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Messages - pickupel

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Gear Talk / Re: Advice on lightweight touring / bikepacking
« on: December 06, 2013, 05:51:37 am »

The front light is a Supernova E3 dynamo powered light. It uses it's own 'multimount' which attaches to the fork in the same location as a front brake caliper. More info on the light / dynamo systems here:

Hope that helps,


Gear Talk / Advice on lightweight touring / bikepacking
« on: December 05, 2013, 05:39:37 pm »
Hey Guys,

When I rode part of the Northern Tier this June I got a lot of comments from other tourists on my lightweight set up, using frame bags rather than a rack and panniers. In August I used a similar set up in the unsupported Transcontinental Race. I finally got around to writing up a review of my set up and posted it on my website (here: I thought I'd share it here in case it's of interest to anyone considering ultralight unsupported touring.

Happy trails,


General Discussion / Re: Motivation: why ride?
« on: October 02, 2013, 05:22:44 pm »
Thanks for all the responses guys. I think it's interesting to see what motivates people to do what we do, particularly when so many people in today's instant-gratification obsessed world can't fathom why anyone would be out on a bike in the middle of nowhere. I wrote down my thoughts here:

General Discussion / Re: shipping bikes
« on: October 02, 2013, 11:00:18 am »
Whatever you do, avoid Delta like the plague — most expensive fees I've ever paid were with them earlier this year. Total rip off.

General Discussion / Motivation: why ride?
« on: September 26, 2013, 07:49:12 pm »
Hey Guys and Gals,

It may seem a really obvious question to ask, but it's one that I'm really interested in. Why do you ride long distances? What motivates you to go on cycle tours? I ride thousands of miles a year and try to go on at least one lengthy tour each summer — one of the questions I'm asked the most is "why are you out here" often followed by "you're crazy."

Your reasons might be personal, or you might not have thought about it before, but if you have a second write a few words and let me know!

Thanks in advance,


General Discussion / Re: Scenic America
« on: September 26, 2013, 12:39:07 am »
Although I'm from the UK, I've done a lot of riding in the US — rode the Trans Am in 2010 and a good deal of the Northern Tier earlier this year. I've also lived in Washington D.C. and North Carolina. One of the best things about the USA is its variety — not many countries have the same geographical diversity. Even some of the places that would not be on most tourist's checklists, e.g. Kansas, are unique and can be incredible places to ride. I definitely would recommend a cross country tour, but whatever you do I think you'll be left with the impression that there's a lot left to see.

If you're looking for inspiration, ride reports from all the bike tours I've done in the US are on my website, and I'm currently doing a 'top 10' list of the defining experiences of my Trans Am ride:

General Discussion / Re: Dynamo charger for cell phone and tablet
« on: September 23, 2013, 06:53:40 pm »

I've used a couple of different charging systems, run off SON hubs. I've written a report of my experiences here:

Both the Plug II from Supernova and the B&M E-Werk (described in above article) would, if run in conjunction with a cache battery, be capable of charging a tablet.


Gear Talk / Genesis Croix de Fer
« on: September 20, 2013, 11:59:24 am »
Hey guys,

Just thought I'd share my experiences of the Genesis Croix de Fer — it's a 'do anything' bike made by a British company who specialize in steel frames. I've ridden in over 20,000 miles through 13 different countries and have finally put pen to paper and written a review. If you're interested it can be found here:

Hope this is useful to someone — when buying a touring bike I've always found that reviews from those who've actually used their bikes for long periods are lacking — trying to rectify that here. Enjoy,


General Discussion / Re: new to site
« on: September 18, 2013, 10:28:31 pm »
Hi, I'm new to the site too! But not new to touring — I've ridden the TransAm, most of the Northern Tier, as well as toured across a lot of Europe (accounts on website: I've spent 100s of nights on tour and never had problems with being bothered by strangers. In fact, I always seem to come away from a tour with a more positive view of people in general. All my ride journals are on my website — have a read, hopefully it will go some way toward alleviating your fears!

General Discussion / Re: riding and camping in thunderstorms
« on: September 18, 2013, 10:20:42 pm »
Slept out in thunderstorms a bunch of times. Worst storm I've ever slept out in was in North Dakota earlier this year when I was riding the Northern Tier. I was lucky enough to find a picnic shelter to sleep in. You can read about the full account of that night on my website (

In terms of general advice — take a good tent / bivy bag and choose somewhere away from trees! It can be quite good fun to be tucked up and warm when a huge storm is going off around you.

General Discussion / Re: Map updates - GDMBR
« on: September 18, 2013, 10:16:38 pm »
I emailed the ACA about the whether a map update would be published for the GDMBR this year, particularly in light of the damage done by flooding to the Canadian section last June. I received the following response from Melissa of the ACA Cartography Department:

Hi Ed,

Right now there is no plan to reroute the Canadian section.  From reports, there are 2 bridges out that riders seem to be having trouble with - one about 40 km north of Elkford, and one in between Elkford and Sparwood. Other than that, riders have been able to make it through most of the route, managing a few river crossings that seem do-able as long as the water is not really high. We will re-evaluate the need to reroute at our next map printing for this route.  Until then, you can follow updates from us and riders on the road at this forum topic in our Temporary Road Closures forum:;topicseen#new

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