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Messages - fenlabiz

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While on the Road / Re: THINGS NOT TO DO ON A CYCLE TOUR
« on: January 23, 2012, 02:03:42 PM »
As far as choosing a health care insurance while touring, I would say it really depends on several factors. The first thing you want to check with is your regular health insurance", some health insurance are covering you for a limited period of time once you leave your country (from a couple weeks to a couple month) so you may want to check with them before purchasing anything.

Also, one thing that many people ignores: many credit card includes health insurance or at least medical evacuation coverage if you purchase you plane ticket with your credit card, so you may also want to check with your credit card provider or read you credit card contract. Then this is your choice (obviously), some prefers travelling "insurance-free" and hope for the best and some choose a broad coverage. Personally, I would make sure I have insurance covering any medical evacuation especially when touring in countries with poor/nonexistent health care (beside the local healer!). This will insure that if something really wrong happens you don't end up dying there because you can't afford a $50,000 medical evacuation.

In developping countries, you usually can get any medicine over the counter, just make sure you're going to a reliable pharmacy as some countries are known (ie. India) to sell fake medicine in pharmacies. I like to go to pharmacies attached to hospitals. In those countries medicine are cheap, no prescription needed, so I would not purchase an insurance covering these little things. If you know you need antibiotics regularly because you get sick easily you may want to, but you have to remember that insurance (big name included) don't make the refund process easy, so in the end people give up because of all the papers, phone calls you have to do/make before getting your money back. If you travel in countries where health care is rather expensive (USA, Europe etc.) you may consider using a travel insurance that covers everything since you may have something serious enough to cost a lot but not serious enough to be life threatening necessitating a medical evacuation. I don't know Atlas International Insurance but if you choose to get insurance I would make sure I read their contract very carefully as I heard bad stories with some of them...

Maintenance / Repair / Re: Buying new wheels
« on: August 09, 2011, 11:37:36 AM »
Andy, If you are looking for suggestions as to what brand to choose, I would recommend Sun Rhyno, Rigida, or Mavic. As it was mentionned before, the most durable touring rim is probably the Sun Rhyno ATB: It is heavy, expensive but extremely durable. I have a friend going on his 7th year on the road using the same rim. I am currently using it for my rear wheel and i already did 12,000 miles with it and it doesn't show any signs of wear yet (I travel light though). And by the way, SJS ships outside the UK.

Your Travel Journal / Re: Leaving tomorrow!
« on: July 18, 2011, 04:09:05 PM »
Go Mark, Go! Thx for the link, have a blast and keep us up to date.

South Pacific / Re: Cairns to Sidney and UPDATING MY WORLD TOUR
« on: July 17, 2011, 11:19:55 PM »
Hey Biciclown, good to hear from you! I can't give you any info on Oz as I don't the eastern side. I think you may have some hard time to adjust to Australia after all that time in Asia. But I guess adjusting to your environment is part of any journey right? As fo NZ, I can give you a few tips that may already know. Focus on the South Island, prepare yourself for the sanflies (in Oz too), you may consider to do some hikes, have fun checking out the marine wildlife, the area btw Invercargill and Dunedin has tons of stuff to see... and prepare yourself to pass dozens of people traveling by bike everyday that don't give a s#&?! about you  :-\

Getting Ready / Re: Need feedback
« on: July 17, 2011, 10:54:06 PM »
Larry, I don't really see any holes in your plan. I think that people biking short trips can have a scheduled route but long time travellers usually endup following the weather. Usually we (long time travelers) start out with a more or less scheduled route but most of us endup changing it because we quickly become behind schedule. So when travellers don't have a strict timeline, what they endup to do is going where the weather is good. Basically you're taking a short cut in your plan and I think it is a smart way to do it. Scheduled and planned route are only good to stress you. No plan = Goog Plan, right Stephane? Of course it is not always easy to follow the weather as seasons can change faster than we can move and often the weather turn up to be different from expected. You may have much colder or warmer night than expected. it can rain much more than expected so it feels colder, a high humidity or very dry condition can give a different feeling to temperatures etc. But the idea is good as long as you know that there is no 100%-perfect-weather journey. And on a last note, persoannaly I would not rent a car just because the weather is getting rough. Whenever I had extreme conditions during my journeys is also where I have my best travel memories. I am not sure why but it is the way it works. In any case, you'll have a blast!

