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Messages - pptouring

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Gear Talk / Re: Durability of Dry Bags?
« on: November 27, 2013, 02:33:06 pm »
We've been on the road for more than 8 months now and our Ortlieb dry bags seem to be holding up pretty good. I carry a tent with poles and stakes as well as a UL tarp and its pole in mine. If anything would have rubbed a hole in my bag, it would have been the tarp pole for sure. My wife carries our down sleeping bag in hers. So far they've seen action from Florida to DC, Spain, Morocco, Portugal, France, England, and Scotland. Lots of camping!

General Discussion / Re: Start date spring 2014
« on: November 27, 2013, 02:24:56 pm »
is it legal to cycle on the Interstates out west?

General Discussion / Re: First Major Tour Advice
« on: November 15, 2013, 07:58:54 pm »
Wild camping can often mean your water supply is a stream or a tank.

8 months on the road and we have yet to drink from a stream and/or a tank (whatever a tank is).

Here's a tip. Buy a MSR Dromedary or whatever you like that holds water and top it off before setting up camp. You'll have plenty of water to cook with, wash your dishes, and make coffee in the morning.

You might want to carry an active, pump-style water filter, some purification tablets and maybe a gravity filter system.

Not a bad idea. We are carrying a Katadyn Hiker Pro pump, tablets, Steripen, and water drops and have only used the Steripen once in Morocco, other than that the rest is packed away nicely.

You drink the local water at your peril, not necessarily because of micro-organisms, although there's a huge risk to making life miserable for two or three weeks or your tour very short, but to help remove trace elements your digestive system has never encountered. The tablets will only work on organisms. Boiling water does not remove trace contaminants.

Again 8 months on the road and all has been ok so far.

You can research the cleanliness and sanitation level of municipal water supplies on the interwebs, just takes a bit of looking.


Look you will be fine traveling throughout the U.S. and all of Europe. Their water is fine. We have filled our bottles and MSR Dromedary from small town fountains (very common in Spain & Portugal), bar taps,  faucets on the outside of houses and buildings, water hoses, graveyards (yes graveyards because the flowers need water), public bathroom sinks, playground drinking fountains, people's homes, fire stations, convenient stores/gas stations, and many places that we have forgotten about.



General Discussion / Re: First Major Tour Advice
« on: November 13, 2013, 08:12:01 am »
Hi guys, next April I will be buying my Surly LHT and will do some overnight and long weekend Touring next Summer. I plan on Touring the US in 2015(I'm in Canada)I'm not sure what I'll be spending each day. I will camp and use Warmshowers alot, but is $20-$30 per day for food acceptable? How long could I go with around $10,000? Would that last a year? Or perhaps see the US for 6 Months then go to Europe for a few Months?

Currently we have been traveling since March of this year. Started in Florida, rode to DC, then flew to Madrid. Since landing in Spain, we have been to Morocco, Spain, Gibraltar, Spain, Portugal, Spain, France, England, Scotland, and now in Germany with family. Here is what we can tell you.

1. Don't count on Warmshowers because you may not be hosted.
2. Camping is the best way to stretch your budget. Wild camping is even better!
3. Camping in Portugal & France is cheap(er) and very good. In Scotland, you can pretty much wild camp anywhere you want. England and Spain camping can be fairly expensive. In the U.S. you are allowed to wild/primitive camp on all National Forest land (not to be confused with National Parks).
4. Your $10k should be fine for a year unless this includes airfare and travel medical insurance. Airfare to Europe with bike and gear will probably cost you $1000 - $1500. We paid just over $2k for 2 one way flights (including bikes) to Madrid and we also paid close to $2k for one year of travel medical insurance. Be prepared to cook and/or make your own meals because eating/drinking out adds up fast. Also, forget about buying bottled water, drink from the tap.   
5. Somebody mentioned replacing parts and gear. This depends on how new your gear is when you leave. We have already gone through two Thermarest air mats, a cracked crank arm spindle, and one split rim. However, all these items were still under warranty and we got them replaced for free.
6. Worse case scenario is that you run out of money before the year is up, but you still had a blast while it lasted.

What parts of Europe are you thinking? Over the past few years, we have bike toured through Czech, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Germany, and most recently the ones mentioned above.

Also, have you heard of If not check it out because it's a great way for you to extend your travel budget too. 

Our helpx experience ->

If you have any questions feel free to ask and maybe we can help.

General Discussion / Re: Hosting - WarmShowers
« on: November 13, 2013, 07:18:15 am »
Thank you for all of your input.  I have signed up and if you are ever traveling on the plains of Eastern New Mexico and need a warm shower, soft bed and a cold beer please give me a shout.  Thanks to all.

Nice and welcome to WS! We have been on both sides of Warmshowers as a "host" and a "guest" and have met some great and interesting folks. I'm sure you will too.

We've hosted a young lady from Vienna cycling solo around the world, a guy from Canada that was backpacking around Florida that decided to buy a bicycle and give bike touring a try, as well as a couple on their last night of a cross country (San Fran to St. Petersburg) bike tour. This past March we took off on a RTW adventure and have been hosted several times in U.S. and once in England. Twice in the U.S. the hosts that we contacted were unable to host us; however, they found a family member and a friend that was more than happy to have us. In Spain, we received logistical help from some WS folks and in England we were hosted by a couple that had spent a year long bike tour, touring South and Middle America.

What does turn us off is when the host wants a 2-4 weeks notice, but that is their right. As some have already mentioned, it's hard enough to know where you'll be from one day to the next, much less 2 or 4 weeks out. Unless of course, you are flying in or out of place to either start/end your tour.

Anyway good luck and hope you meet some great folks.

