At 7, I would suggest he share some of the work. Maybe a tandem or a Trailabike.
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I am relatively new to this forum, and I noticed you do not have much of a profile. If I may be so bold, is your perspective from the male or female point of view? It is sometimes hard to distinguish and I always enjoy both points of view. I hope no offense is taken.No offense taken. That is a fair question. I am a 57 year old guy. I have been riding pretty much my whole life and have done some racing, both on and off road, but I have only a few tours under my belt. One was coast to coast though (AC transamerica route).
http://www.amazon.com/Powermonkey-eXplorer-Portable-Charger-Solar/dp/B000Y9KW9G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1236453768&sr=8-2I found that my cell phone was good for a week or more without charging if I turned it off when not in use. I also found that if left on when there was no signal it would die very quickly. I mean like not even a day. Just something to consider.
Looks like it has good reviews, some say it dosent even need direct sunlight to charge. Thanks for posting this I think ill but one for my cell phone and mp3 player. Nice find!
Last question - how easy are those panniers to remove every night? The one big thing I like about Ortliebs is how easily they come off for transport/securing.Mine stay loaded and on the bike for pretty much the whole tour. I don't take stuff into the tent at night, so for me it isn't much of an issue, but... The Nashbar waterproof come off easily enough. Actually I don't see how they could be any easier. The top has hooks and the bottom a hook on the end of the velcro. Just lift the top off and the unhook the bungee if it doesn't fall free on it's own.
Cheers. I had seen those Performance panniers but those reviews about the fastenings coming off, etc. had put me off. Good to know that these are reliable bags...Yeah, I have seen complaints too. We did a 4244 mile tour in 2007 and my daughter used two of them much of the time for daily commuting for since then. No problems with fasteners coming off and the bags are still in great shape. We definitely did not baby them either. We often just laid the bikes on their side on the panniers, etc.
Thanks for the help!
Along with the Advbenture Cycling maps there is a mapping web site www.viamichelin.com that allows you to specify a "bicycling" option so their suggested route avoids prohibited Interstates, etc.Interesting that Bicycle routes can't exceed 200km on that site but auto routes can be thousands of miles. What is up with that?
Nashbar unfortunately doesnt ship to India... Performance does, but they dont really have anything that stands out.They sell the same Waterproof panniers as Nashbar and also the Transit line. Both were acceptable and I would buy either again.
Any other options for bags with good, robust rain-covers? Worst case, I can probably get covers made locally but it just saves a lot of time to get them together.
You overstate the complexity by a considerable amount.I agree. I have built wheels that held up very well using Sheldon Brown's instructions. I am reasonably mechanically inclined, but it wasn't all that hard.
....DO NOT USE GREYHOUND BUS....From the Harry Chapin Lyrics to Greyhound:
I think saying you could do it easily on $2000 is a little unrealistic. You have to be really committed to being cheap to do that. Not saying you can't, but you're not going to be showering very much, not eating in restaurants at all, not drinking any alcohol, not staying in a hotel even if the weather is really horrible or you're sick, etc.Everyone is different. $2000 is about what I spent and it was probably a bit less. I am naturally frugal, but did not feel like I pinched pennies much on that trip. I think I only drank alcohol twice on the trip (a beer with a meal). No I didn't stay in motels much (one night we paid and one night a friend put us up), but I did eat in restaurants a good bit (usually second breakfast or lunch). There were three of us sharing expenses and sometimes we saved by splitting expenses, but more than half of the time we stayed for free. In addition when we did pay a good portion of the time it was priced per person. So we saved a little by being in a group of three, but I don't think it was all that much.
Note that if you are solo it is more expensive per person, because you can't split the cost of lodging (camp sites & hotels). Also, food can be a bit more expensive solo, because it's pretty hard to cook a healthy varied meal for yourself and not end up with leftovers that you can't use - so you end up either cooking really boring stuff with only a few ingredients, carrying leftover items which may spoil before you eat them, or eating out a bit more.
3 months is probably a little more than most people take.
You could always try a solar stove, they are super light, no fuel required, and easy to DIY. Only problem is that its a slow cooker, kinda like a crock-pot. Here is a link to the one I'm gonna try out . . .Looks interesting...
and a nice article on solar cooking . . .