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Messages - pptouring

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General Discussion / Re: Southern Tier Tour(self sustained) this fall
« on: January 05, 2015, 10:56:41 am »

I can't remeber the name but there's a website that has a list of trips of women currently cycling solo as well as links to blogs if they have one.   If you'd like some inspiration Google to find the site.

We hosted Barbara when she cycled across Florida. She was about 9 months (June 2012) into her trip and now she is about to complete her journey and be back home in Vienna. Amazing young lady.

Other females that have cycled long distance solo.

General Discussion / Re: Southern Tier Tour(self sustained) this fall
« on: January 05, 2015, 10:40:33 am »
Generally, you are safe alone. You must understand this country is riddled with crime and there are no guarantees. The fact is anything can happen at any time. Being alone on a bike with all those drivers passing you puts you in eyesight of a great many more people than would see you in a car. In a car only those going faster than you get a look. On a bike just about everybody passes you. A loaded touring bike attracts attention at stops and on the boulevard. There are psychopaths, drunks, crack heads, inexperienced drivers, and the impaired elderly out there cruising around. Weeks ago a cyclist was stabbed to death at McDonalds in Vero Beach, Florida by a mentally ill homeless man. There was no reason whatsoever for the attack. Cycling cross country means many stops at C-stores, restaurants and other places for food and drink. You are generally safe. Be vigilant. Trust your senses and hunches. If he looks suspicious or sinister, he probably is. Beware of anyone who will not give you a last name or proof of it. Be very vigilant at any truck stop. Serial murderers working as long haul truckers have abducted and killed many women. Most if not almost every one of the women were prostitutes. There is a website about this by the FBI. You should be safe. Do not throw caution to the wind. Be careful and aware.

This is some funny stuff right here!!  ;D


I am thinking about doing the southern tier either starting in jan or feb going east to west (all ready bought the maps!!!!) But for any of those who are doing it/ done it, Do you think it is relatively safe to do it alone?  If I do it alone are there any precautions you would take?


Rachel go enjoy your ride. Seriously!! Maybe our paths will cross as we will be returning stateside after 23ish months away traveling the world. We plan on returning in Jan/Feb from Vietnam to California and cycling back home to Florida. Currently on the road for 22 months and have yet to come across a single crackhead (haha), serial murdering long haul truck driver (although we did meet a German truck driver in Finland that offered us a ride to Sweden) or crazy jihadist that wanted to cause us harm. Quite the opposite to be honest!

I'm kind of keen to go it alone, but my poor mother claims I'm going to give her a heart attack, and I don't mind company.

Tell your wonderful Mom that you're going to be fine. Been on the road for more than 20 months and the world is full of wonderful and amazing folks. My advice is go alone unless you have a proven cycling partner to cycle with that you get along with. We may cross paths as we will be returning stateside in Jan/Feb 2015 from Vietnam and making our way from Cali to FL.

Enjoy your trip!

Gear Talk / Re: Rohloff Hubs
« on: December 24, 2014, 10:37:17 am »
More than 11,000 miles/18+ months/27 countries of touring in all types of conditions on our Rohloff hubs and not one issue, not even an adjustment needed.

Yeah I am a Rohloff "lover"! Can't wait to purchase another one and convert my 29er SS back home into a 29er Rohloff Bikepacking beast when/if I should ever return home from seeing the world. :-)

Gear Talk / Re: Looking for a good touring shoe.
« on: November 22, 2014, 09:24:41 am »
This year, we cycled from Germany down to the very bottom of Greece, then all the way up to Nordkapp, Norway before cycling back to Germany wearing hiking boots! Sent our boots home and are now wearing worn out tennis shoes as we cycle around SE Asia.  :o

General Discussion / Re: Schwalbe Mondial vs Marathon Plus Tour
« on: November 22, 2014, 09:05:52 am »
We just replaced our Mondials before leaving Europe for Southeast Asia.

18 months and nearly 10,000 miles on all types of terrain and only two flats.

General Discussion / Re: cooking stoves for bike travel in Europe
« on: August 09, 2014, 06:01:55 am »
If you are touring in Europe no reason to mess with a liquid fuel stove. Fuel cartridges are ubiquitous throughout Western Europe and relatively inexpensive.

Ok go with that. Hate to disagree, but we have met several cyclists that have had trouble finding cartridges in a pinch and they're not exactly cheap either. Gas stations are everywhere! For less than 2Euros we fill up two bottles they last over 3 weeks and we cook some pretty good meals. :-)

Gear Talk / Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« on: August 02, 2014, 04:50:26 am »
::).  After 2 weeks on the transamerica,... We do laundry more often in laundromat...

