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Messages - Galloper

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As above - 26" is generally more available but if you're going into the middle of the bundu, it makes sense to carry basic spares like spokes, a chain link or two and so on.   It's also worth bearing in mind that if the worst comes to the worst, steel can generally be welded in most workshops, aluminum requires a specialist and carbon - forget it!

And it's a really good idea to have TWO pumps!

Glad you're looking forward to it.   These guys can help:

May the road rise up before you!

July and August tend to be the busiest months for tourism and also the best weather but it's like most other places, you can have good weather or bad weather at any time of the year.

When you're looking for somewhere to stay, most of the larger towns have tourist offices who will have a list of Bed and Breakfast places as well as hotels and hostels.   Unlike the USA, B & Bs tend to be relatively cheap.   The tourist offices will generally have a list of prices and will call ahead for you. 

Routes / Mexican excursion from Southern Tier
« on: January 11, 2010, 04:19:21 pm »
I'm planning on riding the Southern Tier west to east in the near future.   Looking at the map, there seem to be one or two roads in Mexico that parallell parts of the Southern Tier.

That started me wondering about doing a loop down into Mexico (as I have never visited that country).   Has anyone got any suggestions about possible routes and advice on cycling there?


Trust yourself and your kit!   You'll have a great time and even if you do find headwinds and long, slow stretches, think about the great stories you'll be able to tell!

And in the unlikely event that something does go wrong, in my experience you'll find that most people are generous and happy to help a stranger in trouble.

General Discussion / Re: bike for TransAm trail
« on: January 07, 2010, 04:48:04 am »
I pretty much agree with all of the above.   Steel frame bikes are generally more shock absorbant and therefore more comfortable.   I use both a steel framed and an alu framed for touring.   The alu bike has a suspension seatpost which balances out the comfort equation.   Not sure about prices in the USA but here in the UK, about $30 would get a fairly decent suspension seat post.   Worth considering.

While most touring bikes have drop handlebars, I've never much favoured them myself.   I prefer either flat bars with some rise or a pair of butterfly (trekking ) bars.   The latter give even more hand positions than drops and generally offer a more upright seating position which I find more comfortable.   This is a matter of personal taste so if you can, try out all the options.

Have fun

Routes / Re: Where in the World to Ride in Early April?
« on: January 03, 2010, 05:22:23 am »
What about Portugal or southern Spain?   Quite nice at that time of year and plenty of tourist facilities.  If you wanted somewhere different, Morocco, there are plent of companies offering guided and supported tours in those parts. 

Have a look at which is the organised tour holidays of the Cyclists Touring club in the UK.   They have a 2 week tour, 10 - 25 April in Spain.

Have fun

General Discussion / Re: Your first long distance tour...
« on: January 03, 2010, 05:12:48 am »
Glenageary to Sandycove.   1/2 a mile, I was 5.   It was kind of scary but very exciting.   And I had jam (jelly) sandwiches.   I still get that same feeling today and I still like jam sandwiches.   

Either my mother was very laid back about letting me go adventuring or she carried out a covert surveillance operation that would shame the CIA.   I rather suspect the latter.

General Discussion / Re: Trans Am Advice Needed
« on: December 28, 2009, 05:21:34 am »
Just as a matter of interest, I wonder if anyone has advice on shipping via Fedex, UPS etc.   I've spent about half an hour on line this morning and their web sites are so convoluted I gave up.   It seems that the boxed size of a bike doesn't fit into their shipping system.

Any help or comments would be appreciated.

Gear Talk / Re: 2009 Bike Friday New World Tourist vs Dahon Speed TR
« on: December 23, 2009, 08:08:50 am »
Cycling plus did a comparison of a number of folders a few months ago.   The Brompton came out best but given your concern on wheel sizes it may not suit you.   If you go to and dig around you should be able to find all the reviews.

CTC is a good bet for travel insurance but I'm not sure if they do health insurance.   My recommendation is take a trip to your local Insurance Broker and get them to get some quotes for you.   You need to bear in mind that you are indulging in what insurers take as a dangerous sport so it can take a bit of looking around.   I seem to recall I had to pay £120 for a year's cover.

Incidentally, the CTC membership is well worth it.   Companies like Evans and Wiggle give discounts to CTC members.   I reckon on saving my membership fees several times over every year.   You also get a discount on YHA membership.   I know the USA isn't ell provided with hostels but there are some in the bigger cities.

You'll also find that a lot of sites accept the CTC membership card as a camping carnet.

Have fun

« on: December 18, 2009, 04:49:02 am »

I always have an emergency food reserve, maybe something as simple as a small malt loaf, that way, if you get stuck or travel slower than you anticipated, you've got something to fall back on.

Money spent on good kit is money well spent.   I'm a great believer in buying the best you can afford, whether it's bike or camping kit, you won't regret it.

I can't think of anyone other than Edward Enfield who has written specifically about Ireland.   If you wanted general cycling books, Enfield has written several others.   Probably my favorite is Josie Dew who has written seven books and is both funny and inspirational.   A lady called Anne Mustoe has also written a wonderful book about cycling.   

If you do get to Clonmel, I can recommend Kinsella's pub at the west end of town.   (not mine, sadly but Clan loyalty always applies)

Peter Kinsella :)

Gear Talk / Re: cold feet! Recommendations?
« on: December 15, 2009, 03:19:18 am »
I have a pair of North Wave boots, they were quite pricy but with a goretex lining do a good job of keeping my feet reasonably warm and dry.   An alternative is an inexpensive pair of lightweight walking boots with a pair of Sealskinz socks.   Works quite well but you can only use flat pedals.

I must admit, I like the idea of chemical foot warmer pads.

Gear Talk / Re: Bring or buy?
« on: December 12, 2009, 04:59:49 am »
Hi Tony

The plan is Southern Tier as far as the Mississippi then head north to pick up the Transam then continue east to the Atlantic.   I'm planning to start end of Feb, early March.

I live near Durham so pretty pretty much out of reach and any advice or comments gratefully received.

I had a walk around Edinburgh Cycle Co-Op yesterday and was quite taken with the Specialized Sirrus Elite.   It's within budget and quite well specced.   My only concern is that the tyres are fairly slim.   I also had a closer look at the Tricross and that rose rapidly up the list of possibles.

Decisions, decisions! :)

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