Barbara from Vienna -
Dave & Kelly from the UK -

And BillSNM if we end up passing through the eastern part of New Mexico we'll take you up on that cold beer.  8)

WS ID = ronpetra

Gear Talk / Re: Bike purchasing advice needed
« on: October 18, 2013, 02:49:07 pm »
Why most Americans are obsessed with drop bars is beyond me. Go with a flat bar with some rise and a lot of sweep. Add Ergon GP5 or GP5 BioKork grips. The BioKork will need to be trimmed to work with grip shifters. Most likely you will not need a stem, if you do, the shop should change it out if you place the entire order with them. Get some very inexpensive bar end tap and wrap the bar ends for extra padding. Add some SRAM grip shifters (X7 or X9) , if your drive train is Shimano be sure to get the SRAM Attack shifters. Then pick up a pair of Tektro (they're cheap, but work) or Avid (better but more expensive) brake levers and you should be good to go.

As for the bike. Since you are on a tight budget take a look at Surly LHT and see if your shop can get all this for you at your price.

A little write up -
Ergon GP5 BioKork -
Ergon GP5 -
SRAM ATTACK for Shimano -
Labor = 1 hour and easy to do. Try doing it yourself so you learn how to make repairs if needed on the road.

hope this helps and if you have any other questions please feel free to shoot me an email. Currently, touring the world so it may take a few days to get back to you.


Gear Talk / Re: 26" tour tires -- available/future availability
« on: October 04, 2012, 10:03:37 am »
I can relate to having the same/similar equipment as your touring partners and this is the reason we have 2 Pangeas and not 1 Pangea and 1 Divide. :-) My wife fits much better on the Pangea than she does on her NorWester and would have on the Divide. We both have toe overlap on the NorWesters and none on the Pangeas, so this is nice. We each have well over 500 miles on the Pangeas and so far the Rohloff hubs are very nice. Going from 8 to 7 is sometimes a little tricky and gears 1-7 are a little loud, but I've been riding with Chris Kings and I9s for years and they're pretty loud too. If it were not for the fact that you want to have similar equipment, I'd suggest you take a look at the Americano or Cascadia for the type of riding you plan on doing. We've taken our NorWesters Tours on some pretty brutal terrain fully loaded and they handled nicely. The main reason for going with the Pangea is because we are looking at a round the world tour (fingers crossed) and we've discovered that once you leave the States and Western Europe, the roads (if you can call them that) are bad, so having larger/fatter tires should make the ride nicer. Anyway if you'd like to chat more please shoot me an email and I'll forward you my phone number.



Gear Talk / Re: 26" tour tires -- available/future availability
« on: October 03, 2012, 09:10:39 pm »
I don't think there is a shortage of 26" tires. There may not be a large selection of "Touring" type 26" tires, but there are plenty of 26" tires out there that would work. When you say single track, what kind of single track? The Pangea is a great bike; however, it's not a MTB, so it's not going to carve up single track like a XC MTB.

Why the Pangea? What type of touring are you planning? I'm not trying to be nosey, but maybe I can help you decide.

Disclaimer: We own 2 Pangea Rohloff and 2 Nor'Wester Tours (now called Cascadia) bikes. The Pangeas are fairly new (since June), so we haven't had a chance to go fully loaded yet; however, we have done several overnighters with them. The Nor'Wester Tours have seen 3 European trips (Germany, Slovakia, Czech, Poland, Romania, Hungary, & Austria), many overnighters here in Florida, and thousands of commuting miles.

Have you looked at the Divide?

General Discussion / Re: Winter touring in Canada
« on: September 30, 2012, 09:29:42 am »
Shane I thought you were taking some time off to recharge your batteries.  :D

General Discussion / Re: Swiss Alpine Bike Tour 2012 - Photo Gallery
« on: September 30, 2012, 09:28:44 am »
I have a GORE ALP-X jacket - Very lightweight, highly breathable and waterproof. Also have GORE gloves and socks for very cold/wet days.

I was hoping you were going to say this. How do you like the jacket, socks, and gloves? Are they worth the cost?

Nope, go ahead!


Thank you! I've added the link. 

General Discussion / Re: Swiss Alpine Bike Tour 2012 - Photo Gallery
« on: September 28, 2012, 06:58:28 pm »
Looks like you two had an awesome adventure!! Absolutely beautiful photos and thank you for sharing. What were you wearing for rain gear and how do you like it?

Would you mind if I shared your link on FB?

Hey dbbcpa,

She left Monday morning from Holiday and should be near Perry by now and headed towards Tallahassee where she hopes to find another WarmShowers host. Since she has limited internet I figured I let you know. :-)

Gear Talk / Re: 700, aka 29er, aka *-622
« on: March 22, 2012, 10:49:25 pm »
I was holding out and hoping I could get some good insight here first. Sadly for me though, everyone must be out touring and they don't have time to respond.  ;)

Gear Talk / Re: 700, aka 29er, aka *-622
« on: March 22, 2012, 10:10:18 am »
nearly 48 hours and no reply?  :o

Gear Talk / 700, aka 29er, aka *-622
« on: March 20, 2012, 11:34:50 am »
Would like to hear from recent (past year or so) world travelers. Have you noticed an increase in availability of tires in the *-622 range during your travels? The reason I am asking to hear from recent travelers is because most comments found on blogs, forums, etc... that are anti-622 wheels are a couple years old or older. I have come across a couple of more recent comments that are pro-622 and say they're becoming more popular in the Asia region and can be found in South America. I know over the last couple years this size range has become very popular here in the US and are now being sold on bikes from the big box stores. Traveling and living in Europe I know it's easy to find this tire size too. Anyway... I'd really like to hear from actual travelers and/or from someone that can post up some recent stuff either pro or anti 622 that I may have missed.

thanks everyone

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