Really? Two weeks and you're already doing laundry?  Funny. Try using your sink to hand wash your stuff and then it won't be under used. ;-)

Ok, we'll give it a go. After 17 months on the road now, here is what we have.

Most valuable/used - MSR International stove, GSI Backpacker cookset, cups, sporks, headlights with white & red lights (except when we were in the Arctic Circle and had 24/7 daylight/ red lights used for wild camping and to save your night vision), pack towels for that once a week shower, baby powder for the bum, boonie hat & Walz Cap, wool Buffs, everything Merino wool, kitchen sink (used to keep beer/wine/food chilled, washing clothes, washing us, washing dishes), our stuff sacks that dub as pillows, Crocs, Thermarest Z-Lite pads, 550 cord, tarp, Helinox Chair One, Leather Man tool, bike mirrors, just to name a few items.

Least/never used (but valuable) - first aid kit, spare spokes, cables, tubes, helmets, cycling shorts, Seal Skinz waterproof socks, Steripen, just to name a few items.

Gear Talk / Re: Packing a DSLR?
« on: August 02, 2014, 03:46:01 am »
Check out Lowepro's Toploader Pro series. We used to put our DSLR into our handlebar bag (which is fine too) and our extra lenses and stuff in our panniers. However, we now use Lowepro's Toploader AW70 (8+ months) and put a couple extra lenses and stuff in our handlebar bag. Everything you need is right there when you need it.

I also prefer using their 4 point harness system over the shoulder/waist strap system. It works great while on the bike and when you're off the bike hiking around towns and/or woods and while you're wearing a small backpack. Just a thought.   

General Discussion / Re: cooking stoves for bike travel in Europe
« on: August 02, 2014, 02:06:39 am »
Hope I am not to late! We've been touring around Europe & Morocco for almost 16 months now and we just left Finland yesterday, in fact we are sitting on a ferry now back to Germany. :-)  We have the MSR International stove (over 6 years now) and have had zero issues with it or getting fuel for it. We carry two medium size fuel bottles and have never had a problem buying/paying less than 2 Euros to fill them up. When we flew from the US, I disassembled and cleaned our stove and put it in a plastic bag (disassembled) and I left open our fuel two bottles a couple days before flying so there were no fumes. I left the tops off and put them in our bike bottle cages for the flight and again no issues. Forget about buying white gas in Europe!!!! We normally use the lowest grade fuel and again never an issue.

If you are coming to Finland, bring with you a mosquito head net and some Deep Woods Off or similar with lots of DEET as well as some coils to burn in and around your tent. The mosquitoes are unreal right now!!! If you have any questions please feel free to email me.

Also, I would like to add, bring something to carry extra water in (ie MSR Dromedary bag or similar) and either drops or pump/filter. We each can carry 3 bottles of water on our bikes, but sometimes that was not even enough. It has been very warm over here and to be honest, some of our best weather to date was in the Arctic Circle. The towns can be spread out sometimes (we went once 130km between towns), so you will need to get your own water; especially, if you plan on doing any wild camping (which is totally legal here). 


General Discussion / Re: Need advice for my trip this summer
« on: December 09, 2013, 03:42:40 am »
Your advice reminds me of something.  People win the lottery about everyday.  You apparently would recommend the lottery as a retirement method and a way to accumulate wealth for a living.  Of course people who know how the world works, would not recommend the lottery as a financial strategy.  Lottery and waking up tomorrow and riding across the US with no experience.  Pretty similar to me.

What in heck are you talking about? Are you serious? Tim (if you're still with us), don't listen to the overzealous worry wart naysayer "bike touring" experts. You and your mates will be fine, get some bikes and gear and go have a great adventure. You'll be fine, just like the 1000s of others without any experience were. Expect some rough days, but in the end you will sit back, laugh and have some great stories.

And RussSeaton.... you know what they say about assuming? We do not play the lottery. We believe in the old school methods, like saving, living within your means, being debt free... etc. Anyway ya'll have a great day, we're going for a bike ride now in some pretty crappy German weather. :-)

General Discussion / Re: Need advice for my trip this summer
« on: December 08, 2013, 11:36:13 am »

I think that level of determination to finish is the primary predictor of success.  Resourcefulness comes next.  Some experience with packing for  and living with their gear on some form of extended travel (backpacking, canoe camping, etc.) is quite helpful, but not absolutely necessary.  Bicycling experience comes in at a distant fourth in my estimation.

BTW, even among those who tried a big first tour and failed to finish many probably had a positive experience.  What is the big danger, that they might have to pack up and go home without reaching the other coast?  That is not exactly the end of the world.