Camping Equipment / Re: XL High Compression Sleeping Bag?
« on: June 28, 2011, 10:02:55 AM »
Hey Hans, if you're looking for a bag that can pack nicely, why don't you go with a down sleeping bags? If you mostly do shorter trips and you can afford it I would definitely recommend that. I recently bought a 20°F Golite sleeping bag and I really love it. It packs way better than my older bag which have a rating of 25°F! Very nice and very comfiortable and I LOVE the front zip so I can read and still have the bag covering me. Obviously because of your size, you will need a size Long, no matter what brand you choose. If you really want a synthetic filling you may want to consider the Polarguard Delta, it compresses nicely. I know Norht Face uses it, not sure if anyone else does. HTH.

North America / Yellowstone to Badlands - Highway 90?
« on: April 19, 2011, 10:47:43 PM »
Hey guys, I'd like to know what is the best route btw Yellowstoe NP and Badlands NP. Should I avoid highway 90? I don't mind extra miles, I do mind heavy traffic on mountain roads and no shoulders. Any tips?

Maintenance / Repair / Re: Simplicity is the key
« on: February 09, 2011, 11:10:35 AM »
Are the parts that you mention available in Asia or South America for example?
Even though Dia-Compe is a Japanese brand, their product are difficult in Asia (as fa as I know). You probably can find them is some part of China (HK, shanghai etc.) but that's about it. Perhaps in BKK? As for South America, forget about it... even in USA it is not so easy to find what you need!

Bikes on an Airplane / Re: Pegasus Airlines Bicycle Policy
« on: February 01, 2011, 06:09:56 PM »
You're absolutely correct, if your box is within their dimension and weight limit, it can have anything in it including a bike, and it will be counted as a check-in luggage. And yes, you can stuff anything you want in the box with your bike. Again, just make sure that your box is within their weight limit (you can check that on the link I gave you in my previous post).

Bikes on an Airplane / Re: Pegasus Airlines Bicycle Policy
« on: January 31, 2011, 09:20:20 AM »
I flew w/ them in 2010 & I did what I always do when I fly w/ my bike. I just roll my bike into the airpor. Then I turn the handlebar, partially deflate the tires, and protect chain and rings with plastic bags, and just hand it that way for the check-n. Pegasus charged me 40 euros just as they say in their policy under baggage>special baggage. I always print out their policy in case they want to charge me more in which case i show the print out.
I was first told that I will need to box it but I told them that I called ahead of time and been told that I didn't have (even though it was not true), she called the manager and they took my bike just like it was. Of course with airlines it always depend on the manager, it's a hit or miss but when airline require you to box the bike they do have the box to sell right on the spot (usually 10-15$).
good luck and please let us know how it went!

Awesome article, I love it. I want to go to China now!

Pretty cool video thx for sharing. I like the music and it is well put together. You got some pretty nice shots and the meal you cooked looked yummy :) It is a shame you didn't have a good experience with the locals but I don't think it has to do anything with the beird and long hair. I crisso-cross Europe for more than a year  and I had dread locks and a lojg beird! And I spent 3/4 of my nights with locals and It is some of the best memories of my life. I think the real problem in your trip was the way you traveled. 1500 km in 14 days doesn't give you any time to spend with the locals. I give myself a whole month to bike as many km (at least) I have for principles to not hurry. I like to say "no plan is a good plan". So I don't end up spending all day biking and I am not tired during my entire trip. Also, you said you didn'treally enjoy biking cause of the cars, but the itinerary you chose is one of the busiest axis in Europe offering very limited posibilities for quiet roads. Biking along the mediteraneen cost in France and Croatia is not really fun simply because it is one the most touristic region in the world! And touristic area are and friendly locals usually don't go together. I would say don't give up, bike touring is TONS of fun if done the right way. Take you time and stay away from touristic areas... and keep sharing your adventures!

Clothing for Bicycle Touring / Re: Pit-Zip or not Pit-Zip?
« on: June 28, 2010, 07:41:44 AM »
No it was not too late and thank you for the great info. I would have never thought about adding pit-zip to a jacket, it's a great idea, I will do it on the cheap jacket that I am using now. I am still debating on which Gore-Tex jacket to buy. I really like all the features of the Gore Bike Wear and I like the paclite goretex but it is a bit pricey for me. So I'm hoping to find a good sale!

I was wondering how you guys take care of your chain while you are traveling. I like to have a clean chain and when I clean it, it usually takes quite a bit of time. So I wa hoping getting some good tips from you guys, like what do you use, how - teflon spray? silicon? oil? soap? gasoline? brush? I heard a lot of things so I would like to know what you guys have to say...

Clothing for Bicycle Touring / Pit-Zip or not Pit-Zip?
« on: June 12, 2010, 07:30:01 PM »
I was thinking of buying a Marmot Gore-Tex jacket and I was debating between the Nano and the Minimalist. The main difference for me is the pit-zip (the zipper under the arm), a friend of mine swear by that feature and I was wondering if you guys think it is worth the $40 difference between the two jackets. Any experience?

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