brings a smile, shouts and waves. What more can you ask for?  Though I must admit, there have been occasions where having already pedaled 80+km for the day the last thing you really want to do is get into a racing match with a youngster.  Many of them never cycle outside the village, or further than the next village anyway.

Have a good time here, and with your travels.

Europe / Re: Touring Newbie - gift suggestions
« on: March 05, 2011, 09:44:49 PM »
Excellent advice there from diegotailwind.

As he said just an email occasionally makes a world of difference to your new found friends. I've now accumulated a list of over 300 people that I have met over the last years travelling. Many of them are absolutely delighted to receive an email, and always ask when I will be returning.

It doesn't have to be much, just a short message telling them where you are, attach a few pictures, and await the kind friendly reply.

If you are sending emails anyway then just batch post them to your hosts as and when. I normally batch send to about 30 people at a time.

good luck with your travels.

Camping Equipment / Re: Tiffin ...
« on: March 05, 2011, 09:37:37 PM »
This is good idea to cook food in tiffin as the food is nutritious, delicious to eat. The only difficulty is to clean it, but many good cleanser and wash bar are available which help to clean quickly.

Had no problems whatsoever with mine in the 330 days that I have been using it (every day). If, and I say IF, I do manage to stain the inside then I just rub in a little sand/grit with the cleaning water and it comes up spotless every time.

I highly recommend this item, and if you buy a multi layer one you can prepare more varied meals and store whats left over for eating along your way.

While on the Road / Re: How many miles do you ride a day?
« on: February 22, 2011, 08:03:58 AM »
I've just cycled up through Viet Nam, on the way up I met another cyclist who was on vacation (I'm not), and was cycling from Sai Gon (Ho Chi Min City) to Ha Noi. I agreed to cycle with him to keep him company, and him keep me company as well I guess.  Anyway, he was so intent on getting to Ha Noi within his time frame that we were pushing out 70 - 90 miles a day, every day. He/we got there with 10 days to waste (for him.)

It was good to have company during the time we spent together, but when we parted our ways (4 days ago) I was pleased. I have taken over 200 photographs since we parted. During our joint cycle I think I took no more than 30 - he just did not seem interested in stopping.

On our last day together I said to him, 'So, how was Viet Nam? You've seen a lot but looked at nothing, and you've looked at a lot but seen nothing.'

It's not really the mileage that counts (in my opinion) it's what you see and experience.

On my longest day I did over 100 miles, but on my shortest day (so far) I have only gone about 5 miles.

Yes, the axle / spoke secret will be helpful.  Especially the spokes.

Panniers, Bags and Trailers / Guaranteed 100% Waterproof Panniers
« on: February 14, 2011, 07:56:15 PM »
OK, so this is another Pannier thread, but it's one with a difference.

When researching the equipment for my current tour I looked into every possible source of panniers on the market. I eventually got the ones that were in budget range, suitable for purpose, water-proof, ease of maintenance and repair, and roomy.

I never saw these ones (see picture) at all. Guaranteed to be 1000% water-proof. Easy to repair (with a large tube of glue). Definately bright and visible, and will hold about 200 ltrs each. Excellent storage capacity, and as you can see they have smaller front pockets attached also.

There is one slight down point with them. They are a wee bit heavier than the usual ones you see.

Camping Equipment / Re: requirement tents / amry tents
« on: January 16, 2011, 04:31:37 PM »
I've got one of these:

It's lightweight, 1.5 kg, small, and not too expensive. I really like it. It's only one man, bet suits me. I like its low profile (much less open to the wind). the only downside is that it's outer pitch first, which means if it's throwing it down, the inside of the tent tend to get wet. I did find, however, you can leave the outer and inner attatched and put the poles in when setting up. This means you can keep the inside dry, and it doesn;t affect the packing. Mine is grey/blue, btw, not red, which is a bit bright for my liking.

I think outer pitch tents are better if it is raining.  At least you can put up some shelter while finishing off putting up your tent. Anyway, do you lay out your pent before erecting it ? I just take out of the bag the bits I need. Erect the outer, place things inside it while attaching the inner. I'm dry the inner stays dry and things are better.

While on the Road / Make Money On The Move ...
« on: December 17, 2010, 11:45:11 PM »
... I'm continually changing my route and plans, this invaribly incurs additional costs. I'm not spending more money, just adding locastions/countries to my list. Obviously, this does eat into finaces, and I'm totally self financing at the moment, but for me to continue with my journey I must find a way of replenishing my money stocks.