BTW - DaveB I could list several more folks that we have met over the years that started out with absolutely no idea or very little of what they were getting into and still made it. You act as if they are heading down to cycle the Atacama Desert in Bolivia or something. They are crossing the US, they understand the language, they are a phone call away from help, they are young, and they sound as if they are in great shape. They'll be fine and who knows, maybe after they land in California, they'll either turn around and head home or cycle towards South America.  8)

General Discussion / Re: Need advice for my trip this summer
« on: December 08, 2013, 04:04:27 am »
Hello everyone,

I have been hanging around this forum for a little while as I plan a cross-country bike trip with a couple friends. We are planning on going from Savanna to San Francisco this summer. This trip is going to be a charity ride. We are new to this so we are looking for all the help we can get.

With our route we are planning on hitting the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and a few other locations. Do any of you have any suggestions about this route?

Sounds like a fine plan to us. Enjoy and have fun.

We do not have bikes. Because this is a fundraiser and we are college students we do not have a lot of money to spend on bikes. We are trying to not spend over $800 on a bike but preferably less. Do you have any tips for getting a good bike in our price range? What would you recommend for a cheap touring bike, or would you recommend that we try a different type of bike. Could we get a hybrid or mountain bike to work well for this trip? We also heard that you could take a normal road bike if you pulled a trailer. Is that true? We could probably get a nice used road bike for cheap.

During our travels, we have come across all types of bikes and bike riders. We hosted a girl from Vienna that traveled from Vienna to Spain, then crossed the Atlantic on a sailboat, cycled Cuba for a couple months, then jumped on another sailboat to Florida. She then crossed the US on her MTB bike. After reaching California, she sent the bike back home to Vienna and then put together another bike, piece by piece and proceeded to cycle up to Canada and back down to LA on it. We also hosted a guy from Canada that flew to Florida with a backpack. He then decided he wanted to give bike touring a try, so he bought an inexpensive hybrid bike and toured across the US wearing a backpack. We met a British couple in Spain that decided to buy a pair of very used commuter/hybrid type bikes and tour around Europe. He wore a backpack and she had a pair of cheap panniers. In France, we met an English chap touring on a Specialized Roubix (road bike) wearing a backpack. We met a French guy traveling on a "Walmart" type bike dragging a homemade trailer. I guess what we are saying is that you can tour on just about anything and still have a good time. I would not wear and/or recommend the backpack route, but it can be done and they didn't seem to mind. They were all having a great time.

If a couple of the guys were to get mountain bikes while the others had touring or road bikes would the mountain bikes be able to keep up? Would it take a lot more work to stay with them or with smooth tires could they ride with the road bikes just fine?

You're bike touring, not racing, so the stronger rider(s) will have to adjust their speed to the weaker rider(s). We are touring on 26" wheels and we have no problem keeping up and/or dropping folks riding on 700c wheels. Smoother tires would not be a bad idea.

Have any of you done a fundraiser trip where you were able to partner with a LBS and they provided gear for you? We are hoping that we can get some good deals because it is a fundraiser but we are wondering what we should expect.

Can't help you here, but we have come across several other long distance tourists that have. They sent out sponsorship type letters telling the company what they were doing and asked for some help. In return, they agreed to advertise on their blog (company logo) and to do some sort of product review. In exchange, they either received the item for free or at a really good price. Remember though there are a lot of folks out there doing this, so have a good letter and good luck.

If you have any other tips or comments that would be awesome too. We are getting really excited about this trip but there is a lot to figure out. This forum has already been a lot of help and I am sure that I will be seeking more advice in the future.

To help with your budget, check out for lodging and support. Do a search on bicycle touring or something similar and reach out to individuals with blogs for help. Go over to and read through some of those travel experiences. Forums are ok, but many times you'll get responses from folks that have limited experience.

Oh and have at least enough money for a bus ticket home should all else fail. Get out and have a great tour.

General Discussion / Re: Need advice for my trip this summer
« on: December 08, 2013, 02:53:39 am »
...I'd suggest you postpone your cross country ride for a few years.  Buy a road bike now.  Ride it for a half dozen years.  Ride 5,000-10,000 miles a year for the next half dozen years.  Learn about bicycling.  Then ride across the country....

Thanks for writing this as you saved me a fair bit of typing.  My first reaction on reading the OP was incredulity.  These guys don't own bikes, don't know what type to buy, don't currently ride and don't say what, if any, charity they are trying to assist.   Amazing.

Well it's a good thing that these two did not ask for your advice. Dave and Loretta, with no cycling experience, bought bikes and gear and have been traveling for several years now.

Dave ->
Loretta ->

General Discussion / Re: Start date spring 2014
« on: November 27, 2013, 03:20:59 pm »
Sometimes yes, sometimes no, mostly yes outside of large cities and mostly no within large cities.

Interesting! Not that I would really ever want to cycle on the Interstate, but it could come in handy. Thanks for the tip!

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