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Messages - petervanglabbeek

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Asia / Central Asia / Re: Uzbekistan & Kyrgyzstan in winter?
« on: December 19, 2010, 06:29:49 AM »
I took a bus across Baluchistan. About 40 hours from Esfahan to Quetta.
The reason I did this was the heat in July. With temperatures up to 60 degrees.
A friend was cycling at the same time. I think he was 3 times in hospital because of dehydration, but continued the next days.
Safety was not a big issue for him. The Iranian part is quite ok, on the Pakistani part I have heard different stories. Some people are stopped and transported to Quetta, others get an escort, but are allowed to cycle. I believe that the main road is fairly safe in the day time and should be avoided at night. The landscape is fantastic if you like deserts.

Europe / Re: Europe - Bicycle touring in the winter
« on: December 19, 2010, 06:21:01 AM »
Hi Francois,
I also advise you to stop for a few weeks if you still have knee pains.
It is very common with beginning cycle tourists and can turn into serious injury.
If you start cycling again, use low gears, lower your speed and shorten your daily distance to 50km/day.
Take this pain very seriously!

In our most recent trip in the UK and Ireland we used the Trangia alcohol stove. It was the first time for me to use it for a longer tour. Before I was always using a multi fuel stove. So I thought to write a little about my experiences here. Some of it is the same as Steve Tober writes.

Some clear pros are:
No noise (very important to me). Less smelly (but there is some smell). Very easy to light. Nothing can break. Fuel left overs can be used again.

Some cons:
-Fuel is expensive. About 4 pounds (5 Euro) per liter in the UK, but up to double that price in remoter parts of Scotland and Ireland. In the Netherlands I found a 1 liter bottle for 1 Euro, In Belgium 3 Euro.
-My pots got really dirty. I think it is the colorant that is added to it that makes the black smoke.
-Rather slow for preparing dinner for two.

In general I like the Trangia stove very much. Especially the silence compared to some of the MSR stoves is wonderful. It wouldn't be good in extreme conditions where you have to melt snow or boil large quantaties of water.

Does anyone have experience on a world tour with the Trangia? How is it on altitude?


Asia / Central Asia / Re: Uzbekistan & Kyrgyzstan in winter?
« on: November 29, 2010, 01:00:11 PM »
I don't know this from personal experience, but I am quite sure the pass will be closed in winter.
It is not a question about the weather conditions, but the road will not be maintained (to much snow) and there will be no custom officers. Other passes in the area are closed from october/november till may.

Parts, Components & Accessories / Re: Bike touring and camcorder
« on: November 05, 2010, 02:14:05 PM »
This guys filmed them selves in Asia:
Here a summery of the documentary they made:
Asiemut - the movie (english version)

While on the Road / Bicycle Touring in bear country
« on: October 28, 2010, 04:22:54 AM »
i don't know much about bears and camping in bear country. In the US I hung my food in a tree and cooked 100m away from my tent. I never saw a single bear though. In Europe there are very few bears. I have never met a person who saw a bear here. I know that in the very far north there are some polar bears on the islands. Maybe there are some black bears in Eastern Europe. I never took any precautions.

Panniers, Bags and Trailers / Re: Bicycle Touring: Panniers vs. Trailers
« on: October 04, 2010, 03:33:06 AM »
i manage to ride off saddle both with a trailer and with panniers. You have to get used to it, the rhythm is different from climbing without lugguage. Make sure you have very light gears. (a 32 or 34 as biggest ring on your cassette). in my opinion the trailer is more airodynamic. But if you are more than one person on the trip, nobody can go in your slipstream. I prefer packing panniers, and they seem more waterproof.

EVERYTHING ELSE! / Re: Best in the world tour
« on: October 02, 2010, 12:45:21 AM »
My favorite places after 5 years of touring are the following:
Northern Argentina-Northern Chile-Southern Bolivia: all year around, but cold at night.
Southern Argentina and Soutern Chile: November to March
Colombia: All year around
Middle East: All year around, but autumn and spring probably best.
Tibet: September-November
New Zealand: less adventurous, but beautiful in Febr-March.
Closer to your home, Florida is nice in March, Blue Ridge Parkway a bit later in the year.

EVERYTHING ELSE! / hospitality for cyclists
« on: September 25, 2010, 05:12:24 PM »
Hello fellow cyclocampers,
Is it an idea to have a list of people on this forum who would like to host touring cyclists?
Or should we stick to warmshowers and couchsurfing?
Anyway, I am based in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Cyclists always welcome.

Africa / Re: Needing help. Am planning a trip from Scotland to South Africa.
« on: September 16, 2010, 03:58:46 AM »
Riaan Manser cycled around the coast of Africa. From all 33 countries he liked the people in Algeria most.
I think Algeria is the Iran of Africa. Most people are afraid to go there, but in reality the people are the friendliest.

The Bicycle / Re: Mudguard?
« on: September 16, 2010, 03:55:32 AM »
mudguards are very useful in wet climates when you ride a lot on asfalt roads.
In wet climates with lots of dirt roads it fills up with mud and gets stuck, like biciclown says.
The same happens in snow or with lots of leaves.
In dry climates (a big part of the touring world) you don't need them.
So my conclusion is: don't take them. If you take them, make sure there is some distance between the tyres and the guards.

i think quite some people on motorbikes make it through the central Sahara.
What I understand South Algeria is quite ok now, with the road being almost all paved till the border.
But northern Niger seems to be a bigger problem. Motorbikes and cars have to drive in convoys there.
I am sure that I read a story once from a cyclists who crossed on this road, but I can't find it.

Africa / Re: visa for Lybia
« on: August 30, 2010, 12:10:09 PM »
i read that book as well. He got a lot of help from the SA embassy all over the continent.
I don't think he is the only one who got the visa, but clearly not many people do.
Still, I keep reading that the country is opening up.

The Algeria-Morocco border is closed, so from Tunesia it is hard to get to West Africa. There is a very challenging road through the center of the Sahara, that very few cyclists have ever done. I think it runs south through Algeria into Niger. They usually pull a special trailer full with water.
Coming from Scotland, the most common way would be down Spain into Morocco, then down the west side of Africa. Half a year sounds really quick, you will have a lot of visa hassles, there are so many countries in west Africa! Right now I am staying with friends in Wales who cycled London to Cape Town in 2 years, 30,000km.
If you want to be really fast you could join the Cairo to Cape Town Race. They do it in about 100 days.

Europe / Re: Europe - Bicycle touring in the winter
« on: August 29, 2010, 02:52:44 PM »
well, I am still in the UK, already 3 month behind scedule, if there ever was one.
against my own advise I might be crossing Europe in the coldest months myself.

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