Is there anyone that can suggest how I can do this please. Legally of course  :D

Thanks you guys, oh, n gals.

EVERYTHING ELSE! / Re: Social Rehabilitation (and bike touring burnout)
« on: November 28, 2010, 11:36:39 AM »
Ya know, when I first posted this here, I was reluctant to leave it going, I wanted to delete the whole post and say 'what the heck, just buck up you sad person', but I left it here.

Stephane, I'm glad I left it, and I'm glad you replied.  It just proves to me that I am still rational, and that I am still thinking clearly. If I were able to notice the signs, then I am too able to overcome the situation. Thank you most sincerely for showing me that I am experiancing something that is a known complaint within our circle of friends.


EVERYTHING ELSE! / Social Rehabilitation (and bike touring burnout)
« on: November 28, 2010, 12:35:17 AM »
I've been on the road for 232 days now, and I think I've lost the ability to socialise properly.

It's been a long time since having a proper conversation without using sign language or broken english. This morning, I took a short walk around (45 minutes) the locales of the guesthouse I'm staying at in Bangkok, and it dawned on me that I am absolutely, 100% truely alone in my journey.

I saw many people, but the nerve to go up to them and trying to start a conversation (without asking for directions, where to buy food or water) was beyond me.

Have any other long distance / long term travellers suffered this syndrome? How did you over come it?

Even as I read this back to myself it comes across as merely having the chance to say something as opposed to saying something interesting or constructive. Have I turned into a sad lonley old man, but still content with my cycling?

EVERYTHING ELSE! / The Most Useful piece of gear I have at the moment ...
« on: November 06, 2010, 04:09:31 AM »
... It may not seem all that special, or really of much use, but the most used and useful piece of extra gear I'm carrying at the moment are some of these

Because of the heat and humidity in Thailand I'm having to wash my shorts and shirt everyday because they are soaked in sweat.

Using the hooks in the link above I've been able to hang up my washing line in absolutely every place I've stayed at in Malaysia and Thailand.

Very little other use, but presently an invaluable piece of gear. So long as you have a wooden door frame one one wall and a wodden window frame on another you can put your washing line up anywhere. I usually place mine in direct proximity to the overhead fan so the washing is dried within a few hours.

I suggest everyone carries some of these even if you think you will not need them, and the weight is non-existant.

Panniers, Bags and Trailers / Re: Bicycle Touring: Panniers vs. Trailers
« on: October 06, 2010, 03:52:31 AM »
Here is my bike / trailer rig

and having just past a major milestone

you can rest assured that I have had my fair share of hills, and in some cases mountains to climb, but not once have I had to ride off saddle to climb them. Yes, I have had to get off and push on occasion but not ride off saddle.

I drop into the lowest gear and just pedal. If I only move at 4 miles an hour so what? Is there a rush to get where you need to be? Remember generally going up at 4 miles an hour means you will be coming down at 24 - 30 miles an hour.

There was one small hill  ;) in turkey that took me all day to get to the top of, so I camped up over night, then the next morning it was about 35 miles later that I had to even consider putting any effort into pedaling because it was nearly all down hill.

Had no major problems with the trailer whatsoever, but the gutter side tyre has taken more than its fair share of puntures, but that is a small price to pay considering the wheel is running in all the roadside debris all the time. Oh, and if it means anything? I'm still on the original trailer tyres, even though it is weighing in at 28kg all inclusive.

Bikes on an Airplane / Air India - Indias National Airline
« on: September 24, 2010, 02:43:19 AM »
Just a word of warning, if you intend taking your bike on a flight with Air India.

If you check on their web site they say they take sporting goods, for an addition small fee. Don't be mislead - they do not class bicycles as sporting goods.

Also, if checking your baggae allowance for an international flight, in economy class their web site tells you you can have 30kg free allowance on flights with the flight codes AI ****. Again they have changed a word in their web site and so even though they are showing a 30kg allowance on their website, they are only actually giving a 20kg allowance, with the additional 10kg being charges at 750 Indian Rupees per kilo.

So even if you weight out your gear and stick to the 30kg limit you end up paying nearly another full fare for the additional 10kg you have been mislead into carrying.

Cost of ticket Chennai - Kuala Lumpar - 9, 500 INR, additions 10 kg excess baggage = 7,500 INR

I know - I got stung. :-\ :-[

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